So with lesser hurling the barbarian is using a small or tiny weapon, that I think does 2d6 damage if it's small. Does Deflect Arrows work against it?

If it doesn't, at what point does the Deflect Arrows stop working.

My personal thought is that the example of a ballista does 3d8, and 2d6 is well under that. I'd probably rule that hurling at 3d6 with a medium object is probably about the size that Deflect Arrows cannot cope with.

Lesser Hurl: As a full-round action while raging, the barbarian can lift and hurl an object up to one size category smaller than herself with both hands or two size categories smaller with one hand as an improvised weapon with a range increment of 10 feet. This inflicts damage as a falling object plus the barbarian’s Strength bonus. This damage is halved if the object is not made of stone, metal, or similar material. This is a ranged touch attack, and the target may attempt a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the barbarian’s level + the barbarian’s Strength modifier) for half damage. The barbarian may apply Power Attack to this attack as a one- or two-handed weapon, as appropriate.

Deflect arrows: Benefit: You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat. Once per round when you would normally be hit with an attack from a ranged weapon, you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. Attempting to deflect a ranged attack doesn't count as an action. Unusually massive ranged weapons (such as boulders or ballista bolts) and ranged attacks generated by natural attacks or spell effects can't be deflected.


2 Answers 2


I don't think that you should base the item's size on its damage rating. While larger damage usually coincides with larger size, when you're dealing with special materials and weapons it may not be indicative. Additionally, the feat is designed for Medium sized creatures. A Huge creature against the same ballista might treat the bolt like a javelin, which is a reasonable deflection.

Thus, if I were the DM I would determine that regardless of the hurler's size, objects two sizes smaller than the deflector would be the upper limit to the ability.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 100% behind this. Honestly rules clearly should have been written this way as "unusually massive" is obviously hazy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gates VP
    Jan 2, 2014 at 23:48

The rules are a little hazy as to where the "unusally massive" cutoff is.

However, we can see that a light ballista bolt weights 10 pounds. Most of the thrown weapons weight 9 pounds or less (excluding the harpoon and grappling hook, which have their rope counted in their weight), and no one questions that you can use Deflect Arrows on all the thrown weapons. So from an in-game point of view, I think "ten pounds" is a fair breaking point from when items go from Deflect Arrows capable to being unusually massive.

Of course this gets a little complicated because Large versions of many normal weapons might go outside that range - you could easily deflect an ogre's thrown club (double weight for size Large = 6 lbs) but not a large... uh, totem spear, flying talon, or dwarven maulaxe... OK, still edge cases even at Large. As you get bigger you just use the same double-weight formula to see if you can deflect it.

This does beg the question of what if the target isn't size Medium. I'd suggest using the same double/halving formula, so a Small monk could deflect up to 5 lbs, a Large one up to 20 (including those small ballista bolts).

Now, what to do with an ability like lesser hurl that works off volume instead of mass? There are weight ranges on the size table - which lines up in general, so a size Tiny object's clearly deflectable (8 lbs max) by a Medium monk and a size Small object probably not (8-60 lbs). This comes pretty close to @CatLord's suggestion of objects two sizes smaller being deflectable.

So then you have to ask yourself, do you want a Huge creature to be able to deflect a 40 lb projectile (weight doubling) or something proportional to their size (60-500 lbs as for size Medium, which to be fair they can rock-throw)? I can see a case for either, but just be aware that since they don't bother thoroughly putting a size class and/or weight on everything in the game, you'll still be making judgement calls a lot.


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