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.

The party I am GMing has three characters over 6' tall with 20+ strength as well as a halfling and a kobold, both small and about 3' tall.

A couple of times, they have wanted the big characters to toss the small characters across gaps, and then later on in the game, they found themselves in a position where there was tactical advantage to getting the small characters tossed ahead of the big characters.

On the fly we ruled that picking up a small character was a minor action, tossing it was a standard action, and that landing after being tossed cost the small creature a minor action.

Are there rules that cover this kind of activity? If not, does the action economy we went for seem right?

share|improve this question
2  
Aid Another on the halfling's Athletics check? Because right now I can't think of any reasonable ruling that doesn't open Pandora's Box in one way or another. –  user660 Mar 14 '11 at 8:57
1  
I'd probably move landing up to at least a move action to help prevent shenanigans... Throw + double-move seems wacky to me, especially since the throw can bypass a lot of AoOs. –  AceCalhoon Mar 14 '11 at 13:20

6 Answers 6

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Here is how I'd rule it and why I'd rule it that way.

The players are trying to use the stronger characters' abilities to compensate for the smaller characters' shortcomings. That's good thinking, and I want to reward it without encouraging it. My goal is to make them happy that the idea works but to find other solutions, like the smaller characters investing in Athletics or magic items.

First, the larger character must pick up the smaller character. This is a minor action. The smaller character must be in a square adjacent to the larger character, and the larger character must have both hands free since humanoids are unwieldy. This is no big hindrance to either party so far.

Next, the larger character must throw the smaller character. This is definitely a standard action. That's a high cost in combat, and it's something the smaller character could typically do for himself as a move action if the player actually invested in jumping.

Requiring a roll makes sense. After all, you have to make an Athletics roll every time you jump yourself. I don't want the smaller character to get the full benefit of the thrower's investment in Athletics, though. I'd say the thrower's running start determines the check result's denominator as normal (5 with a running start, 10 without), but the thrower takes a -2 penalty to the check. That doesn't sound like much, but it should be enough to reliably reduce the maximum range by one square.

The throw doesn't count as the thrown character's movement, which is superior to a jump, but it shouldn't be as safe. The thrown character has to make a DC 15 Acrobatics check as a free action or fall prone in the destination square. For every square of movement that is higher than the thrown character's speed, he suffers a -2 penalty to this check. This should generally eat up a move action on the character's turn, and the trade-off of granting combat advantage essentially washes with the risk and increased speed of running.

Alternatively, the thrower may make an attack with the smaller character. In this case, I'd just rule it's similar to a ranged attack with an improvised weapon. I'd say a character used like this has the heavy thrown property, so use Strength instead of Dexterity. The range is 5/10, no Athletics check required thanks to the attack roll, but the thrown character cannot be heavier than the thrower's normal load (Strength x 10 pounds). The thrown character always falls prone in a square adjacent to the target regardless of whether the attack hits. For damage, use the low normal damage expression appropriate to the level per the Dungeon Master's Guide. Both the target and the thrown character take this damage on a hit.

share|improve this answer
1  
This seems a reasonable resolution. It allows for the improvisation of the players, gives a quick and dirty DM solution and it seems to me the cost is in line with the difficulty and impracticality of the solution....Also I love the idea of a burly fighter chucking a halfling at an enemy, either as a move similar to a charge or as an attack...Question though, who gets to choose the square the halfling lands in on an attack attempt? On a simple toss the position is determined based on the roll, but on an attack this is not the case.. –  wax eagle Mar 14 '11 at 14:04
    
Good question! If you leave it in the players' hands, you may as well leave it to either the thrower or the thrown, because you know they're going to coordinate either way. I'd be inclined to give it to the thrown character if only to give them a little more control in an attack. They're taking the damage, after all. :) –  J. Strange Mar 14 '11 at 14:13
    
One other suggestion would be to limit the range to 3/6 because this would limit to an extra move action rather than the possibility of it being the equivalent to nearly 2 move actions... –  wax eagle Mar 14 '11 at 14:39
    
Of course this assumes the halfling doesn't mind being thrown. :D –  Craig Young Mar 21 '11 at 22:05
1  
The attack roll method seems very streamlined, and evokes a great image of bowling a target over with the halfling. I would expect the halfling to want an Acrobatics check for rolling/flipping onto her feet, though. Having a DC in advance for that seems like a good idea. –  AndrewK Jan 16 at 23:32

I think that we should look to the Giant Gloves item from Adventurer's Vault (p. 133) for inspiration here.

