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Old 01-08-2019, 03:54 PM   #1
hcobb
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Arrow slits

The examples I've seen are like 4 inches by 4 feet. That's exposing at least as much target space as a crossbow on top of a ditch.

So -6 and adjust for height.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:06 PM   #2
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Arrow slits

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
The examples I've seen are like 4 inches by 4 feet. That's exposing at least as much target space as a crossbow on top of a ditch.

So -6 and adjust for height.
Yes, but they're often 2 or 3 feet deep if they're straight, or they may be flared on the inside so that the target in the castle will be off to the side making them almost impossible to hit. It would take a fluke shot to injure someone behind a real arrow slit. Nevertheless, for the purposes of the game -6 DX adjusted for height is probably penalty enough.
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:12 AM   #3
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Arrow slits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Yes, but they're often 2 or 3 feet deep if they're straight, or they may be flared on the inside so that the target in the castle will be off to the side making them almost impossible to hit. It would take a fluke shot to injure someone behind a real arrow slit.
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Nevertheless, for the purposes of the game -6 DX adjusted for height is probably penalty enough.
No.

-6 is for
Quote:
if only your target’s head and shoulders were exposed
(for instance, if he is peeking around a corner, or firing a crossbow from a ditch).
Someone firing from an arrow slit might not only have just their head and shoulders possible to hit, but only a strip of those locations a couple of inches wide, obscured in darkness.

Not to mention that fact that someone behind an arrow slit, if they noticed they were being shot at, would only have to step slightly sideways to become completely unhittable. And since they are in the dark and probably invisible from the field below, they can wait 100% in cover till they're ready to fire, then inch forward and fire, then duck back, meaning people in the field below can't even tell if/when there's anything to hit through an arrow slit.

It makes no sense to assign the same penalty to a good arrow slit as to using any improvised cover. If they were only that good, no one would bother to have built them that way.

Last edited by Skarg; 01-09-2019 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:18 AM   #4
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Arrow slits

Skarg, as I said, I do agree someone behind an arrowslit would be almost impossible to hit in real life, so you could impose very harsh penalties if you really wanted to model that like -10/-12 or perhaps -6 at 4 dice (arrowslit gives automatic dodge bonus). I don't think it ever came up in many years of play so I'm not sure it needs a rule. A good GM can come up with a scenario appropriate modifier on the fly, if needed.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:00 AM   #5
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Arrow slits

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Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Skarg, as I said, I do agree someone behind an arrowslit would be almost impossible to hit in real life, so you could impose very harsh penalties if you really wanted to model that like -10/-12 or perhaps -6 at 4 dice (arrowslit gives automatic dodge bonus).
Yes. Adding dice (and not scaling up the auto-hits) is probably even better than just having a high DX penalty.

I think it's important (if/when it ever does come up in a relevant way in play) for someone to have pointed this out, because otherwise some players have shown a tendency to just take the highest penalty they can find in the Cover & Concealment rules because they have not thought about it or the math or implications sufficiently. But that's -6, the head & shoulders penalty, or just the Aimed Shot penalty for the head, as if it were someone peeking over a wall. And -6 is quite doable, even with a few more points off for range and height, especially when you get to try many times in a siege situation. And so effectively you don't get to play a game where there is anything like an arrow slit, because the GM doesn't get how to model it.

Arrow slits are one of the reasons castles could be garrisoned by a couple dozen men and stand for months or years against armies. Even crack archers were not generally able to pick off defenders through arrow slits. Certainly not as easily as they could shoot someone in the open in the head.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
I don't think it ever came up in many years of play so I'm not sure it needs a rule. A good GM can come up with a scenario appropriate modifier on the fly, if needed.
Maybe not, though:

1) It did come up in GURPS Orcslayer, which someone's suggestion to port to TFT is the occasion for this coming up now.

2) Some things are useful to know an accurate answer for, even if they don't come up, or at least to correct when someone keeps suggesting answers that will give inappropriate results.
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