False Options in Pathfinder


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Expostfacto wrote:
Nicos wrote:

Well, you can take it, now you do not provoke for shooting in melee, bad luck reloading does provoke.

I find "the book is not perfect you can always houserule" as a more honest answer, at least that admit there was a problem in the first place.

As thejeff pointed out why would a crossbowman not have crossbow mastery?

Now you need two feats tax to do what an archer can do for free, and still do less damage. Sorry, but I really do not see your point.


Expostfacto wrote:
It is 1 feat and that's the one crossbow mastery is the only thing a that isn't needed on an archer. Maybe rapid reload but that's not a problem.

Rapid Reload and Crossbow Mastery are two feats. And they're both pretty important if you aren't going to be able to handle melee weapons decently. Otherwise if something with reach gets next to you, you pretty much have to suffer an AoO -- and even a Ranger still needs Rapid Reload to get this benefit. Of course, a Fighter or another class going with the crossbow would likely need to get Rapid Reload anyhow.

Your post here isn't quite clear though, so I'm not sure exactly what you mean to be saying.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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I want my water-balloon-throwing fighter to be able to deal the same damage as a longbow-shooting fighter. Why does Pathfinder have trap options for some ranged characters?


That was...unexpected. taht is a good question, why?


If you insist on using a crossbow AND insist on not having to use your five foot step to avoid AoOs, I'm just going to say that you've gone out of your way to create a problem.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I want my water-balloon-throwing fighter to be able to deal the same damage as a longbow-shooting fighter. Why does Pathfinder have trap options for some ranged characters?

Well, if there were combat feats for water-balloon throwing, an archetype for water-balloon fighters, and a combat style for water-balloon rangers, then I think there'd be a good argument for such characters being viable. There'd probably also be a good argument for why exactly that was in the official rules at all since it doesn't fit the setting.


RJGrady wrote:
If you insist on using a crossbow AND insist on not having to use your five foot step to avoid AoOs, I'm just going to say that you've gone out of your way to create a problem.

As you level reach becomes more common on enemies. A 5' step away from something adjacent with reach does not take you out of AoO range.


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Drachasor wrote:
then I think there'd be a good argument for such characters being viable.

You continue to equate sub-optimal with non-viable. They are not the same thing.

A crossbow fighter is not as good at dishing out massive damage as a composite longbow archer fighter. It does not mean the crossbow fighter is useless, and will have no influence on the outcome of a battle.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Replace "water-balloon-throwing" with any of the following

axe-throwing
blowgun-firing
dagger-throwing
dart-throwing
javelin-throwing
sling-using
spear-throwing

and the complaint is no less ridiculous.

Some options are worse than others because the game actually tries to model that some options in life are worse than others. And by "worse" I mean "does less damage per round."


The Crusader wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
then I think there'd be a good argument for such characters being viable.

You continue to equate sub-optimal with non-viable. They are not the same thing.

A crossbow fighter is not as good at dishing out massive damage as a composite longbow archer fighter. It does not mean the crossbow fighter is useless, and will have no influence on the outcome of a battle.

Useless isn't the some thing as non-viable. You can make a character that isn't dead weight and yet isn't viable either. It's actually easy to do. It just means the character is fails to be close enough to pulling their own weight. Someone who does 15% of the work in a 4-man party still influences the battle, for instance.

The Exchange

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I don't see "options" as traps. They're options. You have a specific vision in mind for who your character is, and PF strives to provide options for that. The designers have enough trouble ensuring that no option is useless* or overpowered without asking them to tighten the range to a single, perfect zone of equal utility. Some feats/class abilities are less powerful than others, but I don't really see character optimization as some kind of race that can be won. If they start handing out cash prizes, of course, that's different!

* Any option can be useless if you set out to design a character that makes it useless: obviously I'm talking about 'in good faith' uselessness.


