The Crossbow Thread


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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A Man In Black wrote:
Lokie wrote:

Hmm... true... I had not included manyshot in my calculations. That feat is highly unbalancing as it effectively gives the archer a free shot.

Though... Manyshot is "weak" vs. DR as both arrows have DR applied against each. The higher the DR, the more overall damage it would sap from the unprepared archer. Against hard targets with DR... a vital striking crossbow user does have a slight advantage as it would only apply once. A DR 5/- creature would knock 10 points of damage off of Bob's 31 while only subtracting 5 from Cary's 27. A DR 10/- would knock off 20 points off of Bob's 31 while only subtracting 10 from Cary's 27. A DR 15/- would practically negate Bob's damage and leave Cary with a still hefty 12 points.

Not huge... but still something.

Archers have the least problem with DR, due to the ability to switch ammo, and you're going to find that many arrows is still more damage than a single arrow against level-appropriate DR.

I did say the "unprepared archer". Again... past those first several shots, my at table experience tells me those "many arrows" will miss more often than not and that against DR types the archer is not prepared for, those arrows will deal less damage.

I've also noticed that these damage averages that everyone tosses around are also not the norm at table. This because the majority of the dice out there do not roll that statistically average. Rarely have I see a group of gamers that are all carrying precision dice. (That is to say Never) Ever wonder why gamers tend to collect "lucky" dice over the years?

Overall though I'm beginning to suspect you just hate crossbows. :p (For clarification I'm just being snarky)


Laurefindel wrote:
Lokie wrote:


Although the math might say "crossbows just plain suck compared to bows" I personally still prefer being able to fire one shot and outright kill a target from damage over having to fire multiple times.

Yes, I agree with that part...

And yes, having bows and crossbows identical after two feats was an exaggeration. I just meant that I would prefer an approach would make crossbows mechanically distinct from bows.

'findel

I agree... its just really hard to come up with a fairly simple mechanic that everyone will agree upon.

I think the rules that exist right now can potentially work, they just need a few additional tweaks to get them there.

One tweak would be to add a penalty for Multishot. 'Cause I'm sorry, but firing two arrows against the same target for "free" is just abusive.


Laurefindel wrote:

I have a 'conceptual' issue with fast-action crossbows. I think that high rate of fire should stay the domain of the bow, and that high damage, armor penetration and ease of aim should be the crossbow's advantages over bows.

What about the people who dual wield hand-crossbows like pistols? This technique is totally dependent on the rapid rate of fire.


Shadow13.com wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

I have a 'conceptual' issue with fast-action crossbows. I think that high rate of fire should stay the domain of the bow, and that high damage, armor penetration and ease of aim should be the crossbow's advantages over bows.

What about the people who dual wield hand-crossbows like pistols? This technique is totally dependent on the rapid rate of fire.

That's cool, and so would be the double crossbow for that matter. It would provide more shot 'upfront' but double-up loading time. The 'cool factor' of double-wielding hand crossbows alone would be worth it!


Laurefindel wrote:
Shadow13.com wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

I have a 'conceptual' issue with fast-action crossbows. I think that high rate of fire should stay the domain of the bow, and that high damage, armor penetration and ease of aim should be the crossbow's advantages over bows.

What about the people who dual wield hand-crossbows like pistols? This technique is totally dependent on the rapid rate of fire.
That's cool, and so would be the double crossbow for that matter. It would provide more shot 'upfront' but double-up loading time. The 'cool factor' of double-wielding hand crossbows alone would be worth it!

Its a shame that you pretty much have to carry a supply of covered/pre-loaded hand crossbows to use this technique. It was hashed out pretty thoroughly in another thread that there is very little way to actually fire and load two hand crossbows. Even quick-loading or repeating crossbows still need one hand free to load the weapon as a free action. For this to work... you'd pretty much need two Repeating Crossbows that have had Animate Object cast on them.

The double crossbow is a little more feasible as you actually have a free hand to work the mechanisms of the crossbow to reload. Although... were you to get two double hand-crossbows you could get off two shots with each hand before needing to reload.

The double hand-crossbows are found here.

This might be a very nice character design indeed. Even more so if you added hand crossbow blades to your double hand-crossbows as found in Complete Scoundrel. This way you can fire off 4 bolts and still be able to two-weapon fight without even switching your weapons.


Lokie wrote:

Its a shame that you pretty much have to carry a supply of covered/pre-loaded hand crossbows to use this technique. It was hashed out pretty thoroughly in another thread that there is very little way to actually fire and load two hand crossbows. Even quick-loading or repeating crossbows still need one hand free to load the weapon as a free action. For this to work... you'd pretty much need two Repeating Crossbows that have had Animate Object cast on them.

The double crossbow is a little more feasible as you actually have a free hand to work the mechanisms of the crossbow to reload. Although... were you to get two double hand-crossbows you could get off two shots with each hand before needing to reload.

The double hand-crossbows are found here.

This might be a very nice character design indeed. Even more so if you added hand crossbow blades to your double hand-crossbows as found in Complete Scoundrel. This way you can fire off 4 bolts and still be able to two-weapon fight without even switching your weapons.

