DM of the Rings CXXII:
Xtreme Moves

 By Shamus Jul 9, 2007 189 comments


The players fight a Mumak.
Legolas tries to spice things up.

The players go back to stabbing the Mumak in the feet.

(I don’t have the sourcebooks handy, so I’m sure someone will jump in and explain how Animal Empathy doesn’t work that way.)

This really does seem to be how you’re supposed to fight huge epic foes: Stand underneath them and jab their toes until they die. Sure, you could use a bunch of feats to climb up onto the thing, Shadow of the Colossus style, but there wouldn’t be any advantage to do so. It would be hard, you’d have to roll the dice a dozen times, and in the end you’d just be doing the exact same damage, only higher off the ground.

A Hundred!202020209I bet you won't even read all 189 comments before leaving your own.


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  1. George says:

    hahaha great comic man,

  2. tor says:

    on the other hand i found the way legolas defeats the Mumak in the movie even more stupid…

  3. Keldin says:

    Slamming poor Jar Jar? Poor form ;)

    Anyhow, you’re right on target with this one as well — although I found the entire segment in the films as cheesy as all get out, at least it was more believeable than the idea of anyone actually trying to kill a creature that large with melee weapons at close range — “stabbing it’s toes” just doesn’t seem to be too realistic. Oh, and this is the earliest I’ve ever been. I’ll sleep well tonight!

    • ZAP says:

      Well, yeah, except when Eowyn took one down by slicing into all four of its legs. I’m not certain it was DEAD after that, but it was certainly incapacitated.

      • Talon says:

        That would be Eomer, Eowyn is the Girl…

        Besides that, when one of my Players comes up with something awesome like climbing on a giant monster to finish it off I usually tweak the rules so it can work. Just for the sheer awesomeness. Makes good times better.

  4. Marmot says:

    I didn’t have any objections to the movie interpretation; but to see it as a player imagination is quite original – I though that he really would do that!

    And oh, nothing prevents you from doing animal empathy in combat, but it takes 1 minute (which renders the skill useless in almost every situation), or 1 round with a -10 or 20 penalty :) Black sheep of the ranger class!

  5. Steve the Pirate says:

    LMAO. Never posted before, love it. This is the kind of thing I always WANT to do when I play.

    My favorite thing to hear from my GM is “G** D***it Jim…you are not making this easy on me…ok, he tells you everything he knows.” (psion ftw)

  6. scldragonfish says:

    >>>Keldin Says:

    July 9th, 2007 at 11:05 am
    Slamming poor Jar Jar? Poor form

  7. scldragonfish says:

    Keldin Says:

    July 9th, 2007 at 11:05 am
    Slamming poor Jar Jar? Poor form

    Poor Jar Jar!!? That is the most hated SW character in history and the ‘toy boy’ Lucas and to write his way out of it. Slam him again!

    Great Comic Shamus.

  8. gahaz says:

    That was glorious! By the way, When it comes to the spirit of the game, when you are fighting in D&D it is not SUPPOSED to be literally standing still smackin each other with swords and what not. If you have a imaginitive DM, when you hit there is a lil flair to be added. When there is a succesful hit you would get “And Gimli ducks the mumakil’s last attack, and as he swings his head close you take advantage and strike below the left ear, enraging the beast”. At least thats what i do for my players. It always an unstated rule that the combat is happening in an exciting way, but off the books. Its the only way i can explain why a wyvern could attack with EVERY apendage at the same time, like “The flying beast comes at for a nasty bite (roll dice) that glances of your right shoulder. As the head of the beast moves by the wings slash at your body (roll dice) that cut you mildly for 9 damage. And as the beast turns to face you once more the tail cracks (roll dice) like a whip in mid-air, you can feel the wind from the missed strike.

    Lord i just wrote alot…..

  9. Nogard_Codesmith says:

    of course in most games, foes like this cause the PCs to break out the high explosives.

  10. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    I love the last frames DM comment
    It really portrays how boring combat can be sometimes.
    oh well keep up the good work YO!

