Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Starfinder


Pathfinder Society


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

How can Ranged Combat even be feasible?


Advice

301 to 332 of 332 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge

Here's that build for ya Darksol.

Build:

Jeremy
Half-elf barbarian (urban barbarian) 3/gunslinger (bolt ace) 5 ( Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide 94, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 9, 31)
N Medium humanoid (elf, human)
Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +19
————— Defense —————
AC 23 (24 Raging), touch 17 (18 Raging), flat-footed 16 (+6 armor, +6 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 71 (8 HD; 5d10+3d12+24)
Fort +11, Ref +13, Will +8; +2 vs. enchantments, +2 trait bonus vs. illusion
Defensive Abilities nimble +1, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge;
Immune sleep
————— Offense —————
Speed 30 ft.
Ranged +1 seeking veering underwater heavy crossbow +11/+11/+6 (1d10+14/19-20/×3)
Ranged while Raging +1 seeking veering underwater heavy crossbow +13/+13/+8 (1d10+16/19-20/×3)
Special Attacks deeds (gunslinger initiative, gunslinger's dodge, pistol-whip, sharp shoot, shooter's resolve, vigilant loading), grit (3), rage (10 rounds/day), rage power (night vision)
————— Statistics —————
Str 9, Dex 22(26 Raging), Con 14, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 7
Base Atk +8; CMB +7; CMD 24
Feats Crossbow Mastery APG, Deadly Aim, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Skill Focus (Perception)
Traits adopted, armor expert, indomitable faith, skeptic, warrior of old
Skills Acrobatics +17, Climb +3, Knowledge (local) +11, Perception +19, Survival +12, Swim +3;
Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Common, Elven
SQ controlled rage, crossbow maven, crowd control, elf blood
Other Gear +1 nimble mithral agile breastplate APG, +1 seeking veering underwater heavy crossbow ARG, belt of incredible dexterity +2 , cloak of resistance +2
————— Special Abilities —————
Controlled Rage (Ex) May gain lesser bonus split as desired, but without normal drawbacks.
Crossbow Mastery (Underwater heavy crossbow) You can reload any crossbow as a free action. With your chosen crossbow type, this does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Crossbow Maven A bolt ace is proficient with all crossbows instead of all firearms and begins play with a masterwork crossbow of her choice. This ability alters the gunslinger's weapon proficiencies and replaces gunsmith.
Crowd Control +1 (Ex) If 2+ foes adjacent, +1 to hit & AC. Unslowed by crowds & bonus to intimidate.
Deadly Aim -3/+6 Trade a penalty to ranged attacks for a bonus to ranged damage.
Deeds Use Grit to perform special abilities with your firearms.
Elf Blood Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Grit (Ex) Gain a pool of points that are spent to fuel deeds, regained on firearm crit/killing blow.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in dim light, distinguishing color and detail.
Night Vision (Ex) While raging, you gain darkvision 60'.
Nimble +1 (Ex) +1 AC while wearing light or no armor. Point-Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into melee.
Rage (10 rounds/day) (Ex) +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 to Will saves, -2 to AC when enraged.
Rapid Reload (Underwater heavy crossbow) You can reload fast with one type of Crossbow or Firearm.
Rapid Shot You get an extra attack with ranged weapons. Each attack is at -2.
Trap Sense +1 (Ex) +1 bonus on reflex saves and AC against traps.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex) Retain DEX bonus to AC when flat-footed.

So with this build Concealment and Cover are hardly an issue as you have both veering and seeking on your crossbow, and they are certainly no more of an issue for you than any melee combatant.

Additionally, you have a free action reload for your crossbow and it does not provoke, so that helps big time in the case someone manages to get in melee with you. As for how to get out of their reach if they do get in melee with you, 5 ft steps if they have no reach and acrobatics if they do. The Urban Barbarian Levels give you a nice accuracy/damage boost that you should be able to use for at least 2 or 3 fights per day.

All in all, you have a effective ranged combatant (though not as effective as a longbow user) who can fairly easily negate concealment as well as cover (or at least reduce it) and who has more than a fair chance to hit and who hits for good damage for his level.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
dysartes wrote:
Gauss wrote:
Lets identify the problem: You are either shooting through cover OR you are taking an AoO when shooting.

Isn't the answer to the first one a class feature - Shooter's Resolve? I appreciate it is a Deed, and therefore Grit management is an issue, but ignoring cover and concealment (unless the total version of either) when you need to for 1 Grit seems handy.

As an aside, I see a lot of people saying to drop Gunslinger/Bolt Ace at level 5 - are the level 7 deeds for either not as good as they appear? Targeting alone seems to make it worthwhile.

