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How come 2nd Edition mages can use a sling but not a bow?

Sorvan76Sorvan76 Member Posts: 76
How come 2nd Edition mages can use a sling but not a bow? Slings require a lot more skill in my opinion. A bow is pretty much a point and shoot affair. And having had personal experience with both, I really struggled to do anything meaningful with a sling in terms of accuracy! lol

CrevsDaakmeagloth

Comments

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,127
    It would make more sense if they could use Crossbows rather than bows (since aiming a Bow in combat is much harder than doing so with a Crossbow et cetera), but yes, I'm up for it anyway (not in BG, since it really breaks what little balance is in a heavily-modded game like mine).

    bob_vengSorvan76JuliusBorisov
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,252
    edited May 2015
    a bow is more connected to the warrior archetype so mages were denied it to make them more distinct and magey.
    edit: ^ same goes for crossbows, you know the ubiquitous medieval image of a knight with a crossbow

    also, using slings, darts and thrown daggers really does require less training than using a bow (but more than most other weapons unavailable to mages) so that was the choice of ranged weapons for mages because they had to be given some ranged weapons to make them do something at low levels.

    remember that mages have abysmal thac0 so they suck at it anyway.

    but really, they should be able to use light crossbows

    Sorvan76TeflonJuliusBorisov
  • Sorvan76Sorvan76 Member Posts: 76
    Crossbows for mages from now on in my campaign! I will argue the case for this to my DM. :)

    CrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,252
    in your campaign you can differentiate from light crossbows with and witout a cranking device...mages should really only be able to use the latter because the former still requires a lot of strength.
    cranking is rather slow so such weapons should probably never have more than 1/2 apr whoever uses them. more mechanically complex (gnomish contraption bla bla) and/or enchanted variants (crossbow of speed) that don't have the disadvantage already exist.

    Sorvan76CrevsDaak
  • reedmilfamreedmilfam Member Posts: 2,808
    That's one of the things I liked in 3(+) edition: the weapon proficiencies. Simple weapons included crossbows, clubs and the like - mages can use those. Martial weapons is a huge load of the others, while exotics apply to the special ones. The problem is that I don't see a way to backward-apply the 3+ edition to 2nd, as the way you get points and everything is so very different.

    I also think that elves should get proficiency (1 star max) in sword and bow, regardless of class. I guess the true original D&D elf is a fighter-mage dual.

    There are a lot of rules like this in D&D 2nd ed.

    Sorvan76JuliusBorisov
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,252
    i think the rules are okay if you accept that the world is built on archetypes and try to approach it with a poetical bent.

    i always disliked the exotic weapons. what is exotic to one might not be exotic to another.

    DJKajuru
  • Sorvan76Sorvan76 Member Posts: 76



    There are a lot of rules like this in D&D 2nd ed.

    I agree with what you say. But we're all stuck playing 2nd edition lol (we're all aged 30+). We never moved on! :D

    Plus, collectively - we all spent far too much money on the books to be comfortable playing anything else! :D

    CrevsDaakjackjackdunbarJuliusBorisov
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,849
    Exotic was a peculiar choice imho, since mostly 'exotic' weapons are those requiring substantial training/practice to be effective. IE a double bladed sword (...yeah).

    The game does recommend that you can have a different cultural bias, granting different proficiencies.

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,784
    All mage weapons are small (except the quarterstaff which can rest on the shoulder comfortably) and allow the mage to nimbly use their fingers and hands to cast the appropriate spell.

    Holding a bulky weapon, like bulky armour, limits the mages movement to cast spells correctly.

    Yes this doesnt explain why multiclass characters can use these weapons, but I am sticking with it.

    elminsterjackjackDJKajuruJuliusBorisov
  • Sorvan76Sorvan76 Member Posts: 76
    edited May 2015
    deltago said:

    All mage weapons are small (except the quarterstaff which can rest on the shoulder comfortably) and allow the mage to nimbly use their fingers and hands to cast the appropriate spell.

    Holding a bulky weapon, like bulky armour, limits the mages movement to cast spells correctly.

    Yes this doesnt explain why multiclass characters can use these weapons, but I am sticking with it.

    This discussion is about skill/training. Slings are more difficult to use than crossbows. Why shouldn't 2nd Ed. mages be allowed crossbows? :)

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    One thing to consider might be where the training probably comes from: other mages. If there's not a tradition in Faerûn of mages using crossbows, then it's going to be hard to find a crossbow-wielding mage to learn from.

    CrevsDaak
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    why should it matter? No self respecting Wizard would ever deign to enter Mundane combat of any sort. They would use spells.

    On a more serious note, I suspect that the topic is being over-thought. I think the reason is simple. They wanted Bows and Crossbows to be something that could be heavily augmented for fighter types. If you give any sort of decent combat ability to a wizard, you run the risk of (don't kill me here) "Unbalancing the game". Just my take on the matter.

