Deadly arrows optional rule

darksoul
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Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by darksoul » Mon May 13, 2019 6:48 pm

Archery has been pretty deadly in Fighting Fantasy.

Iirc Khare: Cityport of Traps form the sorcery series had a section where you were confronted and had to take Damage from a Bow. The results of being hit varied. You either took normal damage, skill damage, or instant death. I'm considering running a story with this option.
I'm curious on people's thoughts on this if it was implemented in your game. What are your thoughts on this as either a game=master or player?

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by Slloyd14 » Mon May 13, 2019 8:31 pm

I'm for that. Ranged weapons get the short end of the stick. They can't deal as much damage as a fire bolt and they get a -5/-3 penalty for firing/throwing into combat. They need something going for them.
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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by darksoul » Tue May 14, 2019 4:34 am

I was thinking that exact thing. Also, you have a limited number of arrows. Once your out of arrows your have to wait to buy more.

I pulled out my copy of Khare and found the list. It goes as follows.

Throw one die and see where it hits.
1. It pierces your eye. You die instantly.
2. It hits you in the chest. Lose 5 stamina points.
3. It sinks into your leg. Lose 3 stamina points.
4. It sinks into your arm. Lose 2 stamina points.
5. It cuts the wrist on your sword arm. Lose 1 stamina point and deduct 2 skill points.
6. It misses.

I think I might adjust it slightly. Something more like this.

Throw one die and see where it hits.
1. It hits a vital spot. You die instantly.
2. It hits you in the chest. Lose 5 stamina points.
3. It sinks into your leg. Lose 3 stamina points.
4. It sinks into your arm. Lose 2 stamina points.
5. It sinks into your sword arm. Lose 1 stamina point and deduct 2 skill points.
6. It lodges into your armour and does no damage.

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SkinnyOrc
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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by SkinnyOrc » Tue May 14, 2019 5:33 am

It's an interesting one to think about. With melee there's time in the round for multiple swings but those can be parried or side stepped, avoiding or reducing the damage. With a missile there's just one attack but if it's on target the defender can't do much about it. I think I'd prefer missile attacks do more damage but have shields be more effective when there are shots from the front.

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by Slloyd14 » Tue May 14, 2019 9:19 pm

You could also get a hit and damage bonus if you spend rounds aiming. Like +1 to hit and +1 to damage rolls per round you take aim to increase the chance of doing lots of damage.
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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by LordArioch » Wed May 15, 2019 5:04 am

HIT LOCATION
11 chest
12 chest
13 chest
14 chest
15 chest
16 chest
22 chest
23 chest
24 chest
25 chest
26 chest
33 chest
34 chest
35 chest
36 chest
44 chest
45 neck
46 head
55 head
56 other
66 other

CHEST HIT
11 lethal
12 lethal
13 lethal
14 lethal
15 lethal
16 lethal
22 lethal
23 lethal
24 lethal
25 lethal
26 lethal
33 lethal
34 lethal
35 lethal
36 non-lethal
44 non-lethal
45 non-lethal
46 non-lethal
55 non-lethal
56 non-lethal
66 non-lethal

NECK HIT
11 lethal
12 lethal
13 lethal
14 lethal
15 lethal
16 lethal
22 lethal
23 lethal
24 lethal
25 lethal
26 lethal
33 lethal
34 lethal
35 lethal
36 lethal
44 lethal
45 lethal
46 non-lethal
55 non-lethal
56 non-lethal
66 non-lethal

HEAD HIT
11 lethal
12 lethal
13 lethal
14 lethal
15 lethal
16 lethal
22 lethal
23 lethal
24 lethal
25 lethal
26 lethal
33 lethal
34 lethal
35 lethal
36 lethal
44 lethal
45 lethal
46 lethal
55 lethal
56 non-lethal
66 non-lethal

OTHER HIT
11 leg, right,upper
12 leg, right, lower
13 leg, right, upper
14 leg, right, lower
15 leg, left, upper
16 leg, left, upper
22 leg, left, lower
23 leg, left lower
24 arm, right, upper
25 arm, right, lower
26 arm, left, upper
33 arm, left, lower
34 shoulder, right
35 shoulder, left
36 hand, left
44 hand, right
45 foot
46 foot
55 groin
56 groin
66 bum
-----------------------------
Of course these tables ought be modified with respect to range and armour, but I'll leave that to you.
lethal=instant death -- no LUCK save.
non-lethal=down to 1 STAMINA pt. remaining
leg, foot hit=mobility reduced by 1/2.
Arm, shoulder or hand hit=SKILL reduced by 4.
groin hit=too painful to think about, really.
bum=that's what you get for mooning the enemy!

