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Thread: Arrow Volleys, and archery

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  1. #1
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    Default Arrow Volleys, and archery

    The Western draw is the weakest, and fairly easy to learn. It's useless on horseback.
    The Turko-Mongol style is to use the thumb or thumb ring and a much stronger bow. More power and accuracy, easy to use on horseback.
    So that's two styles, and they can fairly easily be separated based on Self v. Compound bows, as one only sees the full benefits of the thumb draw on a much stronger bow.
    But then we get to the Persians and some of the other Aryan tribes related to them. They use a draw that allows them to hold multiple arrows. It's a stronger draw than the Western style, and allows one to fire very rapidly.

    I can't think of any convenient way of differentiating this from the other two, perhaps making the 'Persian Bow' its own skill and ordinary thumb drawing simply compound bows? Persians also used double curved compound bows from their steppe origins, but elements of their military trained for massive volley firs rather than targeted shooting ala the Mongols. Any archer can shoot for volleys, but not as quickly as with the Persian style. Yet Persians would possibly also know the thumb draw, as they would probably use more conventional archery when hunting (no need to make the deer a pincushion).

    So, basically, my issue is that it's not properly a separate skill but an important practice or technique certain people practiced. It is militarily important, as heavily armored wings of archers on horse were a big part of Persian battle control.

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    So you would give each type of bow a substantial skill penalty to those who know the basics of archery but not the individual weapon? A penalty that can be bought off with a suitable expenditure of skill points or experience checks?

    As opposed to have the archer pick up a strange weapon, say "Hey, this is a bow! I know how to use this!" and suffer no ill effects from the differences?

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    I realize that different types of bows have different performance characteristics. But is the issue here the equipment or the archer's skill? If you take Ulysses (Greece), Robin Hood (England), and Rostem (Persia) -- all accounted expert archers, but each with his own national technique -- and hand them the $30 starter bow from Walmart's sporting goods department, will they still be able to do their stuff?

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    Skill and technique. Of course the Persian and Mongol style are compound based, for compact, powerful horseback bows. Treating the self bow and compound bow as separate skills (I was thinking -20% but any experience gives you the skill at your other bow's percentage -20+experience die. That's fairly simple. However, the Persian style I think I should make a variant of the Compound Bow, at -10% to use/learn either way. Perhaps a -1 to damage when using volley fire, the same rules as normally but with a shot every DEX÷4 or 3.

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    Don't confuse the tool (the bow) with the skill. Western style can be used with an Eastern bow, and Eastern with Western bow. I might impose a penalty for one moving to the other for a brief period of time due to unfamiliarity, but ultimately they are using their style with a different bow (tool).

    Horse Archery is a different beast. You can use a Welsh Longbow (a self-bow) from horseback, but its damn hard (isn't there something about Crusaders doing this?). A Japanese Longbow (a composite bow) is designed to be used from horseback. Short Bows should prove no issue.

    RuneQuest used to restrict the ability of the mounted bowman to the lower of their Ride and Archery skills. Combine this with a penalty to bow unwieldy-ness, and you should be golden. Gloranthan RQ also had the skill of Kushkile Archery, which (IIRC) was a specific skill of the Grazelanders for mounted archery.

    Now something that just occurred to me. Are you talking about RQ6? Because if so, Persain Horse Archer could very well be a combat style.

    Also, an FYI.

    A Compound Bow is a modern bow that uses pulleys to ease the draw while maintaing power. A Composite Bow is one made out of more than just wood. A self bow is normally a single stave of wood.

    SDLeary
    Last edited by SDLeary; January 4th, 2014 at 16:11.

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    Many Turkic tribes used the "Three Arrow Trick", whereby they drew 3 arrows, held 2 in their mouths, fired the third and then very quickly drew and fired the 2 arrows held in the mouth. This gave them a high rate of fire.
    In RQ3, I'd give them a shorter reload time (2 SRs rather than 3).
    In Legend/RQ6, it would not take a Combat Action to reload, allowing someone with 3 Combat actions to have 2 shots (1 to take out the arrows, 2 left for missiles).
    In BRP, if you are using Strike Ranks then treat reloading as costing 2 SRs, if you are using DEX Ranks then the next shot should be at -4 Dex Ranks, not -5 DEX Ranks.

    If the Persian archer draws multiple arrows at a time then that would be the equivalent of the Three Arrow trick.
    Simon Phipp - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982.
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