Bows and Crossbows


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Post Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:51 pm

I've watched alot of Combat archery and both the bow and crossbow have their uses. The bow can cycle arrows much faster than a crossbow regardless of how many you have. A good archer can keep his bow up and his eyes on the target while drawing thus he takes less time to aim, draw, and fire. A crossbowman has to take his eye off the target to cock the bow but it takes a lot less dexterity. From what I've seen, I would put the rate at about 3 to 1 in favor of the bow.

Also, you can walk around with a cocked crossbow and a bolt on the table but if you tilt the crossbow too much the bolt will fall off. There is no latching nock on a bolt to keep it on the string. Even if you did have a way to keep the bolt in place, if you had two cocked crossbows you would only benifit on the first volley. Then you would have to drop one to reload the other. The idea of multiple crossbows sitting beside you in a trench would help but you still need to reach down, pick it up, aim, and fire. Meanwhile, an archer has already got off his secound shot and is aquiring the target for his third.
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Post Mon Nov 17, 2003 9:15 pm

combat archery

good point wayne. The problem i see in your argument comes from the arrow heads in a larp setting. They tend to jam in a quiver, or you have to place them in individual slots like a modern compound quiver. This slows the draw time dramatically for a larp bow. In all, in a larp setting i do no see a huge advantage of bow over xbow.

I have also seen larp hand crossbows with knocks loaded and carried at the hip, allowing for a quick-draw much like a gunslinger. With poisoned bolts this becomes very scary in a larp setting. One minute a stranger is ten feet away with his hands out and no weapons, the next he is pulling a loaded x-bow from under his cloak and calling 1 vorpal poison, and you better be running for a healer because your armor just became worthless in stopping poison.

Like wayne says though, both weapons have their place, and will continue to. We may not need three categories though, only two. One for hand x-bows (any that can be aimed and fired like a pistol, and regular x bow for those taking two hands. Have them do one and two vorpal damage respectively. I agree with the statements on the count being redundant over the load time though. Why penalize further when load time already takes long enough.

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Post Wed Nov 19, 2003 5:39 am

While I do love the crossbows, they were more than a little disadvantaged when compared with the bow Colin had at the November event. Perhaps with the clarification on draw weight for crossbows the gap will be lessened somewhat, but it will take field testing to be sure. I'm a fair shot at best, but I managed to nail Danny (Drake) with Colin's bow from across the field, at night, while he was moving, after only having fired the bow a couple of times prior. Our crossbows couldn't have gone half that distance.

In game, I suppose we'll have to see how it plays out. Archers have the potential to be very powerful, but very specialized characters.
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Post Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:56 am

Biggest use I'd see for multiple crossbows, is have one person firing and the other loading. Simlar to 18th century rifle combat. Can't exactly load a bow that way. You'd probably even out your firing rates but again it takes two people.

As for the three types of crossbows, currently there is nothing that says what the specifics are for each which definitely needs to be fixed but I'd agree make it one handed and two handed and just say if the total length / weight of the crosbow is over x in/x lbs, it's two handed. At a certain weight and length it's going to be awkward in the average person's hand anyway.
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Post Wed Nov 19, 2003 2:16 pm

RE: "Biggest use I'd see for multiple crossbows, is have one person firing and the other loading".

Maybe, but if a character is loading a crossbow, he is going to be an archer. So with a crossbow, you've got 1 archer firing, and the other loading, wheras in a standard bow situation you could have the same two guys actually firing a bow at double the rate. So you're getting off well more than double the projectiles with two archers using bows as opposed to crossbows (This is, of course, in an ideal situtaion where you have either arrows littered around you (as bowmen) in your bunkered area, or crossbows littered about (as crossbowmen) you).
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Post Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:36 am

The original idea of this thread seems to have faded a bit.. but I do have a comment.

I used a Xbow almost exclusively all weekend.

I never killed anyone.

I barely phased any one creature.

It seems a little outlandish to me that 3 vorpal base damage was ruled to be 'way' too powerful in carps. Against other PCs, yes, I could see how that would be too powerful a weapon to put in someone's hands. Hell, a 3 vorpal hit to me that weekend would have sent me squealing like a school girl with a broken leg. (and did once, actually) But in field battle, I was very nearly useless. However, I stuck with it throughout the weekend. I pecked away at undead. I pecked away at flesh golems. And while I hit, as a guess, prolly 85% to 90% of the time, it did nearly nothing to the creatures we were up against. Many times I resisted the urge to toss my Xbow and engage (I did actually do this many times, when it got too close to use). ....because a good archer doesn't toss his weapon.

Also, I realize that at my next event that I'll have the option to much more effective with the bow. BUT in the 40 secs. that it takes me to charge a true shot and a magic arrow (not to mention nock/aim/fire), I could have engaged and hit for AT LEAST 20 normal damage with my shortsword. (or 20 magic, cuz my good mage friend).

It seems that the only reason why anyone would use a bow would be for the higher level skills. This imbalance doesn't make sense to me. The rules don't seem to support the use of a bow as a primary battle weapon. Also, it seems weird that if I use a bow normally, it's nearly useless, but if I wait 40 secs, it's deadly? the scale is a little weird here.

My main point is that it seems that the rules almost end up pigeonholing someone into using a melee weapon and a shield (which seem to be much more common and, at this point, useful.)

I like to see the archery rules change a bit, just so one could see more of them on the field.
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Post Sun Nov 23, 2003 8:46 pm

See the other Bow/crossbow thread for some answers about Archer fixes.
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Post Mon Nov 24, 2003 11:18 am

Archer\Alchemist nasty nasty combo have your toxins applied by an assasin and your bolts become 1 vorpal poison (2-5), in a matter of minutes you can pretty much insure the death of most people, except for most of the NPC's we faced this last event, somehow I don't think that toxins would be effective against Florin, The Master, plants or Golems.
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