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Yet another crossbowman attempt


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


hi guys, this will be my final attempt at trying to make the crossbowman a relevant damage dealer when compared to his more famous bow using brother, this is my third and i really appreciate the input ive gotten in both of my previous attempts.

as you all know i LOVE crossbows, its why ive made three different variations after all, and i am terrible at running dpr calculators so if anyone would be nice enough to run some numbers i would be massively grateful on how this fares to a archer fighter.

Spoiler:
Crossbowman changes

Sharphooter: at second level, when a crossbowman makes a single attack in a round he may treat a crossbow as 1 size category larger for the dmg dice, he does not get the usual penalty for wielding an oversized weapon

this replaces bravery

Deadshot: at 3rd level, when making a single attack with a crossbow, a crossbowman may add his dexterity modifier to the damage roll, Every four levels thereafter the dex mod is multiplied by one (2x at 7th, 3x at 11th, 4x at 15th etc) to a maximum of 5x dex mod at 19th

this replaces armor training 1

Crossbow Expert: At 5th level, a crossbowman must select weapon training with the crossbow group. The crossbowman’s weapon training bonus with crossbows improve by +1 on attack rolls and +2 on damage rolls for every four levels beyond 5th (to a maximum of +4 on attack rolls and +8 on damage rolls at 17th level).
The crossbowman does not gain weapon training in any other groups as he increases in level.

this replaces weapon training 1

Greater Deadshot: At 11th level, when a crossbowman attacks with a crossbow as a readied action, he may choose to target the enemies touch ac instead of denying them there dexterity bonus to ac

this ability replaces Armor Training 3.

design intentions were not trying to compete with the bowman on number of attacks, but making one attack paired with vital strike that would make the enemies wince. Ultimately the archer should deal more damage with his multiple attacks, but the crossbowman should make up with good damage of his own and reliability in hitting using his highest attack bonus for his one attack and just modifying it to be relevant.

anyway this is most likely my last stab at it, and once again would love input. thanks in advance and God bless.


I don't really have any input on your changes (am a very 'by the book' sorta guy myself), but I just wanted to throw in my support for the idea, all the same.

I've been trying to put together my own Crossbowman build for an upcoming game and while it is feasible, it's certainly not very impressive. :)


Slaunyeh wrote:

I don't really have any input on your changes (am a very 'by the book' sorta guy myself), but I just wanted to throw in my support for the idea, all the same.

I've been trying to put together my own Crossbowman build for an upcoming game and while it is feasible, it's certainly not very impressive. :)

ha perfectly stated, i mean i understand its a simple weapon so out of the box it SHOULD be slightly worse then the bow for a simple weapon user, but a fighter who specializes in it should be able to make it a perfectly valid and viable combat style. shooting a crossbow is all this guy has, let him do it well lol

Silver Crusade

Don't know if you already saw it, but I made a conversion too.

I really like the idea of treating the weapon as one size larger. It makes Vital Strike potentially awesome. No need to mention that there isn't any size penalty incured : you aren't treated as wielding a bigger weapon, by raw just treating the "damage dice" higher.

All in all, that's a simple but effective patch to let crossbowmen shine and allows them to stay relevant as one-hit marvels. Well-done, sir. It may hurt badly spellcasters or conventional ranged fighters that need to invest lots of feats though...


Vinja89 wrote:
ha perfectly stated, i mean i understand its a simple weapon so out of the box it SHOULD be slightly worse then the bow for a simple weapon user, but a fighter who specializes in it should be able to make it a perfectly valid and viable combat style. shooting a crossbow is all this guy has, let him do it well lol

I also have this sneaking suspicion that a straight fighter might be a better crossbowman than the crossbowman archetype. Especially if you are going for a rapid-fire heavy crossbow, because then you are not taking advantage of any of the 'when taking a readied action' perks from the Crossbowman.

My build was going for the readied action approach, just because it's a fairly unique combat style. Using a double crossbow (the -4 to hit seems really excessive though).


Maxximilius wrote:

Don't know if you already saw it, but I made a conversion too.

I really like the idea of treating the weapon as one size larger. It makes Vital Strike potentially awesome. No need to mention that there isn't any size penalty incured : you aren't treated as wielding a bigger weapon, by raw just treating the "damage dice" higher.

All in all, that's a simple but effective patch to let crossbowmen shine and allows them to stay relevant as one-hit marvels. Well-done, sir. It may hurt badly spellcasters or conventional ranged fighters that need to invest lots of feats though...

that really means alot coming from someone whos made so many great archetypes such as yourself, thanks! and i have seen yours, but i just wanted to go with the single attack vital strike fighting style to make it unique to the archers more "machine gun" volley style, different but each one viable and better in different circumstances. and thank you for the insight to sharpshooter not needing the clarification, i was just being thorough.

Slaunyeh wrote:


I also have this sneaking suspicion that a straight fighter might be a better crossbowman than the crossbowman archetype. Especially if you are going for a rapid-fire heavy crossbow, because then you are not taking advantage of any of the 'when taking a readied action' perks from the Crossbowman.

My build was going for the readied action approach, just because it's a fairly unique combat style. Using a double crossbow (the -4 to hit seems really excessive though).

thats what i did when i played one as well, went with a heavy crossbow using vital strike but just felt so piddly compared to the archer fighter who was also in our group, the double crossbow just doesnt.... feel right to me, im not saying using one is badwrongfun just for me i would never use it.

Silver Crusade

You're welcome ! Glad you like them. :)

The only issue I find with this archetype is that even though you remain effective on paper, it may become boring to play when your best option in combat is almost always to shoot once per round.


Maxximilius wrote:

You're welcome ! Glad you like them. :)

The only issue I find with this archetype is that even though you remain effective on paper, it may become boring to play when your best option in combat is almost always to shoot once per round.

thats a VERY good point, he doesnt really get anything flashy until 17th level. that is something to think about.

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