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Ranged Combat

Ranged Combat


  1. Determine Target

Select your target. Note the visibility and range, and the size and movement of the target.


Weapon Range in Ranged Combat

The descriptions for ranged combat weapons include their range (in yards) for each range bracket (close/medium/far). Different ranged combat weapons have different modifiers for range. It is possible to make an arching shot up to 1.5x a ranged weapon’s maximum range, but such shots always count as un-aimed and can normally be launched only at a general area, such as over a city wall or into a raging battle.



  1. Attack

Make your ranged combat check. Range combat is affected by the distance to the target, the size of the target, the movement of both the target and the attacker, and the overall visibility on the battlefield. Other factors, such as firing from horseback or taking time to aim, also play an important role.



Range Bracket

The greater the distance to the target, the harder it is to hit. Thus, the range of a weapon (in yards) is given in three range brackets (close/medium/far). If the target of a ranged combat attack is within close range, the ranged attack receives a bonus of 2 and inflicts 1 additional point of damage. A target within medium range receives neither bonus nor penalty. If the target is at far range, the ranged combat attack suffers a penalty of 2 and inflicts 1 less point of damage.


Range Modifiers

Close  +2 to RC, +1 DP

Medium         +/-0 to RC

Far      -2 to RC, -1 DP


Size Category

A human-sized target is the standard medium target. A goat-sized target is small, while apples, coins, or a dragon’s eye are tiny. Ogres and horses are large targets, and everything bigger that that is a huge target. You can also use these modifiers when you want to hit a target that is behind partial cover. For example, a man who is two-thirds covered from view (due to standing behind a wall that comes up almost to his chest) counts as a small target. If less than one quarter of his body is visible (only his shoulders and head show above the wall, for example), he counts as a tiny target.


Size     Modifiers Example

Tiny    -8 to RC          Rat, toad, sparrow

Small  -4 to RC          Fawn, goat, sheep

Medium         +/-0 to RC       Human, dwarf, donkey

Large  +4 to RC         Ogre, troll, cow

Huge   +8 to RC         Dragon, elephant, giant



It’s easy to hit a stationary target, but a penalty applies if the target is walking quickly or moving around. It can be very hard to hit a target that is running, flying, or even zigzagging (an action that cuts MOV in half). Similarly, shooting at a target is much harder if the attacker used the previous action to run.


Movement     Modifiers

Target is motionless +2 to RC

Target is moving slowly (4 yards or less in its last action)          +/- 0 to RC

Target is moving quickly (5 yards or more in its last action)     -2 to RC

Target is zigzagging -4 to RC, MOV of the target is halved

Attacker is walking (4 yards or less in its last action)     -2 to RC

Attacker is running (5 yards or more in its last action)  -4 to RC



It’s not too hard to hit a target on a clear, bright day, but adverse conditions incur penalties. At nighttime, the pale light of the moon might allow you to see a clear outline of your target, but that doesn’t make aiming any easier. And it can be very challenging hitting a target silhouetted in the fog or hidden behind some bushes. Shooting at an invisible target achieves a hit only with a lucky shot (meaning, you hit only on a roll of 1 on 1D20).


Modifiers for Restricted Visibility

Sight clear and undisturbed           +/- 0 to RC

Level I            Vision slightly impaired Sparse leaves, morning mist         -2 to RC

Level II          Target’s shape can be seen Fog, moonlight  -4 to RC

Level III        Target’s shape can be roughly seen Dense fog, starlight     -6 to RC

Level IV         Target cannot be seen Thick smoke, complete darkness      Lucky hit (rolling 1 on 1D20)


Mounted Ranged Combat

Shooting bows from horseback is difficult. Mounted archers are greatly feared in some regions of Aventuria, but hitting an enemy from horseback is an art. If the horse is standing still, make a normal attack. Shooting while at a walk is somewhat harder and suffers a penalty of 4. Shooting at a trot is almost impossible (you must roll a 1 on 1D20 to hit). Shooting while galloping is not quite as difficult due to the horse’s smoother gait, but it still suffers a penalty of 8. You cannot attack from horseback with a longbow.



Modifiers for Mounted Ranged Combat

Mount is standing still         +/-0 to RC

Mount is moving at a walk  -4 to RC

Mount is moving at a trot   Almost impossible (hit only on a 1 on 1D20)

Mount is moving at a gallop           -8 to RC


Taking Aim

Each action you spend aiming gives a bonus of 2 (maximum of 4) to your next shot. Aiming counts as a long action until you actually make the attack.