This is how I'd solve the problem:

Custom make a crossbow that's as similar to a pistol as possible

Have an alchemist/weaponsmith create bolts that are similar to bullets, with explosive caps on one end.
The bolts can be loaded into a spring-loaded clip (maybe with a capacity of 10), which are automatically fed into the crossbow.

Once the trigger on the crossbow is pulled, the hammer comes down, ignites the explosive cap and fires off a bolt. A new bolt is then loaded into the crossbow.

How much do you think bullet-bolts would cost to make?
What would be an appropriate amount of time to change clips? A standard action?


Shadow13.com wrote:
Lokie wrote:

Its a shame that you pretty much have to carry a supply of covered/pre-loaded hand crossbows to use this technique. It was hashed out pretty thoroughly in another thread that there is very little way to actually fire and load two hand crossbows. Even quick-loading or repeating crossbows still need one hand free to load the weapon as a free action. For this to work... you'd pretty much need two Repeating Crossbows that have had Animate Object cast on them.

The double crossbow is a little more feasible as you actually have a free hand to work the mechanisms of the crossbow to reload. Although... were you to get two double hand-crossbows you could get off two shots with each hand before needing to reload.

The double hand-crossbows are found here.

This might be a very nice character design indeed. Even more so if you added hand crossbow blades to your double hand-crossbows as found in Complete Scoundrel. This way you can fire off 4 bolts and still be able to two-weapon fight without even switching your weapons.

This is how I'd solve the problem:

Custom make a crossbow that's as similar to a pistol as possible

Have an alchemist/weaponsmith create bolts that are similar to bullets, with explosive caps on one end.
The bolts can be loaded into a spring-loaded clip (maybe with a capacity of 10), which are automatically fed into the crossbow.

Once the trigger on the crossbow is pulled, the hammer comes down, ignites the explosive cap and fires off a bolt. A new bolt is then loaded into the crossbow.

How much do you think bullet-bolts would cost to make?
What would be an appropriate amount of time to change clips? A standard action?

All very creative... but at that point why not just use a revolver? You'd need to hunt down smith/alchemists who know how to make "explosive caps" and the like. Which inevitably would lead you to the Grand Duchy of Alkenstar where you'd see firearms...


Lokie wrote:
All very creative... but at that point why not just use a revolver? You'd need to hunt down smith/alchemists who know how to make "explosive caps" and the like. Which inevitably would lead you to the Grand Duchy of Alkenstar where you'd see...

Touché, good sir. Touché.


Shadow13.com wrote:
Lokie wrote:
All very creative... but at that point why not just use a revolver? You'd need to hunt down smith/alchemists who know how to make "explosive caps" and the like. Which inevitably would lead you to the Grand Duchy of Alkenstar where you'd see...
Touché, good sir. Touché.

*Nods* Simply the logical progression of events.

Although... I could see a gnomish gondsman creating "Explosive-percussion driven spring-reloading bolt guns" in pre-4th ed. Forgotten Realms.


Lokie wrote:
All very creative... but at that point why not just use a revolver?

The only thing with firearms is that they're not very fantasy-ish.

Two mighty warriors face off:
Barbarian pulls out sword.
Ranger pulls out pistol and shoots him dead.


Shadow13.com wrote:
Lokie wrote:
All very creative... but at that point why not just use a revolver?

The only thing with firearms is that they're not very fantasy-ish.

Two mighty warriors face off:
Barbarian pulls out sword.
Ranger pulls out pistol and shoots him dead.

Well, in the case of a Barbarian...

Barbarian - *Draws his Earthbreaker*
Ranger - *Draws his gun* ... *Pop-Pop-Pop-Pop-Pop-Click* "Why are you not dieing!"
Barbarian - *Rages* "Grrrrrrrr! Thog Smash!"

You'd need to roll up some exploding dice under the optional firearms rules to be able to kill any Barbarian past first level with one shot. Its still pretty fantastic if you ask me. :)


Still following this thread and to all those that have participated I do say 'Thank you!'.

So, to add a comment of my own regarding the drift in topic towards guns? About why not just change over to said weapons?

For me one of the big things is basic price. The many skills that come together to craft a chemically powered weapon soon push such up out of the reach of lower level characters.

Another is simply guns are loud! There's a reason people wear ear protection on firing ranges. Now, imagine no ear muffs and firing off a weapon of about 50.cal in an enclosed space like a tunnel or average dungeon room? Once the gun goes off, the rest of the complex the party is exploring are going to know it. Where small unit tactics and stealth are the normal say of things for Dungeon delving something as loud as a gun is not something adventurers would want around.

Again, just some thoughts. Where I see the advanced, mechanically augmented x-bow coming into it's own is as a weapon a adventurer can walk around with, strung and loaded and ready to use as the first round weapon, before falling back to the more traditional 'sword and board'.

Again, much appreciation to the wondrous links and ideas and thanks for other people's time and effort.

Cheers!


