View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other How to Throw a Creature - New Rules

2016-09-01, 05:32 PM
Hello playground! This is just me typing up some rules for throwing creatures that I created for my group. It consists of a large minotaur Barbarian who constantly wants to fling the Kobold rogue, so this comes up a lot more than I think most adventuring parties (and DM for that matter) have to deal with, so it'll be good to have something to reference if I can't remember the rulings I made. This may seem complicated and begs the question, "why the HELL would any sane party attempt this?" Well, i'm not dealing with a sane party unfortunately. Plus who knows? Maybe this will help someone else out there with their party member chucking needs!

I am running Pathfinder, so I will be referencing the rules for that system. I don't know how much was changed over the older 3.5 rules, but I thought I should let people know.

Throwing A Creature

Sometimes players, (or monsters), will want to throw creatures in a violent manner towards their opposition. This can be done, but with a few restrictions and special caveats.

Firstly, the thrown creature must either be willing to be thrown (a readied action), or helpless. A grappled creature cannot be thrown by their attacker as the creature is struggling too much to allow the attacker to get a proper hold. However, a grappler can toss a pinned opponent. Doing so requires a successful grapple check. If successful, the creature is thrown, if the grapple check fails, the creature is free from the grapple.

Second, the weight of the thrown creature (including equipped gear, if any) must not exceed the medium load of the thrower. Heavier creatures are too unwieldy to be thrown, as it takes most of the thrower's effort to just lift the creature in question.

When throwing a creature, make a ranged attack roll vs the target's Touch AC as a standard action. Much like a grapple, humanoids must have two free hands available to hold the creature they are throwing, otherwise they take a -4 penalty to the attack roll. Humanoids, (and other similar creatures), must have at least one hand free when throwing a creature. Treat the thrown creature as an improvised weapon for the purposes of the attack roll and range. Creatures that weigh as much as a medium load for the thrower cause the thrower to suffer an additional -2 penalty on the attack roll. Use the size of the thrown creature and the table below to determine the damage. Both the thrown creature and the target take damage. The thrower adds their strength modifier to the total damage dealt. The thrown creature is rendered prone after the attack, unless they pass a DC 15 Acrobatics check. If the thrown creature succeeds on the DC 15 Acrobatics check to avoid falling prone, they take no damage from being thrown provided the attack did not hit another creature or a hard stationary object (such as a stone wall). The acrobatics DC to avoid taking damage for a creature thrown from a pin is equal to the attack roll of the thrower. Whether or not they pass the check, thrown creatures may still take falling damage (See rules on falling).

If the attack misses, place the thrown creature in the square in front of the target, plus an additional 5ft away for every 5 points under target's Touch AC the total attack roll came out to be. The thrown creature still takes damage from being hurled. If the target was airborne, the thrown creature does not take damage from being tossed if the attack misses. The thrown creature immediately begins falling whether or not the attack misses or hits an airborne target.

Table 1-1 Thrown Creature Damage

Damage [/th]















The type of damage dealt is usually bludgeoning, unless under special circumstances (thrown creature has armor spikes). The attack may bypass DR/Magic, if the thrown creature is wearing magic armor, and may bypass other types of damage reduction if the armor of the thrown creature is made from the appropriate materials or has the appropriate properties.

Special Actions for Thrown Creatures

A thrown creature can perform very little actions when being thrown. They may either attempt to make a single melee attack, or use the force of the throw to knock down the target. Other actions may be appropriate, but are left up to the discretion of the DM. A thrown creature may not cast a spell with a casting time greater than Immediate, unless tossed in such a way that they fall more than 500ft. (See rules on falling). The thrown creature may only perform these actions if they were willingly thrown, i.e not helpless.

Making an Attack: If the thrown creature hits the target, they may make a single melee attack against the target of the throw. However, the thrown creature suffers a -4 penalty on the attack roll. The thrown creature cannot draw a weapon while being thrown, unless they possess the Quick Draw feat.

Knockdown: If the thrown creature hits the target, they may immediately attempt to knock the target prone. The thrown creature makes a trip attempt, provoking no attack of opportunity. The thrown creature may use their thrower's strength modifier when calculating their CMB. Creatures who cannot be tripped are immune to this attack.

Son Of Frost
2016-09-05, 06:44 AM
Okay, i must admit i was laughing by the taught that you as DM exactly had to make Rules about being thrown.Must be a hell of a party. xD

Few questions, why flat out forbid throwing an unwilling character? I can imagine a Huge or Gargantuan creature throwing an unwilling kobold or gnome over a house. Personally i would just give a big penalty based on size difference.

