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Re: (TFT) Summary of Longbow / Crossbow debate.
----- Original Message -----
From: "rsmith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Ty summarized below:
> As I said in an earlier post, there are numerous ways to address this
> (if in fact you agree that it should be addressed). I'd summarize my
> contentions thusly:
> 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.
Of course by that time, guns would edge them both out. Interestingly, modern
crossbows (according to manufacturer's websites) are much less powerful than
their low tech ancestors. The reverse is apparently true with longbows.
> 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
> knock down a heavily armored man.
> Ok. But I would rather not do the penetration
> rules. I would prefer a 3d damage.
Fair enough. In a campaign with lots of heavily armored targets, the
difference is negligible. Distortions really only occur when lightly armored
opponents are engaged.
> 2. Longbows should require more ST to use than heavy crossbows. I like ST
> 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?
Could be. I'm undecided on where the exact ST point should be. I guess it
depends on how unusual you think a particular ST is. ST 15 has always seemed
to me to be "really strong". Playtesting might disclose where the optimum
point (from a game balance perspective) lies.
> 3. Longbows should fire faster -- the current TFT rules are fine for this
> my opinion.
> 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.
I've always envisioned TFT melees as comprising several blows rather than
one. Add into that the need to parry and dodge enemy blows, 1 chance for a
"good blow" per 5 sec turn is reasonable to me. Bowmen have the advantage
that their target is not (typically) trying to take their head off with a
battleaxe while they're firing.
> On the gripping hand if we up the damage
> of the long bow, its rate of fire becomes more
Although, it is pretty hard to quickly get a ST15 and an adjDX of 18, I'd
think. And such a figure would probably be unarmored -- a distinct
disadvantage if he gets jumped.
> 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
> 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.) ;)
A reasonable position.
> 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?
In game terms maybe not -- depending on the campaign. In terms of "realism"
(whatever that is), maybe so. My contention is that the superior penetration
of these weapons means that an armored foe and an unarmored foe have
essentially the same chance of being killed or wounded. If true, your system
would distort that. But as I noted before, if most of the opponents are
well-armored, there will be little effective distortion.
This raises another point -- I have always felt that rabble in TFT are a
little too hard to kill. I think that rabble should be able to take only one
hit before being out of action. Yet a ST10 goblin with a small shield and
leather armor will take 2-3 average blows from a broadsword. Even unarmored,
it will take 2 hits to put him out of action. So I usually just kill my
rabble on the first decent hit. Saves bookkeeping as well. (You can't use
weaker rabble; their weapons won't penetrate even light armor very well).
> Rick here,
> 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.
I usually allow lower ST figures to use a heavier weapon at -1 damage per ST
point anyway, so I wouldn't find it too painful.
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