Drachasor wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
If you insist on using a crossbow AND insist on not having to use your five foot step to avoid AoOs, I'm just going to say that you've gone out of your way to create a problem.
As you level reach becomes more common on enemies. A 5' step away from something adjacent with reach does not take you out of AoO range.

If you are fighting such a thing, AND you think you can take it out in one round with a full attack, then this is an important tactical consideration.

For that matter, is there something unseemly and terrible about playing a crossbow specialist that uses a buckler and longsword as backup?


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Replace "water-balloon-throwing" with any of the following

axe-throwing
blowgun-firing
dagger-throwing
dart-throwing
javelin-throwing
sling-using
spear-throwing

and the complaint is no less ridiculous.

Some options are worse than others because the game actually tries to model that some options in life are worse than others. And by "worse" I mean "does less damage per round."

With regards to the crossbowman, I don't think that's the full story of what is going on. In the long, long ago of 3.0 design, I'm sure that's what was going on. Then I imagine someone said "hey, we should give a bone to people who like crossbows", so Rapid Shot was made as a kind of hack on existing rules. Crossbow Mastery, the fighter Archetype, and the Ranger Combat Style I think also came about this way. But the hacks move well away from modeling "reality" that well. Like I said, Crossbows in the game have a higher depth of mastery than Bows, which isn't what reality is like at all.

And for that matter, Crossbows would generally be considered better than thrown weapons "in reality", but in the game..not so much, I think. For one, thrown weapons get strength added to their damage.


RJGrady wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
If you insist on using a crossbow AND insist on not having to use your five foot step to avoid AoOs, I'm just going to say that you've gone out of your way to create a problem.
As you level reach becomes more common on enemies. A 5' step away from something adjacent with reach does not take you out of AoO range.

If you are fighting such a thing, AND you think you can take it out in one round with a full attack, then this is an important tactical consideration.

For that matter, is there something unseemly and terrible about playing a crossbow specialist that uses a buckler and longsword as backup?

You're apparently missing the point. There's a feat tax associated with this that Bows don't have. This is part of how, in the game, Crossbows require more training, but deliver less.

And yeah, there is something terrible about a crossbow specialist using a buckler: the -1 penalty to attack rolls.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Replace "water-balloon-throwing" with any of the following

axe-throwing
blowgun-firing
dagger-throwing
dart-throwing
javelin-throwing
sling-using
spear-throwing

and the complaint is no less ridiculous.

Some options are worse than others because the game actually tries to model that some options in life are worse than others. And by "worse" I mean "does less damage per round."

In life I do not se how a crossbow is worst than a bow in general terms. But the complaint goes beyond that. it is not that a xbow is weaker that a bow is that a crossboman that take two feat tax is still weaker than an archer. I think that is against the whole idea of having feats in the first place.


meh crossbows have always been terrible, all the way since 1e. I don't see that changing.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Drachasor wrote:
With regards to the crossbowman, I don't think that's the full story of what is going on. In the long, long ago of 3.0 design, I'm sure that's what was going on. Then I imagine someone said "hey, we should give a bone to people who like crossbows", so Rapid Shot was made as a kind of hack on existing rules.

I don't see how Rapid Shot is a "bone" to crossbow users, as it works for all ranged weapons.

Nicos wrote:
In life I do not se how a crossbow is worst than a bow in general terms.

It is for the same reason it is in the game: because you can't fire it as often as you can a bow.

Nicos wrote:
But the complaint goes beyond that. it is not that a xbow is weaker that a bow is that a crossboman that take two feat tax is still weaker than an archer. I think that is against the whole idea of having feats in the first place.

And the dagger fighter can take two extra feats and still deal less damage than a greatsword fighter. Because daggers can't deal as much damage as greatswords. There's a reason why soldiers used swords instead of daggers as their primary weapon.


Drachasor wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
If you insist on using a crossbow AND insist on not having to use your five foot step to avoid AoOs, I'm just going to say that you've gone out of your way to create a problem.
As you level reach becomes more common on enemies. A 5' step away from something adjacent with reach does not take you out of AoO range.

