Hunter's Quick Draw/Whip Shot Broke ICRPG



New GM to ICRPG and just finished up session 4. One of the player’s had chosen the “Quick Draw” Hunter ability, which grants another attack when an unmodified 15 is rolled. Is this intended to trigger ad infinitum? He is hitting 15 at least every other round, and it triggers off the second and sometimes third attack quite frequently, which is quickly outpacing the dpa of all other players (he also took the Arcane Cartridge which grants d10 damage). Its really not even close.

He gained a Milestone and took ‘Whip Shot’ which grants him a free shot at anyone who takes harm at range (table of 8 players, dear god). Which triggers ‘Quick Draw’ which triggers even more attacks.

Even if I rule ‘Whip Shot’ doesn’t trigger ‘Quick Draw’, its now 2 - 4 d10 damage rolls a round consistently. He has dumped all his points into DEX for firing his ranged attack. This has become a joke a the table and they are asking me if this system even has been play-tested.

The rest of the table are all considering trashing their characters and rolling up Hunters.

I am surely missing something here, yes?


First off, welcome to ICRPG!

ICRPG has always been a DIY system for DMs, most loot in the core book is inspiration as the system is beautifully designed for DMs and players alike to design their own loot and abilities rather easily.

As someone who runs 7 players at my own table, I can quickly see how whip shot could be over performing.

My suggestion would be to simply make whip shot only trigger once/round instead of each time any enemy is harmed and still allow the quickdraw to trigger off of it. If the player isn’t happy with that and feels they “wasted” their milestone, simply let them reselect another milestone or better yet dream up a new one that fits your playgroup/style.


Welcome to ICRPG!
They’re rolling a natural 15 or better that often? Are their dice loaded and are they rolling in the open? Lol. That’s way out of the probability on a d20 for that many unmodified 15’s or greater.
As for Whip Shot, I wouldn’t have that trigger the Quick Draw at all. Whip Shot is a specific reaction ability and not an attack attempt.
Just my two cents.


Sorry, bad edit of mine. New attempt.
I see your problem, and I would probably rule as follows:
Quick draw - unmodified 15+, not modified; does not chain with itself (so max one additional attack).
Whip shot - does not stack with quick draw, restricted by field of vision, once per round.


I think that is where I need to wrap my head around that this system us very much ‘moddable’ or making it your own. My group likes the RAW approach so will take some conversations to get them on board to this way of playing. I appreciate the feedback!


It triggers on MODIFIED 15s. Its around 60% chance each attack, not that crazy. Pretty much every other round it triggers at least once (this guys is unusually lucky with his die rolls anyways). I should keep track to see next fame and will give an update here, haha. I appreciate the feedback man.


Man that makes more sense to have it trigger on UNmodified 15. But I think I will avoid “re-editing” an ability like that when it clearly states it triggers on a modified 15. Instead I will consider your other suggested limitations. Thanks man. Maybe all the weird bonus actions and reaction actions in 5e weren’t so weird. 50 years of D&D playtesting was on to something…


You also have A LOT of ways to make encounters require more than just shooting fast.

The ground trembles and throws all players off balance. This player’s high DEX might let them save to keep from being knocked to the ground, but all shots are HARD.

A dark mist envelopes the characters, making all ranged attacks HARD, if not outright impossible.

Monsters don’t play by the same rules, so the shaking earth or the dark mist are no impediments to the bad guys! They keep throwing attacks without penalty.

You could also use enemies in packs. A hit will only drop one of them, but the pack keeps coming. A pack might consist of 5-10 little mooks, easy to pick off one by one but always advancing in numbers. The player could reduce their number, and feel awesome whittling the pack down, but a few still push through for melee combat with the party.

And don’t ever be afraid of using smart enemies. The smart enemies will see this character being so effective at range that they use terrain, cover, spells, and dirty tricks to reduce their success rate. The boss monster throws a bunch of stuff out to occupy the hunter, while the real assault happens elsewhere.

A lot of games have combos like this that feel broken at first. Some players have a real knack for finding and maximizing these things. But there’s so much more to the game. Throw in some serious role playing challenges, where being a quick shot doesn’t matter. Introduce an even BETTER shooting NPC - and remember the baddies don’t follow the rules, so this NPC hits every shot without rolling! - as an antagonist.

Have fun with it!



Also talk to your players about this conversation, they are they ones complaining about the power imbalance, so as above work together for a solution, and let them retcon their character upgrade choice if they don’t like the proposed fix.

The game is about having fun. it really isn’t a system for power gaming and trying for combos that break the game IMO.


Welcome to ICRPG! Hankerin’ itself made a video adressing this topic, which pairs perfectly with the advice given by other shield siblings.

Now, my personal take. Yes ICRPG has been play-tested to oblivion, but the game is super Do It Yourself in spirit so every table is truly different. Talk to the players, make a change in the rules, introduce a monster that is immune to ranged damage, etc. you can do whatever you want with it really haha.

Also… (this is jk) 8 PLAYERS?! DAMN SHIELD SIBLING THAT’S CRAZY!! :rofl:



You could also introduce ammo tracking, and require that the weapon be reloaded when empty. Reloading takes one full turn.

Normally I don’t track ammo / arrows / etc, because that gets into too much detail and slows things down. But it’s a perfectly good way to balance this character’s ability without making them feel like you’re taking something away from them.

Depending on your setting, you could also rule that any roll of a 1 is a misfire or jam, requiring one turn to resolve. Or a roll of 1 means they’re out of ammo.


Welcome to the shield wall…

I do the following:

  • listen to @skippy advice… good stuff
  • only let it trigger once since reloading takes an action.
  • only let it trigger on a natural die roll of 15+

At its essence make the game your your own just be ready to walk your rulings back if they seem OP.

