The Crossbow Thread


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I've been seeing allot of threads springing up about crossbows recently. With that in mind I thought it might be fun to have one thread devoted entirely to the use of crossbows for various purposes. This discussion should also include ammo or crossbow accessories. To start things off, let me post an idea I've been pondering that includes both a crossbow and variant crossbow bolts.

I've been reading up on my various Pathfinder products again recently and something came to mind that I found highly amusing to say the least. This would be effectively a Double Barrel shotgun in crossbow form.

Using alchemical archery from Elves of Golarion would allow you to make Splintercloud Bolts. Take those and add them to the Double Crossbow from the PFCS... and BAM! Now, this brings to mind several questions...

1- Does firing two Splintercloud bolts at once up the damage to 2d3?

2- Should it require one or two saves?

3- Can you add extra damage to this using weapon specialization, deadly aim, fighter weapon training, or point blank shot?


Something that is almost required... would be for you to pick up Crossbow mastery to use with your double crossbow. Being able to fire those two bolts every round is rather useful.

The Double Crossbow does not have any art attached to it in the PFCS book. I'm kinda curious what it looks like. Are there two tracks for bolts sitting side by side that are fired by the same string? My thinking from the description that, YES, this is the case. What if the double crossbow is covered to prevent the bolts from falling out? Would it be mechanically silly to have a hinged "break" in the crossbow that you load the bolts into? (Kinda like a double barrel shotgun)

What would a covered double crossbow look like?


Can a crossbow fire a bolt that can "break" the sound barrier?

Considering that under D&D physics all actions occur during 6 seconds makes for some fun effects sometimes. For example...

My favored sniping weapon for D&D outside of a firearm in the proper setting would be a Great Crossbow. Properly "tooled" you can make extremely long range shots and deal a serious amount of damage.

Starting with a Great Crossbow from Races of Stone as the base, you can modify the weapon with the mundane Long-Range weapon property from the Master's Forge article in Dragon #385. This adds 20 ft. to the range increment of the weapon for a total of 140 ft. Adding the distance weapon enhancement to the weapon doubles that range increment, to a total of 280 ft.

Paizo did get rid of some additional ranged attack sillyness by modifying the Far shot feat. (A nice change as reduced penalties are always good.)

Ok, so our sniping weapon now has a range increment of 280 feet. You can fire out to a range of 10 increments. This allows you to fire a bolt that travels 2800 feet in six seconds, or roughly 466 ft. per second.

As a little bit of google-fu informs me that the speed of sound is not a "set" thing but based on air density and other variables, it does tend to make narrowing down how fast our crossbow bolt would need to travel to become supersonic a little hard. Yet, the basic concept that the farther the bolt travels in a single round, the faster it moves to reach its target, is rather a fun thought.

To hopefully ensure your bolt would achieve supersonic flight, I'd suggest three levels in the Cragtop Archer PrC. At 3rd level you gain an ability called "Arching Shot" that allows you to fire your weapon out to 15 range increments given proper overhead clearance.

This would allow our bolt to travel at a blistering 4200 feet in one round... or 700 ft. per second.


Lokie wrote:

I've been seeing allot of threads springing up about crossbows recently. With that in mind I thought it might be fun to have one thread devoted entirely to the use of crossbows for various purposes. This discussion should also include ammo or crossbow accessories. To start things off, let me post an idea I've been pondering that includes both a crossbow and variant crossbow bolts.

One idea that sprung during the playtest was the Mighty crossbow, where you could add your STR to the damage, much as it works for a composite bow. The cost would be way higher, as it is a simple weapon, in part, and the strength would be necessary for the loading.

DW

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Lokie wrote:
This would allow our bolt to travel at a blistering 4200 feet in one round... or 700 ft. per second.

Not quite there yet... Speed of Sound.


riatin wrote:
Lokie wrote:
This would allow our bolt to travel at a blistering 4200 feet in one round... or 700 ft. per second.
Not quite there yet... Speed of Sound.

Hmmm... what would be the difference at say... 1000ft above sea level?

My basic understanding is that sound travels through the vibration of air molecules, so less molecules = slower travel correct?

So given the cragtop archer firing down from the top of a mountain... what would the difference be with thinner mountain air?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Lokie wrote:
riatin wrote:
Lokie wrote:
This would allow our bolt to travel at a blistering 4200 feet in one round... or 700 ft. per second.
Not quite there yet... Speed of Sound.

Hmmm... what would be the difference at say... 1000ft above sea level?

My basic understanding is that sound travels through the vibration of air molecules, so less molecules = slower travel correct?

So given the cragtop archer firing down from the top of a mountain... what would the difference be with thinner mountain air?

Take the input of 745.5 mph at sea level and the further info that SoS at 35,000 ft is 585 mph, a difference of 156.5 mph and you can determine that every foot above sea level is equal to .0045 mph decrease in necessary speed or every 1000 ft of altitude decreases the SoS by 4.4 mph.

So, at 100ft altitude it would be 740.1 mph required to break the sound barrier or 1085 ft/s. This is all assuming constant temperature. Also, math is not my strong point so if there are mistakes, please feel free to correct.


riatin wrote:
Lokie wrote:
riatin wrote:
Lokie wrote:
This would allow our bolt to travel at a blistering 4200 feet in one round... or 700 ft. per second.
Not quite there yet... Speed of Sound.