  11. > Sure, you could use a bunch of feats to
    > climb up onto the thing, Shadow of the
    > Colossus style, but there wouldn’t be any
    > advantage to do so.

    … and that is the aspect of D&D that annoys me the most. Thank-you for expressing it so nicely!

  12. Tom says:

    Actually, hitting a big monster in the leg isn’t a terrible move, thanks to the presence of possibly vulnerable hamstrings. Also, our ancestors used to bring down woolly mammoths with nothing but spears and good tactics, from what I understand.

    I will say, though, that D&D combat isn’t very good for this sort of thing. How could it be? It treats fighting ordinary-sized man-like things exactly the same as fighting huge beast-like things. That’s the price of abstraction in the context of refusing to give up legacy mechanics like hit points and armor class — either you have one system that’s decent for most cases if you squint, or you have to build in a bunch of exceptions all over the place and the system becomes untenable except for rules-obsessed fanatics.

  13. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    Well,it wouldnt be that hard for an experienced player to climb such a thing(a few climb rolls with some penalty during the course of few rounds),but like shamus says,youd gain nothing.Ive always found it idiotic how not one,but three arrows manage to pierce a skull of an animal tougher than an elephant,which can resist a point blank shot from a gun.

  14. Vinchenze says:

    I was wondering when he was going to do that!!!

  15. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    come to think of it I am always pulling this crap with my DM. I am a monk and I never just want to punch stuff. Especially the big stuff. I am always making jump checks and trying to kick stuff in the head, neck, breast, and chest area. I just like making things fantastic. Gahaz I try to do the same thing. I try to explain why an enemy attack missed or why a PC attack was so crushing and or weak. It makes a battle make more sense.
    OH listen to me BLAH BLAH BLAH

  16. Poet says:

    We pull things like this in our adventures fairly often. After describing something more incredulous and looking up the appropriate skills, then rolling, our GM gets to be very quiet for a moment, then says the most dreaded of sentences: “Alright. Here’s what happens…”

  17. Vinchenze says:

    Oh before i forget, how many FIRST POST puns are there???

  18. Roxysteve says:

    I don’t recall the bit in the book where Logoless climbs up the Oliphaunt (It wasn’t called Mûmak anywhere in the Lord of the Rings books: I double-dog dare anyone to prove different), nor do I recall Tolkien gifting him (or her: oblig) with an insatiable need to pursue every opportunity to “surf” down things. Is it possible these were added to the narrative in some unobtrusive way by Peter Jackson?

    BTW: I shall never forgive you Shamus for not featuring P.J. doing his “Joe Cocker Death Scene” aboard the ship. Boo, hiss and a sort of rasping sound made by blowing air under the tongue while it flaps against the lower lip for not pandering to my expectations. It was probably the one scene in the movie in which the dwarf acted exactly like the DMotR character too.

    Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.

  19. JagDell says:

    There’s a d20 source book (a Player’s Handbook Replacement actually) called Iron Heroes that places a stronger emphasis on non-magical combat. And climbing a huge Elephant-thing with a ladder of arrows and then killing stuff on it is exactly what that supplement is all about.

    Look it up. It’s great fun, Conan style!

  20. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    Vinchenze Says:

    “Oh before i forget, how many FIRST POST puns are there???”

    Acording to google,over 14000000.Of course,you could narrow that search a lot,but still would get at least a few thousands.

  21. Sartorius says:

    Also, our ancestors used to bring down woolly mammoths with nothing but spears and good tactics

    An atlatl helps.

  22. Dan says:

    That’s what I always loved about the critical system of Iron Crown’s Rolemaster. Sure, combat took 3 and a half hours, but a hobbit could roll a natural 00 then hit one of the fancy scores even on the A crit chart – 66 or 97-00, and bring the mother down in a nearly plausible, and certainly descriptive, way.

    Loved those crit charts. Even if you had to have a degree in actuarial science to use them correctly.

    Sixteenth post!

  23. Dan says:

    or 23rd. Sheesh.

