I have always wondered, why isn’t there a Sling (the weapon kind)?

I have always wondered, why isn’t there a Sling (the weapon kind)?

I have always wondered, why isn’t there a Sling (the weapon kind)?

So here goes a simple Sling i would expect.

Sling (near, reload, awkward, crude, 0 weight)

This crude leather strap was devised by the farmers to keep the wolves away from their sheep. Not the best weapon, but sure gets the point across.

Shot (4 ammo, 1 weight)

Perfect little round stones used in a sling. I wouldnt want one of these to hit me in the head.


37 thoughts on “I have always wondered, why isn’t there a Sling (the weapon kind)?”

  1. I’ve got a sling started up in Stonetop: near, crude, reload, awkward

    crude (new tag): prone to break under stress; crude weapons do -1 damage to any target with Armor 1 or better

    (Also, I apply the awkward tag liberally… Battle ax, flail, maul are all awkward.)

  2. That “-1 damage to any target with 1 Armor or better.” I get it, but I don’t feel like there’s any real system payoff for the added complexity. DW isn’t a simulation. There’s no way I would track this just to apply a -1 damage penalty. I like the crude tag tho.

  3. I always wondered this too since the cleric has all blunt weapons to start and no blunt ranged option. I’m more for the Sling to have zero weight maybe one of the only advantages. Moreover maybe easy to “conceal” on the actual Sling as a tag. And the use of “improvised ammo” loose stones on the ground for either a minus to volley or damage. Last but not least, since Halflings favor the Sling in typical fantasy canon this works well and offsets the Halfling Theif +2 Dam to Volley. I still think there would be better range then a volleyed dagger.

  4. Why is there a need to ding it’s damage at all? Arguments: Again, DW is not a simulation game. A sling is alreay going to do way more damage in the hands of a fighter than a wizard. (Damage is by class, not weapon.) There’s no distinction between a club and a sword, so why make slings different damage than arrows? The range and crude are already some good narrative dings against it. At -1 damage you will be thrice penalized for making a flavor choice, and that seems very much not in the spirit of DW to me. (Just my opinion, of course.)

  5. Sling would make a good distraction but not really as a weapon.  Not really a weapon but if someone wanted to use one, Ok, sure.  No real weapon stats as.  But, if someone had a reason in their fiction, sure, attacking to do damage: Volley, Ignore the Burning Ammo option on a 7-9.  You are picking up rocks after all.  And since as damage is by class, no worries, no tags, nothing but the fiction.  Most often it is a weapon to be used for distraction only as anyone that is armored would just have the rocks ding off of it.  Oh, dear, ouch, but no real harm done. “Hey Kids, stop playing with that sling shot.”

  6. I’m not so sure. A Sling did kill goliath (a giant in one shot). I’m pretty sure on an episode of deadliest warrior I saw it explode a skull. I think if you are accurate with the Sling it is a deadly weapon. Moreover I wouldn’t want to take a hit from one of those in the eye, ear, nose, or groin. (maybe there is an opportunity for a disorienting shot like the Ranger’s called shot) I like the idea of a conceal tag, low cost, and use of improvised ammo allowed (good for when you run out of ammo in a dungeon) I also think it would have greater range then a volleyed dagger.

  7. Ryan Kubryn You see here is the problem.  You talk about Range.  There is no Range in DW.  It is an abstracted concept.  You have Near, Far, ect.  And yes the examples you list are valid, but the power of the system is the less is more concept.  You already know what damage ANY weapon will do.  Based on Class.  You don’t really need to go further.  You can allow it as a good fictional situation.  Also, the Key Word is “Accurate”  you need to be Accurate with it.  This falls into the realm of a special move, if needed.  Practice with the weapon would imply that the PC has taken an Advanced Move for it, or that it is a part of the PCs current special Moves.  You don’t need to make up the weapon, don’t need stats, don’t need special tags.  You just simply have the warrior, haflling, hobbit, or what ever, pick it up and use it.  If they want tags beyond that, then take some extra Moves.  Or if the PC thinks that it should do more in the hands of an expert then have that conversation as to why?  What is the reason in the fiction that it should do more than base class damage?  Then go with some of the responses and fictions.  Nothing special needs to be created.  Or rather, in response to the player is something different created.

  8. Matrix Forby Sure I think you misinterpret what I’m saying when I was referring to range I meant it does not just have the “near” tag but the “far” tag as well. How is being accurate with a Sling any different with being an accurate archer? Even wearing a helmet taking a shot in the head with a Sling wearing a helmet would sure make your ears ring. I’m pretty sure taking one in the arm with disarm you if not break your bone and your arm would cease to function. I’m not advocating changing the damage at all. I’m pretty sure you could hide a Sling easier then a dagger when getting padded down in the fiction which is why I was advocating to “conceal” tag.

