Ranged Combat

Ranged combat is conducted between characters who are equipped with hurled or missile weapons when the combatants have a clear line of sight and fire (which will NOT be required to follow the lines of the Grid, should the GM be using one) and no less than five (5) feet of distance between the Zones of attacker and target.

Ranged combat can take place between any character equipped with a hurled or missile weapon in hand and any target that lies 5 feet (25mm in skirmishing scale) or more away, so long as a clear line of fire and sight exists between them.

Those weapons that may be hurled are marked “H” on the weapon rosters in Appendix D.3, and the character must have been equipped with the specific skill for Hurling when the player chose his weapon skills during character creation, as it is considered separate from the usual melée skills. If the player wishes his character to be able to Hurl attacks with his “off” hand, he must be equipped with the Hurling skill for the weapon in question for each hand, separately.

Ranged combat is generally the easiest to engage in and the easiest to break away from when there is sufficient distance between the combatants. At closer distances, ranged weapons make breaking away from the foe unscathed much more difficult.

Two foes armed with ranged weapons and located within each others’ ranges may simply draw and knock or load a missile and let fly at whatever rate their respective RoA’s allow, in order according to the GM’s Initiative Roster. Depending on their relative states of readiness when they discover one another, stringing bows, cocking and loading crossbows, and the like may slow the onset of hostilities momentarily, and in the case of the crossbow cocking and reloading will definitely slow the rate of fire, as it is much more difficult to do so than it is to simply draw, knock and fire an arrow from a common bow.

Character’s can NOT simply run about with their bows strung and their crossbows cocked at all times, regardless of the players’ wishes, as the characters themselves know all too well that doing so will ruin the weapon in short order, strain the string and wear the spring out much more quickly. Not too many characters will have the funds to continually keep buying new bows and strings all the time, at least not to start with, perhaps after a bit of wealth has been amassed from a successful run of adventures.

IF the players are savvy, they will have their characters stand or lay their missiles or weapons out within easy reach so they can be simply grabbed and Hurled or knocked/loaded and fired in one easy action.

Strikes in ranged combat are resolved much more easily than melée combat where the characters vie directly with one another.

The attacker’s AV is his Weapon skill AV with the ranged weapon used, and the DV is equal to the target’s Dodge DV. If the target is aware of his danger and using a shield to provide even partial cover to crouch down behind, his Dodge DV will have a modifier as described in the text of the Shield skill in Appendix C.3.

The Resolution for missile fire is handled with a simple roll, NOT a Contested Roll. Only the attacker gets to roll dice.

The Resolution for Hurled weapons is handled with a Contested roll, the same as any pass of arms in the melée.

Failure to hit in ranged combat results in stray fire, which may strike someone beyond the target but in the same direction (see text under “Stray Fire”, to follow). Success inflicts injury as described for missile weapons under the heading “Dishing Out Damage”, with any armor worn coming into play, normally.

Sudden sniper-style firing upon an enemy, whether singly or in groups, invokes the rules covering Surprise (see pg __). Once Surprise is recovered from, the target(s) still must successfully make AWA checks on d100 to locate the origins of attack so they can return fire (if applicable, the foe might not be so armed). These AWA checks must wait upon attacks being fired at them after they have recovered from Surprise. Only one AWA check is allowed each foe so attacked to determine the location of his assailant per attack launched at him. The longer the barrage continues, the more likely the target is to figure out the exact location of his assailant(s).

Firing/Hurling Ranged Attacks

The Fire/Hurl attack is provided for those wishing to launch ranged attacks with either ‘draw and fire’ missiles from missile weapons such as bows, or to set slings spinning and loose their deadly shot, or for throwing either formal Hurled weapons or those weapons noted on the equipment lists as being suitable for Hurling.

A character must have a clear line of sight/fire on the tactical display in order to have any chance of hitting his target with a ranged weapon, unless wielding one that can “lob” an attack in an arc overhead to circumvent obstacles between.

The ranges for the common run of these weapons are defined in five categories: point-blank; short; medium; long and extreme. Each has a different set of modifiers for success to reflect the increasing difficulty at longer ranges.

What these ranges are specifically for each character depends on the weapon and the character’s STR. The bases are listed on the following table.

Base Range Limits for Ranged Weapons

Missile Weapons (in yards)
Range Category Bows† Scale Short Bow Scale
Point-Blank 15 22.5cm 11 15cm
Short 60 90cm 42 60cm
Medium 80 1m 20cm 56 82.5cm
Long 100 1m 50cm 70 1m 5cm
Extreme 101+ 1m 50cm+ 71+ 1m 5cm+

† Bow, sling, fustibal

Hurled Weapons (in feet)
Range Category Hilted Scale Hafted Scale
Point-Blank 9 5cm 13 19cm
Short 36 10cm 50 75cm
Medium 48 20cm 67 1m 5mm
Long 60 30cm 84 1m 26cm
Extreme 61+ 30cm+ 85+ 1m 26cm+

For Hurled Weapons, add or subtract 1 foot per point of character STR above or below 13, respectively.

