Samurai Kato
 member, 57 posts
Thu 18 Apr 2019
at 09:31
D&D 5e Archery Contest
I want to run an archery contest in my D&D game.  You know, like the one in Robin Hood.  But I don't want it to be as simple as "make and Attack roll and whoever gets the highest is the winner".  I want it to run like a real medieval archery contest.  How could I work this?

This message was last updated by a moderator, as it was the wrong forum, at 04:26, Fri 19 Apr.

DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1525 posts
Thu 18 Apr 2019
at 10:46
D&D 5e Archery Contest
I'm hot totally familiar with 5e, but I am familiar with earlier editions.

The concept here is to have each point ring have a much higher "AC," then when they roll, their attack roll result hits a ring on the target according to their attack roll.

I.E. a target might have these rings (modify all by range penalties as appropriate),
< 10: hit outer border of target, 0 points
< 15: hit outer ring, 1 point
< 20: 2 point ring
< 30: 3 point ring
< 40: 5 point ring
< 50: bullseye, 10 points
< 60: center of bullseye
60+ : split an arrow at the center of bullseye


Three shots each, highest point total wins. No extra points for getting better than bullseye, but it adds some narrative flair and awesomeness.

Run multiple rounds at increasing distances (increasing the range penalties).

A not-so-classic variation, but interesting, is the obstacle course. 5 targets must be hit while "running" (or riding or whatever) through a course. Each target requires skme other check or take a penalty on the shot. Possible checks are things like a reflex save for needing to make a snap shot, or a perception check to quickly find the target in underbrush as you pass by (faikure just gives a penalty as you have a bad angle by the time you see it), or an int check if you need to lob an arrow over an obstacle to hit the target indirectly, etc.
Rinandien
 member, 65 posts
 Have fun,
 help others.
Thu 18 Apr 2019
at 11:39
D&D 5e Archery Contest
Few more options: Give AC for rings, but force players to choose their target, and if they miss the shot goes off. So it's about taking risks for rewards.

Also, in a speed contest you might offer players to get advantage on their attack by aiming for one round (as the target is stationary), but have a limited number of rounds. So more shots or more accurate.

Or have targets at long range and force everyone to attack with disadvantage.

Certainly multiple rounds with some options for players to make trade-offs to avoid mindless dice rolling.
Samurai Kato
 member, 58 posts
Fri 19 Apr 2019
at 03:25
D&D 5e Archery Contest
The point of this Archery Contest in my game isn't really about the competition.  It's being hosted by a bunch of spoiled young noblemen who care more about getting together with friends, sharing drinks, gambling, and most of all congratulating each other.  So they're not going to set the bar high, not even in their horsemanship competition.  The players though are there as ringers to take these fools of their not-hard-earned inheritance.

But yes, I think it would be of benefit to anyone to wants to run an Archery Competition of ways it can be made more complicated.


AC 10 to hit a motionless target sounds a bit high.  Maybe it would be reasonable then if I give Advantage for the target not moving.

ACs beyond 20 are rather hard to hit in any edition of D&D.  And 30 just isn't possible without exploding dice.  I would cut that range of "ACs" to something more doable without needing the player to roll a crit and then back it up two more times.
tmagann
 member, 575 posts
Fri 19 Apr 2019
at 05:38
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
Samurai Kato:
AC 10 to hit a motionless target sounds a bit high.  Maybe it would be reasonable then if I give Advantage for the target not moving.


I would agree, using the game's guidelines for Conditions.

That IS the chance of hitting an unarmored, 10 DEX human.

However, as it isn't moving even slightly, it becomes Paralyzed, effectively, giving Advantage on the attack roll.

Hitting closer to the center would simply be targeting (size based) modifiers (and on the DM to determine, as I don't think the game has such guidelines in this edition), but all shots would be at Advantage for a non moving target, using Condition modifiers.
Hendell
 member, 180 posts
Fri 19 Apr 2019
at 07:36
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
Getting the math right for shooting targets isn't really hard, nor particularly important.  What you want to focus on is the non archery aspects of the archery contest.