  9. Ryan Kubryn Ah, Sorry, My bad.  I guess that I just didn’t feel like doing the work on making it a written up thing.  My policy is that if you don’t need to have stats on it, then don’t.  Quite often it is easy to overthink something.  For me it would be more like this:

    GM: So you want to take a Leather Thong and make a Sling, pick up some rocks and fling them?

    Player: Yes, my character has practiced this in the boredom of his child hood.  He is quite adept at taking out birds and squirls with it.

    GM: Ok, sure, it takes a moment for you to craft this in prison with scraps of leather or with stuff you have.  Now that you have it and a few stones, now what?

    Player: Ok, I used the sling and knock out the unsuspecting guard so that I can then get the keys from him and escape from this hole of a prison.

    GM: Ok, roll+Dex for a Volley.  If you get a 7-9 ignore the uses ammo.  You might or might not knock him out.  You are only going to get one chance as it is somewhat conspicuous for someone to be whizzing around a stone in a leather pouch.  The noise is going to be odd to the guard.

    Player: Ok, (rolls) got a 10

    GM: You knock out the guard and he falls to the ground in a clatter as your perfect shot hit him on the exposed neck in the back.  The sounds of his armor may have arroused some of the other guards outside of the immediate area..What do you do?

    Player: I yell, to make it sound like the guard is making noise to sound like he is roughing me up, rather than a fall.

    GM: Roll+Cha to be convincing.

    And so forth.  No tags needed, no damage as the guard was unsuspecting.  Now if there were more than one guard present it would be no hack and slash but “Roll your class’s damage” and see if this takes him out in one shot, and continue from there.

    The David vs Goliath is a different set up and different fiction.

  10. For just stones, class damage is enough. For metal balls, which is military ordinance, +1 forward, since the metal adds both range and damage.

  11. Alexander the great had soldiers who were deadly with the sling just using stones. They could kill armored men even up on fortress walls. The Romans had military slings but they sometimes used specially made round balls of lead. Sounds like a valuable shop item to me.

  12. Ray Otus DW isn’t a “sim” game, but there are differences between weapons. A sword has Weight 2 and does +1 damage, and costs more. A club is Weight 1, no damage bonus, and costs less.

    When you add something to an existing gear list, you should either:

    a) Give it the same stats as something else, making different only in terms of flavor


    b) Make it mechanically different and distinct.

    Which you choose depends on a combination of how much you care and just how similar/different the new item is from other stuff. Like, I wouldn’t bother giving a “cutlass” different stats than a “sword.” But I think a sling is significantly different enough from any of the existing missile weapons that it makes sense to give it’s own stats.

    What makes a sling different from a bow & arrow? To my mind:

    Reload & firing time (yes, yes, there are reports of trained units being wicked fast, but that’s a move in mind)

    Weight (the sling itself weighs almost nothing)

    Ubiquity of ammo (low cost, high Ammo value per weight)

    Motion required to use it (need room/time to swing it around)

    So that’s where the tags of reload and awkward come from in my description.

    The crude tag (and tendency to damage nerf) that I added in Stonetop is part of an effort to make the town’s wealth and prosperity more important in play. And to draw distinctions between “crappy stuff we can scrounge up around here” and “a good steel sword.” The whole gear list is a lot more differentiated. Here’s an older draft of it if you’re interested: https://goo.gl/iPd4hl

  13. Good call. I forgot long swords have +1 damage. I get yourr point. You are probably right, but it is super easy to take that stuff too far.

  14. Stacey Holiday​ most of the tags you suggested feel like positive ones 😁

    Returning to the start, the proposed Crude, Reload, Awkward, – 1 damage, are pretty good, IMHO.

  15. Ray Otus I don’t see the point in dinging sling damage either, and that’s even considering that some weapons do get +1. I come at this perspective from seeing how much more damaging and fast slung stones are than thrown stones, and not seeing thrown stones take -2 damage anywhere in DW.

  16. Josh C​

    I see your point.

    Perhaps i will remove the -1 damage to retain the “positive” nature of DW, and leave -1’s strictly in the given situation (GM moves).

  17. I think sling shots are already presumed to be part of the game as “sling stones” are mentioned in n Ammo tag and don’t need anything special aside from tags.

  18. Robert Doe Well 7-9 on a volley already has a -1d6 option. It could be a GM move for an additional -1, but that almost feels like double dipping. Since sling stones irk the Ammo economy, perhaps the ammo cost option of 7-9 isn’t available, forcing players to either be mobile or just take the -1d6 damage on 7-9.

  19. Stacey Holiday Yeah, purchased (presumably perfectly round) slingstones are n Ammo, but anyone can pick up a random rock. it would be fair to add n Ammo that can be bypassed for -1 damage and not have to make a special GM move.

