Ranged

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The first thing you need to perform a ranged weapon attack is.... a ranged weapon!  There are heavy crossbows, light crossbows, slings, longbows, shortbows, and probably several others I forgot about.  You can buy these in Fletcher shops.
 
You need to hold the weapon in your hand.  In your other hand, if you have ammunition, you need to hold it.  If you don't have any ammunition, the weapon will still fire it's own, but it might not be as good as the special stuff.  Either way, your weapon automatically loads.  Kneeling when you shoot helps gives you an advantage, but you need to decide if it's enough of an advantige to make your defenses vulnerable.
 
There are several special ways to fire a weapon, if you have the skill.  You can do piercing shots, stunning shots and rapid shots.
 
Skill needed in ranged for each type of shot:
 
Stunning    50 skill
Rapid fire  100 skill
Piercing    120 skill
 
To do the special shots you need to FIRE STUN/RAPID/PIERCE (critter).
 
Good luck!