D&D 5E Is this weapon balanced?

I'd like to get opinions about the balance of this weapon. For context, it is a ranged weapon found in Level Up. Almost all of the ranged weapons in the game have identical stats to their 5e counterparts (at least when Thrown in the case of melee weapons), so you don't need any knowledge of Level Up to analyze this weapon.

Spear-thrower
Martial Ranged Weapon
Cost: 10 gp
Damage: 1d6 piercing
Weight: 4 lbs.
Properties: Special, ammunition (80/320), loading

Spear-thrower. This weapon uses your Strength modifier instead of your Dexterity modifier for attacks and damage. If you hit a target within the spear-thrower's normal range, it deals an extra 1d6 damage. The spear-thrower can use either spears or javelins as ammunition.

Too strong; too weak; just right?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

I'd like to get opinions about the balance of this weapon. For context, it is a ranged weapon found in Level Up. Almost all of the ranged weapons in the game have identical stats to their 5e counterparts (at least when Thrown in the case of melee weapons), so you don't need any knowledge of Level Up to analyze this weapon.

Spear-thrower
Martial Ranged Weapon
Cost: 10 gp
Damage: 1d6 piercing
Weight: 4 lbs.
Properties: Special, ammunition (80/320), loading

Spear-thrower. This weapon uses your Strength modifier instead of your Dexterity modifier for attacks and damage.
So far so good - it's a d6 long-range weapon, and a good choice for str-based warriors to have as a backup ranged option.

If you hit a target within the spear-thrower's normal range, it deals an extra 1d6 damage.
This, however, is too much.
The spear-thrower can use either spears or javelins as ammunition.
This is fine.
Too strong; too weak; just right?
Drop the bonus damage - doing 2d6 up to 80 feet away is definitely overkill.
 


cbwjm

Legend
I'd like to get opinions about the balance of this weapon. For context, it is a ranged weapon found in Level Up. Almost all of the ranged weapons in the game have identical stats to their 5e counterparts (at least when Thrown in the case of melee weapons), so you don't need any knowledge of Level Up to analyze this weapon.

Spear-thrower
Martial Ranged Weapon
Cost: 10 gp
Damage: 1d6 piercing
Weight: 4 lbs.
Properties: Special, ammunition (80/320), loading

Spear-thrower. This weapon uses your Strength modifier instead of your Dexterity modifier for attacks and damage. If you hit a target within the spear-thrower's normal range, it deals an extra 1d6 damage. The spear-thrower can use either spears or javelins as ammunition.

Too strong; too weak; just right?
Looks about right to me, not too powerful at all. In fact, because it has the loading property, I could see people eventually moving on to another weapon if they have more than one attack, unless there is an equivalent crossbow expert feat that lets them ignore the loading property.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I'd like to get opinions about the balance of this weapon. For context, it is a ranged weapon found in Level Up. Almost all of the ranged weapons in the game have identical stats to their 5e counterparts (at least when Thrown in the case of melee weapons), so you don't need any knowledge of Level Up to analyze this weapon.

Spear-thrower
Martial Ranged Weapon
Cost: 10 gp
Damage: 1d6 piercing
Weight: 4 lbs.
Properties: Special, ammunition (80/320), loading

Spear-thrower. This weapon uses your Strength modifier instead of your Dexterity modifier for attacks and damage. If you hit a target within the spear-thrower's normal range, it deals an extra 1d6 damage. The spear-thrower can use either spears or javelins as ammunition.

Too strong; too weak; just right?
Way OP in terms of balance.

If you took out the extra d6 at normal range it would still be the most powerful ranged strength weapon.

In terms of balance you need to compare it to other ranged weapons that use strength. The only weapons that includes is net (which does 0 damage) and darts which do 1d4 and have a range of 20/60.

I would say it would not be OP at 1d6 and 30/120 range, but even at this it would still be by far the best ranged weapon that uses strength.
 

J-H

Hero
So basically it's an atl-atl? Just bump the damage up from 1d6 to 1d8 and improve the range.
Be sure to specify if it can be used with a shield or not.
 

Cost seems a little high considering what it is. Range seems a little too long, but that is true of most 5e weapons.

Otherwise looks reasonable. The loading and ammunition properties prevent it from being used with multiple attacks or shields, which would be the only concerns with a Strength-based weapon.

This still wouldn't let a Str-based character specialise in ranged attacks better than a Dex-based one, but it does reduce the discrepancy a little.
 

toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
If encumbrance is enforced, it's unlikely any character without a wagon full of weapons at their side has access to numerous spears and javelins for ammo. With the loading property, don't see it being a big deal.
 

OK. There are two big things to talk about here.
  • The extra 1d6 damage at up to 80 feet
  • The loading property
Loading is crippling from level 5 onwards for anyone who would normally use strength. All the strength combatants get a second attack at level 5. You can draw one weapon per turn but fire two. So if you start on turn 1 you get both your attacks as long as you started with a spear in hand (fire it, draw another, fire it) - but from turn 2 onwards you can only draw one and attack. This is a big part of what makes throwing weapons non-viable as a primary weapon.

