Author Topic: Mini Project: Throwing (Need research help)  (Read 833 times)

Xeviat

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Mini Project: Throwing (Need research help)
« on: July 19, 2008, 07:26:19 PM »
I'm going to make a little system for determining how far a character can throw things. This will adjust the throwing ranges for weapons, and will be a small step in making weight a balancing factor for weapons. It will also dove tail into my grappling expansion, because a strong character should be able to lift someone over their head and throw them. This will make its way into Xev20 Modern, but I'm discussing it separately because I feel there are people who will enjoy it for D&D, and the research could be useful for other game settings.

Now, the research is going to be useful as a baseline. It's not going to be feasable to actually figure out what Str score an athlete has, but assuming them to be around 14 to 18 will be safe (and the difference of +2 to the check shouldn't upset things to much). We're also going to assume that all of the records were made with rolls of 20 on their Strength checks, and that these Olympians are 6th level (based on an article I read a while back which sought to place levels on professionals and such based upon their achievements in the knowledge, craft, and jump skills). The first step is to collect records for different throwing distances (olympic shot-put and javelin should be great baselines).

These checks could and should possibly use the actual Athletics skill. I'm not certain why there are still raw Str checks, but this is definitely something people train for (and they come from the 'Athletics' division of Olympic events). Thus, we're assuming a +10 to +15 bonus for these Olympians (+2-4 from Str, +5 training, +3 level, +3 from skill focus), for a total check of 30 to 35. Now, in the real world people's variation is generally very low, but we can have more variation as long as the best are achievable with the best rolls.

So, here's what I've been able to find:
Shot Put
-Mens (7.3 kg/16 pound): 23 m (75 ft) are average for the records
-Womens (4 kg/8.8 pound): 22.5 m (74 ft) are average for the records
Discuss
-Mens (2 kg/4 lb, 7 oz): 74 m (242.8 ft)
-Womens (1 kg/2 lb, 3 oz): 76.8 m (252 ft)
Hammer Throw
-Mens (7.3 kg/16 pound): 86.74 m (284.5 ft)
-Womens (4 kg/8.8 pound): 77.8 m (255.2 ft)
Javelin
-Mens (1.76 lb, 0.8 kg): 90 m (295 ft) are average for the records
-Womens (1.32 lb, 0.6 kg): 70 m (230 ft) are average for the records

These records give us a nice range of object weights, one-handed vs. two-handed throws (very nice since the shot and hammer weigh the same), and throws of aerodynamic objects (ball, hammer, spear, disk). I'm thinking objects should apply a penalty to the check based on their weight (based on the strength needed to lift them), with a further penalty for the objects aerodynamic quality (bonus for aerodynamic, penalty for non-aerodynamic, and no modifier for 'neutral' objects).

But I need some input from the more mathmatically informed members of the guild as to how I can read into these results based on the standards I've placed (getting these distances with such checks). It might even be possible to merge the distance roll with an attack roll, though that wouldn't gain the Athletics bonus; I would like to not require two rolls though (a roll to see how far and a roll to see if it hits might slow things down).

So, input?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Kapn Xeviat »
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Xeviat

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Mini Project: Throwing (Need research help)
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2008, 08:07:21 PM »
As an aside, here are some jumping records:

Standing Long Jump: 3.71 meters (12ish feet)
Long Jump: 8.95 meters (29ish feet)
Standing High Jump: 1.9 meters (6ish feet)
High Jump: 2.45 meters (8ish feet)

Because of the minute difference between the standing and running high jumps, I'm going to contest the penalty for not having a running start for a high jump. The main reason is that a running long jump allows for the jump to be done backwards; rather than having to get the hips over, the whole body is lifted. This allows for small increases in jump's heights; if you look at the heights for running high jumps around the time standing high jumps were performed, they're much closer. I might hear an argument for a +2 bonus to high jumps with a running start, but definitely not doubled height.

The doubled length is accurate for long jumps, definitely (and the fact that long jumps are more than double the standing long jump record is because the standing long jump isn't an event anymore, so the general 'improvement' of techniques and people aren't there).

Based off these records, the athletes would have needed the following athletics check:
Standing Long Jump (check divided by 10 = squares, thus check divided by 2 = feet): check of 24.
Long Jump (check divided by 5 = squares, thus check = feet): check of 29.
Standing High Jump (check divided by 10 = feet): check of 60 by core rules; might be different because this is the extra height you would reach, and doesn't take into account jumping techniques for twisting and such.
High Jump (check divided by 5 = feet): check of 40 by core rules; again, might require different rules for Olympic style high jumps rather than just reaching as high as you can.

OH, and another oddity in the core rules is that the height you clear with a long jump is 1/4th the check, rather than 1/5th. Thus, it's better for you to make a running long jump to clear a height than a standing high jump; I'm not comfortable with that.

To get a result closer to the 24 and 29 results of the long jumps, I'm going to suggest the height cleared for high jumps to be check divided by 4 in feet with no 'penalty' for standing high jumps. This means a check of 24 would be needed for the 6 foot jump, and one of 32 for the high jump result, which are much closer to the long jump results.

