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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Has anyone ever wondered why Slings, a weapon that's really quite hard to even get the basics of using, are considerd Simple weapons and Great Clubs, a weapon that's essentially a really big stick that you swing at someones face, are Martial?

    It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    Does anyone else have puzzlement over similar things?
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    I won't say that fighting with Greatclub would be very easy. Maybe it's just big stick, but...
    But take some big branch and try to swing it around...

    And sling... I'm afraid that rules are just not meant to be realistic...

    Sling is not very good weapon - full strenght damage with quite good range, but realoding after every shot.
    So it's simple, for characters who are not very skilled in using weapons.

    That's why I think that weapon profinency system from 2nd edition was actually better.
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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    It's more about how often you encounter those things in your line of work. Eg, a simple shepherd might have a Sling, and a Quarterstaff(walking stick), while only a trained warrior would have experience swinging tree branches as big as their thigh.
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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Game balance. All simple weapons do below-average damage, have mediocre criticals, and little or no specials. Martial weapons do better damage, better crit range or multiplier, and possibly specials (like trip/disarm). Exotic are a step better again. At least that's the idea. Balance.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    I really hate the phrase "game balance"....

    oh well, I thought I'd get the answers I did, but I thought I'd ask anyways...
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Great Club does below-average damage for a two-handed martial weapon, has a mediocre crit and no specials. Its only redeeming features are being cheap and looking cool in the Tome of Battle.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicKitKat View Post
    It's more about how often you encounter those things in your line of work. Eg, a simple shepherd might have a Sling, and a Quarterstaff(walking stick), while only a trained warrior would have experience swinging tree branches as big as their thigh.
    I agree with AtomicKitKat.

    Slings are far more common than great clubs, and this should mean that it's use is more common than other weapons.

    Also, try to get a sling and shoot: you probably won't hit your target, but hey, you shooted with it. Very simple use.

    Then try to even lift something like a great club and swing it.
    At best you'll spin on yourself swinging for the weight of the weapon.
    At worst you'll fall following the great club.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by B!shop View Post
    Also, try to get a sling and shoot: you probably won't hit your target, but hey, you shooted with it. Very simple use.

    Then try to even lift something like a great club and swing it.
    At best you'll spin on yourself swinging for the weight of the weapon.
    At worst you'll fall following the great club.
    But being proficient with a weapon means that you should be able to hit a target. Just pick up a sling and try to fire a bullet out of it - I would be willing to bet that the bullet doesn't even leave the sling (I know it didn't the first time I tried), let alone hit a stationary target (let alone a moving one). Now pick up a big stick and try to hit a stationary target in front of you...did you hit? I bet you did. Which one is easier to use?
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Now pick up a big stick and try to hit a stationary target in front of you...did you hit? I bet you did. Which one is easier to use?
    That's actually a very good point. Certain weapons are way more difficult to learn than others, and slings happen to be one of them. As I recall, in military history, professional slingers were pretty lethal (using lead bullets rather than rocks), far more than the 1d4 damage would suggest.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Still i support AtomicKitKat theory: every guywho can afford some sling and train a little can hit target fairly easily from not big distance ( 50 ft - only 15 meters).

    Hitting something effectively with big stick won't be easy.

    a stationary target in front of you.
    There won't be any stationary target in fight.
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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    That's actually a very good point. Certain weapons are way more difficult to learn than others, and slings happen to be one of them. As I recall, in military history, professional slingers were pretty lethal (using lead bullets rather than rocks), far more than the 1d4 damage would suggest.
    This is absolutely true...there are stories (and evidence to support them) about skulls behing found with a thin veneer of lead coated on the inside, just opposite a small hole...it puzzled scholars for years until they realised that lead sling bullets actually melt in flight. Yes, that's right, a sling should do Fire damage as standard and it certainly isn't an easy waepon to use.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    The sling's status as a simple weapon might come from it's ease of construction and the prevalence of ammunition. Because of those two factors, many people would conceivably get one and then train until they could be considered proficient. And thus it can be considered one of those weapons many people know how to use, i.e. a simple weapon. I know it's a bit shaky rationalization, but it'd be a bit silly to give Commoners access to a martial weapon.

    The great club being a martial weapon completely confounds me, however. And just why can't a short sword be used to cut?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    There won't be any stationary target in fight.
    Of course there will be. Tents, wagons, unconscious foes, glassware, ropes holding heavy objects, campfires, etc.
    Last edited by Attilargh; 2007-07-10 at 07:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Still i support AtomicKitKat theory: every guywho can afford some sling and train a little can hit target fairly easily from not big distance ( 50 ft - only 15 meters).

    Hitting something effectively with big stick won't be easy.

    There won't be any stationary target in fight.
    By the same reasoning, every guy who can afford to pick up a tree branch and train a little can use a Great Club.

