Readying Attack vs. Arrows


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Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The rules don't say I can't stick the handle of a short sword in my arse and wield it effectively along with my greatsword, but that doesn't make doable.


JrK wrote:
Quote:

Readying an Action

You can ready a standard action, a move action, a swift action, or a free action. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will take it. Then, anytime before your next action, you may take the readied action in response to that condition. The action occurs just before the action that triggers it. If the triggered action is part of another character's activities, you interrupt the other character. Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action. Your initiative result changes. For the rest of the encounter, your initiative result is the count on which you took the readied action, and you act immediately ahead of the character whose action triggered your readied action.

Emphasis mine.

It seems like this cannot in fact be done RAW. There is no 'ammunition traveling' as per RAW, there is just the 'standard attack' or the 'full attack'. Your readied action is triggered just before a standard attack or a full attack, but not during - which is what attacking the ammunition in flight would imply.

Are you really arguing that if someone readied an action to "Strike that enemy when it moves into my threatened space", that the attack must occur before the creature moves at all?

I'm pretty sure that's entirely against how readied actions are supposed to work. In fact, the classic readied action example was shooting or attacking something after a door was opened. By your argument, you'd have to declare you would do X when Y occurred, but before Y actually occurred, thus shooting the door before your enemies opened it.

I don't think that flies. Especially since it notes that if the triggered action is part of another character's activities then you interrupt it. "I attack the arrow when it gets within my threatened space, just before it hits me" seems entirely valid and would interrupt just fine.

You know that in the 3.x DMG Lidda the halfling was asked to make a touch-attack to grab a scroll case floating in the waters of an underground waterway during the example of play. Just because it's not explicitly stated, word for word, does not mean you cannot do something; especially when the rules clearly suggest that you can do it, but one or two things aren't explained in detail.

Blackbloodtroll wrote:

Allowing this, would open the possibility of blocking bullets, or ballista bolts, with your sword. This also means a commoner could possibly do this. The monk blocking bullets, is something I can wrap my head around, as the monk is a kind of super-human fighting machine practiced in doing this.

There are no rules around balancing on a small falling leaf, but that doesn't mean you could do it.

If the AC of the attacking projectile was equal to the attack roll + special size modifier, you would not see commoners preforming this feat often. On a mere attack roll of 10, you'd be looking at AC 18. A normal person (1st-2nd level commoner) with a 10-11 strength isn't going to have much luck striking that. Especially if they don't have the one simple weapon they get proficiency with (and thus have a -4); because they sure cannot damage an object with their hands (nonlethal damage, or another -4 penalty).

Meanwhile, against a trained soldier (say +1 BAB, +1 dex), the same attack roll of 10 would result in an AC 20 to strike the arrow. Meanwhile, if Legolas the 6th level Ranger with the 20 Dexterity fired the arrow from his masterwork longbow, it would be around AC 30.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
The rules don't say I can't stick the handle of a short sword in my arse and wield it effectively along with my greatsword, but that doesn't make doable.

But they do say you can attack objects, and they say readied actions can interrupt other turns. Which is what is happening.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I admit I am probably overreacting, but it all seems like rules twisting for cheesy effects.


So I want to be sure I am keeping up with this. The argument now is that an incoming bullet fired by a gunslinger has an AC of 13 as well? And a bullet is just a tiny bit of lead, so sundering it ought to be trivial?

Is that where we are now?


Moving is an action, disarming is an action, arrow in flight is not an action.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

So I want to be sure I am keeping up with this. The argument now is that an incoming bullet fired by a gunslinger has an AC of 13 as well? And a bullet is just a tiny bit of lead, so sundering it ought to be trivial?

Is that where we are now?

As trivial as the ability of a man to cause a wall of force to spring into existence in a mere moment with only words and gestures. Or as trivial as it is for that same man to fire a bullet that erupts into an explosion on impact, or for him to cause light to cease to interact with his being.

EDIT: And I'm not one to say "Well there's magic quit getting upset about other physics defying stuff." Rather, if we allow spell casters to do cool stuff we can only read about or see in movies, why rob martial characters of the cool feats we see them perform or read about?

JrK wrote:
Moving is an action, disarming is an action, arrow in flight is not an action.

Relevance?


