|Pew! pew! pew!|
In Labyrinth Lord attacking with a ranged weapon is super easy and I think not all that realistic (and I'm not the only one). Use Dex modifiers instead of Str to hit, +1 for short range, -1 for long range. The end. Having ranged rules that are so dead simple is a big plus at the table, but I feel like these provide a rather poor simulation for ranged attacks. It's the range modifiers that rub me wrong. I think those rules make sense if you are shooting into a column of troops, but shooting a single man-sized target at long range isn't that easy.
So, what is best? Leave well enough alone and use the same rules for firearms? Use different rules for firearms only? If I change ranged combat for everyone, do I change one thing, or everything, or some combination? Maybe it would help to just list out all of the different options that I'm considering.
- Option #1 - Change nothing. Treat ray-guns and lightning wands like any any other ranged attack.
Pro: Boom, done.
Con: A goblin with a shotgun has a crappy attack roll.
- Option #2 - Rework the ranged attack modifiers. I think HackMaster has a nice balance of sane but simple ranged rules.
Short Range: d20
Medium Range: d12
Long Range: d8
Fixed: Improves range one step (One round to aim, lasts until you move)
Optical: Improves range two steps (One round to aim, lasts until you move)
Laser: +2 (can be combined with another sight)
Pro: It feels less crappy than massive negative modifiers
Con: I'd miss the loss of the natural 20 automatic hit.
- Option #3 - Improved hit rolls. Point and shoot weapons don't require a lot of training. Shouldn't the attack roll be a lot easier than a bow or sling, especially at low levels? I feel like a crossbow falls into this category too since the basics can be learned in a day.
Attack as a fighter whose level is equal to half your Dexterity (if your level of experience is higher, use that instead). Amateurs may need to use the M-U or Cleric attack table until they get enough practice.
Stationary target (or whatever else deserves a bonus): +2
Multiple shots (or whatever else deserves a penalty): -2
Pro: That goblin with a shotgun looks more dangerous now.
Con: Elvish archers are less dangerous than human crossbowmen. Do I just assume that longer lifespan means higher level?
- Option #4 - Ranged AC. Use the attack roll from option #3, but the target has its AC modified by size.
Target Size Modifier: +/-2 per size category different from human standard
(Yeah I know, LL doesn't have size categories. Maybe I'll use these.)
-10 Bug (<2") Fly, Flea
-8 Tiny (2"-6") Butterfly, Frog
-6 Wee (6"-1') Smurf, Rat
-4 Small (1'- 2') Cat, Imp
-2 Short (2' - 4') Halfling, Goblin
0 Average (4' - 8') Human, Elf, Dwarf
+2 Large (8' - 12') Ogre, Troll
+4 Giant (12' - 21') Most Giants, Wyvern
+6 Huge (21' - 32') Adult Dragon, Tyrannosaurus
+8 Gargantuan (32' - 64') Old Dragon, Kraken
+10Colossal (>64') Ancient Dragon, Roc
Pro: I like the idea of AC for firearms based on the size of the target profile.
Con: I don't want to deal with an extra chart in combat. Also, do dragon scales deflect bullets?
I guess that's about it. I'm leaning toward option #3 and nothing else, but I keep changing my mind. Anyone have suggestions?