[RPG] What ability modifier do I use to chuck a dead goblin


I know I can use a dead goblin as an improvised weapon (and I'm just using the goblin as example of such) and that if I use it in melee I use my Strength for the attack.

I also know that when throwing a melee weapon with the thrown property it uses Strength for the ranged attack, however goblins do not have the Thrown property, nor the Finesse property, nor for that matter are they melee weapons.

So, when throwing my goblin, ie. making a ranged weapon attack with an improvised weapon, what ability (Strength or Dexterity) should I use?

Best Answer

You would use Dexterity.

First, a dead goblin is an improvised weapon.

From the rules on improvised weapons:

Sometimes characters don't have their weapons and have to attack with whatever is at hand. An improvised weapon includes any object you can wield in one or two hands, such as broken glass, a table leg, a frying pan, a wagon wheel, or a dead goblin.

Often, an improvised weapon is similar to an actual weapon and can be treated as such. For example, a table leg is akin to a club. At the DM's option, a character proficient with a weapon can use a similar object as if it were that weapon and use his or her proficiency bonus.

A dead goblin does not seem to resemble a known weapon, (but ask the DM to be sure). From the same section it seems the dead goblin should deal d4 damage regardless of the type of attack used.

An object that bears no resemblance to a weapon deals 1d4 damage (the DM assigns a damage type appropriate to the object). If a character uses a ranged weapon to make a melee attack, or throws a melee weapon that does not have the thrown property, it also deals 1d4 damage. An improvised thrown weapon has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.

Throwing the dead goblin strikes a foe at a distance, so it is a ranged attack.

From the rules on ranged attacks:

When you make a ranged attack, you fire a bow or a crossbow, hurl a handaxe, or otherwise send projectiles to strike a foe at a distance.

The rule on modifiers used with attack rolls says:

Ability Modifier. The ability modifier used for a melee weapon attack is Strength, and the ability modifier used for a ranged weapon attack is Dexterity. Weapons that have the finesse or thrown property break this rule.

Dead goblins do not have the thrown property; therefore, they do not break this rule, and you would use your Dexterity modifier.

Personally, I would rule dead goblins are similar to other things with the thrown property and have it gain the thrown property. Also, I would be checking if the thrower can lift a dead goblin (which would also use Strength). But, this would be a DM call.