In fantasy roleplaying games there are some common themes when it comes to the use of the bow and arrow. It tends to be the case that bows are useful because of their range but rather slow. In fact, the trade-off keeps games balanced. The reason you’re a swordsman rather than an archer is because bows can be frustratingly slow and weak even if they give you the safety of range.
The thing is – those game mechanics are based off our modern understanding of what archery is like. What if our understanding of archery is wrong? Modern archers have dismissed some historic accounts of archery as impossible but Danish archer Lars Andersen has rediscovered techniques that prove they are possible.
I don’t know about you but I’ve certainly enjoyed gamers who pointed out that Legolas’ archery skills in Lord of the Rings were beyond the possible. I can’t quite imagine what it would be like to show them this video and give them cause to re-consider.
This is not the first time Geek Native have dug into archery speed. Back at the start of the year the blog showed the Russian archer Iza Privezenceva in a post called Don’t show the players: Archers are fast.
The final line in that post was a reminder not to bug GMs over game mechanics. That’s still true but perhaps this is something that designers need to wrestle with?
Is that the end of the story? Community contributions can be found in the comment section at the end of the page.