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Is there ANY point to magical ammunition?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Qadira

Besides to waste the gold of any player willing to buy it?

1. magic bow/crossbow/sling/gun makes anything it fires magical anyway
2. Magic weapons and magic ammunition don't stack for accuracy or damage
3. Magic ammo is destroyed on a successful hit, and half the time when you miss.
4. Bane, flaming, frost, merciful, shock, thundering, anarchic, axiomatic, flaming burst, holy, icy burst, shocking burst, unholy all carry over to ammunition,
5. You don't need magic ammunition to overcome DR as long as you have a magic bow.

The only positive benefit , if you've got a projectile weapon, never a shuriken, is stacking properties, like a +1 holy bow firing +1 flaming arrows. But it's still throwing money down the drain for an extra d6 fire if you hit.

If you've got a shuriken, you're ALWAYS throwing money down the drain.

So what's the point? Why have magic ammunition in the first place?

I could understand the cost if magic ammo wasn't destroyed, if it were salvageable. Or if you could nick a little extra accuracy/damage , or if you NEEDED magic ammo to overcome DR. As is, it's such a waste.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Legacy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It has its uses for 1st or 2nd level characters (PCs or NPCs) who can't afford a magic bow. Also, having a few specialty arrows could be useful (e.g. specific Bane arrows to use against certain creatures, Seeking arrows in case you're blinded or something).


You mentioned the point; extra chance to hit, extra damage and extra effects.

Magic ammo can boost my gunslingers damage an extra 4d6 per round or more depending on the enchanters level. In addition to the extra damage it grants 4 chances to trip/daze/knock prone/etc. that is more than enough reason to use magic ammo.


Ammunition is cheaper if you buy/make at lower amounts than 50.
It allows for specialty or situational effects that you might not want on every single shot.

A quiver with an assortment of bane arrows is one idea. Having fire, acid or other elemental damage options at hand to counter various regeneration or other unique defenses (oozes) are another idea.

Easier and cheaper to "golfbag" your weaponry as a projectile ranged combatant.


I don't see a way around this waste for a monk and his shurikens. :(

Further, what about cold iron, silver, adamantine, and other properties - if using the APG, you have weapon blanch, obviously.

Qadira

You can give the ammo to 50 different npcs and nova an enemy. It's exciting to use, and easy treasure. Stacking abilities is fun too.

Qadira

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

If your Gm allows it. Crafting rules for magic weapons require you to make 50.

I play in a lot of pfs, where we're required to purchase the full 50 at a time, unless we get access to a smaller number on an adventure chronicle.

Even for low level characters, they're saving for their mwk strength pull bows or their magic bow , not buying 50 arrows for the same price.

If legacy is the only reason to destroy ammo on a hit, or break it half the time when it misses then legacy should be questioned. That's the whole basis of where Pathfinder came from.


You must not be a GM. Magical ammo is an ancient, classic tool for rounding out treasure hoards at low levels. A 1st-level character can't buy a +1 bow. But he'll covet that +1 arrow he found in the goblins' lair.

Now, given that, even if you think it's nerfy to buy those things, they still have to have a gp value assigned to them, so we GMs will be able to gauge the level of treasure we're handing out.

Now... thank Bruunwald, youngling. For, obviously, wise Bruunwald has been playing since before you were born.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah, covet that arrow and never use it.

Or just sell it.


I suggest allowing ammunition to have special qualities (holy, flaming, etc) without needing the enhancement bonus. That might make them worthwhile.


Seraphimpunk wrote:

Besides to waste the gold of any player willing to buy it?

1. magic bow/crossbow/sling/gun makes anything it fires magical anyway
2. Magic weapons and magic ammunition don't stack for accuracy or damage
3. Magic ammo is destroyed on a successful hit, and half the time when you miss.
4. Bane, flaming, frost, merciful, shock, thundering, anarchic, axiomatic, flaming burst, holy, icy burst, shocking burst, unholy all carry over to ammunition,
5. You don't need magic ammunition to overcome DR as long as you have a magic bow.

