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RE: (TFT) Summary of Longbow / Crossbow debate.
Ty summarized below:
As I said in an earlier post, there are numerous ways to address this point
(if in fact you agree that it should be addressed). I'd summarize my
1. The physics suggest that longbows have a penetration (at normal TFT
ranges) that is indistinguishable from Heavy Crossbows.
I agree for low tech crossbows. Once high
quality steel was available, a heavy crossbow should
edge out a longbow.
2. Longbows appear to require more ST to use than Heavy Crossbows.
Absolutely! Longbows required a very high
upper body strength, where as with mechanical
devices to cock it just about anyone could load
3. Longbows have a significantly higher rate of fire.
4. Both weapons were very effective at wounding and killing heavily armored
5. Longbows are far harder to learn to use than crossbows -- much more than
twice as hard (years of training vs. a few weeks).\
From my reading, those years of training largely
were used in building up that upper body strength. I
don't think the _technique_ of firing a longbow was
that much different from a regular bow.
Thus, the TFT rules do not accurately reflect the strengths and weaknesses
of the two weapons. My suggestions to get there from here -- assuming you
agree with my assertions above:
1. Damage and penetration should be similar if not identical. I like 2+1,
which when combined with my penetration rules below, means that either will
knock down a heavily armored man.
Ok. But I would rather not do the penetration
rules. I would prefer a 3d damage.
2. Longbows should require more ST to use than heavy crossbows. I like ST 13
for longbows and ST 10 or so for heavy crossbows.
I like 15 myself. Basically with 125 ep
per attribute a character should be able to
work up their ST to 15 in a game year easy.
Add a few months to learn Bow talent. Is this
not that what we are trying to simulate?
3. Longbows should fire faster -- the current TFT rules are fine for this in
I think that they are too fast, but I
don't think this becomes a real problem until
you reach an 18 speed and are firing a longbow
twice per turn. There is no way that I should
be able to fire a long bow twice in the time
it takes to swing a sword once.
On the gripping hand if we up the damage
of the long bow, its rate of fire becomes more
4. Because of the distortions inherent in equating penetration and damage
(see my other posts), both weapons should have an easier time getting
through heavy armor. I like the simple rule of allowing them to ignore
armor. (I'd adapt this rule for firearms as well). This needs to be fleshed
out and suggestions have been made to do this.
I agree and disagree.
I think the simplest way is to up the damage
of longbows. Keep it simple even if there is a
distortion or two.
I agree it does make longbows too deadly vs.
lightly armored foes, but hell, most PC's have
PLENTY of armor, and NPC's are there to be killed.
(Important NPC's have armor too, and they
are there to be killed dramatically.) ;)
If we say longbows do 3d-1 (I suggested this
a few posts back) then an average unarmored guy
would be mortally wounded about half the time from
a long bow hit. Is this really so bad?
5. I think that the crossbow talent should be gotten rid of entirely and
perhaps a new 1 point longbow talent added (prerequisite: bow). This will
make crossbows much easier to use.
In my campaign I made Bow two memory points
and crossbow 1/2 a point.
> I wouldn't mind allowing a long bow do more
> damage, but I think that it should then require a
> greater ST. (A 15 ST for an English long bow that
> does 3d-1 would not bother me.)
I have a hard time believing that the average English longbowman had a ST of
15, but it is a step in the right direction. It does, however, make Longbows
utterly lethal against lightly armored targets, which I'm not sure I'd agree
with. Of course, there should probably be a bow at every ST level from 8 to
If not every ST then every 2 ST.
Alternate rule. Longbows are ST 15, but if you
are 2 ST lower you may fire them at -1 DX -2 damage and
your rate of fire is one third normal. (One half normal
for 1 ST too low.) Other than the 1/3 normal RoF, this
is standard TFT. This also almost exactly brings Ty's
and my rules in line and slows down the damn bow. The
disadvantage is it adds ANOTHER rule.
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