Can anyone explain Point Blank Shot, or does it need no rationale?


Homebrew and House Rules

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The feat Point Blank Shot is a little odd.

The feat give you +1 to hit and damage with any ranged weapon used at a range up to 30 feet.

Now, there's a big difference between being an expert at hitting at close range with a bow vs. say, throwing a dagger, but Point Blank, as it stands, gives you a bonus with either, or any ranged weapon for that matter.

Not to mention that the range increments of such weapons are very different:

For a bow, 30 feet is 3/10 of its range increment of 100.
For a dagger, 30 feet is 3x its range increment of 10.

Yet each is treated equally at 30 feet under the Point Blank feat. Odd.

Ex. The range increment of a dagger is 10 feet. The rules state that a -2 to hit applies for each range increment. So the difficulty of hitting with a thrown dagger at 30 feet is such that a -6(!) applies to the to hit roll. Yet, we are supposed to believe that this constitutes "point blank" range for those with this feat?

Of course, magical rays are treated as ranged weapons as well, so that a Wizard with the Point Blank feat gets a bonus at using them at 30 feet or within...even if the maximum range of the relevant spell is less than 30 feet. Odd.

It also doesn't really make sense to me that in such a situation, even if being at close range would offer you a bonus to hit, that somehow the magic, which has nothing to do with your strength, does more damage if it hits.

If the rationale behind the Point Blank range is physics, and that ranged weapons do more damage at the shortest distances, well then ok...but then Point Blank should just be a new range category, applicable to everyone using a ranged weapon. And if the rationale is indeed physics, well then Point Blank range should be different for each weapon.
As well, physics would also dictate that if it's easier to hit and do more damage at ultra-close range, it's harder to hit and you are likely to do less damage at ultra-long ranges. The rules already account for the difficulty of hitting at long range, but the damage is not lowered.

Now, if the rationale is special training which the character received, I find it odd that a character with this feat would be presumed to have this training/ability with EVERY single ranged weapon (many of which he may have never encountered in his life, and with which he needn't have any proficiency to use!).

As it stands now, there are no prerequisites for this feat, so a character need not have any proficiency in ranged weaponry, and could have a dexterity of 4, yet still get this bonus somehow. Odd.

I guess we are supposed to buy that the rationale is that the character has this inborn ability (despite the fact that you can take the feat at upper levels, in effect having what would be an inborn ability suddenly manifest later in life), which enables her(regardless of strength, dexterity or weapons training) to somehow focus in her senses on an opponent within this all important 30 feet range of her missile weapon, whether that be a thrown dagger or shuriken or hand axe, a long bow, a heavy crossbow, or an arquebus, such that she is able to more easily hit and do more damage than anyone else similarly situated. Odd...

Even more oddly under this rationale, these heightened senses are inapplicable to any other type of skill or martial action, such that no increases would apply to melee attacks, which are of necessity, within 30 feet.

So we have to discount the heightened senses rationale, and say that this inborn ability only applies to ranged weapons somehow. Odd...

Ok, since this is a feat, and not a class or racial feature, I have no concerns about balance, as any changes would apply to anyone evenly. The only possible bias would be against characters primarily using ranged weapons.

I propose one of, or a combination of, three changes:

1) Getting rid of the feat altogether.

2) (Physics rationale) Get rid of the feat, but institute "point blank" as the new, closest range category, with +1, +1 bonuses available to all, while (alternately) changing the 5th range increment to "ultra long" range and applying -1 damage penalty to that increment. Change point blank to be the lower of 30 feet or the range increment.

3) (Training rationale) Change the feat, adding appropriate prerequisites, such as proficiency in certain types of weaponry and minimum strength and/or dexterity scores. Also, acknowledge that ranged attacks vary, so allow Point Blank Shot to be taken with each of certain categories of attacks: ranged thrown, ranged, and ranged touch categories. Change point blank to be the lower of 30 feet or the range increment.

4) (Natural ability rationale) Since this inborn ability would become applicable for the character at 30 feet or below, regardless of weapon (maybe his sight, hearing, sense of touch increase at that range), the range increment wouldn't matter. Dex or Str prerequisite?

5) Combination of 3 and 4: The character has received training which helps bring out his natural ability of heightened senses within 30 feet. All of 3 applies, save the last sentence.

6) Change nothing. Rationale: don't need one.

