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Matthew
2006-08-04, 11:48 PM
I was reading this over on the Dungeons & Dragons homepage the other day...

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dd/20060120a

...which is something I have encountered myself, and it occurred to me that this could be a relatively easy problem to solve. What if the range increment penalty also applied to Damage? even if there wasn't a direct correlation, this would prevent those truly insane shots from transpiring. Comments?

Hario
2006-08-05, 12:26 AM
For thrown weapons yes, for bows/crossbows technically not so much... although I've never seen a bow be shot too often past its first range increment. I'd say lowest loss would be the str damage being halfed after 2 range increments, if there is no strength bonus make it -1 for every range increment. :/

Matthew
2006-08-08, 10:01 AM
That sounds like what I had in mind, a culmative -2 Attack Bonus and -1 Damage Bonus every range increment after the first. I don't think I would take any special measures against Strength, though.

A link to some other Bow discussion I was having, concerning the interaction of Strength and Dexterity:

http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=gaming;action=display;num=1154743817

Dan_Hemmens
2006-08-08, 10:51 AM
Just to physics geek for a second:

What you're describing makes sense under Aristotelian mechanics, in which an arrow flies in a straight line until it expends its "force" and then drops out of the sky. Under newtonian mechanics it doesn't actually work like that. Arrows don't stop because they slow down, they stop because they hit the ground.

Matthew
2006-08-08, 11:45 AM
Indeed, but then we would need to discern between direct and indirect shooting and such... perhaps that might be a better solution; any ideas?

Dan_Hemmens
2006-08-08, 11:48 AM
How about allowing Distance to work like Concealment? A miss chance because it's just too far away?

Matthew
2006-08-08, 11:57 AM
Concealed by distance? Not sure I'm on board with that, interesting though.

Would you say that shots beyond a single range increment were generally 'indirect', by which I mean not directly shot at a target?

Quite a bit of thinking to do to work all this out, including how Strength affects Damage and what Damage represents in game terms...

martyboy74
2006-08-08, 12:25 PM
Hello! D&D=fantasy, not realistic!

Also,is chance on the arrows at long distances, that actualy make sense, becuase of how the arrow vibrates as it goes through the air. It'd have to ony be like a 5-10% increase every increment, othewise it'd just be to much. Maybe you could make some feats that would reduce that penalty. Or you could modify some pre-existing feats, like precise shot.

Matthew
2006-08-08, 12:31 PM
Indeed, but suspension of disbelief remains an important part of roleplaying. So, we're discussing potential solutions for the problem of extreme range archery..

Dan_Hemmens
2006-08-08, 01:09 PM
Concealed by distance? Not sure I'm on board with that, interesting though.

Would you say that shots beyond a single range increment were generally 'indirect', by which I mean not directly shot at a target?


It depends on what you mean by "were generally". If you're talking about real world archery, I don't have a clue. That *is* the basic idea behind "range concealment", though: after a while you're just trying to hit the square, not the creature, which boils down to the 50% miss chance for total concealment.

Fhaolan
2006-08-08, 01:37 PM
Out of curiousity, is there an elevation penalty/bonus for ranged attacks? For example, firing a bow up a hill really sucks in RL, and firing from a high tower (or the battlements of a castle) does increase your effective range impressively. I know there's the standard 'high ground' modifier for melee combat, but ranged attacks would be far more susceptable to this kind of modifer.

martyboy74
2006-08-08, 02:02 PM
Out of curiousity, is there an elevation penalty/bonus for ranged attacks? For example, firing a bow up a hill really sucks in RL, and firing from a high tower (or the battlements of a castle) does increase your effective range impressively. I know there's the standard 'high ground' modifier for melee combat, but ranged attacks would be far more susceptable to this kind of modifer.
I don't think that they have anything special about that, but this is the hombrew board. ;)

Matthew
2006-08-08, 04:08 PM
As far as I know, the +1 Attack Bonus for being on higher ground applies to both Melee and Ranged attacks.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatModifiers.htm

I suspect that a target on top of a hill would benefit from some form of cover, being as the shooter would have some difficulty getting a clear view of him, but perhaps that's not what you have in mind?

Okay, to think about things a bit more:

Proposition 1:

It is more difficult to hit a target the further away it is from the shooter. This is modelled in D&D by the penalties associated with Range Increments.

The difficulty to hit an opponent is [10 + Size + Dexterity + Armour + Shield (Discounting any Magical Defences or Feats for the moment)]

This suggests that attacks must both hit and either penetrate or bypass armour before penetrating flesh. It therefore models both the difficulty of hitting an opponent and penetrating his defences.