For short bows, add or subtract 1 yard per point of character STR above or below 13, respectively.

For other bows, add or subtract 2 yards per point of character STR above or below 13, respectively.

The “Hilted” column of Hurled weapons applies to all melée weapons that are fitted onto a haft, such as axes, hammers, mattocks, and the like,

The “Hafted” column is intended for spears, light lances, and all polearms rated for Hurling, as well as hafted weapons such as tridents, spades, etc. also rated for Hurling.

Naturally, character STR cannot modify crossbow ranges. They have defined maximum ranges of 200 yards (light) or 225 yards (heavy).

Point-blank range is equal to (short range ÷ 4).

Any distance attempted beyond the limit of “long” range is considered “extreme”.

The modifiers that apply to ranged combat are included with the other DV modifiers under the heading “Combat Modifiers”, to follow.

Players and GM should remember that the skill for hurling a weapon is completely separate from that of wielding it in hand conventionally in melée combat. Even if a character is wielding a weapon that can be hurled, his chances of doing it with any success or accuracy are rather slight unless he also has the skill to hurl it.

While the ranges of hurled weapons are represented on the Base Range table above, those weapons are not likely to be the only things the characters may want to hurl about in battle. Not all objects are shaped like weapons, and the characters unlikely to be concerned with what face or part of an object arrives at its destination, as they are in the case of the “business” end of a hurled weapon thrown to wound.

How far a character is allowed to throw an object depends on its Size and weight; too light and it is slowed by air-resistance, and so on. To get the most advantageous range, objects tossed or hurled should be between roughly 0.25lb’s up to (Light ENC limit x 0.02) in weight. Such an object should fit in the hand or at least allow a reasonable stable or strong grip, and be roughly (character height x 0.05) in size or smaller. Those objects that fall within these guidelines might be hurled at the same ranges as Hafted weapons, above, with the same adjustments for character STR.

Any Hilted hurled weapon can be thrown the same range as any Hafted weapon, IF the PC just wants to get it there, rather than throwing with the intent to striking with the business end to inflict a wound.

The range limits for objects of greater Size/weight limits should be modified according to the following table.

Size Limit Weight Limit Range Mod.
Up to (0.21 character ht.) Up to (0.025 Light ENC) 3/4th’s
Up to (0.33 character ht.) Up to (0.05 Light ENC) 2/3rd’s
Up to (0.42 character ht.) Up to (0.075 Light ENC) 1/2
Up to (0.5 character ht.) Up to (1/10th Light ENC) 1/3rd
Up to (0.66 character ht.) Up to (1/4th’s Light ENC) 1/4th
(0.66 character height) + Up to (Light ENC) 1/10th

The GM should use whichever of the two aspects of the object in question, Size or weight, yields the shorter range result, and be prepared to fudge the results as he sees fit, according to his perception of the object being thrown.

The effective ranges of all ranged weapons drop by 1 yard (missile weapon) or 1 foot (hurled weapon) for every yard or foot, respectively, by which the target is above the elevation of the attacker’s position.

Range of Target DV Mod.
Point-Blank Range (none)
Up to Short Range limit +1 per 5 yards
Up to Medium Range limit +1 per 3 yards
Up to Long Range limit +1 per 1 yard
Extreme Range +2 per yard

The GM must remember that the DV mod’s due to range are cumulative. Counting from the attacker’s position, add up the modifiers for each range class up to the target’s position.

 

For example, for an attacker of average STR (13) to fire a bow on a normal man-sized target at a range of 85 yards would have a DV modifier of +21 (60 yard limit of short range minus 15 yard point-blank limit = 45; 45 ÷ 5 = 9; 80 yard limit of medium range – 60 yard limit of short range = 20; 20 ÷ 3 = 6.66, or 7; the 5 remaining yards add 5 more; 9 + 7 + 5 = 21). This is added to the target’s Dodge DV if he is aware of being shot at, or taken alone as the DV by itself if the target is unaware of his peril.

 

The speed of a hurled weapon is reckoned at c. 50 ft/sec for the purposes of the game, c. 200 ft/sec for bows. Magicks producing projectiles are rated in their descriptions as flying with the speed of either a hurled weapon or that of an arrow.

There is no delay in hitting any target within 500 feet (assuming the weapon can be hurled that far with any accuracy) once the hit is confirmed during the Resolution, up to 2000ft. for bows (as applicable). Farther than this, the weapon or arrow impacts at the beginning of the next CS, after the Initiative roll, but before the action Declarations, between the Declarations and the Movement when the optional Pulse Move is being used.