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Old 01-22-2022, 11:32 AM   #21
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
With the specified situation, you have effective ST 14, for thrust damage of 1d. A longbow does thrust+2, or 1d+2, or 3-8. A mail shirt has DR 4, so a regular arrow penetrates it two times out of three, for 1-4 points, doubled to 2-8. Average damage is 3.3 points. If you use arrows with bodkin points, the DR is halved to 2, so the arrow always penetrates, for 1-6 points, not doubles, for average damage 3.5 points, marginally better. It could be said that using regular points was a mistake, but it was a minor one. The biggest issue was that it gave you a chance of not penetrating.
Shooting the bodkins at Vitals could make their advantage more dramatic. It's an easier shot than the almost-made face shot and negates the difference in wounding compared to standard arrows.
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Old 01-22-2022, 12:50 PM   #22
hal
 
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Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

I can't comment on the events of the battle that your GM ran, as I wasn't there. What I can say is this:

ST 13 archer with a Longbow rated at ST 13, will inflict 1d6+2 damage per shot. This means that you would inflict some damage roughly 2/3rds of the time when firing upon a chain armored foe. Chest shots will do double damage of what gets through the armor. So, you roll a 4, your arrow will do 2 points after DR and then doubled to 4 points due to wounding modifier.

I would suggest searching through your rules book for mentions of arrows and that it takes surgery to remove arrows etc. An arrow to the vitals, where the tips have been smeared with fecal matter makes it tougher to avoid an infection when you've aimed to hit the vitals.

Also, remember that Bows can benefit from the Weapon Bond rules, so you can gain another +1 to your skill with a bow. Hit locations as a technique can help you to halve your hit location penalties (rounded down of course). So a -7 penalty to hit the cranium with your bows can be turned to a -4. A hit to the face can be made to be -3 instead of -5. A hit to the vitals can be dropped to a -2 penalty in the same fashion.


So, spend the points in those skills, spend the money on your BEST arrows saved for emergencies (you know, if you want to have black swan feathers for fletchings, the best of steel barbed heads for your best arrows, go for it!).
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Old 01-22-2022, 05:29 PM   #23
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Shooting the bodkins at Vitals could make their advantage more dramatic. It's an easier shot than the almost-made face shot and negates the difference in wounding compared to standard arrows.
That's a very sound suggestion. With skill-18 you'll hit the vitals 95% of the time.
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Old 01-22-2022, 09:26 PM   #24
mr beer
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

Heroic Archer is the go-to for fun archery. Better chance to hit, increases rapidity of fire and gives you freedom of movement. It's more important than Weapon Master IMO.

As mentioned above Bodkin points plus getting the Targeted Attack: Vitals Technique will negate mail very effectively. ST 13 is 1d+3 with a longbow I think? So vs. DR 4 effective DR 2 you will damage as follows:

4 = 2 base = 6 HP
5 = 3 base = 9 HP
6 = 4 base = 12 HP
7 = 5 base = 15 HP
8 = 6 base = 18 HP
9 = 7 base = 21 HP

You are getting a Major Wound on normal humans every hit and two thirds of the time you are taking them below 0 HP. Max damage can even insta-kill which is impressive for an archer.

EDIT

Also your GM is effectively nerfing you if enemies can routinely travel 30 yards in 1 second. You should have had 7 seconds to shoot at them in that time. Less seriously, you are being nerfed if you can't get hold of a stronger bow within a reasonable amount of game time.

EDIT2

I think TA (Bow/Vitals) is 3 points to reduce Vitals to -2 penalty? Heroic Archer is 20 points. ST 11 and Arm ST +2 is 20 points. HT 12 and DX 12 is 60 points. Bow at DX+5 is 24 points. Thats [127] total so with Disadvantages you can get an effective archer for less than 100 points.