I'm open-minded here, but am in need of convincing as to a rationale for leaving the feat as it currently is.

I'm also open to #6, and it just not having to make any sense, since this is, after all, a game, and not a reality-simulation. :)


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For me personally, this is one of those things I just figure is better not to think about :)


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It's a feat tax that prevents you from getting the really good ranged feats too quickly since they (almost) all have point-blank shot as a prerequisite.

That's pretty much its real function.


The target's profile is wider at closer range, and the wielder's steady hand takes advantage of this to hit the target optimally.


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The game is not a simulation. It is an abstraction.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
The game is not a simulation. It is an abstraction.

Right. Obviously. Did you read the last line of the initial post?

However, many facets of the game give a nod toward realism, or at least verisimilitude, and it would not be a difficult thing to do so with the concept of a "point blank" range.


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It's also a way to keep pesky ranged characters within charging distance.

I rationalize it as precision damage. Not so much as hitting harder, but aquiring the ability to deal more damage through better placement which is only afforded at closer ranges.

Just remember there are a lot of rules that are like scabs. Picking at it only makes it worse.


RJGrady wrote:
The target's profile is wider at closer range, and the wielder's steady hand takes advantage of this to hit the target optimally.

Yeah, sort of the natural ability and optimal senses rationale.

Got it.

But...wouldn't this "steady" hand apply a bonus to all ranges?

Saying the target's profile is wider at point blank range is of course true, but it's also true for short range vs. medium range, or medium-range vs. long range.


It takes advantage of the accuracy and timing that you only have at close range. A generalized steady hand would be Weapon Focus, while the ability to fire accurately at uncanny distances is Deadly Aim. The ability to make a deadly point blank shot only exists at 30 feet, and diminishes equally for all weapons about equally. It is the distance at which you can see the whites of someone's eyes to a mechanically significant degree.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, not a "how does it work?" but a "why should it work?" is what you are looking for.

I think you want a deep analysis of why it should exist.

I think a better question is "why does an in-depth analysis of it's existence need to be done?"

Really, these questions of "why should it work?" and "why should it exist?" can be asked of anything within Pathfinder.

Thing is, it is a search for a solution, for a problem that does not exist, for most things.

Though a fun discussion, it really accomplishes nothing, and doesn't quite fit in a "how it works" forum on rules.


Ximen Bao wrote:

It's a feat tax that prevents you from getting the really good ranged feats too quickly since they (almost) all have point-blank shot as a prerequisite.

That's pretty much its real function.

It is a pretty good feats for figthers in full plate mail with point blank master. Melee archers for the win!


While I am with you that your accuracy obviously scales with distance on weapons at different rates, your vision does not. If you need to justify it, justify it with what you can see at that range, though I firmly suspect the real answer lies in the need to keep the mechanics simple.


So what's the Rules Question here?

I think I'll go ahead and flag this for moving to the Homebrew/Suggestions forum.


Desna just do what the book says. It really is that simple this time. :)


I will also add that if you try to make sense of every rule in this game, so that it is realistic you might have a few headaches. Throw a bone to "because the rules say so", and life will be a lot easier.


wraithstrike wrote:
I will also add that if you try to make sense of every rule in this game, so that it is realistic you might have a few headaches. Throw a bone to "because the rules say so", and life will be a lot easier.

Yeah, if there is a thing about the game that I'd take a physics microscope to, it'd be the commoner railgun (aka, line up a thousand Commoners in a row, then have them pass a cannonball to the one next to them. The cannonball will have traveled nearly a mile in 6 seconds; so when the last commoner lets go it'll be going over 250 mps [~830 feet/sec]).


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That does not actually work if the GM hold you to a round being 6 seconds. Nobody is moving fast enough to involve 1000 people in 6 seconds. That is when the GM just says "no". :)


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Tholomyes wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I will also add that if you try to make sense of every rule in this game, so that it is realistic you might have a few headaches. Throw a bone to "because the rules say so", and life will be a lot easier.
Yeah, if there is a thing about the game that I'd take a physics microscope to, it'd be the commoner railgun (aka, line up a thousand Commoners in a row, then have them pass a cannonball to the one next to them. The cannonball will have traveled nearly a mile in 6 seconds; so when the last commoner lets go it'll be going over 250 mps [~830 feet/sec]).

