Sunday, March 18, 2012

HOUSERULE: Arrows & Ammunition

Everybody loves the feeling of reaching back to their quiver and finding... Oh, shit and piss!  It's empty!

But, conversely, nobody likes to have to remember to tick off an arrow each and every time they fire.

So, here's an optional rule:
When you buy or find a quiver of arrows or bolts, this condition is known as having "Full Quiver".
For the first battle when you have a Full Quiver, you have infinite arrows/bolts.
In all following battles, you may fire at least one arrow or bolt.  However, every time afterwards that you fire an arrow/bolt from your quiver, roll 1d8.  If it comes up "1", you've run out of arrows/bolts.

Javelins and throwing axes work the same way but you roll 1d4 each and every time - there's no such thing as having a Full Quiver.

Slings never run out of ammo, so long as you are in an area where loose rocks can be found.  If you're in an area where loose rocks can't be found, they operate under the same rules as bows and crossbows.

If your enemies are wielding bows or crossbows, and you loot their bodies after the battle, you return to "Full Quiver" status.
If you and your allies shot quite a few arrows and killed some enemies with them, you can also loot the bodies for spent arrows and return to "Full Quiver" status.
You can carry multiple quivers, but each one counts as 1 Item (LotFP-style).

Player's Option
If you (the character) have the time, you can go through your supplies and count up exactly how many arrows/whatever you have remaining, like for example, if you're setting up an ambush or preparing for a siege.  This will be determined randomly based on how much ammunition the DM figures you have used up to that point.

Player's Option
If you (the player) don't enjoy the randomness and would rather count every arrow, you (the player) are certainly welcome to keep track of exactly how much ammo you have, but its totally YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to be both HONEST and ACCURATE under threat of OUTLANDISH DEATH.


  1. Interesting idea. I use a similar rule for magic wands. But I know my players would be pretty pissed if they rolled 1 on their first arrow. Maybe a roll of 1 on the d8 makes you switch to rolling a d4. Then if they roll a 1, they would be out.

  2. not a bad plan. ACTUALLY i think what i would do, upon further reflection, is in the FIRST battle after you re-supply or whatever, you don't have to worry about running out of arrows - they're just infinite (unless maybe if you were firing into a huge horde of enemies for an hour straight or something). this rule only comes into effect for the battles after that
    thanks for the thought!

    1. the hstorical impetus behind this idea was that, if you ever look at actual quivers, dudes really didn't carry more than 10 arrows or so, at the most. 5 arrows was all you really needed to go hunting, and it wasn't really expected that more than 10 crossbow bolts per crossbowman would be fired over the course of a battle. if a hunter needed more, he'd just go find the ones he already shot, and if an archer on the battlefield needed more he'd pick some up that the enemy loosed at him or order some from a supply wagon.
      SO, i think i'll make an addendum rule (which i'll add into the main post); if you're enemies were carrying bows and such, you can loot their bodies and automatically have infinite arrows for the next battle (Legolas does this shit ALL the time). if you spent a bunch of arrows in battle, if you're able to go back and loot the corpses of the dudes you shot, you also start with a new full quiver for the next battle. make sense?

    2. I hear you. I always made fun of the players who bought like 100 arrows.