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Reload times

posted Jan 28, 2013 19:24:36 by thomas5251212
I've got to be misreading this.

If I'm reading the rules correctly, it seems to be saying a simple self-bow take two 5 second rounds simply to reload. That just can't be the intent here. I'm not sure I even believe two actions, though I suppose if they charge one action to pull a throwing weapon, there's some justifications for charging a second to nock.

Anyone know if this is an error?
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14 replies
bluefenix42 said Jan 28, 2013 19:45:52
Load time is measured in actions. The game never specifies exactly what the two actions are, but I read it as 1) Draw arrow from quiver, then 2) Nock and draw string. Also note the Rapid Reload special effect, which is commonly used by archers to cut 1 action off the load time after a good shot. Also also, as with the dual-wielding thread, combat style traits can be invented to make archery more desirable.

A big metagame/balance reason for spells and reloading bows and such to take multiple actions is that melee characters are so often spending actions to parry blows, while an unengaged archer or spellcaster has all their actions free to focus on casting or shooting as fast as they can.
thomas5251212 said Jan 28, 2013 19:55:52
Actually, the PDF I have says its in turns, which is why I posted this. I'm guessing that's errata I don't have.

Like I said, two actions seems lightly longish, but isn't unreasonable. Two turns was...something else.
PeteNash said Jan 28, 2013 20:28:08
I think you have become a little confused with the terminology. For the definition of a 'Turn' see page 136. :)
bluefenix42 said Jan 28, 2013 20:29:11
Turns are not the same as Rounds. A Round is made up of multiple Turns. A character gets a Turn every time their strike rank comes up, and spends an action point on their Turn. A Round is over when all characters have run out of action points. Thus, the number of Turns a player gets in a Round depends on how many action points they start with and how the points get spent.
thomas5251212 said Jan 28, 2013 20:30:31
Crap. You're right, Pete. Not the first time that's thrown me off in the book, either.

Thanks guys.
barry said Jan 29, 2013 07:34:51
Guys, in related query - i do feel cross bows are significantly underpowered also.

I accept a longer reload time but as you can't add damage mod to crossbows i have house ruled a significant damage range increase.

My preference with cross bows is that they are terror weapons!
bluefenix42 said Jan 29, 2013 08:09:43
I suppose that's fine, Barry, if that's the feel you want. I've always felt the main advantage a crossbow should have is that it's much easier to learn how to use than a traditional bow. Unfortunately, RQ6 doesn't represent that aspect very directly - it is up to the GM to include crossbows in combat styles or adjudicate smaller penalties for being untrained with it than he would for being untrained with a bow.

In any case, I'd be wary of giving Heavy Crossbow any higher damage than 1d12 or 2d6 - it's already plenty possible to kill someone in a single lucky shot with the existing 1d10 damage.
barry said Jan 29, 2013 08:29:08
Te trouble is by the time you take long box with reduced reload time and ability to add Damage modifer dice, it really defangs Cross bow.

Agree about real world ease to learn - same reason muskets really caught on...
DanTrue said Jan 29, 2013 09:32:44
Well, the availability is modelled through availible combat styles. In a medieval world, every combat style from 'Rabbit hunter', 'City Militia', 'Mercenary', 'Knight of The Realm' etc. would have included crossbows - where only 'English peasant' and 'Court Hunter' would have the bow (simplified examples). So, most people picking up a bow or being levied as archers wouldn't be very dangerous with it... In contrast, you could quickly raise an army of semi-competent crossbow users. And the GM could then wing the situation, giving the trained levees 1 or 2 more XP rolls than the archers.

Also remember that the 'Light Crossbow' is more like a hunting crossbow or a militia crossbow. The crossbow you read about on the battlefields, is the heavy crossbow - so already there you're working at 1d10 DMG. Also notice that it can sunder - that is in itself a good bonus, especially against a passively warding person I would rule that Sunder can be applied against the shield, and not only the armour (seems a reasonable reading of the rule).

- Dan
RangerDan said Jan 29, 2013 10:42:50
One (minor) advantage to a crossbow you can consider is that it can be carried 'loaded' and ready to fire for a relatively longer period of time than a bow.

If you consider as bluefenix does that turn #2 of 'loading' a bow is nocking the arrow and drawing the string, you could rule that an alert archer with an arrow in hand can only fire in turn #2. An alert crossbowman can fire in turn #1.
thomas5251212 said Jan 29, 2013 16:29:37
I kind of agree with Barry here, but also with other people. When there's already a couple bows that do d8, 1d10 is underwhelming. Yes, its not terrible damage, but its the comparison to the weapons that reload twice as fast. But as other people said, a big part of the crossbow's advantage was ease of learning, and there doesn't seem to be any good way to represent that in RQ6 without some pretty ugly special casing. I really do suspect kicking the heavy up to d12 wouldn't hurt though; in particular, in the hands of a PC, the fact a regular bow can get your d2 damage bonus makes a recurve bow and a heavy crossbow almost identical in damage while the latter reloads a lot slower.
RangerDan said Jan 29, 2013 16:54:56
@thomas & barry
I would probably go the other way with bow vs. crossbow damamge if the Damage Modifier bothers you - the Odysseus way.
A bow does not grant the Damage Modifier unless it is built 'extra strong' with additional pull (perhaps requiring an Enhancement as on p. 101). This would preclude a weaker man from stringing it and/or using it effectively.
I believe d&d uses something similar for strong characters and bows.
jjwdrake said Jan 29, 2013 17:03:46
I liked the idea in earlier editions of crossbows being slower to fire but doing more damage. Liked it even more with multimissile 6 applied. I think it's useful to also look at the break point on damage - overall likelihood of doing a serious wound, which the D10 provides for, as it will take most anyone's chest out at the higher end of the die, which a bow won't (recurve maybe, but that's OK).

Otherwise I get that a crossbow might be easier to learn. Since there is no cost to buy the basic skill, either make the first (only) IR or training session spent on it give you an additional +5 skill increase. but this is a case of producing a special case and opening up a whole load of other skills that people argue should be 'easier to learn'. An alternative is to have some, but not all, skills benefit from the optional rule on using different dice for IR skill increases - so bows at 1d4+1, crossbows at 1d6+1, slings at 1d3+1 ;)

The special case problem still applies - this can lead to a whole debate over what skills should use what dice progression, and it is best avoided. So in real life, I wouldn't bother.

Finally - consider fixing through combat style traits - for example it may be that a crossbowman can get the Marksman trait, which reduces the target size penalty by one step. Job done for the light crossbow's disadvantage.

If you fix something, fix the damage or add colour with a trait.
thomas5251212 said Jan 29, 2013 17:07:32
Honestly, the damage modifier is just the icing on the cake; as I said, even the difference between d8 and d10 is kind of underwhelming, given it takes five net actions to fire the one and three net actions to fire the other. I realize that there's compression of damage compared to older versions of RQ, but to be honest I tended to find the difference between bows and crossbows a little less than exciting there, too.

I do agree its a fine line between "worth shooting" and "one shot kill", but I can't help but think D10 is the wrong side of "worth shooting" in most cases; it may be an okay weapon if your normal procedure is to get one shot off and then you're going to be in melee anyway.

(I should note there's an issue its hard for me to assess; how valuable the "Sunder" sfx is.

(And to make it clear, I don't have a practical dog in the fight; the campaign I'll likely use RQ6 for when time rolls around predates the crossbow, so...)
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