I’m in a game of D&D 4th Edition. While I am not the GM, an interesting situation came up. A player tried to use Telekinetic Grasp (Dark Sun Campaign power, pretty similar to Mage Hand) to attack by throwing/loosening a rock. This is the power in question:
With your mental strength, you can manipulate nearby objects.
At-Will Psionic Minor Action Ranged 5
Target: One object that weighs 20 pounds or less and isn’t carried by another creature Effect: You manipulate the target or move it 5 squares to a square within range.
20 pound is ~ 9 kg if google did not lie to me. When falling, a 20 pound rock does 1D6 damage per 40 ft (12 meters) of falling, up to 4D6.
Now the GM blocked this for the time being, claiming it was an abuse of the spell.
But the GM was interested in trying to allow it, after figuring out how to balance it. I have experience with multiple systems, so I thought I might give it a shot. I am looking for feedback on the balance of my solution.
I would start from “throwing a rock”. And if I would write it down as a power/combat ability, this is what I came up with:
Name: Improvised Telekinetic Throw
Action: Standard Action. I think this is the way to balance this attack. Using your arms is a free action, yet using them to attack is still a Standard Action.
Tags: Weapon, Ranged Weapon Including this tag means Proficiency modifiers would apply.
Requirements: You must be able to use a power capable of picking up and throwing the weapon and usable in the same turn.
Opportunity Attacks: Telekinetic Grasp itself triggers a Opportunity Attack, being considered a Ranged Power. If not, I would have it trigger one because you are making a Ranged Attack. Again, using your arms or legs in general does not incur a Opportunity Attack, but what you do with them might.
Defense and Effect: As the item used. For a Rock (improvised throwing weapon), it would be “vs AC” and 1D4 damage. A lit torch would be 1D6 fire according to some sources. But basically every single weapon in the book – including alchemical weapons and those designed for throwing – could be propelled by this power, so I’m trying to keep it abstract.
Attack roll: The highest of Charisma, Wisdom or Intelligence. Normally ranged attacks are Dexterity, but it does not seem fitting here. The mental Attributes seem usually used for Psionic/Magic, excluding tanky builds.
- the Origin point is the place from which you pick up the item. The range is 5/10 or what is normal for the item, whichever is less.
- The first time you use it in any Encounter, you have Combat Advantage with this attack. (In particular useful as the Character is a Rogue. Stuff like using Bluff to Feint and Grant Combat Advantage or Distraction to hide works similarly once/Encounter)
- It is difficult to aim with this attack, given that you are not aiming from your stand point, not using a hand and not a properly trained Class Power. You attack as if the target has Total Concealment but you know its position (-5 to attack Roll). No sense can negate that penalty.
Now that last part – the part where you act as if the target has total concealment – is what I think the solution is to “Abuse Magehand/Telekinesis to attack”. I lifted it from the HERO System: Since they are classified as “Targeting” or “Non-Targeting”. Non-Targeting sense can be used to find the Square to aim at. Targeting is used to actually make attacks unhindered. Normally only Sight is targeting, but you can sell back your sight to play Daredevil. At which point you buy another targeting sense. Or you might buy an additional targeting Sense, that is not covered by the Invisibility/Darkness. Also there are cases when sight’s targeting ability fails (Sight through Clairvoyance is not targeting, unless you bought this extra and the GM allows something as problematic as that).
Not standing at the origin point (and not a power designed for it). Not having a “targeting sense” to lock onto the enemy (and no power that takes care of such minor details). Aiming behind you through a mirror. Sounds similar enough for me in terms of difficulty as far as RPG rules would be concerned.
Porting that would be frustrating in D&D 3.X, as their Total concealment gives a infuriating 50% miss chance. I ran a combat with that once. But 4th Edition it is a direct -5 penalty. And in 5th Edition, it is Disadvantage. So it is a easy enough port.
So what do you guys think: Is this a halfway decent solution I came up with? What did others came up with for this issues, other then a stern “no” or something imbalanced?