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Old 10-17-2014, 01:44 AM   #11
Verjigorm
 
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

I think it's funny that so many people see a need to make additional rules increasing ST based damage to bows, but doesn't just, I dunno, increase ST scores to use bows that match what we know historically existed.

Stat normalization is all good and all, but ST is one stat we know varies dramatically between people, and in small amounts.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
I think it's funny that so many people see a need to make additional rules increasing ST based damage to bows, but doesn't just, I dunno, increase ST scores to use bows that match what we know historically existed.

Stat normalization is all good and all, but ST is one stat we know varies dramatically between people, and in small amounts.
Because we are talking about a highly specialized form of ST, to the point where people had warped skeletons from developing those specific muscles their entire lives. This isn't all-around full body strength, this is the ability to pull in one specific motion really hard.

Besides, a damage bonus for having high scores in muscle-powered skills has a long tradition in GURPS.
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:19 AM   #13
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
I think it's funny that so many people see a need to make additional rules increasing ST based damage to bows, but doesn't just, I dunno, increase ST scores to use bows that match what we know historically existed.

Stat normalization is all good and all, but ST is one stat we know varies dramatically between people, and in small amounts.
Mainly because if I have to have a ST17 archer to pull a historically accurate warbow I'll need thousands of such strongmen to match what we knew historically existed.

And because of the usual knock on effects of really High ST, So I'm not sure why someone who's spent years training to fire a 144lb bow suddenly becomes a great puncher, can absorb a huge amount of damage, and generally lift enormous weights.

Although I don't imagine them to be puny either which is why I sum several sources* of increased ability here, and DS changing Pull ST to come of lifting ST rather than striking ST helps here.

*a concept I think works well in general for extreme abilities (the world strongest man is naturally big and strong, and trains hard to adapt his body to being strong at lifting, and trains very hard in lifting techniques, and spends FP for extra effort etc, etc)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
Because we are talking about a highly specialized form of ST, to the point where people had warped skeletons from developing those specific muscles their entire lives. This isn't all-around full body strength, this is the ability to pull in one specific motion really hard.
Basically this, as a general rule I'd rather have specific situations covered by rules that don't have broader knock on effects.
The whole history of raising archers who could do this was of getting a group of men who could perform a specific feat reliably and well. It wasn't about a breeding programme for raising stronger middle and lower classes who incidentally made great bowmen due to their great ST.

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Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
Besides, a damage bonus for having high scores in muscle-powered skills has a long tradition in GURPS.
I only know 4th ed. So was this in early editions?

Last edited by Tomsdad; 10-17-2014 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:17 AM   #14
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Common soldiers will have ST of 10 or 11. Elite archers are trickier as Arm ST comes into play but anything less than a virtual PC will not go higher than (probably) a 13, including Arm ST.
I disagree. ST is much more trainable than the other attributes. Achieving then maintaining a high ST does require a good diet rich in protein, but soldiers could get that. We don't call the Medieval Age the Starvation Age. Food wasn't so much scarce as it was non-abundant.

A common full-time soldier or mercenary could well have ST 12, and I have no problems at all with a professional archer with ST 15 or even 16 (including the effect of Striking ST and other subsets of ST). The body responds to muscle challenges. If you keep challenging your arm and shoulder musculature by drawing a high-draw-weight bow, your muscles are going to become stronger.
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:40 AM   #15
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
I disagree. ST is much more trainable than the other attributes. Achieving then maintaining a high ST does require a good diet rich in protein, but soldiers could get that. We don't call the Medieval Age the Starvation Age. Food wasn't so much scarce as it was non-abundant.

A common full-time soldier or mercenary could well have ST 12, and I have no problems at all with a professional archer with ST 15 or even 16 (including the effect of Striking ST and other subsets of ST). The body responds to muscle challenges. If you keep challenging your arm and shoulder musculature by drawing a high-draw-weight bow, your muscles are going to become stronger.
I think the more specific the repeated exercise the more specific the benefit you'll see, and the narrower its application will be.

Also I think the kind of combinations of diet and regime you alluding to wasn't really that common in the Middle ages not so much due to scarcity of protein (although most people didn't that much protein, there's reason why the animals have anglo saxon names but their meat has French ones) but due to logistics. When it did occur it occurred amount knights and squires (or other elite warrior sub societies, huscarls for instance)

you have to remember that English long bowman weren't taken away and and trained at archers boot camp, and then maintained as a standing army. They lived and trained at home while being what ever they were normally and then we're called up at time of war.

There were some standing troops, but again due to logistics it was rare. In an economy based in rural work, a solider is not only a man your paying for, but a man who's not producing.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 10-17-2014 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:54 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Unless you aren't counting Strongbow, the archers on the Merry Rose would all have been stronger that that. That's a pretty big PC party...
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.
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:53 AM   #17
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

I tend to allow Strongbow and Striking Strength to allow higher ST archers, but mostly for settings as realistic as Dungeon Fantasy. If I wanted to play a game with true realism as a bedrock I'd institute Deadly Spring and maybe even some of the muscle-powered melee weapon limitations that have been batted around.

Ironically, the game I'd pull that with would have non-humans as the standard assumption and draw muscle powered weapons in general from some of the variant "half official damage per ST" rules of thumb that have been batted around.

Honestly, though, I'm not sure I'd pull that off simply to make creating characters "by the book" easier. For higher tech levels where muscle power has little meaning is one thing, in games where matching by the book ST to game ST is something else entirely. I have doubts of whether I'd modify ST and damage to make a game focused on the assumptions of Dungeon Fantasy happy. I've batted around combining Dungeon Fantasy and more realistic play styles and listings (like Low Tech) in the past. Sometimes I like the out-of-this-world assumptions on the strength of bows. If anything I'd like a well-trained bowman to threaten a heavily-armored Knight.
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:02 AM   #18
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

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Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
I do something similar to Tomsdad, but with less randomness.

If you know the Bow skill at a level equal to your effective ST for pulling bows (so it includes Strongbow and the like) you get +1 to your effective draw ST, +2 to effective draw ST if your skill is at Draw ST +1 or higher.

So an archer with ST 10 and no other modifiers and Bow 10 would have an effective draw ST of 11.

An archer of ST 14 and 2 levels of Strongbow would need a bow skill of 16 to get a bonus of +1 and 17+ to get +2.
Just quickly doesn't that make it harder for stronger archers to get benefit from their skill (i.e they need a higher skill in order to get the bonuses)?
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

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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.
Or 20 points in an archer template (GURPS Power Ups 2: Perks p. 4) which ST 12 alone gets you.
Quote:
You can have such individuals but you're not very likely to have even a single company of such people.
So who were the 250 longbows on the Mary Rose for?

Last edited by sir_pudding; 10-17-2014 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: Typical ST for a war bow?

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Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
Stat normalization is all good and all, but ST is one stat we know varies dramatically between people, and in small amounts.
This. Soldiers (and farmers and laborers) need ST. That gives them HP, which they also need. If you want them a little weaker, give them Strongbow, but otherwise, just give them ST, and reserve the perk for the PC (or elf).
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