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Archery HR questions


SevenSistersOfVinga

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**This topic probably comes up every once in a while, I sorry if it's a rehash of a conversation that you already had**

**I don't have any idea about how real life bow and arrows work**

I see the bow rules and they seem to be made from a list of disjointed situations like:
"Someone can shot an arrow every 5 seconds"
"Someone can shot an arrow at 250m"
"Someone can hit a head size target 19 out 20 times at the Olympics"
"Arrows can pierce mail/plate"

So the rules try to be a mash up to acomodate all those, then a "master archer" can hit 19 out of 20 times a human sized target at 120 meters, twice per melee round at full damage.

Let's challenge that.

https://youtu.be/BEG-ly9tQGk
Extremely fast shooting, not far, not pulling the whole extension of the bow.
There are several examples on YouTube https://youtube.com/shorts/AL1W3HkjJ2Y?feature=share these are all half draw bow shots, fast but not hard hitting and totally not 120 meters range.

This is an 120 meter shot, https://youtu.be/sjnG-5N5nL0 there is no way he is shooting 19 out of 20 arrows that far every 5 seconds.
This one is 300m https://youtu.be/L-pZgHZp2ug and you can quickly tell this is not twice per melee round with a bone and wood bow.

"But he is not an Olympic archer!" You say, well, yes, let's see how far Olympic archers (95%?) shoot

- Archers shoot up to a distance of 70 metres (for recurve) and 50 metres (for compound)

(Notice that compound bow means with pulleys and multiple strings, modern tech, not just "made with bones" and the ones on my bronze age glorantha are most likely not those or the 14th century English longbows)

Ok, so not 120 meters at full %, or 250 meters at half % (which is a fair guesstimate, you are just not expecting to hit a single target, just shooting at troops I guess https://youtu.be/Gg2WImjzaAw )

So I'm planing on house ruling this and I want your opinion.

1- I would love to add half damage modifier to Bows based on weight.

2- Strongly enforce the rules for moving targets, shooting at melee and weather conditions. If the target is alive you are probably shooting at x1/2%, target practice x1%

3-
Field archery or half draw - 20 or 30 meters effective range, up to twice that at 1/2%, twice per round (even 3 times maybe? If you can) One step down on damage (1d4+1 for self) no strength damage mod (see 1)

Target practice or Full draw - 70 meters effective, full damage, once per round. (Damage mod for heavier bows)

Long range, above 70m you can take as much as you want to aim and get the "taking your time bonus", 1/2 % for being above effective range, no damage mod , full damage one shot per round.

Clout archery , up to twice the max range, once per round, half %, no damage mod, one step down damage (used in formation mostly)

On a horse you can use the field archery option.

Thank you in advance for any feedback, more than half of our group uses bows and I want to add some color to it.

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The practical ranges are certainly different between mass archery in the battlefield, where you use angle shooting and you target an area and not an individual target, and direct shooting. I have very limited experience shooting bows, and only small pull modern composite bows with counterweights.  

Modern hunters with compound bows usually consider practical maximum ranges of 30-60 meters, with a modern bow with trigger release, and draw strengths similar to historical composite bows, though the pull assist effect of the compound bow allows extended aiming that is impossible with a primitive bow. 

That said, we are in a heroic game with magic support, so I suppose they can go beyond what we consider normal.

My own House Rules, which complicate it a lot, so it may be too much color.

Bows are rated by strength bonus. You can use with no difficulty any bow with a damage rating below yours. That is what you use for fast shooting. Using a bow at your rating requires an extra 3 SR, just to make sure DEX 20 people only shoot once per round a heavy bow (two the first round if ready). You will also need assistance, either human or mechanical, to string your bow. You cannot use a bow stronger than your bonus. Most bows will be -1d4 or 0 bonus, but you can find relatively easy +1d4 bows. Getting a +2d6 bow made should be epic in itself. Obviously the bow damage bonus modifies the arrow damage. The stat requirements are for a 0 DB bow, and the STR requirement increases or decreases by 2 per Damage bonus step. So a STR 11, SIZ 15 character could use a +1d4 self bow (a long bow, I suppose), but only a -1d4 composite bow. 

