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Old 10-28-2011, 08:05 AM   #11
gilbertocarlos
 
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Default Re: Max Damage on Bows?

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Originally Posted by mhd View Post
I don't see a big problem when someone with the best (cinematic!) training available, using one of the strongest bows available does damage comparable to a rather low-level artillery weapon (mostly anti-personnel, if my memory serves).

Regarding the amount of CPs and $s invested into that ability, it doesn't strike me as particularly game-breaking. Considering that the same character dishes out 2d+3 swing damage without any advantages and a $40 axe, thus cleaving heavy plate in twain…
Of course there is no problem, but bows have the advantage of range, and a skilled enough archer could start shooting when enemies are at 200y and shoot 20 arrows before they come close.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:25 AM   #12
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Default Re: Max Damage on Bows?

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Originally Posted by Jeminai View Post
In total he is looking at the following:

ST 17 thrust : 1d+2
Reflex bow: th+3
Weapon master +2
Ver Fine Arrows: +2

Totalling 1d+9 imp with and average damage of 12.5

A 27" Scorpion (LT 82) does 3d imp with an average of 10.5 damage. The scorpion has a much less impressive rate of fire.

Am I missing something here? Can bows be built this strong?
What you are seeing is a result of GURPS' cinematic damage chart. According to the assumptions of the system ST 20 should do about twice the damage of ST 10, but actually it does about four times damage. Guns and artillery have their damage calculated differently, so a strong bow (cinematic scale) can do more damage than a powerful handgun or ballista (realistic scale). Realistically damage from a bow that an exceptional human being can draw caps around 1d+2 to 1d+3. Search the forums for various solutions: one would be to double HP and firearms damage and create a new damage chart where ST 10 = 1d thrust, 1d+2 swing; ST 20 = 2d thrust, 3d swing.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Max Damage on Bows?

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Originally Posted by gilbertocarlos View Post
Of course there is no problem, but bows have the advantage of range, and a skilled enough archer could start shooting when enemies are at 200y and shoot 20 arrows before they come close.
Plus the easy availability of armor piercing ammunition. Of course, then there's something like the staff sling or the atl-atl, which could do potentially more damage, albeit with a shorter range. And on the other hand, unless you invest a whole lot of additional points, you're pretty out of luck once someone actually gets that close to you.

I'm just bringing up the comparison for two reasons: One, I'd consider it balanced to other options, especially given the point cost. You could buy a neat innate attack for the Weapon Master costs, too. Two, it's not like the rest of the GURPS damage system is that much more realistic, even disregarding Weapon Mastery.

So "unrealistic". Sure. Unbalanced/power-gamerish/munchkiny? Don't think so. Eliminating Weapon Mastery (and TbaM) would be one quick fix, to *really* change things you'd have to adopt every Harsh Realism rule in the books and probably change the base dmg table…
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:04 AM   #14
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Default Re: Max Damage on Bows?

All muscle-powered weapons – not just melee weapons – are limited to damage for three times the ST listed in the weapon tables. For bows of all kinds, the ST on the table doesn't rate user ST (which is a separate rating) but minimum ST to pick up and shoot a bow of that design without a penalty. See p. B270 for more. Just looking at the bows on pp. B275-276, then:
Short Bow or Crossbow (any kind): Min. ST 7, Max. ST 21. A bow can be designed to match user ST for ST 7-21; the user needs this much ST to operate the bow. The user has a skill penalty if his ST is 6 or less, regardless of the bow, because it's too bulky and heavy for him before he so much as draws the thing (which he might still be able to do with extra effort).

Regular or Composite Bow: Min. ST 10, Max. ST 30. A bow can be designed to match user ST for ST 10-30; the user needs this much ST to operate the bow. The user has a skill penalty if his ST is 9 or less, regardless of the bow, because it's too bulky and heavy for him before he so much as draws the thing (which he might still be able to do with extra effort).

Longbow: Min. ST 11, Max. ST 33. A bow can be designed to match user ST for ST 11-33; the user needs this much ST to operate the bow. The user has a skill penalty if his ST is 10 or less, regardless of the bow, because it's too bulky and heavy for him before he so much as draws the thing (which he might still be able to do with extra effort).
The same rule is why throwing knives and shuriken can't be as deadly as guns. They list ST 5 for the most part, which means that ST 16+ users are treated as if they had ST 15.

That said . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhd View Post

I don't see a big problem when someone with the best (cinematic!) training available, using one of the strongest bows available does damage comparable to a rather low-level artillery weapon (mostly anti-personnel, if my memory serves).
Agreed. Especially since this is true at later TLs even without much training. The latest, greatest rounds for reloadable RPG launchers and other LAWs do more damage per shot, with a greater rate of fire, than the lightest battery mortars and howitzers. What light artillery customarily gets you is sustainable fire and a wider range of ammunition options.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:37 AM   #15
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Default Re: Max Damage on Bows?

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
All muscle-powered weapons – not just melee weapons – are limited to damage for three times the ST listed in the weapon tables.
Well, this is news. I remember looking it up and both Martial Arts and Low-Tech seem to very deliberately omit this in their discussion of ST for ranged weapons, yet it is mentioned for the melee weapons table.

From the discussions I've seen on the board, it seems to be a given that it did not apply to ranged weapons too.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #16
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Default Re: Max Damage on Bows?

I thought that crossbows already exceeded that limit, at least steel ones…

And those are about the only ones where I really think it matters. If you exceed triple the base ST of a missile weapon and still are SM+0, it's quite likely that your setting has some methods of providing better suited variants, even at low TLs. Just throw "shuriken" that weigh 2 pounds each, or use a bow that kinda looks like a leaf spring…
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:27 AM   #17
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Default Re: Max Damage on Bows?

Well, this makes Iron Crossbows actually useful, if you allow it to be rated for more than 2x the max st of a wooden crossbow (I would allow 3-4x but that's gut feeling).
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:40 AM   #18
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Default Re: Max Damage on Bows?

The triple ST rule does indeed make bows made from better materials more useful. For instance, the fowling, hunting, military, and siege crossbows in Low-Tech – all steel – list ST 8, 10, 12, and 14, pushing the maxima from 21 up to 24, 30, 36, and 42. Of course, these are TL4 designs, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that they're better than some TL2 "artillery" . . . much as TL8 small arms are often better than TL6 support weapons.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:50 AM   #19
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Default Re: Max Damage on Bows?

Going just by the rules, I don't think so. A gastraphetes (TL2) has a maximum usable ST of 30 (3 * 10), whereas a Siege Crossbow (TL4) has a max usable ST of 21 (14*3 /2) (never mind a higher bulk and slower RoF if not using winches).
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:51 AM   #20
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Default Re: Max Damage on Bows?

So there really shouldn't be any sort of cost difference for higher strength bows? I just thought it would require more skill, better materials and more time to make a ST: 20 bow than a ST 12 one.

I do like the idea that the arrows have to be heavier to withstand the pressures of the bow.
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