Archers in space?


General Discussion

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Will there be bows?

If there are, I hope they are not the premier damage-dealer. Instead, I'd prefer to see them act in a role they are suited to that guns and lasers can't perform: Non-kinetic payload delivery.

Poisons (make the poison rules work this time!), technological devices, and so on, could be attached to arrows.

Breakable arrowhead, capsule full of grey goo (the science fantasy kind, since that's what we seem to be going with). Make your targets melt from the inside.


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Totally want the Tek Bow from Turok. That'd be awesome!

Liberty's Edge

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Your bow, made from the latest composite materials, launches an arrow with flexible foam fletching, a graphite shaft... and an explosive-tipped arrowhead.


Snorb wrote:
Your bow, made from the latest composite materials, launches an arrow with flexible foam fletching, a graphite shaft... and an explosive-tipped arrowhead.

And does the same damage as a medieval archer of your level because of balance reasons? D:


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Considering that a Laser Rifle from the technology guide allows 1 extra attack, does 2d6 base damage and targets touch AC... I don't expect Archers to be the undisputed kings of damage.

I will however be REALLY surprised if we don't see some type of Tech^Bow. Foldable? Explosive arrows(Aoe), energy arrows?


Sounds lame. Balance is lame ;p


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Laser bows and gauss (railgun) bows!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Compound bows can be nice, you have pulleys that negate the whole calibration for strength thing and a few models have a small quiver built in. But I'm also a big fan of Green Arrow...


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Mechs with bows?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is going to be a science fantasy setting so the sky is the limit as far as pay loads go. Putting an explosive in an arrowhead is something most folks don't blink an eye at or question. Imagine adding magic to that, say as the delivery device of a fireball with so much damage it would make the bombs we dropped on Japan to end WW2 look like mere firecrackers. And yes that is a little extreme but in a game like this it could be par for the course. But I like going gonzo.


You can add lots funky stuff to bow attacks
Will be very intrigued on the balance question. Because tech can often out do level
The 3Rd level weapons tech who fires the weapon of the death star punches somewhat above his weight

Scarab Sages

Umbral Reaver wrote:
Snorb wrote:
Your bow, made from the latest composite materials, launches an arrow with flexible foam fletching, a graphite shaft... and an explosive-tipped arrowhead.
And does the same damage as a medieval archer of your level because of balance reasons? D:

This right here is why I'm not particularly jazzed about Starfinder since they are supposed to be compatible systems.

I'm willing to be proven wrong... but advanced technology should be worlds ahead of the standards that Pathfinder works on in regards to health, damage and protection.

Yet, see how Numerian technology functions mechanically.

Scarab Sages

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Also.... Archer in Space!


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Remember, backwards compatible does not mean equal in power. Compare a first level 3.5 character too a 1st level Pathfinder character. In almost every case, the pathfinder character is more powerful or more flexible.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One possible reason for why bows/crossbows might still be in use ...

If personal shields have developed to the point of being able to protect against lasers/blasters/other light-or-whatever-based tech weapons, then maybe bows/crossbows are the ranged weapons most likely to penetrate them because the arrows/bolts "move slowly" by comparison (as the shields don't protect against "slow" weapons).

I could see bows/crossbows becoming weapons of choice for assassins doing their work at range, particularly if the weapons can be disassembled and smuggled in. Ordinary customs/security officers in a high tech society might not recognize the components of a disassembled bow/crossbow. And a previous poster's point about toxin-deliver is quite valid.

Bows and crossbows might also be popular among those of the elite who enjoy hunting. "The honourable weapon", instead of simply gunning down the hunter's prey with the high-tech equivalent of a machine-gun. Precise one-shot kills (= criticals) would be bragging points.


Shields passing slow objects was done so many times it feels cliche to me...

And I will be a vote of dissent... When we have high tech weapons, bow are really unimpressive, trying to force them into Starfinder would be very meh for me. You want payload delivery? Get a magnetic/gravitic linear accelerator or micromissiles (smart homing optional).