Hmmm... what would be the difference at say... 1000ft above sea level?

My basic understanding is that sound travels through the vibration of air molecules, so less molecules = slower travel correct?

So given the cragtop archer firing down from the top of a mountain... what would the difference be with thinner mountain air?

Take the input of 745.5 mph at sea level and the further info that SoS at 35,000 ft is 585 mph, a difference of 156.5 mph and you can determine that every foot above sea level is equal to .0045 mph decrease in necessary speed or every 1000 ft of altitude decreases the SoS by 4.4 mph.

So, at 100ft altitude it would be 740.1 mph required to break the sound barrier or 1085 ft/s. This is all assuming constant temperature. Also, math is not my strong point so if there are mistakes, please feel free to correct.

Grasp of most math is decidedly poor myself... so you are more than likely better off than me on that account.

So... maybe if our archer was waaaay up on a mountain this could be possible. I cannot think of any ways off the top of my head to increase the range increment further. Still a fun thought exercise though.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lokie wrote:

Can a crossbow fire a bolt that can "break" the sound barrier?

Considering that under D&D physics all actions occur during 6 seconds makes for some fun effects sometimes. For example...

My favored sniping weapon for D&D outside of a firearm in the proper setting would be a Great Crossbow. Properly "tooled" you can make extremely long range shots and deal a serious amount of damage.

Starting with a Great Crossbow from Races of Stone as the base, you can modify the weapon with the mundane Long-Range weapon property from the Master's Forge article in Dragon #385. This adds 20 ft. to the range increment of the weapon for a total of 140 ft. Adding the distance weapon enhancement to the weapon doubles that range increment, to a total of 280 ft.

Paizo did get rid of some additional ranged attack sillyness by modifying the Far shot feat. (A nice change as reduced penalties are always good.)

Ok, so our sniping weapon now has a range increment of 280 feet. You can fire out to a range of 10 increments. This allows you to fire a bolt that travels 2800 feet in six seconds, or roughly 466 ft. per second.

As a little bit of google-fu informs me that the speed of sound is not a "set" thing but based on air density and other variables, it does tend to make narrowing down how fast our crossbow bolt would need to travel to become supersonic a little hard. Yet, the basic concept that the farther the bolt travels in a single round, the faster it moves to reach its target, is rather a fun thought.

To hopefully ensure your bolt would achieve supersonic flight, I'd suggest three levels in the Cragtop Archer PrC. At 3rd level you gain an ability called "Arching Shot" that allows you to fire your weapon out to 15 range increments given proper overhead clearance.

This would allow our bolt to travel at a blistering 4200 feet in one round... or 700 ft. per second.

Well it doesn't have to be six seconds now does it? Technically the bolt is fired and the hit resolved in a single standard action, a standard action eats up what? 3 seconds? 4? If 3 seconds your arching shot comes out to about 954.55 miles per hour, definately a sonic boom behind that bolt.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Kolokotroni wrote:
Lokie wrote:

Can a crossbow fire a bolt that can "break" the sound barrier?

Considering that under D&D physics all actions occur during 6 seconds makes for some fun effects sometimes. For example...

My favored sniping weapon for D&D outside of a firearm in the proper setting would be a Great Crossbow. Properly "tooled" you can make extremely long range shots and deal a serious amount of damage.

Starting with a Great Crossbow from Races of Stone as the base, you can modify the weapon with the mundane Long-Range weapon property from the Master's Forge article in Dragon #385. This adds 20 ft. to the range increment of the weapon for a total of 140 ft. Adding the distance weapon enhancement to the weapon doubles that range increment, to a total of 280 ft.

Paizo did get rid of some additional ranged attack sillyness by modifying the Far shot feat. (A nice change as reduced penalties are always good.)

Ok, so our sniping weapon now has a range increment of 280 feet. You can fire out to a range of 10 increments. This allows you to fire a bolt that travels 2800 feet in six seconds, or roughly 466 ft. per second.

As a little bit of google-fu informs me that the speed of sound is not a "set" thing but based on air density and other variables, it does tend to make narrowing down how fast our crossbow bolt would need to travel to become supersonic a little hard. Yet, the basic concept that the farther the bolt travels in a single round, the faster it moves to reach its target, is rather a fun thought.

To hopefully ensure your bolt would achieve supersonic flight, I'd suggest three levels in the Cragtop Archer PrC. At 3rd level you gain an ability called "Arching Shot" that allows you to fire your weapon out to 15 range increments given proper overhead clearance.

This would allow our bolt to travel at a blistering 4200 feet in one round... or 700 ft. per second.

Well it doesn't have to be six seconds now does it? Technically the bolt is fired and the hit resolved in a single standard...

But a round is considered to be 6 seconds, not 3 seconds and this is an obvious point where the round system breaks down and cannot model realtime realistically. The smallest unit of actual time measured by the game is 1 round, the time it takes to swing a sword and hit and the time it takes to fire a bolt 4200 ft is equivalent, the round isnt an accurate model, but it suffices in most cases for simplicity and fun.