If you are fighting such a thing, AND you think you can take it out in one round with a full attack, then this is an important tactical consideration.

For that matter, is there something unseemly and terrible about playing a crossbow specialist that uses a buckler and longsword as backup?

You're apparently missing the point. There's a feat tax associated with this that Bows don't have. This is part of how, in the game, Crossbows require more training, but deliver less.

And yeah, there is something terrible about a crossbow specialist using a buckler: the -1 penalty to attack rolls.

You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying a buckler. I guess I am missing the point. Once I take Rapid Reload, what am I really lacking compared to a bow user? If I don't take Manyshot I can take something else. Critical Focus, maybe, to take advantage of the wider threat range. I like the idea of shooting while prone. On an open field, a crossbow user has effectively a +4 AC bonus relative to the longbowman, simply by lying prone. What if there's a low tunnel and I must lie prone to advance?


Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Nicos wrote:
But the complaint goes beyond that. it is not that a xbow is weaker that a bow is that a crossboman that take two feat tax is still weaker than an archer. I think that is against the whole idea of having feats in the first place.
And the dagger fighter can take two extra feats and still deal less damage than a greatsword fighter. Because daggers can't deal as much damage as greatswords. There's a reason why soldiers used swords instead of daggers as their primary weapon.

This is a bad example. A TWF dagger user will eventually do pretty decent damage when full attacks, More than the Greatsowrd user I would say*(Again, once he have the feats). The Xbow guy is out of luck.

*:
I have not compared the greatword Vs wo daggers but I did compared falchon against two kukris, I cold be wrong but the comparison should not be that diferent.

The Exchange

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Gah! What he's saying is that weapons (with apologies to the Declaration of Independence) are not created equal! You can't throw a throwing axe as far as you can shoot a longbow, you don't have the reach with a light pick that you do with a glaive, and you can't re-cock and fire a crossbow at the same rate you can slap an arrow to the string. The fact that these weapons aren't mechanically equivalent isn't because the guys at Paizo have some weird psychological quirk that makes them hate throwing axes, light picks, and crossbows - they're just trying to reflect the actual differences between those weapons.


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Lincoln Hills wrote:
they're just trying to reflect the actual differences between those weapons.

While I understand that being realistic is important, I've found the lack of ways to use those weapons even close to efficiently kinda' sucks. This is a fantasy game and its nice to have options to allow an ideal to come to life. I'm a big fan of placing balance before fluff though, so don't mind me.

Exotic weapons are another thing. It feels like your forced to gravitate towards a very small selection of weapons. Many weapons just come off as meh, with few merits and often not enough to make it one you jump on. It feels like a waste of space sometimes. Homogenizing weapons would be a very different idea than homogenizing classes. Weapons aren't a variety of choices that greatly change playstyle. In my home games I allow reskinning to make the axe and club show up more often than the nodachi. Realistic? No idea. I don't use katanas and clubs to fight dragons irl with my wizard bro. It does however keep a few players happy and doesn't force them to make sacrifices to play the character they want.(Also, I love my axes.)


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
With regards to the crossbowman, I don't think that's the full story of what is going on. In the long, long ago of 3.0 design, I'm sure that's what was going on. Then I imagine someone said "hey, we should give a bone to people who like crossbows", so Rapid Shot was made as a kind of hack on existing rules.
I don't see how Rapid Shot is a "bone" to crossbow users, as it works for all ranged weapons.

I meant rapid reload, clearly.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
And the dagger fighter can take two extra feats and still deal less damage than a greatsword fighter. Because daggers can't deal as much damage as greatswords. There's a reason why soldiers used swords instead of daggers as their primary weapon.

Well, to nitpick a bit, swords actually weren't that common among soldiers. Historically spears and their kin were used a lot more often by armies.


