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Old May 30, 2012, 07:27   #2
Derakon
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My general inclination is to go with simple, readily-expressable approaches even if they sacrifice realism. I'd also rather keep the math for missile weapons as close to that used for melee weapons as much as possible. That said, there's certainly room to make the weapons more simulationist, so here's my thoughts:

Let's take a look at what you need to shoot quickly and to shoot powerfully with missile weapons. To be quick, you need to be able to grab ammo, nock it, draw, aim, and release (or appropriate analogues for slings). To shoot powerfully, however, is different for each launcher type:

* For bows, power is a function of the bow's draw weight. But to draw the bow, you also need to be strong -- so there's basically a minimum effective strength to use the bow. As I understand it, more strength past that point has little effect (beyond making it easier to hold the bow drawn so you have less trouble aiming, but I'm not certain going into that level of detail is worthwhile).
* For crossbows, again power is a function of the draw weight. In this case, however, strength determines how quickly you can draw the bow (we can assume that all crossbows have some kind of leverage or ratcheting system, so there's no question of being able to draw the bow if you have enough time). Shot power is constant.
* For slings, power depends directly on your own strength, and, I guess, the weight of the projectile you're using. But we can gloss over that in the interests of simplicity.

This gives us three different formulas for your shots/round, and damage/shot, which can be modified in different ways. Let's keep the "balance" and "heft" attributes from melee weapons, rechristened as "balance" and "draw". And we'll ditch the x2/x3/etc. launcher multiplier entirely.

Bows
Shot speed: (character's missile finesse) * (launcher balance)
Damage: (ammo dice roll) * (launcher draw) * (character's missile prowess) * (ammo prowess)
You take a significant penalty to hit chance, damage, and shot speed if your STR is too low (much like when trying to use an overly-heavy melee weapon). Bows are hard to use properly, but have the best potential damage/round if you have the skill.

Crossbows
Shot speed: (launcher draw)
Damage: (ammo dice roll) * (launcher draw) * (character's missile prowess) * (ammo prowess)
You take a significant penalty to shot speed if your STR is too low. Weapon balance / finesse is only used to calculate hit chance (we can assume that the dexterity needed to load a bolt onto the crossbow quickly is overwhelmed by the time needed to crank the crossbow back, which is why finesse doesn't affect shot speed).

Slings
Shot speed: (character's missile finesse) * (launcher balance)
Damage: (ammo dice roll) * (character's missile prowess) * (ammo prowess)
Slings have weaker damage formulae, but they can be fired rapidly are are easy to use. They have no relevant "draw" characteristic. Later on slings can remain relevant by having high-dice ammo.
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