#Game On


I think the issue is that you have a guy who min-maxed, if I understand correctly that he put all of his stat bonus points into DEX. If that is the case, then I get that he is rolling at a +6, which means he only needs a 9 on the die to trigger this ability, so no wonder the effect keeps triggering so frequently.

For the record, most people I play with do not assign stat points that way, as they are more interested in being well rounded team players than outshining their teammates.

Nonetheless, here are my thoughts on this issue. The challenge for you as a DM, then, is to find ways to challenge this player in a way that will allow your other players to also shine, without necessarily nerfing this player. In order to do so, I would do five key things.

One, saving throws are your friend, whether from enemies or the environment. If this guy has no points in str, con, int, wis, or cha, it’s time for him to have to feel that as a pain point. Having a high DEX won’t help him when a poison cloud rolls in, or if he is drowning/suffocating, or trying to resist extreme cold. Enemies and environments with these effects are huge. Next, when mind controlling illithids show up, this guy is a prime target. Make him make an int save to avoid turning on his friends. Suddenly, +6 DEX shots at your allies with quick draw isn’t such a good combo if he fails that save.

Two, varied enemy types are also your friend. Try throwing a rampaging Minotaur who is immune to all damage at the group, and the only way to damage it is to first climb on its back and remove an amulet. Or have them face a foe that absorbs all ranged attacks, like a corpulent zombie that explodes poisonous goo when it gets near. Go wild. Vary it up. Challenge your players in unique ways rather than just damage.

Three, create a nemesis for this player. A rival “sniper” that pings away at him. Oh, and that enemy also has a speed quiver or the quick draw ability. Or maybe that enemy has cloaking. He takes a shot, but then blinks or disappears. Now, your player has to make Wis rolls just to take a shot because he can’t find him. Super nuisance! Plus, it’s usually the case that opposing forces will target the PC posing the greatest threat. So, your guy might take down two bad guys, but three of his friends will target him. Or maybe he fights a mage with a force shield and the seekers spells. Nothing like making your player hide from auto-matic hitting seeking spell missiles!

Four, if the way this player shines is thinning the herd, time to lean into it. Let him shine and save the group. But let’s see how they do against 20 insectoid chub-chubs rushing them. Or 15 zombies pressing them in a tight hallway. With more than enough enemies to go around, everyone gets a chance to have a bite at the spotlight.

Five, don’t forget that hard rolls are your friend. Depending on the moment of the fiction, this player’s rolls might be hard. Unless he has a milestone or some other special ability, having a giant orc smashing against him in melee isn’t going to let him take normal shots. Or maybe the player is confined. Or maybe it’s all a long game against entrenched enemies who are using cover. Against such a skilled archer, smart enemies won’t throw themselves to their deaths out in the open, unless they are confident they can overwhelm him with superior numbers. They will use cover, retreat, or otherwise force that player to step up and make a more epic (hard) shot.

If those five pieces of challenge tuning don’t help you, then it’s probably just time for a conversation with him one on one. “Hey man, these other folks need a chance to shine. What suggestions do you have about quick draw being a little spotlight hogging?” Then get his ideas in terms of helping you. They’ll go down way better if he has a hand in the solution, plus the honest feedback.

Finally, as others have suggested, you can nerf the ability or put limitations on it. Among the options suggested, I would probably lean toward a limit on arrows or something bad happening on a Nat 1. Either the arrows are used up, or the bow string breaks, or the bow takes some effort damage. Two more Nat ones, and the wood will snap. But those would be my last resort, as the goal is for everyone to shine. Fooey on him for not building that way.

Also, as a side note. Seven players? Dang man. I’d split that group in two. You’re creating a ton of extra work for yourself trying to challenge a group that large and keep everyone engaged.


As already mentioned, a big issue is your player count; not the game mechanics.

Too many bodies with other abilities means this single player never has to spend their action doing something other than firing their bow. In a group of 4 players, someone like this would be pushed in other directions and forced to make other actions with their turn. A DEX only character quickly becomes useless when faced with stabilizing an ally, patching up a wound, lifting a heavy gate, surviving a poisonous sting, convincing a guard to let them out, etc.

Since you can’t really get away from it – > bring on the rock monster! Ranged attacks bounce harmlessly off. Hammers and picks deal ultimate but blades deal basic. It is under the control of a wizard whose hat has one of the player’s arrows sticking out of it and the wizard does not appear to be pleased. The massive creation barrels through anyone in its path in a direct line toward the troublesome player.

Or wait patiently for the player to roll a NAT 1; bow breaks! WIS and 10 effort to repair with INT – no tools? Basic effort only. Trying to fix it during a fight? HARD rolls on the WIS check.


Great stuff! Thank you!


Thank you. These guys are min/maxers, but they don’t know this system that well. I did let them select from their class’s milestone list. This system was recommended for a large group as it was pretty simple and quick combats, which it has been. Just need to work around some of these quirks.


I borrowed ‘resource dice’ idea from Forbidden Lands ( I think that is the game). I make them roll ammo checks each rest. I like where you are going here though. Perhaps a more frequent check is in order.

I did implement a nat1 causes a weapon to break. We started out in Mork Borg but guys felt it was to bleak so I rolled some things over to ICRPG from that and kept this to force them to use those hero coins.


Great stuff man. I appreciate you taking the time to share all that. I will take all of this into consideration. It has been suggested by some players that we break into two games, and we might yet. Thanks again.


Love this. They are facing lots of undead, so a Giant Skeleton fits the theme and I am stealing all of your words here, haha. Thanks man.


I had similar issues. They don’t do as good when there is heaps of cover and walls. :grin: