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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Has anyone worked these up yet?

    I figure

    -they are a martial weapon with about an 80/600 range.

    -they require proficiency to use.

    -damage should be more than a javelin. Perhaps a D8 or a D10.

    Perhaps they can make a D6 melee attack.....maybe at disadvantage?
    Last edited by MarkVIIIMarc; 2017-12-01 at 06:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    What about not an actual weapon itself but an item that can like double the throwing range of a spear

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    What about not an actual weapon itself but an item that can like double the throwing range of a spear
    I've envisioned them as something that uses Javelins as ammunition and gives them more Range and the ability to attack with Dex or Strength, since in my experience Atlatls take a lot of finesse to use accurately.

    They wouldn't be better than bows really, but I see it more as being used by an NPC culture rather than a really good PC option.

    However allowing Javelins to be used as ammunition will let a fighter draw more than one per turn. Could be good for a Thrower character.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    I'd go with: tool that changes javelin range 60/300, and adds the loading property. Range taken from Wikipedia, which lists 20m or less for accurate, but up to 100 yards.

    Possibly make it require martial training to use?

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
    -they are a martial weapon with about an 80/600 range. (no. see below)

    -they require proficiency to use. (yes)

    -damage should be more than a javelin. (no)

    Perhaps they can make a D6 melee attack.....maybe at disadvantage?
    Not a good idea, given bounded accuracy. Increase range of jav attack so that the "short" range is longer (the range before you get disadvantage). 600 range? Sorry, that's the range of a long bow. No. Maybe boost javelin range to 60 / 240 or 80/300. Same damage.
    As for a melee attack, use the jav for a 1d6 attack without disadvantage .
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2017-12-01 at 07:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    They exist in my game as Firbolg Spearthrowers, a racial martial weapon. Stats are as follows.

    1d8 p, Ammunition (range 60/240), Special: You may use your Strength or Dexterity for attacks with a spearthrower, as if it were a thrown weapon. A spearthrower uses javelins as ammunition.

    I hadn't considered the 'drawing javelins for free' conundrum. I'll have to consider that.

    A note on ranges: weapons with the Thrown property have a long range equal to three times their short range (20/60). Weapons with the Ammunition have a long range equal to four times their short range (150/600). It doesn't really break anything if you don't conform with that, but I like the consistency.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Just see if your dm will fluff shortbow or light crossbow. There are plenty or phb weapons that seem to have lower damage die than they would in previous editions or arguably their counterparts.

    No reason to up the damage of a javelin type ranged weapon or add any special Homebrew properties. Just do as the book suggests and use a similar weapon's stats.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    One of the people in my AL group who is a native Chultan bard actually asked to use an atlatl. We just used the statistics of a short-bow, and it seemed to work out rather well. IIRC correctly, than a sling that does piercing damage would probably be a better representation ( if a sling is one-handed than an atlatl should probably be too) but it does not matter too much I suppose.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Shadowdove View Post
    Just see if your dm will fluff shortbow or light crossbow. There are plenty or phb weapons that seem to have lower damage die than they would in previous editions or arguably their counterparts.
    Str-based Light Crossbow seems about right to me, but uses Javelin (Simple) proficiency. Increases damage, increases range to approx what Wikipedia says, is still Str (because Dex definitely doesn't fit), and most important has the loading property.

    Most importantly it's an awesome optional range enhancer for Str oriented classes and Monks (since it is a Monk weapon), but doesn't let Extra attack for them get out of control at that range.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
    Has anyone worked these up yet?

    I figure

    -they are a martial weapon with about an 80/600 range.

    -they require proficiency to use.

    -damage should be more than a javelin. Perhaps a D8 or a D10.

    Perhaps they can make a D6 melee attack.....maybe at disadvantage?
    How weird! We were talking about this last night.

    I think the main effect should be increased range.

    I disagree with increasing damage. d6 seems fair.

    I agree with requiring proficiency.

    It should have the loading characteristic.

    It should require two hands to use.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    I fluffed a bow, probably a short bow but I forget, for a “attack at the watering hole” by some gnolls. Really played up the large weapons arcing towards you. It got their hearts racing as intended such that the actual damage didn’t matter so much.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by napoleon_in_rag View Post
    How weird! We were talking about this last night.

    I think the main effect should be increased range.

    I disagree with increasing damage. d6 seems fair.

    I agree with requiring proficiency.

    It should have the loading characteristic.

    It should require two hands to use.
    So, basically a two-handed sling dealing piercing damage :)
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2017-12-02 at 03:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    I support your endeavor!

    My version would likely increase distance and damage (because historically that's what it did), run strictly off thrown (no finesse, the leverage is all about power, according to physics), and be usable by many weapons good in water, namely javelin, spear, and trident.

    I'd also introduce a variant akin to the Aztecan that launched darts (and IIRC could be loaded with up to three darts at a go, fired one at a time per swing).

    (edit: I'd also change the Blowgun, too. I'd drop the loading; they were fast enough to get off a second shot vs. small game and birds. So cannot be as slow as a crossbow, period. AND I'd add "special" where the damage is modified by your CON instead of DEX (which currently makes zero sense).)

