Archer's in melee


i was just reading this thread Conan & the 5' step:

there's a lot of discussion in it. i am not sure what my conclusions are yet, now i tend to be of the opinion not to change the rules. i liked the almost unanimous resolution of a 5' step not provoking aoos unless you take an action that would. still, given the discussion about sorcerers and archers in melee, i have a question:

archer's in melee are most of the time shooting at point blank range, is there an official minimum range to use missile weapons?

i ask this because from some comments there, it gives me the impression that some players were firing bows at adjascent foes. someone said that attackers with melee weapons had to sunder the bows to stop it. it seems to me that a character using a bow in melee should have a minimum rage at which he can fire without taking some sort of penalty, even to shoot at all. i think firing at an adjascent foe would prevent an archer to stretch his arm holding the bow, and pull the string back to get his full strenght bonus, unless the target is helpless. other penalties might be in place.

i don't recall the old ad&d rules for that. i remember when the point blank range was introduced, though i can't say in which book. i think it was an ability of one of the character kits or something. we used to play d&d 2nd edition, after that we changed to other systems, and never really played d&d 3 though the books were brought into the group. we are just geting familiar with the d20 rules actualy, conan brought us back to it.
I don't think that firing into an adjacent space would be a problem (i.e. drawing the bow back). It would make sense that if an archer was doing that, and was struck by an AoO, he would have to make a Concentration check or lose the shot.
Voltumna said:
archer's in melee are most of the time shooting at point blank range, is there an official minimum range to use missile weapons?
No, there is no minnimum range for ranged attacks. Instead an archer who tries to fire at an adjacent foe ... wait for it .... provokes an AoO! Why does he provoke this AoO? Because while he is struggling to stretch his arm to draw the bowstring and point the bow at an adjacent foe he makes a rather jucy target. The AoO is the penalty.

That is really the whole point actually.

Any archer who tries to fire while in melee will quickly find himself cut to ribbons and/or have his bow reduced to kindling. IME archers flee melee only slightly slower than spellcasters (unless the player was wise enough to give his archer some backup melee capability in which case they drop their bow for a sword).

Hope that helps.