Davick, I'm not debating or challenging, I've said my piece. I just want to be sure I'm keeping up with the arguement.

So the position now actually is that an incoming bullet can be sundered with a readied action attack on an AC of 13.

OK, got it.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Davick, I'm not debating or challenging, I've said my piece. I just want to be sure I'm keeping up with the arguement.

So the position now actually is that an incoming bullet can be sundered with a readied action attack on an AC of 13.

OK, got it.

If you overcome it's hardness and take out its Hit Points. Notice though, that others have provided alternate means for determining AC that aren't unreasonable. I've yet to see why this is any different than readying an attack to sunder the armor of a sprinting cheetah. Well, it's not sundering the arrow since it's not a held item, otherwise, it looks the same to me.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
The rules don't say I can't stick the handle of a short sword in my arse and wield it effectively along with my greatsword, but that doesn't make doable.

That is why the game have a DM. The same with tje "READYING ATTACK VS. ARROWS" issue.


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There is nothing in RAW which allows this to be done. By RAW, the answer is simply no.

If you want to house-rule something, you should come up with a way that you can represent the difficulty of hitting an object travelling at high speed. A good place to start is to look at GURPS, which does in fact have a mechanical way to represent this. In GURPS, the difficulty of hitting an object or creature is determined by 4 things: passive defense (similar to AC), active defense (dodging, parrying and blocking, sort of like fighting defensively), the object/creature's size, and the object/creature's velocity relative to your PC. An object or creature about the size of an arrow, travelling at 150 mph is exceedingly difficult to hit, and would require all of the PC's experience for many sessions placed in their skill with a particular weapon type to make it possible to hit even with a critical success. (in GURPS, penalties to skill rolls can get so high that an action is impossible even on a critical on the dice)

So, to model this, I would take a page from GURPS, and come up with some reasonable attack penalties for velocities beyond what a human being can achieve on-foot. So, a human can sprint at 15 mph. Make it a -5 penalty for every time velocity doubles. 16-30 mph: -5; 31-60 mph: -10; 61-120 mph: -15; 121-240 mph: -20; etc...

I'm sure there are many other simple and effective ways a rule for this could be modelled.


Well, just for modelling purposes a typical muzzle-loaded projectile from a black-powder gun travels at roughly 1,500 feet per second, or roughly 1,000 miles per hour. In case anyone wants to model the difficulty of hitting one with a sword.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Well, just for modelling purposes a typical muzzle-loaded projectile from a black-powder gun travels at roughly 1,500 feet per second, or roughly 1,000 miles per hour. In case anyone wants to model the difficulty of hitting one with a sword.

Incidentally, it was pointed out in the "Cool But Useless" thread that creatures can reach speeds like that in D&D/PF, and actually be easier to hit due to the -4 penalty to AC while running. :P

Also, Isao Machii can cut a pellet out of the air fired from an airsoft gun. Seems pretty reasonable that if you can do something that amazing in real life, then a 6th+ level fantasy hero should certainly be able to not only do so, but to do even more impressive feats.


Ashiel wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Well, just for modelling purposes a typical muzzle-loaded projectile from a black-powder gun travels at roughly 1,500 feet per second, or roughly 1,000 miles per hour. In case anyone wants to model the difficulty of hitting one with a sword.

Incidentally, it was pointed out in the "Cool But Useless" thread that creatures can reach speeds like that in D&D/PF, and actually be easier to hit due to the -4 penalty to AC while running. :P

Also, Isao Machii can cut a pellet out of the air fired from an airsoft gun. Seems pretty reasonable that if you can do something that amazing in real life, then a 6th+ level fantasy hero should certainly be able to not only do so, but to do even more impressive feats.

Airsoft pellets travel at roughly 300-400 feet per second, or somewhere in the range of 250mph. That's somewhat faster than an arrow, but much slower even than a typical pellet rifle (some of which shoot pellets at supersonic speeds, or in excess of 1,000 fps or 750 mph).

That's roughly 1/6 as fast as a muzzleloaded projectile.

But not that it matters, since it is argued that from a RAW perspective it's hanging there like a juicy grape, ripe for plucking, presumably even up to 99% of the speed of light.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:


Airsoft pellets travel at roughly 300-400 feet per second, or somewhere in the range of 250mph. That's somewhat faster than an arrow, but much slower even than a typical pellet rifle (some of which shoot pellets at supersonic speeds, or in excess of 1,000 fps or 750 mph).

