PDA

View Full Version : Ranged Attacks and position

Angafirith
2007-03-08, 10:56 AM

The current encounter that I'm working on is basically a small outpost of goblin archers. It's currently setup so that any direct attack by the PCs will fail: they'll be turned into pin cushions by all of the archers. The terrain is set so that there's no natural cover from the goblins. They made sure to get rid of it all. I want it to still be possible for them to succeed, if they use strategy.

What happens when an archer fires on an enemy when another enemy is in front of it?

A-------TS

A, T, and S represent Archer, Tank, and Squishy respectively.

Any direct projectile from A to S, like a bullet, would go through T first. The problem is that real archers tend to fire into the air at an arc, rather than shooting in a straight line. As such, the arrow could conceivably go over the head of the tank and hit the squishy. The SRD says that S gets a +4 to AC, but I want to have most arrows hit T, but still have a chance for one to go through to S.

Perhaps I would have the Archer roll against the Squishy's AC. If he misses by 4 or less, the arrow is intercepted by the tank. The archer rolls again, this time against the tank.

Now, what happens if T uses a Tower Shield and decides to give up his attacks to get total cover? I was thinking that I would use the same calculation as above, but using 8 instead of 4.

Does my idea seem properly balanced? If not, how would you suggest that I run this?

Neo
2007-03-08, 10:57 AM
You could just use concealment rules, with a 30% based on the difference between tank and squishy. Just instead of hit/miss its tank/squishy

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-03-08, 11:03 AM
Does my idea seem properly balanced? If not, how would you suggest that I run this?

May I ask why you want you want to completely re-write the cover rules?
Have you considered the implications for other things such as spellcasting etc.?

Gamebird
2007-03-08, 11:07 AM
If you want to be confusing, then figure out what happens when two PCs willingly use the squeezing rules, taking a -4 to attack and AC and one of them holds a tower shield, utilizing it for full cover and the other one casts spells that don't require attack rolls.

Do they both get full cover? Can the caster use spells on the foe that require line of sight?

Aximili
2007-03-08, 11:10 AM
You could just use concealment rules, with a 30% based on the difference between tank and squishy. Just instead of hit/miss its tank/squishy
The most apropriate way to go would be cover.

What happens when an archer fires on an enemy when another enemy is in front of it?

A-------TS

A, T, and S represent Archer, Tank, and Squishy respectively.

Any direct projectile from A to S, like a bullet, would go through T first. The problem is that real archers tend to fire into the air at an arc, rather than shooting in a straight line. As such, the arrow could conceivably go over the head of the tank and hit the squishy. If they are close as in your description, having an arrow hit S after going above T would be almost impossible (totally impossible in some cases).

The SRD says that S gets a +4 to AC, but I want to have most arrows hit T, but still have a chance for one to go through to S.
I have to agree with the rules. What you're describing is cover (+4 AC). You could rule that, if T is taking a defense action (since is trying to defend S) the AC bonus could go to S (stacking with the +4 from cover). You could also rule that since T is particularly large, and S is particularly small, S gets a better cover than simply +4 (though that wouldn't happen if T were in melee with someone, since he'd be moving a lot).

Now, what happens if T uses a Tower Shield and decides to give up his attacks to get total cover? I was thinking that I would use the same calculation as above, but using 8 instead of 4.

If T get's total cover, S should get it too, as long as he trying to as is directly behind.

Attilargh
2007-03-08, 12:27 PM
The problem is that real archers tend to fire into the air at an arc, rather than shooting in a straight line.
Arcing fire was used with volleys to pepper an area with a number of shafts. A single archer would only shoot up to offset gravity.

In Star Wars D20 there is a rule about using a grappled creature as cover. If an attack misses thanks to the cover provided, the attack roll is compared to the defender's AC. If it's a hit, it's a hit, but if not, the defender dodges out of the way and the original target is hit instead.

Angafirith
2007-03-08, 12:29 PM
I like the idea that the tank's AC bonuses from total defense and such go through to the Squishy and will use it in this encounter. The problem is that it still doesn't consider the risk to that defender.

The last time I played D&D was back in High School, and the DM had some rules for certain situations. For example, if you rolled a 1 on a ranged attack roll, you had a chance of hitting another creature in that general direction. It added an amount of realism to the game that I appreciated. I had no idea that it wasn't present in the 3.5 rules.

Honestly, the original reason I started thinking about this idea was that I didn't see the Soft Cover rules: I was looking through the combat sections for things like "Position". I came across the rule while writing my original post and decided that I would try to adapt my idea to it. The +4 and +8 I used come from the SRD itself: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatModifiers.htm#cover

The soft cover rules seem to describe part of what I wanted to achieve: you get an AC bonus against a ranged attack if someone is standing between you and the attacker. This bonus is supposed to represent a real situation in battle, right? It seems to represent what happens when the arrow is intercepted or hits someone else. To make it more realistic, I wanted to come up with a way for that person to take damage from it. It does change the tactics one can use in battle, doesn't it?

On the other hand, if I want my Squishy to be able to use a ranged attack on the archer, I suppose I'd have to give them a significant risk of hitting the tank from behind.

EDIT:

In Star Wars D20 there is a rule about using a grappled creature as cover. If an attack misses thanks to the cover provided, the attack roll is compared to the defender's AC. If it's a hit, it's a hit, but if not, the defender dodges out of the way and the original target is hit instead.

The grappled creature is probably trying to get out of the way, so the original target gets hit, right? I'm aiming for a situation where the defender is trying not to dodge, but to prevent the squishy from getting hit. Perhaps I could balance it a bit by denying the defender their DEX bonus.

Aximili
2007-03-08, 01:05 PM
Hmmm... If you want a chance to hit the cover, just see how much AC S is getting from cover. If you miss by that much or less, you hit the cover.
I'd say keep your original roll, and compare it to his AC, but if you think that there should be a bigger chance of hitting the cover (since a roll that missed S will rarely hit T) than just reroll it.

Matthew
2007-03-08, 08:29 PM
Back in 3.0 there were rules for aiming at S, but hitting T as cover. They weren't very good, but thy weren't terrible. If you want to model the chance of hitting S when aiming at T you need to assign a percentage for any missed attacks; frankly, it's not a great idea, but there you go.

We used a reverse roll for cover, depending whether the cover was ally or enemy.