Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Most of the time, when you think of throwing a weapon like an axe or a spear, it's done with one hand. However, some weapons like the trident are versatile... is there anything that says you can or can't throw the trident two-handed for 1d8 instead of 1d6 damage? I guess for a blunt thrown weapon you could do it like the olympic hammer toss, but that doesn't apply with things like the trident.

share|improve this question
2  
Are you looking more for rules or narrative justification? –  Joshua Aslan Smith May 16 at 19:35

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

From a balance point of view, you will have paid the cost (of not having a shield or second weapon equipped in your off hand). So that's OK.

In terms of rationale, watch someone throwing a javelin. The off hand is used for balance and additional momentum. There is definitely more force when the off hand is free*. So that's OK too.

I'd allow it.

* yes this is a little facile. Don't look too hard at the narrative argument. Don't sweat the rationale to the point that a degree in Biomechanics is required. Don't ask me about hit points :-)

share|improve this answer
    
I'd say yes but at a penalty to-hit because you're losing that guiding/balancing off-hand. –  Jason_c_o May 16 at 16:37
    
Is there really more force if the hand is free vs holding a small rock? –  GMNoob May 21 at 11:33
    
@GMNoob: I have no idea. A quick Google for javelin throwing suggests that distance at least is related to form and technique - so might be spoiled even by small distractions. I suspect if you gave an athlete a rock to hold and no extra practice time, that the rock would spoil their technique. However this is getting into realms of reasoning where (a) I don't know and (b) I don't care. Rationalisations in D&D have to make sense narratively, and often that calls out to reality in a "just so" way. The general case of versatile weapons has the same problem as well. –  Neil Slater May 21 at 11:50
    
@NeilSlater Versatile makes sense to me if both hands are used to add power to the attack/throw. It doesn't make sense to me that a "free hand" is being "used" in such a way that I would demand they drop an item. But I can't defend my position with the rules as written. –  GMNoob May 21 at 12:02
1  
@GMNoob: I found this trying to research an answer: youtube.com/watch?v=gCVt9rRE0bk - but it doesn't really answer, other than "don't think too statically, combat is very dynamic". Back to the plot: Perhaps simply being able to accurately balance the heavy trident on the off hand immediately before the throw to guide it better could be an equally good rationale. But instead of generating more feasible rationales, I've defended my initial glibness as being in the spirit of RPG systems. –  Neil Slater May 21 at 12:14

By RAW, I'd say it is ok if the weapon is specifically thrown versatile. Without penalty.

Thrown. If the weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon at a target to make a ranged attack. ...

Versatile. This weapon can be used with one or two hands. ...

RAI I really don't know. Balance wise, I think requiring both hands is cost sufficient for the improved damage dice which only average out to 1 damage.

share|improve this answer

A strict reading of the rules, allows you to use Versatile with Thrown at the same time, because the "use the weapon with two hands" is not well defined.

However in the example of the trident, it isn't clear to me how you would "use two hands" to throw the weapon. I.e, the question becomes, if the Character has a small object, in their hand, (say a glow stone) would they really do less damage, then if that hand was empty? If they drop that glow stone, do they deserve a d8 instead of d6 damage die?

However, there are other thrown weapons, where two hands would make sense, and you might spin around before throwing it, like an Olympic "hammer throw", and in that case if the weapon was marked as versatile, you would certainly gain the increase in damage die.

So it's going to be up to your table/GM to decide if a trident can be thrown "using two hands" or not.

share|improve this answer

Go outside, find a broom or something else with a long shaft. Try and throw it with 2 hands. It is near imposible for you to coordinate a throw with both hands and also hit something. And also most of the time one of the hands will break the speed insted of increasing it.

Is it like an axe or hammer, where you can with both hands raise it over your head, and then throw it with both hands, it is another thing. (But you did mention trident so thats what i thought for reference)

This is where you need to ask your self, does the rules count or does realism count? Almost always, if it sounds plausible, if the player can argument (he is a 1000BC ninja with roots in the special two handed trident diciplin that he have been training for his entire life - ofcause he can), or if it is possible in real life, id allow it. Else, id allow it with a penalty, penalty varys depending on dificulty.

share|improve this answer
2  
There is a difference between "using both hands to grip then throw" and "benefitting from having a free hand". The literal interpretation of the former stance (if you use both hands you must grip with two hands) is not required to rationalise extra damage from a versatile weapon or even a two-handed one. –  Neil Slater May 19 at 11:26
    
In that case, having the counterweight from a shield in your offhand would help you launch the spear an extra meter, I get your point but it do not have to be a free hand then. –  Magic-Mouse May 21 at 9:03
1  
Actually I don't know if that would make a difference, although I suspect the bulk of the shield would also count against it (due to restrictions on free movement and awkwardness of raising it up in order to get the counter-swing). Obviously they don't do this during the Olympics :-D The only way to know for sure would be to have some people try it. –  Neil Slater May 21 at 9:23

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.