  24. Sartorius says:

    It wasn’t called Mûmak anywhere in the Lord of the Rings books: I double-dog dare anyone to prove different

    One of Faramir’s rangers refers to it by that name in The Two Towers, Book IV, Chapter 4.

  25. Dernwine says:

    Even when a DM doesn’t describe combat as well as gahaz just did, I keep a replay of the battle in my own mind. It helps combat from getting boring if you can keep your imagination going. So the DM might say “He missed you, cause he rolled a 4. And you scored a critical, killing him.” I let myself replay that moment, when the enemy’s blow glances off my shield and I ram my short spear into his gullet. It helps make the game experience a bit more independent from the quality of the DM (that said, a bad DM, is still and will always be a bad DM)

  26. Cat Skyfire says:

    As a DM, I’ve had players want to do such nifty things. I let them….let them start rolling, that is. It’s really fun to watch someone reach for the chandelier in midair…and miss.

  27. Unfortunately, d20 D&D is made for it’s simplicity. It’s an advantage in some cases, and a total bummer in others, as pointed out in this particular strip.

    I recommend Iron Heroes for rules on doing stunts like Legolas. It’s perfect for stuff like this.

  28. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    Web Goddess Says:

    “Unfortunately, d20 D&D is made for it’s simplicity. It’s an advantage in some cases, and a total bummer in others, as pointed out in this particular strip.”

    Hardly.Shadowrun is far more simpler,yet far better in describing combat situations.

  29. Roxysteve says:

    Vinchenze Says:
    Oh before i forget, how many FIRST POST puns are there???

    Depends on how far away from “First Post” you allow the sound to drift. “Frist” was clever because not only was it a pun, it was an anagram. Extra points for that.

    We still have to see the pic of a sausage (Würst post), Kirsten Durst (obvious) and a picture of Orson Wells from Citizen Kane (figure it out). There is one I have in mind for Worst Boast but Shamus would undoubtedly object to my suggesting it, so I won’t.

    I will suggest we don’t do the picture of John Hurt lying on the table in the Nostromo after the Alien has hatched with the caption “Burst Host“. That would be tasteless.

    Steve.

  30. Senalishia says:

    >Ive always found it idiotic how not one,but three arrows
    >manage to pierce a skull of an animal tougher than an
    >elephant,which can resist a point blank shot from a gun.

    It’s because he’s an elf. He used one of his…mysterious elf skills. :/

    Every time I watch TV, I’ll see a character do some cool action move and go, “That’s really neat! I should do more cool stuff in combat when I roleplay instead of just beating on stuff.” Then when I’m actually playing, I realize there’s no real point–there’s rarely a more efficient way to dispatch the enemy. (Except for that one time we tossed those vampires off the top of Castle Ravenloft…)

    Of course, I am playing a Scout in our D&D game now, which at least involves a lot of running around. :)

  31. okay! says:

    Considering this one alongside the Tony Hawk comic earlier, you have to love Legolas’ yahoo-ism.

    I also appreciate your choice of JarJar for worst post. One of the few choices that wouldn’t be debated to the end of the earth in the comments

    Great comic again. I rue the day this plays itself out.

  32. Roxysteve says:

    [Lots of rolls causes unheroic failure in mid-action]

    What is wrong with this? I love the scenes in movies where the director suddenly injects a moment of common sense in an otherwise cliched bit of action.

    One of my all-time faves was during an episode of The High Chaperal when a bar fight breaks out. Everyone ends up on the obligatory balcony that runs around the second storey of any wild west saloon, only to have to collapse under the weight and dump everyone to the floor.

    Jackson did the same thing when Gimli (who else would he pick on?) killed a warg which promptly fell on him and pinned him.

    If an elf wants to “do a Legolas” and shimmy up a moving Oliphaunt, I say let them have a go. It’s not like falling off and being trodden on would seriously harm the average cheesed-to-the-max D&D character anyway.

    Steve.

