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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Has anyone out there ever seen any D20 rules for using Atlatl in combat? I think I remember seeing them under a different name once...somewhere...Savage Species maybe? Anyone want to confirm that?

    FYI:For those who didn't pay attention in that part of history class, an Atlatl was possibly the first human projectile weapon. It's a long weighted stick with a hook at one end. A 5-6 foot dart is placed against the hook and both are held together at the opposite end. Then *flick* goes the atlatl. *zoom* goes the dart. *gaack-die* goes the prey.

    Any help would be appreciated.

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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    The 3.5 version is apparantly in Sandstorm, page 95. Don't have the book myself, so I can't help you there.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    I've never seen rules for one. Offhand, I'd say they grant the following effects to any spearlike weapon with a range increment:
    1. The launched weapon's range increment doubles.
    2. The launched weapon inflicts damage as if it were one size larger.
    3. The launched weapon gains a 1.5x Strength bonus to damage, as if it were a two-handed melee weapon. This overlaps (does not stack with) any other Strength-based bonus to damage.
    4. The atlatl cannot be used to attack any enemy within ten feet. Weapons may be thrown normally, but they lose the atlatl's bonuses.
    5. Firing an atlatl incurs attacks of opportunity, the way a shortbow or longbow does.

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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Quote Originally Posted by Miles Invictus View Post
    I've never seen rules for one. Offhand, I'd say they grant the following effects to any spearlike weapon with a range increment:
    1. The launched weapon's range increment doubles.
    2. The launched weapon inflicts damage as if it were one size larger.
    3. The launched weapon gains a 1.5x Strength bonus to damage, as if it were a two-handed melee weapon. This overlaps (does not stack with) any other Strength-based bonus to damage.
    4. The atlatl cannot be used to attack any enemy within ten feet. Weapons may be thrown normally, but they lose the atlatl's bonuses.
    5. Firing an atlatl incurs attacks of opportunity, the way a shortbow or longbow does.
    Just go with 1&5. No need to make it an exotic weapon.

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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    I think it's in the Arms and Equipment guide...

    Ups a shortspear's incremint up to 40ft I think...
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    And thus DnD shows completely different physics to this world *Hears a faint scream* In reality, an atlatl will only work if the dart being thrown from it is flexible, because the atlatl uses this flexibility to store the energy of your extended reach. At the end of the throw, before it leaves the atlatl, all of this energy stored is released, causing a far more powerful throw.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Dragon 331 pg 84 has it

    Exotic Ranged Weapon
    Atlatl darts: 1d6 19-20x2 80ft range piercing 4gp 2lb
    Atlatl Javalins: 1d8 20x3 120ft range

    nonproficient users take a -6 to attacks instead of a -4

    Atlatl darts cost 5 silver and weigh 1/2 a pound
    Atlatl javalins cost 1gp 5 silver and weight 1/2 a pound
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun View Post
    In reality, an atlatl will only work if the dart being thrown from it is flexible, because the atlatl uses this flexibility to store the energy of your extended reach. At the end of the throw, before it leaves the atlatl, all of this energy stored is released, causing a far more powerful throw.
    Eh? Okay, i'm not exactly the physics guru, so maybe i'm missing something, but I was under the impression that the Atlatl worked by being basically a lever? The small motion of your arm is turned into a much larger motion by the extended reach of the atlatl, thereby giving the projectile more speed. The same principle as being able to launch a rock faster with a sling than with just your arm, and even faster if you have a staff sling. I don't see where the flexibility comes in.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    An atlatl looks something like a straight line with a line coming down off the end (shorter then the line) and a line going up at the other end.

    The line going up creates the pocket for the base of the specially made atlatl dart or javalin, and the line going down is the handle. You flick the handle down with your arm (like you did with the weird scoop things they make kids play ball with in public school) and the line goes up, the atlatl vibrates a bit, then traslates that into more power.

    Edit: Ok, my description sucks. Here's a picture. http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/gl...atl-man-lg.jpg
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Mmm, I don't quite understand the necessity of it being a flexible projectile, but I'd say it definately requires an exotic weapon proficiency, but hell, if you came to me in my game with the idea, I'd give it to you extra, just for being innovative.

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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    If it was stiff it'd flop.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Actually, a javelin or arrow oscillating in flight uses up kinetic energy. Both archers and javelin throwers do a variety of things (different depending on sport) to prevent or dampen oscillation.

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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderBrigade View Post
    Eh? Okay, i'm not exactly the physics guru, so maybe i'm missing something, but I was under the impression that the Atlatl worked by being basically a lever? The small motion of your arm is turned into a much larger motion by the extended reach of the atlatl, thereby giving the projectile more speed. The same principle as being able to launch a rock faster with a sling than with just your arm, and even faster if you have a staff sling. I don't see where the flexibility comes in.
    That's essentially it. It's the same principle as a wrench, allowing you to put more torque into the motion using the same amount of force. Here's an experiment anyone can try. Open a door. Easy enough. Now, try to open/close the door by pushing the part of the door nearer to the hinges. Much more difficult. Notice the further away from the hinges you go, the easier it is to open/close the door. An atlatl works on the same general principle.

    Another way to look at it is to imagine a record (or, for you kids out there, a CD). Now, imagine that there's a straight radial line connecting the center to the edge. Now, as the record turns, every point on this line will turn a complete circle the same number of times per second. However, the ones on the outside have a longer path to turn through (that is, the circle that makes up the outer edge of a record is longer than the circle that makes up the inner edge), so the points on the outer edge have to travel faster than those inside. An atlatl makes up a "bigger circle" out of your throw, in effect, making its velocity greater.

