I'm playing in a Dungeon Fantasy campaign on RPoL; this question concerns my Archer character, bought down to 125 points. This character has Weapon Master (Bow) and Legendary Archer, plus Fast Draw (Arrow), which combine (with appropriate successful rolls) to let me ready an arrow from a quiver, ready it onto the bow, draw and fire with the bow's Acc bonus, all in a single combat turn (one second).

The question arises when I use a Cornucopia Quiver (originally selected to avoid running out of arrows in a place where it's a long trek to anywhere I can buy -- or make -- more). In Dungeon Fantasy 1: Adventurers, p. 30, the following describes the Cornucopia Quiver:

Creates ordinary arrows. Only one arrow at a time.

This is clearly open to some interpretation, and following a comment by my GM, we're trying to be sure there isn't an issue in combining this item with my character's abilities with a bow; specifically, for long range shots with a longbow, I might be readying another (instance of the) arrow from the Quiver while the previous one is still in flight.

One interpretation is that I can only hold one arrow at a time; this would imply that arrows I've already loosed, whether in flight or stuck in an enemy (or shattered against a wall or buried in the ground after a miss) will vanish after one minute, same as the original (Magic, p. 64) Description of the Cornucopia enchantment; the only additional limitation would be that I can't ready arrows and hand them to the other archer in my party for her use within the minute (a very long time in combat) before they vanish.

Another possible interpretation is that I can only have a single (instance of an) arrow "out of the quiver" at any time, which would bring about the concern above about long range arrows vanishing in flight before they can strike their target.

An alternative form of this is that the arrow doesn't reappear in the quiver until the last one readied vanishes, which would limit an archer to one shot every minute (plus one to three seconds readying time, longer for crossbows). This latter is clearly not practical; the whole advantage of an archer over a crossbowman is rate of fire (I can fire fourteen arrows at 1d impaling damage for every one the heavy crossbowman in another group can at 3d+8 impaling, and I can hit the vitals reliably at up to twenty yards at that rate of fire).

I'm aware that DFRPG has some slight rules changes from the Dungeon Fantasy mini-books series, but I don't have DFRPG books available to me (my GM does, and we're officially using those rules, but he's GMing while working for a living and conducting an actual life, so I haven't asked him to fine-tooth check those rules).

So, the bottom line question is this: is there a ruling from one of the rules architects at SJ Games concerning how to interpret "Only one arrow at a time?"


1 Answer 1


No ruling is necessary since it's more fully defined elsewhere. However, they're slightly different depending on which source you use.

The original: Dungeon Fantasy line version

The item is more formally written out as

Cornucopia Quiver (Cornucopia). Creates ordinary arrows…

The important thing there is what's in parentheses: that's the enchantment it carries. The description in DF1 is just a reminder of what it does. This is because the DF line is not made to stand alone, and is instead a reference work collecting together GURPS material, or merely references to GURPS material, useful in a “dungeon fantasy” genre GURPS game. The entry in DF1 is just a reminder summary, as you might see for each item in a long spell listing.

Cornucopia has a full description on page 64 of GURPS Magic. I won't reproduce it here, but it answers your concerns:

  • Only one can exist in the quiver at a time. As soon as you remove one (by hand only, no dumping them out), another appears. Each one disappears 1 minute after being removed.
  • They disappear immediately if “picked up” by anyone other than the possessor of the enchanted quiver.

This means that you don't have to worry about in-flight arrows limiting your quiver's production of new arrows, and you don't have to worry about a 1-minute cool-down period for each arrow removed. You can remove arrows from the quiver as quickly as you can manage, and use them as you see fit.

Tweaked version: DFRPG boxed set

The DFRPG version doesn't have a full enchantment description (because creating temporary or permanent magic items with enchantment spells is expanding beyond the DFRPG boxed game's scope, to pull in full GURPS material). It has a short but complete description on page 118 of the Adventurers booklet, but the restrictions are slightly different (probably for being able to fit it into the boxed set's wordcount).

The version in DFRPG answers your questions slightly differently:

  • One arrow may exist at a time. Each disappears as soon as you remove a new one.

Fortunately you don't have to worry about flight time making that awkward. DFRPG's abstraction of the Cornucopia enchantment is coincidentally present in a game that abstracts away arrow flight time too. Your arrow will hit within the 1-second round because that's how combat works in DFRPG: the effect of your attack is resolved when you make it, and flight time is not tracked.

Of course, this being GURPS you can always track flight time to give more verisimilitude, but in that case your GM should also consider pulling in the GURPS Magic version of Cornucopia, for its greater completeness.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, so much for the old GURPS "reality check" mechanic. Still, good to know that if I'm shooting at extreme range it won't matter that I might have two arrows in flight and one on the bow at any given time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Nov 18, 2018 at 2:02
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This helps out a lot. I am the GM in that group. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 18, 2018 at 20:56

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