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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Ranged Attacks with Bows: Possible House Rules

In a thread about missile ranges on the OD&D forums, I tossed out some ideas I’m considering to replace the bonus for short and medium range. The idea is to give a benefit without having to adjust the attack roll. I’m reproducing the rules here for commentary, and so that I don’t lose them. All of these rules assume an archer makes a single attack roll, but fires 1d6 arrows for that attack.
  1. Short Range: Can aim at a single target for double damage. Otherwise, every opponent in the targeted area rolls 1d6. Highest roll is the target hit. If there is a tie, multiple targets are hit. The number of targets hit is the minimum number of arrows used.
  2. Medium Range: Archer can target an individual or an area. There is no damage bonus for targeting an individual, but if aimed shots and hit location are being used, these are allowed at medium range. Targeted areas require all targets in the area to roll 1d6 as for short range.
  3. Long Range Archer can’t target an individual or make aimed shots at a specific hit location. Effective level is halved. All targets in area must roll 1d6 as above to randomize the targets hit. Only fighters and their subclasses can make long-range shots.
There’s also an assumption that there are different levels of training. Fighters and any fighter subclass allowed to use missile weapons are the highest level and use the above rules.

Untrained archers are the lowest level of training and are capped at 1st level. This is a standard level cap for anyone using a weapon they have no training in. They are restricted to short range missile fire (can’t make medium or long range attacks) and always require everyone in the direction of fire, friend and foe, to roll 1d6 to randomize the target. They do not get a double damage bonus for aiming at a single target.

Trained archers are the medium level of training, between untrained and true fighters. Any class can pay for training in archery (or other weapons,) Trained archers have no level cap (use their full attack potential when firing arrows) and do not risk hitting allies except when firing into a melee. They are allowed to aim at a single target for double damage at short range. They are also able to make medium range attacks, but these are treated as long range (can’t target an individual or make aimed shots, effective attack level is halved.)

I also added special rules for firing in a Melee.
  • If the archer is actually in melee (standing next to an opponent,) they can’t fire arrows because they are too busy parrying and dodging.
  • If an archer can somehow step back from the melee and not be targeted (using invisibility, for example,) the attack is treated as long range (half effective attack level, no aiming at individual targets.) Untrained archers cannot do this.
  • If the archer is firing into a melee, all characters in the melee, both friend and foe, must roll to see if they are targeted.
All of this deals specifically with using bow and arrow. I haven’t thought over sling missiles yet. Crossbows, however, are treated like bow and arrow, but a crossbow that’s already cocked and loaded can be fired once, even in a melee. It is still treated as a long range attack, as described above.

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