Power • Daily (Standard Action)

While you have a creature of your size category or smaller grabbed, you can end the grab by throwing the creature, causing it to slide 6 squares. You can throw the creature at a target provided the thrown creature ends its forced movement in a space adjacent to the target. In this case, make an attack against the target: Dexterity + 4 vs. Reflex; on a hit, the thrown creature and the target each take 2d8 + Strength modifier damage and are knocked prone.

If we're going to allow "throw" as a maneuver, rather than requiring the throwing character to obtain a pair of giant Gloves, then the maneuver should be less powerful than the item power.

  1. Action: Throwing a creature is a Standard Action, and the creature to be thrown must already be grabbed (another Standard Action); if we're throwing willing allies, obviously the Grab attack doesn't need a roll. (This is the same as Giant Gloves' power.)
  2. Range: I would make the throw maneuver a push over a slide; it's going to be the same effect in most cases, and the push is slightly less powerful and slightly more thematic. The distance should be based on the thrower's Strength in some fashion, but 4e doesn't have a listed mechanic for "attack a square." (There's attacking opponents you can't see, but that's more a guess on the player's part, rather than a dice mechanic.)

    In that case, I'd recommend that the slide distance be the thrower's Strength modifier - 1 (minimum 1 square). For a maximal-Strength character (18 Str + Race mod at level 1), that's 4 squares at levels 1-7, 5 squares at 8-13, 6 squares at 14-20, 7 squares at 21-27, and 8 squares at 28-30; Giant Gloves are a level 13 item, so I think it's appropriate for a focused character to meet the same benefit mid-Paragon and beat it mid-Epic.

    A more balanced character (say, 16 Strength and Dexterity at level 1) will be much more likely to hit with the throw, and won't meet the Giant Gloves' range until late Epic.

  3. Attack: With the throw distance being based on Strength modifier, the thrower's Dexterity will be limited if they want to match the Giant Gloves' distance early, or their range will be limited if they want to have a better chance of hitting at target. I don't think any change is needed to the attack roll, as the balance for it is built into the limited range. Dexterity + 4 vs. Reflex seems fine.
  4. Damage: We're already encouraging high Strength for this maneuver by making the range based on Strength. I think that's entirely appropriate for the damage of halfling-tossing, although to maintain what usefulness there is for Giant Gloves, I'd reduce the dice from 2d8 to 1d8.

The Maneuver

My recommended power block for this "throw other" maneuver, based on the Giant Gloves item, is below:

Throw Creature           Attack

Lacking any superior weapon, a Kobold will suffice.

At-Will
Standard Action     Melee touch
Requirement: You must be grabbing a creature of your size category or smaller.
Primary target: A creature you are grabbing that is your size category or smaller
Effect: Push the primary target a number of squares up to your Strength modifier - 1 (minimum 1 square) and end the grab. If the primary target ends this movement adjacent to another creature, you may make the following secondary attack.

Secondary target: One creature adjacent to the primary target
Secondary attack: Dexterity + 4 vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d8 + Strength modifier damage, and both the primary and secondary targets are knocked prone.

RAW, this writeup doesn't allow tossing allies up to high ledges (which would eliminate the need for jump checks) unless that ally already has a fly speed or the throw is taking place under water. If the thrower tries to send the throwee across a gap, the projectile either makes a saving throw (falling prone at the gap's edge instead of crossing it), or else enters the gap and the forced movement ends (if they fail the save or choose not to save). Again, this prevents the at-will no-roll forced movement from replacing jump checks.

