Archery question

dagger

Mongoose
In standard 3rd E D&D you can build some pretty darn effective archery based characters. You can even build some that don’t rely on spells and magic as much.

How do you think archery based characters compare to MELEE based character in Conan? I don't yet have any real experience with combat in d20 Conan.

Maybe I should asks this a different way so it does not sound like I am asking which style is 'more powerful'. I just want to know how you think an archer type PC will fare in Conan?


Thanks!
 

Judge Walker

Mongoose
Much of the basic feats (ie far shot, precise shot, etc.) are used in Conan. As well as some races who are known to be experts with the bow seem to have other special abilities that stack with the feats. So, not having actually made an archer yet in the Conan system I would have to say that they would at least be comparable to D&D 3ed archer characters. Minus any magic of course.
 

BhilJhoanz

Mongoose
I should start by saying that I have a problem with people who decide to play Melee only or Ranged only Specialists. A smart combatant will know that there is a time for each! The Melee specialist seem to be the more foolish however, rushing into a throng of foes with their sword drawn only to be cut down! Archery specialists never seem to know when to put down the bow.

Overall, using ranged attacks and manuvering into strategic positions until your opponents are thick about you makes the most sense in any combat. Because of this, archery skills are always important in melee !

Since Conan is short on PC magic and healing compared to D&D, I think that Archers will play an even more important role. Whereas D&D has magic that can "reach out and touch you" -- Conan, for the most part, only has archery. This will make a ranged weapons doubly important -- let the other fools use their move actions closing with you!

Can you get the same killer builds as D&D? Not without magic, PrCs and more feats! But then, everyone will be hindered by these limitations.

So . . . to answer your question, you're not going to get the same sort of super human archers you can get in D&D but they will remain as powerful and instrumental to successful combat as "melee fighters". Now, a 2 handed fighter WILL be able to hand out more damage round for round, but an archer's longevity will more than make up for this!

I'm currently playing a Bossonian Soldier (lvl1) in a desperate fight for survival in the Westermarck -- I was able to put 3 notches on my bow for solo Pict kills! There would have been more but (as we're still getting used to the rules) I forgot about Armor's DR! (What a bad mistake!)

Bossonian with a bow is pretty nasty but I made even better use of forest cover, buckler and my +2DV when defensive fighting, driving my Parry up to 23 (Base+0, Str+3, Buckler+2, Cover+4, Def Fight+4)! and still using rapid shot at a net +1! (Bossonian+1, PBS+1, Base+1, Dex+4, Rapid-2, Def Fight-4)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I am running a party of Meadow Shemite soldiers and Hyrkanian nomads through my "Instant Campaign" (design notes posted in this forum). They are all archers and soften up opposing forces like mad. Let your foes come to you if they're in such a hurry to die! These guys deal insane damage against unarmored foes and moderate damage against armored ones. But with the Shemites and their two handed war swords (1d12+3), we see some real brutality in melee! So far, the Hyrkanians have only been in one melee out of three (and only because their position was rushed), hanging back and using archery to good effect. Never been scratched in three fights (in two of them, however, they were 20 ft. above the battle and nobody could really climb up to get them). They all have point blank shot and rapid shot. Now they are working on dedveloping their mounted combat feat chain (MC, Ride-By Attack)

Archery is the best offense and defense in Conan I've seen outside of sorcery. If you can create a strategic position using existing terrain, for example, you'll pick off a bunch of foes before they can even get to you. Get the Shemites on board for their ranged attack and damage bonuses and watch out! The Hyrkanians are better at mopping up fleeing foes, as they specialize in extreme range increment attacks (600 ft.+).
 

BhilJhoanz

Mongoose
I had a bad feeling in my gut after that last post and had to look something up . . .

Sure enough, Bucklers in Conan are different than in D&D "held in fist" -- so no defense bonus for archers!

Fortunately, the Targe now seems to fill this niche (albeit with a +1 Parry Bonus)
 

Sword-dancer

Mongoose
BhilJhoanz said:
I should start by saying that I have a problem with people who decide to play Melee only or Ranged only Specialists. A smart combatant will know that there is a time for each! The Melee specialist seem to be the more foolish however, rushing into a throng of foes with their sword drawn only to be cut down! Archery specialists never seem to know when to put down the bow.)

Depens a lot on 'Character POV.
A classical Western knight in Plate with a bow? or A Crossbow?
BTW good plate is nearly impenetrable from a bow IRL.

OTOH Ranged combattants are often light "armoured" and armed.
A Short sword, Falchion or an axe maybe a small targe, that is it in the west very often.
It gives exceptions like the burgundian crossbowmen.

