While bows can generally be assumed to be reloaded and fired every round, it’s bizarre to have the Arbelast firing every round, not to mention the Ballista and other siege weapons. What are the reload times for the various missile weapons?
look at p.110. siege engines do not fire every round. they fire once per 5 rounds assuming full crew. hand-held missile weapons fire each round, and you may even cleave (p.105) with them.
I keep wanting to give this ruling another look myself. I think it’s just a matter of me trying to over-complicate things and should just leave well-enough alone.
I’ve thought about introducing/testing a rule for crossbows and arbalests that says they can’t move AND shoot. But again…maybe I’m over-complicating the matter.
Arbalests can only cleave up to 2 in a round. Bows can cleave more. This accounts for the arbalest’s slower speed.
So, while arbalests might fire two shots and could potentially deal 1d8+1d8, a composite bow can fire 4 and potentially deal 1d6+1d6+1d6+1d6.
2-16 total vs. 4-24 total.
If you’re going up against goblins or other 1HD creatures, the bow can mow through them much easier. The arbalest is better for less shots against tougher creatures.
Personally, I wish arbalest couldn’t cleave. Crossbow could do 2. Normal bows 3. Composite bows 4.
Ah, cleaving makes the difference. That information should really have been included in the weapon description, as its not very intuitive to think ‘Hey, I need to find information on a massive crossbow. I think I’ll in the Cleave section of combat.’
Still, an Arbalest is pretty friggin’ heavy, and hand cranked, so I’m thinking that it should lose Cleave. Combat rounds are only 10 seconds, after all.
Move or fire is a good idea for both Arbalests and Crossbows. But I think that they should each get a bump in damage by one die type to reflect their slow speed but higher damage potential (d8 for crossbow and d10 for Arbalest). After all, the Arbalest is pretty much the two handed sword of bows…
"Cleaving" is abstract for missile weapons. When an Arbalest "cleaves," the idea is that one quarrel is penetrating two targets.
Ahhhhh, that makes sense. I stand corrected about taking away Cleave. Way to think outside the box, Alex.
I do, however, still think the ‘move or fire’ rule would be a good house rule for the Arbalest, if not the crossbow.
I agree - cool rule.
You could consider increasing arbalest damage by one die in exchange. So you can deal 1d10 but not move and fire.
That’s the plan. I thought about doing that with regular crossbows as well. It makes mechanical bows clearly different from the regular missile weapons.