If both have Weapon Training 1 and Weapon Focus. Stats remain the same, at 18 dex 10 strength.Target at level 10, has AC 24, no resistance to the damage. The bonus dice can come from anywhere, whatever. Crits are accounted for as well
Vital Strike, +2 damage dice,Deadly Aim, Dex +4, Point-Blank using a +2 HXB 27.28 DPR
Change nothing else, replace Vital with rapid-shot [one free feat left, aren't I nice?]
If ALL that changes is one feat and the weapon, you're already up by 8.08 DPR, a just under 1/3 improvement over crossbows. That's taking the miss rate into account, too, though even at higher ACs, there's plenty of bonuses to be had that just aren't being counted here.
Vital strike looks decent at level 1, which is before you can actually put it to any use, and I'm being rather generous towards the crossbow here; the bow did not even take manyshot, and lacks bow-only extras such as bracers of archery. If you used that feat on manyshot, DPR is 40.31 for Bow.
Crossbow falls rather flat once you're exchanging extra hits at +x each for a single hit that adds its one die two, three or four times. Even Gravity Bow fails to help much, as the bow gets the bonus several times over. Even that training bonus means more to the iteratives of the bow than it could ever hope to do for the vital-striker crossbow.
Really, even for a Thief, you just can't keep up with multiple attacks for long.
There is ONE build that can pull it off, though it will still fall flat versus a Paladin Smite Evil archer there: Combine your favorite single-shot weapon with the Marksman psionic class: the Augmented Shot sniper effect improves the base damage of the weapon. With this, Vital Strike finally becomes a real contender.
But its a very specific thing to just keep up with any old class that decided to go "hey, this feat here says I'll shoot another arrow with my bow" with little further thought, and it requires starting by dipping Gunslinger and using double-barrels [as the double-fire effect gets applied to that single-attack-action vital strike and augmented shot use together] to actually get there.
Michael Brock wrote:
Don't do it!I've long since lost the pastebins, but by the time you hit level 5 its gone from "slightly inferior" to downright depressing for the crossbowman.
Gunslingers start off on just about equal footing, but eventually gain static bonuses similar to what bows can do, and if using a double-barreled weapon, can put out just about as much metal in the air, though with misfire chances and far more expensive ammunition.
However the nonmagical ammo issue dissapears once you get 'abundant ammunition' enchanted on your pouches. Even adamantine and silver rounds get cheap, then. So there's eventually an end to the ammo problems: they did their job shooting your early game's money in the head.
The only thing more depressing than Crossbow vs Guns [slings aren't too much healthier for the crossbow either] is Crossbow vs Bow. Or Crossbow vs longbow Paladin....
Ninjaiguana: That's how our group figured the RAW was meaning it.
What is simple and has worked for double-barreled weapons in our group is only letting the double-fire function once per round per such weapon wielded [so twice for the dual-wielders].
After this, you continue to receive your free-action reloads if you have them, but it is to one barrel at a time as you are busy firing.
This lets you put out the same amount of metal in the air as a bow.
um, -4 on each shot is -4 on each shot, not -4 PER shot on EACH shot.
-8 to each purely because its two shots at -4 with that wording would mean that rapid-shot is anything from -4 to two shots [2 shots at -2] to -10 to each of five shots [full iterative + rapid shot at -2 each]... with a questionable -12 everywhere instead if manyshot kicks in. It also makes hitting most things that aren't barn-sized dragons non-viable.
But what's this about gunslingers dominating combat? have people stopped rolling up composite longbow users? Because at higher levels, its very, very difficult to even approach those buggers with most builds
That's actually an example of an incomplete, ill-defined or badly-written rule. In that case, fiat is required because the designers screwed up.
On the other hand, if an ability states that you gain a +1 to attack and damage against anything which currently has equal or less total hitpoints to yourself, its straightforward and discussion of its balance should not be done with one gm's tendency to give triple HP to all monsters taken into account: at that point he's just ignoring the rules to make things go his way.
How old is the kid? You can play fairly loose with a six year old, but if he's asking for that despite being twelve or higher? That's when he needs to learn to watch out what you wish for.
They're damn powerful, ya see. That much you must admit. But they're also standardized. Just like "destroy the core" or "blow its head off"... Just look at those weaknesses.
Let him be one. BUT, warn him that once he does make enemies, and why wouldn't he, he will have to learn to protect himself from a world where there's literally "by the book" methods of annihilating him with surprisingly little effort.
All the effort they will need, will have to come from that brain of his. He'll need plans, defenses, protections, minions...
Present it as a challenge. see if he's up to it.
Balance wise, the best I've managed to do is this [note that this can bring certain builds up into two-thirds-of-an-archer territory, leaving the poor crossbow far behind. Its not quite as high, but bows are too damn strong compared to every other ranged weapon out there, so screw it]:
- Double-Barrel shot can be done maximum once per round per hand [so once with rifles/shotguns, twice with dual pistols]. With free-reload iteratives, you're stuffing a barrel at a time and firing. This nets you as many shots in the air, potentially, as manyshot.
- Both shots when double-fired are individual rolls at -4 penalty. This penalty is applied to the two shots fired as a double, NOT to all attacks: it would say 'to all attacks' or the such if this were the case.
Usually that's done with the highest BAB, first thing in the round, so your second shot is only one lower; a rather marginal drop in accuracy so long as you were already going to hit reliably eh?
- Halve the bonus dice from Sneak and other such things. First one gets the leftovers [when its an odd number]. So, someone with sneak 5d6 would do +3d6 on first shot, +2d6 on the second.
- For purposes of vital strike, each bullet is fully multiplied. It is a single attack that just happens to be made in a way that makes vital strike actually worth taking for ranged attacks, as opposed to a cheapass crutch for a desperate crossbowman.
Overall, while "gained by equipment", the 'manyshot but at -4' is purchased through several class levels or feats just to be able to attack more than once every other round, as opposed to being a proficiency that almost everything that's not using Sleep as ranged instead can use without a feat for a weapon that could top a shot a second.
GM Fiat must not be considered when writing up a rule. Rather, you should, as much as is reasonably possible, make as little of it required for proper function as you can.
Any rule written with the assumption that a GM will fill in all the blanks is generally one of the bad ones. Its rarely any more than incomplete.
Of course, once all that is done, there's little choice but to consider what your GM is going to rule about those rules and abilities: even a perfectly made, well balanced set of abilities could be destroyed or eliminated by Fiat; one can just decide "I want it working differently".
Its when making characters or choosing actions in a round that the fiat must be considered. Not during rules and balance discussion: For that, the only stable ground is RAW
If the rules disallow it, but the GM modifies the rules after-the-fact because he'd not only misread [if he'd read at all, which I'm doubting] but did so with the express purpose of wiping out the party, he's nowhere near 'rule 0' anymore, and gone straight into "THIS IS MY STORY AND YOU LISTEN TO IT AND DO WHAT I SAY YOU DO BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT ROLEPLAYING MEANS" territory.
