Quick Shooting Bows

Bows have RoF 1 and Shots 1(2). This means that an archer can normally loose an arrow every three seconds. Heroic bowmen - elves, legendary samurai, Merry Men, and so on - are traditionally capable of raining down arrows much more quickly than that! The GM of a cinematic campaign can use this next rule to enable such rates of fire.

An archer who has already drawn an arrow can try to ready and shoot his bow in one smooth motion. This requires an Attack or All-Out Attack (Determined) maneuver - a Heroic Archer (p. 45) may instead choose Move and Attack - and calls for two Bow rolls at -6. If the bowman has the Heroic Archer advantage or a form of Weapon Master (pp. 48-49) that encompasses bows, halve the penalty to -3. If he has both, he's at only -1! For anyone, All-Out Attack (Determined) adds +1 to both rolls.

The first roll is to draw the bow. Success lets the archer ready his bow instantly and shoot at once. Failure means he readies his bow too slowly to attack this turn but can shoot at no special penalty on a later turn. Critical failure means he drops his bow! Whatever his roll, he's defenseless if he chose All-Out Attack - and since a failure doesn't permit a shot, it amounts to a Ready that leaves him without active defenses.

The second roll is to shoot. This is only possible if the first roll succeeds. Treat this as an ordinary ranged attack, but with the extra penalty above.

Successfully executed, this shaves a second off the usual two-second ready time for a bow. The archer takes a Ready maneuver to draw an arrow, and uses the Quick-Shooting option on the following turn to ready and shoot his bow. If he rolls well, he can shoot every other turn - as if his bow had RoF 1 and Shots 1(1).

The archer can precede this feat with a Fast-Draw (Arrow) roll to ready an arrow instantly. Any failure means he drops the arrow (or the quiver; see p. B195) and spends his entire turn taking an unproductive Ready maneuver. Success readies an arrow and allows an immediate Quick-Shooting attempt. If the bowman makes all his rolls, he can shoot every turn. In effect, he has RoF 1 and Shots equal to his quiver's capacity . . . and can rival many firearms!

The GM may permit Quick-Shooting with other low-tech missile weapons that have RoF 1 and Shots 1(2). Simply change the skills required: Blowpipe-6 and Fast-Draw (Arrow) for blowpipes, Sling-6 and Fast-Draw (Stone) for slings, and so on.

At the GM's option, realistic archers can quick-shoot bows out of combat. There are real-life speed-shooting

Rapid Fire with Thrown Weapons

A classic tactic of ninja and gadgeteers is to toss many tiny throwing weapons (caltrops, ball bearings, shuriken, etc.) at once, with the goal of hitting somebody with something. This is far less precise than Rapid Strike with Thrown Weapons (see above). Use the following special rules instead.

The weapons used must be ready for throwing. It takes a turn to ready a fistful of tiny weapons from a handy container, or to ready the container itself. You can toss up to BL/50 lbs. of small, sharp items or BL/20 lbs. of small, blunt ones with one hand (use BL/20 lbs. for all weapons in a cinematic campaign!), or launch up to BL/2 lbs. of projectiles from a container - box, pouch, hollow staff, etc. This is a limit on the number of items you can throw for useful effect, not a measure of how many you can lift.

Treat the entire collection of thrown weapons as a missile weapon with Acc 0, RoF and Shots equal to the number of items hurled, and Rcl 2. For four shots or less, Damage is at -1 per die relative to a single weapon of that kind, and Range is 2/3 usual. For more than four shots, Damage is at -2 per die and range is 1/3 usual. Bulk is -2 for a fistful of weapons, -6 for any kind of container.

Handle the throw as a rapid-fire missile attack; see Rapid Fire (p. B373). Roll against Throwing to hit, regardless of what you're throwing. You can throw all the weapons at one target for a bonus to hit or use Spraying Fire (p. B409) to attack multiple foes. All-Out Attack (Suppression Fire) isn't an option - that assumes a steady stream of fire, not a single burst of projectiles.

If you know Throwing Art, you can roll against that skill to hit, and receive its usual bonuses to range and damage!

Example: A comic-book ninja with ST 13 and Throwing-14 hurls a handful of shuriken at a foe 2 yards away. His BL is 34, so he could normally toss 34/50 = 0.68 lb. of sharp objects with one hand ... but this is a cinematic game, so he can toss a full 34/20 = 1.7 lbs. of shuriken. Since a shuriken weighs 0.1 lb., his "fistful" consists of 17 stars! For a ST 13 man, a shuriken normally has Damage 1d-1 cut, Range 6/13. Since there are more than four, this becomes Damage 1d-3 cut, Range 2/4. The attack has Acc 0, RoF 17, and Rcl 2. The bonus for RoF 17 is +4 and the range modifier for 2 yards is 0, so the ninja needs 14 + 4 = 18 to hit. He rolls a 10, succeeding by 8. That's four multiples of Rcl 2, so he hits with one star plus four extras, for a total of five.

competitions, after all. Use the rules as written. Doing this under fire is cinematic, though - apply an extra -4 to Bow and Fast-Draw rolls for this feat in combat in a realistic game.

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