That's roughly 1/6 as fast as a muzzleloaded projectile.

Isao Machii is also only a normal human with great skill. In D&D terms, he's likely only 4th level at best. A 4th level character can hit the AC 18-19 required to hit a fine object moving through their space without too much difficulty (even assuming the recommended GM adjudication of making it an opposed attack roll + size modifier, since the average opposed roll when fired from a normal person with a +0 BAB and no ability modifiers would be AC 19).

Like I said before. It's something a D&D character probably should be able to do, as it is something that is depicted in fantasy frequently. It's not even like guns are even trying to be realistic, since armor factually worked against guns, D&D armor is superior vs reality armor, and even during the playtest, many-many people talked about how stupid it was that they had guns ignoring armor/natural armor instead of using flat-footed AC; since obviously shooting through adamantine plate mail with a piece of lead is stupid, and it's no harder to dodge a bullet than it is to dodge a slingshot.

EDIT: Purely musing out loud at the moment, and this is directed an no one in particular. It's amusing that so many anti-4E posters complain about 4E being too much like "World of Warcraft", only to turn around and act like 3.x/PF or tabletop RPGs are just scripts running at various points, and you can't do anything except what the script says specifically; even when that script is actually related to something else that the writer didn't immediately think of.

This is part of what makes a GM important. A GM is expected to make adjustments that are based on the standard rules, and handle unexpected things with as much consistency as possible within the system. It's quite clear that if you can strike something that is moving through your space with a readied action, then you can as well with an object moving through your space. Likewise, we have rules for attacking objects, and rules for difficulty based on size of the target. All we need at this point is merely what sets the base DC (I recommended attack roll).


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Well, just for modelling purposes a typical muzzle-loaded projectile from a black-powder gun travels at roughly 1,500 feet per second, or roughly 1,000 miles per hour. In case anyone wants to model the difficulty of hitting one with a sword.

Incidentally, it was pointed out in the "Cool But Useless" thread that creatures can reach speeds like that in D&D/PF, and actually be easier to hit due to the -4 penalty to AC while running. :P

Also, Isao Machii can cut a pellet out of the air fired from an airsoft gun. Seems pretty reasonable that if you can do something that amazing in real life, then a 6th+ level fantasy hero should certainly be able to not only do so, but to do even more impressive feats.

Airsoft pellets travel at roughly 300-400 feet per second, or somewhere in the range of 250mph. That's somewhat faster than an arrow, but much slower even than a typical pellet rifle (some of which shoot pellets at supersonic speeds, or in excess of 1,000 fps or 750 mph).

That's roughly 1/6 as fast as a muzzleloaded projectile.

But not that it matters, since it is argued that from a RAW perspective it's hanging there like a juicy grape, ripe for plucking, presumably even up to 99% of the speed of light.

I guess you gave up on not challenging then?

There is evidence of people cutting bullets in fantasy settings, and even games where it is an ability that can be used. Isn't that what this is?

You need to get over the fact that there are no rules for speed increasing AC. A carriage at rest has the same ac as one moving full speed.


I think the real question here is when is the attack roll made.


I wouldn't mind allowing this. I think I'd go with the attack roll plus size mod that's been mentioned. I think using your standard action to try and defeat a single ranged attack coming at you is a more than fair trade off. Plus its just darn cool if it works.


Would those of you against this allow a character to Ready to Shut a door to block an arrow?


Great, now I can't stop thinking about alchemical paper cartridges tearing through Adamantine full plate, that reality really off-colors my gunslinger taste.

Let's not put too much real world into the game, then we all devolve into a discussion about how Golarion can exist when epic level wizards could just destroy all of it and all of the deities. Or how bandits can exist when coming across a single moderately leveled adventurer means the end of all of them.

I am all for the coolness factor of a DM allowing their player to try this, even with minimal chance of success. My favorite player was well-known for throwing his swords in frustration and managing to get natural 20's.