RJGrady wrote:
You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying a buckler. I guess I am missing the point. Once I take Rapid Reload, what am I really lacking compared to a bow user? If I don't take Manyshot I can take something else. Critical Focus, maybe, to take advantage of the wider threat range. I like the idea of shooting while prone. On an open field, a crossbow user has effectively a +4 AC bonus relative to the longbowman, simply by lying prone. What if there's a low tunnel and I must lie prone to advance?

I don't see how you avoid the buckler -1 attack penalty from using a weapon with two hands. Unless I'eve missed something there.

With just Rapid Reload? You take AoO reloading and you lack quite a bit of damage since you'll get no strength bonus. Lying prone is nice with ranged attacks, but very harmful if anything gets close, which in a typical party setting can happen easily.

Overall it is a far inferior option, but requires more feats.


Lincoln Hills wrote:
Gah! What he's saying is that weapons (with apologies to the Declaration of Independence) are not created equal! You can't throw a throwing axe as far as you can shoot a longbow, you don't have the reach with a light pick that you do with a glaive, and you can't re-cock and fire a crossbow at the same rate you can slap an arrow to the string. The fact that these weapons aren't mechanically equivalent isn't because the guys at Paizo have some weird psychological quirk that makes them hate throwing axes, light picks, and crossbows - they're just trying to reflect the actual differences between those weapons.

Then they failed, because a crossbow is a heck of a lot easier to use than a bow, yet a specialist in the crossbow requires more training (e.g. feats). How's that realistic?

Also, it isn't realistic in that crossbows allowed people who weren't really strong to have immense penetrating power. Yet there's no crossbow rough equivalent to the composite bow; there really should be, especially if PF has guns.

Now add to that options to temp martial players into focusing on the crossbow rather than the bow and you have a real mess, imho. It's one thing to have an option that's inferior due to "realism", but it is another to encourage inexperienced players to think it is a good option. So that's part of the problem.


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Lincoln Hills wrote:
Gah! What he's saying is that weapons (with apologies to the Declaration of Independence) are not created equal! You can't throw a throwing axe as far as you can shoot a longbow, you don't have the reach with a light pick that you do with a glaive, and you can't re-cock and fire a crossbow at the same rate you can slap an arrow to the string. The fact that these weapons aren't mechanically equivalent isn't because the guys at Paizo have some weird psychological quirk that makes them hate throwing axes, light picks, and crossbows - they're just trying to reflect the actual differences between those weapons.

I am fine with weapon A being weaker than Weapon B per se. But if the game offers you two special feats to enhace weapon A and you take both you should be more or less on par than a weapon B user, at least in my opinion.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
It is for the same reason it is in the game: because you can't fire it as often as you can a bow.

Well, if we wanna use Real Life as a comparison point, then why are longbows basic marital weapons anyone can use when in Real Life it took a lifetime of dedicated training to be able to use them?

The Exchange

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While I respect your opinion, Nicos, I feel that we have strongly differing impressions of the value of a feat. Let's remove the focus from crossbows and focus on an even more egregious contrast between missile-characters:

Character A ("Flingy") is a 6th-level fighter with Point-Blank Shot, Far Shot, Shot on the Run, and Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, and Improved Critical - all for the dagger.

Character B ("Shooty") is a 6th-level fighter with Point-Blank Shot, Far Shot, Shot on the Run, and Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization and Improved Critical - all for the longbow.

If Flingy also had Quick-Draw so he could fling daggers as fast as Shooty can shoot arrows, would you argue that Flingy should be 'mechanically equal' to Shooty because he spent one more feat on a weaker 'build'?

[Admittedly, this isn't a perfect comparison: Flingy has better options than Shooty if he's grappled or somebody can back him into a corner and force melee.]


Lincoln Hills wrote:

While I respect your opinion, Nicos, I feel that we have strongly differing impressions of the value of a feat. Let's remove the focus from crossbows and focus on an even more egregious contrast between missile-characters:

Character A ("Flingy") is a 6th-level fighter with Point-Blank Shot, Far Shot, and Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, and Improved Critical - all for the dagger.

