The first step in making a missile attack is to find the range from the attacker to the target. This is measured in yards from one point to the other and is compared to the range categories for the weapon used (see
Table 45 in the Player's Handbook).

If the distance is greater than the long range given, the target is out of range. If the distance is between the long- and medium-range numbers, the target is at long range. When it is between the medium- and short-range numbers, medium range is used. And when it is equal to or less than the short-range distance, the target is at short range.

Short-range attacks suffer no range modifier. Medium-range attacks suffer a -2 penalty to the attack roll. Long-range attacks suffer a -5 penalty. Some weapons have no short range since they must arc a certain distance before reaching their target. These attacks are always made with an attack roll penalty.

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