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At it's simplest, a bow and arrow gives the player a quiet way to eliminate an enemy from a distance; depending on the type of game and the character there are several common variations. it goes from classic wooden bow up to modern compound bows
Reality based games
In these games, the bow and arrow is often the only ranged weapon available to the player other than a throwing knife. While it retains the bonus of being a quiet attack, the main point for these period games is that a bow and arrow is often the only long-range attack available to the character.
- The most common variations on a standard arrow in these sort of games will be to offer a fire, explosive, gas, or electrical/shock arrow.
- The most common variations on a standard bow in these games will be to offer short, long and/or compound bows.
Non reality based games
In these games, the bow and arrow, while still stealthy, is mainly available for non-magic users who want a ranged attack. The character types will usually be a hunter/ranger or thief/rogue.
- It's hard to say that there are common variations on the standard arrow in these games; the addition ofmagic means that the limit to what can be shot is set more by the imagination of the developer and the abilities of a game engine than by any sort of reality.
- The physical bow changes very little in non-reality based games. The character will often have the same choices of short, long, and/or compound bows. The main change is that on top of these options, the player will have (again, based on the developer and the game engine) options for the bow to offer a buff or debuff either to the arrows used, or the character(s) in the game.