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Old 10-18-2014, 03:01 AM   #31
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

Strength is only one of many requirements for swordsmen. For war archers it's far and away the number one feature.
Pulling back a 180 lb bow repeatedly is jaw dropping amazing regardless of stat normalization or distaste for "outliers".
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:23 AM   #32
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Strength is only one of many requirements for swordsmen.
In RL yes

Only in GURPS it's ST and skill* are what counts in melee. More over because of the multiple areas ST helps in GURPS I'd argue its more valuable for melee fighter who will not just use it increase damage potential but use it to withstand blows, and possibly grapple with, and wear armour with.

*including DX same as for archers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
For war archers it's far and away the number one feature.
Pulling back a 180 lb bow repeatedly is jaw dropping amazing regardless of stat normalization or distaste for "outliers".
I agree, I absolutely agree which is why I set up something to allow people to do something so amazing. It's just I don't let them be equally jaw dropping amazing in every other aspect that ST in GURPS reflects. A 180lb bow is ST19, so an human archer with base ST enough to draw that is as strong overall as a grizzly bear?!

If for no other reason such bowmen have dedicated their training to do that specific jaw dropping amazing thing, and not all the rest that a high base ST in GURPS gives you.

And again your point about a dislike for outliers doesn't apply, these weren't one or two individuals were talking about, there were thousands and thousands* of these archers drawing bows that would need ST17+

*At Agincourt the English had 6000-7500 archers, and that was on a campaign on foreign soil (although I imagine Henry did his best to get as many as he could over)
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:26 AM   #33
TallIan
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

As a long term archer, both modern bows and more recently medieval style longbows, I would say that the ability to draw such heavy weight bows boils down more to specific training than general strength.

Technique plays a HUGE role, I have seen many new archers struggle to pull light bows when they start. Then once they master pulling with the correct muscles, they see a huge jump in upper bow strength.

There is also the fact that someone who exercises only one muscle will have that muscle much stronger than any other muscles. Doing months of bicep curls will not help you do leg extensions.

Through my teens I was never particularly strong, yet I could draw far heavier bows than any of my friends.

While I will allow that drawing a bow is not really an isolation exercise and will give you generally improved strength. The ability to draw 150lb bow will be more due to slightly above average strength and great technique.

In summary I would say that your mook archers are better designed with St 13 max with some other abilities that allow them to draw the heavy bows. Or perhaps a house rule that links bow skill to max bow strength, eg +1 str per 5 skill.

Tall
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Old 10-18-2014, 03:53 AM   #34
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
Using realistic rules vetted on physics and math in comparison to rules that are arbitrary is a bit daft. One is based on reality, the other is literally there because someone said: "eh, looks good". The st based damage chart is not realistic, so any use of it to peg real world stats is completely impossible. And produces crazy things like st 17 longbowmen who make better sense as st 17 swordsmen.

Its obvious that extremely powerful longbows were used in numbers for long periods of time, and the numbers for st dont jive with reality. To get a massively powerful warbow, like those used on the Mary Rose, you have to have a lot of conans. Which is ludricrous.

The problem is not that st 13+ is extremely rare. Its that the rules for st are pretty whacked. The table needs to be adjusted to make st 13+ not ludricous to possess.

I think theres a lot of ways to do this. But it has to be fixed, because currently its impossible to build a longbow archer who wouldnt rip the head off an Nfl lineman. Because i have met some people who shoot at the lower level of warbow territory, and while they are strong and fairly fit, they arnt linemen size. Maybe wide reciever, qbs or a small safety. Maybe a small linebacker.

There has to be more deviation between the "average" than 5 levels of strength.

I am, again, partial to doubling hp, doubling drs, keeping the damage chart the same, and giving all guns a base armor divisor of 2. Greater granularity.

Otherwise your going to constant bump heads with the unrealistic melee and lifting for st.
I agree there are potentially more issues with high ST than just how it relates to drawing heavy bows, it's just in the context of this issue (ST for war bow) it seems to me we can rewrite the whole system to fit a specific issue, or have a specific fix for it.

And ultimately When you train at a specific thing you do get better at that specific thing, without seeing the equivalent increase in benefit elsewhere. Although the closer you get to the areas of specific improvement the more the ratio benefit will increase.