    Hitting something effectively with a sling is definitely harder than doing so with a club

    If hitting a stationary target with a sling is harder than hitting a stationary target with a club, then surely hitting a moving target with a sling will be harder than hitting a moving target with a Greatclub?
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    far more than the 1d4 damage would suggest.
    They deal 1d4 + strenght. I also heard that they were pretty lethal - but obviously they were more common in places where you couldn't find material for good bow. And certainly lead bullet were almost 100% innefective against any metal, firm armor, scale mail e.c.

    So i think 1d4 plus strenght is pretty good for D&D.
    Still it's better than crossbows , (With 16 strenght deal statisticaly more damage than Lcrossbow (4-7 against 1-8 and reload is faster than Hcrossbow). As silly at it can appear.
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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    They deal 1d4 + strenght. I also heard that they were pretty lethal - but obviously they were more common in places where you couldn't find material for good bow. And certainly lead bullet were almost 100% innefective against any metal, firm armor, scale mail e.c.

    So i think 1d4 plus strenght is pretty good for D&D.
    Still it's better than crossbows , (With 16 strenght deal statisticaly more damage than Lcrossbow (4-7 against 1-8 and reload is faster than Hcrossbow). As silly at it can appear.
    Bizarrely, it's rather the point of a sling that you don't need a lot of strength to use it to great effect, whereas you do need a certain amount of strength to effectively use a Bow (or load a crossbow for that matter).

    Oh, and I'd dispute that slings are ineffective vs. metal armour...go to some museums and take a look at the battle damage slings can cause....you thought modern bullets gave nasty wounds?
    Last edited by JellyPooga; 2007-07-10 at 07:29 AM.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Lead is squishy. If, like you said, they do indeed start melting mid-flight, they're utterly ineffective vs metal armour, and only marginally useful vs leather(since the mass would be distributed over the impact zone)

    Looking at the greatclub, it's about as difficult to swing one as a 5kg(11 lb) dumbbell(accounting for difference in distribution of mass, etc.). You also have to recover from the swing fast enough to deliver 10 attacks in 6 seconds(if we assume the usual "Not every swing is an 'attack roll'.")
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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    But being proficient with a weapon means that you should be able to hit a target. Just pick up a sling and try to fire a bullet out of it - I would be willing to bet that the bullet doesn't even leave the sling (I know it didn't the first time I tried), let alone hit a stationary target (let alone a moving one). Now pick up a big stick and try to hit a stationary target in front of you...did you hit? I bet you did. Which one is easier to use?
    According to that logic, a bastard sword or a dwarven waraxe is easier to use than a sling.

    Kinda off topic: Halfling rogues doesn't have proficiency with slings

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roderick_BR View Post
    Kinda off topic: Halfling rogues doesn't have proficiency with slings
    Oh? Are they somehow different from normal Rogues?
    Quote Originally Posted by Spooky Wizards
    Rogues are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    simple vs martial is also how available training is.

    slings are used very commonly; most people in a non-tech world probably learn at least the basics to hunt. And as hard as they seem to use when you first pick one up, they're not as complicated as you may think, not much more so than throwing a baseball.

    Clubs are also common, but they're not useful for hunting, so there's much less people around to train you to fight with it. There's a world of difference between knowing how to swing a stick around and knowing how to actually do damage with one.
    Last edited by Jayabalard; 2007-07-10 at 08:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    slings are used very commonly; most people in a non-tech world probably learn at least the basics to hunt.
    And you base that assumption on what, exactly? Farmers don't hunt much. City folk don't hunt period.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Sling is not very good weapon - full strenght damage with quite good range, but realoding after every shot.
    So it's simple, for characters who are not very skilled in using weapons.

    That's why I think that weapon profinency system from 2nd edition was actually better.
    Reloading after every shot is the norm for missile weapons, though. Compared to modern magazine firearms it's a serious disadvantage, but it's true of all the missile weapons in D&D except for the repeating crossbow, which is supposed to be a freaky exotic high tech weapon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    That's actually a very good point. Certain weapons are way more difficult to learn than others, and slings happen to be one of them. As I recall, in military history, professional slingers were pretty lethal (using lead bullets rather than rocks), far more than the 1d4 damage would suggest.
    Slings rarely killed, though. They were more effective at disrupting, distracting, and concussing enemy soldiers than at killing them, because it's hard to focus on the enemy when somebody just clonked you upside the head with several ounces of swift-moving lead.

    A sling can kill somebody, but it's not very likely to do so, especially if they're wearing some kind of armor.

