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Improved Alchemical Sling - Does This Make Sense?

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Hi Gang. Looking for a sanity check/2nd opinions here. A PC in my low/historical fantasy campaign is an alchemist, whose attacks mainly consist of throwing potions, etc at people. The alchemical powers are built as a VPP. Her effectiveness has been somewhat limited by her having a low Range By STR, and a not-terribly-high OCV. She could of course buy some CSLs, and we'll get to that, but the player thought it would be fun to have the PC build some kind of sling and use that to throw her potions etc. I like the concept because 1) funny, 2) it should make her more on par with the other PCs, and 3) the other PCs would love the idea because it means they're less likely to be hit by one of her missed throws! (Which are also funny, but...)

 

So, a few questions. Keep in mind this is a heroic game where the PCs do not pay character points for normal weapons.

 

1. Assuming the character bought 1pt Weapon Familiarity with slings, would you let her use a regular sling to throw her alchemical potions and the like? If so, what effect would that have? Obviously it wouldn't add damage, so does it add range? OCV? Subtract from Range Mods? Or if the sling has to be modified somewhat to be able to throw potions - so that she couldn't just pick up any sling, but would have to work on it for an hour or two - would you charge points for that or just handwave it as a roleplaying beat?

 

2. The player wants to be able to modify an existing (normal) sling so that it's optimized for throwing potions, and also makes it more accurate at range. I could do this as a Naked Advantage, but I'm thinking the easiest way is to buy PSLs vs. RMods, with an OAF: Sling. Does that sound kosher?

 

3. The character also wants to buy Fast Draw so she can reload the sling as a free action. Would you buy Fast Draw with slings, and then could she use Fast Draw to hand-throw potions? Or buy Fast Draw with her Alchemy VPP, and then could she use Fast Draw when reloading regular sling stones? Or would you lump them together under one Fast Draw?

 

4. Lastly, the character has just enough XP left over to throw a CSL on top of the pile. So is that a 2pt CSL with a single attack (sling)? Or a 3 point CSL with a tight list of attacks (her Alchemy VPP)?

 

Just looking for some thoughts. Thanks in advance for the input!

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The timing of throwing an object via a sling vs just throwing the object seems counterintuitive to increasing accuracy. I would think using the sling would only increase range. I might consider a naked buy off of the range based on str limitation  and apply focus of opportunity. Or just buy full ranged if the advantage variant of based on str was used originally.

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You considered her constructing a device that resembles a sling but for the purpose of throwing potions?  That would be +STR, only for throwing, OAF.  Not sure how much value that would get you but it avoids all of the considerations about slings, whether you can fast draw or reload and the questions about the skill level...

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16 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

You considered her constructing a device that resembles a sling but for the purpose of throwing potions?  That would be +STR, only for throwing, OAF.  Not sure how much value that would get you but it avoids all of the considerations about slings, whether you can fast draw or reload and the questions about the skill level...

 

This is the simplest option and probably the most realistic (if you go for that sort of thing). A conventional sling might put a fragile potion bottle under too much stress if used in the conventional manner.

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HM is correct that an actual sling is, indeed, counter-intuitive when it comes to adding accuracy, as someone who can barely throw something well with his/her hands ... likely can't properly operate a sling with any reasonable degree of reliability.

 

There is, however, a noteworthy exception: the staff sling.  This is effectively a lever with a pocket in which to place an object to be flung -- something that's light, simple, easy to use, and reliable ... without needing nearly the release timing and specialized practice/knowledge required for an actual sling.  Throwing Skill Levels (aka PSLs for Range Mods when throwing) on an OAF sound just fine to me.

 

I would allow Fast Draw to be used to get the staff sling, sling, or whatnot out quickly, but I would NOT allow it to be used to speed reloads, since its use in speeding reloads is for magazine changes (not single-shot reloads) ... and staff slings, slings, and the like are not magazine-fed.

