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Old 02-20-2018, 06:46 AM   #1
ArchonShiva
 
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Default Firing a crossbow in one hand

The bow is singled out as requiring both hands to operate, but that's not an issue for a loaded crossbow.

Per RAW, one would need a ST of 11 to shoot a ST 7 crossbow with one hand (making it unready, but who cares?).

As far as I can tell, raising the rated ST of the crossbow has no effect on Min ST to fire it -- else using a goat's foot would tank your accuracy.

So, does ST 11 allow one-handed firing for a crossbow of any rated ST? (ST 12 for composite crossbows?).
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Firing a crossbow in one hand

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Originally Posted by ArchonShiva View Post
As far as I can tell, raising the rated ST of the crossbow has no effect on Min ST to fire it -- else using a goat's foot would tank your accuracy.

So, does ST 11 allow one-handed firing for a crossbow of any rated ST? (ST 12 for composite crossbows?).
RAW sure.

Realistically raising the ST of a crossbow has very little effect on the ST needed to use it (theoretically it adds some weight to the actual bow, to store more energy, but it's fairly marginal at reasonable human STs). But firing any full sized crossbow one handed is doubtful - the center of mass is so far forward of the trigger mechanism you probably can't hold it up and pull the trigger with the same hand. Certainly that's a fixable design flaw - you could add a counterweight, or a buttstock like a rifle you could clinch under your arm, or I suppose hold it in your one hand and pull the release with a string clinched in your teeth, but I doubt you could pick up an ordinary crossbow and use it one handed.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Firing a crossbow in one hand

Well, these rules are copied from the GURPS Basic Set almost verbatim. The dagger on ST means "the weapon requires two hands" but can be used in one if you're very strong . . . unless it "requires one hand to hold it and another to operate a moving part." This is followed by "like a bow," meaning a bow is one example, not the only example. A crossbow is normally held with one hand while another operates the trigger. I wouldn't allow one-handed use.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Firing a crossbow in one hand

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Certainly that's a fixable design flaw - you could add a counterweight, or a buttstock like a rifle you could clinch under your arm, or I suppose hold it in your one hand and pull the release with a string clinched in your teeth, but I doubt you could pick up an ordinary crossbow and use it one handed.
Typical (medieval/fantasy) crossbows weren't even designed in such a way that your hand holding the trigger could be positioned perpendicular to the weapon. There was no grip. So your trigger hand is stabilizing itself against the very thing that your hand needs to stabilize.

Even modern crossbows, most of which have stocks designed more like rifles (because they were invented after the rifle was invented, unlike early crossbows), can only be fired one-handed to the same extent that a rifle can. Which is to say, not really at all.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Firing a crossbow in one hand

Typical crossbows no.

Seems like a very doable mod though, not even very tricky. +0.5 CF?
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Firing a crossbow in one hand

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Typical crossbows no.

Seems like a very doable mod though, not even very tricky. +0.5 CF?
It's definitely within the realm of dungeon fantasy - the idea of adding a perpendicular grip. Though historically that didn't occur to anyone (for any weapon) until well into the gunpowder era. Even the first firearms, all the way up to early muskets, were just tubes.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Firing a crossbow in one hand

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Originally Posted by martinl View Post
Typical crossbows no.

Seems like a very doable mod though, not even very tricky. +0.5 CF?
And probably drops Acc to 1, like a pistol crossbow.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Firing a crossbow in one hand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Well, these rules are copied from the GURPS Basic Set almost verbatim. The dagger on ST means "the weapon requires two hands" but can be used in one if you're very strong . . . unless it "requires one hand to hold it and another to operate a moving part." This is followed by "like a bow," meaning a bow is one example, not the only example. A crossbow is normally held with one hand while another operates the trigger. I wouldn't allow one-handed use.
So no crossbow+shield unless using a hand crossbow, then? Fair enough.

Does using the crossbow rest (DFA113) require two hands at any ST level as well?
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Firing a crossbow in one hand

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
RAW sure.

Realistically raising the ST of a crossbow has very little effect on the ST needed to use it (theoretically it adds some weight to the actual bow, to store more energy, but it's fairly marginal at reasonable human STs). But firing any full sized crossbow one handed is doubtful - the center of mass is so far forward of the trigger mechanism you probably can't hold it up and pull the trigger with the same hand. Certainly that's a fixable design flaw - you could add a counterweight, or a buttstock like a rifle you could clinch under your arm, or I suppose hold it in your one hand and pull the release with a string clinched in your teeth, but I doubt you could pick up an ordinary crossbow and use it one handed.
From personal experience, you can fire a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun with a traditional stock (no pistol grip) one handed without needing to twist it so the stock lies under your forearm (if you do this it's a whole lot easier, but probably not really an option with a crossbow because the bolt would fall out). It's probably not good for your wrist (I'm pretty sure I felt my wrist compress in ways it's not supposed to with the recoil), so I expect you could do the same with a crossbow, with sufficient ST. There's no way I'd be letting you claim to be aiming the thing though, unless you were enormously strong, and even then I'm dubious about the ability to hold it in a way that'd make the sights useful.

EDIT: I'd be comfortable saying it's that much harder with historical designs, with their straighter stocks. In a DF game that seems like "sure you can, -1 per point under STx1.5, and another -2 because it's really awkward". In a more realistic setting, they can have another -2 for being unfamiliar with the grip and stance required. So the average ST10 guy in a semi-realistic game takes a -5. In a DF game, only the wizard takes worse than a -2, but they can't aim, and they aren't reloading it until they use both hands.
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