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FAQ on throwing weapons.

Originally Posted by Greyfeld View Post
I always found it a little dumb that ranged weapons don't allow flanking. Threatening I can understand, because it takes longer for a projectile to hit a target than it does to swing a melee weapon (for the sake of AoOs). But having an archer filling you with arrows from one side and somebody trying to stab you from the other seems generally "distracting" enough that flanking bonuses should be present.
At the same time, as someone who's done (simulated via Amtgard) melee combat IRL, I can tell you that it's actually quite different... there really is no "dodging" an arrow or thrown weapon, since if it's going fast enough to do damage, it's generally going fast enough you won't have time to get out of the way without completely throwing yourself out of the way (and likely not even then, especially for arrows), leaving you lying on the ground and ready to get shot more unless you found cover. Therefore, it isn't really the same type of distraction as it is for actual melee flanking, wherein you're trying to pay equal attention to both sides of yourself due to attempting to defend yourself against attacks from both sides (since you have the potential to do so, if less effectively). Ranged attacks, you're not distracted trying to defend yourself, because you really can't... the best you can do is hunt for cover.

Even if you have a shield, the best you can do is put your shield on the side of the archer, which pretty much guarantees you're leaving your back wide open to the melee combatant... and they generally don't have rules for such combat minutia in most pen-and-paper RPGs.

Also, if you're playing with 3.5 material you can use Manticore's Sting from Dragonmarked page 44 to manyshot with thrown weapons.

ranged sneak attack damage

I signed up for an account just to reply to this thread lol.

When most people think of Sneak Attack Damage, they get blinded on flanking. I feel like people forget the "when an opponent is denied his Dex to AC" part, which covers more than just flanking. I'm currently running a Ninja in Pathfinder, which is a rogue-alternative class, and I do all kinds of Sneak Attack Damage throwing shuriken. The Vanishing Trick Ninja trick is a god-send in this regard. If you're invisible, you're denying them their Dex. This was mentioned already (invisibility) as well as having a high Initiative to go before them which makes them Flat-footed. But there are also other ways, all-be-it not ranged, like Imp. Feint, which denies an opponent his Dex and lets you feint in combat as a move action. Your Bluff should be maxed as a Rogue anyway. Fear effects and poisons are also powerful agents. Use them to Stun and Paralyze. I multi-classed into Monk for the Imp. Unarmed and Flurry of Blows (which you can use shuriken with) and Stunning Fist. See what I did there? If you have a caster, push for Sleep, Blindness, Slumber and the like. I'm not as brushed up on the spell side, but our caster has basically flash-bang spells that blind everyone in a room. Also Dirty Tricks allows you to blind. I'm only Monk 2/Ninja 7 and I have cleared entire rooms in a single round with damage output and maneuverability. Just make sure you go first, throw a handful of shuriken and do your Sneak Attack Damage. If you want, grab Opening Volley to ensure you don't miss when you move in for the kill. This is all assuming of course you're playing a Ninja.

I find the easiest way to always guarantee an opponent is denied dexterity is to get a Ring of Blink, you deny dex and your opponents get a miss chance of either 50% or 20%, you may also have a miss chance (it specifies melee but ranged could also be subject to this) but if you take Pierce Magical Concealment (which requires Blind Fight and Mage Slayer) you can technically negate this miss chance on your attacks, which probably once again illustrates the difference between RAW and RAI...

There are many ways for people to lose their Dex to AC, such as balancing (Grease) or attacking from hidden (including them being Blinded).

As for dodging arrows... the Dex to AC may not mean that you're actually dodging them directly, just that you're ducking, weaving and moving. Though, there is a Guinness World Record of most arrows caught in a minute and I believe that MythBusters showed it to be impractical, but not impossible.

Blink I think does work in Pathfinder (I forget), but in 3.5 at least the fact that you have a miss chance should prevent you from sneak attacking. I don't know how that would work with PMC.

I'm also dubious about the Rapid Shot thing. I would have thought that if it has a range increment, it's a throwable weapon, and that's a ranged attack. For those purposes, I'd call it a ranged weapon. Debatable if you throw a weapon not meant to be thrown, but for something like a throwing axe, it seems a meaningless distinction.

Miss chance does not prevent sneak attack, concealment does. Ring of Blink grants you concealment, but does not conceal the enemy from you. Therefore, you can sneak attack, although with a 20% chance of your attack being negated. Pierce Magical Concealment doesn't stop your miss chance from Blink since the spell specifically states that it arises from becoming ethereal, not from concealment.

Edit: Nevermind, you're right, a strict RAW reading of PMC allows it to work since Blink is "a spell granting concealment" and PMC says nothing about the miss chance actually having to arise from said concealment. Of course, attempting such shenanigans in most games with earn you the GM's Glare of Ill Will and a resounding "NO!"

PMC actually calls out cancelling the miss chance from blink as part of its effect, if you spent the 3 feats on it I would allow it as a gm personally, because there is MUCH more offensive cheese out there than "I sneak attack with all attacks within 30 feet"

However if you tried to get a magic item with PMC on it you would get a resounding NO!

Well it doesn't mention Blink by name. The specific spells listed are Darkness, Blur, Invisibility, Obscuring Mist, and Ghostform. However, that list is non-exclusive, and since Ghostform explicitly makes you a visible incorporeal creature (at least in the Complete Arcane version it does), it's pretty clear that PMC is supposed to deal with all magically created miss chances, despite the name and some of the phrasing of the rest of the feat. I'd missed that list before (lazy me just used D&D Tools instead of walking 10 feet to my bookcase), and that changes my answer. Get PMC and a Blink Ring and you're pretty darn sweet. PMC is decent (if expensive) for rogues anyhow since concealment is one of your big damage negators. And you're right, that's one feat that shouldn't be allowed on an item, at least not anything affordable at less than very high levels.

Yeah, but you're probably not getting a Blink ring much before 9th level anyhow (probably later). It would be nice to get PMC quicker, not sure if it's worth enough fighter levels to get it by 6th though if you're planning a ranged SA build.

Oh wait, Pathfinder. So you could get PMC by 7th with no fighter levels or 5th with fighter levels, if you start pure fighter you can get it by 4th if you decide PMC is a combat feat in Pathfinder, which seems reasonable.


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