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Repeating Crossbows and Special Ammunition


Rules Questions


Is there anything stopping someone from putting special ammunition like Fire Bolts, Acid bolts or even Drow poison bolts into the clip of a repeating crossbow(heavy or light)? Is there any ruling on replacing the normal bolts with Fire, Acid or Drow poison bolts? The character in question will be a Pathfinder Society character and I would like to make sure that I do not break the rules.


PrinceDogWaterIII wrote:
Is there anything stopping someone from putting special ammunition like Fire Bolts, Acid bolts or even Drow poison bolts into the clip of a repeating crossbow(heavy or light)? Is there any ruling on replacing the normal bolts with Fire, Acid or Drow poison bolts? The character in question will be a Pathfinder Society character and I would like to make sure that I do not break the rules.

I don't think repeating crossbow bolts are the same as normal crossbow bolts. They're twice as expensive and twice as heavy.

One could argue that is because the bolts come in a case, instead of a quiver, but it's not really clear.


So there is no ruling either way about this subject? Most likely since all the cool people using firearms or bows this will never be answered.

Next question, is a Repeating Crossbow a type of crossbow or its own type? Rapid reload mentions, light/heavy crossbows but nothing about repeating. After searching through the forum it seems that it's not RAW to be able to take rapid reload with the Repeating Crossbow.


PrinceDogWaterIII wrote:
is a Repeating Crossbow a type of crossbow or its own type? Rapid reload mentions, light/heavy crossbows but nothing about repeating. After searching through the forum it seems that it's not RAW to be able to take rapid reload with the Repeating Crossbow.

Pretty much. Lots of people say you can use Crossbow Mastery to reload the repeater, even though you don't get to use the AoO part.


Can you wield a large crossbow? Does this increase the amount of 'hands' needed to wield it making it unwieldable by medium creatures or do you only take the -2 for size difference? I believe that will be my last question for this Society character, thank you Grick for taking the time to answer my questions!


PrinceDogWaterIII wrote:
Can you wield a large crossbow? Does this increase the amount of 'hands' needed to wield it making it unwieldable by medium creatures or do you only take the -2 for size difference?

The rules aren't clear. Most people consider them two-handed weapons, but they do say they can be fired with one hand. You'll probably find a lot of table variation on this, especially if a GM learns about it on the fly. ("Wait, you're doing what, now?")


What is the RAW on wielding a large Bastard sword in two hands(with exotic weapon prof)? I remember if somewhere someone saying(very reliable right?) if there is no ruling on it use something similar.


Actually I don't think you can use a large crossbow as a Medium character.

To use a large Bastard sword you need EWP do to it being a Two-Handed Martial weapon to begin with.


PrinceDogWaterIII wrote:
What is the RAW on wielding a large Bastard sword in two hands(with exotic weapon prof)? I remember if somewhere someone saying(very reliable right?) if there is no ruling on it use something similar.

A bastard sword is a one-handed weapon. As long as you're proficient with it, you can wield it that way. A large bastard sword acts like a two-handed weapon for a medium proficient wielder.

Amiri, the iconic barbarian, wields a large bastard sword. (Edit: In the story. In her statblock it's a normal greatsword. Boo.)


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Grick wrote:
PrinceDogWaterIII wrote:
What is the RAW on wielding a large Bastard sword in two hands(with exotic weapon prof)? I remember if somewhere someone saying(very reliable right?) if there is no ruling on it use something similar.

A bastard sword is a one-handed weapon. As long as you're proficient with it, you can wield it that way. A large bastard sword acts like a two-handed weapon for a medium proficient wielder.

Amiri, the iconic barbarian, wields a large bastard sword. (Edit: In the story. In her statblock it's a normal greatsword. Boo.)

That's not what I see in her statblock. Where is this Greatsword Amiri?


It depends on where the Stat Block is from.