Granted, part of the desire for a "throw other" action may be to help those with lower Athletics to accomplish such feats. In which case, I would recommend "Moving a grabbed target" and making a jump check as part of the movement granted by the successful Strength attack. Jump with the ally rather than tossing them ahead.

Normal load (Strength x 10) imposes no penalties to jumping. Heavy load (up to Strength x 20) makes the jumper slowed which just means he can't get a running start for the jump, barring something like the Long Jumper feat. More than heavy load can't be lifted off the ground, of course, but if the low-Athletics character exceeded the jumper's heavy load, there's no way a throw would work, either.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for finding an existing game mechanic to work with, but unfortunately that existing game mechanic kind of sucks. Definitely seems like it should be a Heavy Thrown attack, which uses Strength for attack. I'm also a little confused by attempts to limit a character's ability to throw another character to a spot, rather than at a target. What's your motivation for that? –  DCShannon Sep 6 at 0:58
    
@DCShannon My primary motivation for limitations in the "Throw Creature" maneuver were that something available to all characters at all times shouldn't be strictly better than a magic item. There is no specific limitation on throwing the creature to a location vs. at a target (the push doesn't have to end adjacent to a target, you just don't get the secondary attack if you don't). Neither the suggested maneuver nor the magic item allow by RAW throwing a creature over a gap or up to a ledge, since they both use forced movement. –  Brian S Sep 6 at 22:54

I think Both Pickup and the Throw are STANDARD ACTIONS. Equip/Stow a Sheild is a Standard. Heaving a 60-200 lb person in the air and having the proper grasp on them doesn't seem Minor. Maybe the small Kobold at 40 lbs would be minor. I would say a brute grasp to toss overhand/overhead would be minor. But to prepare for an Athletic Toss, no. I differentiate between those two tosses below.

So here are my calculations of how far, accuracy, damage and the reasons/logic behind them. Hope they are useful. It was a fun exercise. I think I'm going to have to use these in a trap design. - RoyalEF

if we look to reality:

The Olympic hammer throw reaches 300 feet for 16 pounds.
Scottish Heavy Weight Throw for Distance ranges 36-46 ft for 56 lbs.
2002 British Champion Dwarf toss was only 11'4" for 98 lbs.

So there are some true examples. Smaller weights go dramatically further. All of these are Athletic throws, they wind up and toss. They don't care too much about accuracy side to side, just maximizing distance. Overhead throws are MUCH LESS efficient!

BTW, In 4e Halflings are 4' and 75-85 pounds.
Improvised Weapons under Melee limit it to 1 LB. And range is 5/10, Hit for 1d4.

I think you have to treat the Halfling the same as if the the player wanted to throw a Barrel or a Boulder. Players may want to do that... it should be no different, including the damage potential to the barrel. If the throwee was unwilling it would involve a Standard Action of a Grab, and a second Standard Action of the lift and throw. You would have to add a strong negative if they were struggling/fighting.

My calculations are reasonably simple, AND THEY SCALE TO THE MONSTER MANUAL FOR ROCK THROWING DISTANCE OF MONSTERS!!! Woo-Hoo, we're balanced!

STR 18 (Normal Load:180lbs, Heavy Load and Slowed:360) I don't think a Slowed state is viable for a toss.

So (for me) STR 18 is tossing with a total encumbered load of 180lbs. Trained Athletics, should increase this and compensates in the equations!! I'd have to say some sort of -1 per 10 lbs over that is in order. We'll assume all toss weight examples don't push us over Normal Load.

How far can it be thrown?

It is a factor of the HEIGHT of thrower and STR vs WEIGHT. However, if you shot put or pitch the weight, Athletics should STRONGLY come into play. And let's make sure our level adds to the epicness of our throw.

In "Long Jump" you add 1/3 of your height to your height to represent your arm reach height. For a Monster, I would add 1/3 to their SIZE (Medium=5',Large=10',Huge=15', etc) as a shortcut to researching heights. Alternately, you could add Monster SIZE & MELEE REACH, this would overextend reach on some, but it accounts for when Monster Stats account for TALL sizes.