Character B ("Shooty") is a 6th-level fighter with Point-Blank Shot, far Shot, Shot on the Run, and Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization and Improved Critical - all for the longbow.

If Flingy also had Quick-Draw so he could fling daggers as fast as Shooty can shoot arrows, would you argue that Flingy should be 'mechanically equal' to Shooty because he spent one more feat on a weaker 'build'?

[Admittedly, this isn't a perfect comparison: Flingy has better options than Shooty if he's grappled or somebody can back him into a corner and force melee.]

Also it is a bit different in that there aren't the archetype and class options for throwing stuff in the game that there are for crossbows. So the presentation to the player is not at all the same.

The Exchange

Drachasor wrote:
...Also it is a bit different in that there aren't the archetype and class options for throwing stuff in the game that there are for crossbows. So the presentation to the player is not at all the same.

Yeah: I kept them out of the comparison in hopes of keeping one eye on the big picture. But then, I suspect that this whole crossbows/bows debate already has diverged from the original notion of the thread... so maybe I should have focused on that. Anybody remember what it was?? Lemme go read the first post again. ;)


Lincoln Hills wrote:
[Admittedly, this isn't a perfect comparison: Flingy has better options than Shooty if he's grappled or somebody can back him into a corner and force melee.]

Actually, Shooty could wear spiked armor and attack with that if someone got close. Flingy on the other hand has few options to magically enhance his gear, so when things with DR/magic start popping up he's going to have a rough time, also he'll need dozens of daggers and not all special material pricing is great for that. Flingy just gets the short end of the stick.


Drachasor wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying a buckler. I guess I am missing the point. Once I take Rapid Reload, what am I really lacking compared to a bow user? If I don't take Manyshot I can take something else. Critical Focus, maybe, to take advantage of the wider threat range. I like the idea of shooting while prone. On an open field, a crossbow user has effectively a +4 AC bonus relative to the longbowman, simply by lying prone. What if there's a low tunnel and I must lie prone to advance?

I don't see how you avoid the buckler -1 attack penalty from using a weapon with two hands. Unless I'eve missed something there.

I guess you missed the part where I subtly paraphrased the rules. Let me try again:

The description of a buckler states wrote:


You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it.
Quote:


With just Rapid Reload? You take AoO reloading and you lack quite a bit of damage since you'll get no strength bonus. Lying prone is nice with ranged attacks, but very harmful if anything gets close, which in a typical party setting can happen easily.

Except I won't be taking AoOs since I will Quick Draw the longsword I already stated I would be using. Sure, lying prone is harmful is anything gets close, just as not lying prone is harmful if anything is far away. And, of course, if you are a ranged weapon user, you'd usually prefer things to be far away...


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I want my water-balloon-throwing fighter to be able to deal the same damage as a longbow-shooting fighter. Why does Pathfinder have trap options for some ranged characters?

It seems bad form to trash talk people with legitimate pathfinder complaints.

Although, I guess this thread is mostly moot, since we are all Playing Wizardfinder. Unlimited wishes at level 11 that breaks the actual binding rules? Sure why not.

Getting rid of the time needed to prepare spells? Why not, they are a wizard, glorious rulers of reality.

It would be nice if trap choices were lessened, even between classes

The Exchange

MrSin: Precisely! Some weapons just aren't as good. Flingy is spending one more feat than Shooty and he still isn't coming out on top of the heap. That doesn't make Flingy a bad character (for instance, when cornered he still gets to apply his Weapon Focus and Specialization to melee with his daggers): they have different strengths, but when conditions are optimal for both, Shooty is stronger.

The thread started out with the notion that some 'options' are traps; I'm just saying that taking options that are less powerful than 'the perfect optimized build' should not be seen as some sort of automatic, fatal weakness. Nor do I think that folks who take those less-powerful options should receive some sort of game-balance boost as a "reward". Character power levels differ, and I'm OK with that. The only other options I see are A) to remove all options - yeah, that'd be popular, or B) to trim all options to be mechanically equal, which would be nearly impossible unless it amounted to mere cosmetic differences that really just amounted to removing all options.


