Missile Combat [Agility]
This is your skill with all ranged weapons (except Fire Weapons, which require a sub-skill to use). As such this skill covers a lot of ground, from spears to bows to thrown knives to rocks. Unlike the Archery Training skill, this has no philosophy or code. Missile Weapons concentrates on hitting your target or making the target think he's about to get hit, which is sometimes just as good.
Make a bank shot attack to bounce the attack off a hard surface before you hit your target. This can let you hit people who may think they're safe. The bank shot will wreck an arrow or quarrel, but only dents up other weapons a little. The difficulty is the target's Physical Defense.
When you make a shot, you tell people where you plan to hit. Make a Called Shot test and compare it to both the Physical Defense of the target (to see if you hit) and the Social Defense of the onlookers (to see if they're impressed if you do hit). The latter doesn't happen if the former screws up, but if you did impress them, they're all 1 step on their next actions out of shock and surprise.
This lets you take aim at an opponent and make him aware of the fact; make a test against their Social Defense. If you succeed, they stop dead in their tracks until you decide to fire or aim somewhere else. If you do fire, you still have to make a normal roll to hit, the trick is in making them think they're seconds away from being skewered. They still have their normal chance to get out of the way, it's just their legs won't believe it.
This gives you an edge in the first round of combat. You may add your rank in this sub-skill to your initiative test during the first round only. With a bow this usually requires that you have the bow in hand and an arrow knocked (that's always a requirement with a crossbow).
This sub-skill indicates training with the rare and expensive fire weapons that are remnants of the Djann empire. While their manufacture is lost, there are many still about and they are darn near indestructible. They are equivalent to flintlock pistols and can do devastating damage. Difficulty for firing them is the target's Physical Defense, but it treats armor as if it were a Magical attack. Difficulty for reloading them depends on the gun. Reloading takes a full minute (6 rounds).
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Copyright © 2000 Brian Rogers