November 17, 2017

Master Thrower (Redux)

Ranger Archetype
Comments from the Finger: We're going to start revisiting more of our old classes, and I knew just the one to start with! It's always been hard nailing the exact mechanics of thrown weapons, but I think we've gotten it just right this time.

Master Thrower

Master throwers, as is often joked, rely on a fighting style that clearly involves disarming themselves. In truth, someone who can bury a dagger or a handaxe in your skull from across the room is never a force to be underestimated. True master throwers depend on quick reflexes, good planning, and, of course, deadly aim to survive in a world that values brute force over clever tactics.

Keen Vision
Beginning when you choose this archetype 3rd level, you possess extraordinarily precise sight. You gain proficiency in in the Perception skill, if you did not have it already, and you can add twice your proficiency modifier to Wisdom (Perception) checks you make that rely on sight.

At 3rd level, your uncanny aim grants you the following features:
  • When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action to make a ranged attack with a thrown weapon. 
  • When you make a ranged weapon attack, you can draw the weapon as part of the attack. You can draw any number of weapons in this fashion each round. 
  • The short and long ranges of your thrown weapons doubles.

Pinning Toss
Starting at 7th level, you can launch a thrown weapon with such force you embed it into the wall. To do so, you make a ranged weapon attack with a thrown weapon as a bonus action. On a hit, you can gain a variety of benefits, depending on your target:
     Targeting a Creature. If you target a creature, you can pin its armor or clothing to a wall or to the floor, halving the creature’s speed the next time it moves.
    Targeting an Object. If you target a Tiny or smaller unattended object, it is considered to have an AC of 10. Objects that are being worn or carried are considered to have the same AC of the creature that is carrying it. On a hit, you can choose to break it (if it is nonmagical) or fling it up to 15 feet away. If appropriate, you can also pin this object to a wall, if there is one behind the object.
     Other Targets. With DM permission, you can target other things a thrown weapon to perform certain tasks, such as pinning daggers in a wall to make an impromptu handhold for climbing. The AC for other objects is decided by the DM before you make the attack.

Lethal Throw
By 11th level, your mastery of thrown weapons has grown extensive. Choose one of the following features:
     Bullseye. When you make a ranged weapon attack with a thrown weapon, you have a +1 bonus to its attack and damage rolls.
     Double Throw. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action to make two ranged attacks with thrown weapons, rather than one. Each of these attacks must target a separate creature.
     Throw Anything. You can treat any weapon you're proficient with that you can wield with one hand as a thrown weapon with a range of 20/60 feet, and you can use your Dexterity modifier for attacks and damage rolls when you throw it.

Intercepting Shot
Starting at 15th level, as a reaction when an attacker you can see makes an attack roll against you, you can throw a weapon you are holding to deflect the strike. Make an attack roll. If your attack roll is higher than the attacker's, the attack targeting you has disadvantage. You must use this feature before you know the outcome of the roll.

New Martial Weapon

Weapon Cost Damage Weight Properties
Bolas3 gp3 lb.Special, thrown (range 20/60)

Weapon Description
Bolas. A pair of weights connected by a length of cord. When swung about and thrown at a target’s legs, they can entangle it, knocking it down for an easy kill.

Special Property
Bolas. A creature hit by a bolas falls prone until it is freed. A creature can use its action to make a DC 10 Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success. Dealing 5 slashing damage to the bolas (AC 10) also frees the creature without harming it, ending the effect and destroying the bolas. You can only throw one bolas on your turn.

11/18/17: Lethal Throw: Double Throw: Different targets
11/20/17: Lethal Throw: Throw Anything: One-handed weapons only -- phrased to generally exclude lances


  1. Will we get a conclave version of this archetype?

    1. It would be the same, except for Multi Attack (or some other feature) at 5th lvl

    2. Yeah, pretty sure Extra Attack is integral to this archetype.

  2. All seems well... Except bullseye giving +1 to attack when this ranger build can already have archery. Seems a bit too good. Double throw is also pushing the edge of overpowered.

    1. The tricks with double throw and Bullseye are that they are essentially limited to a 1d6 weapon at that point, whereas an archer can have a d8 or d10 ranged weapon.

    2. Let's compare 3-4 attacks with a d6 weapon to 2 attacks with a d8 weapon (for a d10 weapon you'll need another feat, since a heavy crossbow has loading):

      Hunter: 2*(4.5+5)+4.5 (colossus slayer)=23.5
      Thrower without lvl 11 feature: 3*(3.5+5)=25.5
      Thrower with bullseye: 3*(3.5+5+1)=28.5
      Thrower with DT: 4*(3.5+5)=34
      Thrower with Throw Anything (lances): 3*(6.5+5)= 34.5

      A normal thrower deals 25.5 per turn instead of 23.5, an increase of 8%-fair for the cost of a bonus action.

      The double throw changes the extra damage to 44%. That's a huge big difference between the damage output of a thrower and a regular ranger.

      Throw Anything turns out to be the most powerful option, dealing 46% more damage than the hunter.

      The damage difference is still quite serious drastic with bullseye (an increase of 21% over the hunter), and the hit chances become better.

