The Smoke Arrow shtick sure sounds like it works on every hit, but that seems a bit strange thematically and mechanically. Like, a smoke arrow seems more like a special thing you do on occasion that something that you include one of in every volley. I feel like most other abilities like this have a condition for their use, or a shot or chi cost. Am I missing something here?
I think the limiting factor is that you can only effect any particular target once. So although you can fire a smoke arrow every action it's only worth hitting any target once.
Such a limitation encourages the archer to fire once at every foe, thus spraying arrows all over the scene and helping out their comrades at the same time.
Hmm, maybe. Just seemed weird enough that I felt like I was missing something. Thanks!
You can only ever have one Foe affected by Smoke Arrow at any given time. It's not something you can do with every attack, at least not without invalidating your previous uses of it. The limiting factor is that the effect lasts until the next keyframe. If you look up the rules on Keyframes, on page 102, it says:
"For ease of tracking, no character can have more than one keyframe effect going at one time. Activating a new one cancels the previous one."
The rules do provide for an option to ignore that limit across the board, if the entire group agrees, and:
"If everyone in your group loves making and stacking up little tokens and can track them all quickly, you can suspend this rule. Hint: your group probably doesn’t."
The provision that each target can only suffer one point of Impairment from Smoke Arrow is most likely included as a backstop to keep it from getting way out of hand should your group decide to suspend the usual limit for all keyframe effects.
OK, that's an important thing to keep in mind! I had not remembered that one ongoing effect per character rule. Thanks!