Friday, February 1, 2013

Ranged Weapons: Bows & Crossbows

"The best bows on Earth were designed by the Bantu. The so-called Great Bow or Umcibisholo were originally built from the rib bones of great Sea Beasts, but the process of their construction has evolved over the centuries. Our Bowyers can copy the design, but the best Great Bows come directly from the Bantu's Homeland over the Southern Sea."
-Vincent the Fletcher, Armsmith from Nein

Bows come in two major variations, the Great Bow and the Short Bow. All bows require two hands to use properly, though a Bow may be held in one hand while wielding something in the other hand. In order for a Bow to function in combat, a quiver with Arrows must be slung in either one's belt or torso-harness.

The Great Bow is an imported design from the Bantu culture. These weapons were specifically designed for killing people and not for hunting and are prized for their ability to fire arrows at great distances and with great accuracy. It is the only Bow capable of utilizing Large Arrows, larger than the Standard Arrows traditionally developed for hunting. Great Bows can be used with Standard Arrows, if the user so chooses. A Great Bow needs great Strength and Agility to use properly.

A Hassan make Recurve Bow
The Short Bow is a traditional hunting weapon amongst the people of Nod which has always doubled as a weapon for warfare. The development of the Crossbow has superseded its use in modern, large-scale warfare, but the Short Bow is a compact, cheaper alternative. Short Bows cannot utilize the Large Arrows that are for use specifically with the Great Bow. Short Bows are also easier to use than Great Bows, requiring only a modest amount of Agility.

The Crossbow is a weapon born on the battle fields of Nod, developed in its modern form by the Mechanics of the Westmen. Crossbows come in Light and Heavy forms and can be wielded in one or two hands effectively, though using a Crossbow one-handed decreases accuracy and reloading speed. All Crossbows take clips packed with a stock of Quarrels. The loading mechanism on all modern Crossbows allows for rapid-fire attacks compared to a Bow. Once a clip of Quarrels is exhausted, a separate mechanism allows for removing the empty clip and replacing it with a fresh stock out of a carrying case. Like Bows, a case of Quarrel clips must be slung to either one's belt or harness.

The Heavy Crossbow is a devastating ranged weapon. It's loud winding, pulley and firing mechanisms make it, undoubtedly, a weapon for war. Heavy Crossbows can utilize clips of either Heavy or Light Quarrels, but maximize their damage output when using Heavy Quarrels.

Early Westman Crossbow
The Light Crossbow is eponymously lighter than the Heavy. It is quieter than the Heavy as well, and more compact. Thieves and other roguish types are fond of the Light Crossbow for its use in stealthy assaults. Light Crossbows can only handle Light Quarrels in its mechanism.

Mechanics: Below are the numbers for the system associated with Bows. This will be arcane for now as it requires knowledge of the rest of the system. I am including it here so the reader may see how these weapons are represented mechanically. Note: all equipment in the game (as was probably indicated by the post on armor) is highly contextual. There is an underlying structure, but weapon descriptions and the particular numbers they have can vary a great deal across this structure. Note #2: Quantity and Durability are "fuzzy" values that follow a particular system that has yet to be detailed on this blog. Succinctly put: all equipment degrades over time and must be repaired or replaced.

Short Bows
Recurve Bow: +0 Attack, 1d6+1 Damage, Scaling Grade: 1.5 (Agility), Requires Agility 2. Durability: 6/6
Hunting Bow: +1 Attack, 1d6 Damage, Scaling: 1.0 (Agility), Requires Agility 1. Durability: 4/4
Compact Bow: +2 Attack, 1d6 Damage, Scaling Grade: 0.5 (Agility), Requires Agility 2. Durability 5/5.

Great Bows
Composite Bow: +1 Attack, 1d6+1 Damage, Scaling Grade: 1.5 (Strength), Requires Strength 2 and Agility 2. Durability 5/5.
Imported Bantu Great Bow: +2 Attack, 1d6 Damage, Scaling Grade: 1.0 (Strength), Requires Strength 2 and Agility 2. Durability 7/7.

Large Arrows: Arrows add their bonuses to the bow they are used with.
Oversized Arrows: +1 Attack. Quantity: 8.
Huge Arrows: +1 Attack, +1 Damage. Quantity: 8.

Standard Arrows: Arrows add their bonuses to the bow they are used with.
Crude Arrows: +1 Damage. Quantity: 10.
Burnt Arrows: +2 Damage. Quantity 10.


Butch said...

Hmm... can all four (short, great, light, heavy) be fired from horseback?... at a trot?... full gallop?

How about reload times?

Rev. Dane Black said...

Hi Butch, Thanks for your questions!

Also: I need to set my blog up to notify me of comments, I noticed I am just getting back to your questions now.

There will be a lot more explication once I have a playtest document put together, but here are some quick responses to your questions:

1. The system doesn't differentiate between mounted or non-mounted combatants at present. The way this would probably work is with a minimum Agility value (probably 2, above-average) to fire without penalty. Attacking without this minimum value would result in a Clumsy attack (the same as when using a weapon without the required Strength or Agility) -- which results in Stunning if the attack misses.

2. Reload times are abstracted in the game and are considered part of the attack.

Good questions. Cheers, Dane