I have four ranges for archery. Point blank (or Too close!) up to 3 meters, half the skill. Effective 3 to 40, modified by damage bonus (0 is 40, each damage level up or down adds or subtracts 10 meters), Long, double that and half the skill, and Extreme, which requires angle and drop shooting, up to 5 times the effective rating, and quarter the skill rating. I do not allow evading at effective range, unless your speed is higher than 12. I do not add any special range to composite bows. Self bows double in weight with each DB increase, while composite bows do not increase in size with additional damage.

What makes extreme shooting viable is that most modifiers are applied after the skill modification (except for arrow trance that obviously changes the skill, so it is not a modifier). And you have Sureshot, that will almost always hit, though you need to roll any special or critical with the modified skill. 

Aiming. For projectiles (including thrown weapons) I add +10% modifier per additional projectile the same MR to the same target, so a 100% archer (1/6/11) at extreme range against an immobile target, using speedart in the third arrow, would have To hit numbers of 25%, 35% and 60%. Alternately I allow to hold the aim 1 MR per 2 STR over the minimum. Crossbows can aim indefinitely, so I add +10% per round aiming. Without optical aids the maximum aim bonus is +10 at Extreme, +30 at Long and +50 at effective distance. So yes, I have Dwarf sharpshooters with optic sights.

Crossbows do not use damage bonus, but you can build a stronger crossbow and require a longer loading period. Each extra dice adds +2MR, +2 to MIN STR and +1 ENC. To make it systematic my Arbalests do 3d6+2, as they are a bulked up heavy crossbow. A heavy arbalest goes to 4d6+2 DMG, STR 15, 1/7MR, ENC 4, and so on. I halve the Effective range of crossbows compared to the rulebook, and each build up increases 15 meters the effective range.

Slings do not have damage bonus, but aim like bows and have an effective range of 40. Due to the poor flight characteristics of shot  in angle shooting, Long is only 50% more (60) and extreme is only three times effective range (120). Lead sling shots add +1 damage and if purpose built (not chewed up bolgs) add 10 to effective range.

I do not allow point blank shooting with slings, but you can hit with it in melee as a flail , with damages of 1d6 (sling) or 1d8 (staff sling).

 

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5 hours ago, SevenSistersOfVinga said:

(Notice that compound bow means with pulleys and multiple strings, modern tech, not just "made with bones" and the ones on my bronze age glorantha are most likely not those or the 14th century English longbows)

You appear to be conflating "compound bow" with "composite bow".

  • Compound bow: elliptical pulleys allowing for a pull-weight let-off at full draw -- typically 30-50% reduction, which makes it much easier to hold and aim, but since the full pull-weight only appears at mid-draw and release, the arrow is accelerated at the lower pull up through the peak draw weight (so may have shorter range).
  • Composite bow: bow limbs made by laminating two or three different materials -- (for three, the middle one is likely wood). Bone which resists compression and sinew which resists stretching. Some of the eastern Mediterranean composite bows were quite short -- maybe 2-3 feet. When unstrung they would look like a C, strung they look like } (I did not reverse the "opening" -- the tips of the C have to be bent all the way around to the left side to form the recurve shape)
  • "Self" bow (English longbow and kin): typically quite long -- 4-5 feet would not be amiss. Formed from a carefully shaped single piece of flexible wood.

Composite and Self bows have a steadily increasing pull-weight as one draws the bow back (and the pull-weight really stacks up as one reaches near the breaking point of the bow). As a result, arrows undergo the greatest acceleration immediately upon release, with the acceleration decreasing as the bow straightens out.

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On 6/20/2022 at 7:46 PM, SevenSistersOfVinga said:

Let's challenge that.

Challenging what most people can do with a bow by bringing up Lars Andersen videos.  Where have I seen this before?  I would suggest you get yourself off to the Society of Creative Anachronism and do some shooting of your own to get a proper sense of what is possible.  Lars Andersen is a bit of a marvel, a brilliant athlete and bow sportsman, and might be considered something of a hero level archer by Gloranthan standards.  Lars claims that he has recovered techniques from Turkic horse archers and the Plains Tribes of America, and I don't dispute the possibility based on what has been written about them.  They were cultures with a lot of master archers.  In Glorantha we call what Lars does spirit magic like "multimissile".

