Chapter 9: Combat(continued again)
Today is missile weapons in combat. Missile weapons tend to involve(at least for the groups I've been in), some of the fuzzier rules in D&D. Ranged combat is one of the few times when it actually pays to be using a battle mat.
Range, Rate of Fire, and Cover are all pretty standard. Firing into Melee has always been something I've been a little hazy on and have always hated having to deal with. I know a fair number of DMs flat out ignore this rule. By the book however, the DM has to count up the figures in the "immediate area" of the target(with a numerical system based on creature size). He then randomly determines(in theory with a die roll) who the attack roll actually counts against.
Grenades are up next and are a bit of a mess. You have to know WHAT is being thrown at where, and then you get to roll your attack, and on a scatter diagram, and to be honest, the Area of Effect for most of the grenades listed tends to be rather pitiful if using the 5' squares on a battle map. Heck, even the older 3' squares can be a pain.
The last part of the missile section covers boulders. To be honest, I don't recall actually seeing(let alone reading) that section ever before. Boulders are grenades without the burst, but with possible bouncy fun(you still have to roll on the scatter diagram). In effect, boulders do not just get thrown and land like that city chunk at the feet of the misshapen pink half-orc thing in LotR: Return of the King. Oh no, they bounce and roll, for 3d10 additional feet. And anyone they might hit along that line(in an open environment) gets an attack roll against them(-1 for every 5 feet of rolling). Damage is rolled normally, with a penalty to damage equal to feet rolled.
Next time: Special Attacks and Defenses