The only positive benefit , if you've got a projectile weapon, never a shuriken, is stacking properties, like a +1 holy bow firing +1 flaming arrows. But it's still throwing money down the drain for an extra d6 fire if you hit.

If you've got a shuriken, you're ALWAYS throwing money down the drain.

So what's the point? Why have magic ammunition in the first place?

I could understand the cost if magic ammo wasn't destroyed, if it were salvageable. Or if you could nick a little extra accuracy/damage , or if you NEEDED magic ammo to overcome DR. As is, it's such a waste.

TriOmegaZero is correct. It's a legacy thing. Honestly, ammo should only be about one-fifth the price that it's listed at. That would set the price per stack to the following:

+1 = 400 gp / 8 gp per shot
+2 = 1600 gp / 32 gp per shot
+3 = 3,600 gp / 72 gp per shot
+4 = 6,400 gp / 128 gp per shot
+5 = 10,000 gp / 200 gp per shot
Etc.

In fact, 1/10th the standard price might not be bad (half the listed prices above). They're just not very good. :P

Currently, the only real use I've found for magical ammunition in the current system is for use by NPCs, if they're tailored against certain threats. +1 human bane arrows and such are 160 gp per arrow. Mid-level NPCs can carry a few for shooting PCs. That's about it. Anything more is going backwards.


Bruunwald wrote:

You must not be a GM. Magical ammo is an ancient, classic tool for rounding out treasure hoards at low levels. A 1st-level character can't buy a +1 bow. But he'll covet that +1 arrow he found in the goblins' lair.

Now, given that, even if you think it's nerfy to buy those things, they still have to have a gp value assigned to them, so we GMs will be able to gauge the level of treasure we're handing out.

Now... thank Bruunwald, youngling. For, obviously, wise Bruunwald has been playing since before you were born.

It's a pretty god-awful gauge. An oil of magic weapon is 50 gp. A +1 arrow (singular) is 40 gp. Applying the oil to a bow results in 10 rounds worth of +1 arrows.


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The best things I can think of are:

1) Ammo can be shared. It might not be useful to have 50 flaming arrows. But a party of six characters and four henchmen with five flaming arrows each? Might be exactly what you need.

2) Versatility. In something like PFS games, where today might be giant vermin, and tomorrow is outsiders; where today is a balanced party, and tomorrow you are playing up, it can be nice to double stack the bonuses.

In a game where bad guys = CR appropriate for party, it's not as much of a big deal.

*special material ammo, on the other hand, is 100% worth it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

If you really, really have to kill something dead, being able to throw +19 worth of bonuses at it can be rather quickly fatal.

And as someone else noted, spreading out the Giant Bane arrows to multiple archers is effectively giving them a +5 weapon against a powerful enemy. If they all open up at once, well, that's quickly going to be some dead giants.

==Aelryinth

Shadow Lodge

+3 flaming bow and +1 corrosive arrows. The +'s don't stack but the corrosive and flaming do.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Kingmaker related spoiler.

Spoiler:

Wasn't someone just posting a couple of weeks ago that bane ammo completely wrecked the fight at the end of Kingmaker, rendering it a one-rounder? I know the GM screwed up there by not starting initiative while the bad guy was far away, but it really stacked up.

If I play an archer, you better believe I'm going to have a couple of all the particularly nasty types of bane arrow handy. Dragon, outsider (evil), construct, and undead at least. If I can't buy less than 50, I'll buy 50 and sell back the extras. To me, it's worth the expense.

Edit: Also, a few magic arrows, especially bane or other properties, are worth more in a horde than as buyable equipment. They may not want to buy whole stacks of them, and they're not valuable enough to bother selling in many cases, as someone mentioned, so the party is likely to keep it just in case.

But then, I'm used to playing in campaigns where there isn't a MagiMart in every town selling at least 75% of the things I happen to want.