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by SkinnyOrc » Wed May 15, 2019 2:14 pm

darksoul wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:34 am
Throw one die and see where it hits.
1. It hits a vital spot. You die instantly.
2. It hits you in the chest. Lose 5 stamina points.
3. It sinks into your leg. Lose 3 stamina points.
4. It sinks into your arm. Lose 2 stamina points.
5. It sinks into your sword arm. Lose 1 stamina point and deduct 2 skill points.
6. It lodges into your armour and does no damage.
The randomness and severity of this seems quite realistic for what happens when you're hit by an arrow. On the other hand players are likely to be less keen on it for the same reasons. Assume armour still reduces the damage? But I like it and I'd be keen to use it in a one-shot game where no one's too attached to their characters.
Slloyd14 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:19 pm
You could also get a hit and damage bonus if you spend rounds aiming. Like +1 to hit and +1 to damage rolls per round you take aim to increase the chance of doing lots of damage.
This is a bit like the spellcasting bonus for rounds of preparation and it's almost surprising it's not already in the rulebook. I wonder if unlike spellcasting prep though you can take too long aiming. Maybe it should be +2 to hit and +2 to the damage roll if you take a round to aim, but extra rounds don't add further benefit?
Slloyd14 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:31 pm
Ranged weapons get the short end of the stick. They can't deal as much damage as a fire bolt and they get a -5/-3 penalty for firing/throwing into combat.
Yep it's not that easy hitting with missiles in AFF2, especially past short range. Anyone have an idea why it'd be easier to throw into a melee (-3) than shoot a bow into it (-5)? Not sure I can see the logic behind that one and -5 seems like a lot too.

There's also the -1 penalty for a moving target. I'm thinking that should only apply to someone moving across from the shooter, if they're moving towards or away it's not going to make it much harder. I also wouldn't apply this on top of the missiles into combat penalty even though those people are moving around a bit.

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by darksoul » Fri May 17, 2019 3:42 am

LordArioch wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 5:04 am
HIT LOCATION
11 chest
12 chest
...
bum=that's what you get for mooning the enemy!
Is that a similar table to the Maelstrom crit hit locations table?
Slloyd14 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 9:19 pm
You could also get a hit and damage bonus if you spend rounds aiming. Like +1 to hit and +1 to damage rolls per round you take aim to increase the chance of doing lots of damage.
This is a bit like the spellcasting bonus for rounds of preparation and it's almost surprising it's not already in the rulebook. I wonder if unlike spellcasting prep though you can take too long aiming. Maybe it should be +2 to hit and +2 to the damage roll if you take a round to aim, but extra rounds don't add further benefit?
I did this in one of my campaigns. I'd suggest capping the Damage and hit bonus at some number though. There is a contradiction here. This also means that for some reason you're able to exceed your initial skill. Also, I think you'll find that you can only aim for so long before someone decides to charge you and ruin the time you spent aiming.
The randomness and severity of this seems quite realistic for what happens when you're hit by an arrow. On the other hand players are likely to be less keen on it for the same reasons. Assume armour still reduces the damage? But I like it and I'd be keen to use it in a one-shot game where no one's too attached to their characters.
Good question. I would say yes on the armor reduction. If they want to bypass amour then the players can buy the possibly more expensive Bodkin arrows or the Sword of the Samurai's armour piercing arrows. Which are the same thing it seems.
Slloyd14 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:31 pm
Ranged weapons get the short end of the stick. They can't deal as much damage as a fire bolt and they get a -5/-3 penalty for firing/throwing into combat.
Yep it's not that easy hitting with missiles in AFF2, especially past short range. Anyone have an idea why it'd be easier to throw into a melee (-3) than shoot a bow into it (-5)? Not sure I can see the logic behind that one and -5 seems like a lot too.

There's also the -1 penalty for a moving target. I'm thinking that should only apply to someone moving across from the shooter, if they're moving towards or away it's not going to make it much harder. I also wouldn't apply this on top of the missiles into combat penalty even though those people are moving around a bit.
Good question, not sure. As an aside though, this does mean that you want someone to finish off their opponent before you shoot them. So timing is important.

Also, if you just want more Damage then I think "City of Thieves" had a paragraph where you were shot by arrows and you took 1d6 dmg per arrow. This would mean you do lots of damage but not insta-kill a target.

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by LordArioch » Fri May 17, 2019 1:57 pm

darksoul wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 3:42 am
LordArioch wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 5:04 am
HIT LOCATION
11 chest
12 chest
...
bum=that's what you get for mooning the enemy!
Is that a similar table to the Maelstrom crit hit locations table?
I'm not familiar with Maelstrom.