OTOH A sword never runs out of ammo.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Actually I have seen in a documentary where someone shot through a plate mail with a long bow. Granted the range wasn't great (I think) but the arrow went cleanly through and would have probably killed the target :shock:

SnowDog
 
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Anonymous

Guest
During the Hundred Year's War of the mid 14th to 15th centuries, English and Welsh bowmen routinely killed heavily armored French knights with aimed shots, at considerable ranges (200 meters +). During these campaigns, archers would often outnumber men-at-arms in British armies.

The armor of the time would be a composite; plate armor sections over mail, all worn over a padded hauberk. While this isn't nearly as strong and as effective as the fully-articulated all-plate armor of the late 1400's ("High Gothic" I believe it's called), it was still very good, and yet the English bow, with it's enormously heavy draw weight (pulled to the ear, rather than the chest like shorter bows) could defeat it regularly. English archers were not often taken prisoner by the French; rather, they would be killed or maimed for the havoc they caused (cutting off the first and second finger was a common cruelty).

The biggest obstacle to why the English bow (later called the longbow) didn't show up in everyone's army was that the archers more or less had to be trained from childhood, and their trainers had to be trained from childhood, and so on. An old saying went, "If you want to train an English archer, start with his grandfather".

Bernard Cornwell's book "The Archer's Tale" and the sequel "Vagabond", both out in paperback, give a very well-researched and exciting look at the campaigning life of an English archer during the Hundred Year's War. Excellent source material for any archer character's player.

Other good sources of information on the role of archery in medieval combat are John Keegan's "A History of Warfare" and "The Face of Battle". The second book gives an excellent depiction of the battle of Agincourt.
 

Badelaire

Mongoose
Grrr...wasn't logged in. Anyways, the above was me. New to the forum, got my copy of the Conan RPG winging its way to me as we speak.
 

Sword-dancer

Mongoose
Anonymous said:
Actually I have seen in a documentary where someone shot through a plate mail with a long bow. Granted the range wasn't great (I think) but the arrow went cleanly through and would have probably killed the target :shock:

SnowDog

Short Range, perfect Angle, it`s possible.
Plate didn`t stop attacks, it deflects them.

BTW was this Plate authentical rebuild?

Badelaire said:
During the Hundred Year's War of the mid 14th to 15th centuries, English and Welsh bowmen routinely killed heavily armored French knights with aimed shots, at considerable ranges (200 meters +). During these campaigns, archers would often outnumber men-at-arms in British armies.

.

No they didn`t .
They fired indirect shots, not aimed, at a reach of about 100 yard IIRC.
Or mass fire.
It is a possibility that many of the so called and noted archers were in truth billmen.

The armor of the time would be a composite; plate armor sections over mail, all worn over a padded hauberk.
The armor of the end of the HYW was the so called white harness or white plate.
At this time about 1450 IIRC the time of the Longbow as weapon of war came to an end at the european Continent.
Because he couldn`t penetrate the plate.
It is possible that the greatest effect of the longbow massed fire was his psychological effect

The biggest obstacle to why the English bow (later called the longbow) didn't show up in everyone's army was that the archers more or less had to be trained from childhood, and their trainers had to be trained from childhood, and so on. An old saying went, "If you want to train an English archer, start with his grandfather".
King Henry< the XY IIRC. But these Longbowmen were Yeomanry, or militia not Professional full time Soldier or man at arms.
They were commanded bylaw to train every Sunday after church for a specified time with the Longbow.
They were not the only who used the Longbow.
The men of the Picardie used it also.
 

Badelaire

Mongoose
Well, I would maintain the following.

1) English Longbowmen COULD consistently aim and hit man-sized targets out to 100-200 yards, and did so in combat. They used massed fire, true, but that's what happens when you have several thousand archers firing at the same time - tens of thousands of arrows falling every minute.

2) Armor around mid-15th century could stop the longbow, but that's no doubt because the fighting over the last century had driven armorers to constantly re-engineer their designs. Pentrating full-bore plate armor might have been difficult at longer ranges, but the armors of the mid 14th century weren't "full plate" if you will, but a combination of plate over mail in critical areas. With tens of thousands of arrows plunging down every minute, one of them will find a sweet spot and punch through.

3) While the majority of the bowmen in a HYW army might be yeomen under the direct command of nobility on the field, there were professional mercenary archers as well. A good archer in a free company could make a good living off of the plunder of war, especially when their job was to kill wealthy men carrying expensive wargear while on horseback.