Second, he has declared open-season on the rules when it comes to magic. It is now completely acceptable for the party casters to do exactly what he did with dispel, runes and all. It is now completely acceptable to declare that at the very least, the one free spell per level that you learned is some special SR-ignoring variant with a special effect or two.
The GM has declared that it is perfectly fine for the party to re-interpret spells and abilities in a fashion that allows them to do what they want, rather than be tied down by the already flimsy limits of the system.
There's one of him. several of them, and he's going to be regretting this soon enough... if he even has a group left, of course.
I said that was 'the plan', not that it would work out.
So on average, you'll profit, but it won't be all towns every towns as soon as you walk in. That's why you want yourself a network.
Magic certainly helps, but Christopher Van Horn's suggestion might actually be more appropriate.
At the very least, since you're looking at 10% for regular black powder and bullets, or 50% for alchemicals, then sales of extras may just do the trick.
If you sell Black Powder and Bullets at half of market value, you're still making 4.4gp per full-shot purchased, 4 of which comes from a dose of black powder.
Thus, here's your new 'hobby' and moneymaker right there: When you hit town, you buy bulk.
Half the ammo crafted, you keep for yourself, the other half you sell; get yourself some connections to have less problems with people not-liking you undercutting others. Perhaps the party thief?
All you need is to be breaking even; everything else is a bonus. If 10% of market price goes to the guild that gets that stuff on the streets for you, you're still swimming in profit and never wanting for ammunition.
As everyone's said, Abundant Ammunition.
For the two-handers, Dead Shot is a big ammo saver. All of a sudden you get a cheap knockoff of Clustered Shots, but it only costs you a single round of ammo, and, honestly, if it misses, this is not your day. Just wish it didn't cost a Grit, when except for saving money, its just plain inferior to the feat already anyways. Do watch out for monks, they only need to catch one bullet.
Since more damage means less bullets per target, that's also a worthy line. I personally find psionics a good match here: Psionic Shot line, Deep-Crystal Weapons, the Marksman class are good. Also following this are the 'not-enchantments': Psychokinetic is a d4 force damage; works well all-around, and Collision is a great one: You get 5 damage instead of the 2-12 from using that +2 on a 2d6 ability, but this is static untyped base damage. That means critical-friendly and all that.
In Pathfinder, things are a bit reversed: The Crossbow requires more training, more time and more special non-commoner potential to be any good than any little bow. While its technically easier to learn how to hold the thing, any proper use of it requires far more expertise than you'd need from an archer.
If you're paying two feats just to be allowed four attacks per round, and the GM takes issue with how many 'free actions' you're using on the reload, which is rather reasonable given a crossbow's base loading time, you should see to it that the guy nocking, drawing, aiming, loosing and following-through on 1.16 arrows every second starts seeing some limits too.
For double pistols, my table makes it similar to Manyshot: You get ONE double-shot per pistol every round; your remaining iteratives are normal attacks. However, the extra shot gets its full bonus dice and damage, can crit on its own [its its own attack roll], and is thus the method by which Vital Strike is actually made viable [in my character's case, double-pistol vital strike with marksman's augmented shot has allowed me to nearly equal a normal archer's DPR, though its a bit more optimized and ability/feat intensive than the archer needs to be].
Of course, since they're two shots, you may not get the chance to clear it. Do *not* roll a double-misfire if you want to keep your hand.
Now we just need to put bows in their own proficiency, and make half those exotics not suck.
There's also polearms. Weapon Weights across the board aside, Why is it impossible to strike someone five feet away with a reach weapon? Being able to play with the weapon's length is pretty much basic proficiency; I could see someone without the proficiency failing to do so, but there's no excuse for a guy with Weapon Focus.
Crossbows did okay, but they suffered greatly from being made extremely compact. This wasted a lot of the tension: If you had 600lbs on something the span of a hunting bow, you'd have been poking holes through people on the other side of walls, instead of just deep into the walls.
The asian models had a wider span and were more efficient as a result, but also tended to have much lower draw. The repeating models were effectively crafted so that any poor idiot could just aim and chuck pointies down the range, but their range and power was really shoddy.
Its rather difficult to follow things exactly. Several reasons abound, and you gotta first get those working before you can even get around to bringing the proper 'feel'.
First come time:
The first is self-explanatory: Any system based on a per-turn action economy is inherently different from just about anything you play as MMOs.
It certainly is possible to make things actually turn-based when comes the time for combat, however, but the pacing, particularly when multiple players get involved, becomes an important issue to consider. In that regard, a fairly restrictive time-limit, such as "20s to plan/execute" is needed, as you need to keep things going fairly smoothly. Too short and certain classes/builds [or more likely, certain UI macros] are the only way to go, as anything else loses turns in many circumstances. Too long, and you're bored off to the uninstall folder right and quick.
Nevertheless, that's a specific form of design, and would be very different from the standard "action MMORPG", being closer to something like NWN2 on 'autopause' [which would probably happen often, through interrupt options and the like].
The second turns a society on its bloody head. You can no more tell the players to sleep logged-in [otherwise there's no random encounters at night risk] for eight bloody hours than you can just click a button to suddenly have rested for eight hours. This forcibly separates many effects normally linked to time of day [including when a cleric of a given deity might regain his spells] from the normal ruleset, requiring instead new forms of resource allocation and recovery.
Now those two above are huge. Absolutely huge. And often enough, depending on your engine or game model, there's just no getting around it, you'll have to make the bypass, and you'll have to find a compromise.
Ability Scores, Classes, Races, Archetypes, Feats, Skills are all likely to be there.
-Ability Scores are in almost any game in some form or another. There's little problem here, I doubt they'd get changd.
-Classes are primarily affected by the time systems: As a result, the spellcasters are the most significantly changed. Mind, this wouldn't really be an issue in, say, in Kenzer Co's Count-Up system from Aces and Eights or the new Hackmaster, but the rest-systems themselves would still be getting changed all-around for everyone.
-Races are often unchanged, save for their abilities affected by the time systems. This can result in their bonuses being slightly different as a result of class changes, OR they go in straight with no such considerations and we get things like "gnome mages have a full +5% intelligence, which improves damage and mana, instead of the +5% to only mana like this other race. Also they're harder to target, can avoid LoS entirely with exploits, but we swear its totally balanced". Mind, this was on a game that didn't even use an RPG to begin with; so there was little excuse there.
-Archetypes only have the issue of "will the devs want them implemented or will they wait till later". Hopefully they're in there from the start, being class options that are fairly simple overall [different table-changes; get this at x instead of that at y] but you know how it is with implementing stuff in games.