Thus, for the record running long jump and high jump, a character needs a +9 to +12 bonus if they roll a 20. Perhaps rolls shouldn't be made for these sorts of things, as it allows too much variance.
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Ninja D!

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Mini Project: Throwing (Need research help)
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2008, 10:43:41 PM »
Very interesting. At least for the moment I can't be very helpful but I will be checking back here. Have you taken into account that each round of combat is only 6 seconds long?

Xeviat

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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2008, 11:28:11 PM »
No, I haven't taken into account the length of Standard Actions or the combat round in general. It might be possible to add in an "extreme effort" action, allowing for a bonus on some checks to represent winding up for a throw; this action would cost a move action.

I think that's what you were refering to. Hope to hear from you again soon.
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Ra-Tiel

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Mini Project: Throwing (Need research help)
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2008, 01:16:21 AM »
I wouldn't put too much focus on the simulationist aspect of the rules. Perhaps you didn't know, but there was a Design&Development article that described how olympic game grade athletes were around level 7 or something like that. Also, considering the differences in the used technique for throwing a shot put and a throwing hammer, I think they are not really comparanble. One is a linear thrust, while the other is a circling hurling.

Perhaps you could go with a base range of one 5ft square per point of strength, with (severe) penalties for non-aerodynamic and heavy items. For example, if the item is not aerodynamic, half the distance, and for every pound beyond the first lower the distance by 1 square. This would mean that a Str 10 person could throw an aerodynamic 1 lb object 10 squares (50 ft), while he could throw a non-aerodynamic 5 lb item 2 squares (10ft).

Something like that. Just saying. :D

Xeviat

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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2008, 02:29:53 AM »
First off, I love simulationist rules, but I recognize the need to keep them simple. I'm looking to design a system that involves a check (with a penalty for weight) and a table to determine distance (could even be a divisor like jump and athletics).

Okay, so you're saying instead of a strength or athletics check, just do a simple subraction situation? Or some other kind of equasion? This would be better, as I don't think people's throws should vary that much. Mutants and Masterminds has a system which relies heavily upon their "time and progression table", but it is merely subtraction and comparison, so that could possibly work if the numbers can be finessed.

We have 2 linear throws in the Olympics: The Shot Put and the Javelin. The Shot Put gets a little spin to add mommentum, and the Javelin gets a running start to add mommentum, so they should both be fair. The Javelin is aerodynamic and front-heavy, while the Shot is a sphere (not non-aerodynamic, not aerodynamic, just neutral). The Javelin weighs 2ish pounds, and the shot weighs 16 pounds.

To be simple, we'll say being aerodynamic cuts the object's weight in half for purposes of throwing. So we have an effectively 1 pound object being thrown 295 feet, and a 16 pound object being thrown 75 feet. I'll admit that the respective throwers are going to be physically built different, but lets pretend this is the same thrower.

Your impromptue system gets us the following distances vs. their records:
2 pounds: 85 feet vs. 295 feet
16 pounds: 10 feet vs. 75 feet

Okay, that doesn't work. Interestingly enough, 75 is about 1/4th of 300, so that could work for me. If an aerodynamic object could be thrown twice as far as an unaerodynamic object, then we'd be dealing with a 150 ft. distance for an aerodynamic 16 pound object; half the distance of the 2 aerodynamic 2 pound object. Those numbers don't really relate to each other enough.

Back to the check method for a momment, I might be on to something.
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Ninja D!

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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2008, 12:10:46 PM »
There was a debate on the WotC boards about how you should be able to shoot farther with bows.  The argument there that swayed me most was that when your life is in danger and you're shooting quickly at moving targets it is very different.

Nomadic

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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2008, 01:56:55 PM »
Ah yes the adrenaline effect. I can attest to this having been in some similar situations. I think it would be interesting if someone could successfully simulate the effect adrenaline has on the body during a fight or flight response.

In regards to the primary topic of this thread though all I can say is keep up the good work. It looks like you are taking things in the right direction.

Ra-Tiel

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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2008, 01:59:22 PM »
@Xeviat: Your comment about athletics gave me another idea. Perhaps using a skill check is a better idea than a simple Str dependent mechanic (after all, you can train your throwing techniques).

Let's say for an aerodynamic object the base DC is 5, and for a non-aerodynamic object the base DC is 15. For every point your result beats the DC, you can throw the object 10ft. For every 5lb (or fraction thereof) the object weights past 1lb you take a cumulative -2 penalty to your check.

Assumptions: Str 18, trained in Athletics, Skill Focus (Athletics). Total Athlecits modifier: 5 + 4 + 3 = +12.