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by opaopajr; 2017-12-03 at 12:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by napoleon_in_rag View Post
    I disagree with increasing damage. d6 seems fair.
    I don't know. Bows increase the damage that arrows are capable of, which are essentially crummy daggers when used in melee. It stands to reason that the atlatl would increase the damage of its ammunition as well.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganymede View Post
    I don't know. Bows increase the damage that arrows are capable of, which are essentially crummy daggers when used in melee. It stands to reason that the atlatl would increase the damage of its ammunition as well.
    Sure, but enough to do more than a short bow? As much as a crossbow, which requires a winch? The velocity isn't that high.
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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    I always thought of it as a martial implement used to increase the range and damage die of a dart. I've never really seen it used for javelins, at least in the games I've played. How about an implement, which you must be proficient in martial weapons to use, that doubles the range and increases the damage die of any thrown piercing weapon.
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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_brazenburn View Post
    I always thought of it as a martial implement used to increase the range and damage die of a dart. I've never really seen it used for javelins, at least in the games I've played. How about an implement, which you must be proficient in martial weapons to use, that doubles the range and increases the damage die of any thrown piercing weapon.
    So it would apply to daggers, javelins, Spears, darts and tridents? And you would increase the damage dice in all of them by one one tier (1d4 becomes 1d6, 1d6 becomes 1d8, 1d8 becomes 1d10) and double the range. So let’s take a look at what that would look like statistically...

    Dagger: 1d6 damage, finesse, light, thrown (range 40/120)
    Spear: 1d8 damage, thrown (range 40/120), versatile (1d10)
    Dart: 1d6 damage, finesse, thrown (range 40/120)
    Trident: 1d8 damage, thrown (range 40/120), versatile (1d10)

    Hmm, that seems like it could work if you cut out daggers. I would be worried about someone throwing light weapons from an atlatl, as there is no way you could dual wield atlatls (that would be quite a sight to see though), but aside from that it seems Brazenburn is onto something. More dexterous characters would load in darts while Stronger characters would load in spears.



    I personally think that giving the atlatls the finesse property maybe a little strange, if normally throwing a weapon is based on strength than throwing it from a javelin should not allow you to use dexterity. The two-handed property would make sense certainly, but by D&D 5e logic it would only be a one-handed weapon as it does not require both hands to hold the weapon itsel. Sure you could make the case that because it you need the extra hand to load ammunition and thusly it would become two-handed, but slings have the same problem and are only one handed. Visually it is incredibly strange to see someone with a sling (or atlatl) in one hand and a shield in the other but that is D&D logic for you.

    I think you all are getting a little caught up in the minutia of things. D&D is a terrible simulator for reality and none of the weapons there are even remotely represented with any amount of historical accuracy (war-axe=longsword somehow) so trying to apply real life logic to D&D weapons is hopeless. Unless you created an entirely new weapons table which drastically changed the rules than you really need to stop being so realistic as you will never find the historical accuracy you desire. Now that I come to think of it, creating an entirely new weapons system may do favors for the game, especially if it gives martials the boost needed to compete with Casters. I never noticed this power imbalance before but it appears that most people on this forum recognize it as a fact.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_brazenburn View Post
    I always thought of it as a martial implement used to increase the range and damage die of a dart. I've never really seen it used for javelins, at least in the games I've played. How about an implement, which you must be proficient in martial weapons to use, that doubles the range and increases the damage die of any thrown piercing weapon.
    If that was possible, then EVERY warrior culture would be using it, and it would be the default weapon type instead of hurled by hand.

    An Atlatl requires a relatively small projectile, so it's way less mass than a regular javelin, but higher velocity. So, increased range, not quite so increased damage.

    The flavor of it being a Sling with piercing damage seems more and more accurate.

    If you look at Monks, the very class tells you to take existing weapons and re-flavor them. Why not do that here?
    Last edited by Beelzebubba; 2017-12-03 at 06:27 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbownaga View Post
    I swear, 1 handed quarterstaves are 5e's spiked chain.

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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganymede View Post
    I don't know. Bows increase the damage that arrows are capable of, which are essentially crummy daggers when used in melee. It stands to reason that the atlatl would increase the damage of its ammunition as well.
    True, but bows use stored energy in a spring to impart power to their missile. Spear-throwers don't - they just use different leverage to that of throwing a spear with a hand.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Thanks for the comments and spear references. I say an atlatl is basicly a tool to increase the effectiveness of a spear by range and velocity/penetration.

    Maybe I'll fluff the spear up to a range like wiki reports and make it a martial weapon. Much like a bow, if you hand me one I need some practice before I'm any good.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganymede View Post
    I don't know. Bows increase the damage that arrows are capable of, which are essentially crummy daggers when used in melee. It stands to reason that the atlatl would increase the damage of its ammunition as well.
    They do - but atlatl darts are much slimmer than javelins tend to be, particularly as D&D javelins are often implied to be fairly thick.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebubba View Post
    An Atlatl requires a relatively small projectile, so it's way less mass than a regular javelin, but higher velocity. So, increased range, not quite so increased damage.
    Darts, not javelins?
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2017-12-04 at 09:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Darts, not javelins?
    Yeah, if Wikipedia isn't a terrible source...



