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[SS/WoN] No Bow?

Started by JackTheOwner, July 05, 2010, 01:08:13 PM

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I asked Eero about lack of aim skill (or similar) in general ability list or any basic five culture list.
And this is his anwser:

QuoteLet's see... I remember thinking about this when writing those Ability
lists, I had some logic that went into it...

Ah, yes - as I write in the front matter, in the part that discusses the
general Ability lists, shooting things is not a standard method of
conflict resolution in Near. You can throw rocks and such with Sports (V)
when that's deemed useful, but having a bow and using it is not sufficient
in resolving conflicts by itself. Note that this doesn't mean that it's
not useful - you can cause circumstance penalties or such with a bow even
if you don't have an Ability for it yourself, for instance.
    You can also shoot a bow with a hunting Ability, especially when
you're hunting and not part of some bow-wielding infantry unit or
such. The important point is that while bows might exist, be known
and used occasionally, the "cultural genre" of these nations does not
expect conflicts be get resolved by the bow alone - it's not a
potential "venue of conflict" as I say in the book.

Looking at individual cultures, while most of those will probably know
what a bow is and might even use them now and then, they don't really
usually consider the bow an important part of either identity or conflict,
and therefore we don't either - you can shoot your bow all day long, but
the fight will come down to the melee anyway as far as the Maldorite
infantry captain is concerned.
    There are cultures where the bow is part of the "cultural narrative",
most prominently the Oranides from the 5th movement: for those
archery is one of the manly skills, and it is therefore practiced
purposefully - for the Oranides archery is important enough for us to
waste character sheet space (and mental space) on it as well, you
might say. The Maldorite fight will never be resolved by the archer's
skirmish, while a similar battle in Orania most definitely would; the
Maldorite swashbuckler won't free his friends from captivity with a
trick shot, while the Oranide could.

I'm personally comfortable handling archery like this in my play because
of the theoretical approach I take on Abilities, treating them as
potential venues of conflict and so on. I see no contradiction in the fact
that a Maldorite campaign will see bows being used as little more than the
occasional skirmish weapon and hunting tool that creates circumstance
penalties, while an Oranide campaign will dedicate an either Ability to
the matter. If a campaign involves both Oranides and other peoples, the
situation is clear-cut enough: the Oranide character has the cultural
focus on archery to make it a crucial turning point in conflicts, while
others do not. If somebody really wants to try to resolve things with
archery without ever having practiced it as a discipline, feel free to
make the check at 0 level of Ability.

Also, because I recognize that not everybody will agree with me about the
specific importance of archery for Maldor, Ammeni, Khale and other such
places, there's no reason not to add it to a campaign. By putting it
behind a Secret wall you can keep it the mysterious and prestigious
exceptional discipline I imagine myself:

Secret of the Bow
The character comes from subculture among his nation that uses the bow
regularly - backwoods Maldorites, swamp-dwelling Zaru hermits or such. He
has the Ability Archery (I) at Mediocre (0) and can improve it normally.
The character also gains a bonus die to trick shots and shooting
competitions with the bow.

Actually, I can totally get behind that approach. It's not been an issue
in our play so far, but if somebody wants to play a bow-wielding Maldorite
peasant, that would be my play.

Thanks for that clarification Eero!