The commoner railgun is a misconception by people who try to combine physics with RaW. It doesn't work that way

The cannonball does accelerate to 250mps but then is thrown as far as the last commoner can throw it based on his strength score (not far) and uses his BaB (not good).

It just rapidly accelerates and ends with a normal guy throwing a cannonball as fast as a normal person can throw a normal cannonball.


The better trick (completely within PF rules and does not involve any attempt to incorporate physics into PF) is the single Bow of OMG in the hands of an army. One OMG bow, 1000s of arrows.

Soldier 1 fires an arrow and drops it in Soldier 2's square. Soldier 2 picks up the bow, fires it, and drops it in Soldier 3's square. Repeat until you are out of soldiers. By RAW the end result is an entire army fired 1 arrow per soldier using the Bow of OMG in the same turn.

While not quite as spectacular as the idea of the commoner railgun it is actually doable in PF rules.

Personally, a +5 Bow with Bane on it should be quite adequate. I haven't thought too much about what the ultimate single bow would be.

- Gauss


The logic is simply eyesight. You can see targets better within 30 feet and can more accurately select a body part to throw, cast, or fire at. When firing an arrow at a distant target, you're only hoping to hit the target at all. Your character proficient in Point Blank Shot has become adequate at gauging the distance to the enemy and appropriately applying the correct amount of throwing strength, snapshot timing, or wizardly concentration to accurately hit and damage the target in what he perceives to be a vulnerable spot. I think if they made a melee twin to this, we'd have Critical Hit as a feat.


Desna's Avatar wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
The game is not a simulation. It is an abstraction.

Right. Obviously. Did you read the last line of the initial post?

However, many facets of the game give a nod toward realism, or at least verisimilitude, and it would not be a difficult thing to do so with the concept of a "point blank" range.

I'm not AD but I would just assume his post was a vote for #6. You asked us what we thought right?


If you're going to start picking apart feats like this, you have a huge list of bigger problems to tackle before you even get to Point Blank Shot.


Well, originally they were going to call it Short Range Predictive Targeting (Systems*) but they decided that was too long.

*For Golems.


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Actually, the commoner railgun comments have reminded me of something. And this applies to the OP's dissection of Point Blank Shot as well:

The time you have spent considering this would be far better spent preparing the next session for your players, or failing that, actually playing the game.

Silver Crusade

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Gauss wrote:

The better trick (completely within PF rules and does not involve any attempt to incorporate physics into PF) is the single Bow of OMG in the hands of an army. One OMG bow, 1000s of arrows.

Soldier 1 fires an arrow and drops it in Soldier 2's square. Soldier 2 picks up the bow, fires it, and drops it in Soldier 3's square. Repeat until you are out of soldiers. By RAW the end result is an entire army fired 1 arrow per soldier using the Bow of OMG in the same turn.

While not quite as spectacular as the idea of the commoner railgun it is actually doable in PF rules.

Personally, a +5 Bow with Bane on it should be quite adequate. I haven't thought too much about what the ultimate single bow would be.

- Gauss

It is not a "better trick" nor is it "completely within PF rules".

As wraithsrike pointed out earlier with the absurd "commoner railgun" nonsense, "That does not actually work if the GM hold you to a round being 6 seconds. Nobody is moving fast enough to involve 1000 people in 6 seconds. That is when the GM just says "no". :)"

Pathfinder is not a computer program. Pathfinder is adjudicated by, hopefully, thinking people who can look at an absurdity like this and simply say no.

I have said it before... Pathfinder is not broken, the people are. Difference.

It is like a small child getting a new toy and then proceeding to bang said toy with a brick. You tell the child that they are going to break the toy if they don't stop but they persist. Then they have the audacity to look surprised and throw a tantrum when their "new" toy is laying in pieces on the floor.

Stop hitting Pathfinder with a brick.

i.e. if you WANT to break the game you can. Or, you can choose to play the game...

*this has been a public service announcement... disregard it the same as you do all other such announcements... carry on.

Silver Crusade

To address the original question....

No, it does not make sense that it applies across the board.

However, it follows the KISS formula (Keep it Simple Stupid). It is one way of applying a point blank bonus to all ranged weapons without being overly complicated.

Is it perfect? Nope.
Does it have to be? As you pointed out, it may not need to be.