Doing things outside the rules is what allows players to have dynamic combat that truly feels nice instead of "I go, I attack -rolls d20-"


I have no problem with a GM ruling that a character can ready an action to knock an arrow out of the air. It is not RAW, but there are many rulings outside RAW that good GM's make to make the game more fun. I do object to giving that arrow an AC of 13. It is preposterous to think that knocking an arrow out of the air mid-flight is of equal difficulty as hitting an arrow which is sitting on a table.


At some point though the DM has to have the brass to say "no, you can't do that" or "You can try it, but you have to realize- its moving faster than the speed of sound. You are about to ready an action to get yourself shot."

Sure, the DM shouldn't just fiat that the character can't attempt it. but he needs to give the PC's the realistic expectation of their chances.

As to the guys who say some twit can knock an arrow or bullet out of the air. why can't those guys be guys who took the feat "do stupid things with arrows or bulletS" instead of "guy who makes an attack roll".

Saying your guy slashed the bullet or arrow out of the air seems like a very nice re-fluff of snatch arrows.

or
DM: Bob, whats your AC?
BoB: 23
DM: ok, he missed you
BoB: Awesome! I totally knocked his arrow out of the air with my sword.

I think this is something that might be possible, but just expecting some random person to ready an action to knock an arrow out of the sky- or a bullet for that matter- is just unrealistic. The folk you guys are talking about, using "realism" as the answer, are people who have trained in that specific act. It'd be like me saying that since someone swam the English channel then any PC should be able to do so and a DM telling me I can't is a jerk. Someone having done it in real life with extensive and intense training and knowledge of the subject =/= anyone can just run out and do it.

If a PC wants to randomly line himself up to slash a bullet or arrow with a sword, he's lining himself up to get shot. If he wants to talk to the DM about taking some training in it, then they can come up with some feat or otherwise discuss the possibilities of the character acquiring this skill. But it shouldn't be "well sure roll against AC X and knock it out". Knowing how to fight isn't the same as knowing how to do these tricky specialized things.

-S


Mabven the OP healer wrote:
It is preposterous to think that knocking an arrow out of the air mid-flight is of equal difficulty as hitting an arrow which is sitting on a table.

But thats what the rules say. Movement doesn't affect armor class, except in the case of running (where you lose your dexterity bonus to AC).


Jeraa wrote:
Mabven the OP healer wrote:
It is preposterous to think that knocking an arrow out of the air mid-flight is of equal difficulty as hitting an arrow which is sitting on a table.
But thats what the rules say. Movement doesn't affect armor class, except in the case of running (where you lose your dexterity bonus to AC).

Actually, the rules say nothing at all about knocking a projectile out of the air mid-flight using a readied action. So, if you are going to go outside the rules to allow such an action, which I would, why must you then feel there is a problem going outside the rules yet again to model the difficulty of such a task?


The 13 AC thing smells of green hide and regeneration 5 (acid or fire).

Just about everyone should know that the RAW is not the end-all for RPG's and just because the rules don't say something doesn't mean that it's that way. The rules don't say that there is breathable air in Golarion so why should I assume that there is?

The rules don't specifically say that something moving at the speed of sound doesn't have a higher AC, so then it's all left to interpretation.


Mabven the OP healer wrote:
Jeraa wrote:
Mabven the OP healer wrote:
It is preposterous to think that knocking an arrow out of the air mid-flight is of equal difficulty as hitting an arrow which is sitting on a table.
But thats what the rules say. Movement doesn't affect armor class, except in the case of running (where you lose your dexterity bonus to AC).
Actually, the rules say nothing at all about knocking a projectile out of the air mid-flight using a readied action. So, if you are going to go outside the rules to allow such an action, which I would, why must you then feel there is a problem going outside the rules yet again to model the difficulty of such a task?

It's preposterous to think hitting a cheetah moving 500back feet a round is as easy as hitting one standing still. But that is how it works. I'm not convinced it is going outside the rules, even so, it isn't necessary to keep doing so when there clearly are rules for the other parts.

Anyone care to address the door question?


Alydos wrote:

The 13 AC thing smells of green hide and regeneration 5 (acid or fire).

Just about everyone should know that the RAW is not the end-all for RPG's and just because the rules don't say something doesn't mean that it's that way. The rules don't say that there is breathable air in Golarion so why should I assume that there is?

The rules don't specifically say that something moving at the speed of sound doesn't have a higher AC, so then it's all left to interpretation.

