[PnP] bows also MCV & range fraction idea

Alex Koponen akoponen at mosquitonet.com
Fri Dec 24 21:21:38 CET 2004

One thing I've noticed several times over the years is the limited info 
P&P has about Elven Bows.
They have a +2WSB and take 90 days to make. They can be used by weak 
individuals. They only weigh half as much (as a regular bow?). 
Presumably because they are elven they cost 40 times as much as a 
regular bow. Availability of 10%.
Nothing about ranges. Are there longbow and composite bow versions of 
elven bows? Even (gasp!) crossbow versions?

Logically a (non-magical) missile that does more damage does so by a 
change in the missile, by being more accurate or by having greater 
kinetic energy. Nothing indicates that there is any change in the 
missile (arrow) from one bow to the next. Accuracy is covered by other 

The greater WSB implies that Elven bows, and to a lesser extent 
longbows, impart a greater amount of kinetic energy than composite or 
regular bows and that all of them impart more energy than shortbows.

If more energy is imparted, it makes sense that the effective range will 
be longer as well having greater damage at any particular range. Thus 
high strength and magical bows should have their ranges increased, 
perhaps 10% per +1 to the WSB.

Indeed, I believe we could simplify missiles and have one generic range 
for arrows, another for sling bullets (with a shorter range for rocks 
than for lead), etc. These ranges would then be modified by the WSB 

[Sidenote: The * marking for bows on the weapon table, indicating that 
they need both hands to load but can be fired with one hand I believe is 
incorrect. Firing of a selfbow takes both hands. Also, since bolts fired 
from a repeating crossbow can't have fletching (else they jam) the range 
should be fairly short, shorter than 16.]

Another concept I am pondering is to have the line on the combat table 
for missiles be determined by: MCV - DCV
MCV = CEL + EL + 6 - range fraction.
where range fraction is measured in increments of tenths of the range of 
the weapon with the archer's EL subtracting from the roll and the 
target's shield EL adding to the roll. [Yes, this counts EL twice. Sort 
of like EL in spells is also doubled.]
    CEL is useful for anticipating where the target will be when the 
missile reaches that range (or for anticipating where the missiles will 
hit and avoiding that spot).
    If one discounts CEL + EL in determining Missile Combat Value you 
are left with 6 - range fraction. This translates into line 5 at ranges 
of 1/10th or less of the bow's range (point blank); line 0 at 6/10ths of 
the bow's range; line -4 at the bow's base range and continues at lower 
lines at extended ranges.

                                            Alex Koponen 

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