Thrown Weapons has been discussed quite a few times before, but I believe it's a while back by now. Also new members have since joined. I think it might be a good idea to re-introduce the subject and try to get some fresh views on it.
First some links to previous threads on the topic;
Farwalker's Feats and Weapons Skills Discussion: http://www.basiliskgames.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3599
Kreador Freeaxe's Thrown Weapons Feat Discussion: http://www.basiliskgames.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4100&p=33356
If I may summarize, there's a concensus among Eschalon players that Thrown Weapons has a few problems:
* relatively low damage
* weak feat
It's very hard to come up with examples of in-game situations where using the Thrown Weapons skill would be your best bet. That's not counting throwing a stone at a powder keg or throwing a flask of Demon Oil, because no skill in Thrown Weapons is needed for that. This thread is about the skill!
There have been a few suggestions to make it more attractive.
IJBall has suggested to make Thrown Weapons recoverable:
That's something I'd like to see changed in Book II (or Book III) - if you throw a spear, or even a dart or a stone, at an enemy, it should be possible to recover it (provided it (e.g. the spear or dart) didn't break during the combat throw) after the melee with the monster is over. I don't know if it would have to be recoverable via a 'loot sack' (my guess is that would be the only workable game mechanism), but there should be some mechanism to get thrown weapons back after use.
(Aside: Also, it seems like it should be possible to 'forage' for stone weapons using the new Foraging skill).
Farwalker suggested a revised feat:
Throw: Auto hit (at least one hits the selected target), volley effect, 50% chance for either a slow movement or fear effect (random one of the two not both) per hit, can’t be used against an adjacent target. Fear duration equals number of missiles in the volley for regular foes, number of missiles divided by 2 (round down) for “powerful” foes.
I can have overlooked some ideas in past threads as well, but these were the easiest ones to find when doing a search.
I'd like to add a few new ones now. 'Recoverability' is the only suggestion for Thrown Weapons listed in IJBalls list of suggestions for Book III, and perhaps recoverability has its own problems. What if you throw 8 darts and there are 7 misses; would 7 lootsacks need to pop up in the landscape? That would look silly, I don't see BasiliskWrangler doing that. The best we can hope for is that he is willing to add the hits to the lootsack of the victim. I think that would be fine, although I don't think it's enough to rescue the Thrown Weapons skill.
So I'd like to put some alternative ideas forward, I'm not sure they've been mentioned before:
For the vanilla skill, give a Thrown Weapons specialist a chance to stun its target - think of how the Boreheads can stun you - that
effect. Let's say a minor stun chance at level 1 - 10%, 20%? - slowly moving up with the level.
This would emphasize Thrown Weapons role as a secondary skill; a stunned target would be easier to finish off with melee.
I think this could be strategically interesting - throw from too far away and a stunned target will be completely able again once you've approached it, throw from nearby and you're taking a bigger risk.
For the feat, get rid of Overwhelming Volley. My idea; create a 'Cunning Throw', similar to a normal throw, but giving double XP points upon a kill. Not particularly strong in my view, but the prospect of more XP points will persuade a certain section of players to give Thrown Weapons a try.
Also strategically interesting. Weapon feats will probably mostly be used right now to make the first impact on a victim; a great first hit and the job is already half cleared. With giving double XP upon a kill players will start to re-think their usual approach...
It's different from the usual double, triple or quadruple damage bonuses, which is a must, we need variation.
Overwhelming Volley was different as well, but that's about the only good thing I have to say about it. It isn't realistic to throw a random amount of spears or even darts; you would know what you picked up, right? And with no guarantee that any of your projectiles would make a hit besides one, it isn't something that goes well with a type of weapon that is expensive and scarce.