Vital strike+gravity bow+double crossbow.
4d6+2d6 damage.
If allowing third part feats, there's one allowing you to wield an oversided weapon bringing it to
6d6+3d6
Then improved vital srike
12d6+ 3d6
Finally, when high enough, greater vital strike,
16d6+ 3d6
Basically, spell-level damage, exept with no save.

Even if core only, you'd have
4d6+2d6
8d6+2d6
12d6+2d6.

So, you just aren't making the build right.
One level of a casting class, or even just have a Mage buddy cast the spell for you.

When people say "fighters are underpowered" they just haven't seen my builds yet.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Or we could stick with the current system, which focuses on giving people with system mastery an ego boost.

1) I agreed that a better job could possibly be done if they revised it (again), just as PF did a better job at it than 3.5, and 3.5 did a better job at it than 3.0. But this would involve opportunity costs, as it would require another edition. And then, ultimately, as the game grew, stuff would still seep back in. Lots might remain fixed but without changing it radically, there would still be discrepancies.

2) "people with system mastery" is a separate issue. You're definitely not going to "fix" that "problem."

A lot of people can do PF builds much better than I can but there's no "fix" for that. In any ststem some people will learn it better and be able to spot good options & combinations more easily.

Again, though, I don't think they do it for "an ego boost" (ok, there are jackholes everywhere. . .but being a jackhole who feeds his ego is not equal to system mastery. A venn diagram would illustrate that plenty of people who seek to feed their egos are not masters of the system by any stretch).

The thing is, as I mentioned, I'm not sure the "system masters" bring the "best builds possible" to their actual gaming tables. Just because they know how to do something and what potentials there are doesn't mean they're joykills (which, again, is not to say there are no joykillers out there). but really that's a separate issue, too, from the false options problem.

I love meaningful options and wish there were more of them, but by and large and for the most part I think the designers here have done a good job, especially given that they have to cater to a variety of audiences.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I want my water-balloon-throwing fighter to be able to deal the same damage as a longbow-shooting fighter. Why does Pathfinder have trap options for some ranged characters?

It depends on what you fill your water balloon with. I hear splash damage with the right filling Kan be pretty nasti.

Speaking of which, anyone else want pudding?


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Nicos wrote:
But the complaint goes beyond that. it is not that a xbow is weaker that a bow is that a crossboman that take two feat tax is still weaker than an archer. I think that is against the whole idea of having feats in the first place.
And the dagger fighter can take two extra feats and still deal less damage than a greatsword fighter. Because daggers can't deal as much damage as greatswords. There's a reason why soldiers used swords instead of daggers as their primary weapon.

There is so much wrong with this statement that my head is spinning. :P

Even ignoring the fact that swords were never a soldier's primary weapon, you're making a dishonest comparison: Bows and crossbows exist to fill the exact same niche. Daggers and greatswords do not. (The better comparison would be greatsword vs greataxe, since the former is technically always better than the latter - Except the latter isn't so bad that no one ever uses it.)

And the true concern was never even addressed, which is upsetting. With no feats invested, picking up a bow is a better idea than picking up a crossbow. That just makes sense, as crossbows actually are much harder to reload, and any advantage a crossbow might offer (such as shooting while prone) is outweighed by that fact.
HOWEVER, a character that invests two whole feats into getting better with that crossbow is STILL better off just picking up the bow.
That is where the "fun" stops.


icehawk333 wrote:

Vital strike+gravity bow+double crossbow.

4d6+2d6 damage.
If allowing third part feats, there's one allowing you to wield an oversided weapon bringing it to
6d6+3d6
Then improved vital srike
12d6+ 3d6
Finally, when high enough, greater vital strike,
16d6+ 3d6
Basically, spell-level damage, exept with no save.

