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Old 01-22-2022, 05:40 AM   #11
The Colonel
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
This is a game, so if your character spends the points to be superhuman, he can be. But if you just spend the points to be a human archer, you can't shoot through metal armour, any more than your character can walk on water or through walls.

Archery is useful at range, but at melee ranges, normal people draw melee weapons. If you don't want that, spend points on archery-adjacent superpowers, like Heroic Archer, Weapon Master (Bow), etc.
I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that baseline GURPS actually makes archery more effective than it is in real life...

Same sort of reason it's so hard to make an unarmed build that can match armed melee or any kind of melee build that does well against firearms... luckily there are things in the GURPS toolkit that can make these things work... if the campaign is set up like that.
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Old 01-22-2022, 05:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

To add to the other comments, you can move, too. Fire, then move back or to the side whilst drawing an arrow. Keep some distance (not a lot needed) so you can shoot again. Also, you have a decent chance of crippling a leg if you hit it for an average HP opponent, so that would stop them.

I play and have players with bows. Bows are great.
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Old 01-22-2022, 06:35 AM   #13
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

How the heck did the melee fighters cover 30 yards in 1 melee round?

Of course your character is going to suck in combat compared to speedsters with 60-100+ points in increased Move, Enhanced Move, Warp, etc.

On a meta level, I'd argue that your archery actually made a huge difference if it kept the bad guys heads' down while the melee fighters closed the gap. Assuming the GM wasn't being a jerk or just setting the scene incorrectly nearly getting shot in the face might have convinced the bad guy's leader to take cover. His minions then followed his lead.

That said, the encounter was specifically designed to make ranged fighters suck. No enemy ranged fighters to keep the party's melee fighters on their toes, no obstacles to keep the melee fighters at bay and let the ranged fighters shine, and obviously "time warping" the combat to nerf range fighter effectiveness.

Played fairly, you should have gotten at least 2 shots even without Fast-Drawing arrows, the second shot at considerably closer range.
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Old 01-22-2022, 06:43 AM   #14
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
A mail shirt has DR4 vs impaling. It has DR2 vs crushing.
My bad; I double-checked that a mail shirt has a footnote explaining its split DR, but then mistakenly read the footnote for high-tech armors. You're correct: mail would have DR 4 vs arrows.
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Old 01-22-2022, 07:48 AM   #15
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

So, options to make the archer work as a character. Note this is reliant on the GM and other players being willing to play ball.

First, yeah, closing 30 yards in 1 round is pretty ridiculous. That automatically nerfs ranged characters, because they're pretty reliant on the time to close for being relevant. Also, the GM apparently deciding that, no, you can't actually find a bow scaled to your character's strength is pretty bad. Maybe the GM hates archers? If that's the case, he/she should have told you that so you didn't waste time making an archer.

Now, let's look at equipment. There's the weird bit about the GM not letting you actually use a bow appropriate to your character, already mentioned. Additionally, I'm not certain what bow you were using, but typically the Reflex Bow is your best bet. Having a variety of arrows can be useful (although as GM I might require a Perk to keep them all straight in a realistic setting) - cutting arrows are useful against foes with Injury Tolerance (or when attacking limbs), blunt ones are useful against mail (and are half cost to boot), and armor-piercers (either the bodkins from Basic Set, which have normal cost and downgrade damage to pi with AD (2), or the Armor-Piercer option from LTC2, which is -1 to damage and +3 CF, but stays imp and gains the same AD (2) as above) are useful against all sorts of armor. Springing for Balanced (+1 to hit, +4 CF), Fine (+20% range and +1 damage, +2 CF), and/or Very Fine* (+2 damage, +49 CF) arrows can also be worthwhile, as would having a Balanced bow (for +1 Acc and +4 CF).

*Very Fine has no mention of a range increase. Obviously, this should be at least +20% (as for Fine), and honestly +50% Range might be appropriate. That price is a doozy though, adding $98 to the cost of each arrow. If you have any, best to keep them for special occasions (and may as well make it Balanced, which only adds $8 to the price). Balanced Fine arrows are fairly readily affordable, however, at only $14 each (as opposed to the $2 each of normal arrows).

Next up, positioning. If possible, what you really want to do is divide up the party a bit. Have your archer and the tankiest melee fighter standing together, with the rest of the party closer to the targets but concealed (ideally, you want the archer and tank concealed as well, of course, so long as that doesn't interfere with your own attacks). The archer starts plinking from a distance, and in come the enemies. Once they pass the rest of the party's hiding place, you spring the trap, forcing the enemy into a pincer formation with the archer and his/her bodyguard on one side and a bunch of stab-happy goons on the other. The enemy can line up back-to-back to avoid getting backstabbed by the melee characters, of course, but the archer can still shoot people in the back, which allows for no defense - and the enemy is now closer, so you're dealing with fewer penalties (so less need to aim). Having the two groups line up and start swinging/shooting at each other is kind of boring, really.