    And no, I do not believe that 'Balance' exists in the game. And I like it that way.

    xscott71xCrevsDaakJuliusBorisov
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,784
    Sorvan76 said:

    deltago said:

    All mage weapons are small (except the quarterstaff which can rest on the shoulder comfortably) and allow the mage to nimbly use their fingers and hands to cast the appropriate spell.

    Holding a bulky weapon, like bulky armour, limits the mages movement to cast spells correctly.

    Yes this doesnt explain why multiclass characters can use these weapons, but I am sticking with it.

    This discussion is about skill/training. Slings are more difficult to use than crossbows. Why shouldn't 2nd Ed. mages be allowed crossbows? :)
    Training is a reflection on how much time a person takes in practising with their chosen weapon. It is why a fighters AB goes up much more quickly than a mages. A mage is studying harder spells and memorization techniques instead of different dagger thrusts. That is where training comes into play regarding AD&D and has nothing to do prior to first level unless the fighter is specialized in a weapon (then he can say, I trained under so and so).

    Proficency allows the character to have basic knoweldge of a weapons use (for example, you stab with shortsword, slash with a longsword, you never stop swinging a flail, you remove the safety from a handgun before attempting to fire) and there isn't much training to it. Training comes from practising and using the weapon (read gaining experience and leveling up).

    Druids were restricted to wooden and natural weapons only (don't know where scimitar came from though) because it was more intone with their beliefs (mining destroys the land so using metal weapons and armour is a bit hypocritcial).

    With mages, the smaller weapons they are allowed to use, do not hinder their movement as much as other weapons.

    The crossbow for example is easier to aim and fire, but the reloading the weapon takes a lot of time, concentration and both hands (hence the slower weapon speed). If he is consentrating on loading the weapon, he cannot concentrate on casting a spell at the same time.

    It being bulkier than the small weapons make it more difficult for the mage as well. If a mage wanted to cast burning hands for example, he does not have a easy place to store such a large and clunky weapon to fan out his hands and recite the incantation. It is unrealistic for him to do so, where a sling, he can wrap the strap quickly around his wrist or belt and then cast, and then quickly reequip it after the spell goes off. Same with the dagger, dart and sling.

    Quarterstaff, as I mentioned, he can lean the weapon on his shoulder (without having a pointy end getting in the way if it slips) to cast the spell. Plus Gandalf may have had something to do with quarterstaff being a mages weapon.

    elminsterElrandir
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 4,991
    We have staffs and slings. Which makes it even more mind boggling that there aren't any staff slings in the games: the most brutal ranged weapons in AD&D of all!

    NimranjackjackJuliusBorisovlolien
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    Sorvan76 said:

    But we're all stuck playing 2nd edition lol (we're all aged 30+). We never moved on! :D

    Speak for yourself, I'm more partial to 3rd edition rules. I haven't tried 4th or 5th yet though.

  • xscott71xxscott71x Member Posts: 54
    Totally agree with the_spyder, no mage in my games has ever used a weapon other than MMM

    the_spyderCrevsDaakjackjackJuliusBorisov
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    People laugh, but my Wizard in PnP was notorious for shrieking like a little girl and then ducking and covering when combat started. Then when he got a bit more power under his belt, he would calm down a bit and start casting. Even that didn't stop him from running away if someone got past his barrage of arcane energies.

    Basically his staff was what he hit things with, but only because it had range and reach.

    JuliusBorisov
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    2e had Staff-slings.They weren't implemented in the game.

    meaglothKamigoroshiJuliusBorisovelminster
  • Sorvan76Sorvan76 Member Posts: 76
    LadyRhian said:

    2e had Staff-slings.They weren't implemented in the game.

    Bummer with those in 2nd Ed P&P was that you couldn't use them short range. Only medium and long. Big fan of them though, especially for mages.

    Kamigoroshi
  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    It's because WotC know nothing about medieval weapons, armour, martial arts, and...well, anything to do with the period. :p

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    @Squire Whereas Gary Gygax had a hard-on for Polearms. There is an entire section in the 1e Unearthed Arcana on Polearms and distinguishing the Ranseur, Spetum, Guisarm, Bec De Corbin, Glaive-Guisarm and Guisarm-Voulge, among others.

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    And here are the 2e stats for the Staff sling.

    Staff sling Cost 2 sp, Weight: 2 lbs, Size M, Speed Factor 11 (worse than any other Weapon than a pole arm or two-handed sword!) Firing rate 2 stones/bullets per round- same as a bow) Uses sling bullets/stones.

    Writeup (from the Arms and Equipment Guide); Also called a Fustibulus, a staff-sling consista of a wooden rod, three or four fert long, with a sling attached to one end. The rod is used to increase the range that a heavy object can be thrown by enabling the slinger to twirl the sling harder. It is not meant to increase the distance of the average sling bullet. In fact, it has poorer range for stones or bullets.

    JuliusBorisovKamigoroshiSorvan76
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