So for me skilled bowmen and the ability to draw heavy bows go hand in hand, so I link the two. Strong people can also draw heavy bows as well of course, so I like the two there as well.

For me It works like this, there are series of benefit in GURPS that allow the drawing of heavy bows, and they range from the widest application to the narrowest, and their availability correspondingly narrows

The hierarchy is as follows (widest to narrowest in application)

Basic ST (applies to all uses of ST)
Arm ST (applies to all uses of ST involving the arms)
Lifting ST (applies to All uses of St deemed to be 'lifting')
Strong Bow Perk (applies to drawing bows)
Bonuses from Skill (applied only to archers with skill)

It's just as they become more and more specific their knock on effects and thus the potential for knock on problems are reduced. (some of which you referenced). Since I've added one on I can rely less on the others to get where I need to go, and since the one I've added has very narrow purview it doesn't effect anything other than what I want it to.


This for me is one the main dilemmas in creating a RPG system, as you seek to more and more accurately portray specific and different things your ability to cover less specific things suffers. That has to be balanced against having a 1000+ book of super specific rules that don't relate to each other. Incidentally I like GURPS because it quite easily allows the addition so specific rules onto a few overarching basic rules concepts.

As I said in the first post this is really just the same justification as the trained ST. ST is great, Skill is great, skill used to leverage ST value adds and in combination is greater then sum of the two.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 10-19-2014 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:19 PM   #35
Infornific
 
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I had forgotten Strongbow but that still requires 10 cp in a bow-based Martial Art Style. 20 cp for Strongbow plus even one level of Arm ST.

Even 10 cp is pretty elite and 20pts or more is a virtual PC. You can have such individuals but you're not very likely to have even a single company of such people.

You might see an effective ST 14 with Strongbow and skip the Arm ST.
I'm partial to stat normalization but I think you're taking things too far. Remember GURPS Basic suggests ordinary members of adventuring type professions such as soldiers should be built on 50-75 points or 25 points more than Joe Normal. So taking a 25-50 point peasant and slapping on 20 points of intensive bow training seems like a perfectly reasonable way of simulating a classic English longbow archer.

Also remember that the limits on Perks is a suggestion - I don't see a problem in breaking it for a specific culture.

So let's assume Peter the Peasant is built on 35 points with ST 11. Assume DX 10. Seems reasonable. Now add a 20 point Yeoman lens:

Bow (DX/A) DX+3 [12]-13
Perk: Archery Style [1]
Perk: Strongbow [1]
Perk: Special Exercises (Arm ST) [1]
+1 Arm ST


Pete now has effective ST 14 (roughly 100 lb bows) for archery purposes. And he only clocks in at 55 points.

Personally since the ST is for a specific task I would use Striking ST (Bows only, -60%) instead of Arm ST. In that case, for the same points we could drop the Arm ST and related perk and add +2 Striking ST (Bows Only) [4] and two levels of the Special Exercises Perk. That would give Pete effective ST of 15 letting him pull 125 lb bows. There's your Crecy/Agincourt dude.

Note if you're using The Deadly Spring I'd go the trained ST route. But I'd probably allow a Strongbow technique that boosts skill for purpose of calculating Trained ST only.
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:57 PM   #36
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

Archers weren't Robin Hood. They were strong, but shot in volleys where overall accuracy mattered very little.
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Old 10-18-2014, 10:44 PM   #37
Infornific
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post

Its obvious that extremely powerful longbows were used in numbers for long periods of time, and the numbers for st dont jive with reality. To get a massively powerful warbow, like those used on the Mary Rose, you have to have a lot of conans. Which is ludricrous.

The problem is not that st 13+ is extremely rare. Its that the rules for st are pretty whacked. The table needs to be adjusted to make st 13+ not ludricous to possess.

I think theres a lot of ways to do this. But it has to be fixed, because currently its impossible to build a longbow archer who wouldnt rip the head off an Nfl lineman. Because i have met some people who shoot at the lower level of warbow territory, and while they are strong and fairly fit, they arnt linemen size. Maybe wide reciever, qbs or a small safety. Maybe a small linebacker.

There has to be more deviation between the "average" than 5 levels of strength.

I am, again, partial to doubling hp, doubling drs, keeping the damage chart the same, and giving all guns a base armor divisor of 2. Greater granularity.