Average result (take 10): 22
- Shot put (at -6 to the check due to weight): 16 -> 10ft
- Javelin (at -2 to the check due to weight): 20 -> 150ft

Maximum result (rolled 20): 32
- Shot put (at -6 to the check due to weight): 26 -> 110ft
- Javelin (at -2 to the check due to weight): 30 -> 250ft

Hmmm... still not quite there. :-/

Xeviat

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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2008, 02:43:41 PM »
Ninja, I'm not going for accuracy at this range. In the end, I want a table which could accommodate a giant picking up a player and throwing them away; how far they'd fly, and thus how much damage they'd take if they were thrown into a wall. Of course the penalty for an attack roll at that range would be rediculous.

Ra, thanks! You've given a +12 modifier, but that's still for a 1st level character. Olympians are 7th level in 3rd, so that's another +3 bonus.

The DCs definitely have to be based on Weight. The new carrying capacity model for 4E is 10 pounds per point of strength before you're encumbered (and encumbered means speed is reduced to 10 feet). Now, I feel a character should be able to lift 1/4th that amount in one hand, since they're not  using all of their muscles fully at that point.

That creates the following DCs in my mind:

>5 lb = DC 5 (Str 1 needed to lift)
5 lb = DC 6 (Str 2 (-4) needed to lift)
10 lb = DC 7
15 lb = DC 8
20 lb = DC 9
25 lb = DC 10 (Str 10 (+0) needed to lift)

Then, being Aerodynamic gives some kind of reduction to the DC.

We're looking at a maximum check result of 35 for our Olympian. That beats the >5 pound result by 30, and beats the  under 20 result by 26. 26 x 3 gets us near 75 feet, while 30 x 10 gets us 300 feet. That doesn't work.

75 feet is 15 squares. 300 feet is 60 squares, but it's an aerodynamic object so having its distance doubled is fine; thus an average 2 pound object would have gone 30 squares. (Note: I don't like that the carrying capacity table is linear now, it will take enormous strength scores to reach the lifting capacities larger creatures should have).

So we're trying to make a table of DCs which will net a 15 result for a 16 pound object and a 30 result for a 2 pound object. That's a difference in 15 for the DC ...

<2: DC 5
<5: DC 10
<10: DC 15
<25: DC 20
<50: DC 25
<100: DC 30
<250: DC 35

That table would work. The distance resulted is a number of squared equal to how much you beat it by. Thus this thrower, on a roll of 20, could throw a 250 pound man, but not very far. They could throw a 100 pound object 25 feet.

Looking at the Mutants and Masterminds rule, they didn't use a check, just a comparison. Throwing is something you can train for, but is it something that's really going to have a 95 foot variance (the difference in rolling a 1 and a 20)?
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Nomadic

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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2008, 04:56:32 PM »
Just realized something though. If an object is too light it won't go as far as a heavier object. Inertia means that you will never be able to throw a pea as far as a baseball as it just can't keep going and loses velocity too fast. So I think that for exceptionally light objects a penalty may be needed. Even aerodynamic super light items won't go as far because you get stabilization issues (try throwing a toothpick and getting it to center properly with the airflow) so you might need to make sure that super light items are stabilized right (like a hand dart for example). Anyhow hope that helps, just putting it forward since it seems like you are shooting for some realism here.

Ra-Tiel

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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2008, 06:11:56 PM »
@Xeviat: I must respectfully disagree with basing the DCs on weight and having aerodynamics provide a modifier. It's sort of "backwards". Every possible object some character or monster might pick up and throw is either aerodynamic or not, but the weights vary by a huge amount.

Therefore it would be much more elegant to base the DCs on the aerodynamic properties of the object, and have weight provide a modifier. Otherwise you'd end up with a HUGE table where you'd have to look up the weight of the object.

The DCs could be (taking Nomadic's comment in account)
* Aerodynamic - DC 5
* Non-aerodynamic - DC 10
* Limited inertia - +10

We'd then have "only" left to determine the correct weight penalties.

Also, don't forget that we're talking about a d20 derivate system. That means that - at most - you'll get a rough estimation of your desired goal. Don't try to go for the simulationist aspect at all costs.

Xeviat

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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2008, 06:38:31 PM »
We're going to need a talbe unless the weight penalty is equal to the weight. Then throwing a 150 pound person is going to impose a -15 penalty on the check if it's -1 per 10 pounds (rounded down).

And you're right Nomadic; a paper ball just won't fly very far. I first want to get things to work with the Javeline and the Shot first.

Back in 3E, I was going to work on a system that both used a table for weights based on the carrying capacity table. My reasoning is that this was going to help me in throwing creatures; it was simply going to be an opposed strength check, since a simple assumption is that stronger creatures weigh more. There would have been a penalty for size (but it was going to be the same penalty from size that applied to trip and grapple checks).

Those bonuses/penalties no longer exist in 4E. But I still think a weight table is best, unless a simple equasion with only one function can be made for weight (weight divided by something preferably).

But since there's far more varience in weight than there is in aerodynamics (4 or so categories could easily work there), I think weight is the better thing to focus on.

All I want is to see those ranges listed above as reachable for a level 6 character. The ranges for the hammer throw would be a "two-handed" throw.
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