So...

OVERHEAD THROW check (clumsy, inefficient--only dumb trolls do this)

d20 + STR CHECK Mod + Reach Height(Rounded) - (Weight of object/10,Rounded)

Lvl 1,  STR: 10( 0), 8 ft reach, 10lb = d20 + 7 ft (throw a milk gallon, 8lbs)
Lvl 1,  STR: 18(+4), 8 ft reach, 10lb = d20 + 11 ft (13-31')
Lvl 10, STR: 18(+9), 8 ft reach, 10lb = d20 + 16 ft (18-36')
Lvl 1,  STR: 18(+4), 8 ft reach, 98lb Halfling = d20 + 7 ft (9-20')
Lvl 9,  STR: 22(+10), 20 ft reach, 98lb Halfling = D20 + 20 feet. (Troll, 22-40')
Lvl 13, STR: 21(+11), 20 ft reach, 60 lb rock = d20 + 25' (Hill Giant, 27-45')
    60 lbs of concrete mix is about a 11.5" sphere.
    This Hill Giant has a HURL ROCK range of 8/16 (40'/80') in MM1. 
    This inefficient method is right in Short Range.

ATHLETIC THROW check (leveraging your STR in an Athletics move)

d20 + STR Ability Score + STR CHECK MOD + ATHLETICS Check MOD + Reach Height (Rounded) - (Weight of object/10,Rounded)

Outside of Combat, the DM might consider letting players TAKE 10, if they know that will succeed at the distance they want. In combat, always roll even if only Natural 1 fails.

If you are targeting something and not going for pure long distance, Targeting below deals with the misses.

Calculations:

Lvl 13, STR: 21(+11), ATH: +16, 13 ft reach height, 60lb rock = d20 + 56' (58-76')
    This Hill Giant has a HURL ROCK range of 8/16 (40'/80') in MM1.  Near Long Range!
    If I use SIZE + MELEE REACH I get d20 + 63'.  Right on Target.
Lvl 16, STR: 23(+14), ATH: +19, 20 ft reach, 60lb rock = d20 + 86' (88-106')
    This Earth Titan Giant has a HURL ROCK range of 20 (100') in MM1.  DONE!! 

Distances are scaling well against existing D&D 4E throws.

Targeting

In Ranged Combat, you don't care how far the aerodynamic weapon travels when it misses. Only that it had the range to hit. The above Athletics Check determine the ultimate range for a heavy, awkward non-projectile being unceremoniously tossed.

But what about accuracy, like a basic ball toss. If the mark is comfortably within your range, you have more control. But you can still miss. So here's my take on it.

The above Athletics check determines if you get the range you needed. If it falls short, it falls short. Maybe the DM decides that within 3 feet the hurled Halfling can a Grab for the ledge the same as a Fall During Climbing? House rules apply.

However, Strength doesn't determine Ranged accuracy. For more accuracy in the throw, I think you need a second roll for DEX CHECK. (-1 for every 10 lbs over Normal Load)

For a living target, you're doing DEX vs. AC. If you don't hit, you can randomize in which adjacency the tossed lands in. Perhaps let the target choose. DM rules.

As a guide for hitting inanimate objects (like floors), I use DMG Pg. 65.

   AC 5 = Medium Size Target (5'x5'=1 square area) 
   AC 8 = Small Size Target
   AC 10 = Tiny Sized Target (bottle, book)

For every 1 the DEX Check falls short, you missed the target by 5% of the thrown distance.

What direction? Simple d4 it.

   1=left 
   2=right
   3=short
   4=overshot (or projectile/target decides)

4 gives the Dwarf a chance to pick his fate, as opposed to overshot for a barrel of flammable oil.

