# Re: (TFT) Crossbows Are Too Powerful in TFT or Longbows are Not Powerful Enough

```----- Original Message -----
From: "Neil Gilmore" <raito@raito.com>
To: <tft@brainiac.com>

> > It's apparently so.
> >
> > Longbows and heavy crossbows fire a projectile of similar mass, diameter
> and
> > velocity. The mass of a bolt or arrow is around .35g and the velocity is
> > about 40mps for he longbow and 42 mps for the heavy crossbow bolt. The
> > crossbow bolt has a higher ballistic coefficient, which gives it better
> > hitting power (and probably better accuracy) at a given range. But the
> > bottom line is that the kinetic energy of both weapons is about the
> same --
> > 280-309 joules.
>
> Where do these numbers come from?

The kinetic energy formula is KE = 0.5MV^2. The data for crossbow bolt size
came 0

I'm no longer at the office; I'll get the citation for projectile mass and
velocity tomorrow. Do you dispute them, or are you merely curious? In any
case, the exact numbers are irrelevant, so long as (a) the mass of the
projectiles are similar and (b) the velocity is similar. The ability of a
projectile to penetrate primitive armor is largely a function of its kinetic
energy and cross-section and if those are similar, then they should have
similar penetration.

<snip>

> Per TFT, you also don't get the fast reate of fire with a crossbow that
you
> do with a longbow.

Which is why I didn't mention rate of fire.

>
> > Of course, raising the damage of a longbow to 3 dice will make them
*very*
> > popular. So I suggest a the following additional rules and changes for
> bows
> > and crossbows in TFT.
> >
> > -Longbows require a ST of 13 and do 2+1 damage.
> > -Heavy Crossbows require a ST of 12 and do 2+1 damage.
> > -Light crossbows require a ST of 10 and do 1+1 damage.
>
> > These weapons ignore all armor and shields.
>
> That certainly wouldn't be even a reasonable recreation of what armor
does.

Have you a better solution? Or should we just simply raise the longbow's
damage to 3 dice? The salient characteristic of medieval crossbows was their
ability to penetrate heavy armor. These suggestions would give them that
ability without making them likely to kill the target in one shot. See GURPS
for the "damage and penetration are the same thing" school of thought. This
results in guns doing 6-8 dice of damage...

See, the problem is that hit points (or ST) don't seem to reflect the actual
process of wounding. Frank Chadwick found some US firefight studies and
published and article in Challenge magazine years ago. I can hunt the source
down, but the conclusions were that killing or badly wounding someone was a
function of hitting the right spot. There did not seem to be anything like
"hit points" at work. Unfortunately, this isn't a very enjoyable way to play
a game -- everything revolves around getting a critical hit, making it hard
for players to control risks.

So rules that equate penetration and damage distort the likelihood of death
when firing at lightly armored targets. GURPs has this problem with
firearms, as did the Traveller games Striker and Azhanti High Lightning.

--Ty Beard
=====
Post to the entire list by writing to tft@brainiac.com.
Unsubscribe by mailing to majordomo@brainiac.com with the message body
"unsubscribe tft"

```