-Feats and Skills would likely be heavily affected by time-constraints. Also, in the latter case, in a real-time environment, there can be implementation issues. When half your class skills are 'knowledge' and items are auto-identified, and you can't just scan critters for their weaknesses, your class needs something else.
Of course, a really good development would be that said knowledge skills immediately net you conditions, weaknesses and other info on your HUD, but then, why not just ignore them and load the page that tells you from the wiki, or download a UI mod that gives the DC40 level of info about everything?
Designing a game from the ground up can be bloody rough.
Overall though, a given player would have a 3% chance of being robbed in a given week, and if they WERE robbed, they would lose at MOST 10% of the value of an item in their bank, and absolutely nothing if all that was stolen was money (which can be replaced 100%).
There's ten percent in value every time the item is stolen right there. Also under your system reimbursement assumes the bank is capable of doing so, as they'd be funding this from the payments of the players. Hope their safe is literally inaccessible, because we've seen exactly this happen back in EVE...
You must not assume 4500 players means 4500 characters. One need only figure out the optimal time-levelling-to-thieving-capacity ratio, and churn out as many Master-Tinker Gnome [or if the vaults are stone, Dwarf] rogue alts.
Two characters per dedicated thief? And this assumes they only get ONE theft a week by your numbers we're already at 4500. Four? 9000.
I doubt "flagged as a criminal" would be much of an issue; in most games, even those where you can go open-season on the 'red names' with no legal issues of your own, they don't get hunted anyways; those capable of dealing with those types are in their own damn guild anyhow, or about to be struck by several of them at a time. Unless there's real ['hardcore mode'] character consequences, you lose nothing doing this, and have everything to gain.
On Karthas077 Method:
Second, this assumes you CAN pay for it in the first place. Leaving aside artifacts, getting higher enchantments might be nowhere near quick and easy. If special materials were required for this purpose as well, there's also the time, and expenses involved in recovering these. And can you be sure it'll have exactly the combination of spells and enchants you wanted? Stuff is gonna dissapear that has people screaming every day across the forums.
The main issue, however, is the fact that we'd need Int and Wis <5 to assume for a moment that there won't be players absolutely dedicated to stealing as much as possible. Again; we're talking about what's most likely to be the best organized, most pervasive type of group: the folks who literally do this for a living, 8+ hours a day, with wages and/or salaries. Don't for a moment fool yourself; they will be pillaging everything they can, as much as they can, in shifts, every single minute of the day, so long as they're allowed to even try. Even harsh penalties probably won't mean much when the lockpick guy is backed by invisibility, two fighters around the corner just in case, and a mage with SoDs to deal with guards.
Unless something is mechanically preventing thieving attempts beyond a certain amount a week [and I mean programming greyed out buttons here], there is NO reason a given thieves guild would not empty out the entire bank whenever it damn well wants, over the course of several hours.
If stealth goes the typical stupid way of "its higher than your perception, plain sight doesn't matter, you are impossible to see", they can't even be targeted or stopped either. The bank couldn't possibly handle the loss of all its money every week without an influx of new virtual money.
Basically, your idea and concept are good, but they fail in the face of the simple facts of online games: there's organized douchebags, exploits and cheaters, and this would do little but save them the trouble of having to obtain account passwords.
The main things we need to worry about:
-Map size vs Player Density
Effectively, unless the game world is so huge as to make the class with the highest perception, trapfinding, disarm and other thieving skills need to comb everything with a fine-toothed-comb in such a way that actually exploring, selling monster bits [you've GOTTA have heavy amounts of carving; killing a dragon should leave the entire party overloaded and begging the NPC carpenter for "just another cart". That makes things awesome], the entire game within the first weeks of launch would become more tightly owned by the goldsellers than in any other game, as they'd not only have a stranglehold on the economy, but also on the ability to progress, given how heavily pathfinder characters rely on items and equipment.
While it is nothing for a large, organized group to make a permanently, heavily guarded fortress [or hole in the ground with two players per shift controlling half the still-logged-in guild as guards or using bots], everyone else would be permanent victims of such predation.
When you give anonymous strangers the chance, they turn into massive douchebags. We all remember back in WoW, when whole guilds of 60s would be hunting the poor buggers 'round level 51 for free honor at no risk [anything more than 3-4 levels above you was functionally invulnerable even in the same equipment, unless you had like 20:1 odds and even then it wasn't certain], and all of the 80s and 85s that like nothing more than to spend their evenings keeping the questgivers and shopkeeps of low-level areas just to f*$$ the lowbies.
There's nothing fun about having to deal with a crime and theft rate a hundred thousand times that of real life thanks to a combination of minimized [or non-existent] risk/punishment, versus a maximized ease of accomplishing the task and great rewards as well.
The most important thing is that we keep away from the three factions [or far worse, two] that plague the setups and balances of so many MMOs.
One only need look at WAR to see just how bad that can get if classes, even "near-identical mirror ones" are different.
If anything, factions [as the NPC groups one might join] might be different by alignment, but that's a different story.
for enemies, the alignments actually make developping AI potentially a lot simpler. Seperately, I'd like to point out that running away [perhaps dropping one or two things], and giving up sometimes [surrender, of a random mob in an MMO? shocking] should be something that can and does happen.
Lawful: Higher emphasis on teamwork. Phalanxes of shield walls, volley-fire covering, team buffs... May have clear leaders, with various good or bad effects [perhaps often both] on team's aggressivity or coherency if they go down
Chaotic: when team oriented, focus more on individual buffs, using their individual abilities better at a cost of overall cohesion. Less fireball-volume friendly, but also more apt to have that thief break off and geek the mage.
Good: Quick to carry extra healing gear and debilitations*. If they take you down without fatal wounds, they may just drag you off as some sort of prisoner instead of killing you. If you let half of them live, they'll probably get the rest of their team back up to speed eventually.
Evil: Fast to dirty tricks, won't care nearly as much if their minions get friendly-fired, but that itself makes them quite dangerous. Not holding back, they might instead just run away, leaving a team to die, if threatened too much.
*Since SoD suck balls both ways [either you win, or you fire a few times and win, or you outright lose because everything's immune/megaresistant], conditions should instead follow perhaps the FFXIII model [I know, I know, but the combat was fun as hells] of instead being slow, additive debilitations. Better than blasting[but may still require it] when you're using the right ones on the right targets, about the same sometimes, and not as effective [but perhaps still necessary to get a few up on] if you're trying to stack poison on a zombie.
Well the trick here is that what's missing from MMOs versus the tabletop is the feeling of adventure.
DDO, for all its flaws [and there are plenty] is one of the better games in that regard; it had a healthy amount of focus on looking around, searching, thinking about stuff and, often enough, alternate routes. I think anyone can at least remember the sewers in the intro region; there's support beams running along the ceiling you can hop around onto with a bit of skill; if you even noticed'em.