I figured the magical ammo was for when you need a shot that does something you couldn't afford to do all the time. Maybe you don't have 2000 GP for a +1 bow and you are about to fight some kind of ghost, so you by half a dozen arrows and hope for the best.


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There's one advantage.

Say you have a +3 Seeking Speed Longbow. Thats a +7 enchantment on there. (It's just an example, it's perhaps not the best enchantment you can do)

Now you know you go up against a dragon soon.
You can now get a Dragon Bane enchantment on it. Not only does that cost you 30,000 gp, now your next enhancement will be even more expensive, and can only handle another +2 enhancement.

Instead you buy 50 +1 Dragon Bane arrows for 8,000 gp.
The +1 gets ignored but when you fire it you have a +3 Seeking Speed Dragon Bane Longbow. And once the dragon is dead you store the bane arrows incase you meet another dragon one day, and the bow is still at +7.

Qadira

Bruunwald wrote:
You must not be a GM.

Ew, rude.

Just because I question the rules, and the purpose they serve and you don't, please don't presume anything about me.


Sometimes you might need to pass a certain DR or have a certain ability such as flaming, but if it is only for one fight you don't want to add it to your ranged weapon permanently.

In short it still has situational uses.


Magical ammo use in PF according to RAW is so ridiculously situational that I've never seen anyone actually purchase magical ammo. All of the magical arrows my druid uses have been part of the loot of a defeated enemy. In some cases they have been useful, but, at least so far, they've never been worth the cost.

I agree that ammo would be much more usable if you got rid of the need for it to be +1 before you could put special enchants on it.

Even then, it's still pretty situational.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do blessed bolts still instakill a Rakasha?


I would very much like to see some of the 4e approach to ammo transferred to PF. Not the mechanics, where if you shoot ammo, you use only the ammo's enhancement bonuses, not the bow's, but the wide range of useful and cost-effective magical ammunition makes purchasing ammo a real advantage in game.

It's fairly cost-effective in 4e to build a "Green Arrow" or "Hawkeye" type character. And they are quite a bit of fun to play.

Andoran

Seraphimpunk wrote:

Besides to waste the gold of any player willing to buy it?

So what's the point? Why have magic ammunition in the first place?

To put on enhancements that cannot be put on ranged weapons, like Ghost Touch. Weapon blanch ghost salt bypasses a lot of that, but specific Bane weapons, as discussed, and certain other types of nhancements you don't want/need all the time...

Axiomatic for occasional use by the CG bowman, or Anarchic for the LG bowman, as examples.

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

and come on greater slaying arrows cost is 4,057 gold but a death save or 100 damage i would always have a dragon slaying or evil outsider slaying arrow they are very much worth it, and arrows are a nice way to stack some extra damage on your bow without having to pay for another magic addition to your bow.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Magical ammo use in PF according to RAW is so ridiculously situational that I've never seen anyone actually purchase magical ammo.

I think players tend to undervalue single-use items and/or overvalue multiple-use items. For instance, I've seen players who gladly paid 750 gp for a wand of Mage Armor that gets used half a dozen times who would be horrified by paying 300 gp for half a dozen potions of Mage Armor.

As alluded to by Quatar, for every enhancement, there's a break-even point where it's cheaper to buy magical arrows instead. To use his example of a +3 Seeking Speed Longbow, you'd have to use something like 13,000 gp worth of +1 Seeking arrows in your character's career to make it worthwhile adding the enhancement to your bow. That's about 80 arrows. So which is more cost effective? That depends on how much your GM likes to have fights with concealment.


hogarth wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Magical ammo use in PF according to RAW is so ridiculously situational that I've never seen anyone actually purchase magical ammo.

I think players tend to undervalue single-use items and/or overvalue multiple-use items. For instance, I've seen players who gladly paid 750 gp for a wand of Mage Armor that gets used half a dozen times who would be horrified by paying 300 gp for half a dozen potions of Mage Armor.