 

The CSL depends. If the staff sling, sling, or whatnot is only usable for throwing potions because of its construction, then I think it's a 2pt CSL ... but if it can also be used to lob ammunition used to do damage, then I think it's a 3pt CSL for a tight list consisting of potions from the VPP, sling stones, and other ammunition suitable for a sling (cast lead balls are, for example, ideal ... and presumably this alchemist does things with lead, right?!)

 

Surreal

 

P.S. Notice I avoided use of the word 'clips' when talking about Fast Draw since, as a firearm instructor, it pains me to see a magazine improperly called a clip. You have no idea how badly I loathe the 'Clips' portion of the 'Charges' RAW. Here's why: Magazine-vs-Clip-Firewoodhoardersclub-10)

 

 

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14 hours ago, Surrealone said:

<snip>

P.S. Notice I avoided use of the word 'clips' when talking about Fast Draw since, as a firearm instructor, it pains me to see a magazine improperly called a clip. You have no idea how badly I loathe the 'Clips' portion of the 'Charges' RAW. Here's why: 

<snip>

 

I understand how you feel about this wording.  I see the same problem in game with the words "CON stunned" and Stunned but I stopped correcting people because for most people, its an ingrained habit and its not impairing what they are trying to get across.

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Most of this seems like a Special Effect Attack.  An EB that happens to be a Sling.  You could take it as an OAF or a Gestures and Only in Hero ID.

 

What kind of attacks were you thinking of using?

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Thanks all for the comments, and sorry to open a thread and then ghost it.

 

On 2/7/2018 at 3:30 AM, Doc Democracy said:

You considered her constructing a device that resembles a sling but for the purpose of throwing potions?  That would be +STR, only for throwing, OAF.

Yeah, you're right that's probably the most accurate description of a sling. Not what the character needs most, tho.

 

On 2/7/2018 at 4:54 AM, Hyper-Man said:

If rubber is available then a slingshot would be a cool way to increase accuracy and range.

True, but not in the 11th Century.

 

On 2/7/2018 at 10:19 PM, Surrealone said:

There is, however, a noteworthy exception: the staff sling.  This is effectively a lever with a pocket in which to place an object to be flung -- something that's light, simple, easy to use, and reliable ... without needing nearly the release timing and specialized practice/knowledge required for an actual sling.  Throwing Skill Levels (aka PSLs for Range Mods when throwing) on an OAF sound just fine to me.

Actually a staff sling was specifically what the player & I were thinking of. I went with the more generic "sling" for discussion purposes because...reasons? Reasons that may or may not have made sense at the time? (I honestly have no idea.)

 

On 2/7/2018 at 10:19 PM, Surrealone said:

I would allow Fast Draw to be used to get the staff sling, sling, or whatnot out quickly, but I would NOT allow it to be used to speed reloads, since its use in speeding reloads is for magazine changes (not single-shot reloads) ... and staff slings, slings, and the like are not magazine-fed.

 

The CSL depends. If the staff sling, sling, or whatnot is only usable for throwing potions because of its construction, then I think it's a 2pt CSL ... but if it can also be used to lob ammunition used to do damage, then I think it's a 3pt CSL for a tight list consisting of potions from the VPP, sling stones, and other ammunition suitable for a sling (cast lead balls are, for example, ideal ... and presumably this alchemist does things with lead, right?!)

Good point about Fast Draw. Although Ultimate Skill (p179) does specifically state that a character with a strung & readied bow can use Fast Draw to draw & fire an arrow. And I've been letting the archer use Fast Draw that way, so it would seem to make sense to allow the slinger do the same?

 

Spot-on about the CSL - thanks!

 

On 2/7/2018 at 10:19 PM, Surrealone said:

P.S. Notice I avoided use of the word 'clips' when talking about Fast Draw since, as a firearm instructor, it pains me to see a magazine improperly called a clip. You have no idea how badly I loathe the 'Clips' portion of the 'Charges' RAW. Here's why: )

Yeah, I hear you. Tho personally, that's one fight I gave up on looong ago. ;) 

 

On 2/8/2018 at 12:31 PM, dsatow said:

I see the same problem in game with the words "CON stunned" and Stunned...

