I don't actually have a handy example ready, but there was a suggestion here the other day (I think from Roderick?) that AP Loans would be one way of doing this, and on reflection this makes a lot of sense, even if it is not immediatly, intuitavely obvious.
The aim of the bowman firing in to combat is to aid his colleagues, either by pinning down opponents not yet in close combat range, or distracting/disabling those who are. Effectively this is increasing the AP's available to the combatants. The Loaning mechanic is to bid your Ability against the amount of AP's you want to loan, so typically you'll stand a lot more chance of loaning several small amounts rather than 1 large amount - which conviently allows the archer to typically keep firing for longer. (Ie 5 rounds of "I give supporting fire, 3AP Bid" rather than "I shoot the chap attacking Rurik, 15 AP bid").
Loaning AP's can either result in the lendor losing the AP's that are loaned to the lendee (so as combat progresses the archer is less able to lend points - either he is running out of arrows or out of opportunity to fire them...), the Lendee getting the points "for free", or on a bad result, the Lendee loosing points (he is hit/distracted by the incoming fire) which nicely makes firing in to combat a none-zero-risk operation without needing to invent rules about the chances of hitting friends. Obvioulsy the more points you bid, the bigger the risk, the more chance you have of failing and the more chance of hitting your friend. Neat.
Now a couple of questions of my own on this point.
I have a suitable Ranged Combat feat in addition to my ranged combat skill. Presumably I can augment my skill using the feat before using the enhanced total (and AP's) to lend points to my friends. 1) Could I give an Edge instead? (+2 Edge, I roll against 3AP's but my friend gets 5?). This sounds a bit powerful to me!
2) I have depleted my Ranged Combat AP's through loaning, but the combat is still ongoing. Could I continue to fire, but generating a new "pool" of points from my Ranged Combat feat? Presumably I would still need to somehow "reset" my AP's to start a new contest? (I move position to get a clearer shot on the foe, or I go back to the mule and fetch a second quiver of arrows, or some such)
2a) or would you say that having leant all my AP's in this way I need to do do soemthing completly different now?
Jeff, what happened to your AP loaning example?
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