More recently but non-MMO, Dark Souls has a lot of that, but is about confined quarters as opposed to having a variety of large and open spaces [which MMOs tend to have, what with, worlds and all].
Its that whole "dude, we'd been wandering around that cave for like an hour when all of a sudden..."
An Automap with primary landmarks outside and line-art inside as you go along, if done well, would give a pretty good feeling, but many people unused to the pen and paper genre might be freaking out. Its handy for knowing where you've been or haven't been, though, but I'll admit not everyone loved that part of the old Descent I/II games.
Hopefully they've gotten their hands on MT framework 2.0
Contrary to many MMOs, flying should be a possibility at its normal "you get it now" levels for pathfinder. Exploration should be absolutely paramount; something that's missing from MMOs these days is the ability to just go "today I'm headed that way". Let flying, climbing, digging and all that be part of the game.
Instead of the specific "go here, kill x of y, come back, get reward, repeat ad nauseum until you have to do the exact same thing but now with a forced group of half-are-idiots". Exploration. That's something we're getting with minecraft often enough, and sure beats everyone having the same dungeons and all that s@$! everywhere. If you get a quest, its some serious "you will gain a level or three doing this" stuff that's done with landmarks or rough maps, fully expecting you to have random encounters and quite possibly explore the wrong dungeon or cave network on your way.
Lots of things should be random; if you walk two hours through a forest, you're two hours through a forest. Maybe there's some old ruins there.
Taking a page from Minecraft and old roguelikes: Perhaps the world should use some random seed generation, and be reset after a certain amount of time. The areas outside of basic towns would be rebuilt a region at a time; Use two phases for this: The current one, and the new one. Someone in the 'current' once the new one is available can log back in and keep doing what he's doing, but once he travels out the region, coming back lands him in the new one.
Instead of level specific zones, a certain percentage [say, 50~, could be affected by certain things] of what you run into, both random encounters and randomly found dungeon things, are appropriate to your level. The remainder are truly random; you're going to have to learn to pick your battles, sneak, avoid stuff, and once in a while bask in the glory of having an actual army of a hundred "CR1s" trying to take you down.
Perhaps folks could have a small set of 'bookmarks', places that seemed awesome but they just weren't ready for, that they really want to get back to next time.
That's some serious power requirements though...
3+X/day abilities gained early on for many caster classes are often so crappy as to no longer be getting used at all by second or third level, or gain enough uses that uses-remaining-today isn't even something you need to bother with most of the time. When you can fire a weeny 1d6 or 1d4 ten times a day, but you'll never use the damn thing because even a crossbow [of all things] can deliver more more often by this point in your character's life, why is one that's actually, instead of functionally, "unlimited" any real problem?
Additionally, given how its used, its no different from many other abilities that are also "unlimited". Is firing once per round so much worse than the near-infinite [or actually infinite thanks to Abundant Ammunition] special-abilities using ranged weapons, or a soulbow's main weapon, or psychic strike, or any thrown weapon with 'returning' in its enchants, attack cantrips, the list goes on and on and on. Or is not having a limit on sneak attacks per day a problem?
Using it as part of a full attack is a 4th level power. you can't do that all day any more than you can full-attack with vitriolic sphere. The splash component's fine as it is.
Blind, Entangle and Bleed are nice to have, but many things are either immune to at least one or two, or will have an easy save against them anyways. At worst, you'd need to limit it to two of these effects at once, max.
Don't we wish... Mechanically, weapon ranges can reach 1200ft with maxed out penalties, or 2400 on a distance weapon.
Right there might be one great thing for crossbows; if beyond a certain range, targeting requires manual aiming and ballistics, it might be quit advantageous for the crossbow's velocity and ease of use. Flatter trajectories at longer ranges mean that it can hit much more reliably.
It would've been the crossbow's advantage in Dark Souls, except the damned things, even the special "sniper" model, didn't have the first-person targeting that the Bow could use, limiting them all to the same auto-lock range as a throwing knife. With less power, less accuracy, far less speed, and only comparable damage early on off the basic numbers of the weapons [wow does that ever sound familiar], they were pretty worthless.
I'm wondering about the value of the primary/secondary drop thing. It IS nice to have a bit of risk* for a character, especially one that's more troubling [gotta get the corpse back] than tedious [repair all equipment and -x% penalty to all stats for an hour]. But depending on the speed of combat resolution, having a secondary might be a death sentence unless you're just THAT rich [and hopefully not for reasons called "daddy's credit card means I'm a better player than you all"]
*so long as the risk isn't 20 levels above you, functionally and theoretically invulnerable to anything you could attempt, and soaking up the XP with his buddies while kicking and screaming at any inkling of pvp being more consensual than "they can't possibly be a threat to me even if there's fifty of them with decent tactics too thanks to itemization+level-difference-penalties, both of which I like to call my skill, so lrn2ply noobz"...
Long as the focus of the game keeps those relics of latter-day UO out of work in PFO, we're good.
Fraction would actually have to mean something bloody significant, however. If its "well it'll be 8 hours offline of your character training before you're allowed to use the composite longbow" it'll be no better than the tabletop's current differences.
Even limitations on number of weapons known are of little import here; an archer will have his bow and maybe a secondary weapon, there ain't many players that field an entire arsenal, especially when you start having to toss in those expensive enchantments on the things.
Though, remembering DDO's way of not-feat abilities [I forget the name, you got a point or so every "not-level" between real levels], under that system it would be simple to give a free point to put in there with every crossbow feat purchased; representing that training in crossbows leaves you ample time to train in other things.
If every crossbow tax-feat comes with two "favored class" level-up points, and every non-tax weapon-specific feat applied to crossbows comes with one. Unfortunately that does little to make it actually worth firing.
Free point-blank shot and far-shot on crossbows; considered to have the feat for purposes of prerequisites [obviously that connects such feats to crossbow use only] might be an easier way to do it. It would compensate by exactly the two tax-feats, and while not bringing it up to par with the bow, makes a VERY attractive choice for a secondary weapon or those who would never put a feat on weapons anyways [wizards, etc].
You can basically get basic proficiency with all melee martial weapons combined in the time it takes to get maybe half your BAB's worth of accuracy with the bow. Compounds make aiming easy, but the offset bend-around on a wooden longbow is less inutitive than stilts on roller-skates.
A lot of settlements might teach their kids the bow, yes, but no reason there wouldn't be many others that teach the crossbow. Its a little more 'complex' [its not a single stick'] but not necessarily more difficult to craft [a LOT goes into that bloody stick]. Very rugged things, too, overall.
Still think a longbow oughta be exotic [war bows of 120+ draw are not the shorts kids learn to hunt rabbits with], but failing that, you could portray the ease of learning crossbows by making them less feat intensive.
