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OK, the old arrow threat house rule wasn’t great, didn’t give the intended results, and so I hereby obsolete it and here is the new deal!
Let’s go back to the RAW! That means,
AFTER battle, you get back half of your ammo (arrows, daggers, javelins, darts etc) rounded down and it takes a minute of searching.
Aiming is a new, house-ruled combat action!
You can spend an attack to instead aim! (So if you have “extra attack”, or “action surge”, or whatever, you can translate any number of those attacks to be Aiming instead of attacking, for example you can aim & attack in the same round if you have two attacks.)
YOU HAVE TO DESCRIBE YOUR AIMING in a cool way to be allowed to aim!
Spending an attack in this way gives you an aim point. You can have any number of aim points, but whenever you gain XP, or rest, you lose all aim points.
Whenever you do a ranged attack vs AC, you can spend aim points to make extra attack rolls vs that same target.
The benefits of aiming are that you save ammo and that you look cool. The downsides of aiming are that you might end up wasting aim points, and that you might not be able to spread out your attacks among a large amount of lower-powered enemies.
It’s especially appreciated if you describe your aiming on a specific enemy, but the aim points aren’t mechanically tied to a specific enemy, since taking your time steadying your ground, focusing your breath etc is beneficial even if you change your target.
Jenny has +5 to hit with her shortbow and she deals 1d6+3 damage.
Let’s say she spends two rounds aiming at a skeleton (AC 13, HP 13). Both rounds she says a sentence or so about her aiming. Then, when she finally lets go off her arrow, she gets to make three rolls vs that AC 13, and for each hit she gets to roll the damage and add it all up. Let’s say she rolled a 9 (+5 = 14), a 4 (+5 = 9) and a 12 (+5 = 17). Two hits. So that one arrow deals 2d6 + 6 (that’s two rolls of 1d6 + 3) damage to that skeleton. That’s brutal!
(This doesn’t really have anything to do with ammo recovery but it works similarly to aiming so that’s why I put it here.)
You can charge up your spells by spending the casting time (for example, one action) and components (V, S, and/or M—with the benefit of spellcasting focus or component pouch as usual) of the spell. Each spell & slot level combination has its own pool of charge points, for example you might have one for Eldritch Blast, one for level 1 Sleep etc. You lose all charge points whenever you gain XP and when you rest.
YOU HAVE TO DESCRIBE YOUR CHARGING UP THE SPELL in a cool way to be allowed to do it.
Then when you cast the spell, you can spend charge points (and extra slots, if the charged spell wasn’t a cantrip) to cast multiple copies of the spell.
The benefit is that you can work compress (sleep is an example of a spell that is unusually effective), and that you might save slots in case you end up not using the spell after all, that you avoid drawing aggro and that you look cool & powerful. The downside is that you might waste actions and components if you end up losing the charge points, and that it’s a hassle af to track so many charge points.
Jenny wants to charge up a level one sleep spell. She spends two rounds charging it up, saying the magic words (v component), the gestures (s component) and brandishing the rose petal (m component) for two charge points, and a sentence or two describing how she is charging up the spell. Those charge points are specific to “level 1 sleep” and can’t be used for other spells of the same level, like “level 1 chaos bolt” or for other levels of sleep, like “level 2 sleep”. Then on the third round she casts the spell, spending two charge points and three separate level 1 slots to cast the sleep spell three times consecutively. Nighty-night, little angels!
Mending, the most under-powered and crappy cantrip of all time! By the RAW, it doesn’t do jack to help you find or fix arrows but let’s change that.
When you’re searching for ammo, up to two pieces of ammo that would’ve been lost can instead be broken & mending-mendable.
Jenny throws three daggers. By the RAW, searching the battlefield would’ve given her 1 dagger and then 2 would’ve been lost. With this house rule, she finds one non-broken dagger and two broken ones.