View Full Version : How did the Halfling slide the Dragon?

10-03-2009, 11:18 AM
Very carefully of course! :D

Tenfel's eyes lit upon the bright green emerald sitting in a pile of gold before his eyes. On any given day, his next thought would be to sweep up the gem and as much of the gold as he could get but today was different. The only reason he was even seeing the gem right now was due to a bone rattling landing the halfling had made after being swatted aside by Kasidum, an ancient and terrible black dragon.

Rolling to his feet, Tenfel turned to assess the situation and saw a rather large and black claw coming stright down for him. The little rogue rolled away just in time and came to his feet under the exposed belly of the dragon. Knowing that his small dagger would do little to harm the old wyrm, Tenfel scanned desperately for a solution that could help his friends defeat this enemy and score himself countless bright green emeralds.

After a few desperate moments of scanning, Tenfel spotted a long and shiny pike rising up out of a pile of treasure behind the dragon. It looked relatively well set, if only Tenfel could push the dragon back and onto the pike, he could do some serious damage! The halfling charged under the belly of the dragon, grabbing onto one of Kasidum's hind legs, and pushed as hard as he could...

For a moment, Kasidum just looked at the little halfling pushing on his leg. Then deep laughter filled the chamber... followed by a sharp inhalation of breath.

Admit it, that's what's going through your mind when you read these rules and object? You envision a literal halfing pushing a literal dragon, and your mind objects. Mine would too, if I was being literal. Sadly though, we don't live in a world that has halflings or dragons, and these rules are anything but literal. They are interpretative.

Rolling to his feet under the belly of the dragon and away from the shower of coins and treasure thrown up by the black claw crashing down where he just stood, Tenfel desperately looked for a way to help defeat this dragon and earn himself a pouch of gems and more!

The halflings eyes scanned the situation with a focused desperation, he knew if he didn't find an advantage to press quickly, things would turn against his friends and someone would die; or many someones would die. The furtive glances fell upon the dragons hind legs, and the crease of soft skin that was exposed as Kasidum shifted his balance and moved about.

"No scales.... of course! Where his joints come together, he has less protection!" Tenfel exclaimed in a whisper. Then he drew out his small dagger and began to trot carefully under the dragon, watching it's movements and anticipating the right time to strike.

The old black dragon reared up on it's hind legs and drew deeply into it's lungs. "He's going to breathe!" Elias shouted out to the party of adventurers surrounding the dragon. Everyone scattered, running away from the dragon and each other. They knew that their best odds of surviving the coming blast was to avoid being in a clump.

Tenfel chose that moment to charge; the seam of skin between the dragon's hip and leg joints was exposed as Kasidum reared back and drew in deeply. That skin looked soft, and inviting, and all too open to the sharp edge of the halfings blade. The dagger sunk home and dark and bloody ichor flowed out of it and over the halflings hand as he pulled down hard on the blade, cutting a long wound in the dragons haunch.

Instead of the roar of fire spewing across the chamber, the party of adventurers heard a very loud roar of pain. Peeking out around piles of treasure and shields, they saw Kasidum step awkwardly away to the side, off balance, and looking down at Tenfel with pain in his eyes.

Tenfel grinned as Kasidum rolled back and away from the source of pain. His dagger was still stuck deep in he meat of the dragon's joint; but he reached back into his belt and grabbed at the hilt of another.

"Elias! Thuraken! I know what to do! Ring the dragon, in the Bloody Pyramid, and we can work at his soft spots..."

For the first time in many decades, Kasidum felt a wash of fear roll over his draconic frame.

That's what goes through my mind when I envision a halfling pushing a dragon. It's not the direct application of true force and an invocation of the laws of physics; it's the halfling assessing the situation, finding the right opportunity, and taking advantage of it to cause the dragon to move where he wants.

No, the rules don't say this and don't tell you this, but when have they ever been explicitly clear about what a particular action does in any edition? Backstab has been here since the 1980's and it's never been backed by a detailed and clear message of just how the thieves and rogues deal out so much damage in a single attack. We all just work with the idea that they are hitting something vital and the game goes on.

That's how push, pull, and shift work. The game is not a reality simulator and it won't stack up if held against that light. It can't. If you let go of that requirement, and instead try to imagine just how your character is doing what he is trying to, you can find a reason that makes sense in the context of the game. You just can't always match that against the laws of our world.

10-03-2009, 11:34 AM
Excellent explanation Grimwell. This reminds me of the one minute combat round from 2nd edition. The fighter could easily make many attacks in that time, but only one or two of them you got to roll to hit.

10-03-2009, 11:54 AM
Good explanation.

10-03-2009, 03:41 PM
Having a Halfling Rogue myself, I imagine the extra damage coming from waiting for just the right moment to strike while my foe is distracted by my allies, combined with being able to deliver a targeted stab/blow just as described above (such as aiming for a joint or a tendon or ligament).

I also imagine the "slide" for my Halfling as feinting towards these targets & my foe realizing "this little runt is aiming for my soft spots...retreat & protect!"...whether it be their intelligence that tells them this or animal instinct.

That was a fun little read, Grimmy! Thanks!

11-01-2009, 12:14 AM
halflings have the power of PIE..

11-05-2009, 11:10 AM
Yes Grim, a very good read and explanation. If your character were to do that in a game that I was running, you would definately recieve XP for clever idea as well as saving the party, or at least a member or two. I am also thinking that I would allow that to be considered as an attack that would gain the bonus of the rogue's backstab attack, seeing as how the attack was made from a blind side, or underneath in this case.

11-05-2009, 11:48 AM
While I have yet to play 4E, even though I've had the books since it's release, AND though you give a great visual to explain a Hafling sliding a dragon...

IF I were to GM 4E sliding/pushing/shoving a Dragon or other creature at least 2 sizes bigger than yourself would just not happen regardless of the written rules. As a player, I would expect the GM to throw out that capacity completely.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
I should add that games I run and preferably those I play in still subscribe to GM caveat - what the GM says goes and that's that. Any issues with a judgement, bring it up after the session, not during.

11-05-2009, 11:52 AM
Oops! Sorry! Now that I think of it, I should have mentioned in my previous post above that I run games using 2E, not 4E. My bad.:redface: