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Not Liking Thrown Being Under SWADE's Athletics Umbrella.

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  • Not Liking Thrown Being Under SWADE's Athletics Umbrella.

    I've just started my 2nd campaign with SWADE and in both I've found the need to extract Thrown as an ability under the Athletics skill. In one case it's because there's a specialization to throwing and it just felt too awkward and misleading to have that specialization applied to the Athletics skill. In another it's a setting with a very vertical topography, in which ascending heights is as second nature to player races as walking, yet swimming and throwing pose greater challenges due to the same terrain. In that latter case I just split all 3 of them out into separate skills like SWD. I can understand the folks at Peginc wanting to do something about Throwing; in my experiences with Fighting driving Parry and Shooting getting the better target number, players often felt unmotivated to spec Throwing. I learned to live with Athletics covering swimming and climbing in D&D 4 & 5, but TBH I still don't care for that and even less so in SWADE. Throwing is another matter though and I'd be even less inclined to keep it under Athletics in a Weird Wars campaign, where thrown ordnance comes into play in a big way. Not to mention I've viewed a number of posts about SWADE on other websites, with players and GMs voicing the same dislike for throwing as part of the Athletics skill.

    I realize there's a few new hindrances for challenging/limiting a PC for a specific Athletics skill ability, but TBH that approach just annoys me. I take hindrances seriously as a GM when employed in racial builds and when players take them on. Stacking hindrances up on a teetering plate like the Sesame Street baker's cakes, is a poor design choice IMO. I want Hindrances to continue to come into play in a more narrative way and not as simple play mechanic tweaks to skills. Anyhow...just my rant and 2 cents about a SWADE design decision that I don't particularly care for.
    Last edited by kronovan; 02-11-2019, 10:24 PM.

  • #2
    Making Throwing a specific skill works in a very narrow range of campaigns--specifically, those that feature grenades and not readily available grenade launchers (so yes, Wierd Wars). For those campaigns, I'd be fine with a setting rule that makes Throwing a thing unto itself (of course, even then, more than a d6 is pretty much a waste, since you only need that 4 to accurately place a grenade). The other category is the pure Superhero campaign, where the trope of tossing a Buick at your opponent is a thing.

    But outside those campaigns? I don't think I ever saw anyone bother with Throwing, ever. If ninety-nine percent of characters will never bother taking a skill, it probably doesn't need to be a skill of its own. Once you get to that point in the reasoning, the only question remaining was, "Where do we put this action?" The two obvious choices to the designers, I assume, were Athletics and Shooting. The former emphasizes the physicality of the action, the hand-eye coordination and the muscle control required to launch a projectile accurately; the latter creates a single Skill called "Ranged Combat". Neither one is definitively wrong, IMNSHO, but I do like it better under Athletics--a quaterback, pitcher or lacrosse player is not a marksman; they're an athlete.

    Comment


    • ValhallaGH
      ValhallaGH commented
      Editing a comment
      Even in those campaigns, everyone doing the throwing is pretty Athletic. And I can't think of a single fictional example where a competent character failed to throw their grenade or sedan approximately where it was intended.

  • #3
    Are you also splitting up Shooting? I mean shooting a bow and an uzi is vastly different.
    You could allways use skill specialization as a setting rule of course, that would most certainly take care of all the problems with the broad skills.
    Cheers

    Comment


    • #4
      Originally posted by Freemage View Post
      ...But outside those campaigns? I don't think I ever saw anyone bother with Throwing, ever. If ninety-nine percent of characters will never bother taking a skill, it probably doesn't need to be a skill of its own. Once you get to that point in the reasoning, the only question remaining was, "Where do we put this action?" The two obvious choices to the designers, I assume, were Athletics and Shooting. The former emphasizes the physicality of the action, the hand-eye coordination and the muscle control required to launch a projectile accurately; the latter creates a single Skill called "Ranged Combat". Neither one is definitively wrong, IMNSHO, but I do like it better under Athletics--a quaterback, pitcher or lacrosse player is not a marksman; they're an athlete.
      Counter to that, I'm certain I don't own a SW setting (1st or 3rd party), that doesn't have some thrown weapons in it. IME players often are dissuaded from taking Throwing because they invest points in either Fighting or Shooting (usually heavily), because Fighting improves Parry and Shooting can typically be done at safer ranges with less consequences on a fumbled roll. In one campaign where I houseruled an alternate to Parry, Throwing was taken with more frequency. As to lumping a throwing ability under a Shooting skill; that's the 1st I've ever heard of such an idea and thank goodness Peginc didn't do that.

      Originally posted by Mogge View Post
      Are you also splitting up Shooting? I mean shooting a bow and an uzi is vastly different.
      You could allways use skill specialization as a setting rule of course, that would most certainly take care of all the problems with the broad skills.
      Cheers
      I have a binary specialization in one of my settings for all 3 of the martial skills (3 as I re-implemented Throwing), but that's to support a central theme that impacts play mechanics and not for a specific weapon type(s.) I don't particularly care for weapon type specializations and already get more than my share of those in other RPGs I run. My players also aren't big fans of them, but I will at times provide Shooting [bows] and Shooting [firearms], if the 2 weapon groups are common in the setting.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by kronovan View Post

        Counter to that, I'm certain I don't own a SW setting (1st or 3rd party), that doesn't have some thrown weapons in it. IME players often are dissuaded from taking Throwing because they invest points in either Fighting or Shooting (usually heavily), because Fighting improves Parry and Shooting can typically be done at safer ranges with less consequences on a fumbled roll. In one campaign where I houseruled an alternate to Parry, Throwing was taken with more frequency. As to lumping a throwing ability under a Shooting skill; that's the 1st I've ever heard of such an idea and thank goodness Peginc didn't do that.
        That's just it, though--they all have Thrown Weapons, because throwing something at your opponent has existed since we got opposable thumbs. But there are only a few specific eras when throwing was the dominant force in combat:

        1: Prehistory, when spears were still very valuable, but we hadn't figured out the whole 'bow' thing yet.
        2: The time period between the invention of the grenade, and the invention of the grenade launcher.

        Furthermore, even in both of those eras, you never did that as your primary schtick. Instead, you used the thrown weapon as an opening assault--chuck the spear/axe and then pull out your club/sword, or throw the grenade in order to break up an enemy formation in order to either pick them off with your gun or run in with a bayonet. The 'throwing master' archetype is mostly fictional--the former knife-thrower from the circus, and such.

        But the rules for the game didn't even support that particular trope, either:

        1: You HAD to take Fast Draw in order to be viable as Knife McThrowerson, because otherwise, you were attacking twice (at most) and then having to go at a -2 every shot, or go every other round.
        2: You had to hope your GM ignored Encumbrance, because damn, those throwing weapons get heavy when you try to have enough to be a viable 5-round combatant (or even worse, use Throwing during a Mass Battle, where you can drop 3d6 units of ammo every 'round').

        If you really want to emulate how throwing is used in real-world combat, everyone should be a little bit skilled at it, in order to be able to use it as an opener. If you want to have the pinpoint thrower archetype from fiction, you need to address the draw/encumbrance issues.

        The current ruleset does both, and does it elegantly enough for most folks' tastes. I get that you don't care for it, but honestly, from what I can tell on the board, you're an outlier.

        Comment


        • Kristian Serrano
          Kristian Serrano commented
          Editing a comment
          Sounds like a core skill to me.
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