Strong but Clumsy Olaf Tosses a Dwarf onto a 5'x5' floating platform 30' away:
OLAF: Lvl 2, STR:20(+6), DEX:8(-1), Athletics:(1) Reach:8', Dwarf(180lbs)

Athletics d20 roll = 18 , distance=35' (good for range)
Dexterity d20 roll =  2 , DC:5 missed by 4 (20% of 30'), 6 feet
d4 roll = 3
   Short by 6'

The DM can rule how to measure this. From the center of the square is decent. That would mean that 1-2' off would basically land you on the edge. 3-5' puts most people within reach of catching the edge.

LANDING OF THE HURLED

The tosser has succeeded with both rolls. For the sentient tossed, the landing should be determined. This is a basic ACROBATIC Check by the tossed. Succeed, they land standing. Fail, they are prone. Natural 1, they landed prone and bounced or slid past the target. One square seems fine as a punishment. Again, grabbing for an edge is always there.

DOES BEING TOSSED HURT? DAMAGE?

Of course it does. That's why Hill Giants throw rocks. Earth Elementals can hear the rocks yelling, "Ouch!"

Scaling to hurled rock damages is trickier. D&D doesn't scale falling damage by weight--physics disagrees. Falling damage is a flat 1d10 for every 10 feet of drop, the weight of the faller is ignored. With the angles we're using, I'm thinking a bit less is appropriate. I've come up with something that takes drops into consideration, too.

Roll 1d4 for every 15 feet thrown. Add 1d10 for every 10 feet the landing is below the thrown from surface.

Hill Giant, 80 ft throws = 5d4, 5-20 hp. (MM1, 7-17 hp)
Earth Titan Giant, 100 ft throws = 6d4, 6-24 hp. (MM1, 8-26 hp)
    Formula is scaling reasonably.

If you're throwing across a pit where the target floor is the same level then the 1d10 doesn't matter. But when you have to fall down to get to the target, you should get falling damage.

Olaf is throwing the Dwarf across a 30' Chasm to a Ledge 20' below. 
Olaf, 160lb Dwarf, 30' across, 20' down = 2d4 + 2d10

Olaf is throwing the Dwarf across a 30' Chasm to a Ledge 60' below. 
Olaf, 160lb Dwarf, 30' across, 60' down = 2d4 + 6d10

Damage would be to the Dwarf as well as the target.

UPWARD TOSS

What if you're tossing upward to a target above you. Keep it simple.

Height gain is the distance of ATHLETICS Check divided by 5 plus the reach height of the tosser. ATHLETICS Check was 35 = 7 feet higher than my 8 ft reach height or 15'

If landing on a higher structure the d4 damage should be halved and the d10 ignored. Tossing something on a high shelf requires timing the top of the arc of the throw to just clear the ledge. This should limit the horizontal distance to HALF the maximum determined by the ATHLETICS check.

SOFT LANDING STRIP

The DM will have to rule on soft landing areas. Stone has 2x more HP than Wood and Wood has 10x more HP than cloth. So softer materials could absorb some of the HP damage. You could say for every 1' of soft materials 1d10 is avoided. In the real world, 9" of wood mulch will protect a ten foot fall (Playground Standards). Perhaps every 1' of loose, soft, compressible materials will absorb 1d10. If the materials aren't so soft, maybe it should be 1d8, or 1d6. At least that gives a DM something to chew on.

NOTE: In HotFK pg 285. Someone TRAINED in Acrobatics can reduce falling damage.

"Reduce Falling Damage (Trained Only) If an adventurer who has training in Acrobatics falls, he or she can make an Acrobatics check to reduce the amount of falling damage he or she takes. Your character can make this check whether or not the fall is intentional. It is a free action in response to falling. The amount of falling damage that you take is reduced by one-half the check result (rounded down). If the falling damage is reduced to 0, you land standing.

share|improve this answer
    
I'm tempted to -1 this, but you clearly put a lot of work into it. Detailed answers are good, but there's a point where it's too long. The complexity of these calculations makes them seem out of place in a 4e game. It's not super clear what all the calculations are for, at least on first reading. Also, you're hurting my eyes with all the caps. –  DCShannon Sep 6 at 1:04

It depends.