Lokie, maybe looking at the rules for ballista and catapults would get you closer? I think they fire further.


One thing to note. Although these extreme ranges are achievable, that does not mean you can see your target without some form of visual enhancement.

Standard DC for a perception check to notice a visible opponent is 0 -1/10 feet of distance. Staying just within the 280 feet of the first range increment gives us a DC 28 to perceive the target we are aiming at. Two increments would double that to a DC 56 perception check.

Another reason why the Cragtop Archer is my preferred sniping PrC is the fact that they gain "Far Sight" as a class feature. This reduces the DC for perceived targets at range to -1 every 20 feet instead. So, our Cragtop Archer would only have a DC 28 perception check to notice his target at two range increments while his target would have very little chance of spotting him in return at the normal DC of 56 for that range.


riatin wrote:
Lokie, maybe looking at the rules for ballista and catapults would get you closer? I think they fire further.

True... a ballista is a very large crossbow after all. However that does tend to still break the flavor of the thread.

If we simply want to break the sound barrier your average monk can do that on a run with the proper set-up and could potentially out-run our bolt in the same six seconds. But thats outside the scope of this thread.


How about a listing of crossbows...

Hand Crossbow (PFRPG)
Light Crossbow (PFRPG)
Heavy Crossbow (PFRPG)

Great Crossbow (Races of Stone)

Repeating Light Crossbow (PFRPG)
Repeating Heavy Crossbow (PFRPG)

Double Crossbow (Hand, Light, and Heavy) <<Here>>
Double Crossbow (PFCS)

Hand Crossbow, Covered (3.0 Song and Silence)

Did I miss any?


Dreaming Warforged wrote:


One idea that sprung during the playtest was the Mighty crossbow, where you could add your STR to the damage, much as it works for a composite bow. The cost would be way higher, as it is a simple weapon, in part, and the strength would be necessary for the loading.

DW

Since the crossbow is a mechanical device, often loaded mechanically, the STR of its user has a low impact on its efficiency; that's partially the point of crossbows.

But expanding on the principle that crossbows are mechanical device loaded mechanically, there could be a way to squeeze a "mechanical bonus" to damage somewhere.

With the RAW, we are assuming that the 1d10 worth of damage that the heaviest (portable) crossbow offers the most tension for the available technology. I think that this is a case where increase in quality (masterwork) could convey a bonus to damage.

I could see how a masterwork cranequin, or a "mighty cranequin" could load a mighty crossbow, giving a +X mechanical bonus to damage. A feat to operate such a thing (effectively making it an exotic weapon) could be necessary if we are afraid of wizards dealing 1d10+2...


I have been thinking of a shoulder mounted crossbow lately, for whatever reason, essentially the crossbow equivalent to a rocket launcher. Don't know if that bears any resemblance to the dwarven great crossbow, as I have never really taken a look at races of stone.

I do remember that there was a homunculus variant for Eberron that was essentially a crossbow construct that sat on your shoulder and fired at your enemies, while you do other things.

I could definitely see mechanical advances providing a bonus to damage, as a masterwork crossbow might employ more powerful coil springs, able to store more energy, along with a more elaborate cranking mechanism that provides more leverage (or torq?)

Then of course there are always specialty quarrels to consider. Hmmmm don't know if this is "easy" or cost effective but exploding quarrels might be good. Alchemist fire quarrels maybe? Tagglefoot quarrels?

What about quarrels enchanted with a spell effects? Perhaps this would require a meta magic of some kind, but I was just thinking of a line of crossbowmen employing quarrels that cast grease on their target. That's a fairly cheap spell. or color spray? or sleep?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Many of the cross bows used in history could not be loaded by hand. A mechanical crank was commonly used for the heaviest crossbows. Heavy crossbows of the original D&D rules could only be fired every 3 rounds.

The original authors were all old time war gamers and they were very conscious of how long it took to fire a crossbow. They also gave them significant bonuses versus heavy armors but those rules were very cumbersome and were some of the first dropped when they moved to AD&D.


Man, I should have thought of this before, but it would be neat to see a "folding" crossbow, just for style points.

Edit- or perhaps some crossbow items, like perhaps a dwarvish crossbow/shields


riatin wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
Lokie wrote:

Can a crossbow fire a bolt that can "break" the sound barrier?

Considering that under D&D physics all actions occur during 6 seconds makes for some fun effects sometimes. For example...

My favored sniping weapon for D&D outside of a firearm in the proper setting would be a Great Crossbow. Properly "tooled" you can make extremely long range shots and deal a serious amount of damage.

Starting with a Great Crossbow from Races of Stone as the base, you can modify the weapon with the mundane Long-Range weapon property from the Master's Forge article in Dragon #385. This adds 20 ft. to the range increment of the weapon for a total of 140 ft. Adding the distance weapon enhancement to the weapon doubles that range increment, to a total of 280 ft.

Paizo did get rid of some additional ranged attack sillyness by modifying the Far shot feat. (A nice change as reduced penalties are always good.)

Ok, so our sniping weapon now has a range increment of 280 feet. You can fire out to a range of 10 increments. This allows you to fire a bolt that travels 2800 feet in six seconds, or roughly 466 ft. per second.