You brought up some very valid points with the differences between long ranged vs. short ranged weapons. Those points could be handled as you suggested, but would it add value? Or does it simply add extra steps to the process that aren't truly needed?


Tempestorm wrote:

It is not a "better trick" nor is it "completely within PF rules".

As wraithsrike pointed out earlier with the absurd "commoner railgun" nonsense, "That does not actually work if the GM hold you to a round being 6 seconds. Nobody is moving fast enough to involve 1000 people in 6 seconds. That is when the GM just says "no". :)"

If the DM has to put his foot down to stop something the rules allow, then yes, the rules allow it.

Just because the DM MAY stop it in practice doesn't mean the rules don't allow it.

Some game rules are better than others. Games often have flawed rules. Pathfinder certainly has flawed rules. Assuming a great DM that can fix problems from flawed rules whenever they come up does not change the fact that there has to be something there for him to fix. Also, fixing flawed rules is completely different from the other main skills the DM is bringing to the table regarding running a campaign, story, etc. So it is certainly fair to say flawed rules are a factor in Pathfinder and not at all true to pretend Pathfinder does not have aspects that could thereby be considered broken -- and hence in need of the DM to step in and fix them.


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Drachasor wrote:
Tempestorm wrote:

It is not a "better trick" nor is it "completely within PF rules".

As wraithsrike pointed out earlier with the absurd "commoner railgun" nonsense, "That does not actually work if the GM hold you to a round being 6 seconds. Nobody is moving fast enough to involve 1000 people in 6 seconds. That is when the GM just says "no". :)"

If the DM has to put his foot down to stop something the rules allow, then yes, the rules allow it.

Just because the DM MAY stop it in practice doesn't mean the rules don't allow it.

There are no rules anywhere pertaining to the speed of an object affecting its damage.

If you're going to be absolutely literal, then yes, the rules permit objects to be passed at great speed through free actions. However, nothing happens on the other end. Momentum is not accounted for in the rules, just as time and coordination are not accounted for.

I don't know what it is about the "rail gun" thing, but it just makes me angry. What a waste of intellect. The bow thing too.

Silver Crusade

The rules do not allow this situation. The Rules on Free Actions carry the quantifier of, "However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM." I think most people would agree that having thousands of people fire the same bow in a single round would go against this reasonable limit.

The rule isn't broken, the people attempting to take advantage of it are. Often that is all these "broken" scenario's are, people taking advantage of things in ways that are unreasonable.

That being said, by no means do I claim the game is perfect. Far from it. Nor does it need to be. It is a framework within witch we tell our stories, nothing more.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
Tempestorm wrote:

It is not a "better trick" nor is it "completely within PF rules".

As wraithsrike pointed out earlier with the absurd "commoner railgun" nonsense, "That does not actually work if the GM hold you to a round being 6 seconds. Nobody is moving fast enough to involve 1000 people in 6 seconds. That is when the GM just says "no". :)"

If the DM has to put his foot down to stop something the rules allow, then yes, the rules allow it.

Just because the DM MAY stop it in practice doesn't mean the rules don't allow it.

There are no rules anywhere pertaining to the speed of an object affecting its damage.

If you're going to be absolutely literal, then yes, the rules permit objects to be passed at great speed through free actions. However, nothing happens on the other end. Momentum is not accounted for in the rules, just as time and coordination are not accounted for.

I don't know what it is about the "rail gun" thing, but it just makes me angry. What a waste of intellect. The bow thing too.

We're not talking about passing things to increase speed. We're just talking about the bow.

A powerful bow can be shared among a 1000, 10,000, 100,000 archers. The kingdom could spend a bunch of money on one bow for all their archers in a group. They all benefit from the one bow because they pass it around after each one shoots. This makes this group of archers much more powerful than a normal group with normal bows.

So instead of 75 gold per longbow, they spend it all on one bow. That's 75000 gp for 1000 archers (for instance).

By RAW this all works.


The Rail Gun does not work within the rules so the GM does not have to stop it. Yes, the cannonball can travel 1000 miles in 6 seconds within the rules but that does not mean it can suddenly do a lot of damage. So, within the rules it is just a cannonball that traveled 1000 miles and does no more damage than a single person throwing it.

However, the Bow trick does work within the rules and would take a GM saying NO to stop it from working. Should the GM say NO? Absolutely, but he is still saying no to the rules.

