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Ashande's Lair

How Much is the Damage on a Thrown Dragon King?

Rules for using people for weapons, and other fun things!

In the midst of a barroom brawl, one unfortunate participant is slammed to the bar, dragged along it, and used as a battering ram against another. Someone else is thrown through the air, barrelling into two of his friends and knocking them all unconsious. Yet another is grabbed by a combatant, used as a human shield to stave off the assaults of the barmaid's broken bottle.

Sounds fun, doesn't it? Staple of action movies, right? Then why the hell aren't there rules for it in Exalted? I ask myself this constantly. Then I remembered... hey! I could write them up myself! So here they are, in all their glory.

A few things you should know; I'm not a statistics expert, nor am I a great and wondrous sage of all things Exalted. I just enjoy using other people as weapons and defensive items.

Second, almost all of these manuvers are Brawl exclusive; the exceptions are manuvers that involve tossing people, where I used Athletics and the Feats of Strength chart. Thrown just really doesn't seem to cover this sort of thing. If you decide otherwise, go ahead and change it.

Lastly, the vast majority of these inflict only bashing damage. As a general rule, Charms that turn bashing into Lethal don't apply when using these - since they affect the Exalt himself, not some random joe he just picked up and threw at you - but that's up to the individual ST, if he doesn't like it.

That said, let's get down to it!

Meet Your Arsenal

Once you master these techniques, people such as those found below are your new best friends. Never again shall you be wanting for ammunition, or worried that your blade will be broken; as long as there are people around, you're set.

Note that all these figures are just approximations. An exceptionally hefty individual of either gender may well rule for increased damage or a better Defensive Bonus, or may even be so heavy that the character can't lift them. By the same token, a Dragon King might be the shrimp of his tribe, and thus do less damage, or be much easier to heft and use than one might assume. These are all factors that the ST will have to take into account.

Each listing has a rating for several things; Strength to Lift is the minimum Strength you'll need to pick up the person and use them as a bludgeon or a shield. Strength to Throw is the minimum required to send them flying any distance of worth. Assume a range of 10 feet + an additional 10 feet for each dot of Strength the thrower possesses above and beyond the noted minimum. Movement Penalty is the penalty applied to Dexterity based rolls while using the victim as a shield or weapon. Defense applies as per that rating on anything else. Defensive Bonus is the difficulty modifier the victim provides to others attacking, if used as a shield. Accuracy is generally a penalty, and used the same way everything else is, and Damage Bonuses are what they say they are.

Note that I've added Fatigue ratings for these people; this is the difficulty of the Stamina + Endurance roll that an individual must make for every turn they insist on carrying their victim around. Check the "We Have to Do MATH!?" section for more details.

That said, here's the list.

Adult Human (Male) Strength to Lift: *** Strength to Throw: **** Defensive Bonus: +1 Difficulty Movement Penalty: -2 Defense: +1 Ranged, 0 Melee Accuracy: -2 Fatigue: 2 Damage Bonus (Brawl): +3B Damage Bonus(Thrown): +4B

Adult Human (Female) Strength to Lift: ** Strength to Throw: *** Defensive Bonus: +1 Difficulty Movement Penalty: -2 Defense: +1 Ranged, 0 Melee Accuracy: -2 Fatigue: 1 Damage Bonus (Brawl): +3B Damage Bonus (Thrown): +3B

Human Child (You evil bastards...) Strength to Lift: ** (Infants *) Strength to Throw: ** Defensive Bonus: None Movement Penalty: -1 Defense: 0 Accuracy: -1 Fatigue: 0 Damage Bonus (Brawl): +0B Damage Bonus (Thrown): +1B Note: Individuals with a Compassion of *** or better witnessing a child being used in this fashion have to fail a Compassion roll or intercede. If the child is an infant, the minimum Compassion is **. Most everyone is going to frown on this sort of behavior. Sicko.

Dragon King (Southern or Western) Strength to Lift: ***** Strength to Throw: ***** * Defensive Bonus: +3 Difficulty Movement Penalty: -5 Defense: +3 Ranged, +2 Melee Accuracy: -4 Fatigue: 5 Damage Bonus (Brawl): +9B Damage Bonus (Thrown): +11B Note: The hide of these Dragon Kings is heavy and spined; with an appropriate Stunt, the damage from these "weapons" may become Lethal.

Dragon King (Eastern) Strength to Lift: **** Strength to Throw: ***** Defensive Bonus: +2 Difficulty Movement Penalty: -3 Defense: +2 Ranged, +1 Melee Accuracy: -3 Fatigue: 4 Damage Bonus (Brawl): +6B Damage Bonus (Thrown): +7B

Dragon King (Northern) Strength to Lift: ** Strength to Throw: *** Minimum Dexterity: **** Defensive Bonus: +2 Difficulty Movement Penalty: -1 Defense: 0 Accuracy: -2/-8 (See Below) Fatigue: 4 Damage Bonus (Brawl): +2B Damage Bonus (Thrown): +3B Note: Northern Dragon Kings have a minimum Dexterity, required to keep a hold on something with flapping wings and an exceptionally squirmy body. Their Accuracy rating is severely impeded unless the creature's wings are broken or they are otherwise unable to fly. If the wings are somehow made non-functional, use -2 accuracy. If they can still fly, roll at -8, or the creature flies away, unharmed and likely ready to eat you.

