Hi reader(s)! I finally had a few minutes away from work and taking care of my babies to try and write something interesting in here.
Here’s something from the PHB 4th edition I actually don’t like:
Thrown Weapons: Any magic light thrown or heavy thrown weapon, from the lowly +1 shuriken to a +6 perfect hunter’s spear, automatically returns to its wielder’s hand after a ranged attack wit h the weapon is resolved.
Catching a returning thrown weapon is a free action; if you do not wish (or are unable) to catch the weapon, it falls at your feet, in your space.
Game mechanics reasons
Chatting on the subject with Phil, the ChattyDM he proposed a valid argument to support the rule:
Thrown weapons are effectively more expensive than others
The ranger with his magic bow only has to purchase (or acquire) a bow. Then, it shoot regular arrows – which are turned magical by the bow itself.
A row has to purchase 6 daggers each one at the same price as the single bow. Then, after six shots, its over.
So, basically, the rogue pays more and has less – which feels rather unbalanced.
Having the magical daggers return automatically fixes that.
Why I still don’t like it
With this rule, ‘return magically’ is no longer special – every magical weapon has it!
To me, this removes a lot of flavor. Here’s an example: one of the magical objects I introduced in my campaign is a magical phantom dagger that is summoned by a ring.
The wielder wears a ring and looks unarmed. If he wishes it, a dagger materializes in his hands. He can throw the weapon – it will disappear when he wills it or when he wills a new dagger in his hands.
To me, this is a pretty valuable artifact – especially cool for an assassin.
But under 4th ed rule, its much, much less special as even the lowly +1 shuriken does nearly as much.
Another reason: counting ammunition actually provides a sense of drama.
Throwing your last dagger is stressful – every dagger counts; especially the last one. That whole stress is gone in 4th ed because as soon as players find their first ever magical weapon, ammunition is no longer an issue.
And the rule doesn’t restore balance with the bow – the bow can still run out of munition.
At first, I though: perhaps there should be a delay before returning the dagger. Or perhaps, when a dagger hits, it can’t come back automatically since its (possibly) firmly stuck in a body.
But Phil, again, in his infinite wisdom (he’d probably say « finite wisdom », which would prove my point), came up with the perfect solution:
Since the bow imbues the projectile with magic, why don’t we do the same with the daggers: have a belt, which can hold up to 6 daggers be magical.
The magical belt would turn any dagger that has stayed long enough in into a magical.dagger for a limited time.
The rogue can then throw and loose his daggers with no worry; as long as he has the belt he won’t be loosing his valuable daggers.
I applaud Phil’s idea and reject that all daggers automatically return – some can, of course, but not all of them.
I shall discuss this with my group and see if we can make this official 🙂
Edit: It has been unofficially decided that we will not « nerf » the daggers and leave them as in the current rules. I still love the magical belt, though.