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Wookie Bowcaster Underpowered?
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Do you also think it is underpowered?
Yes
81%
 81%  [ 18 ]
No
18%
 18%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 22

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Raiz
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:12 am    Post subject: Wookie Bowcaster Underpowered? Reply with quote

Hi guys. Do any of you also think the bowcaster in the core rulebook is a lot underpowered?

I mean wookies are good at mechanical and technical skills and they primarily prefer the bowcaster over other weapons. However forget about more complicated blasters (like repeating ones vice versa), even the simple "Heavy Blaster Pistol" has more damage than the official Bowcaster and easier use/size.

On the other hand with the bowcaster skill you can "ONLY" use "the bowcaster" but with the Blaster skill you can use all kinds of different Blasters.

I think that either the Bowcaster skill shall be a "speciality" type of skill (which will not perfectly suit the game mechanics) or it shall be far more powerful than almost any blaster, considering it fires some exploding projectiles filled with laser power.

Any rules upgrades that i don't know? Or any ideas about this?
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DoubtBreak
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've wondered about this myself, and I'd add 2 more details to the bowcaster's disadvantages. First, it has poor range, making even a standard blaster pistol a more attractive choice with equal damage and more than double range. Second, the bowcaster seems like a 2-handed weapon, more like a rifle- even Chewbacca uses two hands to fire it.

I suppose the separate skill accounts for how unusual the weapon's design is- even a person proficient in the use of every other type of blaster wouldn't necessarily be able to fire a bowcaster with any skill. It's not great for game balance, but it's logical.

As for only haveing 4D damage, I definitely agree that a species having an upward Strength limit of 6D should have been able to design a weapon that does more damage. Even if it's designed to shoot predators and not other Wookiees, any predator that could threaten a Wookiee probably won't be in much danger from a weapon with only 4D damage.

One slight advantage is that bowcaster's shot isn't actually an energy bolt, which means that while a lightsaber can block it, the shot can't be aimed back at someone else by a lightsaber-wielder. At least, it is generally accepted that deflected projectiles can't be aimed. This may not be spelled out in the D6 rules, but it is official in the D20 version. This doesn't make up for the drawbacks, but it's something.

Also, I'm not sure on this, but I don't think the bowcaster requires any of the "blaster gases" that most energy weapons use. Depending on how difficult blaster gases are to acquire, the bowcaster might become a more attractive option. Then again, how easy should it be to acquire explosive ammunition bolts? Confused That kind of depends on the setting. After all, 4D of energy-type damage isn't bad for a weapon that doesn't have the limitation of hard-to-get ammunition, and can be fired more than once per round (assuming the character can make the Moderate Strength roll). The last version of the D6 rules gave all blasters (except the light repeater) a Fire Rate of 1 shot per round.
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Raiz
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well then, let me tell how shall this all look like for a better game balance.

Lets assume the average wookie strength is 5D (which my character also has). 4D damage does absolute nothing to most of the wookies and also does completely nothing to those predators you have assumed the weapon is designed for. It even does not hurt strong humans at all.

There are very large scale of blaster pistols and rifles and I think bowcasters shall have more options and versions. Lets assume the bowcaster in the core rulebook a standart one.

So how shall the "real" bowcaster has to be?

This is my pretty suggestion which I have designed from my gaming experience and previous readings about the subject.

-Since wookie bowcasters throw projectile bolts filled with laser power it has a devastating armor penetration power. Hence it takes 1/3 of the targeted armor. 1D armor = 1pip, 2D=2 pips, 3D=1D and like that...

-Since it is a projectile weapon it can be deflected but not reflected with lightsabers (as you have also stated).

-It has 5D damage instead of 4D and Heavy Bowcasters have 6D damage instead. Heavy Bowcasters need a Difficult Str check to fire more than once in a round while Standart ones require a Moderate Check.

-Since we can design different bowcaster models such as heavy, repeating and so on, there is no need of making it a speciality skill. But it shall have speciality skills under it such as Heavy Bowcaster or Repeating Bowcaster (like the Blaster skill).

-Both versions are two handed weapons.

-Bowcasters does not have such a variety of models like rifles, onlt 3-5 different models shall be logical since they are onl used by wookies.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always found the bowcaster stats woefully inadequate. For something that requires the strength of a Wookiee to load and fire, it leaves much to be desired. I mean, a Wookiee could throw a knife and do more damage.

I would up the damage to 5 or 6D and give it the same range as at least a carbine if not a blaster rifle.