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Snorb wrote:
Your bow, made from the latest composite materials, launches an arrow with flexible foam fletching, a graphite shaft... and an explosive-tipped arrowhead.
And does the same damage as a medieval archer of your level because of balance reasons? D:

So, by the magic of strength backing it will remain the most effective method of ranged combat outside of a class specifically devoted to it?


Well, it's already possible to launch Small ground fowl with a composite bow, so in the future I imagine archers will just use kobold "arrows".* As a bonus, the kobolds can just change their kobold helmet to switch out the payload... say regular pointy-tipped helmet for an explosive helmet.

* In the future, chickens are too expensive to waste as ammo, hence switching to the cheaper, highly-abundant kobolds, which are pretty-much featherless chickens anyway.


Drejk wrote:

Shields passing slow objects was done so many times it feels cliche to me...

And I will be a vote of dissent... When we have high tech weapons, bow are really unimpressive, trying to force them into Starfinder would be very meh for me. You want payload delivery? Get a magnetic/gravitic linear accelerator or micromissiles (smart homing optional).

While true, i still want me some Tek Bows so I can go around killing dinosaurs and Nazis while yelling "I AM TUROK!" with glee.

A man can dream.


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Something like Hawkeye's setup from the MCU would also be viable I think.

There's also another reason to use bows/crossbows in lieu of guns. They're much quieter, allowing for easier stealth kills.


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Fallen_Mage wrote:

Something like Hawkeye's setup from the MCU would also be viable I think.

There's also another reason to use bows/crossbows in lieu of guns. They're much quieter, allowing for easier stealth kills.

Laser guns should be both silent and have invisible projectiles tbh.


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Fallen_Mage wrote:

Something like Hawkeye's setup from the MCU would also be viable I think.

There's also another reason to use bows/crossbows in lieu of guns. They're much quieter, allowing for easier stealth kills.

Meet the hunter-seeker. Or maybe better not.


IonutRO wrote:
Fallen_Mage wrote:

Something like Hawkeye's setup from the MCU would also be viable I think.

There's also another reason to use bows/crossbows in lieu of guns. They're much quieter, allowing for easier stealth kills.

Laser guns should be both silent and have invisible projectiles tbh.

You can't really have an invisible laser that does more than blind people. Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, which mean to be powerful enough to burn someone almost instantly, it needs to be visible.

Now on the other hand, a Maser (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) would be completely invisible, regardless of power. Or hell, even a Gamma gun would do the trick.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Fallen_Mage wrote:
IonutRO wrote:
Fallen_Mage wrote:

Something like Hawkeye's setup from the MCU would also be viable I think.

There's also another reason to use bows/crossbows in lieu of guns. They're much quieter, allowing for easier stealth kills.

Laser guns should be both silent and have invisible projectiles tbh.

You can't really have an invisible laser that does more than blind people. Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, which mean to be powerful enough to burn someone almost instantly, it needs to be visible.

Now on the other hand, a Maser (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) would be completely invisible, regardless of power. Or hell, even a Gamma gun would do the trick.

Um, Infrared?


You can pretty much forget about recovering any arrows shot in space though. :)

Liberty's Edge

>fire arrow

The arrow flies off into space, never to be used again. That makes the third one this combat. Just wait till your boss finds out.


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Snorb wrote:

>fire arrow

The arrow flies off into space, never to be used again. That makes the third one this combat. Just wait till your boss finds out.

You can just take the spaceship and chase after it. It's only going about 1/4 of the speed of sound relative to the archer. Spaceships in low orbit around an earth-like planet move at 20+ times the speed of sound. The velocity change of an arrow launched from a bow is only enough to put it in a slightly different orbit. Not even close to enough to deorbit it in a significant timeframe or send it out of orbit. With future-magical-space-tech, chasing after it* is a joke so long as the ship actually has decent sensors which can track it (please tell me magitech-space sensors aren't atrociously inferior to modern infrared).