Even if core only, you'd have
4d6+2d6
8d6+2d6
12d6+2d6.

So, you just aren't making the build right.
One level of a casting class, or even just have a Mage buddy cast the spell for you.

When people say "fighters are underpowered" they just haven't seen my builds yet.

Got an actual build?

Without the oversized weapon, that looks like 6d6+14 at 6th level. (Weapon specialization & deadly aim should be added twice, I think.)
At a +7, if you put Dex to 20 - leaving str low.

With a longbow, ManyShot, Rapid Shot and the same Gravity bow:
+7/+7/+2 4d6+20/2d6+10/2d6+10
Dex 17, Str 15

Both take
Weapon Focus, Weapon Spec, Deadly Aim, Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot
Longbow adds Manyshot & Rapid Shot & has a feat left.
Crossbow takes Exotic(Double Xbow), Rapid Reload, Vital Strike

All that without magic. I'm someone else could do better with both.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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{This is a bad example. A TWF dagger user will eventually do pretty decent damage when full attacks, More than the Greatsowrd user I would say*(Again, once he have the feats).}

TWF dagger wielder can only compete with the greatsword damage if he takes several feats. Thus, my comparison is of a one-dagger-fighter vs. one-greatsword-fighter.

{Well, to nitpick a bit, swords actually weren't that common among soldiers. Historically spears and their kin were used a lot more often by armies.}

Spears were more common in war because they cost less to make than a sword, a point which is irrelevant to adventurers after level 1.

{It seems bad form to trash talk people with legitimate pathfinder complaints.}

I don't consider "real life weapon X can't be fired as often as real life weapon Y, and I don't like that the game models reality" is a legitimate complaint.


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All i was doing with the build was proving that it was still a viable option. It may not be the strongest, but the power difference isn't truly crippling. Just encourages you to play your charceter well.


Neo2151 wrote:


There is so much wrong with this statement that my head is spinning. :P
Even ignoring the fact that swords were never a soldier's primary weapon, you're making a dishonest comparison: Bows and crossbows exist to fill the exact same niche. Daggers and greatswords do not. (The better comparison would be greatsword vs greataxe, since the former is technically always better than the latter - Except the latter isn't so bad that no one ever uses it.)

And the true concern was never even addressed, which is upsetting. With no feats invested, picking up a bow is a better idea than picking up a crossbow. That just makes sense, as crossbows actually are much harder to reload, and any advantage a crossbow might offer (such as shooting while prone) is outweighed by that fact.
HOWEVER, a character that invests two whole feats into getting better with that crossbow is STILL better off just picking up the bow.
That is where the "fun" stops.

Actually, they do have a niche: good simple range weapon that's easy to use untrained.

If you invest Rapid Reload it's (marginally) better than a bow if you're not strong or can't afford a compound bow. At least until you get iterative attacks.


thejeff wrote:

Actually, they do have a niche: good simple range weapon that's easy to use untrained.

If you invest Rapid Reload it's (marginally) better than a bow if you're not strong or can't afford a compound bow. At least until you get iterative attacks.

A longbow is better than a light crossbow. So if the idea is to spend one feat, why spend one feat to make a bad weapon better, but still worse, instead of taking a feat to just be able to use the better weapon? (Rapid Reload: Light Crossbow vs. Weapon Proficiency: Longbow)

If you're talking about a Heavy Crossbow, up the cost to two feats, and remember that even though you do 1 more damage on average, you cannot compare to a Composite bow, and you cannot access the same ranged combat feats that make archery good.
If you're talking about a Double Crossbow, the cost goes up to three feats, and while you can now take the same archery feats, you still don't compare to a composite bow.

Meanwhile we're hearing about how reality is supposed to be playing a part of design consideration, while swords are still being put on a totally unrealistic pedestal of awesomeness that real-life just doesn't account for?
It's just so disingenuous.


