Arrows

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Numberlyric
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:48 am

Arrows

Post Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:53 am

At first ,

I just wanted to point out that by switching from 10' per square (Or hex) to 5' per square this made arrows much more effective long range weapons. (Incidentally, this made fireballs way too powerful, but that's easily fixed by halving its radius).

Whether we are playing with a table top map or a digital format like roll20.net, the long bow simply covers the length of the map, end to end. It isn't even worth bothering measuring range, since all targets invariably turn out to be short range. This is especially true for the archer quasi class, making their extended range bonus meaningless.

But I didn't want to just recommend halving arrow ranges. I wanted to add a little options for arrows to give them flavor.

A) all book ranges are for lightweight "flight arrows". weighs half as much as regular arrows, allowing twice as many in a quiver. Low mass means they do little damage (1d4). Furthermore, they don't penetrate chain mail or plate mall, or creatures with naturally hard armor , like AC 15 and up. The DM may make an exception for targets in point blank range.
B) regular arrows are heavier, have half the range and deal more damage (1d6). They can penetrate chain, but not plate mail or AC 17 and up. Again, with the exception for point blank range.
C) heavy arrows, aka bodkin arrows, designed to penetrate steel plate, weighs twice as much as a regular arrow, and quivers can only hold half as many. These are short range arrows, used primarily in defending a castle against a siege. They will have one quarter the book range, but can hit any armor class for 1d8 damage (similar to a crossbow). However , they require heavy draw power, and can only be used by long bows. They cannot be used by short bows or even composite short bows.

Don't forget, long bows have tho be used from a standing position, they cannot be used while crouched or from horseback.

Finally , a note on arrow heads. Some civilizations, particularly goblins, kobolds, and troglodytes, use barbed arrowheads. Barbed arrow heads do not penetrate chain mail or plate mail. But if they successfully hit, they are lodged in the entry wound. These wounds cannot be healed until removed, and removing them causes an additional 1d4 damage from the barbs. Sometimes, goblins attach silk string to these barbed arrows and after lodging several in a victim, they start yanking the strings to cause pain and compel victims to surrender or take additional damage. Any number of strings can be yanked at once.
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Clever_Munkey
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:08 am
Location: Ames, Iowa

Re: Arrows

Post Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:36 pm

First: I don't see how changing the scale of the grid affects bow ranges. The ranges listed in the core rule book are in feet (yards for out of doors), so changing the grid scale from 10 feet to 5 feet should only change the number of squares a bow covers, not how far it actually goes.

Second: I agree that the ranges are pretty large. I roughly halve the short distance (half round down to nearest multiple of 10), and then apply a cumulative -1 penalty for each multiple past short distance, so short x1 is +1, short x2 is +0, short x3 is -1 etc with max range at -5 penalty (this gives the same max range as listed in the book). That said I think the core rules as written also work fine.

Third: I like the idea of different arrows. Since the damage an arrow does is also based on the bow being used can I suggest that light arrows reduce the damage die by 1, and heavy raise it by 1? And maybe lower the removal damage from barbed arrows to just 1 damage. 1d4 is a lot of extra damage especially at lower levels, and once they see how good that is my players will be using them too.
Call me Joe. Mr. Munkey is my father.
Numberlyric
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:48 am

Re: Arrows

Post Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:51 pm

Fears that barbed arrow heads make goblins too powerful are unfounded. Goblins, and kobolds and troglodytes, are among the weakest opponents party members can face. Giving them a special weapon will make these boring encounters more interesting.

Furthermore, it allows goblins to capture bigger foes, giving goblin nations beasts of burden and a Profitable slave trade. This gives more reasons to role play with them.

Finally , these arrowheads are goblin make. Humans hate goblins, and will refuse to trade in them. They are the slavers weapon of choice. Many settlements will probably declare these contraband, so you'll have to find a smuggler to buy it. An adventurer showing off goblin make weapons will fall under suspicion as a goblin spy by the city watch. Imagine that conversation.

Where did you get that? Do you visit goblin markets often? Did you sell them human slaves for their trinkets? We'll have to confiscate that....
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Clever_Munkey
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:08 am
Location: Ames, Iowa

Re: Arrows

Post Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:56 pm

Numberlyric wrote:Fears that barbed arrow heads make goblins too powerful are unfounded. Goblins, and kobolds and troglodytes, are among the weakest opponents party members can face. Giving them a special weapon will make these boring encounters more interesting.

Furthermore, it allows goblins to capture bigger foes, giving goblin nations beasts of burden and a Profitable slave trade. This gives more reasons to role play with them.

Finally , these arrowheads are goblin make. Humans hate goblins, and will refuse to trade in them. They are the slavers weapon of choice. Many settlements will probably declare these contraband, so you'll have to find a smuggler to buy it. An adventurer showing off goblin make weapons will fall under suspicion as a goblin spy by the city watch. Imagine that conversation.

Where did you get that? Do you visit goblin markets often? Did you sell them human slaves for their trinkets? We'll have to confiscate that....
I'm not so concerned about making goblinoids "too powerful," I just see 1d4 and think that on average that will be an extra 2.5 damage minimum 1 to whomever has already taken at least 1 damage. This is an average of 6-7 damage per hit depending on the bow (3.5 shortbow, 4.5 longbow) being used, which is enough to kill any average 1st level character, and any average 2nd level non-fighter. Yes they don't penetrate chain/plate mail, but the little guys in back don't have that, and any of them with 4 or fewer hit points (almost all of them at level 1) is at least 90% likely to die. Usually delayed damage is weaker because it gives them a chance recover some hp, or prevent the delayed damage entirely, but in this case there is no way to do that. Of course I would rule that a trained surgeon, or some kind of check would get the arrow out without damage.

There are plenty of ways to make humanoid monsters interesting without giving them a weapon that is better than a magic item. There are nets (which can of course also trap animals), oil and fire, fortifications, like towers, ledges, and arrow slits, and none of them require me to tell my players "no you can't shoot these arrows back at them. These arrows are barbed, so they can only be fired one way." :)

The reactions a society has in your setting is really up to you, but mine would probably go something like this:
Adventurer: "We've brought 20 goblin heads can we have our bounty?"
Mayor: "Sure. Where did you get those arrows?"
Adventurer: "We took them off of some goblin archers. In fact it was those four." *points to four goblin heads*
Mayor: "Oh, well carry on then."
Call me Joe. Mr. Munkey is my father.
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