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Thread: Caber toss

  1. #1
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    http://www.crieff-highland-games.co.uk/caber.html

    Caber tossing is an old scottish sport, in which a log is balanced on its
    end and then thrown and flipped 270 degrees to come crashing down in front
    of the thrower. The goal is to get it to land in a straight line in front
    of the thrower, pointing at 12 o`clock if the thrower is thought of as
    standing at the 6.

    Various legends describe the origin of the sport. Probably it was a
    logging sport which spread beyond its origins. An interesting theory I`ve
    heard, though, is that it was originally used as a weapon by the Scots to
    break up lines of English infantry.

    A typical caber is 18 feet long and weighs 150 pounds. It`s 9 inches
    across at the thick end, and 5 at the tip, where the thrower grips it.

    To have a character throw it in game, treat it as a running jump check for
    distance (Jump skill ranks don`t count, obviously). So:
    You must move 20 feet before throwing. This cannot be done in heavy
    armor.
    Distance = 5` minimum + 1`/point above 10, to a max of height * 6.

    This distance is for a character with speed 30. For lower or higher speed
    (don`t forget to count the 150 pound log for encumberance), change the
    distance thrown proportionally.

    A character with the run feat increases the distance by 1/4, but not past
    the maximum.

    To this distance, add the length of the caber (it would travel this
    distance if it just fell over on its own). This is where the end lands;
    the caber now topples over, continuing forward. Any target in this
    square, and the three behind him in a straight line from the thrower, are
    attacked by the thrower. The caber does 2d8 (20/x2) damage.

    Rolling under 10 means you were unable to lift and balance the log
    properly, and have to try again next round.

    So a character with Str 18 (only the strongest would throw a caber in
    battle), is under medium load with a 150 lb caber. He moves at speed 20.
    Running a minumum of 20`, he throws. An average check yields a distance
    of:
    4` (5 + (10 on a d20 + 4 for strength, -3 for medium encumberance), x 2/3)
    +
    18` (the length of the caber),
    or about 5 squares in front of the thrower. A character of this
    strength would probably want to toss the log 6 squares from his main
    target, since the minimum distance travelled would be about 5 squares;
    that way he gets to attack at least the primary target, and the two
    squares behind him.

    On a 20 on the throw, the log goes:
    10` (20 on d20 + 4 str - 3 enc, all x2/3) + 18`,
    or six squares, and he attacks his primary target, plus 3 squares behind
    him.

    A barbarian (base speed 40), str 18, could possibly throw
    21 (5 + (20 on d20, +4 str, -3 enc), all x 4/3) + 18 = 39 feet, 8 squares.
    It might be nice to try while raging, but I don`t think the `patience and
    concentration` requirement could be met. An ogre or giant would make a
    fierce caber-tosser indeed.

    In a large battle, I`d use this for flavor, maybe the missile attacks of
    Rjurik irregulars would include cabers.

    A sport version of this, in Rjurik or Mhorien games maybe, would require a
    toss check as above, plus a dexterity check. He who rolls highest on the
    Dex gets the caber to land closest to 12 o`clock, and wins (distance
    doesn`t count). Ties require a runoff with a 10 lb heavier caber; each
    subsequent attempt accumulates a -1 penalty to both toss and dex checks,
    until someone wins on accuracy, or is unable to lift that round`s log.

    Just an idea, and critiques of my 3e mechanics are welcome.
    --
    Communication is possible only between equals.
    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  2. #2
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 11:45 AM 7/11/2002 -0400, Daniel McSorley wrote:

    >To have a character throw it in game, treat it as a running jump check for
    >distance (Jump skill ranks don`t count, obviously). So:
    >You must move 20 feet before throwing. This cannot be done in heavy
    >armor.
    >
    >Distance = 5` minimum + 1`/point above 10, to a max of height * 6.

    Have you seen the entry for the caber in Masters of the Wild? In that text
    the character wielding a caber targets a 10` square and must make a AC 15
    attack roll. If successful, all targets within that square must make a
    Reflex save (the DC is the result of the attack roll) to avoid being "bull
    rushed" 5` backward. Creatures that can`t move take 2d6 damage. The MotW
    caber is a large, exotic weapon with a range increment of 10`. It doesn`t
    really specify the dimensions of the caber, but does specify that it weighs
    100 lbs.

    Gary

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  3. #3
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    On Thu, 11 Jul 2002, Gary wrote:
    > >To have a character throw it in game, treat it as a running jump check for
    > >distance (Jump skill ranks don`t count, obviously). So:
    > >You must move 20 feet before throwing. This cannot be done in heavy
    > >armor.
    > >
    > >Distance = 5` minimum + 1`/point above 10, to a max of height * 6.
    >
    > Have you seen the entry for the caber in Masters of the Wild? In that text
    > the character wielding a caber targets a 10` square and must make a AC 15
    > attack roll. If successful, all targets within that square must make a
    > Reflex save (the DC is the result of the attack roll) to avoid being "bull
    > rushed" 5` backward. Creatures that can`t move take 2d6 damage. The MotW
    > caber is a large, exotic weapon with a range increment of 10`. It doesn`t
    > really specify the dimensions of the caber, but does specify that it weighs
    > 100 lbs.

