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Equipment: Bows and Arrows

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20140925

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Equipment: Bows and Arrows




This equipment replaces the Bows and Arrows from the Armory books.

Bows
Bows have been used since time immemorial. The origins of the bow and arrow are prehistoric. The bow served as a primary military weapon from ancient times through the Middle Ages in the Mediterranean world and Europe and for an even longer period in China, Japan, and on the Eurasian steppes.

Bows come in varying sizes, from toy bows one can buy at the local big-box store to professional bows sold at hunting supply stores and specialty bows sold by dedicated modern bowyers. A character may use either Athletics or Firearms to fire a bow. Reloading a bow takes one turn, unless the character also possesses the Fighting Style: Archery 2, Draw and Nock Merit.

A character versed in primitive woodcraft may make her own bow with an extended Dexterity + Survival roll (successes required are equal to 10 times the bow’s minimum Strength; each roll equals four hours’ work).

A compound bow employs a set of pulleys rather than the raw tensile strength of the bow itself. A character may not make his own compound bow without a special workshop and specialized skills.

Damage: The number of bonus dice added to a character’s dice pool when using the bow.

Ranges: The range of a bow or compound bow is variable depending on the Strength Attribute and Athletics Skill of the archer. Because of limitations in the flexibility and design of a bow, the Strength applied for the purposes of Ranges cannot exceed 5. A toy bow and beginner bow have even greater limitations due to the lower quality construction. A beginner bow cannot apply above Strength 4 for the purpose of calculating Ranges. A toy bow cannot apply above Strength 3. A toy bow’s short Range is equal to twice the archer’s Strength (max 3) + Athletics + 4. A beginner bow’s short Range is equal to twice the archer’s Strength (max 4) + Athletics + 5. An intermediate, professional, or specialty bow’s short Range is equal to triple the archer’s Strength (max 5) + Athletics + 5. All compound bows’ short Range is equal to quadruple the shooter’s Strength (max 5) + Athletics + 5. The numbers presented in the table below are based on minimums needed to shoot the bow without penalty and are the weapon’s short/medium/long ranges in yards. Attacks at medium range suffer a –2 penalty, while those at long range suffer a –4. A bow’s Ranges are doubled if the shooter possesses the Fighting Style: Archery 3, Arcing Fire Merit.

Capacity: All bows have a capacity of one (1). It takes one (1) turn to reload a bow unless your character also possesses the Fighting Style: Archery 2, Rapid Nock Merit.

Strength: The minimum Strength required to use the bow effectively. If a character’s Strength is lower than this requirement, he suffers twice the difference as a penalty to his attack rolls. For example, a character with Strength 1 trying to shoot a bow with a minimum Strength 4 suffers a –6 penalty.

Size: The bow’s Size, per the World of Darkness Rulebook (see p. 135). Bows are generally not concealable.

Cost: The minimum dots in the Resources Merit usually required to purchase this bow. The number of actual Resource Traits needed to purchase the bow is in square brackets [].

TypeDamage/Ranges(‡)Capacity/Strength/Size/Cost [traits]
Bow, Toy
0
10/20/40
1
1
3
1 [1]
Bow, Beginner
1
14/28/56
1
2
4
1 [1]
Bow, Intermediate
2
24/48/96
1
3
4
1 [1]
Bow, Professional
3
27/54/108
1
4
4
2 [4]
Bow, Specialty
4
30/60/120
1
5
4
2 [4]
Compound Bow, Beginner
1
24/48/96
1
1
4
2 [4]
Compound Bow, Intermediate
2
28/56/112
1
2
4
2 [4]
Compound Bow, Professional
3
32/64/128
1
3
4
2 [4]
Compound Bow, Specialty
4
36/72/144
1
4
4
3 [9]
‡ For simplicity, a player may assume these ranges without the need for calculation. See the Ranges section above to determine the true range of a bow, which may be farther than the ranges presented in the chart. Also, keep in mind that the Fighting Style: Archery 3, Arcing Fire Merit will double the range of a bow.

Arrows
A standard target arrow is a wooden or fiberglass shaft tipped with a simple metal cone. Such projectiles are not designed for killing. A bow firing a standard target arrow receives a –1 penalty to Damage in combat (but not against a practice target). Standard target arrows have Cost 1 [1] for two dozen.

Broadhead hunting arrows are tipped with an X-shaped razor-edged point designed to drive deep into flesh and sever arteries. A bow firing a broadhead arrow gains Armor Piercing 2 against a target with soft ballistic or leather armor. Against a solid target or a character with rigid armor, the arrow instead suffers a –2 penalty to Damage. Broadhead arrows have Cost 1 [1] for a dozen.

Archaic flint or obsidian arrowheads have a –2 penalty against a hard or armored target. These are not available in stores and most found will be museum pieces. A character could purchase these on the antiquities market, but it is usually more trouble that it is worth. A character may make archaic arrows with one downtime action work and a successful Dexterity + Survival draw: each success yields four arrows.

Bodkin points appeared in the Middle Ages in response to the proliferation of metal armor among archers’ intended targets. These were needle-pointed arrowheads with square cross-sections that could drive through plate armor or six inches of oak. A bow firing a bodkin arrow gains Armor Piercing 4 but suffers a –1 penalty to Damage. Bodkin points disappeared with the obsolescence of the bow as a primary battlefield weapon, and all surviving examples are museum pieces today. A character who wants bodkin points must buy them on the antiquities market (Cost 3 [9 traits] for a dozen) or have them custom-made by a blacksmith (Intelligence + Crafts roll, each success yields one bodkin point).
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