    I'm not sure about the flexibility thing, either what it meant, or how you can store energy in flexibility.


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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    In Europe, the atlatl and dart was replaced by the bow and arrow in the Epi-Palaeolithic. Along with improved ease-of-use, the bow offered the advantage that the bulk of elastic energy is stored in the throwing device, rather than the projectile; arrow shafts can therefore be much smaller, and have looser tolerances for spring constant and weight distribution than atlatl darts. This allowed for more forgiving flint knapping: dart heads designed for a particular spear thrower tend to differ in mass by only a few percent.
    There. When you use an atlatl, a large portion of the energy from your throw is converted into elastic potential energy which is stored in the dart if it is flexible. If it is not flexible, the energy is not released anywhere near as efficiently, and the dart flops.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Ooooohhh, that makes sense. I was thinking about the reason the atlatl makes the throw more efficient, not how you translate it to the dart. Interesting.


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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    So can you enchant an atlatl like a bow or sling? Would you have different varieties like STR based composite bows that take advantage of highter scores?



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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    I assume so.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Well, you know what happens when you assume.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun View Post
    There. When you use an atlatl, a large portion of the energy from your throw is converted into elastic potential energy which is stored in the dart if it is flexible. If it is not flexible, the energy is not released anywhere near as efficiently, and the dart flops.
    Atlatl darts need a certain amount of flexibility to compensate for the kick caused by the atlatl's follow through. See this link for details.

    Essentially there's a curve (roughly bell shaped) when relating flexibility to kinetic energy or velocity. Too much oscillation in flight simply wastes kinetic energy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by General_Ghoul View Post
    So can you enchant an atlatl like a bow or sling? Would you have different varieties like STR based composite bows that take advantage of highter scores.
    I'd recommend enchanting the atlatl as a bow and the darts as ammunition. As a throwing weapon, strength is added without needing a strength weapon.
    Last edited by Raum; 2007-01-08 at 11:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Ghoul View Post
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    An atlatl would be a launcher like any other especially, in light of recent posts, because it needs a specialized ammo instead of just spears.


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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Okay, all of this makes sense, but what about the Woomera? That's basically a long Atlatl, but it threw a full-length and quite sturdy spear. No wobble.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    It's probably just a matter of technique. The short outline I gave is true for either design. I don't know about the finer points of the bendy design, having just heard about it, but the principle should work just fine for a normal spear. Heck, it works for rocks, in the form of the sling. I'd bet that the flexible material was a design improvement that came later, and not a necessity. But that's just a guess.


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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    An Atlatl is a different thing entirely to a spear thrower, an Atlatl stores energy within a flexible dart like a Spring, which when released gives it extra power and greater cast. A spear thrower works by extending your throwing arm, giving you a longer reach and a greater cast.

    http://www.atlatl.com/atlatlvideo.html is a fun video on the Atlatl (though his views on bows are IMO, way, way off.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    [quote=averagejoe;1801978]What can I say, I have very strong prejudices against the undead. It's nothing personal, I just believe the undead represent a danger in the long term servival of the human species. I like my brains/blood/soul right where they are, thank you.

    Like the human species represents a danger to the cow species :)

    Back on topic; so a high STR, low DEX guy would get his STR bonus to damage, so with an enchanter launcer and possibly returning dart/spear, would be more effective than slinger? Both seem to be one handed weapon, so shield use is possible. Atlatl seem to provide longer range. Have we determined is it an exotic weapon? Granter not as good as bows, but a good second alternate?

    "I'd recommend enchanting the atlatl as a bow and the darts as ammunition. As a throwing weapon, strength is added without needing a strength weapon."

    What I mean is you can get +2 STR composite bow to take advantage of higher STR scores, can you do this with the A?
    Last edited by General_Ghoul; 2007-01-09 at 12:33 PM.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Ghoul View Post
    Like the human species represents a danger to the cow species :)
    You know, it's just that talk of humans as livestock that makes me really hate the undead, and not just treat them as simple predators. They sit there all high and mighty with their, "Look at me, I think I'm cool just because I'm pastey faced and I wear black."

    I'd imagine that the atlatl would count as a thrown weapon for the purposes of high strength, and you wouldn't need some special "composite" (or whatever) modification.


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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Quote Originally Posted by Seffbasilisk View Post
    Dragon 331 pg 84 has it

    Exotic Ranged Weapon
    Atlatl darts: 1d6 19-20x2 80ft range piercing 4gp 2lb
    Atlatl Javalins: 1d8 20x3 120ft range

    nonproficient users take a -6 to attacks instead of a -4

    Atlatl darts cost 5 silver and weigh 1/2 a pound
    Atlatl javalins cost 1gp 5 silver and weight 1/2 a pound

    Thanks.
    I'm not quite sure how much I like this rule. I may brew up a little something else to use in my campaign.

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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Ghoul View Post
    What I mean is you can get +2 STR composite bow to take advantage of higher STR scores, can you do this with the A?
    The SRD on strength and thrown weapons is here. It states " When you hit with a melee or thrown weapon, including a sling, add your Strength modifier to the damage result. A Strength penalty, but not a bonus, applies on attacks made with a bow that is not a composite bow."

    Emphasis added. Basically, you don't need to buy +Str Atlatls. You add strength damage as any other thrown weapon without having to pay extra. You do use Dex for the attack roll though, it's still a ranged weapon.
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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    But does Power Throw apply?

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    Default Re: Atlatl: That whatchamacallit they talked about in history class

    Probably depends on the DM. I'd suggest treating the atlatl as you do a sling.
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