The Range Penalty, then, must reflect the difficulty of hitting the opponent, a lessening of force on the part of the projectile to penetrate armour and flesh or a combination of both.

Proposition 2:

Damage is unrelated to the difficulty to hit an opponent, except insofar as you must hit to be able to roll for Damage.

The amount of Damage inflicted is governed by the type of weapon (bigger usually equals more), the Strength of the attacker (in the form of the Strength Bonus) and his Skill with the weapon (as in the case of Weapon Specialisation)

Damage is therefore a function of Weapon + Strength + Skill. If the force available to penetrate armour and flesh of a projectile lesses as the distance between the shooter and target increases the Damage incurred on a successful hit should also be reduced.

I have no idea if Proposition 2 is correct, as it relies on the premise that force decreases as range increases (not uniformly, but generally); although I think this must be true of direct shooting, I have reservations about applying it to indirect shooting.

martyboy74
2006-08-08, 04:23 PM
As far as I know, the +1 Attack Bonus for being on higher ground applies to both Melee and Ranged attacks.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatModifiers.htm

I suspect that a target on top of a hill would benefit from some form of cover, being as the shooter would have some difficulty getting a clear view of him, but perhaps that's not what you have in mind?

Okay, to think about things a bit more:

Proposition 1:

It is more difficult to hit a target the further away it is from the shooter. This is modelled in D&D by the penalties associated with Range Increments.

The difficulty to hit an opponent is [10 + Size + *Dexterity + Armour + Shield (Discounting any Magical Defences or Feats for the moment)]

This suggests that attacks must both hit and either penetrate or bypass armour before penetrating flesh. It therefore models both the difficulty of hitting an opponent and penetrating his defences.

The Range Penalty, then, must reflect the difficulty of hitting the opponent, a lessening of force on the part of the projectile to penetrate armour and flesh or a combination of both.

Proposition 2:

Damage is unrelated to the difficulty to hit an opponent, except insofar as you must hit to be able to roll for Damage.

The amount of Damage inflicted is governed by the type of weapon (bigger usually equals more), the Strength of the attacker (in the form of the Strength Bonus) and his Skill with the weapon (as in the case of Weapon Specialisation)

Damage is therefore a function of Weapon + Strength + Skill. If the force available to penetrate armour and flesh of a projectile lesses as the distance between the shooter and target increases the Damage incurred on a successful hit should also be reduced.

I have no idea if Proposition 2 is correct, as it relies on the premise that force decreases as range increases (not uniformly, but generally); although I think this must be true of direct shooting, I have reservations about applying it to indirect shooting.
Yes, the second proposition is true, becuase as the bolt/arrow/ammunition passes through the atmosphere,/water/surrounding environment, the ammunition encounters resistance in the form of turbulence/wind/currents/etc. In order tomove through the intervening material, the ammunitiohn must expend force, slowing it down, so less force is present on contact. Because damage is equal to original force + skill + weapon - force expended in order for aformentioned weapon/weapon's ammunition to reach target.

Logically, if you shot something the a pure vacuum, it could fly forever. However, considering a pure vacuum is impossible, that is but a dream of ranged weapon users.

Kevlimin_Soulaxe
2006-08-09, 04:50 PM
My suspension of belief stops just before atmospherical physics.

Damage reduction over range increments makes sense for shot: grape, buck or bird. Arrows are still plenty lethal as far as they can go.

Sure, they slow down, but an arrow in the chest will hurt just as much from four feet as a fourth of a mile.

Besides, who wants to screw ranged-combat based characters even more? Not me.

Seriously, how would this benefit any game? Any? At all? It's not fun, it's not more simple, and it's not even going to be entirely accurate.

martyboy74
2006-08-09, 05:25 PM
My suspension of belief stops just before atmospherical physics.

Damage reduction over range increments makes sense for shot: grape, buck or bird. Arrows are still plenty lethal as far as they can go.

Sure, they slow down, but an arrow in the chest will hurt just as much from four feet as a fourth of a mile.

Besides, who wants to screw ranged-combat based characters even more? Not me.

Seriously, how would this benefit any game? Any? At all? It's not fun, it's not more simple, and it's not even going to be entirely accurate.
You got something against atmospheric physics?

Just joking. I think at this point most of us are just doing this for the heel of it. Also, we all agree that ranged combat is utterly useless in almost all situations. Magic is one of those situations.