A couple of on-line articles about the longbow. I won't claim they're completely accurate, but I tend to agree with most of what they have to say.

http://www.student.utwente.nl/~sagi/artikel/longbow/longbow.html

http://www.archers.org/longbow.htm

Anyhow, I'm sure a skilled Bossonian or Hykranian archer would be bucketloads of fun to play in Conan.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Sword-dancer said:
Anonymous said:
Actually I have seen in a documentary where someone shot through a plate mail with a long bow. Granted the range wasn't great (I think) but the arrow went cleanly through and would have probably killed the target :shock:

SnowDog

Short Range, perfect Angle, it`s possible.
Plate didn`t stop attacks, it deflects them.

BTW was this Plate authentical rebuild?

Yes, I think that the plate was an authentical rebuild or so I was lead to believe. It has been a while since I saw the documentary and the program was about modern day engineers who builded two siege engines and the whole bow shooting scene was some sort of sideshow :)

That's all I claim to know about this subject.

SnowDog
 

Judge Walker

Mongoose
That was the documentary where they tried to duplicate Edward Longshanks "Warwolf" (a massive Trebuchet) wasn't it? IIRC the scene you are referring to, the archer was about 10 ft from the target when he fired the arrow, the only thing that stopped it from completely thru-and-thruing the target was the fletching.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Judge Walker said:
That was the documentary where they tried to duplicate Edward Longshanks "Warwolf" (a massive Trebuchet) wasn't it? IIRC the scene you are referring to, the archer was about 10 ft from the target when he fired the arrow, the only thing that stopped it from completely thru-and-thruing the target was the fletching.

Yeah, I think that was it.

SnowDog
 

geordiekimbo

Mongoose
I remember shooting an arrow through a both sides of a tool box with a modern recurve and a target arrow when i was 16 to prove to my friend it could be done. Damn near made my best mate wet himself with glee when he saw it was possible.
 

Ltlconf

Mongoose
Hello Folks,

Well here goes another one of my long posts.
I did a little research on this. Will a longbow penetrate plate? Depends on ALOT of factors. Besides the poundage, range and angle you have to take into account the quality of armour (good, bad or indifferent), the make up of the arrow point (steel or cheap iron), and what time this all took palce in and thus the motivation of the sources.
The bulk of any any army of the time is wearing hand me down and munition armour (the grunt is always equipped by the lowest bidder in any time :roll: ) and this a longbow will go through with only a few conditions met.
Now, a knight of poor means (the bulk really) will have excellent horseflesh (the family herd) but will have out of date, hand me down armour well worn, thinned from all that polishing, oft repaired by patching, and of softer steel than more up to date armor (the steel got tougher as time went on) with more gaps covered only by mail. He's got to worry about those archers; he's got alot of "sweet spots" :shock:! If he's really poor, he's got munition armour. Even worse.
The most up to date armour of the late 14th century would stop the bulk of an arrow storm with little risk. Test show that even at point blank, good 14th century steel will defeat the soft iron bodkins used by the English at any range. Remember: at Agincourt, the bulk of the killing was done by the archers fighting as infantry after the French had pressed themselves into a tight, milling, defensless mass stuck in glue like mud that gripped their armour tightly. Think a panicked crowd trying to all run through a single gate at the same time! Crunch :twisted:!
Archeologist and English procurement records for the Agincourt Campaign show that the most common points (like 95%) were soft wrought iron bodkin points. These were cheap and easily made in mass. When you consider that over a quarter of a million arrows could be used in a single campaign, these are important factors. These will pierce chain and cheaper armours (quality wise) but will be stopped by quality armour plate. Players of course can use steel points, but remember that a 120ib pull bow will likley cause a arrow to shatter when it hits something hard! A one shot tool arrows.
Now, never underestimate the importance of psychological effect. As Napoleon said, the moral factor is 50% of the fight. We forget this because the PCs panic only when we do (and we're not in any real danger) and the NPCs do only when the DM says (same thing goes). Not so for the poor schmuck facing the arrow swarm! The English had a vested interest in making the Longbow's reputation as nasty as possible to cash in on this maxim. As it became part of the English national myth, the vested interest remained. Tests were conducted under the most favourable of circumstances (steel points ect.) and so on. Now while tests show the longbow declined in killing power, as a shock weapon it held on to and even grew in it's reputation (think the "tank panic" of the allies during the Battle of France in WWII). Meanwhile good tactics could still bring a straight-on fighting victory on occasion. So no matter what, in the right hands, well used, it's deadly. Just use good tactics, and shoot at the horse. :twisted:
 

Sutek

Mongoose
But no armor in Hyboria is fashioned with the technology of 14th century Earth. Good points though anyway.
 

Ltlconf

Mongoose
Hello Folks,

Good and very accurate point Sutek, but I did want to cover all the angles. I can't remember, but if the CRPG has plate, what would you consider the tech level? As so far as to the 'bow's penetration, this would be important.
 
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