No, Shooter's Resolve is not the answer, it is in fact almost completely useless.

Almost every ranged combat build requires full attacks for its DPR.
Shooter's Resolve negates that by requiring a standard action.


dysartes wrote:
Gauss wrote:
Lets identify the problem: You are either shooting through cover OR you are taking an AoO when shooting.

Isn't the answer to the first one a class feature - Shooter's Resolve? I appreciate it is a Deed, and therefore Grit management is an issue, but ignoring cover and concealment (unless the total version of either) when you need to for 1 Grit seems handy.

As an aside, I see a lot of people saying to drop Gunslinger/Bolt Ace at level 5 - are the level 7 deeds for either not as good as they appear? Targeting alone seems to make it worthwhile.

No, it's(targeting) not good enough for a two level wait. It's nice, but it is not that good. It is circumstantial because most of the time the gunslinger is better off just killing whatever he is fighting.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Here's that build for ya Darksol.

** spoiler omitted **...

The Veering enhancement only reduces soft cover/cover by 2. Considering you are spending +1attack/damage (+1 enhancement) to buy it you are still losing an effective 3 to attack (-1attack, +2cover) and also losing +1damage.

If he went Inquisitor 3/Bolt Ace 5/Slayer 1 it would give him solo tactics and Friendly Fire Maneuvers to shoot through allies without soft cover applying. At level 11 he can retrain the Inquisitor 3 to Slayer and go with Improved Precise Shot.
It comes with a -1 penalty to BAB for 3 levels, then retraining will negate that.
It is ugly, but it seems the simplest way to get the ability to ignore soft cover without waiting until Bolt Ace 5/Slayer 6 (or Bolt Ace 5/Fighter4).

Grand Lodge

Gauss wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Here's that build for ya Darksol.

** spoiler omitted **...

The Veering enhancement only reduces cover by 2, considering you are spending +1attack/damage (+1 enhancement) to buy it you are still losing an effective 3 to attack (-1attack, +2cover) and also losing +1damage.

I would go Inquisitor 3/Bolt Ace 5/Slayer 1 would give him solo tactics and the ability to shoot through allies without soft cover applying. At level 11 he can retrain the Inquisitor 3 to Slayer and go with Improved Precise Shot.

One of Darksol's chief complaints that came up throughout this thread was that improved precise shot took too long to get outside of playing something like a ranger that has early access to that. Considering that the build was only supposed to go to level 8 and not 11, veering and seeking make perfect sense and are honestly a valid choice regardless.

Additionally, with even slightly smart positioning you'll only be dealing with partial cover the majority of the time. Meaning that you completely negate it most of the time, and reduce it those few times you don't.

Feel free to stat out your Inquisitor/slayer version of the build of you want. I wasn't trying to create the most optimum build ever.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Gauss wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Here's that build for ya Darksol.

** spoiler omitted **...

The Veering enhancement only reduces cover by 2, considering you are spending +1attack/damage (+1 enhancement) to buy it you are still losing an effective 3 to attack (-1attack, +2cover) and also losing +1damage.

I would go Inquisitor 3/Bolt Ace 5/Slayer 1 would give him solo tactics and the ability to shoot through allies without soft cover applying. At level 11 he can retrain the Inquisitor 3 to Slayer and go with Improved Precise Shot.

One of Darksol's chief complaints that came up throughout this thread was that improved precise shot took too long to get outside of playing something like a ranger that has early access to that. Considering that the build was only supposed to go to level 8 and not 11, veering and seeking make perfect sense and are honestly a valid choice regardless.

Additionally, with even slightly smart positioning you'll only be dealing with partial cover the majority of the time. Meaning that you completely negate it most of the time, and reduce it those few times you don't.

I have not seen partial cover happen that often with medium creatures, the angles required are not common.

And with smart positioning and good teamwork this entire conversation is moot as there would be no cover issues at all. But it seems he is not getting that with his group.

As for level 8 vs 11, from what I understand the build is not being capped at 8, he has already pointed out what he is doing in future levels. It is just that he is currently at 8 and waiting until 11 to avoid AoOs or negate cover is too long a wait. Thus, my solution does work if retraining is an option.

Grand Lodge

Gauss wrote:

I have not seen partial cover happen that often with medium creatures, the angles required are not common.

And with smart positioning and good teamwork this entire conversation is moot as there would be no cover issues at all. But it seems he is not getting that with his group.