As a little bit of google-fu informs me that the speed of sound is not a "set" thing but based on air density and other variables, it does tend to make narrowing down how fast our crossbow bolt would need to travel to become supersonic a little hard. Yet, the basic concept that the farther the bolt travels in a single round, the faster it moves to reach its target, is rather a fun thought.

To hopefully ensure your bolt would achieve supersonic flight, I'd suggest three levels in the Cragtop Archer PrC. At 3rd level you gain an ability called "Arching Shot" that allows you to fire your weapon out to 15 range increments given proper overhead clearance.

This would allow our bolt to travel at a blistering 4200 feet in one round... or 700 ft. per second.

Well it doesn't have to be six seconds now does it? Technically the bolt is fired and the hit resolved
...

Not quite a crossbow and don't have my math hat on but...if you were high level and used a longbow, would 4+ attacks (theoretically 1.5 seconds each, right?) offset the range decrease?

I'm excited to hear a sonic boom in my fantasy game!


Anburaid wrote:
I have been thinking of a shoulder mounted crossbow lately, for whatever reason, essentially the crossbow equivalent to a rocket launcher. Don't know if that bears any resemblance to the dwarven great crossbow, as I have never really taken a look at races of stone.

Just curious, are referring to a weapon that sits on a shoulder to be fired, say, like a modern RPG? Or more like a weapon you hold at your hip but is slung from your shoulder (or a harness over your shoulder) like those two big guns that Drake and Vasquez used in Aliens?

Because, if its the first, then your soldier will be decapitated by the string and/or the steel bow itself, since those are actual moving parts (unless you make it so tall that the moving parts go over the wielder's head while the stock is still sitting on his shoulder - note that most ballistae aren't that tall through the stock, so some special engineering is needed here).

But the second version, where butt end of the stock sits at the wielder's hip and it is mounted on a harness and somehow slung from his shoulder, now that would be cool.

Make it a repeater and suddenly our bad-boy has his own little minigun capable of rapid-firing javelins all over the battlefield...


riatin wrote:


Take the input of 745.5 mph at sea level and the further info that SoS at 35,000 ft is 585 mph, a difference of 156.5 mph and you can determine that every foot above sea level is equal to .0045 mph decrease in necessary speed or every 1000 ft of altitude decreases the SoS by 4.4 mph.

So, at 100ft altitude it would be 740.1 mph required to break the sound barrier or 1085 ft/s. This is all assuming constant temperature. Also, math is not my strong point so if there are mistakes, please feel free to correct.

c²=C²/p²

where
c = speed of sound
C = modulus of elasticity
p = density of medium

The density of air is dependent on the amount of air above it, in addition to its compressibility and temperature. Because air is very compressible, it gets denser much more quickly. Therefore, the relationship is very much non-linear, but exponential.

C is also affected by temperature and pressure, just to make things more convoluted.


cmaczkow wrote:


Not quite a crossbow and don't have my math hat on but...if you were high level and used a longbow, would 4+ attacks (theoretically 1.5 seconds each, right?) offset the range decrease?

I'm excited to hear a sonic boom in my fantasy game!

You're making the incorrect assumption that by firing several volleys in quick succession means that you make your ammunition magically transport themselves to their target faster, which is grossly incorrect.

Throw a rock straight up in the air.

Throw 5 rocks straight up in the air, in quick succession using the same amount of force.

I don't think those rocks are going to come back down 5x faster than the first one did.


Lokie wrote:

Can a crossbow fire a bolt that can "break" the sound barrier?

No, it cannot. In addition to the other reasons, it's because the arms of the bow cannot break the sound barrier. The bolt cannot fly faster than the arms of the bow propel it. And the bolt immediately starts losing energy and speed once it leaves the acceleration of the bow.

As for a sonic boom . . . that character cracking a whip? Yeah, that's a miniature sonic boom.


Quote:
The bolt cannot fly faster than the arms of the bow propel it.

I believe you are referring to the bowstring there.

Which typically moves much further than the arms of the crossbow in the same amount of time.


Lokie wrote:
This would allow our bolt to travel at a blistering 4200 feet in one round... or 700 ft. per second.

You have another problem... even with the superhuman athletes that are D&D characters, vision/targeting unassisted after 300 yards would be ridiculously difficult. (Reference is specifically 'human-sized' targets)

4200ft. = 1400 yards, 3+ times what a 'common' US Army infantryman is trained for using on a typical M16A1 or M60. Yes, I know realism is not particularly WHAT we're talking about, but I'd seriously have a problem with you being able to even see a humanoid that far, let alone target it... UNASSISTED that is.

- Goggles of the Eagle with an additional "X,XXX gp" zoom feature?
- Scope of the Eagle?