Evil Lincoln it is no more a waste of intellect than most comments, debates, and discussions on these, or almost any, forums. :)

- Gauss


How does it work within the rules though?

The rules specifically state "How many Free actions are available is up to GM Fiat", or something to that effect. This isn't something as nebulous as "Rule 0" this is a stated fact of the game: Free actions are limited, though how limited they are depends on the GM.

Certainly a GM COULD allow this, but they are in no way required to and it is not the RAW that an effectively infinite number of Free actions is allowed, and it IS the RAI that only 2-3 SHOULD be allowed (gathered from SKR's comment on another topic. The one about ungripping/regripping 2H weapons I believe).

It falls into the same "RAW" as Pun-Pun: Technically possible, I suppose, maybe, but requires GM Fiat both to allow OR disallow it.


Tempestorm wrote:

The rules do not allow this situation. The Rules on Free Actions carry the quantifier of, "However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM." I think most people would agree that having thousands of people fire the same bow in a single round would go against this reasonable limit.

The rule isn't broken, the people attempting to take advantage of it are. Often that is all these "broken" scenario's are, people taking advantage of things in ways that are unreasonable.

That being said, by no means do I claim the game is perfect. Far from it. Nor does it need to be. It is a framework within witch we tell our stories, nothing more.

The only free action is dropping the bow. Otherwise it is a move action to pick up and a standard action to fire. For what it is worth.

It is an interesting interpretation that the DM would invoke the limits on free actions to stop this, I must admit. That's considering that the action rules are about what one person can do, not a group. Amusingly, it is certainly outside of the intent of that line of the rules and outside the scope of the actions in combat section.

But I guess if the bow possessed an enchantment that let anyone with a certain ring summon it as a move action, then that would be ok with you? I mean, there are no free actions being used then. Because really you're just depending putting the foot down on the one free action per archer to stop this. Pretty flimsy. I'm sure there's a clever way to avoid that.


The RAW for free actions is that "there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM." It's worded like this for a reason. The reason is that munchkinny gits will otherwise try and claim that schemes involving infinite free actions are RAW, and trying to explicitly eliminate all the munchkinny ideas that said gits come up with is a waste of everyone's time. The GM saying no to munchkinny gits is within the rules.


Said enchantment would also require GM Fiat since it's a non-standard effect, so you've come full circle again.

It's allowed because the GM allows it =/= It's the RAW just like it's disallowed because the GM says so doesn't mean it's not the RAW.

It falls into a nebulous category reliant on GM compliance in a setting free of other game rules that interact with said action to make possible.

Interesting thought exercise, sure, but not RAW.


Rynjin wrote:

How does it work within the rules though?

The rules specifically state "How many Free actions are available is up to GM Fiat", or something to that effect. This isn't something as nebulous as "Rule 0" this is a stated fact of the game: Free actions are limited, though how limited they are depends on the GM.

Certainly a GM COULD allow this, but they are in no way required to and it is not the RAW that an effectively infinite number of Free actions is allowed, and it IS the RAI that only 2-3 SHOULD be allowed (gathered from SKR's comment on another topic. The one about ungripping/regripping 2H weapons I believe).

It falls into the same "RAW" as Pun-Pun: Technically possible, I suppose, maybe, but requires GM Fiat both to allow OR disallow it.

Even that's about the free actions one person is taking. It's not about one person each taking a free action. Saying the 5th guy can't take a free action because the 4th guy "used them all up" isn't really what the rules are about there.

Not saying this isn't shenanigans, but it is legal shenanigans. A lot more legal than pun-pun too, since it only involves Core (and in fact just one book).


If I were the GM, I'd just say that the second person dropping the bow doesn't have enough time to complete that free action. Nyah!


I think you misunderstand me, gentlemen. I'm not saying a DM should allow this. I am saying the reason to stop it is not because the DM is clinging to the "Free Action" guidelines that are written to cover one character taking multiple free actions.

It's stopped because it is completely ridiculous even in a fantasy setting and blatantly abuses the timing system in combat. Because leaving things open to it being ok if you don't spend a free action is nearly as absurd as the actual abuse -- and I think there's some way around it if I give it some more thought.

And I'm sure there are other very silly abuses of the system that don't involve using any free actions. The "railgun" thing, while it wouldn't work to launch anything, would work to quickly send a message or item someone in one round. No free actions needed.