As alluded to by Quatar, for every enhancement, there's a break-even point where it's cheaper to buy magical arrows instead. To use his example of a +3 Seeking Speed Longbow, you'd have to use something like 13,000 gp worth of +1 Seeking arrows in your character's career to make it worthwhile adding the enhancement to your bow. That's about 80 arrows. So which is more cost effective? That depends on how much your GM likes to have fights with concealment.

I am very well aware of the economics of purchasing single-use items vs always-on magic items. My 4e ranger has a quiver jam-packed full of useful single-use magical arrows. 4e just has a much better approach to magical ammo than PF does.

I am also very aware of the likely use of a 50 charge item in the career of a typical adventurer.

However, my characters don't think that way. They don't think in terms of levels and campaigns and likely number of encounters before they retire. They typically think of their adventuring career the same way most people think of their own careers. It's a lifestyle choice, and as such, they want to buy things that make their lifestyle as sustainable as possible. Yes, that means they frequently make economic choices that don't make sense from an external character life-cycle perspective.

So while there are "break-even" points where it is cheaper to buy single-use items, my characters typically are not only not aware of them, but they just don't think that way in the first place.

You could probably prove that a typical homeownere could buy a bus pass and pay for cab fare and come out way, way cheaper in the long run compared to buying a new SUV... but they buy those SUVs anyway because they value the whole concept of the freedom from worry about having to deal with the single-use items.

I sorta play my characters the same way.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

I am very well aware of the economics of purchasing single-use items vs always-on magic items.

[..]

However, my characters don't think that way.

Wait -- how did you get from "ridiculously situational" to not being ridiculous but "my characters don't think that way"?


Generally if I use magic ammo, it's generally in the form of customized magic ammo; akin to the type in Baldur's Gate I & II. In essence, much like the sleep arrows or arrows of slaying. Special ammo that does stuff above and beyond the normal weapon enhancements.

Examples include...

Arrow of detonation: This +1 arrow releases a fireball (5d6, DC 14 reflex for half) in the space of the target. Aura Faint evocation; CL 5th; Slot none Market Price 646 gp (per arrow); Construction Craft Magic Arms & Armor, fireball; Cost 326 gp (per arrow)

Arrow of Dispelling: Creatures or objects hit by this +1 arrow are affected as if targeted by a greater dispel magic spell (CL 15th). Aura strong abjuration; CL 15th; Slot none Market Price 3,646 gp (per arrow); Construction Craft Magic Arms & Armor, greater dispel magic; Cost 1,826 gp (per arrow)

Arrow of Piercing: This +1 arrow drives itself towards the target's vitals. Those hit by an arrow of piercing must make a DC 17 Fortitude save or suffer an additional 9 points of piercing damage. Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th; Slot none Market Price 1,846 gp (per arrow); Construction Craft Magic Arms & Armor, greater magic weapon; Cost 926 gp (per arrow)

Arrow of Biting: This +1 arrow hits an enemy and then begins devouring the life force of the creature. Creatures hit by an arrow of biting must make a DC 14 Fortitude save or take 4 points of Constitution bleed. Bleed can be stopped with a DC 15 heal check or by receiving magical healing. Aura faint necromancy; CL 5th; Slot none Market Price 646 gp (per arrow); Construction Craft Magic Arms & Armor, vampiric touch; Cost 326 gp (per arrow)


hogarth wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

I am very well aware of the economics of purchasing single-use items vs always-on magic items.

[..]

However, my characters don't think that way.

Wait -- how did you get from "ridiculously situational" to not being ridiculous but "my characters don't think that way"?

I think he was talking about consumable items in general, not merely ammunition. Many of us can see the benefits of a wand with 50 charges, but might prefer one with 5/day charges anyway, even though we could spam the 50 charge one more ferociously and still not run out.