'course, the only way to do this is with freebies. Perhaps every weapon-specific feat [weapon focus, rapid reload, all the "pick a type of weapon" ones] could net you one free extra, if both are selected for crossbows. You could cap that at two three free ones, but it would at least portray the fact that you don't need the years a bow does to be capable with the things.
Mages could afford to dump a pair in there, in fact, many could and several would, but someone truly dedicated all the way to the bow would still be getting 1.5~2x the DPR on them anyhow.
Keep the crossbow effective for what it was... a ranged weapon for non-ranged-specialist. The easiest way to so this is to make the crossbow a pick-up-and-shoot sort of weapon, and require training to (properly) use a bow
The only way to make this work is to switch Bows to exotic weapon proficiencies, due to the time and effort required. Longbows are well beyond a Martial.
That's the thing that's ill-portrayed: the crossbow takes hours of training to become 'proficient' with; use is covered in the first few minutes, and the remainder of your half-day crash course would involve maintenence and minor repairs on the damn thing.
Bows require months to years, just to achieve normal proficiency. Even on a professional, you just couldn't snap-aim like you can a crossbow either. Hell, you can tell someone was an archer by the fact that their skeletal structure was *DEFORMED* by the specific exercises and strains involved.
Yes, bows should have two to five times the fire rate of a crossbow. But just achieving iteratives oughta be no easier, and the bow's own catch-up game should be in the field of accuracy: you need just as many feats to rapid-fire crossbows that aren't massively under-drawn compared to what your strength could manage [or problematically over-equipped with a loading system] as you should to be able to fire anything remotely straight with a bloody bow.
These, unlike crossbows, are actually fairly mechanically complex, which is how they got supplanted, as their ranges and firepower were pretty solid. The kind of thing that takes one turn to set-up/brace but packs enough punch to snipe a dude through the front of his chariot at 400 yards.
Sadly for crossbows, Psionics Expanded: Find the Mark has a solid number of new, many of which are non-psionic, feats that boost thrown weapons, including twin-throw. Actually the marksman class as a whole is pretty bloody nice, and can even bring a crossbow to a bit over half the DPR of a bow with Sniper Style's augmented shots when you combine that with the vital strike line of feats.
Just have a very slowly regenerating resource, used up by your more powerful abilities, then. We combine this with casting times directly based off the resource use [a level 9 spell would probably take three times as long to set off as a level 1 spell]. The resource drains AS as you cast the spell, so that someone fizzled by a hit halfway through does not lose everything spent to cast, nor does he lose nothing.
0-level stuff can always be blasted about at will, but is obviously extremely weak.
Wizard: You can prepare a number of spells for metamagic use. You charge up the metamagic effect immediately prior to starting to cast a spell, and this spell's casting time is also increased as if it were a higher level spell. However, using Metamagic does not add to your cost, meaning that over a one minute fight.
Sorcerer: You do not suffer double the metamagic penalty while casting, but doing so increases your base cost. You can do this with all your spells instead of ones pre-set when resting, making you more versatile, but at the end of the day causing you to run out somewhat faster if you choose to do this. Your "bloodline abilities" are what involve actual "cooldowns".
Divine casters: think the 'protoss probe'. After an initial short casting time and the full expenditure of the involved resource cost, you're good. The spell will happen in a little bit, whatever you are doing, from the initial location. You're weaker [penalties] while its casting, but still get to act. Perhaps the location itself may be vulnerable to interference, however.
Psionics: straight and easy augmentation scale. Full power real fast but run out just as quick, or hold it slow and steady for a long time. This does not change manifestation time, but they go from lasting the longest before running out at the lowest settings, to outrunning a maximized meteor-lobber's expenditure at the highests.
Just gotta integrate those functions to the UI so they're not too annoying.
Of course, for balance's sake, we gotta avoid the DDO hole, and make sure that blasting is just as viable as SoD [SoD should be softer, less actual 'die', but less outright resist/immunities so they're not completely useless except when they're autowins].
A Hybrid model might work fine. Have those vancian spells and per-day abilities have their actual limits between rests.
For the Arcane and Divine Casters:
Once your spells/day of that level are completely exhausted, you get to use it at reduced power. Level-based variables are set to the minimum caster level needed to know the spell, and preset variables are halved. Obviously, the reserve is selected from spells of that level, so its not like you can cast a maximized 5d6 fireball at will as your sixth level spell or something.
Certain spells would not be available [a weaker grease is fine, but limited wish is right out] of course; the really special things need their limits after all. Anything used this way would get a short cooldown, perhaps rounds equal to its level. You're significantly hampered, just not made completely useless compared to martial classes in the party that just run ahead fight to fight to fight to fight to fight to fight to fight because they never run out of steam [something that happens in some MMOs, just never in a tabletop since resting doesn't involve waiting two minutes for the impatient guys to wait for the unready caster to finish drinking down]
So, select Lightning Bolt, and after you completely run out of level 3 spells, you still get a 5d6 bolt with half range, no empowered or anything, as a standard action once per round if you want to use it. Or a 10ft radius half powered fireball.
For Psionics, this is as simple as letting them use the power unaugmented, with some of them needing the halved set-dimensions or whatever applied too.
Hell, even one or two reserves, max, instead of one per level, would probably be enough.
OR running completely dry of spells/PPs strengthens your level 1s by a certain level-based factor, while keeping them free [but with cooldowns or whatever]?
and yet in d20 based games, Pathfinder included, the bow's topping at over one attack per second, not dissimilar to the boxer.
Still, it would be better to allow them to focus on their higher single shots. Perhaps what we need are bigger, better crossbows in the Martial weapon list. Let'em ignore Armor [but not shields] in their first increment, and up the dice to 2d8 and 3d8. These will represent proper composite-material crossbows, appropriate to an epoch where a Longbow even exists [let alone a "composite" one], but they'll be beyond the reach of arming thirty peasants with.
Even on a maxed out vital-strike build, you won't actually be catching up to a regular, un-feated bow user doing a full attack if he's got some adders like getting to apply his training and a strength bonus four times in his volley, and even if he wants to deal with DR or deal massive damage, he'll be ahead with just the feat of Clustered Shots, but at least your one shot per round will actually be significant.
Archers would still fill the skies with arrows, and, hell, even if you gave'em half the iteratives they'd still come out ahead with Rapid shot and Many shot, but at least they'd have to take them to blow your one big blast out of the bloody water, and you'll actually get to have that one big blast.
The biggest problem, really, is that bows in d20 games have no rate of fire limitations whatsoever. Six second round, six aimed shots, no problem?
While this is perfectly acceptable from the standpoint of this being fantasy games with magical supernatural peoples, it leaves us with a problem: They didn't apply that same reality to crossbows.