As for level 8 vs 11, from what I understand the build is not being capped at 8, he has already pointed out what he is doing in future levels. It is just that he is currently at 8 and waiting until 11 to avoid AoOs or negate cover is too long a wait. Thus, my solution does work if retraining is an option.

I see partial cover happen more so than any other type of cover. It's generally pretty easy to be able to see more than half your enemy in my experience. But your group may play differently with their positioning.

We weren't statting out builds for him to use on his current character. Just statting out a level 8 build for a boltace that met his criteria. And once again, one of the chief complaints has been dealing with cover/concealment before level 11. So yes, I dealt with that at level 8 as that was the specified range to work in rather than building to take Improved Precise Shot at 11.

Anyways, I'm off for the night. Will check in on this thread in the morning.


dysartes wrote:
Gauss wrote:
Lets identify the problem: You are either shooting through cover OR you are taking an AoO when shooting.

Isn't the answer to the first one a class feature - Shooter's Resolve? I appreciate it is a Deed, and therefore Grit management is an issue, but ignoring cover and concealment (unless the total version of either) when you need to for 1 Grit seems handy.

As an aside, I see a lot of people saying to drop Gunslinger/Bolt Ace at level 5 - are the level 7 deeds for either not as good as they appear? Targeting alone seems to make it worthwhile.

Gauss wrote:

No, Shooter's Resolve is not the answer, it is in fact almost completely useless.

Almost every ranged combat build requires full attacks for its DPR.
Shooter's Resolve negates that by requiring a standard action.

The math is that cover provides a +2 or +4 to AC and partial concealment provides a 20% miss chance. The Bolt Ace has a better chance of hitting by shooting two bolts against cover or concealment rather than shooting one bolt while ignoring cover or concealment. Except when the GM raises the AC of the opponent so high that an extra +2 to AC would make it almost impossible to hit.

If Darksol had not invested in Crossbow Mastery, then loading a heavy crossbow would take a move action and shooting would be a standard action and Shooter's Resolve requiring a standard action would be no problem. But he did invest.

Rapid Reload and Crossbow Mastery are the fastest way to massive damage with a crossbow. However, the grit pool can't keep up with the pace of shooting, and one-shot-per-turn deeds are too slow compared to a full attack. The pair of feats don't mix well with the Bolt Aces's class abilities. This weakens the class and forces Darksol to spend more feats to correct the weaknesses. I prefer a slow-firing build that maximizes the class abilities, but I am in a tiny minority.

wraithstrike wrote:
No, it's(targeting) not good enough for a two level wait. It's nice, but it is not that good. It is circumstantial because most of the time the gunslinger is better off just killing whatever he is fighting.

My wife's gunslinger's favorite deed is Targeting. However, she plays a battlefield control gunslinger rather than a high-damage gunslinger. She took the Experimental Gunsmith archetype that trades away Gun Training, which almost everyone here will say was a terrible choice, but it works for her gadgeteer character.

The higher levels of Nimble also gave her gunslinger the highest AC and touch AC in the party.

Nevertheless, these are minor benefits. More deeds and more gun training at higher levels don't help much because deeds are limited by a grit pool that does not grow with level, and a gunslinger typically relies on a single weapon. And other martial classes offer bonus feats as good as Gunslinger(Bolt Ace)'s bonus feats.


@ Chess Pwn:
We might as well drop this point and agree to disagree. In my opinion, Cookie Cutter options aren't (and shouldn't be) the only way to make something feasible. The only reason something is "Cookie Cutter" is because of how basic and mainstream it is, which is why Dervish Dance Magi are a Cookie Cutter build. It was the first way to get Dex to Damage while maintaining class features (Slashing Grace did this at one point, offering another avenue but was nerfed, which is why Dervish Dance is still mainstream today), and due to how basic and easy it was to make it work, with the unlikelihood of it being changed/nerfed into not working, it became Cookie Cutter.

To clarify, it's not that I think bows are bad (at this point anyway), it's that they're overrated/overpowered, and I really think it's unhealthy to make them a standard when everything else similar to its intended function (throwing and other projectile weapons) are trash in comparison. In short, it's the Bow/Ranged Combat disparity (and yes, I mean Bow and Ranged Combat as being two separate entities), and I'd rather not support the concept of yet another major disparity existing in this game.

To be fair, Clustered Shots wouldn't be that big of a help if I'm only hitting once per round, as Clustered Shots is only relevant if I hit more than once in a given round. If I was more optimal and scored more hits, it would've been a smarter choice. In this circumstance, it would be just as effective as if I didn't take the feat.

