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Fletching


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Making Your Own Bows and Arrows

One of the nice points about learning how to shoot a bow is the ability to make your own bows and arrows. This process is called "fletching," which comes from the process of attaching the feather flights to the shaft of an arrow.

Once you have attained a skill of 10 in short bow, you can begin to make your own bows. Longbows are tougher to make, and therefore require a skill of 20. With a skill of 10 in either, you can make your own arrows. Once you're above 40 in your bow skill and in your Mech Lore, the stuff you'll be making will be generally superior to anything you can buy in a shop. Your bow skill governs how good the bow you make will be; your Mech Lore keeps you from making mistakes that would ruin the bow or arrow. (Once you make a mistake, and you'll make plenty, throw the thing away and start again. There's no sense in finishing a bow or arrow that you know is defective.)

1. How to make a longbow

Need 20 in longbow minimum
Need a wood shaper and a carving knife

  • Forage a <wood type> limb
  • Hold limb in left hand and knife in right
  • Shape longbow from my limb
  • Shape longbow
  • Put knife aside, take shaper
  • Shape longbow
  • Shape longbow
  • Shape longbow
  • Put shaper aside, take knife
  • Shape longbow
  • Put knife aside, take shaper
  • Shape longbow
  • Shape longbow
  • Put shaper aside, take knife
  • Shape longbow
  • Shape longbow
  • Appraise my longbow

2. How to make a short bow

Need 10 in short bow minimum
Need a wood shaper and a carving knife

  • Forage a <wood type> stick
  • Hold stick in left hand and knife in right
  • Shape short bow from stick
  • Shape bow
  • Shape bow
  • Put knife aside, take shaper
  • Shape bow
  • Shape bow
  • Put shaper aside, take knife
  • Shape bow
  • Put knife aside, take shaper
  • Shape bow
  • Shape bow
  • Put shaper aside, take knife
  • Shape bow
  • Shape bow
  • Appraise my bow

3. How to make an arrow

Need 10 in longbow or short bow
Need a wood shaper, carving knife, flight shears, flight glue
Need a feather flights and an arrowhead for each

  • Forage a stick *
  • Hold stick in left hand and knife in right
  • Shape shaft from stick
  • Shape shaft from stick
  • Put knife aside, take shaper
  • Shape shaft
  • Put shaper aside, take knife
  • Notch my shaft with my knife
  • Notch my shaft with my knife
  • Fletch my shaft
  • Put knife aside, take flights
  • Fletch my shaft
  • Take glue
  • Fletch my shaft
  • Put glue aside, take shears
  • Fletch my shaft
  • Put shears aside, take arrowhead
  • Affix my arrowhead
  • Appraise my arrow

* - You'll want to forage a specific type of wood rather than just any old limb or stick. Pine and maple work best for beginning fletching; with harder woods you'll just make more mistakes and waste time and money. There is no real benefit from using an unnecessarily hard wood type; it will not make a better bow or arrow; it will just require more Mech Lore to work successfully. Use what you can work with.

Wood Types

With the advent of Foraging 2.0 and changes to fletching a while back, it's not clear which woods are the most difficult now and which are the easiest. If we go by data from the past, the easiest woods will be pine and maple and the most difficult would be mistwood.
If anyone has any idea what the new skill caps are, I would appreciate that information. Thanks!

  • alder
  • apple
  • ash
  • birch
  • cherry
  • ebony
  • elm
  • fir
  • hickory
  • mahogany
  • maple
  • mistwood
  • oak
  • osage
  • pine
  • redwood
  • rosewood
  • spruce
  • teak
  • walnut
  • willow
  • yew

A Word About "Points"

You may hear many players talking about rating bows in terms of "points," as in a "ten-point bow." The best advice for a beginning Ranger is to simply ignore it. For starters, few people can agree on what system of points to use, and the same bow might be rated as a ten-point bow on one system and a sixteen-point bow on another, which makes it very difficult to compare bows using points. Also, as a beginner, you will have no reliable way of knowing what the points of a bow actually are, and people might try to take advantage of your lack of experience.

There are at least four different systems of determining "points" in use, and possibly more. One of the two main ones rates the bow as one percent of their appraisal value; a bow that appraises at 1000 kronars would be a ten-point bow. The other major system rates the bow as one-tenth of the skill of the bow maker; someone with a longbow skill of 100 would produce a ten-point bow. The catch here is that a bow made by someone with a skill of 100 will appraise at over 1600 kronars, so you can already see that there's a wide margin of confusion.

Basically, forget about points until you know more; just find a bow that works well for you and get good with it. Remember, an expert archer with a poor bow will still be more effective than a poor archer with a terrific bow.