Slings and Slingers

1 March, 2010

To start out the martial month of May, I will (as promised) finally get to looking at slings in D&D/Pathfinder.  I have always felt that slings were ill-treated in D&D (and equally so in Pathfinder).  The Baleric Slingers were mercenary soldiers prized by the Carthaginians and later by the Romans and served all over the ancient world, David used a sling to defeat Goliath.  For centuries, they were a weapon justly feared.  It should be the same in fantasy games.

So to do that, several things need to be addressed:

First, Rate of Fire: Somehow loading a sling, which is slipping a stone into a pouch, is as complex as cocking and loading a light crossbow (move action, provokes an attack of opportunity).   While drawing, nocking and firing an arrow happens instantly.   So, forget that, a sling can be loaded once a round as a free action and a second time as a move action (which does not provoke an attack of opportunity).  This will help to make slingers able to come close to the rate of fire of an archer.  And, yes, you can take the Rapid Reload feat for the sling as well.

Second, Damage:  The damage a sling causes is just pitiful, no one is going to be afraid of sling and you are sure not going to be taking down any Golaiths with one.

So, use the following:

  • Sling Bullet, Dmg (S) 1d4 / (M) 1d6, Critical x3, Range 60 ft
  • Chosen Stone, Dmg (S) 1d3 / (M) 1d4, Critical x3, Range 50 ft
  • Other Stone, Dmg (S) 1d2 / (M) 1d3, Critical x2, Range 40 ft, Special -1 to attack

This moves a slinger with bullets up into the same threat range as an archer with a short bow, which is where I think they should be.

Sling and sling-related magic items: Hive Sling, Terribin’s SlingPouch of Perfect Stones, Snowstone and a variety of Magical Sling Bullets.

More information on slings:

Slings at Wikipedia

Slinging.org, a resource site for the modern slinger



  1. Good move.
    –I wholeheartedly agree. 🙂

  2. There is a thread about slings at the paizo website:


  3. Nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks the sling should be used more in RPGs.

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