I think there was a scope in the 3.0 Arms & Equipment Guide, but I'm pretty sure it didn't get 1400 yards. :D


Consider that a crossbow bolt reaches its target in 1/20th of a round (.3 seconds), that mean a D&D crossbow bolt from a Cragtop Archer is traveling approximately 12,600 feet a second, or 8,590 mph. :)


Oh, let's not forget this little gem from the Campaign Setting:

Crossbow Mastery
You can load crossbows with blinding speed and even fire
them in melee with little fear of reprisal.
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Reload,
Rapid Shot.
Benefit: The time required for you to reload any type of
crossbow is reduced to a free action, regardless of the type
of crossbow used. You can fire a crossbow as many times in
a full attack action as you could attack if you were using a
bow. Reloading a crossbow for the type of crossbow you chose
when you took Rapid Reload no longer provokes attacks of
opportunity.
Special: A fighter may select Crossbow Mastery as one of his
fighter bonus feats. A ranger may select Crossbow Mastery in
place of Manyshot for his improved combat style at 6th level.

Maybe you've seen it, but I thought I'd put it up here for anyone who doesn't have the book.


Daniel Moyer wrote:
Lokie wrote:
This would allow our bolt to travel at a blistering 4200 feet in one round... or 700 ft. per second.

You have another problem... even with the superhuman athletes that are D&D characters, vision/targeting unassisted after 300 yards would be ridiculously difficult. (Reference is specifically 'human-sized' targets)

4200ft. = 1400 yards, 3+ times what a 'common' US Army infantryman is trained for using on a typical M16A1 or M60. Yes, I know realism is not particularly WHAT we're talking about, but I'd seriously have a problem with you being able to even see a humanoid that far, let alone target it... UNASSISTED that is.

- Goggles of the Eagle with an additional "X,XXX gp" zoom feature?
- Scope of the Eagle?

I think there was a scope in the 3.0 Arms & Equipment Guide, but I'm pretty sure it didn't get 1400 yards. :D

See my post above for the actual spot DC's for the first two range increments.

Cragtop Archers get their perception penalties reduced by half for distance. I myself would most likely spend a couple feats on Shape Soulmeld (Keeneye Lenses) and Bonus Essentia. Eventually it'd allow a +8 bonus on perception (visual) checks once your level was high enough. Any bonus to perception is effectively giving you distance on your shot. For a Cragtop Archer this is equal to 20 feet per bonus point on perception.

The "scopes" you speak of are the Gnomish Sights. They allow you to fire at a minimum 3 increments with no penalty and 2 range increments less for anything greater.

Or you can do like my friend and defy all logic and let the enemy move out to max distance... and then roll a 20.


Doug's Workshop wrote:
Lokie wrote:

Can a crossbow fire a bolt that can "break" the sound barrier?

No, it cannot. In addition to the other reasons, it's because the arms of the bow cannot break the sound barrier. The bolt cannot fly faster than the arms of the bow propel it. And the bolt immediately starts losing energy and speed once it leaves the acceleration of the bow.

As for a sonic boom . . . that character cracking a whip? Yeah, that's a miniature sonic boom.

In real life... that is correct. However D&D physics allow for such strangeness as a fun thought exercise.


Takamonk wrote:
cmaczkow wrote:


Not quite a crossbow and don't have my math hat on but...if you were high level and used a longbow, would 4+ attacks (theoretically 1.5 seconds each, right?) offset the range decrease?

I'm excited to hear a sonic boom in my fantasy game!

You're making the incorrect assumption that by firing several volleys in quick succession means that you make your ammunition magically transport themselves to their target faster, which is grossly incorrect.

Throw a rock straight up in the air.

Throw 5 rocks straight up in the air, in quick succession using the same amount of force.

I don't think those rocks are going to come back down 5x faster than the first one did.

This is also where the D&D physics allow for some strangeness. In some game worlds (depending on a DM ruling) this might be true. Otherwise assuming you are firing off two shots, one at a arch & another straight, so that they reach the target at roughly the same time much as real life archers would do. If you watch around a table however, I'd agree that each shot is usually tallied and the damage dealt, before the next shot is fired.


DM_Blake wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
I have been thinking of a shoulder mounted crossbow lately, for whatever reason, essentially the crossbow equivalent to a rocket launcher. Don't know if that bears any resemblance to the dwarven great crossbow, as I have never really taken a look at races of stone.

Just curious, are referring to a weapon that sits on a shoulder to be fired, say, like a modern RPG? Or more like a weapon you hold at your hip but is slung from your shoulder (or a harness over your shoulder) like those two big guns that Drake and Vasquez used in Aliens?

Because, if its the first, then your soldier will be decapitated by the string and/or the steel bow itself, since those are actual moving parts (unless you make it so tall that the moving parts go over the wielder's head while the stock is still sitting on his shoulder - note that most ballistae aren't that tall through the stock, so some special engineering is needed here).

But the second version, where butt end of the stock sits at the wielder's hip and it is mounted on a harness and somehow slung from his shoulder, now that would be cool.

Make it a repeater and suddenly our bad-boy has his own little minigun capable of rapid-firing javelins all over the battlefield...

As he mentioned the homunculi sitting on his shoulder... I'd assume he actually means shoulder mounted. I did see a magic item in a 4.0 eberron teaser that worked that way for warforged. Ultimately, the idea I think is to get a crossbow that is "hands free" that works like the shoulder mounted blaster the predator uses.


Anburaid wrote:

Man, I should have thought of this before, but it would be neat to see a "folding" crossbow, just for style points.