      Overall, I was wrong- ALL lethal throw options are way more powerful than they seem and than they should be.

    3. And that's without hunter's mark, which provides the thrower with even more extra damage (because it has more attacks).

    4. I think the difference between your math and I is that I balanced it against a TWF ranger.

      At 11th level, a TWF hunter ranger can attack three times with a d6 weapon: 3*(3.5+5) = 25.5 (same as a thrower), but also gets whirlwind attack, which lets them attack all the targets around them. To compensate for this ability (which drops at 11th level, so we can assume it's comparable to a second extra attack in terms of power), we added one more attack, which is why the spike in damage looks really crazy.

    5. I don't think another attack is comparable to whirlwind attack. Whirlwind is situational, and has to hit a different enemy.
      If you spend most of your battles surrounded by 3+ enemies then yes, whirlwind is as good as another attacks. Otherwise it's not anywhere near as good.

      Sure, the ranger's 11th level ability is not nearly as good as the fighter's, but that only means a substitute ability shouldn't be that powerful either.

    6. Alright, I'm taking steps to address this: Double Throw has to target two different creatures now, and I'm going to limit Throw Anything a little more (because, frankly, I forgot about lances.) Is it more reasonable to say that you can't throw any weapon that requires two hands to wield?

    7. Lances aren't 2-handed, either. I think just making it 1/turn should be enough.

      The thing about bullseye is that the damage is ok, but it seems kinda weird that the thrower is more accurate than other archers.

    8. Lances are two-handed if you're not mounted, if you recall.

      I justify the accuracy by the range; they're more accurate than other archers, but they never exceed like 60 feet.

    9. Hmm. The range does seem to make the accuracy make sense.

      The problem with the one-hand limit is that you can just have your master thrower on a horse and throw lances.

      Here's a thought: How about you have disadvantage on throwing weapons that weigh 6 or more pounds? Check the weapons table- it seems like a perfect fit (And it's a reason to buy mithril weapons).

    10. About my previous idea, forget it. It just means you'll throw mithril greatswords like crazy.

    11. Yeah, I don't love the idea about making it weight or encumbrance; they're not really balancing mechanics.

      And, frankly, if you have to ride a horse to throw lances, that's probably fine. It's /some/ kind of balancing. Not ideal, but lances are weird.

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  4. hummm the old version felt better on the table idk
    my wife made a goliath master thrower with spears and axes and she was a strong character and the powers felt like something natural for her, this one looks kind of weaker in comparison
    The aditional fighting style made her not so useless in close combat and the defensive throw at the 7th level was a good reaction, looks more effective than the "pissing toss".
    Guess i will make this a alternative version on my files.

    1. The old one went through a lot of iterations, but had a lot of weirdness built into it by the end. Like, you now no longer need to take TWF to get the benefit of adding your Dex to thrown weapons, as you did before. Also, it turns out you still needed a high Str score to throw non-finesse weapons.

      Even with all of that aside, the old Master Thrower still dealt too much damage, even for a ranger. Things got ridiculous if you optimized it, so this was a needed change.

  5. I'm really liking this and it will most likely be the class I pick for the next character I play. BTW In the header it says "start doing revisiting" and I thought I should piont that out.

  6. I love the archetype. I've been trying to find a way to make a thrown weapon character work that isn't a rogue for a long time now, and this really satisfies that. Great job!
    My only issue is that there that the 'Throw Anything' feature now excludes abnormal/fun objects that can thrown at people. Like chairs, tables... bodies of recently killed enemies. Why? Cause the idea of killing the BBEG by throwing one of their minions at them is too amazing.
    Would it be possible to say that with that feature, you could throw even things that requires two-hands, but requires a full action to do it? Or at disadvantage?

    1. Well, I /really/ want to keep the damage dice of stuff you throw below 1d8, because otherwise Throw Anything gets a little nuts. I'm open to changing this, but I don't want ot bog it down with lots of special cases for different weapons and types of weapons.

      The big challenge here is to word this fairly concisely, and to exclude weapons that require two hands to wield (since that cuts out heavy weapons and lances), without excluding improvised weapons. If you can think of a way to word that, I'm happy to include it.

    2. Why not simply add a clause that says that "Throw Anything" also become proficient in improvised weapons that can be thrown and their damage is a d6? Its up from the normal damage of d4, and still keeps the one-handed clause.

  7. If you grab throw anything does Deadeye also affect the throw range of the one handed weapons since they gain the thrown property?

    1. The intent is that it doesn't, but I don't think the mechanics align with that right now. This is also a wording problem that I don't see an immediate solution to -- if I halve the range, players that don't catch the interaction with Deadeye will think it's a trap option, but if I leave it as is, you get crazy range.

    2. Change Deadeye to say, weapons with the thrown property have their range doubled, and then specify that the throw anything feature does not grant the thrown property to the weapon it simply mimics its affect, not sure how exactly to word that, but hope that helps

  8. As Written, the level 7 Pinning Toss: Targeting an Object is written very poorly, and needs clarification. It can break armor, shields, swords, and completely be abused.

    1. Mace, Dagger, Sword, would all count as Tiny, yes? And as written, you can knock a ring off a finger, lol.