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Old 06-22-2020, 11:30 PM   #1
JazzJedi
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Default Bow draw weights and skill

So I'm doing a historical campaign set during the 100 years war, and I wanted to come up with rules for draw weights and bows. Do these rules exist anywhere? I have a little archery experience: I own a 45-lb. super-grizzly recurve, and a 70-lb. Optimus compound bow - I've gone bow hunting about a dozen times in the last 20 years, but I don't shoot as regularly as I should - maybe 2-3 times per month for a couple of hours each time. I've tried firing a 100-lb warbow, and it is difficult, but I can shoot it 5-6 times before I need a good rest. I imagine I could pull a 130-pound bow maybe once before needing to rest for a good minute.

Anyway, what I've learned from my experience and my friends is that there is a draw weight that I can fire basically all the time without too much fatigue, and a draw weight above which I will tire pretty quickly. So decided that this "normal draw weight" is equal to the ST of the firer, and the draw weight equivalent is BLx3. This uses the rules as written. So a ST 10 bow has an equivalent draw weight of 60-lbs. ST 9 is 48 lbs. ST 7 is a 30-lb. bow. ST 12 is 86.4 lbs. ST 15 is 135 lbs, and this is equivalent to the estimated strength of the Mary Rose warbows. Maybe ST 16 for the most powerful of those.

Your "maximum draw weight" is equal to your ST+2. But firing a bow over your ST requires an Ready maneuver to draw the bow (it requires a different posture and a LOT of effort) and you can't benefit from more than one turn of aiming, and it costs 1 FP per second to try and hold it in the Ready position!

As for skill, I can hit a bullseye at 40 yards pretty often (90%+) and have shot White-tailed deer at that range in the heart with both my bows. So to hit a deer in the vitals at 40 yards has the following modifiers: Range (-8), Heart/Vitals (-3), Accuracy 3, Extra two turns to aim +2, All-Out Attack (Determined) +1. So assuming that my effective skill is 14 (90% accuracy), that would mean I need a base skill of 16? That seems too high to me, but I'm probably missing some modifiers. Now I know people will say that my target accuracy is not the same as combat accuracy, but I respectfully disagree. Hunting is stressful, and I've shot many deer (longest was 60 yards) and never missed a lethal shot (I've shot six deer total). I'm not exceptional or prolific as far as bow hunters go, and my 84-year old father went bow hunting last year and shot and killed a deer at 60 yards with his 55-lb recurve. He's been bow hunting for years, but never practices archery since he was a kid! He is a bit of a freak... Any better insights of converting real world accuracy to GURPS skill would be appreciated.

The reason I mention this is that English longbowmen were required by law to practice archery from the age of 15+, but most started earlier (age 10+), and they practiced regularly. They had an archery culture and used heavier bows all the time, although probably not for hunting. Either way, I only imagine that their skill must be a LOT better than mine, and Mongol archers were said to be able to hit a man from a galloping horse at 100 yards more than half the time! That has to be an average skill of 20 or higher! Does this mean the "average" Mongol have Bow at DX+8? Well, it wouldn't surprise me, but that seems a bit off based on the official "expert" skill level being 14. I don't consider myself an expert at all, and I shoot pretty average for our group.

My apologies for the long post, but archery is an important part of the campaign and since all the players are archers, we tend to talk in terms of draw weight, draw length, arrow weight, etc. This was our attempt to convert our knowledge to GURPS rules. If these rules have been covered elsewhere, please direct me, and please offer some criticism and feedback. Thanks!

