OSRGaming

 

Author Topic: Considering giving crossbows to magic-users  (Read 1749 times)

Offline outlander78

  • Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 155
  • XP: +4/-0
    • View Profile
Considering giving crossbows to magic-users
« on: December 15, 2016, 07:52:09 PM »
I have the usual five missile weapons in my game:  long and short bows, heavy and light crossbows, and slings.  Some recent posts about balancing crossbows got me thinking about who can use what, and why.

Thus far, I have given bows two attacks per round and tried to balance crossbows by giving them a +2 attack and damage bonus.  The problem is, it is almost always better to have two attacks than a +2 bonus to a single attack.  I have magic crossbows that given an extra attack, but that isn't addressing the basic weapons' differences.

So, I started thinking about who can use each weapon.  Not necessarily how good they are with it, but just who can use it.

Bows require a great deal of training.  Crossbows do not (that is their strength).  Slings, despite being the weakest option, are not as easy to use as the point-and-shoot crossbows.

Fighters are skilled with all weapons, so they can use all five types.

Clerics spend some time training how to fight with weapons, and as they are stuck with only slings, it makes sense they would practice with them.

Thieves also train with weapons (they must to use swords and bows), so I don't see a need to fiddle with their allowed weapons.

This leaves magic-users.  They have no combat training, and seem to have been given the sling for game balance reasons alone.

I am thinking of taking away light crossbow's +2 bonus in my game, but letting everyone except clerics use them, and taking slings away from magic-users.

Anyone try this?  Anyone run into trouble with giving crossbows to magic-users?
Please try my old school computer game (link) and tell me what you think.

Offline Dizzy

  • The Warden
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 412
  • XP: +9/-0
  • Musician/Gamer
    • View Profile
    • Dizzys Dungeon
Re: Considering giving crossbows to magic-users
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2016, 03:27:06 PM »
I don't think it would be a big deal. Magic-Users using a light crossbow seems fine to me. I think LotFP gives crossbows the +2 you were stating as well. Something similar at least. Makes them a viable alternative to a bow.

Offline DMMike

  • Show Hosts
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 241
  • XP: +13/-0
    • View Profile
    • Victorious RPG
Re: Considering giving crossbows to magic-users
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2016, 08:19:39 PM »
In my games, I make crossbows distinctive by letting their damage die explode once. That is, roll max damage on the die and you get to roll again; once. It gives crossbows some potential lethality without modifiers.

When I first read the idea crossbows to MUs my gut said “Hell no!”…but the more I think about it, the more I realize I don’t’ have a good reason why not. After all (as Outlander noted) the main advantage in the Medieval period for crossbows was that it was an easy weapon to use with little training.

So, I may give it a try in my next game…but Mus will not get heavy crossbows. Only light crossbows!

DM (Good at light-ening the mood!) Mike

The Save for Half Podcast: Old School RPGs Reviewed
http://www.saveforhalf.com

Victorious: Steampunk Adventure in the Age of SuperMankind
http://www.victoriousrpg.com

Offline outlander78

  • Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 155
  • XP: +4/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Considering giving crossbows to magic-users
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2016, 03:23:36 PM »
Mike, I really like the expanding damage idea.  I am going to use that.  Thanks Mike!
Please try my old school computer game (link) and tell me what you think.

Offline DMMike

  • Show Hosts
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 241
  • XP: +13/-0
    • View Profile
    • Victorious RPG
Re: Considering giving crossbows to magic-users
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2016, 07:51:29 PM »
Mike, I really like the expanding damage idea.  I am going to use that.  Thanks Mike!

You're quite welcome! Let us know how the MUs with crossbows do!

I'd also say that crossbows probably wouldn't be available except in large cities. They're full of complicated gears, something the local blacksmith would have trouble with. <G>

DM (Good at avoiding Homlett's Wal-Mart) Mike
The Save for Half Podcast: Old School RPGs Reviewed
http://www.saveforhalf.com

Victorious: Steampunk Adventure in the Age of SuperMankind
http://www.victoriousrpg.com