Bow Draw Weights in Mind Weave

You may have noticed in the last week that I’ve been specifying bow draw weights.  Rather than simply having a couple of bow types, we have defined bows by their draw weight (draw weight is the pounds of force a person must be able to hold to keep the bow drawn). The draw weight of the bow governs its damage, range, cost, size, and most importantly, how strong you have to be to use it properly (60#-70# is typical for muscular men like myself 😉).  That’s pretty much all you need to know, but here’s the math.

In general, bows come in draw weight increments of 10# from 20# to 160#.  Where the bow draw weight is represented by Φ, the bow has an effective range of 3*Φ feet for the average user.  The minimum strength to use the bow without penalty is Φ/5 Strength and the bow has a speed of Strength/(2*Φ/5) with a maximum speed of 1 (can fire every turn) and a minimum speed of 1/2 (can fire every other turn).  Heavier draw bows are longer (1+Φ/20 feet), weight more (Φ/20 pounds), and cost more (Φ/2 gold coins).  The bow damage is, by weight:

  • BowDamageΦ=20#, damage is 1d4
  • Φ=30#, damage is 1d6
  • Φ=40#, damage is 1d8
  • Φ=50#, damage is 2d4
  • Φ=60#, damage is 1d10
  • Φ=70#, damage is 1d12
  • Φ=80#, damage is 2d6
  • Φ=90#, damage is 3d4
  • Φ=100#, damage is 1d16
  • Φ=110#, damage is 2d8
  • Φ=120#, damage is 4d4
  • Φ=130#, damage is 1d20
  • Φ=140#, damage is 2d10
  • Φ=150#, damage is 2d12
  • Φ=160#, damage is 3d8

For a more in depth analysis of bow damage, see this spreadsheet.  It’s not particularly clean, but it discusses some of the outstanding issues of this approach to bows and how different abilities affect the choice between using a heavy, powerful bow or a light, fast bow. Another issue we are still unsure about is how the bow material will affect things. Different materials might reduce the bow size, but won’t increase power without increasing the draw weight, so it may be a non-issue.

What do you think about our approach to bows? Is it more complicated that you would like? Do you see any mechanical problems with it? Would you want a heavy bow or a light bow? Think about how it would affect your combat style and let us know in the comments below.

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