Extra Grit is a good feat, but I really only took it at 4th level because a feat to effectively double my Grit Points was more valuable than getting Crossbow Mastery at 4th level (which was easily possible). It was also because that bonus feat could be used for Grit feats, whereas my other bonus feats couldn't, so it was more of an opportunity cost later down the road. I can get more Grit points by having a Headband of Wisdom (though I'll probably have to buy it or wait a very long time due to having both a Warpriest and an Inquisitor in the same party).

As for Weapon Focus, it was removed because it was a de facto option that everyone took to get other options that required it as a feat; I don't think the GM was overly concerned with the +1 it gave (and to be honest, I don't blame him for that). Power Attack is only available for free to those who normally meet the requirements. No BAB +1 or 13 Strength means you can't Power Attack (and I don't have that level of Strength, which means I can't make use of Power Attack). Ironically enough, Combat Expertise is still required to be chosen, but it defeats the purpose since Combat Expertise, like Power Attack or Weapon Focus, is basically a feat tax, except worse.

@ Jurassic Pratt:
I might be wrong, but I think you have a 20 point buy there, when I believe I said 15 (which is both what we were given, and what the Rise of the Runelords AP recommended for player attributes). The 16 Dexterity costs 10 (which explains how you have +2 from race, +2 from leveling and +2 belt), the Wisdom costs 10, The Constitution costs 5, and between a -5 from dumped Strength and Charisma, you're at 20 points. You can lower Wisdom and/or Strength further to accommodate for a more identical to-hit bonus, but that is still a problem to be addressed.

@ Mathmuse:
An interesting note, Rapid Reload requires Rapid Shot, which means that even if I wanted to be more of a "control' type of character, Rapid Shot becomes a feat tax that I'd never or rarely use. So, going crossbow for flexibility similar to a bow inadvertently shoehorns you into a volleying type of character due to required feat selection

Sure, I could just take a Light Crossbow and ignore Rapid Reload, but like most martial characters, a full attack is necessary for proper and assumed DPR, and in certain instances (such as having no grit), I'd provoke for reloading and attacking, and in other instances, I would have to decide between moving (to maintain distance between the enemy) or reloading (to shoot as a standard action), and basically having dead rounds where I'm doing practically nothing in combat, which is horrible action economy in the higher levels (i.e. post-6th level).


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
** spoiler omitted **...

http://archivesofnethys.com/FeatDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Rapid%20Reload

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/rapid-reload-combat/

I don't think Rapid Reload does require Rapid Shot... at least, not to acquire it. Maybe to make really effective use of it though.


My mistake, it was Crossbow Mastery.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Darksol, pretty sure you didn't specify a point buy amount. The only thing I saw close to that was an RP limit on races. I went with 20 because that seems to be what most people play with in my experience.

Regardless, just lowering wisdom to 14 fixes the issue. You're not using grit that often on a bolt ace anyway. I'm honestly rather dissapoijted that your whole response to an effective crossbow build being presented was just "the pointbuy is too high".


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Unless you want the really extreme range increment (which it seems like you don't) the heavy crossbow is kind of a trap. Versus the light crossbow it's +1 average damage, and +40 feet of range, and two extra feats to make a free action reload. Rapid shot you'll probably take anyway, but if you go a light crossbow you can give up a bit of range and 1 damage and skip crossbow mastery entirely.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
To clarify, it's not that I think bows are bad (at this point anyway), it's that they're overrated/overpowered, and I really think it's unhealthy to make them a standard when everything else similar to its intended function (throwing and other projectile weapons) are trash in comparison. In short, it's the Bow/Ranged Combat disparity (and yes, I mean Bow and Ranged Combat as being two separate entities), and I'd rather not support the concept of yet another major disparity existing in this game.

See, this is where you're missing the point, thrown and crossbows AREN'T meant to fill the same role as the bow.

Thrown was designed/meant to be something that a melee guy does maybe if he can't reach his opponent but wants to move in at low levels or for your surprise round action to get an attack off before you can move in and attack.
Like seriously, you're throwing your weapon away, and the weapons have low range, this obviously wasn't intended to be a primary combat style that scales and stays competitive with bows.

slings are a free option meant as a way to ensure that all characters have a way to attack at the earliest of levels. Just grab some cloth and a rock off the ground and look now you can attack!

Crossbows as well are clearly able to be seen as not supposed to be considered a primary weapon, they take longer to reload and can't do as much bamage of a bow. they are something given to wizards meant as a back-up option for the wizard when unlimited cantrips weren't a thing and now as an alternative to cantrips.

these weapons aren't meant to be a primary weapon and thus aren't as good as the primary weapons.

again, look at melee, Where are your complaints that unarmed/armed disparity exists? Where are your complaints that the simple/martial disparity exists? Where are your complaints that the small/medium disparity exists?

