Day 4: Weapon
So I’ve been watching a few shows on my Paramount+ account. Yes I picked it up to get the latest Star Trek shows. But my kids have enjoyed watching the Avatar and Legend of Korra episodes. I just completed a re-watch of the Daria series a few months ago (I forgot how much of a dark ending that had). Another good thing on Paramount+ has been several documentary series on The Smithsonian Channel.
One series that I found really interesting (and I hope they have additional seasons) was titled “World of Weapons”. They had ten episodes which covered a subject and looked at several weapons that could be found within the subject matter. It ranged from ancient times to modern days with demonstrations by experts and graphical imagery telling the story behind the types of weapons.
I found the details and demonstrations of the Roman pilum very interesting. But the weapon that really caught my attention was the sling. Before watching that episode, I had always thought of the sling as a poor man’s bow and arrow. The cleric could use it as a ranged weapon since it wasn’t edged. We all know of the tale of David vs. Goliath. I even recall using a sling in the first King’s Quest video game and later in Pitfall: The Lost Expedition game on my Nintendo Gamecube.
The World of Weapons documentary episode demonstrated two things about the sling. It was a common man’s weapon. Thus I did not see many noble or aristocratic users of such a weapon. The Greek and Roman armies used “slingers” to rain down a lot of stones upon an enemy and even included sling snipers who were more accurate with the weapon. The episode even showed how a sling could be easily and quickly created by braiding plant fibers. Thus someone familiar with the sling could create a sling and use common stones found on the ground. The documentary also talked about the Roman Glandes which his made by melting lead into a mold to create an acorn looking bullet. Some Roman soldiers also added messages to their Glandes in a similar fashion of messages being added to bombs that are dropped on the enemy. Another online article I read also talked about how some Glandes came with a small hole in the middle that made a whistling sound as the bullet was projected at high speeds. It was believed that this added a psychological effect to the weapon in battle.
For the purpose of this blog entry, I checked the game stats for the sling in the various editions of Dungeons and Dragons and various clones. Most had the sling giving 1d3 to 1d4 at a very short range. After watching the World of Weapons episode, I wondered if we have sold the sling short? Perhaps keep a standard rock at 1d3, a shaped bullet stone at 1d4 with a longer range and allow the Glandes at a higher damage of 1d4+2 or perhaps even a 1d6 at the longest range.
Now I want to create a Hafling character that uses a sling like a sniper. He could hide his slings as various belts and the Glandes could be decorative brooches or buttons on his clothing.
Another good primary suggestion for Day 4. A subject of “Search” could have talked about searching for hidden doors and traps, but I couldn’t think of some content that would have been interesting to read. This would have been the same result with “Reward” and “Figure”. Someone may have been inspired by these suggestions, but I was not.