Because the books do say that humans live there and humans have to breathe, so that's a good assumption.


The door I would allow, knocking it out of the sky with a sword I would not. With the door, you're not trying to track a small object going 150mph, you're looking at whether or not the person let go of the string.

As far as examples where people have knocked arrows/bullets out of the sky: They all had deflect arrows, the GM just used creative licence to describe it as using the sword.


Davick wrote:
I guess you gave up on not challenging then?

I didn't challenge anything. I just pointed out the logical consequences of your argument.

You guys can play it how you like. I just want it to be clear exactly what you are saying.

And exactly what you are saying is that a person could knock a projectile moving at 99% of the speed of light out of the air on an AC 13 attack roll.

That's what you're saying.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Davick wrote:
I guess you gave up on not challenging then?

I didn't challenge anything. I just pointed out the logical consequences of your argument.

You guys can play it how you like. I just want it to be clear exactly what you are saying.

And exactly what you are saying is that a person could knock a projectile moving at 99% of the speed of light out of the air on an AC 13 attack roll.

That's what you're saying.

If I'm going to allow the other guy to say "Sim Sim Salabim" and cause beings made of light to sprout forth and then 6 seconds later turn into a dragon and shift to the plane of light and stop time so he can enjoy the scenery and turn another guy into a lantern, and then turn himself and the lantern invisible, all in about 30 seconds with no roll of any kind at all, then yeah I think I'm ok with letting a guy spend his entire turn to try and hit something out of the air and hope he doesn't fumble.


Jodokai wrote:

The door I would allow, knocking it out of the sky with a sword I would not. With the door, you're not trying to track a small object going 150mph, you're looking at whether or not the person let go of the string.

As far as examples where people have knocked arrows/bullets out of the sky: They all had deflect arrows, the GM just used creative licence to describe it as using the sword.

I feel like your two statements are contradictory.


Davick wrote:
If I'm going to allow the other guy to say "Sim Sim Salabim" and cause beings made of light to sprout forth and then 6 seconds later turn into a dragon and shift to the plane of light and stop time so he can enjoy the scenery and turn another guy into a lantern, and then turn himself and the lantern invisible, all in about 30 seconds with no roll of any kind at all, then yeah I think I'm ok with letting a guy spend his entire turn to try and hit something out of the air and hope he doesn't fumble.

Can I have a dagger that does 6 zillion-billion points of damage any time I roll over a 2 on a d20? I mean you're allowing the Sim Sim Salabim guy right? If you would allow that dagger, yikes, but okay carry on. If you wouldn't, where are you drawing the line? You are drawing the line, we're just making it more visible.

Davick wrote:
I feel like your two statements are contradictory.

How so? Would you let a 5th level fighter cast Fireball? Again, if so yikes, but I see why it seems contradictory. If not, would the reason be because the fighter doesn't have any abilities to allow something like that and giving that ability away for free invalidates the characters that do have that ability?


Davick wrote:


If I'm going to allow the other guy to say "Sim Sim Salabim" and cause beings made of light to sprout forth and then 6 seconds later turn into a dragon and shift to the plane of light and stop time so he can enjoy the scenery and turn another guy into a lantern, and then turn himself and the lantern invisible, all in about 30 seconds with no roll of any kind at all, then yeah I think I'm ok with letting a guy spend his entire turn to try and hit something out of the air and hope he doesn't fumble.

Yeah, absolutely. It's a pure fantasy world where people mumble arcane words and make fire appear out of nothingness. Since you can do magic things, then of course anything at all should be possible by definition. Why would anyone be foolish enough to argue that there should be any physical limits to anything desired in the game?

Seriously, I can't understand why anyone would have a problem with knocking objects moving at light speed out of the air if you can waggle your fingers and make a pony appear out of nothingness.

You are so right.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Mabven the OP healer wrote:
I have no problem with a GM ruling that a character can ready an action to knock an arrow out of the air. It is not RAW, but there are many rulings outside RAW that good GM's make to make the game more fun. I do object to giving that arrow an AC of 13. It is preposterous to think that knocking an arrow out of the air mid-flight is of equal difficulty as hitting an arrow which is sitting on a table.