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Evil Lincoln wrote:

Actually, the commoner railgun comments have reminded me of something. And this applies to the OP's dissection of Point Blank Shot as well:

The time you have spent considering this would be far better spent preparing the next session for your players, or failing that, actually playing the game.

Truer words may never have been written about this game!

Silver Crusade

Drachasor wrote:
Tempestorm wrote:

The rules do not allow this situation. The Rules on Free Actions carry the quantifier of, "However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM." I think most people would agree that having thousands of people fire the same bow in a single round would go against this reasonable limit.

The rule isn't broken, the people attempting to take advantage of it are. Often that is all these "broken" scenario's are, people taking advantage of things in ways that are unreasonable.

That being said, by no means do I claim the game is perfect. Far from it. Nor does it need to be. It is a framework within witch we tell our stories, nothing more.

The only free action is dropping the bow. Otherwise it is a move action to pick up and a standard action to fire. For what it is worth.

It is an interesting interpretation that the DM would invoke the limits on free actions to stop this, I must admit. That's considering that the action rules are about what one person can do, not a group. Amusingly, it is certainly outside of the intent of that line of the rules and outside the scope of the actions in combat section.

But I guess if the bow possessed an enchantment that let anyone with a certain ring summon it as a move action, then that would be ok with you? I mean, there are no free actions being used then. Because really you're just depending putting the foot down on the one free action per archer to stop this. Pretty flimsy. I'm sure there's a clever way to avoid that.

The limit on free actions is written to adress an indaviduals actions within a given round. However, it sets the precedent that Free Actions can be limited. I do not belive limiting free actions to disallow thousands upon thousands of people to fire/drop/pickup/fire/drop/pick ad nauseam is outside of the scope or intent of said limitations. Nor do I think that the designers felt the need to say, "No you can't do that." due to the absurdity of it. Some things should not need to be spelled out.

The problem is that we try to be so incredibly smart about these things that we outsmart ourselves. We know something like this is silly and yet we will sit and declare that it is, "In the Rules!". When it is glaringly apparent that it is neither reasonable nor within the intent of the framework of the game.

Your example with the enchanted bow that moves to a new person with a move action... Sure, that enchantment might work... in a small group between a person or two. But by no stretch of the guidelines for action economy could that same bow be passed between thousands and thousands of people to all fire within the same round. That is simply purposeful abuse and misuese that any reasonable table would laugh about and move along with the game. Again, the designers shouldn't have to tell us, "No, that doens't work."

Remember though, combat is absract. Everyting is supposed to be happening simoultaneously within that 6 second round. We break it down into "turns" so that we can make sense of the battle and keep track of whats happening, but really its all happening at once. This abstactions holds up in the small combats that are typical to the games but break down quickly with the amount of forces laid out in the example.

The Ultimate Campaign book has guidelines for mass combat and the time breakdown is very different from "standard" combat.

Drachosar, I am not saying the game doens't have holes. I am saying that people take those holes and atempt to turn them into the Grand Canyon. The system isn't perfect, it can't be. The rules don't cover every situation, they can't. That is what the GM and Players are there for... to fill in the gaps.

The other side of the coin is simply counter productive.


I do not think anyone (especially myself) was seriously suggesting that the 1 bow for an army concept was anything but an exercise in rules ridiculousness. After all, there are a number of things in the rules that are ridiculous and yet are RAW.

Example: if you are prone you still *somehow* provide cover for someone behind you. Why? because the rules do not say otherwise and you still occupy your space.

Note: anyone who says that the GM should've said otherwise, this has actually happened in PFS games because the rules do not say otherwise.

The idea of the 1 bow for an army is not intended to be a serious suggestion. It was intended to be funny. An idea of what the RAW can be taken to without common sense applied. That people are actually calling that a waste of time just goes to show that they missed the point. :)

- Gauss

P.S. To clarify: the point is that RAW is not king despite my often debating RAW with people.


Evil Lincoln wrote:

Actually, the commoner railgun comments have reminded me of something. And this applies to the OP's dissection of Point Blank Shot as well:

The time you have spent considering this would be far better spent preparing the next session for your players, or failing that, actually playing the game.

You have no way of knowing that.

Perhaps I have no game session scheduled. Perhaps I am not wanting to play the game during that time frame, or am unable to. Thus, my time would not best be spent doing something I do not want to do, and perhaps did not have the opportunity of doing.