  33. Dernwine says:

    yeah, when I first saw Legolas do that Mumak thing, I thought the arrows deflected off the skull. But did you guys notice that Eowyn pulls a D&D? When she scratches the Mumaks legs with those 2 swords, and causes the Mumak to collapse (guess it only had 1 hp left huh?). The sole reason I tolerate the Legolas Mumak thing, is because of John Rhys-Davis unforgettable one Liner (THAT STILL ONLY COUNTS AS ONE). That reminds me of this one game where we actually kept count of our kills and had a contest to see who could kill the most monsters…

  34. Sartorius says:

    When she scratches the Mumaks legs with those 2 swords, and causes the Mumak to collapse (guess it only had 1 hp left huh?)

    She hamstrung it. That’s why it suddenly sinks (its legs can no longer support it) instead of keeling over sideways.

  35. Randolpho says:

    >>It wasn’t called Mûmak anywhere in the Lord of the Rings
    >>books: I double-dog dare anyone to prove different

    >One of Faramir’s rangers refers to it by that name in The
    >Two Towers, Book IV, Chapter 4.

    They are also mentioned in Return of the King, Book V, Chapter 6 as mûmakil (plural).

  36. Roxysteve says:

    Sartorius Says:
    One of Faramir’s rangers refers to it by that name in The Two Towers, Book IV, Chapter 4.

    One of Faramir’s men??? Everyone knows you can’t trust anything coming out of the Faramir Fan Club for Gondor’s sake, especially that bloody liar Damrod (who was last heard of trying to hawk snake-oil homeopathic “anti-nazgûl” pills over the pony express).

    Get me a reliable witness.

    Steve.

  37. Roxysteve says:

    Dernwine Says:
    [snipsnipsnippetysnip] and causes the Mumak to collapse (guess it only had 1 hp left huh?).

    Nope. I have it on good authority they were playing under grandfathered rules and she twenty-twentied the thing.

    Steve.

  38. Jeremiah says:

    One of the cool things about Exalted, is as over the top everything is already, there are “stunting rules”. Basically, if you want to do something really awesome/heroic/whatever, and you come up with a great way of describing it and everyone likes it, you get bonuses. Depending on how awesome the stunt is, you get extra dice, or can even regain essence (magic) or Willpower.

    Yea, in d&d you can do some really cool descriptions, but there’s no mechanic for doing so or getting rewarded for doing so. When a mechanic does exist, players are much more likely to get those creative juices flowing.

  39. Dernwine says:

    But to hamstring you actually still have to cut quite deep with a creature that size…she merely scratched it. Ahh but the 20/20 would make sense…:P.

  40. Mrs T says:

    That still only counts as one!

    (Yes, I know it’s already been said)

  41. Yeah, I think that the fact that Legolas’ movie move doesn’t translate into D&D speaks well of D&D’s combat system. Arrows wouldn’t puncture one of our elephants’ skulls unless they were fired from a grenade-launcher-bow, and the Oliphants are bigger and tougher than our elephants.

    And, sure, standing next to an elephant is stupid. That’s why, in the books, *everyone ran away from the Oliphants.* The Trample rules are nice and realistic here, too– even a high-level party shouldn’t get into melee with an elephant, or they’ll get smooshed.

  42. Eric J says:

    I seem to remember the original Star Wars RPG (West End?) advised GMs to give players bonuses for particularly cinematic moves. And it was pretty much the essence of a game like TOON.

    I wouldn’t try it in Paranoia, however. To a Paranoia GM spectacular failures are just as rewarding as spectacular moves.

  43. Arbaal says:

    Holy crap thats a lot of posts in such a short span of time!

    Great work as always Shamus!

    Roxysteve, thank you for pointing out (and beating me to the punch) that in the books they are called Oliphants in a few places. I think the people riding them were called the Mûmakil. Of course I have not read the books in something like 25 years, so I could be wrong and maybe it is the name the people who ride them call them.

