Enchanted Realms Rulebook
Skills Applied: Combat
Mechanics of Combat
Fighting At Distance
Gods of the New Moons
Feat of Strength
Poison and Disease
Stat Difficulty Check
Bows and crossbows have long range capability and may reach distances of over 1200 feet outside, even up to 2000 feet if shot from atop a tower. Thus, if needing to deliver a note tied to an arrow, then great distances are possible. However, effective range is something entirely different. Even special grapples tied to ropes can travel far but would max out around 500 feet. The point is when precision is not required, great distances can be achieved with the bow.
For combat, effective range is interpreted as the maximum distance for striking a selected combatant. These values are listed under each weapon type in the Economy section. However, weather conditions can affect ranged weapons. Wind speeds over 20MPH inflict a -10 on the roll of each die used. For each 5MPH beyond that an additional -5 is inflicted. Thus, winds from 41 to 45 MPH cause a -35 penalty. Heavy precipitation may cause penalties as well. The GM may judge that a penalty from -5 to -30 may be inflicted for a downpour; however, this penalty would only accompany wind in rare circumstances. Usually the greater of the two would be used. Lastly, as a rule, weather and environment do not affect ranged attacks generated from magic.
However, a trepidation for magical and ranged attacks is line of sight. Further, all range attacks that use linear trajectory could be a problem. When casting certain spells, hurling a weapon, employing a crossbow or musket, those occupying the spaces in between the attacker and his target or occupying hexes adjacent to the target might be subject to friendly fire if a shot is attempted through the crowd. With bows, if outside and the shot can be arched over the crowd, then there is no concern other than friendlies next to the target. However, when firing a linear shot, potential problems present themselves for even more allies.
There are two zones where friendly fire can damage an ally. These two are "line of fire" zone and the "near-miss" zone. As stated previously, multiple dice on a single target represent one missile one target (unless special skills are used); therefore, the failed attacks are just less-effective hits. All friendlies in the "line of fire" will suffer 1 body point of incidental damage for every d100 attack that does not strike the intended target.
However, if ALL the attacks miss the target, then those in the "near-miss" hexes could be struck for full damage. In this case, the GM randomly selects an ally who might be struck. Enemies in the zone are excluded from selection, as a rule of game-balance. The GM rolls one special d100 adding all the attacker’s bonuses to it. If that freshly rolled score hits the friendly’s defense, then all the missed dice strike that unlucky ally, and appropriate damage is inflicted as if they were the intended target. This can occur even on magical attacks like fire darts.