Given: you, as DM, want to support these actions, and you want them to be pretty cool, but not imbalancing.

Given: You want the capability of this being used as an agressive act.

Given: You want use as few house-rules as possible.

As a simple mobility enhancer, the idea of long-jumps has been well articulated by jumping monsters like the Deathjump Spider. Therefore, whatever movement we grant, we'll describe it as a shift X.

Tossing a Halfling is fundamentally a feat of strength or athletics, except in the case where it's an attack. Using the jump rules seems perfectly appropriate as multiple characters are sacrificing their move actions to give one character a move.

Therefore, a Halfling toss that is not an attack requires a move action from the tosser and some way of spending a move action from the toss-ee. Having the toss-ee land prone is the simplest way of requiring both parties to spend a move action. The toss-er must make an athletics jump as per a moving long-jump, using the exact same rules and enhancements. (Keeping rules the same is a good thing. The sacrifice of a move action to do this is sufficient for balance.)

In a combat sense, things become more tricky. Specifically, we want this to be a viable alternative to both characters spending their standard action on an at-will. We also want this to be cool. If this requires 2 checks to succeed, it should hit as if both targets had hit.

Therefore the idea of the Thrown Charge. The thrower must ready an action (thereby spending her standard action) to throw the target. On the target's turn, he/she must take the charge action as normal, moving through the thrower's square. The thrower makes the "running jump" check as normal. For every excess square not needed in the jumpcharge, the target gains a bonus to attack and damage.

The calculations follow:

A normal MBA should do HP/8 damage: At level 1, this becomes (8+24)/8= 4 damage. A successful throw at level 1 should therefore be able to contribute 4 damage on top of the "charge" (not worrying about charge optimization for now.)

At Level 30, the "generic MBA" should be (8*30+24)/8=33

We will assume the normal "chucking" distance to be 4 squares, which is tactically significant because it means the ability to throw the small character past a brute-battleline.

This requires a DC 20 check. At level 1, a trained strength based character will have a +5 (trained) +4 (str bonus) = +9

50-50% is just right at level 1.

At 30, +15 (half-level) +5 (trained) +8 (str) = 28 base. Which is appropriate for an epic level character. Average check of 38 or 7 squares of movement.

The attack expression at level 1 for the throwee is:

(Assuming a +4 in their primary stat and a +2 proficiency weapon, +1 charge bonus)

(1-(14+1-(4+2+1))/20)*(1d10+4)=5.7 In order to get the damage bonus we want, a +3 to attack and damage is necessary. This feels wrong, so we'll say a +2 to attack, +2 to damage for every unnnecessary square of jump, with a +2/+2 for simply getting there.

At level 1, this is: 50% of the time, insufficient distance. 25% of 8.05 (exactly 4 squares of jump), and 10.8 (5 squares of jump) for a really good athletics check. A very acceptable trade, statistically speaking, for a fighter who wants to chuck the halfling at the back lines.

At 30, this same progression at 4 squares (laughable at level 30, but...) Versus an average of a 7 square jump check gets: +4 to hit /+8 damage. (Attack roll of 15 (half-level) 8 (stat mod) 3 (weapon expertise), +6 (enchantment), +2 proficiency +1 charge for a nice 55% hit rate on the bloody treadmill.

(1-(14+30-(15+8+3+6+2+1))/20)*(2*5.5+8+6)=13.75 Or "hahahahaha" damage. Adding, +8/+8 onto that gives us 31.35 which gets the charge into non-pathetic damage numbers. In epic, where most people have fly, teleport, or shift whatever, this technique will never be used, but it will probably be used in mid-to-high heroic and low paragon and it seems to scale appropriately.

Visually, the idea of the huge guy kneeling down with hands cupped into a stirrup and the tiny guy charging is quite compelling, especially with the tiny guy hitting for a decent amount of damage as a consequence of them coordinating.