The bows and targets are just the excuse for what is really a rather massive event with a strong political subtext running through it.  The game can even involve some lead up to the event where characters either need to find ways to earn the right to participate, or bias judges in advance.
DaCuseFrog
 member, 48 posts
 SW Florida
Fri 19 Apr 2019
at 14:55
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
You can do something as simple as AC 10 with advantage, the better the attack roll, the closer to the center it comes.

ACPoints
101
122
143
164
185
206
Nat 208

Hendell
 member, 181 posts
Fri 19 Apr 2019
at 16:46
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
As far as scoring goes there are generally three targets for archery contests, near, far, and out there.  Making those be shots taken with advantage, normally, and with disadvantage will make the competition fairly easy to manage as then you need only one scoring system.

I would suggest at most 5 brackets of score.  1 bulls eye, 3 concentric circles, and the outer target worth 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 points.  DCs should be 8+character level for the target, +2 for each circle, and +5 for the bulls eye.  So if you do a 5th level game that would be DC 13, 15, 17, 19, 24.

With advantage you will get several high results, and with disadvantage you should still get target hits most of the time, but nobody is going to be getting all bulls eyes or missing every target so luck will be a factor as well as skill.
Dirigible
 member, 209 posts
Fri 19 Apr 2019
at 19:47
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
quote:
I want to run an archery contest in my D&D game.  You know, like the one in Robin Hood.  But I don't want it to be as simple as "make and Attack roll and whoever gets the highest is the winner".  I want it to run like a real medieval archery contest.  How could I work this?

What do you imagine a real medivel archery contest was like? What aspects of it do you want to reflect in your game?

quote:
The point of this Archery Contest in my game isn't really about the competition.  It's being hosted by a bunch of spoiled young noblemen who care more about getting together with friends, sharing drinks, gambling, and most of all congratulating each other.  So they're not going to set the bar high, not even in their horsemanship competition.  The players though are there as ringers to take these fools of their not-hard-earned inheritance.

Are the PCs the young nobles, or are those NPCs? It sounds like you might benefit from taking a more holistic view of the social setting around the contests of archery and horsemanship. Maybe the victory condition is to accumulate Stytle Points by various means:
  • By making the flashiest trick shots at archery (attack roll using Cha instead of Dex, against an AC set by the archer, with higher ACs reflecting trickier shots)
  • By being the last rider to fall in the mud in horsemanship (series of ascending Animal Handling checks, perhaps using different ability scores for each for different equestrian challenges - Dex to maintain balance on a jump, Str to cling to the saddle during a steep gallop, Int for tricky manoeuvering)
  • By having the nicest clothes (by gold value, magic item quality or described ostentatiousness of fashion)
  • By having the most charming paramour (by Cha of the partner)
  • By keeping their wits the longest at a card/drinking game (series of escalating Wis/Con saves)
  • By having the sharpest tongue at a round of veiled insults over dinner (mainly roleplaying, plus some Intimidate checks using various mental ability scores, perhaps)
  • By being able to brag about the greatest deed done (highest CR monster overcome, greatest treasure recovered, etc).

If the PCs aren't the young nobles, you could have the nobles invite them to participate base don their reputations as adventurers or heroes of the land. Either in awe of their deeds or in sneering mockery of having a bunch of unwashed ruffians to slum with and lord it over.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1526 posts
Fri 19 Apr 2019
at 21:30
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
Sorry, I used the Skill DCs. I was tired.


In reply to Hendell (msg # 8):

Unless 5e forgot what it meant to be d20, then you did.

In d20, DCs are objective, they do not depend on level in any way. Becoming high level is to practically become a demigod. I.E. a demigod level of lockpicking skill does not find mortal made locks to be challanging.

Many computer games make this mistake. If your checks and your DCs both go up based on level, then you never actually improve since everything has an equal difficulty-range from beginning to end, making level pointless. D20 never made this mistake (till 4e, but 4e isn't really d20).
Hendell
 member, 182 posts
Fri 19 Apr 2019
at 22:17
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
The level dependent component isn't the system, its the GM and or the NPCs.  If the contest is for prominent, well reputed, archers you use smaller targets.  If instead you have a bunch of new people competing for the right to claim the title archer then you use bigger targets.