Crossbow draw-weights rarely fell under 200lb [to a large english war-bow's 120~140], and that's the "lights". A heavy, cranquein loaded arbalest is staring at 600+. Though its span is a little shorter and you lose some efficiency, so we're looking more at 2~3 times the power, not 4~5. Somehow this translates to +1 damage over a NON-STRENGTH-USING [str 12 composites already take the loss back] bow, despite all the penalties.
There's absolutely nothing preventing you from applying your herculean strength to a crossbow: Those mechanical components are no more or less vulnerable than your bow's own parts. Hell, the heaviest crossbows used things like steel as their 'bow'. You can't really apply more power to a bow than it was designed for, either, which is why in older game editions, bows had a pre-set "mighty" characteristic.
Crossbows should have "set" mighty characteristics that old way as well, and set loading mechanisms. This could fix them easily, and make them a versatile option. You just need penalties [or even an impossibility of loading it] for those that can't handle the minimum requirements.
Simple way to do it: Masterwork crossbows also get a mighty rating, set when the thing is crafted. You just can't apply more strength after-the-fact, its a mechanical system, not a bow. But you CAN build it right for someone of that approximate build.
This is the same as "Composite" [composite crossbows with 300+ pounds of draw were around long before the longbow reared its head] bows, except set to a certain strength bonus: you don't get more from being stronger, and you have problems from being too weak. Mighty +1, +2, +3 and so on. Hell, you could say a mithril crossbow has a lower strength requirement by two or something if you wanna do something there.
In exchange for +2 strength bonus on damage, when crafted, the crossbow has a loading mechanism one step faster. Cranqueins replaced by lever or goatsfoot, levers replaced by having to span it by hand [if you need an action for that last one, start applying it to the bloody BOWS too].
Longwinded as I may be, its a simple system that makes a hell of a lot more sense than the current set-up. And it would be nice of weapons that aren't-the-bow to actually be able to be worth something beyond levels 1-4 on a hapless mage whose team has no ranged feats either to compare to....
Or just make dead-shot a basic ability of guns and crossbows.
hey since they don't mention what kind of weapon, just "a pair" with no restrictions, you can have yourself a pair of dancing deep-crystal Flaming/Frost/Shock/Holy defending Double-Barreled-Shotguns of Speed.
perfect capstone for a throwaway character that'll hand those two over to your real character when the time is right. Cohorts, anyone?
First thing I noticed on there is the proficiency with all slashing weapons from *every category*. It wouldn't be written like that if they weren't talking about exotics... Second thing being holes in the levels, a 3.x thing, as pathfinder avoids this as best it can.
So he's probably going either for Fauchard [reach, trip] or the Elven Curved Blade [to use finesse] to go with this. Alternatively he could be looking at the Katana, or Crystal Chakram...
Medium Armor, 6+int skill progression, d8 HD, full BAB.
Double Dex [oh we're looking at the curved blade alright now] focuses this into a two weapon fighter class...
Parry's a bit strong but would easily, easily be remedied by having the attack automatically strike the parrying weapon. That way the massive power-attack doesn't get ignored three times per combat [or half ignored if he fails eh?]
the Ki Pool's "doesn't regenerate" is a false penalty. As you're looking at eight levels of monk in equivalence just for being level 10 before applying wisdom, the double wisdom bonus growth will generally leave the monk far behind. And unlike the monk, this guy regenerates them at one per five minutes, whenever he gets a break [like say after combat].
Bonus Feats: someone's pulling a fast one... evasion and improved evasion? those be class features. Oh they also get TWF and TWDef for free but the latter is improved.
Blade flurry is an extra attack. in addition to TWF... yet its probably the most balanced thing I've seen on this link so far.
Silent blade isn't just badly worded, its rather broken. You "don't get sneak attack" but instead get to just slice away on a full attack where the target remains completely flat-footed and unaware. Or, you could've just done a coup-de-grace if you're that good... which this probably is intended for.
Blade of Light is unworkable. It doesn't state what actions are involved, if anything needs to hit, if one needs to pay the ki cost, or anything. What is this, FREE?
... oh look. THREE extra attacks [plus improved TWF, plus haste...] at a measly -5. Probably just right to be paired with 'against touch ac this round' or the like.
What's the enhancement bonus of those Bonded weapons?
All in all, I believe my four year old niece could have written something better. She can't spell and it would be in crayon, but undoubtedly it would in fact be better.
Atheism in a setting where deities are detectable entities, ones that can actively enforce their will, have measured limitations[mostly just against eachother given their power scale, mind you] and personalities, is pretty much insanity. You may as well not believe the sky refracts in such a way as to appear blue to the eyes.
Within that reality, gods are fact, much like gravity or magic. In fact their study often has evolved to the point where there IS a theory of divine magic. To deny their existence is like denying that you might have a thing for men if all you think about all day is a certain form of intimate interaction with them. Not that I'm pointing out something commonly seen on tv or anything.
Its completely different from a setting like our own reality, where the only "evidence" for their existence is that someone else tells you that its true, because a book someone else wrote told them as such. Well lucky charms are "magically delicious" but you don't see me getting any spellcasting off of them. Gods are as fake here as they are real on Golarion and in other crystal spheres.
Mind you, this is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT matter from worshipping the things. In many settings, deities are petulant overpowered children with the mindset of a three-year-old super-saiyan or whatever. They even get all together to completely screw with natural planar law and trap [and sell to devils and daemons] souls that refused to orally perform upon their divine reproductive organs. Sure they need it to live, but maybe they'd have more worshippers if they weren't all such failures of intellect, wisdom and charisma [though rarely one of comeliness]
Take the old 2e Planescape Athar faction for example. They know they exist. But they view them as insanely powerful a&$&!#+s that don't deserve you giving them oral pleasure any more than an petulant noble child with a sword deserves your greatest meal just because he's louder and more foppish than the rest.
If your player insists on his character being atheist, there's something wrong, seriously wrong, with the character. Just look at how the more extreme creationists,etc are viewed as by the rest of the world [hint: at a minimum a lot of rolled yes, sighing, 'don't talk to him dear its not nice to point at crazy people' and plenty of suggestions to 'get help' and facepalms].
Expect a few deities to take GREAT interest in the guy, either as a potential weapon, or just because they like to f$%+ with crazy people.
In fact, he might end up an Oracle or the like. Gods love to f&~! that way.
The main advantage of the Warlock is largely illusory past the very early levels. Warlocks have a very limited number of known powers, though many of these are pretty damn nice.
The "Unlimited" aspect often worries folks, and, in 3.5 when it first appeared, caused quite the panic. Then, people realised it wasn't all that. Then it got relegated as a solid "tier 3", nowhere near the actual capabilities or potential of the classes that were worried by it.
Never running out of blasting is damn nice. But, at the same time, by the time you hit levels 8-9, if the wizard and cleric are running dry every day due to nonstop encounters and dungeoneering (or maybe they're caught in a war) one or two fights BEFORE they get a chance to rest, the party, warlock included would be long dead without them around, and everyone's health is likely running on fumes as well.