Finally, traits. Heroic Archer, if available, is very useful for an archer - not so much because of it letting you gain Acc without Aiming, but because it reduces the penalty for Fast-Firing, so that you can shoot once a round if needed. It also lets you using Move and Attack at no penalty aside from missing out on Acc - and Move and Attack is usually a non-starter for bows with their high Bulk. Weapon Master reduces the penalty as well, in addition to granting +2 to damage. Targeted Attack: Vitals, when bought up to full, basically means you target the Torso at no penalty, and if you have MoS 1 or more, you hit the Vitals - so every point that gets past the foe's armor does 3 HP Injury.
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Old 01-22-2022, 08:13 AM   #16
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

Hit locations are a traditional refuge for GURPS archers faced with armored foes. Rather than fretting over their DR, shoot them where they're not armored -- including the eyes, if the goal is to be cinematic and awesome. The orc in the iron cap and mail shirt used to be a scary monster until he took an arrow to the knee. Cinematic GURPS archers aren't about stacking raw damage dice; they're about skill, showing off with pinpoint strikes more than strength.

If you want to be more realistic, then pull out a mace, axe, or sword when enemy melee troops are close. That's what historical archers actually did, if they couldn't just fall back. Legolas is wielding a bow standing in the middle of a bunch of foes in battle, but actual soldiers didn't wander among the infantry and men-at-arms in melee taking potshots with their longbows.
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Old 01-22-2022, 09:50 AM   #17
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

Sounds like it went something like this:

Turn 1, archer draws arrow, melee guys run about 4 yards (counting for ENC and rough terrain
Turn 2, archer readies bow, melee advances another 4 yards (total 8)
Turn 3, archer aims for +Acc, melee advances to 12 yards
Turn 4, archer let's it loose (attack), melee advances to 16 yards.

Note, that at this point, if the opposition is willing to fight and has advanced as well (assuming similar movement rates), the melee dudes would be in melee range and could duke it out.

Note: GURPS doesn't have universal turns, so if that bothers use, interpret the above in that way either way the result is the same.
AotA is of course IMHO, YMMV.
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Old 01-22-2022, 10:22 AM   #18
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Panama
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

A big deal in non cinematic games or setting is that combat and fights needs leadership and tactics, and those two things are sometimes hard to bring to the table, I mean above the game between players.

An archer can be a great leader type, coordinating the combat and helping the melee too.

If the party fights as classic dungeon fantasy orcs with no tactics and no real command, just rush to combat at the drop of a hat, then archers will have a hard time shinyng in the average combat.

In that kind of situations if you communicate with your friends and tell them to stay put, even hidden while you shoot, the enemy would have to run 30 yards under arrow fire, you would probably down one or hurt two before they almost reach you and when they finally reach you the melee team surprise them with axes and swords. Probably less enemies and/or some hurt ones, maybe a bit winded and also probably surprised, so stunned or giving a free round of attack. The single archer character turn a challenging fight into a peace of cake, and is the MVP of the combat.

Edit.: And if they want all the glory for them you may convince them that to get more glory tactics will help you to be able to take on larger enemy bands, for more glory than mere matched brawls.
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Old 01-22-2022, 10:39 AM   #19
Fred Brackin
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

Originally Posted by Boge View Post

N It would cost me another 40 points to get Heroic archer and Weapon master which would net me a +2 accuracy on each shot and a +2 damage on each shot...for 40 points.
These are not your first purchases. Not to overlook mere money you use that to purchase (at least) A Longbow made for ST 15. That'll get you 1D+3 pts of damage and you penetrate DR4 mail 5 out of 6 times.

With character Pts you buy off the Targeted Attack:Face technique (from Martial Arts) and for 4 pts -5 goes down to -2.

That hit to the face doesn't just bypass the armor it gives you the full doubling for Impaling damage and your 6.5 pts of damage turn into an average of 13.

That's a Major Wound which requires a HT Roll to avoid Knockdown and Stun with a -5 penalty for being to the Face. It should also put your target (average human) below 0 HP and that will require a HT roll every turn he tries to do anything.

While you're in Martial Arts check out Foot Archery Style. If I had that I'd probably working on Arm St before Heroic Archer. Weapon Master:Bow is a good buy.

My final build would have a "regular" ST of 14, Arm ST+3 and of course the Strongbow Perk. I'd e using a ST19 longbow and with the WM I'd be doing 2D+5. This is probably the place where people will complain about my character doing too much damage. :)
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Old 01-22-2022, 11:15 AM   #20
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Burnsville, MN
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
My final build would have a "regular" ST of 14, Arm ST+3 and of course the Strongbow Perk. I'd e using a ST19 longbow and with the WM I'd be doing 2D+5. This is probably the place where people will complain about my character doing too much damage. :)
If the GM is stingy about Arm ST, you can do Arm ST +1 and an Elven Strongbow Longbow and hit the same ST 19, yah? The key bit in the DFRPG space is that extra die of base damage, so any port in a storm.
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bow, ranged combat

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