And this kind of thing has been in D&D all along, regardless of edition.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1528 posts
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 02:05
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
What you describe isn't a level dependant thing though. That's the point.

In core d20, a simple lock made by an apprentice is not going to be more difficult just because a higher level character is trying to pick it. A dungeon and it's denizens isn't going to be magically superior just because high level PCs walked into it.

If you vome across bandits using sticks and rusty daggers, they are lvl 1, regardless of player lvl.

The whole concept of making everything "level appropriate" at all times was never the intent. I don't know where the idea came from but 3.0 explicitly gave guidelines on avoiding it, but when the first module came out, people complained that the difficulty of encounters were inconsistant (of course they were, that was thd designer's intent, a feature, not a flaw), and so started the era of penny packet encounters carefullh constructed to always be just the perfect lvl.

If you want to be even worse than that and make every check "level-appropriate," than that is fine, but it should be because of your explicit intent to run a computer game like campaign and should never be thought of as "the way things should be."

D20 is a "simulationist" system, which means it is intended to be descriptive of the narrative world (not a gamist-balanced abstract boardgame playing dress up). Nothing wrong with breaking away from that (rules are really only guidelines after all), as long as you recogonize that you are breaking away from that intent.

Claiming that your desired methodology, or even one of the popular methodologies, is the game's intended design is doing a serious disservice to the game, it's creators, your players, and the d20 community as a whole.
Hendell
 member, 183 posts
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 02:14
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
I put my description in the context of DM decision making, as that was the frame of reference of the question.  I assume and DM who is already pondering questions like these can come up with an explanation for why something interesting is going on in their game.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1530 posts
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 04:01
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
The ability to fix something doesn't negate it being broken in the first place.

Applied to your suggestion, the ability of the gm to generate an explanation doesn't negate that something was so broken as to need him/her to generate that explanation.

In this case, you suggested a mechanic which works against the design of d20 and are trying to say that it fits the design because the gm can explain it away (oh, and has to ignore the normal methods of indicating those things that get used to explain this). That is what I'm saying is not good.

You're working against the most basic assumptions of the system.

This is pbp, and we have plenty of time to do it right, rather than just plugging in random jury-rigged patch jobs.
Hendell
 member, 184 posts
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 04:16
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
You do realize that 5e isn't part of the D20 system?  It uses an entirely different paradigm.

What I suggested has nothing to do with the system, it has to do with an archery contest that doesn't have a system mechanic, making what amounts to a skill challenge with combat stats interesting to play, even if only as a sideline to the main story.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1531 posts
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 05:47
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
5e isn't that different, it just squashes everything so 20 lvls is about equal to 5 lvls in the original d20. Basically, 5e cut off the supernatural to demigod stuff and spread out the gritty/naturalistic power level stuff among 20 levels.

Some details changed, like advantage, and oversimplifies a lot (basically it is assumed that a few skills are bought to maximum ranks, thus you no longer worry about buying individual ranks) but that doesn't negate the foundational assumptions. Why do you think the ability modifiers are the same, and the dc table is nearly the same.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1532 posts
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 11:58
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
Okay, did some poking around in the 5e rules.

The suggested archery targets have a bullseye with 4 rings and the uncolored outer border.

Border, AC 10, 1 point
Outer white ring, AC 11, 2 points
Outer blue ring, AC 12, 3 points
Inner white ring, AC 14, 4 points
Inner blue ring, AC 18, 6 points
Red bullseye, AC 26, 10 points

For mid-range targets (edge of "normal" range), add +2 AC.
For long range rargets (edge of "long" range), same AC as mid-range, but rolls will have disadvantage.

For comparison, an ioun stone has a AC of 24 for up close. Thus a bullseye of similar size at a distance will be more difficult. Using traditional size modifiers fits quite well.

To be honest, 5e leaves me unimpressed as far as gm tools and guidelines.
Dirigible
 member, 211 posts
Sat 20 Apr 2019
at 12:40
Re: D&D 5e Archery Contest
The Tarrasque itself is AC 25, by the by.