Yet this exact situation is what it takes for the warlock's much lower peak power output finally gets to earn his keep. At the standard 2-3 fights and 1-2 puzzles between campsites that most go through (even in a dungeon), the idea that the wizard, cleric, oracle, summoner or whatever "run out" (does an archer with an abundant ammo quiver "run out"? of course not) is at best misinformation. You've more than enough to pull through most of a dungeon at once, and if you don't everyone's gonna be beaten enough that they need rest anyhow.
It gets worse when considering the wide range of outright fightstoppers the real casters have.
Warlock's big advantage is they never run out of what they can do. However, most abilities are gained a little later than the vancians can get it, and they can't outperform them until you're eight encounters in, lacking in magic items, and the wizard does nothing but blasting spells.
Alright here's a marginally refined version. I'm still far from certain on the balance here; its obvious certain powers are problematic (for one thing we can't have'em be an infinite 'bestow power' battery, and the healing side is just as infinite).
I'm thinking over the next few days probably come up with their invocation equivalents instead, which will either use the current PP/Training system or require a revamp/rewrite of that as well. I think it might be modular enough though so long as they have their own powers.
Anyone feel free to break this as much as they can. I know the blasting side is a little underwhelming; but those metabolics and telepaths are likely gonna have some serious abuses. I'd like to see if I can turn this into something solid over the next few days or week.
Psiblock d6HD Skill Points 4+ Int/Level High Saves: Fortitude, Will
Psiblocks are proficient in all Simple Weapons and Light Armor, but not shields. Psiblock is considered a full Manifester class.
Psiblock Class Abilities:
At 1st level, a Psiblock gains a limited number of Power Points per day. While he gains no Power Points per day from class levels until later in his career, he may benefit from bonus PPs per day due to high Wisdom.
Alternatively, the Psiblock may Expend his psionic focus to use the diminished form of a talent power even within the confines of a null-psionics field.
A Psiblock counts as a "generalist" for purposes of how powers may be affected, and no more than half his powers may be from the Discipline lists. He must, for example, regain psionic focus in order to select a new active energy type.
Anytime you gain access to a new level of powers beyond the first, you may choose to exchange a power of your lowest currently known level for another. The new power must be of equal level. Powers selected by Power Training (see below) may no longer be exchanged.
[Available max levels gained: 2nd at 4th, 3rd at 8th, 4th at 12th, 5th at 16th, one 6th at 20th]
Example: A 20th level Psiblock has one power at +11PP and EML+5, one at +9 and +4 and so on.
Just realised there's interaction issues between learning the talents and not having them available to use as normal powers without "picking" them...
I'll have to figure something out.
Not sure infinite ammo can justify what might be rather low DPR but at the same time there's so many tricks that can be done...
A beta tonight, then.
By boredom and insomnia, here's my attempt at a "warlock" style psionicist.
Call this an early alpha, as I didn't look at the available powers with enough detail that it could possibly be balanced just yet.
Infinite Psionicist: d6HD, Skill Points 4+ Int/Level
LV BAB FORT REF WILL SPECIAL ABILITIES PP Powers Max Power Level
1 0 2 0 2 Discipline Talents 0 ~
2 1 3 0 3 Psionic Powers, Augment 1 1 1st
3 2 3 1 3 Discipline Ability 1 1
4 3 4 1 4 ------------------ 2 2
5 3 4 1 4 Power Focus +1 --- 2 2
6 4 5 2 5 Bonus Feat --- --- 3 3 2nd
7 5 5 2 5 Discipline Ability 3 3
8 6/+1 6 2 6 Potent Manifesting+1 4 4
9 6/+1 6 3 6 Power Focus +2 --- 4 4
10 7/+2 7 3 7 Power Exchange --- 5 5 3rd
11 8/+3 7 3 7 Discipline Ability 6 5
12 9/+4 8 4 8 Bonus Feat --- --- 7 6
13 9/+4 8 4 8 Power Focus +3 --- 8 6
14 10/+5 9 4 9 Potent Manifesting+2 9 7 4th
15 11/6/1 9 5 9 Discipline Ability 10 7
16 12/7/2 10 5 10 ------------------ 11 8
17 12/7/2 10 5 10 Power Focus +4 --- 12 8
18 13/8/3 11 6 11 Exchange, Bonus Feat 13 9 5th
19 14/9/4 11 6 11 Discipline Ability 14 9
20 15/10/5 12 6 12 Psionic Generator 15 10
Psionicists have infinite use of their general abilities, but are otherwise very limited.
A Psionicist gains a limited number of Power Points per day from class levels. Nevertheless, he is considered to have a Power Pool from level 1, but must gain most of his available power from high wisdom. The Psionicist Class grants full manifester levels.
[This functions like having 0 spells/day of a level as opposed to not being able to cast spells of that level at all]
Alternatively, you may expend your psionic focus to use the basic talent-form of a power even within the confines of a null-psionics field.
A Psionicist counts as a "generalist" for purposes of how powers may be affected. He must, for example, regain psionic focus in order to select a new active energy type.
Applying and using Metapsionics to these powers requires the usual expenditure of Psionic Focus, and of their PP cost.
If the selected ability has a limited daily use, It recovers a single use-per-day every hour, beginning an hour after it was used last. If limited in non-consecutive rounds-per-day, it instead recovers two such rounds an hour after it was used last.
At 10th, 15th and 20th level, the augmentation bonus to this power increases by 1.
Look on the brightside, the next version will probably also have better formatting!
Problem with crossbow mastery:
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Point-Blank Shot, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot.
Crossbow Mastery is only required for Heavy Crossbows anyways, or technically reloading the hopper of a Repeater Crossbow (but then why did you get this and rapid reload, you wasted feats one way or another). You'll of course get point-blank shot and rapid-shot, so those aren't wasted. That's two feats to be allowed your iteratives, one of which a bow uses to get manyshot.
A ranger could get it as a combat style feat (don't they still need the prereqs?), but, again, an archer wouldn't need to in the first place. Its a feat tax.
Even with lightning reload helping crossbows, that puts them on par with firearms (but way cheaper), not actually better.
Your best bet for a crossbow is probably the Marksman (psionic class). Not that I actually like bows, mind you. I love crossbows. But can you say "redheaded stepchild of fantasy games"?
While I believe the RAW works in general, I also think its the same kind of "in general" as French grammar.
The big problem with french grammar is that every damn rule has a number of exceptions. So you can't just stick strictly to RAW, or you grind to a halt with conflicts, or run into new-york-ghetto potholes.
For Caster disparity its usually a matter of individual spells. Of course, there's a bloody ton of those, including the ones that can be problematic. Like it or not, a "save or-" is an entirely different beast than your average combat maneuver.