The extra 1d6 on the other hand means that from level 1-4 it is far and away the best ranged weapon for a fighter with a two handed weapon. Drop it to draw your greatsword/greataxe/maul when you want to get stuck in. From level 5+ it's simply an oddity because it doesn't scale to two attacks.

And it's this combination of "the best thing possible" before level 5 and "utterly meh" from level 5 onwards that's the real problem. It suddenly falling off and you changing your fighting style because you leveled up just feels bad. Javelins are fine - they may drop off at level 5 but they were never your primary means of engagement; they were something you did because you couldn't hit it with your main weapon. This is strong enough to be your primary weapon from levels 1-4 and is a disaster at level 5. Which just feels bad in the way two weapon fighting does; it's fine for four levels then bad at level 5 onwards.
 

cbwjm

Legend
Yeah, it's the loading property that makes this a difficult weapon to use since it doesn't have feat support. Otherwise I really like this weapon as a way to pack a little more power into your thrown spears or javelins, which a player probably isn't going to have a lot of anyway. A barbarian starts with 4 javelins, others could start with them if they went with starting gold.

That extra d6 damage is a great idea and I'd like to see more weapons that have a little something extra like this.
 

It really depends on the type of wood and quality of other materials to determine how well balanced it... Wait, you mean mechanically?!? Wasn't expecting that.

Design goal is obviously to allow a better long range option for Str based characters. Loading is necessary, because otherwise this would outperform everything else, but still makes it worth using when a ranged attack is your only choice. The 1d6 damage is a bit much, but I feel would be more reasonable if it only worked on the short range of the ammunition (so using it instead of just throwing it would be worthwhile at the cost of loading). I also note that this doesn't mention the two handed property, and am curious about what it's supposed to look like.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Looks about right to me, not too powerful at all. In fact, because it has the loading property, I could see people eventually moving on to another weapon if they have more than one attack, unless there is an equivalent crossbow expert feat that lets them ignore the loading property.
It's a levelup weapon, no such feat exists, it does this
• If you are proficient with a crossbow, you ignore its loading property.
• You do not have disadvantage on ranged attack rolls from being within 5 feet of a hostile creature.
• When you attack with a one-handed weapon using the Attack action, you can use a bonus action to attack with a hand crossbow wielded in your off-hand.
 

I would just drop extra damage. I don't object to it by any means, but it seems to make this a weapon people would actually consider making a build around or otherwise specializing in, and then be upset that it doesn't synergize with x, y, and z, when they could otherwise just appreciate it as a device that allows their melee guy to throw a javelin much further when they really need to throw a javelin much further.
 


Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Personally, I'd:
Spear-thrower
Simple Ranged Weapon
Cost: 5 sp
Damage: 1d10 piercing
Weight: 1 lbs.
Properties: Special, ammunition (80/200), loading

Spear-thrower. This weapon uses your Strength modifier instead of your Dexterity modifier for attacks and damage. The spear-thrower can use either spears or javelins as ammunition.
Atlatls are not heavy (I've used one, before) or particularly expensive/difficult to make.
51byER93WGL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

Essentially what you're creating, here, is a strength based crossbow with heavier ammunition. I suspect that's why you went for 80/320, to match the crossbow range. However while the Atlatl could be used to hurl a dart up to 450ft, it didn't do it with great deals of speed and it would be fairly easy to avoid at it's maximum potential range because of the size and visibility of the projectile. I feel like halving it's real-world maximum makes the most sense, in this case as it's still plenty of range for most adventurers.

Rather than increasing the spear-damage, it's easier to just declare the weapon's damage. And since it's basically a crossbow, mechanically, 1d10 fits well. The low price reflects the fairly high cost and weight of the ammunition which never breaks on impact or gets lost.

I hope this helps!
 


I'd like to get opinions about the balance of this weapon. For context, it is a ranged weapon found in Level Up. Almost all of the ranged weapons in the game have identical stats to their 5e counterparts (at least when Thrown in the case of melee weapons), so you don't need any knowledge of Level Up to analyze this weapon.

Spear-thrower
Martial Ranged Weapon
Cost: 10 gp
Damage: 1d6 piercing
Weight: 4 lbs.
Properties: Special, ammunition (80/320), loading

Spear-thrower. This weapon uses your Strength modifier instead of your Dexterity modifier for attacks and damage. If you hit a target within the spear-thrower's normal range, it deals an extra 1d6 damage. The spear-thrower can use either spears or javelins as ammunition.

Too strong; too weak; just right?

2d6 damage out to 80', with a Strength based ranged weapon attack (sharpshooter, archery style etc apply)?

Lose the extra d6 damage and it's OK.
 


cbwjm

Legend
I concur that it seems ... quite implausible that it would have the same range as a crossbow, or even a short bow.
I just looked up the throwing distance of an atlatl, and 300 feet seems to be a common distance listed for it so the 80/320 seems suitable as the range.
 


An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top