Is It Weird to Not Have a Ranged Weapon User?

D.L. Yomegami

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So I've been doing some brainstorming for my latest project (hopefully one I'll actually stick with, but that's besides the point). I think I'm pretty happy with the playable characters, at least in this early stage, but there's something about them that's bothering me: none of them use a ranged weapon. No bows or crossbows, guns, or such. The closest it gets are the three mages; spells count as ranged attacks, right?

Gameplay wise I'm not doing anything with range as a mechanic so it really doesn't matter there, but flavor wise I notice completely excluding a ranged weapon user, or ranged weapons, is extremely uncommon. Basically every RPG I can think of has somebody using a ranged weapon. The only notable exception I can think of is Final Fantasy I (though I guess you could call nunchucks ranged weapons if you squint hard enough at them).

So...is it weird to not have ranged weapons, or a ranged weapon user?
 

ATT_Turan

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No. In 90% of JRPGs, a "ranged" weapon is only a visual distinction, so having one is purely an aesthetic decision. It certainly wouldn't be the first game I've played that omitted them.
 

ericv00

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If you feel the mechanics of your battle system are diverse enough, I can't imagine it being a problem to be lacking a ranged character.

Is there a mechanic where melee characters miss more against flying or otherwise maneuverable foes, where your mages would have no accuracy penalty? That would seem to me to be having a functional range system present, regardless of the lack of a non-magic ranged character.

If you want, you could add in a few ranged abilities to your melee characters. No new character needed.
 

TheoAllen

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I have the opposite problem. Too much ranged (gunslinger, mage, summoner) and one melee :D

This was once bothered me as I was going to add "damages the actor if the actor attacks at the close range", then I was like "wait, but I only have one close-range striker". Then I dropped the idea.

So, no. Shouldn't be a problem. There might be some people nitpicking why no ranged actor. But it shouldn't bother that much that it becomes the primary reason to drop the game.
 

The Stranger

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What's the differences between ranged and melee in most JRPGs anyway? As @ATT_Turan said, it's little more than a visual distinction half the time. Unless you've created some sort of tactical battle system that makes use of height, line of sight, cover, etc, then you don't have to include a ranged weapons user at all.

If push comes to shove, your characters can always throw their swords at the enemy. :p
 

uglywolf

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That depends to personal opinion.
In my case, when you played a game, a player should put the [game common sense] before [theirs] in order to understand it, it is due to [player common sense] aren't likely be applied to it.
And idiotic freakin isekai-genre protagonist should understand this already...
So yeah, "Ranged Weapon" are basically visual mechanics, which most likely done nothing to your game.
Unless, you had something that emphasize "Range" system, like "Weapon unable to reach target" which in old days of the world, forces people to create Spears which later Javelin and Tomahawk comes to existence.
But if you haven't do that, I see no problem to not having any ranged weapons.

Though, as a bow loving-person, and a visual dedicated person, myself; personally, I can't be sure if I'll be playing that kind of game.
It'll be a different matter if it had the story-lore that backing up on why it doesn't exist; for example "that world has no momentum physic" or "anything even close to elastic are non-existent".

If it's magic, surely magic aren't limited to [Only Ranged] thingy, there's been enchantments and body strengthening comes into games already.
 
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Xiandata

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Gameplay wise I'm not doing anything with range as a mechanic so it really doesn't matter there,
Sounds like there's no problem, then!
Honestly, I would likely not notice the lack of a ranged-weapon wielder, myself.
If the story you want to tell revolves around a band of melee-weapon and spell-slinging folks, well, that sounds good to me! :D

I say go for it!
 

Tiamat-86

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a lot of games a ranged weapon is just a separate element type or a cosmetic while still being melee.
 

rpgLord69

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I find archers in games pretty dumb in general, even the 3d aaa games like Elder Scrolls etc. Because of gaming limitations you always have to fire from 5m away or something.
 

D.L. Yomegami

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Thanks for the input, everyone! I didn't think I had anything to really worry about other than not adhering to the popular trend, but it's good to know all the same.

Is there a mechanic where melee characters miss more against flying or otherwise maneuverable foes, where your mages would have no accuracy penalty? That would seem to me to be having a functional range system present, regardless of the lack of a non-magic ranged character.

This is something I'm planning on doing. I didn't think of it as a pseudo-ranged mechanic, though; more of a way to say that magic's better in this particular case (and likewise physical attacks would be better against magically evasive enemies, if that's something I wind up doing).

I find archers in games pretty dumb in general, even the 3d aaa games like Elder Scrolls etc. Because of gaming limitations you always have to fire from 5m away or something.

Mechanically, as other people have pointed out more often than not ranged weapons are only different from melee weapons aesthetically in the average turn-based JRPG. However, this does raise the question of just how practical they'd be flavor-wise. Like, with how much strength bows take to use (at least medieval-tech bows common to fantasy settings) they don't exactly strike me as an all-purpose weapon an adventurer can pull out at a moment's notice. Like, what if you're fighting indoors or in a cave or some other tight space?
 

ericv00

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Mechanically, as other people have pointed out more often than not ranged weapons are only different from melee weapons aesthetically in the average turn-based JRPG. However, this does raise the question of just how practical they'd be flavor-wise. Like, with how much strength bows take to use (at least medieval-tech bows common to fantasy settings) they don't exactly strike me as an all-purpose weapon an adventurer can pull out at a moment's notice. Like, what if you're fighting indoors or in a cave or some other tight space?
Well... often enough I have seen it actually be a useful mechanic. Ranged characters are usually given higher hit rates with lower damage, and certain enemies given higher evade but a penalty to ranged attacks. I don't mind the concept, even if a bit out of alignment with reality. It gives the option for potential challenges, like enemies you can't just tank or bombard with your handiest spell. And it can simply offer another way to play.

...But as I said before, if you feel your battle system is complex and rewarding enough as it is, there is no pressure to shove in another mechanic.
 

uglywolf

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I find archers in games pretty dumb in general, even the 3d aaa games like Elder Scrolls etc. Because of gaming limitations you always have to fire from 5m away or something.
Bows in general are actually a "bad weapon", it only good when the user is "good on using" it. It's purpose are always "First Strike", either "Ambush" or "Preemptive Hit" before the target reached or ran away from the user.
Which in warfare, its user will release it to the ground and unsheathe their blade when an enemy comes close. Similar to how you see all the NPC does in Skyrim, they magically put the bows into their invisible bag though...

A point blank hit from a released arrow are rather weak; the arrows need momentum to penetrate what it hits. Thus, it hits harder at the further the target.
Also, to anyone who doesn't know. Though slower, arrows also twists like how a bullet does.
 
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