View Single Post
Old 05-04-2017, 10:15 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 1,041

Originally Posted by The Dark View Post
Using this with the World Tamer's Handbook bow construction rules, a 1.8m wooden bow becomes Dam 4, and a 1.5m composite steel bow (which requires Str 10) is Dam 6.

I don't think I'd use the range modifiers, because the ranges are already pretty long (30 meters for the wood bow and 50 meters for the composite steel). Adding modifiers will make them outrange rifles; to me, that's undesirable. Of course, as always, each campaign can judge for itself.
I don't have the World Tamer's Handbook (I only have FF&S and the Small Arms Guides in both versions) so I have no idea how it figures range. I guess I'll have to get the PDF now. The ranges I was postulating were Base Ranges that were modified NOT adds to the WTH modifications. This is because my primary source, The Small Arms Guide, doesn't even list a method of determining Range other than "comparative analysis" of weapons that are already in the guide. I can see your confusion, though, because there were a few "typos" in both posts that I had to correct.

I'm still not sold on how the WTH calculates range based on bow size. This is because a Mongol Composite Bow with a draw length of 26" and an English Yew Longbow with a draw length of 30" can both have the same "Draw Weight." They would be shooting the same weight of arrow and have roughly the same maximum range. This is because the shorter but thicker/higher density for its length Mongol arrow would be less affected by drag (because of its shorter length) while the Longbow arrow would suffer more drag because of its 4" longer length. The Longbow arrow would have launched at about 40 fps faster than the shorter Mongol arrow so both would travel about the same distance. Up close, the Longbow would shoot MUCH flatter than the Mongol Bow and would have a longer "point blank range" (the distance where elevation is NOT needed to hit a target) than the Mongol Bow. One must also consider that most bows shooting arrows of standard weight (between 5 and 10 grains per pound of Draw Weight) will have lost between 40% and 50% of their Kinetic Energy at 100 meters.

I have been giving my initial thoughts on Range some more consideration today and I would offer an alternate take on determining range "comparatively" (a la Small Arms Guide) based on the following characteristics.

1) Draw Weight. I'm using the STR of the Bow based on dividing a bow's draw weight by 20. to determine the Range Bonus, just add STR in METERS to the bow's base range. An 80lb Compound Bow would add 4 meters to its Base Range for draw weight. Crossbows require 1 STR per 50 pounds of Draw Weight.

2) Efficiency. After doing a little research during my lunch break today, I found out that Efficiency varies by more than I originally thought. Those folding "survival bows," the homemade PVC bows being made and shot on Youtube, and several cheap fiberglass or plastic bows all have Efficiencies below 80%. This means that a 40lb PVC bow will only impart 32lbs of force to the arrow. This reduces the arrow's Kinetic Energy significantly. Most modern, professionally made bows, regardless of what they are constructed from, will have Efficiencies at or above 90% (with many being 95%). I figure the best way to model this would be to... DEDUCT 5 meters for Efficiencies below 80% and ADD 5 meters for Efficiencies above 90%. Efficiencies between 80% and 90% would make NO CHANGE to the bow's Base Range. The Base Range CANNOT be reduced below 5m by poor Efficiency.

3) Draw Length. The longer the length of draw that a bow has, the longer the string acts to transfer energy from the bow. This is a measurable 10 fps per added inch of travel. Thus Draw Length has a large impact on Range because a faster arrow just "shoots flatter" (giving a better "point blank" range for that bow). Lighter arrows like Turkish "Flight Arrows" can also improve range but this is a "fine line" because lighter arrows are more affected by wind and drag. This is why hunters of larger game (at longer ranges) and warriors prefer heavier arrows. Their momentum is less affected by the environment (even if one must aim a little higher to account for their increased drop at range). I like the idea of adding 1 meter for every inch of Draw Length over 29" (13" for Crossbows) and subtracting 1 meter for every inch below 25" (7" for Crossbows) of Draw Length.

4) Bow Type. Differing bow types have different efficiencies and power levels based on the manner of their construction. Keep in mind that the type of construction used in a bow has NOTHING to do with Draw Weight. A self-bow could have a 200lb Draw Weight despite its simple construction (relying on the material to withstand the force like a Yew Longbow does). These types are:

The Self-Bow: The most basic bow type. This bow is made of one material and forms a "D" when drawn. This Bow is the type made when crafting a bow in a "survival situation." I would give this Bow a 5-meter base range (10 meters for Crossbows).

The Composite Bow: This more advanced bow is made from a combination of materials such as bone and wood. It can hold more power than the Self-Bow and has better Efficiency. I would give the Composite Bow a base range of 10 meters (15 meters for Crossbows). This bow type can be combined with the Recurve Bow below, in that instance, you can increase the Composite Recurve Bow's Base Range to 15 meters (20 meters for Crossbows).

The Recurve Bow: This bow has the limbs of the bowstave bent forward. This increases the amount of time the string imparts energy to the arrow (by increasing the bow's "impulse of fire") increasing energy transfer (efficiency) and (slightly) the length of draw. I give the Recurve Bow a Base Range of 10 meters (Crossbows get 15 meters). Composite Recurve Bows have a Base Range of 15 meters (20 meters for Crossbows...see above).

The Compound Bow: Most Compound bows use a cam and pulley system to increase both power and efficiency. Compound Bows have a series of features NOT shared by other bows. They are;
1. A Pin Sight (see below).
2. A "Letoff" that allows you to hold the bow steady to take aim on a target.
3. A fixed Draw Length that can only be adjusted by a Boyer (and by only 1") or requiring the user to use an extension and release.
4. The ability to adjust Draw Weight by up to 10 pounds.
I give the Compound Bow a Base Range of 15 meters (Crossbow's get 20 meters).

5) Sights on Modern Bows. Modern bows are often equipped with PIN Sights that let you zero a given arrow weight for up to 3 or 4 different ranges, based on the quality of the bow. I allow these sights to add 5 meters to the bow's (or Crossbow's) Base Range.

Difficulty Levels for Bows. A Compound Bow and any Modern Bows equipped with Pin Sights allows you to precisely aim to a point. This gives these Bows an AVERAGE Snap Shot. Traditional Bows have no aiming index so they are a DIFFICULT Snap Shot Chance. Truly difficult projectile weapons like Slings would be a FORMIDABLE Snap Shot. I will allow a "Point Blank" Range band for bows like I do for firearms. This is equal to the shooter's Skill Level in meters (note. you use the RAW Skill NOT the Asset here). If this is longer than the bow's Base Range, that's ok. The other Range Bands are STILL figured from the bow's Base Range (NOT the shooter's Skill Level).

So, if your Army Ranger decided to take up Archery in order to "silence" sentries at long range, we can now calculate his bow's Base Range:

Compound Bow (with Pin Sight and Quiver attached). 15 meters + 5m (sight) + 5m (95% Efficiency) + 4m (Draw STR) = 29m Base Range with an Average Snap Shot.

If he picks up a "home-made" 40lb Self Bow, his Base Range would be:

Self Bow. 5 meters - 5m (Efficiency) + 2m (Draw STR) = 5m Base Range (see Efficiency above) with a Difficult Snap Shot. A major step down in range and accuracy.

as always, use what you will and ignore the rest.


Last edited by swaghauler; 05-05-2017 at 08:57 PM.
Reply With Quote