Edit- or perhaps some crossbow items, like perhaps a dwarvish crossbow/shields

A "folding" crossbow is easy enough to do magically. You just need to add the Hideaway magic item property from the Magic Item Compendium. For a mere 2,000 gp you to can speak a word and have your crossbow fold up.


Laurefindel wrote:
Dreaming Warforged wrote:


One idea that sprung during the playtest was the Mighty crossbow, where you could add your STR to the damage, much as it works for a composite bow. The cost would be way higher, as it is a simple weapon, in part, and the strength would be necessary for the loading.

DW

Since the crossbow is a mechanical device, often loaded mechanically, the STR of its user has a low impact on its efficiency; that's partially the point of crossbows.

But expanding on the principle that crossbows are mechanical device loaded mechanically, there could be a way to squeeze a "mechanical bonus" to damage somewhere.

With the RAW, we are assuming that the 1d10 worth of damage that the heaviest (portable) crossbow offers the most tension for the available technology. I think that this is a case where increase in quality (masterwork) could convey a bonus to damage.

I could see how a masterwork cranequin, or a "mighty cranequin" could load a mighty crossbow, giving a +X mechanical bonus to damage. A feat to operate such a thing (effectively making it an exotic weapon) could be necessary if we are afraid of wizards dealing 1d10+2...

This would require some impressive clockworks or gearing to accomplish. As most heavy crossbows already require a crank to draw the weapon, you'd be looking at finding a way to store more energy in the weapon. Stronger materials in the arms of the crossbow... or perhaps swapping to some sort of compressed spring system. In the case of compressed springs, a stronger individual could potentially compress the springs more, thus storing more energy, than a weaker individual.


Dave Young 992 wrote:

Oh, let's not forget this little gem from the Campaign Setting:

Crossbow Mastery
You can load crossbows with blinding speed and even fire
them in melee with little fear of reprisal.
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Reload,
Rapid Shot.
Benefit: The time required for you to reload any type of
crossbow is reduced to a free action, regardless of the type
of crossbow used. You can fire a crossbow as many times in
a full attack action as you could attack if you were using a
bow. Reloading a crossbow for the type of crossbow you chose
when you took Rapid Reload no longer provokes attacks of
opportunity.
Special: A fighter may select Crossbow Mastery as one of his
fighter bonus feats. A ranger may select Crossbow Mastery in
place of Manyshot for his improved combat style at 6th level.

Maybe you've seen it, but I thought I'd put it up here for anyone who doesn't have the book.

I mentioned Crossbow Mastery in passing in my second post. However, thanks kindly for posting it for everyones review. :)


Lokie wrote:


This would require some impressive clockworks or gearing to accomplish. As most heavy crossbows already require a crank to draw the weapon, you'd be looking at finding a way to store more energy in the weapon. Stronger materials in the arms of the crossbow... or perhaps swapping to some sort of compressed spring system. In the case of compressed springs, a stronger individual could potentially compress the springs more, thus storing more energy, than a weaker individual.

But that's what a cranequin is.

Assuming metals with better resilience than iron exist (adamantine comes to mind) and engineering is a science that is available to the setting (it even has its own skill), I can't see why this shouldn't be possible.

'findel


Then mechanically rule-wise...

You'd need only add the pricing for Composite Bows to Crossbows and you'd have your "Mighty" Crossbows.


Lokie wrote:
Takamonk wrote:
cmaczkow wrote:


Not quite a crossbow and don't have my math hat on but...if you were high level and used a longbow, would 4+ attacks (theoretically 1.5 seconds each, right?) offset the range decrease?

I'm excited to hear a sonic boom in my fantasy game!

You're making the incorrect assumption that by firing several volleys in quick succession means that you make your ammunition magically transport themselves to their target faster, which is grossly incorrect.

Throw a rock straight up in the air.

Throw 5 rocks straight up in the air, in quick succession using the same amount of force.

I don't think those rocks are going to come back down 5x faster than the first one did.

This is also where the D&D physics allow for some strangeness. In some game worlds (depending on a DM ruling) this might be true. Otherwise assuming you are firing off two shots, one at a arch & another straight, so that they reach the target at roughly the same time much as real life archers would do. If you watch around a table however, I'd agree that each shot is usually tallied and the damage dealt, before the next shot is fired.

Exactly what I was thinking. Since you can switch targets, the implication is that you get to see the result of each attack before making the next one, which means that they don't occur concurrently.

I did gap out the whip-as-sonic-boom though. Doh!


cmaczkow wrote:
Lokie wrote:
Takamonk wrote:
cmaczkow wrote:


Not quite a crossbow and don't have my math hat on but...if you were high level and used a longbow, would 4+ attacks (theoretically 1.5 seconds each, right?) offset the range decrease?

I'm excited to hear a sonic boom in my fantasy game!

You're making the incorrect assumption that by firing several volleys in quick succession means that you make your ammunition magically transport themselves to their target faster, which is grossly incorrect.

Throw a rock straight up in the air.

Throw 5 rocks straight up in the air, in quick succession using the same amount of force.

I don't think those rocks are going to come back down 5x faster than the first one did.