Ammo is indeed horribly overpriced. It just is. It's really easy to talk about how much whupass you deliver with your +21 equivalent attacks, but the fact is that +13 and higher equivalent weapons are overly expensive and not very impressive for their cost. Most weapon enhancements are just plain bad at higher levels, and some of them (like speed) aren't very good on bows. It sounds good, theoretically, but then you look at the amount of arrows you go through, the cost of those arrows, and the benefit vs cost, and it quickly falters even on paper.

Example: Say I get some really sexy bow. a +1 merciful seeking distance holy bow. (+6 equivalent), then I pop Greater Magic Weapon to get me to +10 equivalent. Now the only arrows worth carrying are perhaps specific bane arrows (at 166 gp each). Maybe arrows enhanced with melee abilities (like bludgeoning disruption arrows, or ghost touch arrows), but the majority of them are kinda "meh". A +3 equivalent arrow is 360 gp per arrow. That's pretty expensive, given they come in stacks of 50 generally.

So what are you really going to pile onto the bow to make it look more attractive? Stuff like flaming or flaming burst is weaksauce, so you're flushing your money that way. That pretty much leaves more alignment arrows (which give you negative levels if you're not the right alignment) and bane arrows. Very underwhelming.

========================================================================
Also, just to throw shuriken at a hornet's nest. The core rulebook proves that Defending weapons merely have to be held. The holy (or other alignment) weapon enhancements connect holding and wielding weapons. It notes you take the negative level as long as you're holding it, and stop taking the negative levels when you are no longer wielding the weapon. :P


hogarth wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

I am very well aware of the economics of purchasing single-use items vs always-on magic items.

[..]

However, my characters don't think that way.

Wait -- how did you get from "ridiculously situational" to not being ridiculous but "my characters don't think that way"?

In my previous comment I was speaking in terms of game mechanics Hogarth. When you challenged that with an economics approach, that put the issue into the realm of player character actions because it is my player characters who decide how to spend their money. They choose to spend their money according to their view of the world. A view which doesn't include predicting the number of times they are likely to use a wand of force shield before they reach level 20, or before the game group breaks up.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Seraphimpunk wrote:

The only positive benefit , if you've got a projectile weapon, never a shuriken, is stacking properties, like a +1 holy bow firing +1 flaming arrows. But it's still throwing money down the drain for an extra d6 fire if you hit.

If you've got a shuriken, you're ALWAYS throwing money down the drain.

So what's the point? Why have magic ammunition in the first place?

I could understand the cost if magic ammo wasn't destroyed, if it were salvageable. Or if you could nick a little extra accuracy/damage , or if you NEEDED magic ammo to overcome DR. As is, it's such a waste.

Two words: Bane arrows.

You get your +X bow of awesomeness, and it dishes decent damage. Now add in a stack of arrows with bane properties for anything you might happen to meet. That's +2 to hit and +2d6+2 to damage on each and every hit, thank you very much indeed. Bane only costs a +1 enhancement's worth, so it's about 160gp per arrow and you can buy them individually. At high level, it's well worth it for any fighter to keep a few on them for those hard-to-reach targets. You can also add adamantine arrows, silver arrows, cold iron arrows...


Dabbler, bane arrows are one of the few Pathfinder magic ammo options that I have actually considered purchasing...


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Dabbler, bane arrows are one of the few Pathfinder magic ammo options that I have actually considered purchasing...

Yeah, I don't think bane ammo is enough to justify the cost of magic ammunition, since it's one enhancement out of 18 different enhancements, and is about the only one worth putting on arrows simply because it's only a +1 enhancement that's very good vs situational enemies.


Ashiel wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Dabbler, bane arrows are one of the few Pathfinder magic ammo options that I have actually considered purchasing...
Yeah, I don't think bane ammo is enough to justify the cost of magic ammunition, since it's one enhancement out of 18 different enhancements, and is about the only one worth putting on arrows simply because it's only a +1 enhancement that's very good vs situational enemies.

I don't think bane is worth buying at 50 arrows a pop, but if you can buy them at the 160g apiece and you know with absolute certainty that you are going to be fighting a specific creature, then they at least do enough damage and boost your to hit enough to justify spending that much gold. I really can't say the same about most other ammo.