You can shoot every second if you make a Bow -3 roll (skill 17 - 3 = effective 14) and a Fast Draw: Arrow roll (buy this to skill 14 for 4 points). Your base skill is 17 plus Acc 2 for 19. Shooting at 30 yards is -7 and Vitals -2 with your Technique. So assuming you make your rolls to re-load and starting at 30 yards you shoot as follows:

Second 1: Range 30 (-7), Vitals (-2), Acc (+2) = effective skill 10.
Second 2: Range 26 (-6), Vitals (-2), Acc (+2) = effective skill 11.
Second 3: Range 22 (-6), Vitals (-2), Acc (+2) = effective skill 11.
Second 4: Range 18 (-5), Vitals (-2), Acc (+2) = effective skill 12.
Second 5: Range 14 (-4), Vitals (-2), Acc (+2) = effective skill 13.
Second 6: Range 10 (-4), Vitals (-2), Acc (+2) = effective skill 13.
Second 7: Range 6 (-3), Vitals (-2), Acc (+2) = effective skill 14.

Second 8 onwards you maintain this distance because you have your full movement.

Last edited by mr beer; 01-22-2022 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 01-22-2022, 10:32 PM   #25
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
*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).
BS limits Very Fine to fencing weapons and swords only; is there an added rule somewhere that lets arrows take it for (what appears to be) +49 CF? (Sounds good to me either way.)

Also, I agree that Balanced + Fine is a nice combination for arrows. A few of those, in regular and bodkin versions, are a good thing to have in any quiver.

Added thought for the original poster: I have a modest suggestion online for increasing the bonus from Aim to +1 per second of aiming (max +3), plus Acc. (Restated, that's an extra +1 TH for taking any amount of Aim.)

Doing that isn't a game changer for ranged combat, but I prefer it for a number of reasons. And in the case you present, even a +1 TH might help relieve your archer's frustration. (Well, assuming he actually has time to aim, when facing mysteriously teleporting soldiers...)
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Old 01-23-2022, 01:13 AM   #26
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
That's a very sound suggestion. With skill-18 you'll hit the vitals 95% of the time.
Depending on range.
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Old 01-23-2022, 01:47 AM   #27
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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BS limits Very Fine to fencing weapons and swords only; is there an added rule somewhere that lets arrows take it for (what appears to be) +49 CF? (Sounds good to me either way.)
I believe it originated in DF8, where it was +19 CF for fencing weapons and swords but +49 CF for everything else. GURPS Low Tech instead made it +14 CF for crushing-only weapons (which don't get the damage benefit, only a lower chance of breakage), +19 CF for fencing weapons/swords, and +49 CF for everything else ("Other melee or thrown weapons, and projectiles").

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post
Also, I agree that Balanced + Fine is a nice combination for arrows. A few of those, in regular and bodkin versions, are a good thing to have in any quiver.
Indeed. As I noted upthread, in a realistic campaign I might be inclined to require a Perk so you never mix up which arrow you're grabbing in the heat of battle (otherwise, it's probably an IQ-based Bow roll - failure means you either draw a random arrow, which could end up being the one you wanted anyway, or you can take an extra second to make certain you grab the right one).
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:24 AM   #28
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
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)
I wouldn't. It's incredibly simple to compartmentalize a quiver (a simple frame made of sticks wedged into place will work in a pinch) and there are lots of little things an armourer/fletcher can do to make different sorts of arrows visually and haptically distinct from the nock/fletching end. Different numbers, sizes, and colors of fletchings, slightly different arrow lengths, different textures for the arrow nocks, painted bands on the shaft, etc.

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
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).
Alternately, do the bowhunter thing and have your archer stalk solo to close the range (Camo and Stealth rolls) using the best Cover and Concealment possible to get a flank shot on the foes. First shot will be sniper-style shot vs. a still, unsuspecting target with maximum Aim bonus, giving Partial or Total Surprise. Then use the melee fighters to draw the bad guys' attention and take shots from the side and rear so the bad guys don't get active defenses. Once they realize that they're being flanked they've got the choice of splitting their force to deal with the sniper or keeping the unit together to deal with the melee fighters while continuing to take ranged attacks they can't counter.