This is also where the D&D physics allow for some strangeness. In some game worlds (depending on a DM ruling) this might be true. Otherwise assuming you are firing off two shots, one at a arch & another straight, so that they reach the target at roughly the same time much as real life archers would do. If you watch around a table however, I'd agree that each shot is usually tallied and the damage dealt, before the next shot is fired.

Exactly what I was thinking. Since you can switch targets, the implication is that you get to see the result of each attack before making the next one, which means that they don't occur concurrently.

I did gap out the whip-as-sonic-boom though. Doh!

Its fun how variable D&D physics can be. Kinda like quarks or something, they seem stable enough, but when you start to look at them real close like...


So... pointing back to my first post. I'm wanting to make the "double barreled crossbow" idea feasible and legal.

"Dang kids get off my pro-per-tay!"

So, using the Splintercloud alchemical additive as bolts, how would other DM's rule on this.

Firing two splintercloud bolts or arrows at once against the same target would give you overlapping 5 foot bursts of bone shards that deal 1d3 points of damage each with a reflex save DC 18 negating the damage.

I'm assuming the target would need to make two reflex saves to avoid all the shards?

Also, would a fighter with weapon specialization and weapon training in crossbows or bows be able to add his extra damage to those bursts?

How about deadly aim?

Dark Archive

Lokie wrote:
Are there two tracks for bolts sitting side by side that are fired by the same string? My thinking from the description that, YES, this is the case.

Unless the string had some sort of funky attachment in the center, that wouldn't work. The string, pulled back, makes a V shape. Two bolts nocked into that same V would fly in different directions (and do crap all for damage, as the projectile would be flung at a useless angle, even if it didn't tumble off the string uncontrollably).

A flat strip of something solid, with a raised ridge to slide into the grooves on the back of the bolts (where the string normally goes) would be needed to slot both bolts into place on a single flat surface, which would accelerate both bolts straight ahead at the same time.

It would be far more mechanically workable for a double crossbow to just look like a double-decker bus, one stacked on top of the other. There might even be a complicated double-trigger mechanism, allowing the user to fire one bolt, or both bolts (which would not be an option with the wonky version above, as the single string-with-attachment would propel both bolts when released).

A 'strongbow' would have some sort of crank on the underside (to stay out of the way of the string), or a 'goat's foot' mechanism allowing the weapon to be torqued up by a stronger user. To take advantage of a higher strength score, you might need extra time to 'crank it up.' Perhaps your full strength score would require a full-round action for a single bolt, while you can use half your strength score (round down) as a move action to load.


the full round/standard action calculations don't work because firing a crossbolt also requires time to aim etc. So one more reason why there will be no breaking sound barriers.

Interesting topic (forumwise) though, I might introduce that doublebarreled alchemical shotg.. crossbow :D


Brass Pigeon wrote:

the full round/standard action calculations don't work because firing a crossbolt also requires time to aim etc. So one more reason why there will be no breaking sound barriers.

Interesting topic (forumwise) though, I might introduce that doublebarreled alchemical shotg.. crossbow :D

Well... falling under the 6 second round... if you add in time for aiming then you are actually decreasing the amount of time in the round that the bolt would have to travel to the target. Thus... raising the speed the bolt must travel to reach its target.

If we account for allowing in multiple shots... and the shots hitting before another shot is fired... and aiming on each shot taking some time... our bolts are only speeding up. :)

EDIT: I can easily see that cranky old commoner with a a level in fighter from his days as a soldier sitting on his porch with a rocking chair... and his double crossbow.


DOH major math/physics fail hehe.

Dark Archive

Lokie wrote:
EDIT: I can easily see that cranky old commoner with a a level in fighter from his days as a soldier sitting on his porch with a rocking chair... and his double crossbow.

"This old thing? No sirrah, it's fer those darned gophers! Varmints, digging up my lawn..."


Set wrote:
Lokie wrote:
EDIT: I can easily see that cranky old commoner with a a level in fighter from his days as a soldier sitting on his porch with a rocking chair... and his double crossbow.

"This old thing? No sirrah, it's fer those darned gophers! Varmints, digging up my lawn..."

And boy-o-boy... those dire gophers can dig!


Set wrote:
Lokie wrote:
Are there two tracks for bolts sitting side by side that are fired by the same string? My thinking from the description that, YES, this is the case.

Unless the string had some sort of funky attachment in the center, that wouldn't work. The string, pulled back, makes a V shape. Two bolts nocked into that same V would fly in different directions (and do crap all for damage, as the projectile would be flung at a useless angle, even if it didn't tumble off the string uncontrollably).

A flat strip of something solid, with a raised ridge to slide into the grooves on the back of the bolts (where the string normally goes) would be needed to slot both bolts into place on a single flat surface, which would accelerate both bolts straight ahead at the same time.

It would be far more mechanically workable for a double crossbow to just look like a double-decker bus, one stacked on top of the other. There might even be a complicated double-trigger mechanism, allowing the user to fire one bolt, or both bolts (which would not be an option with the wonky version above, as the single string-with-attachment would propel both bolts when released).

*snip*

As far as a double decker bus... in my crossbow list post a little further up... there is a link to the "kobold" version of a double crossbow that is basically just that.

Its just that the Pathfinder version didn't get quite as much descriptive text and can only fire "both barrels" as it were if the crossbow is fully loaded.

