... now with 35% more arrogance!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Non-Silly Ammo Recovery

On Dennis Laffey's blog, What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse..., there's a post about Silly Rules -- Recovering Ammunition. Full disclaimer: I have written a silly rule about recovering ammunition, but have yet to actually use it. And it allows recovering half your arrows, too! In my defense, I would have scoffed at recovering sling ammo, which was the post's main complaint. Wouldn't a slinger look for usable rocks to use? Wouldn't that be easier than finding sling slugs?

So, will I dump that proposed rule? Probably not. Because there are some mitigating factors. I set the search time as 10 minutes (per area,) not one minute. One minute is too short and not worth tracking. Ten minutes is the time between wandering monsters. You give the players choices:
  • Search thoroughly to recover up to half your arrows, but risk a wandering monster.
  • Rush and recover only a measly couple of arrows. Oh, did I mention you fire 1d6 arrows per attack?
  • Skip it and get a move on.
But how do I feel about the ten minutes per area search time? I'll admit it might be fast, but then, we're talking about heroic characters, not people in real life. Remember the Liber Zero reference sheets last week? I made class abilities work much faster than normal. Sometimes it was ten times faster, sometimes 20 or 30 times faster. Skills that require months for normal people may take only days (speed x 30,) while those that take days may take only hours (speed x 24.)

Following that principle, if a hero can recover up to half their arrows fires after 10 minutes of searching, it might take an ordinary archer 4 hours to do the same thing. That's also the thinking behind that table I posted a while ago (Speeding Up, Taking Time.) 


  1. I think this works. Especially if it only applies to arrows, not sling bullets. Maybe crossbow bolts. And I understand the urge by some players to do this, especially in gritty low-treasure settings, or ones where encumbrance is strictly enforced and you don't want to pack around three quivers.

    Also, as you say, you've made it into an expenditure of resources (risking a wandering monster encounter) rather than just a freebie the way the 5E rule has it. That makes more sense.

    1. Yeah, that 5e rule just sounds ridiculous. But I already said "no" to 5e for other reasons.

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  3. After combat roll 1d6. On a 1, you’re out of arrows. (Be sure to carry a few bundles.)