Oddly, despite playing Champions since 3ed, I had never even heard the phase "CON stunned" until I started hanging out on these boards. [shrug]

 

On 2/8/2018 at 12:48 PM, Cassandra said:

What kind of attacks were you thinking of using?

The main "throw it at the target" attacks the PCs has are:

  • Cocktails of Molotav: 1d6 RKA, 4m Radius, Uncontrolled & Sticky
  • Phantom Wound: 4d6 Mental Blast, ACV (OCV vs DCV)
  • Flash Bomb: 7d6 Flash vs Sight & Hearing
  • Smoke Bomb: Darkness vs Sight, 8, Radius

 

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39 minutes ago, bigdamnhero said:

Thanks all for the comments, and sorry to open a thread and then ghost it.

 

Yeah, you're right that's probably the most accurate description of a sling. Not what the character needs most, tho.

 

True, but not in the 11th Century.

 

Actually a staff sling was specifically what the player & I were thinking of. I went with the more generic "sling" for discussion purposes because...reasons? Reasons that may or may not have made sense at the time? (I honestly have no idea.)

 

Good point about Fast Draw. Although Ultimate Skill (p179) does specifically state that a character with a strung & readied bow can use Fast Draw to draw & fire an arrow. And I've been letting the archer use Fast Draw that way, so it would seem to make sense to allow the slinger do the same?

 

Spot-on about the CSL - thanks!

 

Yeah, I hear you. Tho personally, that's one fight I gave up on looong ago. ;) 

 

Oddly, despite playing Champions since 3ed, I had never even heard the phase "CON stunned" until I started hanging out on these boards. [shrug]

 

The main "throw it at the target" attacks the PCs has are:

  • Cocktails of Molotav: 1d6 RKA, 4m Radius, Uncontrolled & Sticky
  • Phantom Wound: 4d6 Mental Blast, ACV (OCV vs DCV)
  • Flash Bomb: 7d6 Flash vs Sight & Hearing
  • Smoke Bomb: Darkness vs Sight, 8, Radius

 

 

If your paying points for it you don't kneed to by WF: Slings unless you want to use someone else's sling.

 

 

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4 hours ago, bigdamnhero said:

Good point about Fast Draw. Although Ultimate Skill (p179) does specifically state that a character with a strung & readied bow can use Fast Draw to draw & fire an arrow. And I've been letting the archer use Fast Draw that way, so it would seem to make sense to allow the slinger do the same?

Does the alchemist have the equivalent of a quiver ... to make potion vials/bottles instantly-accessible/ready much like a quiver makes arrows instantly-accessible/ready for the archer?  If so, then it would make sense to treat them in a consistent manner with Fast Draw ... but if not, you have a solid place on which to hang your hat for treating them differently.  

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Would you not just purchase the potions without 'range limited by STR' if that is a limitation or full 'ranged' if that is an advantage?  That copes with the range issues and makes the cost of it part of the cost of the potions: I don't know whether the character pays points for the potions or whether you use the point cost to set a manufacturing cost in 'game gold' - if so perhaps they need a stabilising component in the potion to deal with the extra stress of being flung further?

 

If they are paying the cost of the potions then they can limit the cost (at least partially) by having the range element limited by focus: if not they should be able to use a sling staff (or whatever) for whatever they would normally pay to buy it and be proficient in it.

 

As for accuracy, potions splash: buy that sucker with a 2m radius AoE.  Makes more sense than suddenly becoming more dexterous.

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On 2/12/2018 at 12:06 PM, Cassandra said:

If your paying points for it you don't kneed to by WF: Slings unless you want to use someone else's sling.

True. But the player would also like to use the sling normally, ie throw lead shot at people. I could make him pay points to add an RKA slot outside his VPP, but it seems simplest and cheapest to just take a 1pt WF.