  20. When you stop to pick up a likely rock in the middle of a battle. On a 10+ you get it. On a 7-9 choose 1:

    * Have your head chopped off

    * Have your arm chopped off

    * Be kicked in the arse and stomped on by an orc.


  21. Stacey Holiday Depends on where the battle is. In any case, who said anything about the middle of battle? using the find function only turns up your mention, Ray’s joke, and this post I’m currently making. What I said was “anyone can pick up a random rock”. I made no mention of circumstance, although I can see why you might assume that removing the ammo option from 7-9 results might indicate that, it doesn’t. It assumes that some random rock was picked up before the current time. Again, I personally prefer the option I already suggested, I was just considering the ramifications of yours, and the fact that sling stones don’t really need to be purchased, but those that aren’t have limitations.

  22. The discussion has devolved quite a bit. May I summarize?

    Potential upsides:

    • cheap

    • light (0 weight)

    • ranged

    • naturally-occurring ammo (0 cost)

    • easy to conceal

    Potential downsides:

    • needs space to use (awkward)

    • reload time (reload)

    • heavy ammo (4 ammo/1 weight)*

    • cheaply made (crude) * *

    • lackluster range (near)

    • two-handed * * *

    • lackluster damage (-1) * * * *

    My Opinions

    * Arrows are 3 ammo/1 weight. It’s hard for me to imagine shot being lighter. I’d stick with the same.

    * * I don’t buy the crude tag. Slings are far less fragile than bows.

    * * * Slings are not two-handed, you could use one with a shield. Thracian peltasts did. Staff slings are two-handed, but they should get the far range tag.

    * * * * Maybe only for “found ammo” vs. manufactured shot? Maybe not worth bothering with.

    My Version

    If I were doing a sling:

    Sling (0 weight, 1 coin, reload)

    Sling Shot (3 ammo/1 weight, 1 coin)

    Sling Stones (3 ammo/1 weight, 0 coin, -1 damage)

    I like awkward tag, but I think I can just use 7-9 results to enforce soft moves that tangle the weapon and/or strip it out of their hands.

  23. PS, if used two-handed I would remove the “reload” tag. I’m thinking you could grab a stone out of your bag and get it in the pocket as easily as you could grab an arrow from a quiver and notch it.

  24. Ray Otus I like your version, although I think the -1 damage is still unnecessary. Josh C I’m still not sure why slings wouldn’t have ammo. Ammo represents how much you’ve got left at any time, it’s abstract. If you wanted to let a PC refill their ammo supply for free when they’re out in the wildnerness, fine – but that doesn’t change the fact that the more they carry, the more it weighs. And the fact that it’s possible to run out of ammo when in battle or when somewhere that doesn’t have rocks lying around. I’m not sure what people mean by it’s not a “sim” game – it is, just not as detailed as other games, It’s more abstracted so that you don’t have to sit around and make up rules for every possible scenario. A tag isn’t something special, it’s just a note to yourself so you remember how a weapon works. At the end of the day we’re talking about a sling – which works how you’d expect a sling to work. If somebody slings a pebble at the shield of the city guard, it doesn’t do any damage because – well it’s a pebble being thrown at a shield. No dice rolled. That’s the kind of common sense thinking DW is about.

  25. Incidentally, nobody really slings pebbles with slings, they sling objects of fairly substantial weight, which are not limited to stones. If ANY object up to hand sized of substantial weight exists AT ALL then you have mitigated n Ammo.

  26. Well, by pebble I just meant a small stone. I don’t see why you’d want to presume the PC can so easily find ammo that it’s not necessary to keep track. If the PC decides to start hurling the contents of an alchemy lab instead of their personal supply of ammo – awesome. But then they’ve got to actually get to the lab, and what if they pick up a healing potion? (great 6- potential). The point of ammo here wouldn’t be to necessary force the PC to run out (although it might happen, gelatinous cubes aren’t known for leaving debris around), but that the PC will have to role play finding ammo – lending more potential to the game. Now it’s not just generic ammo and roll for damage, it’s tomatoes, beer mugs, knives, live chickens, etc. You could make a really fun Fighter character with that.

  27. Because I have a realistic understanding of the ease of finding things that can be slung. Your alchemy shit is just trolling, and I won’t respond to it respectfully. Finding sling ammo does not add to the drama unless the GM says that a roll is necessary, but as those are the exception rather than the rule if you don’t want to bog down play. I am done with your part of this conversation if you would like for it to continue respectfully.

  28. Just to play devils advocate, you could say that to use anything other than specialized Shot in your sling would drastically reduce the accuracy of the weapon and not worth using without drawing attention.

    As for the weight of Shot. Weight is so abstract that it includes Volume as well and weight. Shot takes up much less space than a quiver of arrows. Hence the 4 ammo/weight

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