I have a question which I can't answer,as I don't currently have a rulebook to hand. I recall the range increment for a Bow is 15 paces - what is the penalty for say 16-30 paces? I can't recall seeing it? Or is 15 paces the maximum? How many increments are there to maximum range? Can anyone tell me how this works?
IIRC the longest shot with a bow (asymetric japanese model) was more than 1000 meters. See the Guiness book...
But I guess the bow was crafted for this shot, and few people would have the strength and skill to operate it.
As a rule of thumb (1), I'd say if the penalty grows bigger than your skill+strength, you can't go any farther away, no matter how lucky your dice roll. The character would lack the muscle to operate a missile weapon that would cover the distance.
(1) with any missile weapon requiring actual muscle, not crossbows and ballista...
Well, the penalty is minus 3 per base range, for a person with +3 Str and 5 skill, that gives a shortbow a max range of 30m. Ridiculously short.
If you meant skill+strength as the number of base ranges you can reach at most, i think that´s a lot better. The above would then top out at 120m, long for a shortbow but certainly not at all unrealistically so.
Managed to find a record that seems to be 1222m in 1987 by Don Brown.
Also happened upon the record for crossbow, being 1871m in 1988 by Harry Drake.
Another record, using a 30kg compound bow seems to be 1162 yards(name not listed where i found it)...
Hmm, Harry Drake seems to have another record from 1979 for "unlimited bowtype"(aha, a footbow it seems), at 1410m.
Haven´t been able to find the one you mention yet, have a link or something to search on? I get the feeling i should know what you refer to but just cant recall... Although are you sure it was a Japanese style asymetric? Those are not really made for long range.
I'd just go with RAW and ignore things like muscle mass.
If someone decides to take a shot at a person five miles away (~ -1700 penalty) and rolls enough 1s followed by a 9 to hit it, then I'd SG it as a miracle and probably give the character a point in 'legendary bowman' reputation on the spot.
Tangent: back in 3rd edition days our group came up against a demon of might and power far greater than any of us fresh-from-gauntlet magi were able to deal with. Not wanting to leave our grogs to die, we tried everything we could think of to bring it down. My magus, being at wits end, tried desperately to ask God to intervene with a prayer. That same round, my shield grog - having had his weapon destroyed and reverting to his eating knife - just charges the thing. And rolls.... 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 8. We were all looking at the dice going
Er, with Str+3 and 5 skill, that's 8. Specialise in bow for 9. So then the maximum range would be, well up to 15m, no penalty, 15-30m -2, 30-45m -6 and 46-60m -9. Fury's formula giaves a bow an effective range of 60m. Short, but possible?
I can reach 60m even with a toybow. Including with an arrow heavy enough to hunt small animals with(and hurt anything it hits). A real shortbow reaching three times that? Much more realistic.
Of course it gets a bit too much if someone is silly specialised, maybe have Str+5 and skill 15? Still, even that is "just" 300m and reaching that long with a shortbow isn´t totally ludicrous(just very very unlikely), and double base range for a longbow, well those are KNOWN to be able to reach 600m so again while a bit on the edge, much more realistic than 200m for such an extreme person.
Ok, pity. Would have liked to know if someone actually managed to score a distance record with that sort of bow.
Yeah, that´s the style i prefer as well. But it can be nice to have some sort of baseline to follow.
That´s the fun part with dice, sometimes they go wild.
Well, it can also get old pretty darn quick! We have a player who rolls a lot more 1s than statistics suggests. It is annoying when this non-melee magis is better with his dagger than the School of Ramius optimized magus. Also, whenever the SG is thrilled to have a NPC monster finally roll a 1 as to offer a challenge for at least one round, this player annoyingly enough rolls poorly.
BTW regarding the original topic IIRC 4th ed had a max range of 10x Range Increment, for simplicity.