(Important caveat. Even though I think they are justifiable, it is probably worth noting that no character of mine has ever actually bought any bane ammunition at least so far. There have been times though, when I wished I had.)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mine have! Always carry a couple of dragon-bane arrows for my composite bow, just in case. They always come in handy at some point, because dragons like to fly out of reach and dragon-bane arrows are cheaper than flying items. Giant-bane is also handy, because there are so many different kinds of giants they are bound to come in handy.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

An excellent point to it:

As a GM, I can give magical ammunition to NPCs so they can use it against the party, and since it's used up in the fight, I don't have to worry about them getting their hands on a magical bow above their wealth level.

Not all the options are there for the PCs' benefit.


Zahariel wrote:

An excellent point to it:

As a GM, I can give magical ammunition to NPCs so they can use it against the party, and since it's used up in the fight, I don't have to worry about them getting their hands on a magical bow above their wealth level.

Not all the options are there for the PCs' benefit.

I mentioned this a bit earlier. Thing is, it actually becomes prohibitive for NPCs as well. NPCs have far less WBL than PCs. Far, far less. An oil of magic weapon can be used by a PC to have a +1 bow for 10 rounds, and costs 50 gp. A single +1 arrow costs 46 gp. Which would you choose when you've only got 290 gp worth of equipment?

Let's try going a little higher though. Let's say 10th level. We can all agree that 10th level is pretty huge, right? I mean, you're a champion of champions by 10th level. A 10th level heroic NPC has 12,750 gp worth of equipment. Not just for weapons, but for all their equipment. That includes defensive items and situational items (such as consumables). A single +3 arrow costs 366 gp. An oil of greater magic weapon (CL 8th) costs 1,200 gp and lasts for 8 hours. Shooting 3 +3 arrows nearly exhausts the same amount of wealth as 1 oil; and the oil can be applied to your bow ahead of time and allows you to shoot +3 arrows all day long.

So what sort of ammo is kind of good for NPCs? Bane arrows like everyone else. That's about it. +2d6 damage on 1 attack is not worth 366 gp, which is about the best you're going to do with any of the holy, unholy, axiomatic or anarchic weapons; especially since you could simply miss and it's wasted.

NPCs get a lot of mileage out of consumables; but not ammo. Not ammo. -.-


MAgic ammo just seems too expensive. It is good to sell however.


doctor_wu wrote:
MAgic ammo just seems too expensive. It is good to sell however.

Not really any better to sell than anything else. Arguably worse. If you had its market price in trade goods, you'd be twice as rich. If your GM is one of those guys who won't accept that we're playing a game and wants you to find someone who wants to buy it rather than pawning it off in town, then you have to deal with the fact nobody wants +3 arrows.


Might be better than a whole ton of regular studded leather you can't carry back and is easier to carry with that high price.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
So what sort of ammo is kind of good for NPCs? Bane arrows like everyone else. That's about it. +2d6 damage on 1 attack is not worth 366 gp, which is about the best you're going to do with any of the holy, unholy, axiomatic or anarchic weapons; especially since you could simply miss and it's wasted.

I am not so sure. If you are a melee focussed character, you don't want to waste money on a magic bow. But you might, at some point need to use missile fire. Ten magic arrows are cheaper than a magic bow, and covers you for as much as you are likely to need at that level.

I agree that the oil is probably more useful to just get magic effects, but you have to spend a round applying it first. On the flip side, if you are the captain of the city guard and you know there could be a dragon threatening, equipping twenty of your best archers with a couple of dragon-bane arrows each is a worthwhile investment.


Dabbler wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
So what sort of ammo is kind of good for NPCs? Bane arrows like everyone else. That's about it. +2d6 damage on 1 attack is not worth 366 gp, which is about the best you're going to do with any of the holy, unholy, axiomatic or anarchic weapons; especially since you could simply miss and it's wasted.

