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Old 12-02-2009, 09:05 AM   #59
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Realistically, that which is initially hard ceases to be hard once one has thrown a few hundred hours of practice at it.

I've lived more than 220,000 hours and of those, at least a 50,000 have been devoted to practising something (mostly not useful things, though, here's looking at you Games (RPG)). Hundreds or even thousands of them have been spent practising soccer, walking and climbing mountains, throwing knives, swimming and other physical skills.

Yet things that were hard are sometimes still hard. I'm no Christiano Ronaldo, and never was, even when I was in better physical shape. And even when I could hit a playing card at ten yards with a thrown knife, I doubt I could have hit a moving target at unpredictable range well enough to have much of an effect in combat. As for my climbing skills, well, let's just say that I'm lucky that I've not broken all of my bones.

And what's more, shooting a warbow accurately at battlefield ranges is not just hard for untrained people. It's so hard that it requires more than a decade of regular practise to be possible.

Bowhunting with a modern 60-pound compound bow is not even remotely comparable. For one thing, using a light modern bow allows the bow to be aimed without losing too much of energy to reduce terminal effects below acceptable levels.

That's a luxury warbows didn't afford. They were shot by feel, demanding that the user had enough experience to know where the arrow would end up without being able to sight along the shaft. Bow skill being Physical/Hard when compared to Crossbow or Guns is far closer to reality than the 'heroic average' of 4e which has it be a mere DX/Average skill.

Could a low-tech bow of some sort be shot from a prepared perch in a tree? Sure, I guess. If it was easy to draw while sitting and not too unwieldy and the prepared perch allowed at least as much stability as a good saddle (ideally with stirrups).

Could any kind of realistic warbow made before modern times and intended for the highest ST that a character can handle while standing on steady ground be shot accurately while clinging to a tree branch? No, it could not.
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