In a Spelljammer game, I re-worked stats for a "Brown Bess" musket:

2d10 dmg, 30ft range, crit 20x5, costs 5 gp to fire and 2 full rounds to reload (one with rapid reload).

That comes out to 4 shots a min, 5 with RR. And yes, that's a x5 crit!

I wanted the weapon to be dangerous (high dmg + massive crit), short range (you CAN hit someone at 300ft, it's just nearly impossible), and expensive (10 shots is the cost of a heavy crossbow!).


A small detour... I respond to all-comers as long as its somewhat related to crossbows.

I agree though... the mechanical click of a crossbow and gentle twang of a string is much preferred to the explosive declaration of a firearm being fired when one is attempting to travel mostly un-observed in a dungeon.


Lokie wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
Shadow13.com wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

I have a 'conceptual' issue with fast-action crossbows. I think that high rate of fire should stay the domain of the bow, and that high damage, armor penetration and ease of aim should be the crossbow's advantages over bows.

What about the people who dual wield hand-crossbows like pistols? This technique is totally dependent on the rapid rate of fire.
That's cool, and so would be the double crossbow for that matter. It would provide more shot 'upfront' but double-up loading time. The 'cool factor' of double-wielding hand crossbows alone would be worth it!
Its a shame that you pretty much have to carry a supply of covered/pre-loaded hand crossbows to use this technique. It was hashed out pretty thoroughly in another thread that there is very little way to actually fire and load two hand crossbows. Even quick-loading or repeating crossbows still need one hand free to load the weapon as a free action. For this to work... you'd pretty much need two Repeating Crossbows that have had Animate Object cast on them.

It's not RAW, but there is a homebrew way to do this that I already enumerated earlier in the thread (and use in my own campaigns and try to get past GM's every once in a while and sometimes do)

That way, is belt clips of hand-crossbow bolts.

A masterworked tool you wear, that has bolts lined up along it, such that all you need do is shove an empty hand-crossbow down over it to lock the bolt into firing place, cocking it with the downward force.

It doesn't make 'perfect' sense, but realistically you have to expect the force required to prepare a hand-crossbow would be less than that for other crossbows, so it's reasonably logical.

Add rapid reload and bam, there you are.

Sprinkle with Sneak Attack or Weapon Training and the Specialization Tree (or a combination thereof), the two weapon tree, deadly aim, and there you go. (Rapid shot is also an option, but it further reduces your attack bonus for one extra shot, so it's not all that great. Now exotic double-hand crossbow might work, you take your single free shot with the bottom bolt, and keep reloading the top bolt. It only works once a fight without requiring a longer reload, but piling out two extra shots in the first turn for -2 might be worth it.)


So to sum-up my thoughts on the matter:

Assuming we leave bows as-is...

Crossbows deal less base damage than bows. The logic behind this is that in D&D, there is a tradition that smaller weapon deal less damage than larger version of the same weapon. Since the prods of a crossbows are smaller than the limbs of a bow, the weapon deals a smaller damage dice.

However, crossbows are like mighty composite bows in the sense that the prods can receive a Str bonus to damage. Mechanical devices and load-and-lock trigger mechanism grant the user an effective Str far supperior to that of the average archer. As with mighty composite bows, the user does not gain any advantage if his Str is superior to that of the crossbow and the user suffers a penalty if he does not possess the necessary mechanical device to load the crossbow.


    Hand crossbow (Str of 12): 1d3+1/19-20, can be loaded by hand (assuming the user has a Str of 12). The tension can be lowered to accomodate user with lesser Str score.
    Light crossbow (Str of 18): 1d4+4/19-20, require some kind of lever or a Str of 18 to load.
    Heavy crossbow (Str of 24): 1d6+7/19-20, require some kind of transmission (cranaquin), pulley (windlass) or a Str of 24 to load.

Str rating may be off, but that'd be the idea... The total amount of damage would be more or less in line with the RaW but with much better average results.

'findel


Just to add to your strength rating, but wouldn't the mechanical things alleviate the strength needed? At the expense of time taken to draw said string with said mechanical help?

Just wondering.

Cheers!


Laurefindel wrote:

So to sum-up my thoughts on the matter:

Assuming we leave bows as-is...

Crossbows deal less base damage than bows. The logic behind this is that in D&D, there is a tradition that smaller weapon deal less damage than larger version of the same weapon. Since the prods of a crossbows are smaller than the limbs of a bow, the weapon deals a smaller damage dice.

However, crossbows are like mighty composite bows in the sense that the prods can receive a Str bonus to damage. Mechanical devices and load-and-lock trigger mechanism grant the user an effective Str far supperior to that of the average archer. As with mighty composite bows, the user does not gain any advantage if his Str is superior to that of the crossbow and the user suffers a penalty if he does not possess the necessary mechanical device to load the crossbow.


    Hand crossbow (Str of 12): 1d3+1/19-20, can be loaded by hand (assuming the user has a Str of 12). The tension can be lowered to accomodate user with lesser Str score.
    Light crossbow (Str of 18): 1d4+4/19-20, require some kind of lever or a Str of 18 to load.
    Heavy crossbow (Str of 24): 1d6+7/19-20, require some kind of transmission (cranaquin), pulley (windlass) or a Str of 24 to load.

