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Old 04-24-2017, 07:27 AM   #31
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
I know cinematic games are all the rage nowadays, and the archer-in-a-melee conceit is highly cinematic. But consider that, realistically, archers are only for support; they're not the main action. Maybe players who want more to do should simply not be archers.
Certainly you can reply to any player who says "I want to play a cool archer" with "That's too bad, in reality that's not an exciting role, you should play something else". Of course you can do that for every other possible job too, because in reality everything you could possibly do is unexciting most of the time. Don't expect anybody to play in your campaign though.

The trick here is to figure out what bits of reality you need to ignore or alter to make the game interesting. It's not like realistic melee fighters average more than a few minutes of exciting combat per lifetime either. GURPS archers already do get a few of those too (bows in GURPS, and pretty much all other RPGs hit more often, and do more damage than in reality), but maybe not enough of them.

I do think rate of fire is a lot of it, melee fighters get to do something interesting every turn, archers spend half their turns doing boring Ready actions. And the range penalties mean often when they do get to do something, it turns out to be miss for no effect, so something for reducing or ignoring range penalties at short ranges is helpful too. For more detailed combat the lack of cool techniques is something of a problem too, adapting stuff from Gun Fu has some potential to compensate for that. The interesting variety of melee weapons can somewhat be offset by offering specialty arrows (and no, most of them aren't realistic either), or a broader range of quality options for bows, if you can come up with any bonuses for them you are willing to suspend disbelief in.
MA Lloyd
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