Greetings and a few questions about bows

Hello, long-time BW owner here (picked up BW classic back in the day) but never actually got to play or run a game until now! Just picked up BWG to finally run my first game for a couple of hapless, unsuspecting newbies. Hazaah!

However, I’m wondering what the #D values indicate in the Bow weapon charts, for example:

Opt Ext/OoR
Elven bow D3 D3

I understand that Opt = Optimal range and Ext/OoR = Extreme range/Out of Range, and I see that the obstacles for these are Ob2 and Ob3, respectively, but what does the D3 represent here?


Weapon range dice. When you declare your maneuver in Range and Cover you test your stat or skill plus weapon range dice plus any advantages.

Aha, I see. So each range has a static Ob mod but various bows have different accuracy at different ranges. Nice.Thank you!

It’s not the accuracy of the weapon, it’s their advantage for your range and cover roll.

For example, heavy crossbows get a 1D advantage at optimal range. This is applied to the maneuver (eg maintain or withdraw) if the wielder is at optimal range.

The static Ob is for shooting, which happens after the maneuvering roll. The advantage dice sort of show where the weapon is best- slower, but simpler, weapons like crossbows are worse (have lower advantage) at optimal than extreme because they are susceptible to the difficulties caused by a (relatively) quicker moving target.

You need to read the Range and Cover and Fight chapters. The table you’re seeing only applies to RnC.

Thanks for the clarification, that helps. I’ll have to walk through the Range & Cover and Fight to get more familiar before game running.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to bring the subsystems into the game until you’re ready. It plays great just using the hub and spokes.

Yes, you and all of your players should read the “Hub and Spokes” chapters, the first 70-odd pages. If you only have one book, those chapters are available as a free PDF here:

Thanks for the help!


Ran our first session. I heedlessly, against all reason and sense, incorporated both the R&C and Fight! subsystems, staggered my way through like an inadequately tranquilized bull in a con booth, and accidentally knocked a few rules off the table under the stage where I found them later. Everyone had a wonderful time!

If I can’t scare them off with R&C and Fight! in the same session then I think we’re in good shape.

The only low point was the Elf rolling like ass on each and every frickin bow shot (with G6 Bow skill! I kid you not), and requiring 6 actions total for nock, draw, and release (at least he could shoot once per Exchange with B6 Reflexes). He did not feel the Legolas he wanted. He was still the prettiest, probably. He felt better after beheading a troll with a sword. He might have done better if he’d leveraged the maneuvers more, he was still getting the hang of it. EDIT: As was I!

I might mollify him a bit with snapshot, but that takes the entire nock/draw/release action cost down from 6 to 4, which might make him pout a bit. Is it crazy and super cheaty to consider some way to bring snapshot down to 3 actions? Possibly with some character investment elsewhere, trait or training? Yes yes, I’m actually considering some equivalent of a rapid shot ‘feat’ to keep the dude happy since he’d invested beaucoup points into having G5 Agility and G6 Bow skill. Any ideas for perking up the pouty Elf bowman without breaking something will be gratefully considered.

Verdict so far: BWG is a fricking blast for my First-Age-Middle-Earth-utter-rip-off/serial-numbers-filed-off game. Glad I finally got a chance to play this kick-ass game. :smiley:


I’m glad folks had fun.

Your Elf should really shine with the bow in RnC. But in Fight, he should be able to pull off one quick (and deadly) shot before closing to grips with his opponents. Fight isn’t the best place for a bow, no matter who you are.

Right on, thanks for the response!

I just know that varmit is going to want to try it, I’ll attempt to set realistic expectations without killing the dream.

Varmit should shoot, kill and draw his sword (or grab his spear). Pulling that off in a Fight is an impressive feat on its own.

That said, if you have an opponent with a long weapon against your bow, you can semi-leisurely aim and then shoot in a Fight! if you have advantage.

Their +3 Obstacle penalty means that hitting you is an unlikely feat for the average weapon-used (I’d argue most soldiers or guards have B3-B5 weapon skill).