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    This is absolutely true...there are stories (and evidence to support them) about skulls behing found with a thin veneer of lead coated on the inside, just opposite a small hole...it puzzled scholars for years until they realised that lead sling bullets actually melt in flight. Yes, that's right, a sling should do Fire damage as standard and it certainly isn't an easy waepon to use.
    I have a really hard time believing that without a specific reference and some modern tests. Heating metal, even lead, to the melting point takes quite a bit of energy. A bit of freshman physics and chemistry shows that to give a lead bullet enough kinetic energy that air resistance could conceivably heat it to the melting point, you'd have to get it moving at the speed of sound. And even then, that would require total conversion of the bullet's kinetic energy into heat in the bullet. Which would leave the bullet standing still, even if every bit of heat went into melting it rather than heating the air. To actually melt lead bullets would definitely take much higher speeds, and you'd need really bad aerodynamics on the bullet.

    And, to emphasize the point, you'd have to get the sling bullet moving faster than the speed of sound to have any hope at all of melting it. Guns can do that. I very much doubt that slings can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Attilargh View Post
    The sling's status as a simple weapon might come from it's ease of construction and the prevalence of ammunition. Because of those two factors, many people would conceivably get one and then train until they could be considered proficient. And thus it can be considered one of those weapons many people know how to use, i.e. a simple weapon. I know it's a bit shaky rationalization, but it'd be a bit silly to give Commoners access to a martial weapon.
    Well, the real meaning of a 'simple weapon' is that any given person can be assumed to be proficient in its use, not that every person in the world is.

    For instance, it strains credulity to claim that every barbarian warrior is a proficient fencer who knows how to use a rapier effectively. But barbarians are proficient with all martial weapons, so a barbarian who picks up a rapier is presumed to know how to use it. The logical way of dealing with this is to rule that the barbarians who do pick up rapiers are the ones who have some idea of how to use them, while the ones who don't, by and large, do not because it's totally different from the spears and axes and chopping swords that barbarians traditionally use.

    Assuming that everyone in the world is a proficient slinger is as weird as assuming that every barbarian warrior is a proficient fencer. It's more reasonable to assume that because slings are common, anyone can learn how to use them, so that there's no reason to penalize people mechanically when they try to use one. Unless, of course, you want to resurrect 2nd edition weapon proficiencies, which I for one do not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roderick_BR View Post
    According to that logic, a bastard sword or a dwarven waraxe is easier to use than a sling.
    Well, if you're trying to chop down a tree with it, a bastard sword or a dwarven waraxe probably is easy to use (yes, I know, you should never chop down a tree with a weapon because it's designed for chopping down people, not trees).

    Winning a fight with it, on the other hand, is going to be quite difficult.
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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post



    I have a really hard time believing that without a specific reference and some modern tests. Heating metal, even lead, to the melting point takes quite a bit of energy. A bit of freshman physics and chemistry shows that to give a lead bullet enough kinetic energy that air resistance could conceivably heat it
    to the melting point, you'd have to get it moving at the speed of sound. And even then, that would require total conversion of the bullet's kinetic energy into heat in the bullet. Which would leave the bullet standing still, even if every bit of heat went into melting it rather than heating the air. To actually melt lead bullets would definitely take much higher speeds, and you'd need really bad aerodynamics on the bullet.

    I fully agree with Dervag. It can be possible that lead bullet could melt a little during flight, and certainly were quite lethal but:

    It's not possible for lead bullet to penetrate steel or iron armor. Especially when it is melted, even a little. Not to mention that bullet is circle, with no point of force concetration. I hardly doubt it can penetrate skull.

    Break temporal bone into tiny craps?
    - From reasonable distance - probably. I just read that sling bullets weight around 120 -150 g so they were pretty heavy

    Penetrate the skull
    - No.

    Bend steel armor and break rib behind it?
    - From close distance why not

    Penetrate steel armor?
    - No

    I bet that those tales about super-duper slings are similar to all:

    " Whith katana i can cut trough everything without delivering any power from myself" and some exaggerated tales about longbows e.c.
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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    A sling can kill somebody, but it's not very likely to do so, especially if they're wearing some kind of armor.

    I have a really hard time believing that without a specific reference and some modern tests. Heating metal, even lead, to the melting point takes quite a bit of energy. A bit of freshman physics and chemistry shows that to give a lead bullet enough kinetic energy that air resistance could conceivably heat it to the melting point, you'd have to get it moving at the speed of sound. And even then, that would require total conversion of the bullet's kinetic energy into heat in the bullet. Which would leave the bullet standing still, even if every bit of heat went into melting it rather than heating the air. To actually melt lead bullets would definitely take much higher speeds, and you'd need really bad aerodynamics on the bullet.