  44. Seth says:

    OK, A few things…

    I play in Eberron. Eberron is a bit heavy on swashbuckler style combat, so if you want to do something that you would normally be able to do(cross the room charging with your rapier, making a tumble check to get over a rough terrain, grabbing the Artifact of Plot Significance on the way) and you think of a properly awesome manner of doing it(swinging on the chandelier across the room to jump into the enemy with rapier drawn, picking up said artifact with the grappling hook attached to the rope in your teeth while humming the Ride of the Valkyries), then you do that. Don’t change the DCs, don’t change the effects. Maybe change the skill involved (from tumble to use rope – or whatever), but no more. same effect, same difficulty, X1000 more awesome, and now, valkyries, too.

    Also Eberron mandates action points for every PC(first found in Unearthed Arcana, and I think the Eberron sourcebook expands on them a little). You get a certain number of action points per level (5 plus half character level). When you use an action point, you may add 1D6(at low levels) to the -NATURAL- value of -ANY- D20 roll (you can also do other things: re-use a spent spell, stabilize yourself when below 0 HP, and I allow my PCs to use a feat they do not have for one turn). The effect is that, basically, you just did something so awesome that normal people just look at you in utter awe(or complete terror), because you are such an awesome hero. In -MY- Eberron, to use an action point, you must also describe the awesome feat that you are doing. Because of the action point system, my DnD is full of awesome things like what Legolas is thinking there. Basically they give people a pretty good excuse to do absolutely ridiculous things.

    Now then, he would not just suddenly be on top of that mumak, but he would get the opportunity. And he would get a D6 or three(depending on level) to help him up there

    And Action points also seem to make sure people know that THIS NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENS, to further impress that your character is awesome, and one should never try anything that complicated/dangerous without stuntman training.

    Vinchenze, there will always be one more pun on any given subject. Always. I have a joke NPC who shows up occasionally (and usually suddenly) named Baron Von Bad Pun, just because of this.

    And finally, could people seriously stop doing this ‘first post’ thing? Its annoying (even more with jar-jar) and pointless. If you have something to say, say it. Maybe put ‘first post’ at the bottom of your post, but if you have nothing to say, you don’t need to tell us about it. I’m sure Shamus feels loved enough by over a hundred comments on every strip, you don’t need to stalk his page every night(or whenever he posts it) to let him know that he is appreciated.

    relax a little.

  45. Seth says:

    Oh, yeah, before I forget. In the movie, I think Legolas used about seven action points to do that. Probably more than half of the ones he gets at that level. So it is not cheap, either to do stuff like that.

  46. David DeLaney says:

    I’m actually waiting for the “Bast Post” picture.

  47. AndiN says:

    Personally, I didn’t have any problem with how Legolas dealt with the oliphant in the movie. Suspension of disbelief is a great thing when you’re enjoying a fantasy movie.

    But even if, in a D&D game, he couldn’t do any more damage to the beast by shooting it in the head than he could by shooting it in the foot, there is still a benefit to doing what he described — he takes out the guys driving the oliphant, eliminating them as attackers and leaving the beast to make its own decision about whether it wants to hang around while a bunch of little guys hack at its toes.

    And shame on the DM for discouraging the kid playing Legolas from trying it. A player comes up with an interesting, clever way to deal with the situation and he shoots him down from the get-go? If the DM does that, what point is there for players to try to find ways to use skills together in new ways — what point is there in doing anything more than rolling the dice?

    Remember, as fun as it is to watch a player reach for the chandelier and miss, it’s even more fun to see the looks on the faces of those who thought he couldn’t do it when he rolls a crit and does it with a flourish.

  48. Arazmuth says:

    see, I solve that an entirely different way.

    As the PC’s advance through their career, I award them “Destiny Points” and “Fate Points” for various doses of Good RP or heroic acts.

    They can store these up, and burn them off at any time. Burning off a Destiny point lets you choose the result on the roll you want. You could get a natural 20 on a d20, or 18 on 3d6, 00 on a d100. Fate points are far weaker but still useful, you can burn one up to reroll a set of dice (so reroll the d20, reroll the 3d6 or reroll the d100). And any number can be burned up this way (rerolling the same die 10 times if you had the points).

    In this way the players can pull off such epic stunts every now and then without it becoming “the norm” in how to deal with such situations.