Neo2151 wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Actually, they do have a niche: good simple range weapon that's easy to use untrained.

If you invest Rapid Reload it's (marginally) better than a bow if you're not strong or can't afford a compound bow. At least until you get iterative attacks.

A longbow is better than a light crossbow. So if the idea is to spend one feat, why spend one feat to make a bad weapon better, but still worse, instead of taking a feat to just be able to use the better weapon? (Rapid Reload: Light Crossbow vs. Weapon Proficiency: Longbow)

If you're talking about a Heavy Crossbow, up the cost to two feats, and remember that even though you do 1 more damage on average, you cannot compare to a Composite bow, and you cannot access the same ranged combat feats that make archery good.
If you're talking about a Double Crossbow, the cost goes up to three feats, and while you can now take the same archery feats, you still don't compare to a composite bow.

Meanwhile we're hearing about how reality is supposed to be playing a part of design consideration, while swords are still being put on a totally unrealistic pedestal of awesomeness that real-life just doesn't account for?
It's just so disingenuous.

Again: "if you're not strong or can't afford a compound bow. At least until you get iterative attacks. "

"good simple range weapon that's easy to use untrained."
Without feats either crossbow is good as a backup weapon for those with only simple weapon proficiencies.

Though I still think you should be able to do something, playing off the fact that an archer is more MAD and a crossbowman needs no Strength. Not getting Manyshot hurts though.


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It's only good if you're okay with being a turret, almost literally.
Now, if you could reload on the move, that would be entirely different and then I might agree with what you're putting down.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
i.e. The roman formations used lines of tower shields with rotating lines of spearmen and crossbow men behind that and it was devastatingly effective. The spearmen couldn't really be attacked as they stabbed over the tops of tower shields.

The only mechanical advantage a crossbow had was that they could have a larger draw than someone could hold with a bow. Otherwise they were far heavier for the same amount of draw, and had a lousy reload rate.

Bows on the other hand required more skill and training to use effectively , so crossbow units could be drawn from relatively untrained conscripts.

When it comes to trained ranged fire, the bow IS the better choice. Crossbows are really meant to be left to the rogue and the lowbie wizard who's out of meaningful spells.


But Rogues can use shortbows; why would they ever bother?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
chaoseffect wrote:
But Rogues can use shortbows; why would they ever bother?

You try firing shortbow while climbing some time. Let me know how it works out.

Rogues don't rely on getting multiple shots, or even the base damage die of the weapon, they rely on sneak attack for the heavy lifting of damage. The hand crossbow is relatively easy to conceal. And as a lot of modern media as shown, has a major Cool factor. Don't underestimate the cool factor.


so basically just use falchion, scimitar, or longbow? im sorry thats boring as hell.

Crossbows should be the king of single target nova damage, giving them a unique fighting style that plays to there strength's, at least when being the crossbowman fighter. Something as simple as dropping the whole readied attack deal and just let them be able to add dexterity mod X how many iterive attacks they would have at that level with whenever they make a single attack like using the vital strike action for example, would give them a niche of being more reliable but still doing less damage overall and less versatile then the bows.

EDIT: not to mention the whole speed advantage comes from shooting a large stationary hay target 10 feet away, when you have something moving 75, or even 25 feet away the speed advantage is not great due to the crossbow being MUCH easier to aim (which is the reason it is easier to train soldiers on), so i consider that anecdote false


C'mon now, the hand crossbow is closer to a blowgun in application than it is to a light/heavy crossbow.
More disingenuous comparisons.


LazarX wrote:
Rogues don't rely on getting multiple shots, or even the base damage die of the weapon, they rely on sneak attack for the heavy lifting of damage.

Actually, they do like to get more than one attack off. Each shot that hits gives them sneak attack damage. Mind you it may take a while to get iteratives with a ranged weapon, especially if you multiclass and use fractional BAB.

Also, cool factor is awesome. Its best when its also mechanically effective however.

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