Str rating may be off, but that'd be the idea... The total amount of damage would be more or less in line with the RaW but with much better average results.

'findel

I see... lower damage dice but more guaranteed damage. The strength rating is an interesting way to explain it, however you would not need to even use that if we want to keep things simple. If we just changed the way the damage works for the crossbow it adds for the "punch" we are looking for. The idea being to make roughly half the current dice of damage a flat bonus on damage and have the other "half" be random.

So...

Hand Crossbow (1d3 +1) or (1d2 +2) damage = a d4
Light Crossbow (1d4 +4) damage = a d8
Heavy Crossbow (1d4 +6) or (1d6 +4) damage = a d10
Great Crossbow (2d4 +8) = 2d8

Doing this raises the "average" damage of the crossbow allowing it to have a easier time of keeping up with archers using multishot. It does however make them more immediately lethal at lower levels of play.

Hand Crossbows are easy enough to reload already. For Light and Heavy Crossbows you could just add a DC *blah* strength check to reload them without mechanical aid with rapid reload, otherwise the current listed amount of time to reload remains.


Sunset wrote:

Just to add to your strength rating, but wouldn't the mechanical things alleviate the strength needed? At the expense of time taken to draw said string with said mechanical help?

Just wondering.

Cheers!

That's what I meant. Lets say the light crossbow has a Str rating of 18. You can load it with your hands if you happen to have a Str of 18, otherwise your relying on a lever to mechanically bring your Str up to 18(and thus be able to load it). I'd keep the loading = 1 move action to represent that.

[edit] or did I understand your question right?

Should a character with a Str of 18 be able to load it faster? Probably. By how much, I'm not sure.

I guess all mechanical devices would assume a user Str of 10. A lower Str score could require 1 extra move action to load? And what of small light crossbows? Should they have a lower Str rating assuming a user Str of 8 in addition to the reduced base damage?

It's still a work in progress, as you can see...


Lokie wrote:
It does however make them more immediately lethal at lower levels of play.

Well, that would satisfy the "crossbows are deadly even in the hands of an untrained peasant" in me.

And while 1d4+4 for a light crossbow at low level is nothing to sneer at, I don't think it would be crazily over the top. It would give the wizard a bit more punch at level 1 and 2, but then the rest of the party would quickly catch-up as his/her BAB will remain low, and masterwork crossbows are relatively expensive for the wizard who may want to spend his/her cash elsewhere at that point. By mid level, even crossbow specialist wont get to far out of line. Actually, I'd argue that this would allow crossbow specialists to be worthwhile, as they were not before.

'findel


I thank you and give you full credit for inspiring the idea.

I've already sent out a email to my players notifying them of the new "playtest" houserule. My weekly Tuesday group is on a hiatus right now until just after the new year. Once we have had a chance to play through several sessions we'll see how the change holds up. Depending on what first responses I get from my players about the change, I may or may not tone it down...

Hand Crossbow (1d3+1)
Light Crossbow (1d6+2)
Heavy Crossbow (1d6+4)
Great Crossbow (2d6+4)

... we'll see.


Of particular note...

I think this will make the Vital Strike feat a fair bit more deadly at 6th level. Vital Strike will now be stacking the flat damage up quite nicely to give the weapon a large punch.

For example on a Vital Strike before modifiers...

  • Hand Crossbow would now deal 2d2+4 (6-8)
  • Light Crossbow would now deal 2d4+8 (10-16)
  • Heavy Crossbow would now deal 2d4+12 (14-20)
  • Great Crossbow would now deal 4d4+16 (20-32)

...a greater mind with numbers would need to actually do the math and compare vs. a archer.


Lokie wrote:
For Light and Heavy Crossbows you could just add a DC *blah* strength check to reload them without mechanical aid with rapid reload

So...what exactly do I need to add to my d20 roll in order to obtain my *blah* score?


Lokie wrote:


I think this will make the Vital Strike feat a fair bit more deadly at 6th level. Vital Strike will now be stacking the flat damage up quite nicely to give the weapon a large punch.

Only if you disconnect the bonus damage from its Str rating. If the bonus damage is based on the crossbow's strength (even if you don't mention Str rating in the short description of the weapon), it wouldn't be multiplied as per the description of the feat. As a matter of fact, the fact that the base damage dice is smaller kind of hurts the crossbow with vital strike...

[edit] even with a flat untyped bonus to damage, one could argue that the vital strike allow you to "roll the damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together..." (emphasis mine)


Shadow13.com wrote:
Lokie wrote:
For Light and Heavy Crossbows you could just add a DC *blah* strength check to reload them without mechanical aid with rapid reload
So...what exactly do I need to add to my d20 roll in order to obtain my *blah* score?

If you wished to use this mechanic...

