Refer to: Is ammunition recoverable and reusable?

You can't recover a single valuable magic arrow fired into battle due to the general rule of rounding down applying to the weapon property that lets you recover half of the ammunition that you used at the end of battle.

This interaction is frustrating since the weapon property clearly indicates that you are supposed to be able to recover half of your ammunition. Losing out on valuable loot is not fun. So it seems sensible to fix this odd rules interaction with the simple houserule that you omit the rounding down rule in this scenario.

Are there any weird rules interactions such as a magic artifact that always lets you recover one arrow in addition to half of the ammunition that you used at the end of battle that would result in enabling players to recover more arrows than they used or similar interactions that would create further complications when I houserule that the rounding down rule doesn't apply to this particular scenario?


3 Answers 3


Why don't you simply change

At the end of the battle, you can recover half your expended ammunition by taking a minute to search the battlefield.


At the end of the battle, you have a 50% chance per item to recover your expended ammunition by taking a minute to search the battlefield.

For small quantities of ammunition.


You should be careful with magic ammunition

First, there are no magic items (at least that I know of, at this point) that let you recover more arrows. Second, normal arrows are a rather cheap commodity, so losing or recovering one or not will not make much of a difference.

The only point where this becomes interesting if there were magic arrows that would not lose their magic upon hitting a target. Both ammunition +1, +2 or +3 and arrow of slaying lose theirs, so they will not be a problem, all you recover once you hit is a normal arrow, and not losing your expensive magic arrow when you missed seems like a net positive experience.

However, with magic arrows that do not have that limitation (such as unbreakable arrow1 or walloping ammunition), you essentially would have an unlimited supply of such arrows. To be future proof, it probably would be safer to make a rule that says you have a 50% chance to recover your single arrow.

1 For unbreakable arrow, if you allow only to recover half of those arrows, the utility of the special ability appears somewhat limited. You could maybe use it as a bar to block doors from opening, or as a lightweight stick to throw between merlons and dangle a rope from, but I would likely house-rule that these arrows can always be fully recovered.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ We usually houserule that you roll number of dice equal to the number of arrows fired. Odd means lost, even found. If there were any specific, distinct arrows, you assign dice before you roll. This implementation of the 50% chance worked good so far. Fast and easy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 10:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Either using distinct dice or separate rolls works fine from experience in other systems that have arrow recovery chances. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 10:45
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ That's what I do -- if it's regular mundane arrows we just assume half-round-down can be recovered, but IF you fired a magic projectile AND it missed, then you roll to see if it's recoverable. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 16:48

You can't "recover" ammunition that wasn't shot, therefore there is no risk of ammunition run-away. Recover is not a specific game term so I'm using the regular English definition: "get back again".

The main weirdness is that a character can always maintain one item of ammunition provided they have time to search the battlefield after the combat. If the character has 1 arrow and shoots it, wins the battle and has time to search the battlefield, they can always recover it. So a character could potentially go months just shooting and re-shooting that one arrow remaining in their quiver. This can be alleviated by using a randomized process for recovery, e.g. rolling a d6 for each arrow that had been shot and recovering those that show 4 or more.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't really get your answer. What do you mean a character can't run out of ammo? Even if you start every fight with at least one arrow, once you shoot it you're out of ammo. You can only recover arrows after the fight is over. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DarthPseudonym I think he means, in the long run. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 17:00

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