As an aside, I wonder just how realistic the "space" mechanics will be. Is it going to be a full on Star Wars/Trek Space-is-Air-and-Ocean technobabble-ridden mashup, or is it going to have some semblance of realism? I am talking about "things orbit a planet by going a little bit high and really really really fast" levels of realism.

*In the interests of safe space travel the arrows should be recovered, by the way, because as far as anything orbiting the opposite way around the planet is concerned, these arrows have a velocity of 40+ times the speed of sound - enough for a 1 ounce arrow to be about as damaging as a hand grenade (and yes, I did the math). Oh, and any debris from the victim who got arrow-grenaded turns into...you guessed it, a shrapnel spray of tiny little grenades. Yes, this can be used as a weapon pretty damn easily - in a pinch, even kitty litter could be a fearsome weapon under the right circumstances.


Snowblind wrote:


*In the interests of safe space travel the arrows should be recovered, by the way, because as far as anything orbiting the opposite way around the planet is concerned, these arrows have a velocity of 40+ times the speed of sound - enough for a 1 ounce arrow to be about as damaging as a hand grenade (and yes, I did the math). Oh, and any debris from the victim who got arrow-grenaded turns into...you guessed it, a shrapnel spray of tiny little grenades. Yes, this can be used as a weapon pretty damn easily - in a pinch, even kitty litter could be a fearsome weapon under the right circumstances.

You mean like how we've been doing such a great job of cleaning our debris out of orbit?


Snowblind wrote:
Snorb wrote:

>fire arrow

The arrow flies off into space, never to be used again. That makes the third one this combat. Just wait till your boss finds out.

You can just take the spaceship and chase after it. It's only going about 1/4 of the speed of sound relative to the archer. Spaceships in low orbit around an earth-like planet move at 20+ times the speed of sound. The velocity change of an arrow launched from a bow is only enough to put it in a slightly different orbit. Not even close to enough to deorbit it in a significant timeframe or send it out of orbit. With future-magical-space-tech, chasing after it* is a joke so long as the ship actually has decent sensors which can track it (please tell me magitech-space sensors aren't atrociously inferior to modern infrared).

To move an entire spacecraft, you're talking about a significant expenditure of energy and fuel. If you are talking about a fueled ship, you simply can't make individual seek and recover missions for each arrow. You don't have the luxury of making all those course changes and the corrections to change back.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

future of bow use. PF even has 4 armed aliens.

Scarab Sages

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Crossbows are not unheard of either.

Executive Editor

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You will totally be able to use bows in Starfinder. That said, most people probably choose laser guns or assault rifles instead, for the same reasons most people would do so in real life. :P

It should be noted that all the weapon/armor/item math is getting tweaked for Starfinder, so things will likely look different than what you're used to, even in the tech guide.


James Sutter wrote:

You will totally be able to use bows in Starfinder. That said, most people probably choose laser guns or assault rifles instead, for the same reasons most people would do so in real life. :P

It should be noted that all the weapon/armor/item math is getting tweaked for Starfinder, so things will likely look different than what you're used to, even in the tech guide.

So, laser arrows fired by regular bows might be a viable option? Chewbacca will hear my mighty roar!!!11!


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Reasons to use bows in sci-fi. #1. Less risk of hull breach. #2. Won't go to junk in case of emp. #3. Can easily be constructed of non-ferrous materials.


I totally want a high tech bow that shoots laser arrows and can shoot normal arrows when out of energy-ammo.


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Fallen_Mage wrote:
IonutRO wrote:
Fallen_Mage wrote:

Something like Hawkeye's setup from the MCU would also be viable I think.

There's also another reason to use bows/crossbows in lieu of guns. They're much quieter, allowing for easier stealth kills.