    And, to emphasize the point, you'd have to get the sling bullet moving faster than the speed of sound to have any hope at all of melting it. Guns can do that. I very much doubt that slings can.
    You doubt wrong. A sling used by a trained slinger does, in fact, propel the bullet faster than the speed of sound. That is why armour is less effective than you might think and that is why a lead sling bullet does, in fact, melt in flight (not the entire thing, it doesn't become a flying blob of liquid...just the exterior reaches melting point). I would give you some references, but I really can't be bothered to go find them. If you're that interested, the facts are out there.

    The reason that slings went 'out of fashion' as far as warfare was concerned was because it took less training to train an Archer than a Slinger. Similarly, Crossbowmen replaced Archers and Rifle/Musketmen replaced Crossbowmen. it wasn't until the Rifle (not the Musket, they were a bit poo) was developed that as effective a projectile as the sling bullet was used again. Slings are a nasty piece of kit and in wargames/RPGs they are more often than not modelled incorrectly as being less effective and easier to use than bows or crossbows, because when people think 'sling' they think of 'catapult' (as in the toy used by Dennis the Menace to fire ink pellets and flour bombs at people, or as used by anglers to 'bait' water for fishing), rather than a 4-5' leather thong with a small piece of leather half-way up to hold the bullet.

    edit: Oh, and a lead sling bullet is not a sphere. It is shaped like a bullet: pointed on both ends.
    Last edited by JellyPooga; 2007-07-10 at 08:44 AM.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    A sling used by a trained slinger does, in fact, propel the bullet faster than the speed of sound
    Man, any proof of this revelations?

    I just visited some sling sites, and i didn't found nothing about speed of sound. And on sling sites it's probable to find exaggerations about slings. Just like on longbows sites you will often find exaggerations about longbows.

    I read that ussually bullet weight about 110 g.

    So if will move faster than sound (344 m/s) - it will move around let's say 350m/s

    Kinetic energy = 1/2 x mass x square of velocity

    1/2 x 0,11 x 122500 (350 x 350)
    = 6735 jules !!!

    3 times bigger kinetic energy than AK-47!

    With such results no-one will ever care about bows or crossbows, everyone will train slingers, no matter how long it will take to train them.
    Avatar by Kwarkpudding
    The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sling_%28weapon%29

    "an effective range of around 200 meters — significantly farther than most bows of the period"

    "projectiles can vary dramatically in size from pebbles weighing no more than 50g to fist-sized stones weighing 500g"

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sling_%28weapon%29

    "an effective range of around 200 meters — significantly farther than most bows of the period"

    "projectiles can vary dramatically in size from pebbles weighing no more than 50g to fist-sized stones weighing 500g"
    So what? Still bullet weighting around 110 g couldn't do more damage than slighty lighter arrow (although many "less range - bigger ouch" arrows were 350g as well), which was sharp.

    And I, with my "incredible" skills and 13 kg (slighty less than 30 pounds) bow with inappropriate bowstring, can quite easily release arrow at 200 meters. So i don't know where they took those range from.

    Still, I realise that slings were dangerous weapon. But those tales about penetrating armors and speed of sound are myths.
    Last edited by Spiryt; 2007-07-10 at 09:11 AM.
    Avatar by Kwarkpudding
    The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
    Rush in and die, dogs—I was a man before I was a king.

    Whoever makes shoddy beer, shall be thrown into manure - town law from Gdańsk, XIth century.

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    cool Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    You doubt wrong. A sling used by a trained slinger
    I like Dervag's explanation. But I keep seeing this A sling used by a trained slinger.

    First: Two words of the day are...Fantasy, Setting.

    Second: From what I understand, slings were fairly common, in past times, to the point of kids playing around with them in whatever societies that may be...hell, growing up I messed around with slings and slingshots to pass the time, my grandpa took me up to the hills and showed me the way to smite gophers the way men did to save their horses...or some such thing.

    Third: If you want to melt lead to your enemies heads, and showcase what a proficient master of timing and bullet-esque speeds the "Slingster" you are possess...I imagine you'd take the appropriate feats. That way no one can contest your ultimate powers, as you run through your campaign wielding your "+5 Sling of Giant Slaying!"

    And ultimately if the Great Club/Sling debate is so troubling, just homebrew modify it in your D20 endeavours in a way it makes sense to you...problem solved. Although I suppose you could write a letter?

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    Matthew's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    I would also be interested to be directed to academic papers supporting the idea that Sling Bullets travel faster than the speed of sound and partially melt before impact. I have heard good things about slings over the years, but never anything like this. It sounds interesting.

    Anyway, yeah, there's no reason Great Clubs should be Martial Weapons. It's often noted that they should be Simple Weapons.
    Last edited by Matthew; 2007-07-10 at 09:24 AM.
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Hm, I recall that in 2nd edition, sling bullets did a lot more damage than sling stones...

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    Default Re: Simple Slings and Martial Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Hm, I recall that in 2nd edition, sling bullets did a lot more damage than sling stones...
    Nowadays they're slightly better.

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