Shooting into Melee

Shooting into a melee is especially challenging. If a ranged combatant fires at an enemy engaged in close combat (in other words, if another combatant is within attack distance of the target), the shot suffers a penalty of 2. If the check fails, no one is hit.


Critical Success

If the confirmation roll is successful, the attack has the following effects:

  • The target’s defense stat is halved versus the attack
  • The attack does double damage (including all modifiers)


If the confirmation roll fails, the attack has the following effects:

  • The target’s defense stat is halved versus the attack.



If the confirmation roll is successful, the following happens:

  • Simple failure


If the confirmation roll fails, the following happens:

  • The attacker suffers 1D6+2 DP (ignoring PRO)



  1. Defense

Sometimes when arrows, bolts, or javelins rain down around you, you can do little more than jump to the side or hide behind a shield and hope for the best.



Dodging or Parrying Ranged Attacks with a Shield

You cannot normally parry ranged attacks with a weapon, but you can try to dodge them or parry them with a shield. Both dodging and parrying with a shield suffer a penalty of 4 (against mechanically launched missile weapons such as arrows or slung stones) or 2 (against thrown weapons). Just as with a close combat attack, a target that fails one of these defenses against a ranged attack takes damage as usual (accounting for the target’s PRO, if any).

You can defend against more than one ranged attack in the same combat round, but doing so gets more difficult. Your first dodge or shield parry doesn’t suffer any additional penalty, but each additional dodge or shield parry in the same combat round suffers a cumulative penalty of 3. In other words, your first dodge or shield parry doesn’t suffer a penalty, but the second one suffers a penalty of 3, the third suffers a penalty of 6, the fourth suffers a penalty of 9, and so on. Note that only characters with Fate Points can make more than one defense per round, as described above, even if they currently don’t have any FtP available. Others normally get only one defense per combat round but might be able to make more due to special abilities, spells, or liturgical chants. Penalties for different modes of defense are cumulative and remain in effect when switching to another mode of defense in the same combat round, regardless of whether the penalties stemmed from close combat or ranged combat attacks. These penalties reset to zero at the beginning of each new combat round.


Modifiers for Dodges and Shield

Parries vs. Ranged Attacks

Type Modifier

Mechanically-launched missile      -4

Thrown weapon       -2


Critical Success

If the confirmation roll is successful, the defense has the following effect:

  • Do not penalize your defense stat by the usual 3 points for the next defense in the combat round


If the confirmation roll fails, the defense has the following effect:

  • Your next defense in this combat round suffers a penalty of only 2 (instead of 3)



If the confirmation roll is successful, the following happens:

  • Simple failure


If the confirmation roll fails, the following happens:

  • The hero suffers 1D6+2 DP (ignoring PRO)


  1. Damage

Missile weapons deal damage on a successful hit. As usual, roll the damage and subtract the target’s PRO from the result. Then subtract the remaining amount from the target’s LP.


Damage Bonus Due to Range

The closer the target, the greater the missile’s damage, as follows.

  • Ranged weapons deal +1 DP to targets in the close range bracket
  • Ranged weapons deal -1 DP to targets in the far range bracket


Reload Time

All ranged weapons must be prepared prior to making an attack. For bows, this means drawing an arrow from the quiver and fitting it to the string. Crossbows must be loaded with a bolt, and throwing daggers must be drawn from their sheaths. The interval to make such a weapon ready is its reload time (RT), which is usually measured in numbers of actions or combat rounds. Reload time represents the number of actions required to prepare the weapon for making an attack. When you complete the last action of the reload time, you can use an action to attack. Weapons with a reload time of 0 actions require only 1 free action (not a regular action) to reload. Loading and using a ranged weapon is considered a long action (when reload time is longer than 1 action, the reloading process itself is considered a long action. Crossbows are the exception once loaded, you only need a free action to shoot them.


Stringing Bows and Cocking Crossbows

Stringing a bow and preparing to shoot takes 4 actions. You cannot take other actions while stringing a bow. Replacing a crossbow string is a long action (hooking a new string into a crossbow takes several minutes and isn’t very practical during combat).


Reusing Missiles and Thrown Weapons

Bolts, arrows, and bullets can be recovered after use, but they are often damaged by impact and cannot be used again until repaired. Thrown weapons can normally be gathered and used again immediately.