If memory serves, there is also a Heavy Bowcaster somewhere. That probably has 7D damage with the same or slightly better range.
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Raiz
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pel wrote:
If memory serves, there is also a Heavy Bowcaster somewhere. That probably has 7D damage with the same or slightly better range.


Where have you seen it if you can remember?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed with all said so far. Hows's this for my visions of wookie bowcasters..

Standard hunting bowcaster.
Model: Wookie bowcaster
Type: Explosive tipped crossbow
Skill: Bowcaster
Hands to use: 2
Range: 2-20/40/80
ROF: 3* (see notes)
Ammo: 6 shot magazine of quarrels. 100 shots worth of blaster gas.
Damage: 4d+2
Notes; If the user attempts to fire the weapon more than once in the round, he must make a moderate (13 area) strength roll, for the reloading. Swapping out the quarrel container is a simple action (-1d) like reloading a power pack in a blaster, but replacing the gas canaster is a difficult action, taking up the whole round.

Wookie combat bowcaster.
As above, but increase range to 3-30/60/120, and damage to 5d+2. Rof is the same but the strength requirement for 'reloading' is high end moderate (15).

Heavy bowcaster. As above, but range is 5-50/150/350, damage is 6d+2, ROF is 2, and str roll for reloading is high end difficult (19-20).
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Phalanks Balas
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to understand the purpose of the wookie bowcaster. It's not design to be use at war, but for hunting. When wookies fight each other, they have ritual rules of hand to hand engagement.
Hands of wookies are big compared to human's ones. If you want a wookie to use a blaster weapon, it must be previously modified (I can't imagine a wookie using the end of his claw to pull the trigger... In an other hand a modified repeating blaster can be carried by a strong wookie with the power generator on his back (get ready for a genocide).
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Raiz
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phalanks Balas wrote:
You have to understand the purpose of the wookie bowcaster. It's not design to be use at war, but for hunting. When wookies fight each other, they have ritual rules of hand to hand engagement.
Hands of wookies are big compared to human's ones. If you want a wookie to use a blaster weapon, it must be previously modified (I can't imagine a wookie using the end of his claw to pull the trigger... In an other hand a modified repeating blaster can be carried by a strong wookie with the power generator on his back (get ready for a genocide).


Even in the hunting case I think it has to give some more damage comparing to a knife being thrown by wookie hands. And the wookies use the bowcasters in wars, yes not between themselves but against other species. Remember the hairy Chew:) In all of the 3 episodes Chew carries his Bowcaster. If you say that "hunting" includes "stormtroopers" then I agree Smile
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masque
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(EDIT: I added some stuff and reposted this.)

I don't have any problem with the 4D standard damage from a regular bowcaster, that places it at the same damage rate as a standard blaster. The bowcaster adds the flexibility of loading explosive quarrels, which would provide a much greater damage rate. There's also the honor thing, where it's a cultural weapon. Just like there are disadvantages to a lightsaber, but Jedis stick to them as a point of pride and work that much harder to make them effective, so do wookiees with the bowcaster, at least in my conception of them.

Sure, a knife can do a max of 6D damage when thrown by a wookiee, but at a relatively short range, 10 meters max. There's also the issue of the relatively low DEX max (3D+2) that makes me think that throwing weapons is probably not a priority for wookiees. When they would be close enough to throw something effectively, I think they would just charge in and engage in hand to hand, which is one of their greatest strengths.

Wookiees are combat monsters as they are, fast, strong, and demons in melee combat. If their traditional weapon is slightly underpowered, it's a trade off. Personally, I'd rather let the humans deal with the ranged combat. Cover the wookiee, let him get in close and then he can quite easily tear someone's arm off and beat them to death with it.
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Pel
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't recall where I saw the heavy bowcaster. A web search turned up a couple of references to minis and action figures. It's entirely possible I imagined it.

If the bowcaster is intended as a hunting weapon, then I'd say it's vastly overpowered. Most of the creatures in the jungle canopy of Kashyyk can eat a Wookiee, besides the unmentioned horrors that stalk the jungle floor. Even a Wook can only soak up so much chewing damage.
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Grimace
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think bowcasters are underpowered. They are powered crossbows. Crossbows do 2D+2 damage. Bowcasters do 4D damage.

