Monday, May 29, 2017

Bow Ranges for Elthos

I finally found a reasonably definitive source on archery bow ranges, and it taught me just enough to extrapolate from in order to derive my bow ranges for the Elthos World. Here's the video:

From video, which seems pretty authoritative, I gleaned the following:

Bow Range Information
40lbs (up to 130lbs)

16 yards = 48' shot is max normal
12 yards = 36' is distance normal

12 yards = 5" penetration - normal distance for hunting
25 yards = 1" penetration - outside normal range

With this information I was able to extrapolate and derive the following formulation:

Yards Feet 40 lbs bow 80 lbs bow 120 lbs bow

Penetration Damage Penetration Damage Penetration Damage
12 36 5.5 1d6 +6 9 2d6 +9 12 3d6 +12
14 42 5 1d6 +5 8 2d6 +8 11 3d6 +11
16 48 4.5 1d6 +4 7 2d6 +7 10 3d6 +10
18 54 4 1d6 +3 6 2d6 +6 9 3d6 +9
20 60 3 1d6 +2 5 2d6 +5 8 3d6 +8
22 66 2 1d6 +1 4 2d6 +4 7 3d6 +7
24 72 1 1d6 +0 3 2d6 +3 6 3d6 +6

This actually works pretty well in terms of what I already had in my world. The 40lbs bow would be the equivalent of a light bow, the 80lbs would be fine as the standard bow, and the 120lbs could stand in for the long bow, though I don't know if longbows have 120lbs, but I heard in a separate video that a particular type of Turkish bow is around 120lbs, and that's pretty much the maximum, at least for natural old world style bows. So I'm going with the 120lbs as my longbow.

Then they showed the penetration into gel which is what the inches on my chart represent. Inches of penetration. This I then translate into dice. My short bows can do 1d6, standard bows 2d6 and long bows 3d6. And beyond that they do bonus damage based on range, which is what I gather is the underlying point of the video. Makes sense to me, and I think it certainly adds something interesting to archery in my world. The closer you can get to an opponent before firing the better, because damage is directly related to range. Neat, and ok. So that's what this chart resolves, and I think it may be good.

On the other hand I still question if I want the different bows to do different dice of damage, or should they all do 1d6 as the currently do? So keep the bonus damage per range values, but all three types of bows will do 1d6 for base damage. Hmmm... obviously adding dice really amps up their effectiveness. And remember, in Elthos RPG, which is what I'm using, Life Points = Strength * Level. In addition, it should be noted that Levels go up to 6 in the default configuration of the rules, and that's considered Paragon level.  3rd Level are Veterans, and generally considered stout warriors who can give and take some damage, especially when they're properly armored.  But as you'll see, combat usually doesn't last long in Elthos.  To give you an idea of the scale of stats, a 6 Strength Fighter at 6th Level has 36 Life Points.

But I like to start with average cases.  So lets take the case of a standard bow doing 1d6+5 at 14 yards, or 42', so average damage would be 3.5 + 5. That is on average 8.5 Life Points.

Now let's say our fighter is hefty with a 5 Strength and at 3rd Level, so 15 Life Points.  And lets say he has medium armor of leather and a shield absorbing 2 points of damage per blow.

So when he gets hit by this bow on average he takes 6.5 Life Points, or almost half.  Two of those shots, on average, would be near lethal, giving 13 hits out of 15.  Still, it would take that third shot, if everything goes by the averages, to finally do him in.  Hmmm... ya know.  I gotta say, for the way I want to play Elthos (fast combat), that works pretty well.  I like small numbers. It makes combat go faster. To me it's more exciting because every roll of the dice can be life or death.  No more 50 rounds of combat please.  Trying to cut down.  ;)

If I made that 2d6 instead of 1d6, the average damage would be 7 + 5, or 12 Life Points.  It would take one shot to take him down if a little luck comes your way. If his armor absorbs 2 points, then the fighter would actually take 10 Life Points.

But of course we also need to understand how often the fighter will be hit as well.  With Leather and a Shield, that's AC +2.  Damage absorption is 2.  If our Archer has an average Attack Level of 3, then it's a 3 to 2 attack, which means he has a 3 or better on a six-sided die to hit.  That's about a 66% chance of success.

So it would take on average 3.5, let's say 4, melees to take the guy down by an archer.  So that's four bow shots and he's down.  I think I have the math right, though I'm going by thumb towards the end here (it's late).

Anyway, I can extrapolate from there in terms of the 3d6 Long Bow.  There's a bit more nuance in there if you look carefully, but I'm off to bed.  I still have to wake up early.  I just thought this interesting enough to jot down so I can come back to it later and make a final decision on it.  What do you think?   1d6 all around? Or beef em up as they go up in lbs?
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