I'd suggest using wording more akin to the attuned 'arcane bond' weapons for the alchemical gun. Just so you know there's already "explosive missile" as a discovery in UC, which allows, as a standard action, to infuse, load, and fire a bow, crossbow, or 1h firearm, with your bomb. This is particularly advantageous in regards to the heavy crossbow as it saves you basically two feats to use it in this way (you lose the iteratives but hey, bombs). Why it doesn't work with 2h firearms I have no idea. You'd think its easier to stuff your blunderbuss with one than it is to make a derringer ball into the bloody thing.
What happens if you have Rapid Reload, a capacity weapon, Fast Bombs and the like? Can you, for example, use Fast Bombs with your move-action to then load the full capacity of the weapon? This would be absolutely awesome, although requires Delayed Bomb if you don't want to fire off one of your 6 bombs and have the other five detonate on you because you couldn't Full-Attack after all those actions (that being said the option to explode yourself through stupidity should never be removed and failsafed against)
Your alchemist, as is, does not qualify for any deeds(grit abilities) save the lone 1st level deed gained by Amateur Gunslinger. The reason for this is you do not currently apply a gunslinger-level-equivalence to the deeds as does, say, the Holy Gun (Paladin level -4).
Need to specify what sort of weapon the alchemical gun is, if its different from the standard. Which it seems to be, as its one or two handed and can fire anything. I would suggest giving a pick of any scatter weapon (dragon pistol, blunderbuss, culverin or shotgun) and then having it modified BY the alchemist (with listed money/time/crafting since we need to know 'wat do' when you lose it because it finally exploded)
Gunpowder Specialist is both a bit too elaborate and a bit too broken. I'd suggest simply allowing gunpowder to be used to craft extra alchemist bombs, and a seperate discovery to use a dose of gunpowder to increase a bomb's blast radius by +5ft (so explosive bomb would have 15ft, regular bomb 10ft).
Explosives Expert (the bomb damage up) should be an archetype ability rather than a discovery. This is basically a 'rifle grenadier' build, and the abilities/flavor should revolve more around that fact.
You'll want to either remove Swift Poisoning, Swift Alchemy and Instant Alchemy (we're adding a LOT here after all) to make room for all this stuff, or keep just swift alchemy and allow it to be combined with gunsmithing for the making of alchemical ammunition.
Another interesting possibility is infusion discovery + gun = the Medic's crossbow
I'm liking it.
Rapid Reload (page 115) reduces the reload actions of firearms to a Move Action (1h) or a standard action (2h).
Advanced Firearms, by using metal cartridges, are both reloaded by a Move action. Were Rapid Reload not specifying "reduces", taking it might by RAW make reloading a rifle a standard action, up from a move-action.
As it is, Rapid Reload has no interaction or benefit to advanced firerams, meaning reloading a bolt-action is slower than reloading a muzzle-loader.
Lightning Reload allows you to reload a single barrel of your gun as a swift action, or, if using alchemical cartridges or you have rapid reload, as a free action, once per round. How does this interact with Advanced Firearms, as Metal Cartridges are supposed to reload the entire capacity?
Adds a whole new meaning to the term Freezer-Burnt
Anyways I second ammo cook-off on round 2 for early, 3 for advanced.
Actually come to think of it that might make for a VERY interesting tactic. Awesome.
If Bows were allowed to work with all the gunslinger mechanics, there would be no point ever using firearms beyond flavor.
A Composite Longbow would have better range (110) than any regular firearm (80). It would have STR and DEX+3 both to damage, as opposed to just the latter. It would gain benefit from Bracers of Archery, which firearms cannot. When Crossbows and Firearms buy Rapid Reload to be allowed some iterative attacks, the bow buys manyshot(unique to bows) because it already could, and now fires even more.
Bows do not Misfire and can (somehow) be nocked, drawn and aimed five+ times in the moment it takes to load a single cartridge in a bolt-action rifle.
The output would be ridiculous.
Soulknife and Soulbolt look really fun to play, but they both lack Weapon Training. This puts their hit% and +damage so far behind a fighter there's just about nothing they can do (they don't have powers to compensate and can only do a single touch-attack once by expending focus with a feat) to keep up with someone that just happens to have +2 (+4 with gloves of dueling).
Except within 20ft with a specific form, the Soulbolt doesn't get Ability to damage either, unlike an Archer, or level 5+ gunslinger.
And, of course, only the Archer gets manyshot, while anyone using a crossbow spends a feat to be allowed to use iteratives (2 if a heavy crossbow) instead. Despite doing less damage. Despite having no access to the Bracers of Archery.
If there's a way to compensate for losing +7/+7 in 20 levels over the next guy though, I'm all ears. But +28 compared to +35 against a CR 20 critter is a f!$@ton of damage lost; moreso since what does hit deals even less damage.
That still leaves that most folks don't walk around twirling their tiny mustaches and congratulating themselves on having worked a most villainous day. A lot of evil gets done in the name of good, or by folks that think they're doing the right thing.
Things eventually have to get subjective at some point; not much choice when we're dealing with abstracted systems. The Core Rules may not assume a that a bunch of LG's are going to start a crusade of good against a bunch of other LG's for happily and goodly following the laws of their own land, but that doesn't mean Player Characters are just a myth.
For purposes of when the abilities detect purely alignment (as opposed to positive/negative energy issues such as undead or concecrated areas) I ended up having to judge that in most cases it was based on the general good/evil parameters of the society the caster was raised in, with the exception of paladins who get their gods view (don't play on Toril though so it hasn't been an issue).
There's also "what's good and evil" To a specific society or religion, and from there, the question of how things like detect evil work.
For example, let's say you've got a deity whose clerics do what would generally be considered 'good' acts, save for being lawful evil. They take care of their community, make examples of bandits and raiders, rid the streets of vermin and pestilence, sacrifice the hobos to their god, help with the crops and weather and hold regular orgies.
A different deity might take some serious issue with the sacrificing hobos and putting murderers families heads up on the walls where they can see them next time they dare to hit folks on the nearby road. It also becomes a quick road to 'falling' because that's a tool for justifying-horrible-acts if I've ever seen one.
If Detect Good/Evil does so in relation to that person's own views and understandings, then one will have great difficulty using it for anything other than lingering aligned-spell auras or feretting out undead.
If it does so in relation to the user's views, then we might have two paladins trying to kill eachother because they're "obviously evil".
If it does so in relation to the user's god's views, for those who like 'absolute morality' and the such, then you run into the problem of "Wait, they're obviously not doing anything wrong, but IFF clearly says they're hostiles", and it gets worse if you've got petty gods like the Toril/Faerunian ones, as they'd probably adjust the signal in accordance to who they hate this week...
Not that any of these make things unplayable. But a GM does have to think about how they apply or interact.