Would you allow a thrown creature to draw a weapon (light or otherwise) if he has the quick draw feat?

I love the knockdown special ability. Already see a Barbarian throw a small monk while on rage.

2016-09-05, 07:41 AM

Okay, one thing is that I ran a campaign for someone who eventually rerolled and made a throwing specialist who tossed enemies as part of his fighting style. It got crazy. Especially when I had an ancient clockwork sentry left to guard passage demand a contest of strength with the party, and the guy steps up to his construct opponent and instead suggests in place of the original test that they sort of caber toss each other. Then throws the robot thirty squares. And this other time, they were racing the clock to get to the tear in reality on the north pole and ran into a gigantic tauric scorpion warlord who demanded revenge against the party. A quick quip of "We don't have time for this" later, and I suddenly regretted putting the combat map on a glacier surrounded by miles of ocean.

That said, I consider myself a s*war flashbacks*ort of expert on throwing rules. And I'd have to say, incorporating it like this seems lackluster. First of all, you really shouldn't cut out grapple and non-helpless foes. I'd think as there is a pin option to a grappling expert, there should also be a heft option. If you can overpower your opponent who is at least one size category smaller (barring relevant feats) than you from a pin, you can heft them. They can be thrown on your next turn, provided that they cannot break the Heft (Hefted opponents that break free are dropped, which breaks the grapple entirely). I would think that it can be possible to throw larger foes, but don't know enough Pathfinder rules to suggest what would open that up.

The next thing is the action required. To put this as an attack action makes it way too easy. You can swing a sword as an attack action. If you're trained, you can notch and loose an arrow. You can maybe even load a gun and fire, I haven't used firearm rules in years. But to say you can pick up and hurl a creature regardless of size... That seems too fast. And if you have quick draw, maybe you can pick up your whole party and throw them if your attacks per round are plentiful. I'd change it from being a blanket rule about an attack action movement to throw a helpless creature and instead make it part of the grapple exclusively. It shouldn't be so quick that you're essentially emptying out a bag of tricks. In fact, I'd rate the damage AND time necessary per size category. If normal sized, you can throw size tiny as a free action (provided that it is helpless or Hefted). Small and medium creatures take an attack action, but their grapple penalties are rated differently. Large and huge are full round actions, and gargantuan and colossal size categories cannot be thrown unless you have a relevant feat that treats them as smaller loads for similar purposes. Oversized Weapon proficiencies come to mind. I seem to recall "Throw Anything" existing in 3.5. Why not a tarrasque?

2016-09-06, 02:34 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I wasn't really expecting any at all, so it's good to see some interest.

I've included the option to chuck an unwilling creature if you have them pinned as part of a grapple. Made sense to me. Also, I'm just imagining Mario's throw in Super Smash Bros for this. And you can now draw a weapon when thrown if you possess quickdraw. I've also explicitly stated that a creature must have at least one hand free to throw another creature, and takes an additional penalty if they do not have two hands free (similar to grappling). I'll probably rule that if a creature as the grab special attack, then they don't need to worry about that penalty for needing an extra hand (still need to pin however). Monster's with the Snatch special attack already have very simple rules for throwing creatures built into that ability. However, one could use these rules and the damage table if a monster with the snatch ability wanted to throw a victim into another creature.

So as of now, I think these rules work well enough to be integrated into most games. For people seriously considering building a character based on tossing creatures... well, as bad ass as that is, these rules might not be adequate as under these rules it is highly unlikey that you will be able to toss creature of a larger size category, since the abilty to throw is based off the weight of the thrown creature rather than simple the size category... I didn't set out to make a whole new ruleset for niche characters after all. My goal was to have a set of rules that were fair and consistent.

Edit: Why not throw the Tarrasque? Well, because as cool as that would be... lets say Joe Shmoe the epic human fighter has a strength of 45. He can lift 25,600 pounds off the ground (or let's even say 51,200, since Jane Mclain cast enlarge person on Joe). The Tarrasque weighs about 130 tons (3.5 SRD). That's 230,000 pounds. So it really would make little sense for Joe Shmoe to be able to toss something he couldn't even lift off the ground.

2016-10-26, 07:23 PM
How would you deal with a party that would use an Ogre throwing an Orc throwing a Hobgoblin that then throws a kamikaze exploding Goblin? Or something like this. Think Bahamut fight scene in Advent Children.