Slings, thrown weapons and crossbows are to bows as what unarmed attacks, cestus and clubs are to falcata, falcions, and greatswords. Things that have a niche as a backup weapon for early levels that maybe with lots of investment and perhaps need certain specific class, can be made into an okay combat style.

Like this whole idea comes down to the SKR comment about water balloons as weapons. D&D and pathfinder due to inheritance had set ways to play the game. Ranged was to be done with a bow and the crossbow is inherently worse of a weapon than the bow (actual comment from him, a former DEV of the game). And then he said, in an alternate game all the weapons could be just as good, meaning a crossbowman will be as good as a bow user and a water balloon thrower can be just as good as well, since it's all just ranged attacks and a different flavor given to how the weapon looks, but that that's not the path that Pathfinder decided to go down. Pathfinder decided to say that your idea of creating a crossbow king would be harder and worse than creating a bow king because they wanted some weapons to be actually inferior options to other weapons.

Grand Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Unless you want the really extreme range increment (which it seems like you don't) the heavy crossbow is kind of a trap. Versus the light crossbow it's +1 average damage, and +40 feet of range, and two extra feats to make a free action reload. Rapid shot you'll probably take anyway, but if you go a light crossbow you can give up a bit of range and 1 damage and skip crossbow mastery entirely.

This is actually a really good idea. Do the same build I posted with a light crossbow instead and you could take clustered shots in place of Crossbow Mastery.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:
This is actually a really good idea. Do the same build I posted with a light crossbow instead and you could take clustered shots in place of Crossbow Mastery.

Yeah, +1 damage and +40 feet of range might be worth a feat when you've run out of important feats to take (something it takes fighters well into their career to do), but Crossbow Mastery is generally a bad idea on the front end unless you're trying to cheese something with the Minotaur Double Crossbow from that one book that doesn't have the clause that prevents reloading it from being a free action.


@ Chess Pwn:
If they aren't supposed to be for ranged combat like bows are, then what are they there for? To provide some trap options to fulfill some arbitrary "trap option quota" that the PDT feels has to be there to challenge the optimizers that play the game? Because that's really what you've demonstrated to me thus far, and if that's the case, then there never really could have been such a thing as "ranged combat" to begin with because it was never a niche that was created except in our own (or rather, my own) preconceived notion(s). Archery was created as a niche, not ranged combat.

So, I will now mandate all mentions of "Ranged Combat" to be changed to "Archery," otherwise I will refer to such people as heretics having badwrongfun and creating rules that were clearly not meant to exist.

As for melee, as you've stated prior, there is a lot more agnosticism to their design. You don't have to use a specific weapon or select a specific set of feats to make them work, and even if you do, there are a lot of different weapons that can cover the options you're looking for, instead of being restricted to a single weapon. Seriously, when Ranged Com-I mean, Archery, has only one good option, and the rest being absolute crap, whereas melee has numerous good options that fill multiple niches of multiple build choices, this just tells me that weapons used at a range are designed poorly, whereas melee weapons have much better design and thought put into their creation.

For Unarmed/Armed, there are numerous classes with archetypes that can make it work; Enlightened Paladins, Brawlers, Monks, Warpriests, even Ninjas can make it viable...And plenty of other classes and archetypes that I can't think of off the top of my head. While a disparity does exist in this case due to simple outscaling, the gap between this and weapons usable at a range is significantly less, and doesn't make the Unarmed options not viable.

For Simple/Martial, there are comparable options between them. Longspear is by and large one of the most popular and mainstream reach weapons in the game, beating out typical Martial reach weapons for its palatable application, and Exotic reach weapons are usually gated by a feat that many would find undeserving of expenditure. Either way, a choice between a Simple/Martial weapon won't make a big difference 90% of the time, which is about the difference between Martial/Exotic weaponry, and in that case the power gap is at an appropriate level.

Size doesn't really matter except in the case of acquiring loot that you can't technically wear by default (Small equipment for Medium characters, and vice-versa), as there have been numerous builds that demonstrated appropriately-sized weaponry making little to no difference except in the most extreme of circumstances (such as Size-abusing Vital Strike builds compared to Tiny-sized static bonus-abusing builds), and even then it's been proven that full attacks (even with Tiny size static bonus cheesing), in a general sense, are still superior, making size of little to no consequence in the grand scheme of killing things.

Compare that to every single Archery option in existence, and it's more akin to the Caster/Martial Disparity than any other weapon or combat style that ever existed in the game.

