I'm playing in a high level (just hit 18) homebrew as a two-handed STR-based melee death machine and I find myself with gold left over to the tune of 80k or so. I joined just a few sessions ago and just noticed my lack of any ranged options. We fought a Bandersnatch and it got... Unpleasant.
So, my question: What is a good backup ranged weapon for a muscle-bound, stud-muffin such as myself? I have no feats to spend so feel free to build the thing using the gold total above. I really have no idea here. Bows are feat intensive. Guns are cool, but again, feats. Crossbows need feats too and I've heard thrown weapons are le suck. Can a Sling be effective at high level with no feat investment?
The composite longbow is going to be your most logical choice for pure damage potential.
If you want something more flavorful, a thrown weapon will also use your str bonus, but you'll have range issues.
I dunno about guns. I'd say once you start sporting holsters packed with lead-spewing carnage devices, "melee death machine" becomes sort of verisimilitude challenged, but that's just me.
Other options to consider could be nets or bolas, which could be fun if you can then engage the target with your melee awesometude.
But, yeah, composite longbow rocks. With magical ammo especially.
Slings and Thrown weapons benefit from your full strength to damage, without needing a matched composite bow. If your strength varies at all due to circumstances (either buffs or dm being fond of str damage/drain) then they are a better choice than the bow. If you're worried about range, then you likely want the bow.
Thrown weapons suffer from lower range, but can be enchanted with Returning so that you aren't tossing them away. Chakram are probably your best bet for thrown, 30' range and d8 damage.
Sling benefits from having ammunition options, so you can lob special materials or groaning or smoke bullets. If you want more specialty ammo, then bow is probably a better choice :)
Without quickdraw for thrown or a reload feat for the sling, you're looking at one attack a round for these. It's more than no attacks, and lacking the ranged feats to boost it, may be the only one you can reliably hit anyhow.
Thanks for the advice everyone! Looks like a bow or sling for me then. I'm surprised that the bow still holds it's own without feat support. Every other time I've seen the bow people automatically start talking about a feat list at least 3 deep.
I don't have quickdraw (as I've completely neglected ranged options until now) but I do have a Glove of Storing so I could abuse that. Also, flying's not an issue. I'm a Strix. :) The main issue was situations where closing the distance is a bad thing. See: Bandersnatch.
I am playing next to an Oracle who's made chakrams her weapon of choice, they are very effective.
It really depends what your other options are. The composite longbow is good, you will get a lot of attacks with it. Crossbows are limited in reload times but if you have the Vital Strike feat tree, poking away with a crossbow enchanted to shoot larger ammunition can make each shot very telling. You can carry it loaded, so there is nothing stopping a Quickdraw + Vital Strike combo when you need it.
Slings are likewise as effective as bows when at the levels you've reached, but the difference in cost is tiny at your level.