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Old 12-01-2009, 11:29 PM   #51
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by martinl View Post
However, that is the military viewpoint. From the viewpoint of typical RPG "parties" (a mix of commando, bravo, and bandit), the archer is for ambushes, for having a response to inaccessible enemy missile fire, and attrition of known enemies who start out far away.
What about poison delivery? I don't really believe in Hollywood-style instant-death poisons, but even on a 1-second combat Round scale, there might well be poisons that significantly nerfs the target's ability to move, fight, defend, or think clearly and make reasonable tactical decisions.


And yes, I was surprised to be reminded, in this thread, that in GURPS bodkin arrows have a (2) armour DR divisor.

Bodkin arrows should be better against armour than regular arrows, of course, but it reminds me of the coarse-grainedness of the system.

(Not that making a good weapon-penetration-versus-armour model is easy. The one I use in Sagatafl is better than the one GURPS uses, but works only for medieval weapons (it works for modern weapons/armours the same way AD&D works for roleplaying gaming, one might say), and I haven't yet come up with a different model that feels at all good when used for firearms versus balistic vests.)
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:31 PM   #52
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Kale View Post
Err... he just said shooting a bow is hard. Having also done this myself, fairly extensively, I concur. (I used to have a composite Turkish recurved bow) I also imaging trying to shoot one while perched in a tree would be even more difficult. That said, proper preparations like the aforementioned tree stand and a good climbing skill (which is mainly what we probably lack) would offset this a lot.
Realistically, that which is initially hard ceases to be hard once one has thrown a few hundred hours of practice at it.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:55 AM   #53
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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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.
The argument of "I (insert activity here) once at (insert fun event here) and must say I can't really do it well..." comes a bit often recently in different threads by my taste... Not that it would somehow be helpful... ;)
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:29 AM   #54
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

Why limit to party members specializing in archery? Why not the whole party having invested 4cp in archery. Even at DX10 archers with Bow-10 are still pretty useful in many situations.


Quote:
2cp Archery DX+0
1cp fast Draw DX+0
1cp Weapon Bond

IDHMBWM
Longbow $200 3lbs or
Composite Bow $900 4lbs (you carry it in a case)
x30 (cheap) arrows in a large HipQuiver $76 6lbs
9-10lbs Total Equipment allowance for Ranged Weapons.

ST11 48lbs (light enc)

Worn: $520, 20lbs
Mail Shirt $430 14lbs*
Light Cloak $20 2lbs
Clothes (Varies by Status and free) 2lbs
Shoes $40 2lbs
Gloves $30 neg.


Carried: $371-$1071, 24-25lbs

Cheap Axe $24 4lbs
Cheap Large Knife $24 1lb
Cheap Light Shield (Buckler) $12 2lbs
Pouch ($10 3lbs) $15 4lbs
- Currency
- Personal Basics $5 1lb
Pouch ($10 3lbs) $20 4lbs
- Ceramic Water Flask $10 3lbs
- 1 Quart of Water
Ranged Weapon Allowance $276-$976, 9-10lbs

total: $891-$1591, 45lbs

*from Dan Howards's "Mail Why Bother" article. DR 4cut/ 2cr/ 3imp-piercing, covers: body-thats torso, groin, and neck.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:04 AM   #55
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

Please, no magic. That's not 'normal low-tech', that's middle or high fantasy.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:09 AM   #56
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

Have you thought of using Heroic Archer from MA (sorry if i missed someone suggesting this). It would allow you to adapt your Archer to a more mobile way of fighting. This would allow him/her to shine in more situations than just the "open field" or "mounted / horse archery" situations.

If you're using elves or the like see if everyone is okay (read the GM is ok) with having multiple levels of Telescopic vision (any Tolkien flavored elf should have at least 1 minimum.) to really make aim much more worth while.

Heroic Archer is cinematic and telescopic is more of a racial trait which might allow you to forgo the magic side of upgrades.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:18 AM   #57
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Kenvain View Post
Have you thought of using Heroic Archer from MA (sorry if i missed someone suggesting this). It would allow you to adapt your Archer to a more mobile way of fighting. This would allow him/her to shine in more situations than just the "open field" or "mounted / horse archery" situations.

If you're using elves or the like see if everyone is okay (read the GM is ok) with having multiple levels of Telescopic vision (any Tolkien flavored elf should have at least 1 minimum.) to really make aim much more worth while.

Heroic Archer is cinematic and telescopic is more of a racial trait which might allow you to forgo the magic side of upgrades.
Ahem, the whole point of the thread was exploring the role of an archer in a low-tech game at 100-150pts and no superscience/magic/cinematics. Think of a group of bandits or bounty hunters in medieval/ancient England/Egypt/Rome/Babylon/etc.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:31 AM   #58
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Ahem, the whole point of the thread was exploring the role of an archer in a low-tech game at 100-150pts and no superscience/magic/cinematics. Think of a group of bandits or bounty hunters in medieval/ancient England/Egypt/Rome/Babylon/etc.
When it comes to small unit tactics, I'd say that a dedicated archer would probably also be wise to invest some cp into being able to be more mobile than the enemy. One possible option is to buy a horse and 'kite' the enemy; horse archery seemed to work rather well for the Mongols.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:05 AM   #59
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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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.
Really?

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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Old 12-02-2009, 09:26 AM   #60
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

Ideally the PCs are DX12 so they have an Bow-12 (at 2cp). Bow-10 is only good enough for mass-firing (and not even at the ideal level of skill). If weapon bond can be taken multiple times should certainly be taken advantage.

Terminal Aim (3 sec; +3+1+1) + AoA: Determined (+1) = +6
+6 is good @ 20yrds with skill 13 (weapon bond and DX12) at 84%.
If the 20 yrds will take 10 seconds to cover, it is optimal to use the bows. You can get roughly 3 shots at this distance if it will take 10sec to close in.

Instances where 20 yards will take more than 10 seconds.
- Terrain rough enough that running risk injury (half move). Practically all outdoor terrains might require Running+DX TDM+0 (challenging). Worse if the terrain is really bad like rocky and grassy (hiding pitted areas) TDM-5, inclined loose rocky terrain TDM-7, TDM-10 those wuxia poles descending into a bottomless chasm or steep cliff face with only inches of footing, loose rocks and some slippery moss. Fail is slowing down to the appropriate movement to cover the distance: typically half or walking move/5. Critical Fail is appropriate consequence.
- Considering the opponents are at least at Light Enc. Move-4.

If the PC wants to trade off accuracy for distance, Skill-10 @70yrds.

In a ranged exchange, remember to stay behind cover or a PC who has at least a small shield.

When to use up an arrow:
  1. Value of Opportunity (odds of it happening again, what stands to be gained)
  2. Cost of the Projectile (actual cost, circumstantial cost, and future circumstantial cost)
  3. Odds of being effective (chances to hit, to damage, and cause the opponent to go down)
I don't mean to make people do some math with this, just keep it in mind when and with some practice one quickly runs through the points.

Skill-9 at 100yrds is only worth while if (the chance of bringing down the enemy x the value of the enemy) is greater than the cost of the action (and future cost).
Sacrificing my remaining arrow (considering immediate engagements) on the dismal chance of bringing down the enemy is not a worth while situation.

An enemy escaping by the skin of his teeth, with campaign ending news/information is certainly a situation to try even if you have a 1% shot of success. (enemy is -12 to be hit or 200yrds and galloping at 9yrds/sec on horseback -4, possible with an arching shot).
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Last edited by nik1979; 12-02-2009 at 09:31 AM.
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