[RPG] Darts are awesome? Seriously? Darts


It's my understanding that the dart is the optimized fighter's weapon of choice. In a traditional Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 2nd Edition campaign that's run as much as it can be by the , is the dart really as effective as some claim, or is the dart only effective theoretically, requiring, for instance, several unlikely-to-be-rolled-legitimately ability scores, a liberal reading of the rules for drawing them and closing to melee range, a specific magic item or suite of magic items that the player would hope the DM would provide, or a combination of these and more?

Campaigns in which I participated didn't allow access to the Player's Option line of books, so was real ultimate dart power further enabled by those texts?

Illustrating the dart's effectiveness—or ineffectiveness—with an experience from an encounter from a published module would be especially welcome.

Note: I was recently reminded again of this apparent rules quirk by comments on an answer to this question. In Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, 2nd Edition I played wizards almost exclusively and, honestly, never bothered learning that much about the blood and fury of 2e weapon-based combat. In fact, in the longest-running campaign in which I participated, the other PCs were a paladin and a psion, neither of whom were dart-powered. Thus I never even saw an optimized 2e fighter, but the Internet seems to agree—like here, here, and here—that the lowly dart was his primary weapon.

Best Answer

Yeah, darts. (I was the one that commented on that answer, but the comment seems to be deleted).

The original comment was something like this:

These many attacks remind me of the AD&D 2nd ed. Dart-Specialist Fighter with Gauntlets of Ogre Power... [1]

So, the thing is, darts have a monstrous rate of fire. Add on top of each hit a +8 damage from STR and specialization and you get a huge DPR.

From table 45:

\begin{array}{l} & \text{ROF} & \text{S} & \text{M} & \text{L} \\ \hline \text{Dart} & 3/1 & 10 & 20 & 40 \end{array}

The 3/1 is the unspecialized ROF. Specialist fighters could increase it (tabel 35):

\begin{array}{l} \text{Level} & \text{1-6} & \text{7-12} & \text{13+} \\ \hline \text{Dart}(*) & 4/1 & 5/1 & 6/1 \\ \text{Melee} & 3/2 & 2/1 & 5/2 \\ \text{Dagger}(*) & 3/1 & 4/1 & 5/1 \\ (*)\ Thrown \end{array}

The damage of the dart was 1d3 / 1d2 but the ROF and the +8 damage bonus put them in the top DPR category.

And we haven't even added Girdles of Giant Power or Haste yet...

[1] One could get a legit 18/00 by rolling, but we are just going with the magical item instead.

Related Topic