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Old 11-27-2009, 11:20 AM   #17
Kromm
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

The archer wins fights before melee ever happens if the GM is being fair about starting fights at long distances some of the time. If every fight happens at spear range to grappling range, or at most at one second's sprint, then archers are limited. If hostilities open at 50-100 yards a good deal of the time, though, then archers are too valuable to ignore. The key thing as the player of an archer is to let the GM know you expect this. And if, as a GM, you don't intend to do this, you have an obligation to warn the players before they create their PCs, so that nobody creates a PC who's useless in the situations the campaign portrays.

Those saying that "archer" isn't necessarily a dedicated role also have a very good point. I've never actually seen a pure archer. I've seen plenty of PCs whose best skills were Bow and Fast-Draw (Arrow), but who also had a Melee Weapon skill and its Fast-Draw specialty, and who could switch to hand-to-hand rapidly. In fact, I've never seen a pure melee warrior. Even the shortest-ranged of these could chuck axes or spears, and the majority were good with atlatls, bows, crossbows, slings, etc.
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