    Hmm, should have figured someone else would have written this up already.
    Didn`t see it, though, I`ve refused on something of a principle to buy the
    books in the `soak players for every last cent` class line. :)

    I didn`t think about weapon proficiencies, though, that`s a reasonable
    point. The reason I made it a Strength-ish check to chuck the thing was
    that I don`t think it fits well in the weapon scale system. A large sword
    is 4 to 5 feet long, a large pike is 12 to 18, but on sheer massiveness
    this thing should be huge if not gargantuan, so that an ogre or giant
    might need two hands to wield it. Only it`s not, because real people do
    throw them. I`m going to have to ponder this more deeply. And when I go
    out to visit my parents this weekend, I`ll grab some fence posts and give
    it a go, see how it works.
    --
    Communication is possible only between equals.
    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Doyle's Avatar
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    I`ve got to ask, how can the caber be seriously considered as a weapon? A
    huge rock the size of the thrower would be a more weildy weapon. In it`s
    favour, I can see it causing a lot of damage if; a) the targets are packed
    in and cannot move, B) the thrower is entirely left aloneby the weather to
    make the attack - once the caber is lifted even a strong breeze will spell
    disaster, or c) the opponents don`t get within the 5` and give the thrower a
    push.
    On a dare (that I shouldn`t have taken), I`ve wound up in a caber-tossing
    competition, Igained some insight into how weildy a weapon it could be by my
    own experience and watching the other competitors. My reccomendation, don`t
    throw it, find a slope and roll it into a formation of troops (sheild wall,
    etc) - they probably won`t take damage, but the formation is wrecked for a
    round and could be followed up with a charge.
    BTW, I did make it through to the third round, but bowed out at that stage
    rather than strain my back any further.

    My 2 c.p.
    Doyle.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "daniel mcsorley"
    Sent: Friday, July 12, 2002 5:38 AM
    Subject: Re: [BIRTHRIGHT] Caber toss


    > On Thu, 11 Jul 2002, Gary wrote:
    > > >To have a character throw it in game, treat it as a running jump check
    for
    > > >distance (Jump skill ranks don`t count, obviously). So:
    > > >You must move 20 feet before throwing. This cannot be done in heavy
    > > >armor.
    > > >
    > > >Distance = 5` minimum + 1`/point above 10, to a max of height * 6.
    > >
    > > Have you seen the entry for the caber in Masters of the Wild? In that
    text
    > > the character wielding a caber targets a 10` square and must make a AC
    15
    > > attack roll. If successful, all targets within that square must make a
    > > Reflex save (the DC is the result of the attack roll) to avoid being
    "bull
    > > rushed" 5` backward. Creatures that can`t move take 2d6 damage. The
    MotW
    > > caber is a large, exotic weapon with a range increment of 10`. It
    doesn`t
    > > really specify the dimensions of the caber, but does specify that it
    weighs
    > > 100 lbs.
    >
    > Hmm, should have figured someone else would have written this up already.
    > Didn`t see it, though, I`ve refused on something of a principle to buy the
    > books in the `soak players for every last cent` class line. :)
    >
    > I didn`t think about weapon proficiencies, though, that`s a reasonable
    > point. The reason I made it a Strength-ish check to chuck the thing was
    > that I don`t think it fits well in the weapon scale system. A large sword
    > is 4 to 5 feet long, a large pike is 12 to 18, but on sheer massiveness
    > this thing should be huge if not gargantuan, so that an ogre or giant
    > might need two hands to wield it. Only it`s not, because real people do
    > throw them. I`m going to have to ponder this more deeply. And when I go
    > out to visit my parents this weekend, I`ll grab some fence posts and give
    > it a go, see how it works.
    > --
    > Communication is possible only between equals.
    > Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  5. #5
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:10 AM 7/12/2002 +1000, Doyle wrote:

    >I`ve got to ask, how can the caber be seriously considered as a weapon?

    I don`t think it would be a very effective weapon for the most part (and
    the MotW rules would seem to support that, since it does no damage except
    to an immobile opponent) but one should probably take into consideration
    that in a D&D setting you can have ogres or even giants who could throw a
    log and have the effects of a caber much more easily than would a
    human. Since it is a "large" weapon they could even use it one-handed....

    Gary

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Doyle" <doyle36953@BIGPOND.COM>
    Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2002 7:10 PM


    > I`ve got to ask, how can the caber be seriously considered as a weapon?

    The historical caber was to break up formations, that is to put the combat
    on terms for favorable to the Scotts who were individual hand-to-hand
    fighters. Infantry especially is far more effective if you can get them to
    operate in formation (shield walls and so forth), but the caber can break
    that all up.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  7. #7
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    What`s a caber?

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Birthright Roleplaying Game Discussion
    > [mailto:BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM] On Behalf Of Gary
    > Sent: Friday, July 12, 2002 2:45 AM
    > To: BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM
    > Subject: Re: Caber toss
    >
    >
    > At 10:10 AM 7/12/2002 +1000, Doyle wrote:
    >
    > >I`ve got to ask, how can the caber be seriously considered
    > as a weapon?
    >
    > I don`t think it would be a very effective weapon for the
    > most part (and the MotW rules would seem to support that,
    > since it does no damage except to an immobile opponent) but
    > one should probably take into consideration that in a D&D
    > setting you can have ogres or even giants who could throw a
    > log and have the effects of a caber much more easily than
    > would a human. Since it is a "large" weapon they could even
    > use it one-handed....
    >
    > Gary
    >
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    >
    >

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  8. #8
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    On Fri, 12 Jul 2002, Milos Rasic wrote:
    > What`s a caber?

    A biggish log (18 feet, often), thrown as a scottish sport today. See
    earlier posts in the thread, too.
    --
    Communication is possible only between equals.
    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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