It's a hybrid weapon designed on a world where technology isn't highly prevelant. It's not made to be a massive combat weapon, or a hunting weapons designed to annihilate massive creatures or even other wookiees. As masque mentioned, for most things, a wookiee will resort to using the gift he was given....his strength. With a bowcaster a wookiee can hunt a flying creature, something that using a knife to do would be very challenging and time consuming. They could also hunt smaller and swifter animals that the wookiee either couldn't catch or couldn't sneak up on otherwise it would run away. Remember that hunting isn't always for the biggest and meanest thing on the planet. For something like that, it would take a whole party of wookiees hunting, and they would likely rely on their strength to bring down a big predator rather than the bowcaster.

If people want to make an "war bowcaster" or "heavy bowcaster", feel free. Maybe some wookiee out there decided he needed more punch in ranged combat, for whatever reason. Maybe he was a severely understrength wookiee that didn't rely on his muscles and had to develop a better bowcaster.

All told, though, for what it is, the bowcaster as present is perfectly fine. It's a light hunting weapon, created by a race that had little in the way of technology, and fashioned a hybrid pre-technology/space age weapon that worked for what they needed it for. It's not a weapon of war, it's not meant to take down massive things. It's not meant to kill other wookiees. It can knock down a man just fine (remember that PCs have 4D in Strength, most men only have 2D-3D in Strength) and when the enemy is close enough, the wookiee puts his bowcaster away and goes in the clobber the enemy in hand to hand.

So don't mess with an item that works fine how it is. If you want something better, either use a blaster or fashion a "war bowcaster" or some such, but leave the regular bowcaster as is.

My mini-rant is done. Smile
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Raiz
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only disagreement is bowcasters are not crossbows, they are very powerful (better than blaster) ranged weapons combining the piercing nature of the arrow and devastating nature of the laser.
Therefor the main functionality of the bowcasters has to be the "armor penetration".

On the other hand lets assume the average stormtrooper strength is 3D with an additional energy protection of the armor it is 4D which is equal with the regular bowcaster. Correct me if I am wrong but I remember Chewie takes every stormtrooper with one or two bolts.

Anorher point is every wookie relys on his strength ok. But in big wars where e-webs and riot guns are in field, stronger ranged weapons are a must even for wookies. And why a wookie shall use blaster instead of making more powerful bowcasters...
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Therefor the main functionality of the bowcasters has to be the "armor penetration".


But we see no in game ruling for that 'armor' penetration.
But lets try to come up with one. Hows about it ignores 2d worth of 'physical' armor..
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Akari
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally don't really think the bowcaster is underpowered. Its more of a traditional weapon then anything else. And in our campaign I have made bowcasters quite easy to modify (compared to other weapons), giving our resident wookiee a really neat toy. He currently put scopes, lasterpointer and a 12-shot-autoloader on his bowcaster and modified the bolts to 1d armorpiercing by using specially sharpened durasteel heads. He also modified the energy output and pull, so it currently does 5d damage and has its range increased.

Besides, since the weapon is both physical and energy, the opponent rolls whatever armor is less effective against the bolt (usually energy). All in all he's got one hell of a weapon on which he spent a lot of time fiddling and finding parts for. Yes, bowcasters start out weak but through tuning comes mastery.
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Raiz
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have also modified the bowcaster of my wookie character to 6D damage and 1/2 armor piercing functionality. But this is the modified case. I want to modify an unmodified 6D bowcaster with armor piercing functionality to maybe 8D damage 2D armor penetration with explosive quarels This is for example only.

These are my bowcaster submissions

Light Bowcaster (Original)
Range:10/30/50
Damage:4D
Ammo:6
Armor Piercing:None
Multishot Str Roll: Easy(10)

Light Repeating Bowcaster
Range:10/30/50
Damage:4D
Ammo:20
Armor Piercing:None

War Bowcaster
Range:10/45/75
Damage:5D
Ammo:6
Armor Piercing:1D
Multishot Str Roll: Moderate(15)

Repeating War Bowcaster
Range:10/45/75
Damage:5D
Ammo:20
Armor Piercing:1D

Heavy War Bowcaster
Range:15/60/100
Damage:6D
Ammo:6
Armor Piercing:1D
Multishot Str Roll: Hard(20)


Bowcaster Bolts can be parried with lightsabers but cannot be reflected back, because of its physical crossbow bolt nature.


Dooman’s Bowcaster (my character-modified)
Range:15/60/100
Damage:7D (explosive quarrels)
Ammo:6
Armor Piercing:1D
Multishot Str Roll: Hard(20)

Laser Pointer: +1D to hit at short/medium range
Double Quarrel capacity: Shotgun effect (double damage at short range)


Last edited by Raiz on Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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