Tricky Shooting

Feints and Deceptive Attacks needn't be limited to melee combat. The optional rules below let warriors who specialize in Bow, Throwing Art, and so forth compete on an equal footing with hand-to-hand experts, if the GM wishes. This might be realistic - but the GM may reserve these options for cinematic games, restrict them to Heroic Archers and/or Weapon Masters, or simply forbid them. They can be used together or separately.

Prediction Shots: Ranged combat involves "leading the target" - that is, tracking his motion and calculating where to shoot so that the projectile will intercept his path. Many archers and marksmen even claim to be able to read a target's body language, deduce his reaction to seeing a weapon pointed at him (or to the shot itself), and shoot where he'll jump, duck, step, etc. To simulate such strategies, the GM may let fighters use Deceptive Attack (p. B369) with ranged weapons. Since this represents an attempt to put the shot where the target is most likely to dodge, and not the ploys used in melee combat (see What is . . . a Deceptive Attack?, p. 111), the defense penalty reduces Dodge but not Block or Parry. As usual for a Deceptive Attack, the attacker's effective skill after all modifiers must be at least 10, which makes this option most useful at short range.

Ranged Feints: The target of a ranged attack only gets an active defense if he's aware of the shooter, because then he can read his adversary's body language and guess when the shot will come. As just discussed, though, a shooter can read his target's body language, too. This is identical to the situation in melee combat but at longer range, and the GM may rule that a ranged attacker can feint (p. B365) - most often by faking a shot to draw the defender's guard or by "aiming" at one target and then suddenly spinning to shoot at another. A feint at distance is only possible if the attacker could hit the target with his weapon and his victim is aware of him (an unaware mark simply gets no defense!). All modifiers that would apply to an actual attack also apply to the feint. When using this rule, those with ranged weapons can use All-Out Attack (Feint).

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