Slings

From: David Dunham (ddunham@radiomail.net)
Date: Sat 12 Feb 1994 - 06:30:27 EET


According to "The Sling as a Weapon" by Manfred Korfmann in Scientific
American, slings may have outranged archers. "...it seems probable that a
slinger casting lead missiles could attain a range in excess of 400
meters." In an inpromptu test conducted with pebbles, 200 metres wasn't
difficult.

Anyway, the key quote: "The staff sling is inferior in range to the hand
sling. At the same time it is easier to handle and can be employed to throw
larger and heavier missiles."

This suggests that the range for either sling or staff sling to be
adjusted. It sounds like the maximum range for sling should be greater,
perhaps 200 metres. And maybe staff sling should be easy (tho from the
article, it's far from clear it's half as difficult).

The damage is probably too low too: the stone could mass 25 grams and have
a velocity of 100 km/h. "Vegetius said that biconical sling missiles were
more deadly than arrows against opponents clad in leather armor. Even if
the missile did not penetrate the armor, Vegetius noted, it was capable of
inflicting a fatal intermal injury." The Peruvian slingers encountered by
the Spaniards could "throw a large stone with such force that it could kill
a horse. Its effect is indeed only slightly less than that [of a Spanish
firearm]; I have seen how a stone flung from a sling over a distance of 30
paces broke in two a word that a man was holding in his hand." The sling
may well do the same d8 as an arrow, and staff sling d10. In one picture,
they're using stones bigger than a golf ball.

The new Pendragon supplement Pagan Shore has rules for the sling which give
it a very short range (60 metres), and let you hit yourself on a natural 1
(on d20), but say it does concussion damage so that at least 1/3 of the
damage always goes through, no matter the armor. I don't know that this is
a good idea, but I thought I'd mention it since Pagan Shore is so new most
of you don't have it yet.

I don't know the date of publication (I have a copy in my files), but
unless someone has more recent information, I'd suggest revising the weapon
table.

David Dunham * Software Designer * Pensee Corporation
Voice/Fax: 206 783 7404 * AppleLink: DDUNHAM * Internet: ddunham@radiomail.net
"I say we should listen to the customers and give them what they want."
"What they want is better products for free." --Scott Adams


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