@ Jurassic Pratt:
That's my mistake on that then, I thought I said 15 Race and Point Buy, but oh well.

I only gave it a quick glance to determine build validity, which it mostly was. I don't know what you were expecting from me, but Gauss kind of hit the other points that I would have made, and others that I wouldn't have, of which are all valid. I don't necessarily agree with the whole "retraining" route, since that kills a lot of my gold, and I"m treasure-starved as it is, but from a more normalized standpoint, he isn't wrong with that claim.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

If they aren't supposed to be for ranged combat like bows are, then what are they there for? To provide some trap options to fulfill some arbitrary "trap option quota" that the PDT feels has to be there to challenge the optimizers that play the game? Because that's really what you've demonstrated to me thus far, and if that's the case, then there never really could have been such a thing as "ranged combat" to begin with because it was never a niche that was created except in our own (or rather, my own) preconceived notion(s). Archery was created as a niche, not ranged combat.

So, I will now mandate all mentions of "Ranged Combat" to be changed to "Archery," otherwise I will refer to such people as heretics having badwrongfun and creating rules that were clearly not meant to exist.

As for melee, as you've stated prior, there is a lot more agnosticism to their design. You don't have to use a specific weapon or select a specific set of feats to make them work, and even if you do, there are a lot of different weapons that can cover the options you're looking for, instead of being restricted to a single weapon. Seriously, when Ranged Com-I mean, Archery, has only one good option, and the rest being absolute crap, whereas melee has numerous good options that fill multiple niches of multiple build choices, this just tells me that weapons used at a range are designed poorly, whereas melee weapons have much better design and thought put into their creation.

For Unarmed/Armed, there are numerous classes with archetypes that can make it work; Enlightened Paladins, Brawlers, Monks, Warpriests, even Ninjas can make it viable...And plenty of other classes and archetypes that I can't think of off the top of my head. While a disparity does exist in this case due to simple outscaling, the gap between this and weapons usable at a range is significantly less, and doesn't make the Unarmed options not viable.

For Simple/Martial, there are comparable options between them. Longspear is by and large one of the most popular and mainstream reach weapons in the game, beating out typical Martial reach weapons for its palatable application, and Exotic reach weapons are usually gated by a feat that many would find undeserving of expenditure. Either way, a choice between a Simple/Martial weapon won't make a big difference 90% of the time, which is about the difference between Martial/Exotic weaponry, and in that case the power gap is at an appropriate level.

Size doesn't really matter except in the case of acquiring loot that you can't technically wear by default (Small equipment for Medium characters, and vice-versa), as there have been numerous builds that demonstrated appropriately-sized weaponry making little to no difference except in the most extreme of circumstances (such as Size-abusing Vital Strike builds compared to Tiny-sized static bonus-abusing builds), and even then it's been proven that full attacks (even with Tiny size static bonus cheesing), in a general sense, are still superior, making size of little to no consequence in the grand scheme of killing things.

Compare that to every single Archery option in existence, and it's more akin to the Caster/Martial Disparity than any other weapon or combat style that ever existed in the game.

I think you are missing the point.

Not all weapons are created equal.
Crossbows are simple weapons, they are there to give people who have low strength or no martial proficiency an ranged attack option where melee is not an option.

Thus, we get the following:
If you only have simple weapon proficiency and good strength (+2 and greater), you generally use a sling.
If you only have simple weapon proficiency and poor strength (+1 or less), you generally use a crossbow.
If you have martial weapon proficiency and poor strength (less than +0), you use a crossbow.
If you have martial weapon proficiency and good strength (+0 or greater), you use a bow.
(The above assumes you can afford a bow or crossbow, I usually start with a sling at first level with my martial builds.)

So, now we have weapons which are generally bad weapons to use, but are options for people who are unable to use the better weapon, a bow.

Then, Paizo makes archetypes that are built around a 'bad option'. Bolt Ace is one such example. It is built around crossbows which are generally a bad idea.

Bolt Ace turns crossbow use from a bad idea to a passable idea but only because of the dex to damage feature.
But, now you have ran into it's major drawback, it's inability to gain Manyshot and either Point Blank Master or Improved Precise Shot (before level 11). As a result it suffers for a long time.
Multiclassing doesn't generally help as that still delays your entry into either PBM (to level 9) or IPS (to level 11).

Just because archetypes are built around a weapon or other game feature does not make that archetype a good one.
In fact, I would say that about half of all the archetypes in the game are rarely used, if ever, because they are simply bad options.

In short, Crossbows and Slings are usually only an option until someone gets something better, or if they are limited in their weapon choices.