As folks have noted, our iconic barbarian Amiri does this exact thing; she uses a Large bastard sword she got from a dead giant as her primary weapon. The ONLY way that she can wield such a weapon is by using it two-handed as an exotic weapon—thus, she has to have the Exotic Weapon (bastard sword) feat, and even then suffers a –2 penalty to attack rolls with it. Part of her story flavor is that she "can only properly wield the sword when she's raging" (as in, the +2 bonus to hit she gets cancels out her –2 penalty for wielding an oversized weapon).

If she didn't have the Exotic Weapon (bastard sword) feat, she can only use the weapon as a two handed weapon. Medium creatures simply cannot properly wield Large two handed weapons, so without the feat, she could CARRRY the sword but she couldn't use it.


If you can wield a crossbow in one hand(which you can) does this mean you can wield a large version with the negatives from inappropriate sized weapons? It would seems so if you can wield the weapon in one hand normally.


PrinceDogWaterIII wrote:
If you can wield a crossbow in one hand(which you can) does this mean you can wield a large version with the negatives from inappropriate sized weapons? It would seems so if you can wield the weapon in one hand normally.

Using it one-handed is a special feature of the crossbow But it still classifies as Two-Handed to be able to use properly. After all wielding it one handed does invoke penalties (IIRC).


Crossbow, Heavy::
You draw a heavy crossbow back by
turning a small winch. Loading a heavy crossbow is a fullround
action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
Normally, operating a heavy crossbow requires two hands.
However, you can shoot, but not load, a heavy crossbow with
one hand at a –4 penalty on attack rolls. You can shoot a
heavy crossbow with each hand, but you take a penalty on
attack rolls as if attacking with two one-handed weapons
(see page 202). This penalty is cumulative with the penalty
for one-handed firing.

Crossbow, Repeating::
The repeating crossbow (whether
heavy or light) holds 5 crossbow bolts. As long as it holds
bolts, you can reload it by pulling the reloading lever (a free
action). Loading a new case of 5 bolts is a full-round action
that provokes attacks of opportunity.
You can fire a repeating crossbow with one hand or fire
a repeating crossbow in each hand in the same manner as
you would a normal crossbow of the same size. However,
you must fire the weapon with two hands in order to use
the reloading lever, and you must use two hands to load a
new case of bolts.

Here is the relevant text for Crossbows. It does make me quite sad seeing how firearms and bows just seem to outpace all Crossbows. Firearms have their own rules for inappropriate sized weapons, you just suffer -2 per size category difference. It just seems like Crossbows are by the way side now.


Actually Firearms have been Errata'd IIRC.

The wording is meant to keep a Medium Human from using a Small musket as a pistol.


What I meant to say is that you still need two hands to fire a firearm but you can easily get one size category higher since ALL firearms require only two hands to fire.

Inappropriately Sized Firearms::
You cannot make optimum use of a firearm that is not properly sized for you. A cumulative –2 penalty applies on attack rolls for each size category of difference between your size and the size of the firearm. If you are not proficient with the firearm, a –4 nonproficiency penalty also applies. The size of a firearm never affects how many hands you need to use to shoot it, the exception being siege firearms and Large or larger creatures. In most cases, a Large or larger creature can use a siege firearm as a two-handed firearm, but the creature takes a –4 penalty for using it this way because of its awkwardness.


A Medium character can't use a Large 2H Firearm. A Small character can't use a Medium 2H Firearm.

I believe it was a blog post that said this. Can't find the page Though.

It is also on the d20pfsrd Firearm page.

EDIT: it is in the F.A.Q. it is the second entry under Mastering Combat.


I feel silly for not looking at the right of the screen while on the d20pfsrd. So going back to the first question, is there no rules of special ammunition for crossbows? I don't see anything stopping me from spending more gold and just replacing the bolts that go to the repeating crossbow.


It really depends on the GM...

I personally would make it to where you have to buy them especially for your crossbow.

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