The idea would be to come up with and set a DC for a strength check that makes sense for the power of the weapon. (I.E. - *blah*) So... you'd just be adding your Strength modifier to the d20 roll to make the flat strength check to pull the string back. The DC would vary from game to game depending on how easy or tough the DM would want pulling back the string on a crossbow to be when unaided.

This is after all a house rule and so each DM would need to decide for themselves how hard such a task would be.


Laurefindel wrote:
Lokie wrote:


I think this will make the Vital Strike feat a fair bit more deadly at 6th level. Vital Strike will now be stacking the flat damage up quite nicely to give the weapon a large punch.
Only if you disconnect the bonus damage from its Str rating. If the bonus damage is based on the crossbow's strength (even if you don't mention Str rating in the short description of the weapon), it wouldn't be multiplied as per the description of the feat. As a matter of fact, the fact that the base damage dice is smaller kind of hurts the crossbow with vital strike...

I personally am not going to complicate things for my game by assigning a strength rating to the crossbows. The damage the crossbow does...is the damage it does... and thus would be multiplied by vital strike as per normal.

Edit: If I need to include an Addendum to vital strike for crossbows I will.


Lokie wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
Lokie wrote:


I think this will make the Vital Strike feat a fair bit more deadly at 6th level. Vital Strike will now be stacking the flat damage up quite nicely to give the weapon a large punch.
Only if you disconnect the bonus damage from its Str rating. If the bonus damage is based on the crossbow's strength (even if you don't mention Str rating in the short description of the weapon), it wouldn't be multiplied as per the description of the feat. As a matter of fact, the fact that the base damage dice is smaller kind of hurts the crossbow with vital strike...

I personally am not going to complicate things for my game by assigning a strength rating to the crossbows. The damage the crossbow does...is the damage it does... and thus would be multiplied by vital strike as per normal.

Edit: If I need to include an Addendum to vital strike for crossbows I will.

I'll just copy the edit I did on my last post, as we moved forward in the tread: even with a flat untyped bonus to damage, one could argue that the vital strike allow you to "roll the damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together..." (emphasis mine)


*Hand Waves*

Consider an addendum to vital strike instituted.


Lokie wrote:

*Hand Waves*

Consider an addendum to vital strike instituted.

Didn't mean to be an ass. I actually wouldn't mind if the bonus was also double. It's unusual in terms of D&D mechanics, but hey; who cares!


A Man In Black wrote:
Lokie wrote:
I actually edited to include deadly aim on the bowman, however if we give our crossbowman rapid reload he is now firing once a round... no biggy. (yes the example great crossbow I'm using is the one from Races of Stone)

Rapid Reload makes no mention of Great Crossbows. This is a houserule, albeit a reasonable one.

Quote:
As I said... my actual at-table experiences tell me very rarely will you be hitting multiple times on a flurry of arrows... even less so the more feats you add to tweak the amount of shots/damage you deal.

wut.

Cary with Deadly Aim/Vital Strike needs 6+ to do 27 damage.

Bob with Manyshot/Deadly Aim needs 6+ to do 31 damage and he gets a second shot to boot.

Cary is just worse than Bob and it gets worse the higher they go in level. This could not be simpler.

The example above assumes elite array. Its far more likely (considering the no str req of crossbows) that a crossbow user has a higher dex. Also as you used one more feat lets add weapon focus to cary. So say 2 extra to hit thats 4 extra damage thru deadily aim.

This is not even including better int or wis which a crossbow guy can afford to make a more robust character with more options and strategies than mere arrow storms at 100 paces.

Tho its true ammo is easy to set up vs DRS (expecially when players fudge) and come paizo its easier as all you need is a +5 weapon the DR pen is great in most campaigns often when it really matters (bosses).

For me the kicker with the crossbow is Pinpoint Targeting. It kicks in just about when those broken highlevel monsters get ridiculous ACs and allows you to deadily strike for all your worth. Of course rangers can get it by 10th (then hit even epic monsters) and they might appreciate it more as with their extra need of stat points and inate sneakyness the crossbow might benefit single shot sniping thru cover when prone and better spells and saves thru a higher wisdom.

Besides if your into arrow storms paladins are better picks so why compete when any straight pally archer (say goodbye to chaotic evil bludgeoning DR, say hello a grat magic bow OR a mount for full attack archery while moving etc) or fighter arrow stormers can best you at arrow storms?


Laurefindel wrote:
Lokie wrote:

*Hand Waves*

Consider an addendum to vital strike instituted.

Didn't mean to be an ass. I actually wouldn't mind if the bonus was also double. It's unusual in terms of D&D mechanics, but hey; who cares!

I don't think you are being an ass. I just assumed as we were both posting so close to each other and making edits that you may not have seen mine.

The idea is to not weaken the crossbows but strengthen them. If, as you pointed out, the rules would not support that, then we need to include changes to the rules specifically for crossbows to allow our changes to still be affected positively by Vital Strike.

As we changed the "dice" of the crossbow to include a flat bonus, that bonus should continue to stack if we want our average damage to actually go up.

PRD wrote:

Vital Strike (Combat)
You make a single attack that deals significantly more damage than normal.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6.

Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together, but do not multiply damage bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), or precision-based damage (such as sneak attack). This bonus damage is not multiplied on a critical hit (although other damage bonuses are multiplied normally).
Special: For crossbows this doubles the base listed weapon dice and damage bonus before modifiers.

Special addendum mine. I figure a simple sentence added at the end of the feat easily accounts for our changes to the crossbow. We don't want to change the feat for any other weapons. This simple sentence would be added to the end of all the vital strike feats.


insaneogeddon wrote:

*snip*

Besides if your into arrow storms...

The point was not that I was into arrow storms. The point was that I falsely believed that the damage should be roughly the same. I had missed the change to Multishot that allowed for a "free" additional arrow to be added on to the first shot.

My current batch of house rules are going to change this, hopefully for the better.

I just want to point out though that I am not attempting to make the crossbow "better" than the bow. I'm just trying to make them roughly "balanced" by upping the average damage on the crossbow so that it can compete with the output of a bow.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

insaneogeddon wrote:
The example above assumes elite array. Its far more likely (considering the no str req of crossbows) that a crossbow user has a higher dex. Also as you used one more feat lets add weapon focus to cary. So say 2 extra to hit thats 4 extra damage thru deadily aim.

They are level 6 fighters. I assumed they both had Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, and 14 str/15 dex. I even showed my math. If you're using point-buy, both characters are pushing dex hard and not dumping str since they will need to melee at least some of the time. And since Deadly Aim is a fixed tradeoff, more accuracy does not translate into more damage per arrow.

Quote:
This is not even including better int or wis which a crossbow guy can afford to make a more robust character with more options and strategies than mere arrow storms at 100 paces.

Again, he's a fighter. He's not going to be good at anything else.

Quote:
For me the kicker with the crossbow is Pinpoint Targeting. It kicks in just about when those broken highlevel monsters get ridiculous ACs and allows you to deadily strike for all your worth. Of course rangers can get it by 10th (then hit even epic monsters) and they might appreciate it more as with their extra need of stat points and inate sneakyness the crossbow might benefit single shot sniping thru cover when prone and better spells and saves thru a higher wisdom.

I'd be willing to wager you're always better using Improved/Greater VS over Pinpoint 90% of the time, even if you're going with the Pocket Ballista.

Guys, there's already a feat to fix crossbows. It's Crossbow Sniper, from PHB2. It doesn't make light crossbows better than bows (especially with PF feats) but it does make them not suck. You take a light crossbow, rapid reload, crossbow sniper, and you can get the job done.


Multishot vs. Crossbow sniper...

Multishot gives you a free extra shot with full modifiers. (strength mod, weapon spec, weapon training, etc.)

VS...

Crossbow Sniper gives 1/2 dex mod as damage.

...no comparison. If it gave full Dex mod on damage, maybe you'd have something.


Lokie wrote:

Multishot vs. Crossbow sniper...

Multishot gives you a free extra shot with full modifiers. (strength mod, weapon spec, weapon training, etc.)
VS...
Crossbow Sniper gives 1/2 dex mod as damage.
...no comparison. If it gave full Dex mod on damage, maybe you'd have something.

+1

I just hate making the crossbow user identical to the bow user, which is why I do not believe the solution lies in multiple shots for the crossbow. When crossbows have expanded damage options at the expense of RoF, as long as the trade off is equitable, I will be perfectly happy.

Which is one of the reasons I think VS needs to be butched up as a feat. Imagine if VS multiplied ALL bonuses? The crossbow sniper wouldn't be a joke, and instead be very viable, though still not quite as versital as the bow user.


Mirror, Mirror wrote:


Which is one of the reasons I think VS needs to be butched up as a feat. Imagine if VS multiplied ALL bonuses? The crossbow sniper wouldn't be a joke, and instead be very viable, though still not quite as versital as the bow user.

(emphasis mine)

So is 'butched' the official opposite equivalent of 'nerfed' now?


Mirror, Mirror wrote:
Lokie wrote:

Multishot vs. Crossbow sniper...

Multishot gives you a free extra shot with full modifiers. (strength mod, weapon spec, weapon training, etc.)
VS...
Crossbow Sniper gives 1/2 dex mod as damage.
...no comparison. If it gave full Dex mod on damage, maybe you'd have something.

+1

I just hate making the crossbow user identical to the bow user, which is why I do not believe the solution lies in multiple shots for the crossbow. When crossbows have expanded damage options at the expense of RoF, as long as the trade off is equitable, I will be perfectly happy.

Which is one of the reasons I think VS needs to be butched up as a feat. Imagine if VS multiplied ALL bonuses? The crossbow sniper wouldn't be a joke, and instead be very viable, though still not quite as versital as the bow user.

Vital Strike works pretty good. I feel there needs to be a mechanical difference between the two weapons. This is why I suggested allowing the crossbow to deal half its damage as a set amount. If you allow that set damage to stack for the purposes of a Vital Strike in addition to re-rolling the weapons damage dice you have a fairly good boost. Any time you remove a little randomness and guarantee that a weapon can do a set amount up front you make that weapon more reliable.