Laser guns should be both silent and have invisible projectiles tbh.

You can't really have an invisible laser that does more than blind people. Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, which mean to be powerful enough to burn someone almost instantly, it needs to be visible.

Now on the other hand, a Maser (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) would be completely invisible, regardless of power. Or hell, even a Gamma gun would do the trick.

Coughs


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Fallen_Mage wrote:
You can't really have an invisible laser that does more than blind people. Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, which mean to be powerful enough to burn someone almost instantly, it needs to be visible.

FYI, Fallen Mage: Real world visible-light lasers generally are invisible. The light travels all in one direction so unless the laser beam actually strikes your eye, you will not be able to see it.

Laser beams are only visible to those outside the path of the beam when they strike particles enroute to their target. For example, dust, smoke, or mist in the path of the beam causes some of the light in the beam to scatter in various directions, causing the beam to become visible. Without such interference, laser beams are quite invisible.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hitdice wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

You will totally be able to use bows in Starfinder. That said, most people probably choose laser guns or assault rifles instead, for the same reasons most people would do so in real life. :P

It should be noted that all the weapon/armor/item math is getting tweaked for Starfinder, so things will likely look different than what you're used to, even in the tech guide.

So, laser arrows fired by regular bows might be a viable option? Chewbacca will hear my mighty roar!!!11!

beat me to it.


James Sutter wrote:

You will totally be able to use bows in Starfinder. That said, most people probably choose laser guns or assault rifles instead, for the same reasons most people would do so in real life. :P

It should be noted that all the weapon/armor/item math is getting tweaked for Starfinder, so things will likely look different than what you're used to, even in the tech guide.

This is good to hear, something for us to keep in mind while speculating.

I'm holding out hope for Armor as DR and Technological weapons dealing larger base damage (along the lines of Spy craft d20 or the Stargate d20 game).

When a pistol deals 3d4 or 3d6 base damage, you start seriously considering wearing armor instead of just depending on Ac from things like Dex/Class.

Liberty's Edge

A blaster pistol in Star Wars Saga Edition was amazingly lethal. =p

(Then again, it was targeting 10 + Dex mod + level OR armor bonus...)


You think that's bad? In d20 Modern, you're Death from Massive Damage number was equal to you're CON score (However, failing the save simply dropped you to -1 hp, not actually dead)... and a 9mm Pistol did 2d6 damage (3d6+1 with Double Tap and Point Blank Shot).


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A bow, in the vacuum of space, could deliver an INCREDIBLE amount of force. With zero wind resistance, and no gravity to counter act, it'd be a fairly simple to wield weapon as well. Plus, grappling hook bolts.


F=MxA. There's no way to make that incredible in a setting with actual guns. Your mass and your acceleration are capped by the bow form.

Scarab Sages

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Modern compound bows can have huge draw weights with pulley systems, it's not that hard to imagine servo motors in the bow to increase that even more, so that the release force generated is greater than the pull weight.


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The biggest advantage is that a bow makes even less noise of a silenced gun


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A gravitic rail accelerator that happens to be bow-shaped?


Umbral Reaver wrote:
A gravitic rail accelerator that happens to be bow-shaped?

Basically what I said! Except it was magnetic, not gravitic.


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Umbral Reaver wrote:
A gravitic rail accelerator that happens to be bow-shaped?

I take it you don't quite see the slight problem with that? You do know how rail accelerators work?


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Snorb wrote:
Your bow, made from the latest composite materials, launches an arrow with flexible foam fletching, a graphite shaft... and an explosive-tipped arrowhead.
And does the same damage as a medieval archer of your level because of balance reasons? D:

I fully invite you to take a shaft to the chest, and then a bullet to the chest, and tell me which one hurts more.


Entryhazard wrote:
The biggest advantage is that a bow makes even less noise of a silenced gun

Because in space no one can hear you loose.

... wait. How would this be an advantage in space?

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