That's what circumstance bonuses are for. The question is, about how much of a bonus to AC should the arrow get? I'd say a +10 wouldn't be out of line. That puts it out of the easy reach of most low level NPCs and PCs and that's fine with me.

This is a heroic role playing game. It's not a board game. The rules don't even try to delineate everything a PC can do, nor should they. Some adjudication by an impartial referee is necessary. And I think this is one of those cases where the PC has a good rationale why they can try and not have the situation so stacked against them they can't succeed.


Make it 20 + attack roll + size bonus.

Additionally, they have to deal enough damage to destroy the object on that one attack, or it resolves normally.

Bullets are smaller than arrows and made of tougher material. probably hardness 10 with 15 hitpoints (using iron/steel material as lead for the sake of simplicity) compared to hardness 5 with 5 hitpoints (using wood as material).

A ballista bolt is easily a foot in diameter. At 10HP per inch, that thing would have, like, 120HP. Good luck breaking it in one hit.

So, yeah, why would i want to stop my players from wasting their time in an attempt to do this?


Bladerock wrote:


A ballista bolt is easily a foot in diameter. At 10HP per inch, that thing would have, like, 120HP. Good luck breaking it in one hit.

Um... no? No where near that big. An inch or two maybe, but no where near a foot in diameter. Ballista are operated by a single person - there is no way a single person could load a foot thick bolt.

A ballista as detailed in the rules is a Huge crossbow, firing bolts that are basically spears. It doesn't fire trees.


Jeraa wrote:


Um... no? No where near that big. An inch or two maybe, but no where near a foot in diameter. Ballista are operated by a single person - there is no way a single person could load a foot thick bolt.

I was thinking about a gate breaker or heavy one, which is what you usually see in movies and fiction.

Three to four inches is still a good 30 or so HP with 5 hardness. Hardly something characters are dealing with a single vanilla attack at lower levels.


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Why figure the AC of the arrow? You don't need to hit it, just ready an action to step out of the way and the arrow hits empty space.

Actually, ready an action to do whatever you want, and use the free 5-ft. step to avoid the arrow.


The rules have a mechanic in place for this kind of thing. And it handles it with a feat.

Now, if a player wants to do it without the feat- the answer is:
You can try. You can't succeed however, and will just end up getting hit with the arrow.
Thats how feats work.

If a player asks if he can trip someone without suffering the AOO what do you do?
You tell him about the feat- right?

If they want to cast fireball yuo tell them about the appropriate classes, about UMD and wands or scrolls, and maybe even about some magical items that could help. (a necklace perhaps?)
but no amount of skill rolling, no amount of rolling a ball of sulpher and bat quano, is going to let him cast a fireball absent the training and time invested in learning /how to do it/ first.

So if your guy wants to deflect an arrow or bullet- direct him to the feat. Sure, let him re-fluff it to smacking it aside with a weapon rather than with his hand. No biggie.
But to let him just roll some pathetic attack roll and knock an arrow aside just because he has a nice to-hit roll? nah. Use the feat. Thats why its there.

Player also has other options, of course. Take cover against the archer fire. Fight defensively. Heck total defense could work well and with the same result. Player can even claim the "miss" was due to him swatting the arrow outta the air.

Myself though, I still wouldn't allow someone to just declare they were going to knock the arrow out of the air. The rules already account for it. They chose to make it a feat. So if you want to do it- take a feat.

-S


Gatebreaker ballista bolts are still only 30 pounds. A cubic foot of oak weighs 60 pounds green and about 45-50 pounds dry. A bolt 1 foot in diameter would be hundreds of pounds, not 30 pounds. Even gatebreaker bolts are only a few inches in diameter.

Also note that gatebreaker bolts have 200 hit points. OBviosuly bolt hit points are not based on their thickness, as that would put a gatebreaker bolt at 20 inches thick. They have far more hitpoints then they actually should.

Spoiler:
Assuming wood lighter then oak was used, and a gatebreaker bolt is roughly 8 feet long, then the bolt would be roughly 4 inches thick, giving them about 40 hit points.

A light ballista would be basically be firing spears, so their bolts sould have the hp of a spear. (10 hit points, instead of the 50 they have in Ultimate Combat)


What exactly happens when you damage an arrow in flight, anyway?

The rules are completely silent on this.