Otherwise your going to constant bump heads with the unrealistic melee and lifting for st.
One quick and dirty, rules as written solution to the high melee damage problem would be to require players to alternate between buying full ST and Lifting ST plus HP only. So a ST 14 character in this system would have ST 12, +2 Lifting ST and +2 HP. No normal human would break Striking ST 15.

Aside from that, longbow archers are the poster children for specialized ST. They are exceptional at one very specific task - pulling a bow. It just feels more logical to give them a good but relatively modest base ST and traits that boost ST for drawing bows only. If you want a real world analogy, NFL linemen can bench press a lot of weight but they are nowhere near the lifting records for their weight class. That doesn't mean the record holder for bench press has a higher ST in GURPS terms than an NFL offensive lineman, it means he has traits that boost his ST for a highly specialized task. Just like the boxer who throws the hardest punch in the world doesn't have the highest ST.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:40 AM   #38
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

I agree that someone who can draw three times the bow of an average person shouldn't necessarily have three times the BL for all purposes. I don't have any trouble imagining the typical professional archer with a demanding sort of bow having 20 points in Bow skill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Strength is only one of many requirements for swordsmen. For war archers it's far and away the number one feature.
Pulling back a 180 lb bow repeatedly is jaw dropping amazing regardless of stat normalization or distaste for "outliers".
Someone once told me that 80s Arnie was much too slow for a swordsman, but might have made a scary archer with a strong bow. As a fencer I'm inclined to agree, although I really would not want to try to parry a cut from 80s-Arnie.

Kyle Aaron also remarked that as a personal trainer, he could see that the GURPS rules for physical actions were designed by people who didn't get out much.
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Old 10-19-2014, 03:26 AM   #39
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
Since the bonus is entirely houserule I don't feel too bad about the rather steep cost.

Bows occupy an interesting niche as far as muscle powered weapons. Imagine if a knight had to get a new, precisely calibrated sword every time his ST changed.
True, while I don't like the extra roll in my tweak, I do quite like the idea of archers gambling on the ST of the bow they can use.

Although that said I think a binary scenario where you can draw this bow at full performance or you can't draw this bow at all, is not right. At least in the extra roll means sometimes you will draw and sometimes you won't, so over period of time you get a reduced performance (Without having to do a bunch of calculation for partial draws).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
My general philosophy on arming archers is that an (adventuring) archer will get the most powerful bow they can afford, up to their effective ST for using a bow. The corollary being that if a single design is mass produced and issued en masse, those archers will train up to the ST needed for that bow and generally no farther.
IIRC the training was pretty unified with that in mind (the goal being to be able to fire repeated volleys at the same place over and over again) so that would all fit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
Hadn't considered AP, I'll look into that. Thanks!
No probs, I find it a good extra way to tweak the flow of combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by TallIan View Post
As a long term archer, both modern bows and more recently medieval style longbows, I would say that the ability to draw such heavy weight bows boils down more to specific training than general strength.

Technique plays a HUGE role, I have seen many new archers struggle to pull light bows when they start. Then once they master pulling with the correct muscles, they see a huge jump in upper bow strength.

There is also the fact that someone who exercises only one muscle will have that muscle much stronger than any other muscles. Doing months of bicep curls will not help you do leg extensions.

Through my teens I was never particularly strong, yet I could draw far heavier bows than any of my friends.

While I will allow that drawing a bow is not really an isolation exercise and will give you generally improved strength. The ability to draw 150lb bow will be more due to slightly above average strength and great technique.

In summary I would say that your mook archers are better designed with St 13 max with some other abilities that allow them to draw the heavy bows. Or perhaps a house rule that links bow skill to max bow strength, eg +1 str per 5 skill.

Tall
Cheers for the input!
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:55 AM   #40
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
...

Someone once told me that 80s Arnie was much too slow for a swordsman, but might have made a scary archer with a strong bow. As a fencer I'm inclined to agree, although I really would not want to try to parry a cut from 80s-Arnie.

Kyle Aaron also remarked that as a personal trainer, he could see that the GURPS rules for physical actions were designed by people who didn't get out much.
Parrying isn't all about bullheaded strength vs. strength. What gurps calls a parry includes a skilled bit of just getting out of the way that doesn't fall under unskilled dodge.

Your second comment warrants explanation. I'm not necessarily disagreeing as I don't get out enough to vet such rules.
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