       Strength to Lift: *****

Strength to Throw: ***** * Defensive Bonus: +1 Difficulty Movement Penalty: -3 Defense: +2 Ranged, +1 Melee Accuracy: -3 Fatigue: 3 Damage Bonus (Brawl): +5B Damage Bonus (Thrown): +8B

We Have to do Math!? - Rules

This part will be pretty short for now. As I consider other things, more will be added. Here's the basics.

  • Any time you desire to use a sentient and resisting being for your human weapon/shield, you need to first get them in a clinch. This is resolved in the standard fashion. Once you have them in a Clinch, you can use and abuse them as you see fit.
  • All humans used as weapons use the same base roll for attacking: Dexterity + Brawl. If the victim is being thrown, the player may chose to use either Brawl or Athletics as he desires.
  • Any attack roll made with a still-living being MUST be part of a split action; the first action is, of course, maintaining your hold. If the "weapon" has died through some means, all other statistics still apply, but reduce the Accuracy Penalty by 1, and increase the damage ratings by +1B. This is due to the victim not struggling, and being "dead weight." Dead and unconscious "weapons" do not require split actions to use.
  • A note on the Fatigue rating. This rating is invoked to indicate the difficulty of keeping a hold on a struggling, heavy being, and using them in a precise fashion to beat the hell out of your enemies. For each round after the first that the character is using a "weapon" of this type, have them make a reflexive Stamina+Endurance roll at a difficulty of the Fatigue rating. If they fail, they must drop the "weapon" and spend a turn panting and heaving, as well as suffer a -2 penalty to all actions until rested. Taking no action for two turns is considered "rested," in this instance.
  • Exalts using these rules become Fatigued only after a number of turns equal to their Stamina score. After that, roll as normal. Exalts suffering from the Fatigue penalty need only one non-active turn to alleviate the penalty.

You didn't say... - Notes

  • Characters using sentient beings as weapons, under most circumstances, are not going to be able to use Charms of any tree except for Brawl or Athletics. While it certainly may be great fun to consider a Cascade of Cutting Dragon Kings or a Pitiless Scything Baby, such is not the real point of this.
  • Characters being used in this fashion are subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; or at least those being directed at the person using him as a shield. If the character being used as a weapon desires, he can abort from his default action of attempting to break the clinch, and make defensive rolls, as appropriate, against attacks directed against his wielder, provided he has hit his Initiative or has a Reflexive or Persistant Defense active.\\

Attacks that the "shield" attempts to intercept but fails to deflect entirely, or attacks that fail or botch, damage the "shield" as appropriate.

  • Characters using a human shield may deliberately shove the shield into combat; doing so negates the Defensive Bonus, and requires a Dexterity+Brawl roll, as per a parry. If the wielder succeeds, the attack is directed at the "shield" and the above rules apply.
  • Characters being used as weapons who are parried must soak a number of damage dice equal to the weapon's normal damage bonus. An inventive and appropriately awesome stunt may allow the defender to avoid harming the victim. Parries that bring harm to Infants and Children suffer the same issues as those who decide to use them as weapons.
  • Characters being used as human shields are only good for so long; eventually the blows are going to get the better of them and make them fall apart, useless for further deflection. Keep track of your shield's Health Levels; if they reach 10L damage, the shield effectively falls apart. They also are rendered useless any time a single blow does enough damage to kill them, pre-soak.

The Tricksy Stuff - Complications

  • A character being used as a weapon while wearing spiked or other "dangerous" armor will almost certainly do Lethal damage when used as a weapon (or may do so, with a proper Stunt). On the downside, those attempting to clinch such individuals potentially suffer damage as well, and that damage continues to occur for each turn they insist on using them as "weapons." Such extra accutraments may also increase the damage done, at the ST's discretion.
  • Dragon-Blooded being used in this fashion while their animas are active inflict the appropriate anima damage in addition to their base damage rating, as appropriate to their base type. An appropriate stunt may also convert all this damage to lethal. Note that the wielder is in no way immune to the Dragon-Blooded's anima effects, unless he would be anyway. Dragon-Blooded being used as human shields inflict their anima damage on any attackers.
  • Exalted or other Charm users are more than welcome to activate any Charms they desire to attempt to break away, hurt either their wielder or those attacking him, or defend against the attacks that would be coming at them if they're being used as a human shield. Any actions taken while being wielded reduce their dice pools by 2, with the exception of breaking the Clinch, which is resolved as normal.
  • You can't staple people, pull punches, or target shots when using people as weapons. They don't have the necessary skill and accuracy to pull these things off.
  • If a target has been hit by a thrown person requiring Strength *** or better to throw, they must succeed at a Strength + Athletics roll, difficulty of the "weapon's" base thrown damage bonus, or be knocked off their feet; getting back up will generally require one turn and a Feat of Strength equal to the "To Lift" minimum for the "weapon" to shove the other person off.


Ashande, AKA Kaine Andrews, had the base concept, and did most of the work. ;)
CrownedSun, AKA Brandon Quina, helped with finalizing some of the rules, and the statistics on certain individuals. Also, blame him for the Compassion thing. I was gonna use Compassion ****/***. j/k. ;)
Telgar, name withheld to protect the innocent, likewise helped with some of the rules and statistics, and fixed the ungodly ugly formatting for me. Blame him for the Chapter Names after We Have To Do Math!?.


I love the Random function in this Wiki! How else would I have found this two-year old nugget of complete hilarity? Amazing! Now there needs to be a 2E version! --UncleChu