With a simple bonus added to the normal long-jump rules, all of this falls neatly out of the rules and provides an interesting alternative to attacking with one's standard action at any level of play.

share|improve this answer

I've been thinking about the question for a long time now. The major point is, however, to keep the mechanic natural to the system and avoid introducing an awkward or foreign mechanic into the system. The two primary ideas on how to deal with such a situation are:

  1. Forced Movement
    The basic idea here is to allow characters to use their body strength/size to apply a push or pull effect to one of their allies. This could be used to simulate a strong character throwing a small character around or pull someone closer with a rope. This mechanic would be independent from a character's skills, only employing the raw ability modifier as a measurement on "how far" the forced movement is able to move the target. The result could look similar to something like this:

    Exert Force - example power

    For example, a big brawny heroic tier goliath fighter with Str 22 wants to throw his halfling rogue buddy. The distance the fighter could throw the rogue was equal to: 1 + 3 + 1 - 1 = 4 squares. The goliath could even throw his dragonborn paladin ally 3 squares (1 + 3 - 1). However, the goliath's wizard friend with Str 10 could barely throw the halfling 1 square, and the paladin not at all.

    This would keep the mechanic simple and in line with the rest of the system. However, it simplifies the whole situation a bit and removes any random element. This may not be desirable for some DMs/players.

  2. Athletics
    Another idea was to employ the Athletics skill rules for Jump. This was the other already existing mechanic for handling non-walking movement. This would extend the skill's description to introduce something like a "Throw Ally" option (or whatever you wanted to call it). The mechanics could look like this:

    Throw Ally

    Make an Athletics check to throw an adjacent ally.

    Throw Ally: The check is a standard action.
    Distance Thrown: Make an Athletics check and divide your result by 10 (round down). This is the number of squares you can throw your ally. Your ally lands in the square determined by your result. You cannot throw your ally into an occupied square. No Opportunity Attacks: The thrown ally does not provoke Opportunity Attacks from this movement. Small ally: If your ally is small (or smaller) you gain a +5 bonus to the skill check.
    Pushing along the ground: If you don't throw your ally through the air but merely push him along the ground you gain a +5 bonus to the skill check.

    This mechanic would keep an element of chance and allow for much greater (and also shorter) distances than the first idea. However, it involves dice rolling and math (none of which is bad, it's just interesting how many mistakes otherwise smart people can make at 1:30am when everyone just wants to finish the last combat of the day) and it's more open to abuse (since everything that boosts Athletics can boost this check).

As a personal note: I really wouldn't bother with having the thrown ally to make any checks or spend actions - at least not when using one of my suggestions above. There are so many powers and items - many of which you'd want to get anyway - that allow great flexibility of movement on the battlefield as a move or even minor action that it's not worth to have two characters spend several actions to gain a little advantage. After all, the big guy that's supposed to beat the monsters up and keep them away from the squishies is spending his standard action to throw one of his allies around instead of doing his job ( ;) ). That's enough of a cost imho.

share|improve this answer

You could look to the 3.5 supplement Races Of Stone for guidance; it had a feat, "Fling Ally", which let you throw allies of one or more size categories smaller (Goliaths, originally from the same book, counted as being Large) and then had ranges scaling accordingly. The most significant elements here are, I think:

  1. You had to make an attack roll to throw your ally into the right square, or else they would scatter and land prone;
  2. 3.5 had scaling penalties to hit based on how far you wanted to throw them;
  3. You had to be strong enough to lift that ally over your head, which in 4e would mean that they would have to not put you over your Heavy Load (400 pounds for 20 strength).

So, asking for a feat (or two!) might not be imprudent, a very real ability to fail and corresponding penalties would be important, and if you aren't already tracking encumbrance and equipment weight, now may be a good time to do so!

(Also, apparently halflings got bigger in 4th edition - they're actually about 4' tall now, and weigh 75-85 pounds, up from the 3e 27-38 pounds. In the event that there's no 4e information for kobold height and weight, 3.5 puts them in the range of 32-48 pounds and 2'0" to 2'9" height.)

share|improve this answer

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.