The more I think about it, I honestly do not care if the crossbow does less damage than a bow. If we just make the crossbow more reliable, thats a marked mechanical advantage.


Laurefindel wrote:
So is 'butched' the official opposite equivalent of 'nerfed' now?

Meh. So what you say, I no talk good now? ^__^

And "nerfed" needs an opposite, preferably something catchy and easily transmuted from verb to adj to noun.

Lokie wrote:

This is why I suggested allowing the crossbow to deal half its damage as a set amount. If you allow that set damage to stack for the purposes of a Vital Strike in addition to re-rolling the weapons damage dice you have a fairly good boost. Any time you remove a little randomness and guarantee that a weapon can do a set amount up front you make that weapon more reliable.

The more I think about it, I honestly do not care if the crossbow does less damage than a bow. If we just make the crossbow more reliable, thats a marked mechanical advantage.

No arguments here on boosting base crossbow damage. I would still like them to have a str rating possible, though. And a disparity on max damage would be made up for with a disparity in min damage the other way. Would you rather do 4-6 dmg or 1-8? Or taking an example from Palladium, 3d6 or 2d10 (a common dirparity between equivelant weapons)?

I prefer more reliable damage, since I intend to roll damage a lot. I will take 5d4+5 over 5d6 any day.


Mirror, Mirror wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
So is 'butched' the official opposite equivalent of 'nerfed' now?

Meh. So what you say, I no talk good now? ^__^

And "nerfed" needs an opposite, preferably something catchy and easily transmuted from verb to adj to noun.

No sweat! I think it is very fitting. ;)


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Laurefindel wrote:
Mirror, Mirror wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
So is 'butched' the official opposite equivalent of 'nerfed' now?

Meh. So what you say, I no talk good now? ^__^

And "nerfed" needs an opposite, preferably something catchy and easily transmuted from verb to adj to noun.

No sweat! I think it is very fitting. ;)

I always used "Buffed" as the opposite of "Nerfed"

To much time playing MMOs


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

A feat chain for Crossbows should go down the line of penetrating armor or extra damage

For example......
--------------------------------------
<Armor Penetration>
Req: Rapid Reload, BAB +1

Use of a light crossbow ignores 1 points of armor or natural armor bonus. Heavy crossbows double this bonus giving a 2 point bonus versus armored targets.
--------------------------------------
<Improved Armor Penetration>
Req: Armor Penetration, BAB +6

When using a light crossbow ignore 2 points of armor or natural armor bonus on target. When employing a heavy crossbow the bonus is doubled to 4 points versus armored targets.
--------------------------------------

That would give the crossbow a clear advantage over armor and be distinctive from bows. This also recognizes the superior armor punching ability of heavy crossbows. Something that is clearly lacking now.


I always used "beefed up" as the opposite of "nerfed", the concept being that one's gained more muscle/power, the other's turned into harmless foam.


dulsin wrote:


<Improved Armor Penetration>
Req: Armor Penetration, BAB +6

When using a light crossbow ignore 2 points of armor or natural armor bonus on target. When employing a heavy crossbow the bonus is doubled to 4 points versus armored targets.
--------------------------------------

I think this might be a good chain, but I would lower the BAB requirement of this one to 5 so that all characters can take it as a feat on their odd level (5 for full BAB, 7 for 3/4 BAB, 11 for 1/2 BAB).


A Man In Black wrote:
insaneogeddon wrote:
The example above assumes elite array. Its far more likely (considering the no str req of crossbows) that a crossbow user has a higher dex. Also as you used one more feat lets add weapon focus to cary. So say 2 extra to hit thats 4 extra damage thru deadily aim.

They are level 6 fighters. I assumed they both had Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, and 14 str/15 dex. I even showed my math. If you're using point-buy, both characters are pushing dex hard and not dumping str since they will need to melee at least some of the time. And since Deadly Aim is a fixed tradeoff, more accuracy does not translate into more damage per arrow.

Quote:
This is not even including better int or wis which a crossbow guy can afford to make a more robust character with more options and strategies than mere arrow storms at 100 paces.

Again, he's a fighter. He's not going to be good at anything else.

Quote:
For me the kicker with the crossbow is Pinpoint Targeting. It kicks in just about when those broken highlevel monsters get ridiculous ACs and allows you to deadily strike for all your worth. Of course rangers can get it by 10th (then hit even epic monsters) and they might appreciate it more as with their extra need of stat points and inate sneakyness the crossbow might benefit single shot sniping thru cover when prone and better spells and saves thru a higher wisdom.

I'd be willing to wager you're always better using Improved/Greater VS over Pinpoint 90% of the time, even if you're going with the Pocket Ballista.

Guys, there's already a feat to fix crossbows. It's Crossbow Sniper, from PHB2. It doesn't make light crossbows better than bows (especially with PF feats) but it does make them not suck. You take a light crossbow, rapid reload, crossbow sniper, and you can get the job done.

Pinpoint works with vital strike.