  49. Dev Null says:

    So many comments, so little lines…

    WTG Shamus for showcasing how so many heroic fantasy games manage to take the heroic out of fantasy. I figure if your players want to try something crazedly bold like that which doesn’t really fit in the rules you should not only let them roll the dice but reward them for it (unless you’re trying for an ultra-realistic campaign and it ruins your story I guess.) Sure make them roll, but dont make them roll an infinite number of times til they’re sure to fail… and drop the things AC or give them a bit of bonus damage for every successful roll – then make them roll to survive the landing… We used to do the same kind of thing with out-of-combat magic, where we’d make up a little symbolic ritual to get a bonus chance at a specific or better effect, and it helped make a story out of a collection of die-rolls.

    Rolemaster! Wow, theres a name I havent heard in awhile; their fumbles were as good or better than their crits: “You trip over an unseen imaginary deceased turtle. You are very confused.” Shame it took days and a degree in accounting to play out a combat.

    Shadowrun: Maybe simpler for the players Daemian, but absolute hell on GMs. There is no reasonable way for the GM to make something “one harder” or “one easier” in their wacky system – changing the target number or the number of successes even by one could mean changing your chance of success by as much as halving or doubling it (and not just for incredibly unlikely things either.) At the request of a frustrated GM I once wrote a quick computer program to calculate the odds of every combination up to about 15 dice and put them in order of likelihood for him; he took one look at the result and switched us to a percentile system straight away. (Great world though, just a broken system…)

  50. Arazmuth says:

    Wow, so many posts in between me loading the page and posting, I guess Eberon has a system like this in place, I still play 2nd ed though so poo on it.

  51. Aes says:

    That’s why I adlib rules all the time. If a player successfully makes 2 jump checks, a climb check and a balance check all for the purpose of hurting a monster in an effective way, then damn. He’s totally getting a bonus. Mind you, only a bonus if you actually had to work (roll skill checks) for it.

  52. Cel says:

    Mûmakil is plural of mûmak, which was what the humans called the creature. Oliphaunt was its name in Hobbit folklore.

  53. gahaz says:

    As a DM i always reward exciting thinking. In this instance i do believe it would be….Getting past the attack of oppurtunity (Im calling the mumak a hero monster and if i were him i would get standstill as a feat), then a proper jump then a reflex check to get to the arrows and grab on, a good climb check (big negatives for climbing up a swaying moving thing), then combat on top i would give -2 for the swaying creature since he is still usin the bow, follow that up with an attack on the bindings to topple the tower off, then a quick balance check to keep from falling off, at this point, as a DM, if they have successfully gotten to this point they are in the middle of what i refer to as a “hero” moment, and would give extreme bonuses to the brain attack (after i pull my jaw off the floor), and the slide at the end would consist of a %role for luck (the higher the number, the less difficult this is gonna be), then a balance check for the slide off. At the end of all that when the battle was over, i would also reward extra xp for the extravagant kill.

  54. Mike says:

    Seth, perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Shamus has been posting the first post – presumably to take the temptation away. I like it – it’s like a little extra comic after the actual comic.

    Hmmmm. Action points. I should see how that goes over with my current group. They’re just transitioning from 1st ed to 3rd, so could be fun.

  55. Evilllama says:

    Really? I thought mûmakil and mûmak could both be singular… and I thought “mûmakil” was elvish.

    I absolutely love the last Legolas frame. That’s brilliant.

  56. Terran says:

    This isn’t about the comic itself, but…

    (This bothers me every time I see it in a flick)

    The thing about shooting multiple arrows from one bow is that it doesn’t work, at least not well. The bow transfers *its* energy from the limbs into the arrow. Thus, two arrows = 1/2 the energy for each. Three arrows = 1/3 each and so on…

    Besides, it’s really bad for the bow.

    Considering that most species skulls are very thick, and how tough a real elephant is, not to mention Tolkiens Mumakil (at least when a non-hero attacks one)I’m suprised Legolas’ arrows even penetrated the skin.