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by SkinnyOrc » Mon May 20, 2019 12:19 pm

Although realism doesn't always make for a fun game it can be a useful starting point, so I did some research on historical missile weapons. It sounds as if 2 attacks in a 10 second round would be about right for everything except longbows and crossbows, and that seems like a really simple way to make missiles more effective. The second attack would happen at the end of the round.

Thinking about it more I'm not sure taking longer to aim really works, the time is already enough to be aiming well.

It seems like the crossbow gets a rough deal, it does about the same damage as the longbow but with worse range and both are relatively slow. Also while it's long range is more than a shortbow, for some reason its medium and short ranges are less. I think that might be a typo. But anyway, historically why crossbows were popular is they were quite easy to use. So +1 to AS might be in order.

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by drbargle » Mon May 20, 2019 1:14 pm

A single d6 roll that turns up a lethal result 1/6th of the time looks pretty dangerous. How about either of these two options.

1/ Change the damage roll for missile weapons to have a much broader spread. Roll a 1, "tis just a scratch", roll a 6 and the average NPC is going down. I'm thinking of the much more dangerous damage charts in Troika! here.

2/ Switch missile combat to a 'roll under' SKILL+Special Skill test. A double 1 is always a Critical - so maximise damage and apply SKILL damage (roll on my critical hit tables in Viscera!). But a Hero with a Special Skill in Bows (for example) of 2 scores a Critical on a double 2, 3 scores a Critical on a double 1, 2, or 3, and so on.

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by HedgeWizard » Mon May 20, 2019 9:38 pm

Great idea with making missile weapons more deadly, there is something off with the fact that you cannot kill more than a small dog with a single shot. You might want to be careful with how you apply it to the hero’s being shot, the chance of sudden death the moment you enter the fight is not what people are looking for in AFF.

Perhaps use one of these options when the hero’s are shooting and give enemies a little bonus when they are shooting (but without the sudden death).

Who knows perhaps throwing knives will cause more damage than a scratch on the cheek!

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by SkinnyOrc » Tue May 21, 2019 12:40 am

Something that might come up if you used the two attacks per round I was suggesting is "I've got an elf and I should be able to shoot two a round, but elves don't use shortbows!". Or a similar tantrum. What I realised looking up historical bows is that what most people think of as a shortbow is really a recurved composite bow. In the time and place the term longbow comes from they didn't have those.

So a shortbow looks the same as a longbow, just a little smaller and with less draw weight. Sounds like these were usually just referred to as bows and were common for hunting as well as warfare. The longbow was a more powerful version of the same thing especially for the battlefield where range was critical.

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue May 21, 2019 11:00 am

By chance I’ve just been rereading the Lord of the Rings (the origin for most people’s image of elves) and it makes an interesting point about bows. It’s frequently noted that Legolas has a short bow as is used by all the Elves of Mirkwood, it’s only in Lothlorean that they use a longer bow. With his original bow it’s made clear on several occasions that he is lacking in range and the difference with the bow he gets later.

So Elves = Longbow perhaps is a false connection which many of us have. Elves = Good bows is probably nearer the mark with the type of bow depending on circumstances and culture.

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Re: Deadly arrows optional rule

Post by SkinnyOrc » Wed May 22, 2019 1:39 am

As far as I can tell standard fantasy elves are based completely on Tolkien's elves, even if they're not always exactly the same as them. Way back I read some Norse myth and from what I remember elves varied a lot but were sometimes smiths who lived under the mountains. So I believe Tolkien took that mythology and made separate and distinct identities for elves and dwarves. I'm not aware of anyone doing that before him. I remember Gygax complained in Dragon Magazine that it wasn't true that LotR had much influence on D&D. But he certainly used standard fantasy elves and dwarves... and those had been defined by Tolkien.

So are shortbows described in LoTR? Tolkien's research for his fantasy world was his life's work, I'd expect he'd have known that shortbow in English just meant a normal sized bow of the same shape and construction as a longbow. The Titan elves largely fight and hunt in the forest where range isn't that much of an issue. So it'd make sense that many of their bows have shortbow draw weight (power).

As you say the elves would have very good bows, they're renowned craftsmen and archers. It's not that obvious what that means though. With a bow draw weight and range are linked, so you can't change a bows damage without changing its range. It'd also take more strength to draw which doesn't seem very elven. Superior arrows might get +1 to the damage roll though. I suggest elven bows (both shortbow and longbow) are lightweight and accurate with a plus to AS.

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