 

On 2/12/2018 at 4:00 PM, Surrealone said:

Does the alchemist have the equivalent of a quiver ... to make potion vials/bottles instantly-accessible/ready much like a quiver makes arrows instantly-accessible/ready for the archer?  If so, then it would make sense to treat them in a consistent manner with Fast Draw ... but if not, you have a solid place on which to hang your hat for treating them differently.  

That's a fair point. The alchemist has described it as a coat-of-many-pockets-type thing, but it might be worth clarifying that in more detail.

 

On 2/12/2018 at 4:03 PM, Cassandra said:

You could just treat this as a Special Effect and not take any limitations.

...

Maybe had a slot with Variable Special Effects [Any].

I'm not quite sure what you mean here? The sfx is still: alchemical potion/item.

 

On 2/14/2018 at 3:11 PM, Sean Waters said:

Would you not just purchase the potions without 'range limited by STR' if that is a limitation or full 'ranged' if that is an advantage?  That copes with the range issues and makes the cost of it part of the cost of the potions: I don't know whether the character pays points for the potions or whether you use the point cost to set a manufacturing cost in 'game gold' - if so perhaps they need a stabilising component in the potion to deal with the extra stress of being flung further?

 

If they are paying the cost of the potions then they can limit the cost (at least partially) by having the range element limited by focus: if not they should be able to use a sling staff (or whatever) for whatever they would normally pay to buy it and be proficient in it.

Good points. But I don't think the Range By STR is as big an issue for the player as the lack of accuracy. Sorry if I didn't make that clear before.

 

On 2/14/2018 at 3:11 PM, Sean Waters said:

As for accuracy, potions splash: buy that sucker with a 2m radius AoE.  Makes more sense than suddenly becoming more dexterous.

Yeah, we talked about that too, but that would mean either reducing the Base Cost of the attacks or buying up the VPP Control Cost. The player doesn't want to do the former, and isn't yet ready to do the latter.

 

Thanks again for the comments, everyone. Sorry I've been so spotty is replying.

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Ahem, if you levels for accuracy, your not necessarily more dexterous, you just are practicing hitting where you intended to aim. That can be simply because you have a better timing on when to release said object. (Glad to see you back Sean). BDH I see no problem allowing the alchemist to buy a level or two for accuracy. She is practicing right? Now if she went from inept to Batman level accuracy then I would have a problem. 😁

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On ‎2‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 12:19 AM, Surrealone said:

 

 

P.S. Notice I avoided use of the word 'clips' when talking about Fast Draw since, as a firearm instructor, it pains me to see a magazine improperly called a clip. You have no idea how badly I loathe the 'Clips' portion of the 'Charges' RAW. Here's why: Magazine-vs-Clip-Firewoodhoardersclub-10)

 

 

 

Perhaps this will soothe your pain:

The rules do not in fact improperly call a magazine a clip. "Clip" refers to a game element, a variation on charges, the special effect of which may be, but is not necessarily, a magazine. Note that there's nothing even requiring you to take a Focus Limitation if you take Charges on Clips.

 

Just as a "Charge" may well be a bullet - but may not be.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary insisted I not leave you hurting like that.

 

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18 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

BDH I see no problem allowing the alchemist to buy a level or two for accuracy. She is practicing right? Now if she went from inept to Batman level accuracy then I would have a problem. 😁

Yes, but she wants to buy them as an item, rather than CSLs/PSLs themselves. She's not trying to munchkin, it just fits the character better: why spend hours practicing to get better when you can invent a gadget that will do it for you? ;)

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On 2/8/2018 at 12:19 AM, Surrealone said:

P.S. Notice I avoided use of the word 'clips' when talking about Fast Draw since, as a firearm instructor, it pains me to see a magazine improperly called a clip. You have no idea how badly I loathe the 'Clips' portion of the 'Charges' RAW. Here's why: Magazine-vs-Clip-Firewoodhoardersclub-10)

 

 

 

You forgot cylinders on revolvers. :winkgrin:

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