Dan_Hemmens
2006-08-09, 07:42 PM
Yes, the second proposition is true, becuase as the bolt/arrow/ammunition passes through the atmosphere,/water/surrounding environment, the ammunition encounters resistance in the form of turbulence/wind/currents/etc. In order tomove through the intervening material, the ammunitiohn must expend force, slowing it down, so less force is present on contact. Because damage is equal to original force + skill + weapon - force expended in order for aformentioned weapon/weapon's ammunition to reach target.

The correct physical way of saying this is:

There is a certain amount of Kinetic Energy imparted to the arrow when it is fired. A proportion of that energy is used in the work done against air resistance. Therefore the energy of the arrow will decrease the further it travels.

However, the amount by which the energy will decrease is very, very small. Negligably small, in fact. Air resistance is simply not a significant contributor to the range of an arrow.


Logically, if you shot something the a pure vacuum, it could fly forever. However, considering a pure vacuum is impossible, that is but a dream of ranged weapon users.

A projectile will only fly forever in a vacuum and zero gravity, otherwise it will still fall to the ground. A projectile in an atmosphere with zero gravity will not fly forever, but will fly a very, very, very long way.

Look at it this way: if you shoot an arrow at the moon, the reason you miss isn't the atmosphere.

martyboy74
2006-08-09, 08:05 PM
Ah, but in a true vacuum, there'd be nothing to generate gravity, thus making your arguement void.


Do you think we've scared everyone else off?

Matthew
2006-08-09, 08:40 PM
No, I haven't been scared off yet...

So, Dan, in your opinion is proposition 2 viable or not?


My suspension of belief stops just before atmospherical physics.

Damage reduction over range increments makes sense for shot: grape, buck or bird. Arrows are still plenty lethal as far as they can go.

Sure, they slow down, but an arrow in the chest will hurt just as much from four feet as a fourth of a mile.

Besides, who wants to screw ranged-combat based characters even more? Not me.

Seriously, how would this benefit any game? Any? At all? It's not fun, it's not more simple, and it's not even going to be entirely accurate.

Interesting, as just a couple of days ago I was bombarded with the exact opposite view, mainly by Goumindong:

http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=gaming;action=display;num=1154743817

I thought he was refuted on just about every point, except as to how it would impact game mechanics, which was never adequettely explained to me, but see what you think.

Personally, I don't think this rule is especially difficult and, as far as I am concerned, it solves a niggling little problem with ranged attacks without substantially altering the rules, but that's just my opinion, I'm happy to hear others voiced, that's why I posted.

lsfreak
2006-08-09, 11:42 PM
Don't quote me on this, this is mostly the remnants of years of memory backwash...
However, it seems to me that arrows would suffer little damage penalties over a distance; while the kinetic energy would decrease slightly from air resistance, the velocity would stay about the same. Crossbows are different, because the bolts are much heavier (several times the weight of arrows but about half as long) and are much more likely to destablize.
However, in terms of your other thread you linked to (about attack bonuses), I can say that it seems to me that long-range shooting (beyond one or two range increments) would rely heavily on your senses - taking into account how and how fast the target is moving and the wind speed, at the very least. While as a DM I wouldn't make the player guess as to the square they are targetting, that is essentially what would be done by the character. Because of this heavy reliance on perception and senses, I *can* see Wisdom somehow playing a role in the attack rolls of long-ranged shots.

Dan_Hemmens
2006-08-10, 04:09 AM
Ah, but in a true vacuum, there'd be nothing to generate gravity, thus making your arguement void.

Depends what you mean by "true vacuum".

Either way the point is that air resistance is not the issue.

Dan_Hemmens
2006-08-10, 04:10 AM
No, I haven't been scared off yet...

So, Dan, in your opinion is proposition 2 viable or not?


In terms of physics, it's not. Arrows don't slow down very much. Their range is determined by gravity, not by the atmosphere.

Altair_the_Vexed
2006-08-10, 05:23 AM
Part of shooting over longer distances is using indirect fire - you arc the arrow into the air to fall into your opponent. I'd say that the range penalties should be used to dictate a minimum height of ceiling, but otherwise have no direct effect on damage.

For example: let's say that standard ceiling is 10 feet. The range penalty still applies to the attack roll, but also applies to minimum ceiling. If one has a minus 2 penalty, one needs at leasts 12 feet to get the projectile that far, for a minus 4 penalty, one needs a 14 feet ceiling, etc, etc.
If the ceiling is too low, an additional penalty applies, equal to the number of feet that the ceiling is short.
For every size category lower than medium, add 2 feet to the effective ceiling. For every size category larger than medium, take 4 feet from the effective ceiling.
Note that within the first range increment, there is never any penalty - the projectile flies relatively flat towards the target.

