17 May, 2011

Crossbows Underground

Something obvious occurred to me just now. Bows send arrows in an arc, thus archery. Therefore, having their range converted from yards to feet underground makes perfect sense. Crossbows are favoured by underground denizens because quarrels don't arc - they depend on a relatively straight trajectory, more like a firearm. Therefore, crossbows should get to retain their range in yards underground, thereby conferring an appropriate reason to select crossbows for dungeon situations.


Ethan said...

Yeah, but it also means your party assassin can't "lob" bolts over the melee line into enemy targets... especially from a laying position.


Word Verification: sticuous

That's the situation that happens when your party assassin takes position 15 feet behind the melee members of the group and tries to target orcs, aiming between the two dwarves. It gets "sticuous".

Timeshadows said...

Arrows don't inherently arc either.
--The arc comes from firing while the bow is elevated to rain swarms of arrows down field.

Beyond this, if one were really badass, one could arc the arrows or bolts over a wall, increasing the elevation of the weapon gradually until the arrows/bolts rained down nearly vertically and skimming the wall.

Grenade launchers can likewise be direct-fire or indirect fire, all based upon the elevation or depression of the weapon's launching plane.

In my opinion, the indoor v. outdoor thing is really more of a visibility, stalactite/gmite and corners of walls sort of consideration.


migellito said...

"Arrows don't inherently arc either."

True.. that's a good point, which I failed to remember in my excitement to come up with some sort of mechanical reason (yeah, I know) for Denizens of The Underworld to like crossbows.

Joseph Browning said...

In my game, crossbows are preferred underground because of their smaller profile. Additionally, mushroom wood just isn't that suitable for longbows. That said, there aren't many missile weapons used underground as they are generally just not usable due terrain - passages are rarely straight and clearance is low and the relative rarity of woods (even mushroom wood).

This makes the use of missile weapons that much more devastating in situations where they are very usable, such as giant caverns.

Anonymous said...

The change from feet indoors to yards outdoors was the original games range adjustment for lack of room to arch. But, barring magick, gravity works on all missiles equally. Crossbows are just harder to look through. i.e. when you elevate them the stock blocks the line of sight more than when shooting a bow.

Anonymous said...

As others have said, arrows and bolts both follow the laws of physics and will start being affected by gravity as soon as they leave the weapon. This is even true for bullets. The variable is speed - the faster the projectile, the less it falls per, say, 100 feet.

You could argue that underground denizens prefer crossbows because they require less space to use or something like that. I have no idea if that's actually true or not (a compact crossbow compared to a longbow - yeah, probably), but you could run with it.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Where's our Tekumel?