Of course, this trick only works if you've got good cover & concealment, plenty of room to maneuver, plenty of time to set up the ambush, and a "light archer" character with sufficient movement-related advantages that they can bug out if the bad guys decide to charge them.
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:36 AM   #29
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

From the party point of view, why weren't the melee fighters holding back to let your character "soften things up" before they went in?

Unless the bad guys can take cover they're sitting ducks for a skilled archer. Even if you can't penetrate torso or head armor you can still cripple foes with hits to the arm or leg (-2 to hit, possibly reduced/no DR). Big scary guy isn't so scary with a crippled weapon arm or if he's immobilized and forced to fight from the ground because of the arrow in his knee.

If the bad guys do take cover, they might be forced to lie down or kneel, forcing them to take one or more Posture Change maneuvers or face serious penalties to hit and defend once melee starts. That gives the melee fighters a big advantage on the first round of combat once they charge into range.

If the bad guys decide to charge, the need to cover ground quickly to avoid getting skewered by an arrow sets them up nicely for ambushes involving traps, unstable ground, caltrops, or landmines. Did the party leader use Tactics to choose ground where your archer couldn't be easily overrun or had a chance to flank?

From the GM point of view, why didn't the bad guys have their own ranged fighters to keep the PCs on their toes and give the PC archer an obvious, tactically important target to engage? There's nothing like a sniper duel to give a ranged fighter a chance to shine and to make the small differences in skill level, loading speed, etc. critically important.

Failing that, why didn't the GM put obstacles between the bad guys and the melee fighters that put the PCs at a disadvantage unless the archer is there to provide covering fire? Something like an embankment they have to scramble up or a wall they have to climb over while the bad guys get free hacks at them unless the archer is there to skewer any bad guy who gets close.

Last edited by Pursuivant; 01-23-2022 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 01-23-2022, 06:51 AM   #30
bocephus
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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Originally Posted by Boge View Post
I get that it's more realistic being slower and doing less damage than a sword or axe slash, but this is a game. There should be some gameplay balances that make bows a bit more useful.

Conclusion, bows suck in turn by turn combat in Gurps. I made this character because I thought it might be fun or cool, but it's just useless is all.
/rant
I feel for you. (IMO) There are three distinct points in the original post, I'll address them this way because its simpler for me.

First
Quote:
Conclusion, bows suck in turn by turn combat in Gurps.
**Mechanically speaking in terms of GURPS point distribution **
I don't know what point values you are working with so I will just hang in the 100-150 values that I'm most familiar with using for new characters/campaigns.

An Archer is not something that you can really be as an addon, unless you have more disposable CP than I usually give my players. To clarify, I mean Cinematic Archer as in Legolas, Robinhood, a D&D Ranger, Marvel's Hawkeye, DC's Green Arrow, NOT "I'm able to shoot a bow with skill" said every hunter/woodsman/chivalrous knight since... ever.
IMO Trying to be good at other stuff AND be a Cinematic Archer, translates to an average or below average melee that happens to have a high skill with a bow. You will always be far behind players that commit fully to their chosen specialty.

To have a bow as a primary weapon without committing fully to having a substantial amount of your points dedicated to being an Archer is a recipe for mediocrity or disappointment.
A 125pt character can be good at melee (Mace for instance) and still have plenty of points to be "mostly good" at something else that's melee adjacent (brawling for instance) and skills that aren't DX/ST/HT based.
A 125pt "Archer" is going to have to go really all in on Archery and talents/abilities/skills that make Archery more effective. You may only be able to have a couple non-DX skills. Which might make a decent Default Observer but wont help much in melee/melee adjacent encounters, except where it might help avoid such encounters.

Since it's really more a cinematic idea than "realistic", so you will need GM buy in for the concept. If the game is intended to be more "realistic" you may have to pay for an Unusual Background, if the GM allows it, to compensate the "realistic melee" fighters for your really powerful specialty (eliminating melee before they can close the distance).
The GM must also consider if there are more Archers roaming around, meaning melee may have already established tactics to deal with you. Alternatively, are you a lost/wandering 'Shaolin monk' let loose in medieval Europe where no brawler has a chance against you but an armored knight may prove a great difficulty. Not that he's a particularly skilled opponent but his armor is equally alien to your training and skills.