How does that grab y'all?

Dan_Hemmens
2006-08-10, 05:32 AM
It does cause me to wonder how often you're going to be in a room 110 feet long and 10 feet high...

Altair_the_Vexed
2006-08-10, 05:37 AM
It does cause me to wonder how often you're going to be in a room 110 feet long and 10 feet high...

A corridor..?

Also, remember the humble thrown object. The range increment there is 10 feet.

Dan_Hemmens
2006-08-10, 05:50 AM
A corridor..?

Also, remember the humble thrown object. The range increment there is 10 feet.

Yeah, but thrown objects don't work quite the same way: range for a thrown object is all about muscle power, not so much about trajectory.

Matthew
2006-08-10, 06:51 AM
In terms of physics, it's not. Arrows don't slow down very much. Their range is determined by gravity, not by the atmosphere.


So I gather; is direct shooting likely to have more force than indirect shooting, though?

Assumption 1:

Shooting beyond one Range Increment in D&D implies indirect shooting.

Proposition 3:

When shooting indirectly, the distance upwards a shaft must be launched increases with the distance between Archer and Target. Therefore, as it ascends, it must overcome gravity and expend force, but as it descends gathers force.

How would this impact matters?

Dan_Hemmens
2006-08-10, 09:38 AM
With my "I teach A Level physics so can get a bit anal about this" hat on, the arrows don't "expend force" (unless you're Aristotle) they gain and lose kinetic and potential energy.

The arc the arrow travels in won't make a difference, so long as it arrives at the same height it started. Direct versus indirect shooting wouldn't make a difference either (unless you factor skill into damage). It's all about kinetic energy. A small amount of kinetic energy is lost due to air resistance, but it's a tiny, tiny amount. Otherwise, any energy you spend going up, you get back going down.

Now if you fire uphill, that makes a *big* difference, because you're converting kinetic energy to potential energy, and that will really nerf your shooting.

Matthew
2006-08-10, 05:24 PM
Interesting, but doesn't shooting directly convert Kinetic to Potential energy, then? (i.e. because Gravity is dragging the arrow downwards?)

martyboy74
2006-08-10, 07:15 PM
Interesting, but doesn't shooting directly convert Kinetic to Potential energy, then? (i.e. because Gravity is dragging the arrow downwards?)
Yes, but that's only if it's being shot in a ballistic arc. If you're doing that, the potential energy it accrues on the way up is reconverted into kinetic energy as it plummets to the target.

lsfreak
2006-08-10, 11:43 PM
Here's a very simple example using numbers I made up and are in no way realistic:
You fire an arrow at someone 3 feet in front of you. Ouch. The arrow had 10 points of energy. When it hits, the target will be effected by 10 points of energy (well, unless the arrow goes all the way through, which is much more common with bullets, in which case the arrow would continue going and the target wouldn't be effected by all the energy... anywho...)
You shoot at someone 1000 feet away (good luck). Arrows goes up (indirect fire, or at least much more indirect, as when shooting you must always take into account the projectile's natural lift and gravity). That 10 points of kenetic energy is converted into 9 points kenetic, one point potential, then 8 and 2, and so on and so forth until you get at the peak of the curve and the arrow starts coming back down, where there is 0 kenetic and 10 potential. Soon you'll have 1 kenetic and 9 potential, then 2 and 8, and so on as the arrow comes down. Over that whole distance, you might lose a small fraction of a point of energy due to air resistance.

I could also use this to explain shooting farther up or down: you shoot at someone above you, and the kentic energy is less, b/c some is now potential energy. Only kenetic energy does damage, not potential, so you deal less damage. On the other hand, if you're bored and shooting squirrels in the trees 100 feet below the castle wall you're on, you'll deal more damage because the arrow continues to gain kenetic energy and lose the potential energy (which it has b/c of its height from the ground).

Very basic example, and probably not using the right termanology, but hopefully it helps you a bit.

Matthew
2006-08-11, 08:05 AM
I had a search around the internet for some information about how Arrows behave in flight. I found some interesting links, but I couldn't make much sense of what was being discussed, as I don't have the time to study them properly, but I thought I would provide them for other interested parties:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/joetapley/

http://www.stortford-archers.org.uk/medieval.htm

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

http://mrfizzix.com/archery/

The first link is the most impressive. According to the second article, an Arrow might lose up to a third of it's speed (60 M/S to 40 M/S) over a distance of 240 Metres or around 787 Feet. It all looks pretty complicated.