What about the launching crossbow with splash weapons and Int to damage? Super specific and probably garbage, but could it work? I'm asking anyone at this point, since this thread seems to be filled with people knowledgeable about ranged tactics.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mbertorch wrote:
What about the launching crossbow with splash weapons and Int to damage? Super specific and probably garbage, but could it work? I'm asking anyone at this point, since this thread seems to be filled with people knowledgeable about ranged tactics.

I've done this with a alchemist with Toxicant to add int damage poison + conditions and Full Pouch for an infinite supply of DC boosted alchemical weapons. Adding Focusing Flask's into the mix adds +2 dice and +4 DC to attacks. [best to make your own]


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
For Unarmed/Armed, there are numerous classes with archetypes that can make it work; Enlightened Paladins, Brawlers, Monks, Warpriests, even Ninjas can make it viable...And plenty of other classes and archetypes that I can't think of off the top of my head. While a disparity does exist in this case due to simple outscaling, the gap between this and weapons usable at a range is significantly less, and doesn't make the Unarmed options not viable.

Ah but you see, using your logic from earlier, the fact that it's so limited makes it a MONK STYLE and not a universal style.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
What's the point of referencing it being ranged combat when there's no point in anybody other than that class going that style of combat? You might as well just make it exclusive to Fighters because that sounds like it's the only class that would make use of it.

becuase there are classes that make thrown work, high level vigilante, fighters and classes that pretend to be fighters like WP, Magus and anyone that takes the pretend to be a fighter feat. Just like the monk and brawler and a few archetypes that pretend to be monks do for unarmed. Plus their star toss style that can do interesting things too. While the disparity with bows still exists due to simple outscaling, the gap between thrown and bows doesn't make thrown options not viable.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There are probably more classes/archetypes of classes that make throwing work (as in "be a viable option for someone playing that class") than there are that make blasting (as in expending spell slots to deal damage) work.

But if someone shows up and says "how can blasting be viable in Pathfinder" we'll accept answers like "Crossblooded sorcerer orc/dragon bloodline 1, Wizard/19, Admixture Evocation specialist" or "The Arcanist can be good at this" or "Have you considered the Kineticist? It's not a spellcaster but it kind of does this." We'll also consider "the Bloodrager is never going to be a decent blaster" to be a thing not worth quibbling about.

Sure, the power threshold for "average fighter" is a lot lower than "average wizard" but you knew that when you picked your class.


Chess Pwn wrote:
the gap between thrown and bows doesn't make thrown options not viable.

The gap between thrown and ranged has shrunk a bit with the ammo FAQ. Not needing to make sure each and every piece of ammo has the correct enchant bonus and/or material is a huge boon now. Add to that sharding and the new improvised options and even returning/ricochet/blinkback isn't a requirement anymore.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


** spoiler omitted **... @ The Raven Black: Hide
I'm curious how you could stay mounted in a lot of the winding halls and such that were present in that AP, which would make bringing a mount into certain areas impossible. Most of books 1 and 2 had winding halls and caverns, whereas the book we're currently in has less of them (though it still has its fair share). Were you small-sized, or was there some other sorcery at work?

You are right that my PC was at his most awesome when he was outside cramped quarters. Though other PCs insisted on being in harm's way even in the rather open field of a small town, which was a bit unnerving, especially at low levels with no Mount yet to quickly escape.

My archer had an OK CON but a rather low AC, making him something of a glass cannon.

We had two or three front liners which prevented most enemies from being able to reach him.

And when it was unfeasible to shoot, he would switch to his sword (thanks to having an OK Strength).

Of course, the Favored Enemy bonuses helped a lot with those Goblins, Ogres and Giants.

It was rare though that my PC could not make a 5ft step out of a threatened square and shoot without provoking as we cleared an area completely before exploring a new one, which greatly reduced the occurrence of having no space to maneuver out of reach.

And before 6th level (when he got Improved Precise Shot), he would still shoot, even if there was little chance to hit, rather than spend the whole round delaying.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Hi Darksol, I see there's been a lot of heated discussion, so I thought I'd throw out a quick bulleted summary of some issues/solutions now that we see your problem better:

  • You're short on attack roll bonuses by about +7 vs. where your build could have been in a more typical campaign. Part of this is also due to your GM imposing house rules and buffing monster ACs to compensate for your extra player. Based on your earlier numbers, monsters have 4 more AC than they should have. You're lacking a DEX belt. You aren't allowed to pick up weapon focus. Your multiclass combination lacks an easy way to increase your attack rolls (w/o 7 levels of slayer the studied target action economy is not great). Most of these things are things you cannot change.
  • Going crossbow means no manyshot, and manyshot is one of the primary ways that bow damage scaling gets out of hand (an extra full bab attack at no penalty is no joke). Correcting your build's DPR (including point blank, removing manyshot) leaves you at 20.38 DPR with an attack roll of +11/+11/+6. This assumes you aren't using your studied target, and assumes monster AC of 24, like before.
  • Right now, I'd focus on bringing that attack roll up. Based on the calcs, each +1 to your attack rolls is worth 3x as much as +1 to your damage rolls. A DEX belt is a no-brainer (+20% DPR), but its tough to get much else. Going first allows you to sneak attack a target (assuming they are flatfooted in round 1) and then apply studied target to them for an additional +1/+1 as an immediate action (for another +20% DPR on subsequent rounds). Therefore, Improved Initiative might be a worthwhile option.
  • Although I hate to say it, retraining slayer levels is by far the most attractive option. The Urban barbarian offered by Jurassic Pratt above gets access to more dex and retains good action economy. Add in the reckless abandon rage power to further increase your accuracy (the penalty to AC will hopefully be mitigated by being further away from the action). The rage bonus + the reckless abandon bonus bring you from 20.38 DPR to 33.11 DPR.
  • When attempting to execute a less optimized build like this one, it is important to stay focused. You want to make sure your primary fighting style is working well before trying to make a secondary style functional.


  • Mutagen mauler is another potentially interesting avenue for a Dex boost.


    Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
    Mutagen mauler is another potentially interesting avenue for a Dex boost.

    Savage Technologist works as a substitute for Urban barbarian and the strength boost helps if switch hitting is a must.


    graystone wrote:
    Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
    Mutagen mauler is another potentially interesting avenue for a Dex boost.
    Savage Technologist works as a substitute for Urban barbarian and the strength boost helps if switch hitting is a must.

    His current character is already quite invested and thus able to use his dex for hitting and damage already for switch hitting, He really is non reliant on str.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Chess Pwn wrote:
    graystone wrote:
    Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
    Mutagen mauler is another potentially interesting avenue for a Dex boost.
    Savage Technologist works as a substitute for Urban barbarian and the strength boost helps if switch hitting is a must.
    His current character is already quite invested and thus able to use his dex for hitting and damage already for switch hitting, He really is non reliant on str.

    I thought we were talking about alternate builds and not his current one. A build that gets a strength boost might not require spending the resources on empty quiver and could therefore spend that resource on being more effective in ranged combat.

    The challenge was "Must be able to deal with close quarters combat solo" not 'be as effective in close quarters as ranged'.


    graystone wrote:
    Chess Pwn wrote:
    graystone wrote:
    Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
    Mutagen mauler is another potentially interesting avenue for a Dex boost.
    Savage Technologist works as a substitute for Urban barbarian and the strength boost helps if switch hitting is a must.
    His current character is already quite invested and thus able to use his dex for hitting and damage already for switch hitting, He really is non reliant on str.

    I thought we were talking about alternate builds and not his current one. A build that gets a strength boost might not require spending the resources on empty quiver and could therefore spend that resource on being more effective in ranged combat.

    The challenge was "Must be able to deal with close quarters combat solo" not 'be as effective in close quarters as ranged'.

    I think the current part is options for his current guy, which is to retrain slayer to urban barb.

    For a full character yeah, there's lots of options, and if I'm mistaken about what the current then your advice is good.

    But I believe cellion was saying how to help him currently where urban barb was mentioned, and then c durgon threw in that getting a dex mutagen could help, (though at only 10 per level it depends on the campaign how often that could be up before fights)


    Chess Pwn: Okie dokie. We seem to have read cellion post differently. However, I think that even it modifying the existing character, it'd be relevant.
    Crossbow Training adds dex damage [not replace].
    Empty Quiver Style allows melee attacks if crossbow was a heavy mace
    Empty Quiver Flexibility allows ranged abilities to work in melee attack.

    The crossbow would still deal str damage [as a heavy mace], and he could 2 hand it, so that +4 str from rage could add 2 or 3 damage.

    Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Removed some posts and replies. When debating rules and gameplay on our forums, you need to remain polite and respectful of other community members. If you do not wish to engage in a specific discussion in good faith or if you feel someone else is not engaging in good faith, move along to another thread or create your own. If you choose to engage, you need to do so in a manner that helps maintain a friendly and welcoming environment for our community.

    301 to 332 of 332 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
    Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / How can Ranged Combat even be feasible? All Messageboards

    Want to post a reply? Sign in.

    ©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
    Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

    Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.