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Ammo Recovery

OK, the old arrow threat house rule wasn’t great, didn’t give the intended results, and so I hereby obsolete it and here is the new deal!

Ammo recovery in the RAW

Let’s go back to the RAW! That means,

AFTER battle, you get back half of your ammo (arrows, bolts, etc) rounded down and it takes a minute of searching.

When I wrote the original arrow threat, I was unaware of that rule; it’s easy to miss (it’s under “Ammunition” in the weapon properties list).

There’s nothing in the RAW for thrown weapons so let’s say it takes one action of searching for each thrown weapon. You don’t automatically lose half but you might lose some depending on what happens.

House rule №1: Aiming rolls

Aiming is a new, house-ruled combat action!

You can spend an attack to instead aim! (So if you have “extra attack”, or “action surge”, or whatever, you can translate any number of those attacks to be Aiming instead of attacking, for example you can aim & attack in the same round if you have two attacks.)

YOU HAVE TO DESCRIBE YOUR AIMING in a cool way to be allowed to aim!

Spending an attack in this way gives you an aim point. Aim points are specific to a particular enemy; if you lose sight of your target (or you have another reason to want to change target, for example if your target is killed or similar), you only have one round to find the target again, or change to a new target, or your aim points are lost.

If you do manage to change targets, the time you’ve taken steadying your ground, focusing your breath etc is still beneficial.

Whenever you do a ranged attack vs AC, you can spend aim points to make extra attack rolls vs that same target.

The benefits of aiming are that you don’t have to use ammunition or thrown weapons while aiming, and that you look cool. The downsides of aiming are that you might end up wasting aim points, and that you might not be able to spread out your attacks among a large amount of lower-powered enemies.


If you were hidden when aiming, you need to make one Dexterity (stealth) check vs the target’s Wisdom (perception) for each aim point once you spend them; you need to succeed on them all or the shot misses. You can only use Reliable Talent, Pass Without Trace, invisibility or other special spell or feature on one of these rolls; you can use proficiency or expertise on the checks, however.

Aiming Example

Jenny has +5 to hit with her shortbow and she deals 1d6+3 damage.

Let’s say she spends two rounds aiming at a skeleton (AC 13, HP 13). Both rounds she says a sentence or so about her aiming. Then, when she finally lets go off her arrow, she gets to make three rolls vs that AC 13, and for each hit she gets to roll the damage and add it all up. Let’s say she rolled a 9 (+5 = 14), a 4 (+5 = 9) and a 12 (+5 = 17). Two hits. So that one arrow deals 2d6 + 6 (that’s two rolls of 1d6 + 3) damage to that skeleton. That’s brutal!

House rule №2: Charging up spells

(This doesn’t really have anything to do with ammo recovery but it works similarly to aiming so that’s why I put it here.)

You can charge up your spells by spending the casting time (for example, one action) and components (V, S, and/or M—with the benefit of spellcasting focus or component pouch as usual) of the spell. Each spell & slot level combination has its own pool of charge points, for example you might have one for Eldritch Blast, one for level 1 Sleep etc. You lose all charge points whenever you gain XP and when you rest.

YOU HAVE TO DESCRIBE YOUR CHARGING UP THE SPELL in a cool way to be allowed to do it.

Then when you cast the spell, you can spend charge points (and extra slots, if the charged spell wasn’t a cantrip) to cast multiple copies of the spell.

You can not charge up spells if you are hidden or unseen, or if you are using subtle spellcasting. Charging up spells is an inherently noisy ordeal.

The benefit is that you can work compress (sleep is an example of a spell that is unusually effective), and that you might save slots in case you end up not using the spell after all, that you avoid drawing aggro and that you look cool & powerful. The downside is that you might waste actions and components if you end up losing the charge points, and that it’s a hassle af to track so many charge points.

Spell Charging Example

Jenny wants to charge up a level one sleep spell. She spends two rounds charging it up, saying the magic words (v component), the gestures (s component) and brandishing the rose petal (m component) for two charge points, and a sentence or two describing how she is charging up the spell. Those charge points are specific to “level 1 sleep” and can’t be used for other spells of the same level, like “level 1 chaos bolt” or for other levels of sleep, like “level 2 sleep”. Then on the third round she casts the spell, spending two charge points and three separate level 1 slots to cast the sleep spell three times consecutively. Nighty-night, little angels!

House rule №3: Mending!

Mending, the most under-powered and crappy cantrip of all time! By the RAW, it doesn’t do jack to help you find or fix arrows but let’s change that.

When you’re searching for ammo, up to two pieces of ammo that would’ve been lost can instead be broken & mending-mendable.

Mending Example

Jenny shoots three arrows. By the RAW, searching the battlefield would’ve given her 1 arrow and then 2 would’ve been lost. With this house rule, she finds one non-broken arrow and two broken ones.