  57. ShadoStahker says:

    (I don’t have the sourcebooks handy, so I’m sure someone will jump in and explain how Animal Empathy doesn’t work that way.)

    Actually, besides it taking longer than a round, that’s exactly how Animal Empathy works.

    @33 Roxysteve

    Who is Kirsten Durst?

    We have Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane in the Spiderman movies).

    But if he wants a “Durst Post”, he’d need to go with Fred Durst, of Limp Biskit/Biscuit/whatever.

  58. Alan Marks says:

    As a GM in various games (Mainly because no one else wants to do it…), I am somewhat guilty of not encouraging players to do this kind of thing. With that in mind, that idea for giving points to people who come up with creative ideas seems like a good one.

  59. ShadoStahker says:

    57 Terran
    This isn’t about the comic itself, but…

    (This bothers me every time I see it in a flick)

    The thing about shooting multiple arrows from one bow is that it doesn’t work, at least not well. The bow transfers *its* energy from the limbs into the arrow. Thus, two arrows = 1/2 the energy for each. Three arrows = 1/3 each and so on…

    While true, each arrow will have approximately 1/3 the penetrating power (actually a bit less as three arrows cause more friction while crossing the bow), you must remember that what does damage is a combination of the arrow penetrating deep, and the arrow penetrating at all.

    In movies, the arrows penetrate the same distance a single arrow would. This is, of course, wrong.

    But having three arrows stuck in you shallowly is potentially worse than having one arrow stuck in you deep.

    Additionally, each arrow ups the chance of striking a vein or other vital spot, most of which are pretty near to the skin, and thus don’t depend on penetration as much.

    But yes, it’s definitely not the best thing to do for the bow.

  60. Bigeshu says:

    Hilarious! This is a common problem with end game battles, without stunts and descriptions from the players they usually devolve into “I hit/I miss” style play which drains the drama out of it. Of course that’s why I like Exalted as it rewards descriptions (albeit they do tend to get over the top, but Legolas would get at least double essence and 3 bonus die, perhaps a reduced DV to deal with). [/Exalted Rant]

  61. I’m all for heroism. Arcana action points, Iron Heroes maneuvers, fate points, sheer rewarding audacity– all great. I’m fully in favor of letting the player try the audacious combination of skills– even up to the goofy Legolas-surfing-down-the-stairs-at-Helm’s-Deep. Let him swashbuckle his way to the top of the elephant; no problem.

    But no amount of swashbuckling will convince me that the bow should be an effective weapon against the elephant’s skull! My problem isn’t with him getting up there– if it were just to go kill the elephant-riders, great, more heroic power and XP to him. It’s with the “three arrows kill an elephant” conclusion!

  62. gahaz says:

    In regards to the 3 arrow kill, its is somewhat possible, but unlikely. We do not now the anatomy of these beasts, they possible weaker at the top of the head, seeing as there is no normal way that a creature could attack it from this angle (a stretch, i know.). this could also be a case of “everything coming together at just the right time, possibly legolas upon reaching its head noticed that it had a previous injury there and was exploiting it. Then again, we are talking about an elf wielding an elven bow and that can change things drasticly. Considering legolas’s ability to hit any thing from long distances, possibly there is a fracture in the beasts skull that the arrows slid through. And when it comes to explaining this kinda thing, remember when the elf was walking on top of the snow on the mountain? It was just an elf thing, and thats an explanation thats excepted, why not the elf perfection of archery allowing him to use the elven bow to its absolute maximum efficiency?

  63. theonlymegumegu says:

    “Sure, you could use a bunch of feats to climb up onto the thing, Shadow of the Colossus style, but there wouldn’t be any advantage to do so.”

    I have to admit, after I played that game, I thought, “Seriously, this is how fighting colossal creatures in D&D would have to happen.” Sure, it’d be hard, but… it’s a friggin’ colossal creature! What about that is supposed to be easy? XD I was so enthused by this idea, I IM’d my buddy that works at WotC and told him he should suggest they make maps for the minis game that represent the backs of colossal creatures. You gotta think this is why Fighters have Climb as a class skill ^_^

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