I would assume, barring any other rule, that the arrow is cloven in two, shattered, what have you, but the pieces still hit. Perhaps as improvised weapons. Surely, if you destroy a melee weapon with a readied actoin it can still be used as an improvised weapon.


Jeraa wrote:

Gatebreaker ballista bolts are still only 30 pounds. A cubic foot of oak weighs 60 pounds green and about 45-50 pounds dry. A bolt 1 foot in diameter would be hundreds of pounds, not 30 pounds. Even gatebreaker bolts are only a few inches in diameter.

Also note that gatebreaker bolts have 200 hit points. OBviosuly bolt hit points are not based on their thickness, as that would put a gatebreaker bolt at 20 inches thick.

That's the HP for the entire engine, not just it's bolts.

Raw materials tend to have different HPs from what an object made out of it would have. I'm mostly using the hp/inch as a guideline to throw guesses out.

It still comes to the same conclusion: It's really hard for a low level character to pull this off. And it would probably still be pretty hard for an experienced adventurer.

The character is also forgoing better alternatives, like full defense or cover in favor of stopping a single ranged attack with a near impossible roll.


Quote:
That's the HP for the entire engine, not just it's bolts.

Yup, your right. My bad. There is a reason people shouldn't post at 3AM.


Quantum Steve wrote:

Why figure the AC of the arrow? You don't need to hit it, just ready an action to step out of the way and the arrow hits empty space.

Actually, ready an action to do whatever you want, and use the free 5-ft. step to avoid the arrow.

Wait... So this is legal, But attacking the arrow isn't?


Knowledge: Ninjaneering wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:

Why figure the AC of the arrow? You don't need to hit it, just ready an action to step out of the way and the arrow hits empty space.

Actually, ready an action to do whatever you want, and use the free 5-ft. step to avoid the arrow.

Wait... So this is legal, But attacking the arrow isn't?

Nope, neither is legal.


Bill Dunn wrote:

That's what circumstance bonuses are for. The question is, about how much of a bonus to AC should the arrow get? I'd say a +10 wouldn't be out of line. That puts it out of the easy reach of most low level NPCs and PCs and that's fine with me.

This is a heroic role playing game. It's not a board game. The rules don't even try to delineate everything a PC can do, nor should they. Some adjudication by an impartial referee is necessary. And I think this is one of those cases where the PC has a good rationale why they can try and not have the situation so stacked against them they can't succeed.

Ha! I was going to say exactly this! I LOVE circumstance bonuses! I always wonder why GMs say things are impossible when they have a method to make anything possible, just not probable.

I still don't see a rule that says you can't do this, however I'd apply heavy circumstance bonuses to the arrow's AC simply to keep the feat worthwhile.

I mean, this is sacrificing a readied action just to be cool. It's not as powerful as the feat already, so make it a +10? I'm okay with AC 23 on a readied action.

Perhaps, since you can apply an item's Dex bonus to AC, we can surmise that the archer's Dex bonus is already applicable to the attack and exemplified by the motion of the arrow and therefore added too. This makes it much harder if you're "uber-archer". AC 27 for level 1 Ranger's arrow? I'd buy that.


don't forget that an arrow id diminutive which will be another +8. Now the AC is 35.
Overall he's better off taking cover of going total defense (or just manning up and taking the hit so he can smack the archer next turn).


wargamer wrote:
don't forget that an arrow id diminutive which will be another +8. Now the AC is 35.

Actually I was already operating under the assumption that it was diminutive, but I accidentally used +3 instead of +4.

My above example would be AC 24 if not giving it Dex, and AC 28 for a level 1 Ranger's arrow.


Yeah, AC 35 would be excessive. The AC to slice a gnat in half while it was flying would only be in the low to mid 20s (+8 size, +3-7 Dex, 10 base). Back in 3.0, they actually said the AC to shoot an arrow into the tip of another arrow (the classic Robin Hood trick) was about 20.

Liberty's Edge

Ashiel wrote:
Yeah, AC 35 would be excessive. The AC to slice a gnat in half while it was flying would only be in the low to mid 20s (+8 size, +3-7 Dex, 10 base). Back in 3.0, they actually said the AC to shoot an arrow into the tip of another arrow (the classic Robin Hood trick) was about 20.

Citation please.

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