This page addresses information about hand-thrown weapons and their in-character uses in combat at they apply to World 42 role-playing. This article applies specifically to small, lightweight weapons that are thrown by hand as a ranged attack, such as throwing knives and darts. For heavier, stronger throwing weapons, see Thrown Projectiles (Heavy). Any valuable contributors are welcome to add, especially as new content or ideas come out in-game.
The Basic Concept of Light Thrown Projectiles
Throwing knives, darts, and other small throwing weapons are items that have been designed for the sole purpose of being thrown by hand at an opponent. Their major advantage is that they can be used as quickly and efficiently as the ranger is capable of throwing them. They are the fastest weapons in the ranged class and require little to no maintenance beyond honing the points/blades and cleaning them off after use. In addition, these lightweight projectiles are the easiest to transport discretely; a handful of darts or throwing knives can be hidden in a small pouch or under clothing with relative ease, and are the easiest ranged weapons to sneak into a guarded event.
Offensive Methods of Using Light Thrown Projectiles
The ways to combat an enemy with a weapon are really only limited to the creativity of the player and his character. A ranger might impale his enemy with a javelin, he might knock his enemy on the head with the butt of his throwing axe, or anything in between. That being said, there are a few common strategies for entering combat using this genre of weapon.
The main use of these lightweight projectiles is to strike precise points on enemies from a short range. A ranger with throwing knives often uses his weapon to target vital areas of his victim's body depending on his goal. Someone intending to hinder or wound an opponent without inflicting lethal damage may aim, for example, for the soft back of his opponent's knee, for his arm, or for his torso in a placement that would be painful but probably not fatal. Someone intending to kill with these precise distance strikes would aim instead for important points of the body like the throat, the chest over the heart, the stomach, or perhaps the eye socket. This works much in the same way as fighting with Stab Melee.
A ranger who had a large collection of knives, darts, etc. would also be able to take a more ballistic approach based on the power of numbers. He could set a goal to inflict so many various punctures on his opponent that he would be hindered or killed by sheer exhaustion or blood loss, plus the chance of a precise strike. The ranger using this tactic would likely throw in very rapid, less pointed succession, possibly throwing more than one of his weapons at once in a shotgun-style attack.
A particularly effective way to use these projectiles, however, is by supplementing them with weapon poison. With this addition, the goal of a ranger is not to strike his victim precisely or often, but rather just to strike him at all. This strategy is more effective when applied to an area of the torso, neck, or mouth, and when the projectile effective punctures into the opponent rather than just cutting him, but it can still be potent and effective with an imperfect strike, depending on the scenario. The downsides to this method are that it is more costly and more dangerous to the ranger himself, as he is dealing with potentially deadly poisons. The goals of a ranger using this strategy depends heavily on the type and strength of the poison being used.
When a ranger is using a bolas, one should aim for the ankles. With the correct throwing technique, the bolas will come in contact with the lower leg and the weights will be forced to spin around the leg, essentially binding it. This is a good way to restrain and immobilize an enemy, since it's likely they'll fall to the floor.
- Most obviously, throwing your light throwing projectile at a foe is ideal. Try to make sure (for knives) that it hits the right way around and that you do not try a throw that is too far. It isn't suggested to expect an accurate hit at over 15 feet.
- Both Darts and Throwing Knives have the advantage that they may be used in close combat: primarily as stabbing weapons. When using this, revert to styles of stab melee. The neck is a good target, as it is often protected only by chainmail.
Thrown projectiles like shurikens and throwing knives are also very useful for distracting opponents, as they need to shield themselves from such projectiles, you are able to use the time to undertake other maneuvers.
Methods of Defending with Light Thrown Projectiles
Defending with hand-thrown projectiles is just like attacking with them - the possibilities are limited only by creativity. That said, here are a few common strategies for defending yourself while using light throwing weapons.
- In hand-to-hand combat, throwing weapons can be easily disarmed by a melee opponent. Try to avoid direct confrontation. Since throwing knives have no crossbar, do not try to parry an attack.
- If you are hiding from enemies in pursuit, try throwing a knife to create noise and distract your enemies.
- Threaten to throw a knife to stop your enemies from approaching you, then turn and flee.
Methods of Defending Against Light Thrown Projectiles
Defending against lightweight hand-thrown projectiles is just like attacking with them - the possibilities are limited only be creativity and available resources. That said, here are a few guidelines and suggestions for how to defend against them.
- Try to catch the attacker off guard and disarm their weapon, which can be done easily.
- If being targeted, take cover and ensure your head, neck, and torso are protected. Move quickly and keep your head down.
- Use plate armor, as knives will almost never puncture sheet metal.
- If using magic, find a way to divert the course of the weapon. Air magic is particularly helpful.
- If you are hit by a bolas, do not move your legs. You could trip and fall. Stay in place and try to cut the bonds. If the attacker is within striking distance, do not attempt a heavy attack with a melee weapon, as this could throw you off balance.
- If the attacker threw a weapon like a bolas or chakram, they are probably unarmed or attempting to draw another weapon. Take advantage of their weakness. If the weapon was a knife, dart, or shuriken, they probably have more.
Types of Light Thrown Projectiles
- Throwing Knives (of various metals and qualities)
- Darts (of various metals and qualities)
- All other, fist-sized (or smaller) things you can find around you (beer glasses, shoes)
This section addresses traits or actions that players, often new ones, give their ranger characters but that aren't actually accurate or otherwise realistic scenarios for someone using this attack style.
- These hand-thrown weapons are not meant to be used at great distances. They are limited by the physical strength of their wielder, and aren't assisted by the mechanical advantages provided by weapons like bows or crossbows. Do not expect to be able to "snipe" with a throwing knife.
- When aiming at a person who is running away from you, go for the head. This is because when a human runs, most parts of the body swing around wildly, making for hard targets; while the head stays reasonably straight up in one place.