I am not so sure. If you are a melee focussed character, you don't want to waste money on a magic bow. But you might, at some point need to use missile fire. Ten magic arrows are cheaper than a magic bow, and covers you for as much as you are likely to need at that level.

I agree that the oil is probably more useful to just get magic effects, but you have to spend a round applying it first. On the flip side, if you are the captain of the city guard and you know there could be a dragon threatening, equipping twenty of your best archers with a couple of dragon-bane arrows each is a worthwhile investment.

Hence like I said. With the exception of bane arrows, they're grossly overpriced. Melee focused characters are stupid not to have a dedicated bow. All you need to be good with a bow is a good strength, fair dex, and strong BAB. Even with a Dex penalty, on a martial character you're a fool to not at least carry one so you can try to hit something at a distance (your BAB alone helps a lot).

Heck, you can buy an oil for 2,250 gp that makes one of your weapons a +5 weapon for 15 hours. Now that is a sexy option for NPCs. :P


The benefit, or potential benefit I should say, is that it allows you to be more flexible and adaptable to the various opponents that you come across. Much like a golfer has different clubs to switch to depending on the situation. Cheaply you can have a number of different alignment types, energy types, bane properties, etc that you can switch to depending on the opponent. I think of it as being like the archer superheroes in comics (eg: Hawkeye & Green Arrow) and how they have a few different special arrows. Thats why it exists and should exist. Much more expensive to do this with non-ammunition.

Most players don't take advantage of that, but thats probably more to do with players tending to make either melee types or spellcasters in my experience (20+ years playing and GM'ing). Its not worth the investment for non-archer/xbow focused characters leaving magical ammunition to be left to random loot pick ups. Same with things like Javelin of Lightning and Elixir of Fire Breath. No one buys them at "Ye'old Magic Shop", but they're typically happy to use one if its picked up in random loot (up until about level 6).

I should say that the Slayer arrow goes alright too.


BQ, the Green Arrow concept is one I enjoy, and my 4e ranger does exactly that. Because in 4e ammo is reasonably priced and there is a veritable cornucopia of magical ammo effects that do lots of really tactically empowering things, such as immobilizing, dazing, pinning or even stunning or knocking opponents prone. You can use ammo in 4e to teleport yourself or an enemy. You can cancel auras or dispel spell effects. You can create zones of different types... and of course you can do all of the limited damage enhancing effects that PF allows. It really does feel like Green Arrow when my turn comes and I look at my pile of ammo cards and decide which one to use.

In PF the ammo options are extremely limited in the first place, and even within the tiny set of options available, many are just variations of alignment or energy effects. There's really not much variation at all, and adding a d6 for 160g per arrow is not a very effective way to spend gold.

Ammo could be done right, but the current PF ammo options are just pathetic.


AD, per shot its not good bang for buck, but it is in that your archer can have arrows covering all energy and alignment types, compared to the swordsman who has just the one (maybe two) magical blade with one energy type and/or alignment type.

The archer is still doing additional damage to the fire immune creature as well as the cold immune creature. That flexibility is a genuine benefit and advantage.

But I do agree that 160gp for a one use additional d6 is too expensive. It's definitely overpriced, but I think the costs of all magical items is way overbloated and should be reduced.

As a GM I tend to put more consumables like ammunition in the loot as I don't see players buying them unless really gearing up for a extremely tough encounter.


Beware +1 returning arrows. ;-)


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Beware +1 returning arrows. ;-)

Heh... but actually returning arrows aren't that bad of an idea. They return to the square shot from and fall into your hand. That's just about perfect actually...


They're only valuable when found as loot. Either because they'll be useful, or as a lighter weight way to transport money.

If you're a GM and want to give the players a hint about what to prepare for, 10-15 arrows of Bane [blank] is a good hint. Plus if you know the party melee fighter is going to have a tough time in the next fight due to DR or range issues, it can be a good way to give him an alternate choice of actions (assuming there isn't an archer who will automatically take them).

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