Now... if the PF version of a double crossbow had sort of a "shuttle" that both bolts fitted into and road down the track in the crossbow that the bowstring pushed... does that sound feasible?

Dark Archive

Lokie wrote:
Now... if the PF version of a double crossbow had sort of a "shuttle" that both bolts fitted into and road down the track in the crossbow that the bowstring pushed... does that sound feasible?

Possibly, but the bolts would seem likely to lose a lot of energy to friction as they leave the shuttle. I think the 'double-decker' crossbow sounds the most feasible. (Barring magic or fantasy material such as a shuttle made of a skymetal that is naturally oily and self-lubricating, so that the bolts just slide right out without losing momentum.)

My favorite 'fantasy crossbow' is a mace-sized rod that uses a pair of cantrips. Devlin's Barb (from Monte's Book of Eldritch Might 1) which creates a single piece of non-magical, non-masterwork ammunition for 1 minute, and Launch Bolt (Spell Compendium, Magic of Faerun, etc) which fires said bit of ammunition. The 'crossbow' is a rod with a groove, in which the bolt appears, to be magically launched. It's 're-loaded' by flicking gesture (towards the ground, similar to how guns in video arcade games are 'reloaded'), and then pointed at the target and launched. The fancy versions have multiple grooves and can activate their cantrips as move-equivalent, swift or even free actions, allowing for multiple reloads and / or firings per round. In a tight situation, the rod can also be used as a light mace! Really fancy versions create masterwork ammunition, or even magical ammunition (and / or function as magical / masterwork maces).


Set wrote:
Lokie wrote:
Now... if the PF version of a double crossbow had sort of a "shuttle" that both bolts fitted into and road down the track in the crossbow that the bowstring pushed... does that sound feasible?

Possibly, but the bolts would seem likely to lose a lot of energy to friction as they leave the shuttle. I think the 'double-decker' crossbow sounds the most feasible. (Barring magic or fantasy material such as a shuttle made of a skymetal that is naturally oily and self-lubricating, so that the bolts just slide right out without losing momentum.)

My favorite 'fantasy crossbow' is a mace-sized rod that uses a pair of cantrips. Devlin's Barb (from Monte's Book of Eldritch Might 1) which creates a single piece of non-magical, non-masterwork ammunition for 1 minute, and Launch Bolt (Spell Compendium, Magic of Faerun, etc) which fires said bit of ammunition. The 'crossbow' is a rod with a groove, in which the bolt appears, to be magically launched. It's 're-loaded' by flicking gesture (towards the ground, similar to how guns in video arcade games are 'reloaded'), and then pointed at the target and launched. The fancy versions have multiple grooves and can activate their cantrips as move-equivalent, swift or even free actions, allowing for multiple reloads and / or firings per round. In a tight situation, the rod can also be used as a light mace! Really fancy versions create masterwork ammunition, or even magical ammunition (and / or function as magical / masterwork maces).

That is indeed a neat magic item. Launch Bolt could still be used to great effect. I'm actually thinking a Wand of Launch Bolt would be fairly inexpensive. Then all you need is some Durable Crossbow Bolts that would cost 7gp each.

The bolts would be a free action to draw... and then casting launch bolt from the wand would fire them off.

I wonder what the cost of getting a ring that allowed unlimited use of the launch bolt cantrip would be.


Scratch that... Casters get unlimited cantrips now. D'OH!


Lokie wrote:
This is also where the D&D physics allow for some strangeness. In some game worlds (depending on a DM ruling) this might be true. Otherwise assuming you are firing off two shots, one at a arch & another straight, so that they reach the target at roughly the same time much as real life archers would do. If you watch around a table however, I'd agree that each shot is usually tallied and the damage dealt, before the next shot is fired.

I think in my game, those arrows are going to take a full round to reach the enemy if it's more than triple your standard range. If you fire your volley one at a time, hoping to see that they fall, in my book, you're delaying.


Lokie wrote:

I'm actually thinking a Wand of Launch Bolt would be fairly inexpensive. Then all you need is some Durable Crossbow Bolts that would cost 7gp each.

The bolts would be a free action to draw... and then casting launch bolt from the wand would fire them off.

I wonder what the cost of getting a ring that allowed unlimited use of the launch bolt cantrip would be.

I've always deemed 'Launch Bolt' kind of lame, but a 'Wand of Launch Bolt' would be pretty damn cool actually. A quiver of bolts and a Wand of Launch Bolt' and you are relatively close to that shoulder cannon idea some are looking for. In the Magic Item Compendium there's a Wand-style that makes them unlimited charges, I forget the name/adjective used however... Eternal? Everlasting? They are pricey, but in this instance, maybe worthwhile.

Hmmm, 'constant effect rings' make me cry when I price them up, being a cantrip will likely make it a lot less painful though. Example being constant 'Enlarge Person' came out approx. 12,000+gp... while 'Boots of Spider Climb' are what, 2,500-5,000gp? Mind you that was awhile ago that I did that pricing, so it's not exact, I just remember being unhappy about it and pointing to 'CHEAPER constant effect -2nd level spell- items' with a pouty lip, lol.

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