You're choosing a path similar to a "wizard' where you have to commit to a specific role that could be VERY powerful within your niche, but outside of that you may struggle a little to bring value.
You may be left out at the campfire while everyone else sharpens their swords, you play with your sticks and feathers thinking you can hunt an armored knight like a rabbit.
The melee players may not understand you.
Once they see what you can do, they may not like you if they decide its not an honorable way to kill someone.
They might fear you will do it to them.


Second
Quote:
I made this character because I thought it might be fun or cool, but it's just useless is all.
This is lack of communication between the GM and the players. When you start a new game, or make a new character, there should be at least a short conversation between the player and the GM to establish what it is the player envisions doing.
I usually do this by saying, "paint me a picture of some cool moments where you think your character is going to shine." If Im lucky the player has given this some thought and will have something for me, if Im unlucky the player hasn't given it any real thought and the GM will have to do some of the heavy lifting here.

I need to know what it is the player thinks he's going to be able to do before I can say:
* "No problem thats sounds like it will be really cool, make a character sheet so I can see how the points work out" (See the first point I made about game mechanics, because this step may have failed as well. This is where the GM should have said "I don't think this character is going to work the way you want it to, and here's why")
* "Ok, Im going to have to restructure some things I had planned, but I think I can make this work"
* "I like part of this, but we need to manage a couple things, for balance, would you be willing to drop X to have Y or the other way around?"
* "I dont think that's going to work for this campaign and I dont want you to end up frustrated." (I had a 'low magic' campaign where the antagonists were a previously unknown tribe of Rock gnomes who were SM-1, blended into the terrain, and high DR {made of "rock"}. All of which would have made a basically non-magic item archer pretty frustrated.)

Your GM should have considered this when he approved your character and taken it into account. This all assumes your GM is proficient and has a good grasp of GURPS, the players are proficient and have a good grasp of GURPS. If either or both are untrue then this can only be corrected with honest dialog.

BTW as a GM, I need to point out, you did the right thing as a good player. NOT THROWING A TANTRUM IN THE MOMENT, in the middle of game play and derailing the session for everyone (someone knows who I'm talking about).
Tell your GM I think you should get a CP award (for all my opinions worth) just for that alone, its worth encouraging grown up behavior and communication.
Take this downtime after the fact to have that conversation with the GM before the next session. Point the GM to this thread so they have the same info you do if you aren't sure what the solution is but you still want to try and make it work.





Now the last bit
Quote:
I get that it's more realistic being slower and doing less damage than a sword or axe slash, but this is a game. There should be some gameplay balances that make bows a bit more useful.
There are a lot of things that seem to have gone wrong, and its been pretty well illuminated in ALL the other posts in the thread. I have nothing more of substance to contribute there.
All of the suggestions DO require your GMs approval. (I for one don't use the martial arts books, just not my GM style). If your GM lets you take things from these sources, they should be prepared for an onslaught of all the other players wanting stuff from these 'new' sources. Some changes need to be made somewhere though, even if its just letting you make a different character.

Its possible you were just a casualty of a less experienced GM (maybe they have never dealt with archery as a primary weapon before) or an honest oversight. It's possible its just poor communication in that the GM actually wanted this to be an in your face melee campaign and really didn't want to factor ranged into the fights. You wont know till you address it.

Even GMs can get tunnel vision. I know when I do a lot of prep for a "planned" fight I try to consider different ways it might go, so I have at least thought it through and have some sort of base ideas. If the fight goes very much a different direction I sometimes forget to pay attention and just keep "following a script I had in my head" instead of adapting to what did happen. I depend on the players to point out something that seems off. It can lead to interesting moments of chaos that are fun as much as frustrating, but we're all human. Keeping track of ALL the variables and threads is a super human task.
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