In the 3.5 SRD, it describes arrows thusly:
An arrow that hits its target is destroyed; one that misses has a 50% chance of being destroyed or lost.
Why is this the case?
Missed the target
I get that if you miss your target, there's a good chance of losing the arrow; especially if you are outdoors. But if you're indoors, why would you have a 50% chance of losing / destroying the arrow? I mean, it might be embedded in the wall. But 50% chance to not be reusable, regardless of terrain or situations?
Hit the target
And why is it automatically ruined if it does hit? I mean, I get that you won't be able to recover the arrow during the combat, but if you slay the beast, the arrow is still destroyed?
I know if you fire and miss outdoors, there's a high chance the arrow won't be easily found. Variables like terrain type should increase/decrease the odds of arrow recovery. But if you miss in the real world, and you have time to search for the arrow, the odds of permanently losing the arrow are fairly low unless you're in tall grass or undergrowth.
And if you hit a fleshy target, the arrow is almost never destroyed. You obviously wouldn't be able to recover it until the fight is over. But why do they destroy the arrow 100% of the time?
This means if you expect to be an archer, you have to pack 100s of arrows around, which is awkward and ungainly. Rather than a more realistic count of 40-60 arrows, with the idea that you'd hopefully recover most of them if you're diligent.
Anyone have insight as to why they do this? Arrows are not bullets; they are meant to be reusable.