Say with improved vital strike at 12th level thats (not using wannabe bow feats or dnd 3.5 siege equipment) at minimum with almost no real effort
+12 hit base, + 2 dex, +1 wpn = +15 - 3 = + 12 for +6 damage
3d10 + 8
+12 hit ignoring melee, cover, concealment, armour, shield and natural AC.

As a ranger thats with no stat or real feat investment nor takes from any melee flexibility or stops you from shoring up will saves and having more spells and skills for tactical supremacy. You can also take out bow archers by sniping from a distance in ways they cannot.

1. 2. Ranger: Precise Shot (ignores melee chaos)
3. Deadily Aim . 5. Rapid Reload 6. Ranger: Improved Precise Shot 7. Vital Strike, 9. 10. Ranger: Pinpoint Targeting . 11. Improved Vital Strike

Better to play to your strengths than other classes strengths.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

insaneogeddon wrote:
Pinpoint works with vital strike.
Pinpoint Targeting wrote:
As a standard action, make a single ranged attack. The target does not gain any armor, natural armor, or shield bonuses to its Armor Class. You do not gain the benefit of this feat if you move this round.
Vital Strike wrote:
When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together, but do not multiply damage bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), or precision-based damage (such as sneak attack). This bonus damage is not multiplied on a critical hit (although other damage bonuses are multiplied normally).

Oh my goooooood Vital Strike is so horribly written *melts*

Okay. Do we want to get into an argument about whether these two abilities work together, or can we just set that aside and I skip to the part where I point out that 24 damage at level 12 is peanuts?

I can go either way.


Just curious...

If vital strike is so horribly written, what would your version look like?


Lokie wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
Shadow13.com wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

I have a 'conceptual' issue with fast-action crossbows. I think that high rate of fire should stay the domain of the bow, and that high damage, armor penetration and ease of aim should be the crossbow's advantages over bows.

What about the people who dual wield hand-crossbows like pistols? This technique is totally dependent on the rapid rate of fire.
That's cool, and so would be the double crossbow for that matter. It would provide more shot 'upfront' but double-up loading time. The 'cool factor' of double-wielding hand crossbows alone would be worth it!

Its a shame that you pretty much have to carry a supply of covered/pre-loaded hand crossbows to use this technique. It was hashed out pretty thoroughly in another thread that there is very little way to actually fire and load two hand crossbows. Even quick-loading or repeating crossbows still need one hand free to load the weapon as a free action. For this to work... you'd pretty much need two Repeating Crossbows that have had Animate Object cast on them.

The double crossbow is a little more feasible as you actually have a free hand to work the mechanisms of the crossbow to reload. Although... were you to get two double hand-crossbows you could get off two shots with each hand before needing to reload.

The double hand-crossbows are found here.

This might be a very nice character design indeed. Even more so if you added hand crossbow blades to your double hand-crossbows as found in Complete Scoundrel. This way you can fire off 4 bolts and still be able to two-weapon fight without even switching your weapons.

It's abusive :).. but gloves of weapon storing would let you as a free action store a hand crossbow, and draw it again as a free action. There is an enhancement that gives infinite ammunition correct? This is probably the solution for a rogue/fighter type that wants to spec in hand crossbows.


grasshopper_ea wrote:
It's abusive :).. but gloves of weapon storing would let you as a free action store a hand crossbow, and draw it again as a free action. There is an enhancement that gives infinite ammunition correct? This is probably the solution for a rogue/fighter type that wants to spec in hand crossbows.

I would prefer to just have Telekenesis + Major Creation on the crossbow to draw and load automatically. For a hand crossbow, you could probably get away with a mage hand or unseen servant.

Then, the major creation is good for a number of bolts per day. Sort of like the Eberron crossbows.


Mirror, Mirror wrote:
grasshopper_ea wrote:
It's abusive :).. but gloves of weapon storing would let you as a free action store a hand crossbow, and draw it again as a free action. There is an enhancement that gives infinite ammunition correct? This is probably the solution for a rogue/fighter type that wants to spec in hand crossbows.

I would prefer to just have Telekenesis + Major Creation on the crossbow to draw and load automatically. For a hand crossbow, you could probably get away with a mage hand or unseen servant.

Then, the major creation is good for a number of bolts per day. Sort of like the Eberron crossbows.

If you have telekenesis you can just use the bolts and skip on the crossbow.


Just to add fuel to this fire, for people who include sieges in their campaign, or storming a castle, you might want to include a Polybolos, which is a Greek-made repeating ballista using a chain-drive, and in fact is one of the earliest known uses of a chain-drive anywhere in the world. Simply put, it's an emplacement weapon scale crossbow with a magazine of oversized bolts. It has two flat-link chains attached to a windlass at the end of the stock, and two people turning it will cause the weapon to rapidly fire, reload, and fire again until the magazine, holding dozens of bolts, is empty. It was written about by Philo of Byzantium, and was reportedly invented by Dionysus of Alexandria, who worked in the Arsenal of Rhodes.

Leonardo DaVinci also may have been working on a similar device, but I'm not sure about that.

http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/RepCatapult.htm

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