Last edited by JazzJedi; 06-22-2020 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 06-22-2020, 11:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bow draw weights and skill

Pyramid #3/33 has an article called The Deadly Spring that covers some of what your looking for.
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Old 06-23-2020, 12:08 AM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Bow draw weights and skill

I would put the draw limit for a bow at BL×3 (allowing a ST 12 person to draw up to an 87 lb bow without extra effort). The Strongbow perks would allow characters to draw a stronger bow by increasing their effective ST and therefore their effective BL. For example a ST 12 character with Strongbow and Bow at DX+2 would have an effective ST 14, allowing them to draw up to a 117 lb bow.
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Old 06-23-2020, 12:09 AM   #4
JazzJedi
 
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Default Re: Bow draw weights and skill

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Pyramid #3/33 has an article called The Deadly Spring that covers some of what your looking for.
OMG! That is exactly what I was looking for in even more glorious detail! Just purchased it! Nothing on Bow skill levels, though.
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Old 06-23-2020, 01:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bow draw weights and skill

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Originally Posted by JazzJedi View Post
OMG! That is exactly what I was looking for in even more glorious detail! Just purchased it! Nothing on Bow skill levels, though.
would this help?
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Old 06-23-2020, 02:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bow draw weights and skill

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Originally Posted by JazzJedi View Post
Now I know people will say that my target accuracy is not the same as combat accuracy, but I respectfully disagree. Hunting is stressful, and I've shot many deer (longest was 60 yards) and never missed a lethal shot (I've shot six deer total).
I would suggest on this point that, though hunting might be more stressful than being at the range, the deer aren't shooting back.
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Old 06-23-2020, 03:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bow draw weights and skill

Let's see.
looking at Task Difficult (B345) it seems like a very favorable task (+2 or +3).

you can make this shot with every bow or with your specific bow it seems a little more easy? maybe you have Weapon Bond, that gives you +1 to shoot with your bow only.

I'm not familiar with the pyramid article, but in Basic we have weapon quality (B274). It doesn't cover ranged weapons, but maybe your bow have a better quality, or the sight give more bonus. the weapons statistics are for lower TL.

If you search you can find more bonus so the skills falls between 10-12, and maybe you have some bow related Talent
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:21 AM   #8
JazzJedi
 
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Default Re: Bow draw weights and skill

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
I would suggest on this point that, though hunting might be more stressful than being at the range, the deer aren't shooting back.
Nothing in the rules says that you get a bonus if someone isn't shooting back. And wouldn't that be covered by the penalties for pop-up attacks, Dodging, Move and Attack, etc., which are all maneuvers you do when you are being shot at?

I've been in the military and actually know what that is like, and yes, it's terrifying. But when I tell you that the stress of getting a good bow shot when hunting is much higher than target shooting. And I didn't try and factor in terrain and visibility into the shot - sometimes you are firing from slightly awkward position, you are also being very stealthy, controlling your breathing, trying not to spook the animal, etc.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:28 AM   #9
JazzJedi
 
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Default Re: Bow draw weights and skill

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Originally Posted by Empada View Post
Let's see.
looking at Task Difficult (B345) it seems like a very favorable task (+2 or +3).

you can make this shot with every bow or with your specific bow it seems a little more easy? maybe you have Weapon Bond, that gives you +1 to shoot with your bow only.

I'm not familiar with the pyramid article, but in Basic we have weapon quality (B274). It doesn't cover ranged weapons, but maybe your bow have a better quality, or the sight give more bonus. the weapons statistics are for lower TL.

If you search you can find more bonus so the skills falls between 10-12, and maybe you have some bow related Talent
These are good points. I've owned one other bow, but certainly fired my two bows the most and am familiar with how they feel that perhaps Weapon Bond is appropriate. As for Weapon Quality, yes, maybe +1 Acc is appropriate for my compound bow, but not the recurve. It's a good weapon, but it's of stock quality. But even +1 Accuracy and Weapon Bond would push my estimated base skill down to 14, which seems more reasonable.

Part of it is that hunting or stalking is a skill too, and setting yourself up for a good shot matters. You don't just take any shot, and you need the angle to the animal to be good - can you make a Targeted Attack with a ranged weapon?
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:47 AM   #10
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Bow draw weights and skill

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Originally Posted by JazzJedi View Post
OMG! That is exactly what I was looking for in even more glorious detail! Just purchased it! Nothing on Bow skill levels, though.
Try Pyramid 3/77 “On Target “ for options that can increase the effectiveness of Aiming.
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