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9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Challenging what most people can do with a bow by bringing up Lars Andersen videos.  Where have I seen this before?  I would suggest you get yourself off to the Society of Creative Anachronism and do some shooting of your own to get a proper sense of what is possible.  Lars Andersen is a bit of a marvel, a brilliant athlete and bow sportsman, and might be considered something of a hero level archer by Gloranthan standards.  Lars claims that he has recovered techniques from Turkic horse archers and the Plains Tribes of America, and I don't dispute the possibility based on what has been written about them.  They were cultures with a lot of master archers.  In Glorantha we call what Lars does spirit magic like "multimissile".

I'm really bad at this part of translating the real world to rules, I would gladly leave that to the game rules but like I've said we have 3 archers a Sling thrower and a Javelin one.

I would like to add a little regarding archery play styles, there is a long talk about short swords here, this is the weapon we use, we would like to have a long bow archer with damage but slow and a fast, mobile one that disrupts the field, stuff like that.

But you are right, I should do something else, other than this.

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On 6/20/2022 at 11:46 AM, SevenSistersOfVinga said:

"But he is not an Olympic archer!" You say, well, yes, let's see how far Olympic archers (95%?) shoot

- Archers shoot up to a distance of 70 metres (for recurve) and 50 metres (for compound)

 

 they shoot to 70 meters, and they hit the target center ( 10 points = 12cm ) very often. The 70meters is the distance for the show ( a high score is needed, the wahou effect), it is not a  capacity limit.

20seconds max for each arrow, to hit 12cm at 70m. But the time is to target these 12cm, not just to shoot the 1,2m target.

When I used bow, (as a hobby, absolutly not as a champion), I needed only few seconds to shoot (ok my skill was between 25 and 30% 😛 ) then more to concentrate again myself (time to see if I touched and enjoyed the yellow, the red,... the white... or where is this f@@@ arrow ?) but good warriors don't need this "hobby time" , the only thing they see is if they killed the ennemy or not

how many seconds are needed to hit a full body (1,6m x 1m) for these guys at 200m ?

 

but I agree for those who wants more simulation, some adding rules about targeting a specific part of a body, what about armor, what about distance and dammage / accuracy / movement / armor etc.. may be created . Same with closed weapons by the way.

 

the big issue, for me, is the pleasure of the players.

If you give too many penalties , if they can hit only 1 time every 5 fights (and after the hit, there is the armor... so how many HP damage they really do), wich is probably the IRL case, will they be happy to play a bowman or a slinger ?

So I prefer to follow the rules as is. I will add some house rules for tournament (you need to be the best, not to kill the guy before round 3) or very specific action (Want to hit the eye, etc...), but for a fight, I follow the rules not because they modelize real life, but because they give opportunities to succeed when real life does'nt.

but that is my taste, and other players and gm would be happy to have less success.

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There are two aims in the house rules I listed above, which are almost the same we used in RQ3.

1. Besides range, if you do not want to complicate your life (make all bows 0 DB) the rules work as the basic ones. And we seldom have archery duels at long distance.

2. If the player wants, they can really invest time in their bow, choose whether they want to shoot fast, or to hit harder, and even make a bow to use when magic enhanced. A hunter (STR 15, SIZ 13 that casts Bear Strength would have STR 30, so it feels weird that his javelins have +2d6 damage while his bow remains just the same. With this rules he will need a new bow when strong, and new arrows, but that would allow him to shoot further (Effective range goes to 70) and hitting harder. Or he could take a +1D6 bow, to shoot faster or just to be able to use it with Strength, and save rune pool. More character options. 

My players tend to focus first on projectiles, as the risk is lower than in melee, and that meant arranging long distance ambushes, not for the surprise itself, but the free shooting till the foes got close. These rules gave them different options while also not allowing them to turn the enemies into pincushions with impunity (unless you make this a sharpshooter duel) by decreasing the effective range.

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