In my current system, every action is a skill check, even in combat. Every attempt is d20 + skill vs. a flat value or an opposing roll. Fixing a robot or destroying it, stabbing someone or sticking them with a needle-full of adrenaline, it's all a skill check. Everything is done with a d20 and I've managed thus far to avoid all other dice, which is a major priority in this system.

That said, I'm having trouble figuring out how to handle thrown weapons. I would prefer to handle tossing a grenade and throwing a knife with the same skill, but I realize that they are very different actions. I'm not sure what methods have been developed to handle throwing/tossing in other systems, and I'm pretty sure D&D 3.5 and 4E don't cover tossing at all.

I would appreciate any ideas or examples of how this problem has been solved before. Even an idea that doesn't work 'as is' might be inspiration for a mechanic that fits perfectly into my ultra-light combat/skill system.

Note: A character's Thrown score is equal to their Balance modifier plus the number of points they've spent on their Thrown skill. This is similar to spending points on Acrobatics and adding your Dex in D&D 3.5. Additionally, the skill only determines the chance to make the hit. Damage is not skill-based and an existing part of the system already covers it.


2 Answers 2


Having thrown both knives and grenades, I'd say the two are not the same skill (furthermore javeling throwing is not similar to either knife nor grenade throwing).

A thrown knife is, typically, fairly light, spins and needs to impact point-first. This requires careful co-ordination between throwing speed and spin on the knife. A grenade is typically fairly heavy (estimate "a pound and a bit"), needs to get a fair distance away from you, needs to be accurately placed and typically has a "ballistic" rather than "direct" trajectory.

I guess that may be a bit too simulationist, though. One way of modelling it would be to have broad attack skills, with "familiarity penalties" (you need to have practised with W for H hours, one game session or similar, otherwise, you are at "half skill"). Personally, I would do that for all attack skills (so if your fighter transitions from a long-sword to that juicy enchanted two-hander half-way through a session, she'll be at a disadvantate for the rest of the session).


Shamelessly stealing the idea from a bulgarian RPG, I would propose a combination of skill rolls.

The example in the book described that while throwing a knife requires a skill roll, "throwing a knife, while standing on your hands on a galloping horse during an earthquake" requires throwing against all of the skills and taking the lowest result (note that this is different from taking the lowest skill and throwing with it).

So, possibly, throwing a knife a granade could require throwing skill + some other skill. Or maybe it gets too complicated this way. I dunno.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It would be quite cool to mention the RPG. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 19, 2013 at 13:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Ендивал" :). I am not sure that my citation of the rule is quite correct, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vorac
    Jun 19, 2013 at 14:03