    I mean, we all have our biases here, but it feels like it shouldn't be shortbow range, somewhat longer 'long' range that a javelin with an amentum, and could be either d4 or d6 damage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbownaga View Post
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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Darts, not javelins?
    Yeah. If you watch an atlatl shot in slow motion you'll see that the darts are roughly comparable to arrows both in size and in having a very similar wobble effect when launched.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebubba View Post
    Yeah, if Wikipedia isn't a terrible source...



    I mean, we all have our biases here, but it feels like it shouldn't be shortbow range, somewhat longer 'long' range that a javelin with an amentum, and could be either d4 or d6 damage.
    Latest I have read says atlatls are 3 to 10 heavier than arrows.

    The maximum modern arrow range with any accuracy seems about 1000 feet. The furthest atlatl thow is about 800 feet. Hunters also donvt

    I have fired bows amd know modern compound bows are a vast improvememt over cruddy ones which I assume were common in midevil times.

    Atlatls, seem to have less modern support so I assume less modern technology.

    http://www.self-reliance.com/2014/07...ncient-atlatl/

    That guy above claims the Aztecs were having trouble piercing Spanish armor with their bows but found the heavier atlatls effective.

    My latest thought is distance should be someplace between the long and short bow and maybe damage equal the long bow? Also you must be proficient in martial weapons to use it. While I can fire bow, I am not good with it. Same probably with an atlatl.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
    The furthest atlatl thow is about 800 feet.
    Wikipedia lists max effective range as 100 yds, and accurate range as 20m. I'd go with 60/300 for the range. Or 80/320, just to match shortbow & light crossbow.

    I still say it should require the loading property. Otoh I'd want this to be inferior to using a javelin at close range. Like I said earlier, it'd be something to fill the range gap for Str-builds at long ranges, but not dramatically so.

    Edit: and honestly, that should be your driving consideration. Not perfect historical accuracy, because D&D isn't a simulation anyway. Figure out what roles this new weapon will fill, and compare it to existing weapons. And IMO make sure it's generally inferior to any that require more technology or would be more common. Otherwise everyone would use it.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2017-12-06 at 11:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    Honestly, I wouldn't worry at all about niche and shoot for fidelity as best as possible. Reason being is we all understand that at a certain functionality firearms (or repeating crossbows) will null and void most armor and thus the AC part of the game. We also know that at a certain point tenchnology can and has been on par with a magic spell and will supplant that as well on a case by case basis.

    These are good things.

    It also reminds you that your settings are "Moments in Time (and Space)," and thus you need define its scope. Just like all spells should not be presumed on and ubiquitous, similarly not all material technology should be considered on and ubiquitous. It's an opportunity for certain regions to have cultural exchanges, for good and ill, and to see dynamic spread of tech.

    There's a dearth of martial developments in this game, so knock yourself out! Obsolescence lf the past is part and parcel of technological development throughout times and places.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    That's fine and dandy, but what I meant is: do you want every Barbarian, Str Cleric, Str Fighter, and Paladin to use the Atlatl as their default ranged weapon? (Just as now they all, except the Cleric, use the Javelin.) Because that's what happens if you introduce it as a Str-based 1d8 80/320 weapon without the loading property. Even with loading, it's likely to be the go-to weapon for more than 30 ft.

    If that's the spot you want the weapon to go, do it. If you want it to be a Katana of missile weapons give it d10 & finesse too, so it's almost always the best (non-spell) choice for everyone.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2017-12-07 at 03:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Atlatl's as D&D weapons?

    New technology habitually had imbalances upon introduction until there reached an equilibruim... until the next tech came about. It's the nature of things.

    And just as odd as it is to have DEX for longbows, (let alone not accounting for parabolic arcs to get such range v. Xbows having punching power to have such range yet not being represented as such on armors,) what's the matter with a little competition from a known STR variant?

    I am not True Neutral, I don't hold with the Cult of the Balance.

    There's a lot out there that should be but isn't. Hooks on weapons is a major glaring hole for me. It's been with mankind since before agriculture and gave us the capacity to hunt flying and swimming prey, both large and small. So have nets. They should be already extant in great variety and kill dead any talk about "caster supremacy because fly & pew pew fireballs."

    Sapient creatures are smart and creative tool users. Further they specialize their repertoire of tools as fits their environmental needs, and supplement them with cultural exchanges. But in WotC DnD they leave such innovation almost solely to spells and new archetype widgets. That's bass-ackwards on its face.

    So, go ahead! Flout the static material tech paradigm! Liven it up with regionalisms, imbalances, innovations, etc. Just be mindful that "always on, always balanced" is an artificial construction that ends up constraining and static. Your settings, knock yourself out!
    Last edited by opaopajr; 2017-12-07 at 05:00 PM.

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