Tempestorm wrote:
Gauss wrote:

The better trick (completely within PF rules and does not involve any attempt to incorporate physics into PF) is the single Bow of OMG in the hands of an army. One OMG bow, 1000s of arrows.

Soldier 1 fires an arrow and drops it in Soldier 2's square. Soldier 2 picks up the bow, fires it, and drops it in Soldier 3's square. Repeat until you are out of soldiers. By RAW the end result is an entire army fired 1 arrow per soldier using the Bow of OMG in the same turn.

While not quite as spectacular as the idea of the commoner railgun it is actually doable in PF rules.

Personally, a +5 Bow with Bane on it should be quite adequate. I haven't thought too much about what the ultimate single bow would be.

- Gauss

It is not a "better trick" nor is it "completely within PF rules".

As wraithsrike pointed out earlier with the absurd "commoner railgun" nonsense, "That does not actually work if the GM hold you to a round being 6 seconds. Nobody is moving fast enough to involve 1000 people in 6 seconds. That is when the GM just says "no". :)"

Pathfinder is not a computer program. Pathfinder is adjudicated by, hopefully, thinking people who can look at an absurdity like this and simply say no.

I have said it before... Pathfinder is not broken, the people are. Difference.

It is like a small child getting a new toy and then proceeding to bang said toy with a brick. You tell the child that they are going to break the toy if they don't stop but they persist. Then they have the audacity to look surprised and throw a tantrum when their "new" toy is laying in pieces on the floor.

Stop hitting Pathfinder with a brick.

i.e. if you WANT to break the game you can. Or, you can choose to play the game...

*this has been a public service announcement... disregard it the same as you do all other such announcements... carry on.

Pathfinder isn't perfect. Nothing is, and no game is.

I like to think, and I like to better things.

In this case, I think it would be easy to come up with a more intelligent "Point Blank Shot" feat or barring that, instituting a point blank range for everyone.


Tempestorm wrote:

To address the original question....

No, it does not make sense that it applies across the board.

However, it follows the KISS formula (Keep it Simple Stupid). It is one way of applying a point blank bonus to all ranged weapons without being overly complicated.

Is it perfect? Nope.
Does it have to be? As you pointed out, it may not need to be.

You brought up some very valid points with the differences between long ranged vs. short ranged weapons. Those points could be handled as you suggested, but would it add value? Or does it simply add extra steps to the process that aren't truly needed?

Hey there, yeah, personally I think it would add value, as do my players.

As well, if one is looking for pure simplicity in a game, Pathfinder is most assuredly not one's best option. ;)

Pathfinder is wonderfully complex, with layered depth and breadth. That's one of the things I love about it.


Drachasor wrote:

I think you misunderstand me, gentlemen. I'm not saying a DM should allow this. I am saying the reason to stop it is not because the DM is clinging to the "Free Action" guidelines that are written to cover one character taking multiple free actions.

Actually, it exists for the GM to say that any free action is not possible. In this case, I would say that you don't have enough time to perform that free action if the bow has already been disturbed in the round.

Silver Crusade

Gauss wrote:

I do not think anyone (especially myself) was seriously suggesting that the 1 bow for an army concept was anything but an exercise in rules ridiculousness. After all, there are a number of things in the rules that are ridiculous and yet are RAW.

Example: if you are prone you still *somehow* provide cover for someone behind you. Why? because the rules do not say otherwise and you still occupy your space.

Note: anyone who says that the GM should've said otherwise, this has actually happened in PFS games because the rules do not say otherwise.

The idea of the 1 bow for an army is not intended to be a serious suggestion. It was intended to be funny. An idea of what the RAW can be taken to without common sense applied. That people are actually calling that a waste of time just goes to show that they missed the point. :)

- Gauss

P.S. To clarify: the point is that RAW is not king despite my often debating RAW with people.

Gauss, I know it is an exercise in absurdity. And I agree that RAW is by no means King. RAW is 1's and 0's... the game is fluid, adaptive.

I took any support of such idea as a Devil's Advocate argument and nothing more.

Silver Crusade

Desna's Avatar wrote:

Pathfinder isn't perfect. Nothing is, and no game is.

I like to think, and I like to better things.

In this case, I think it would be easy to come up with a more intelligent "Point Blank Shot" feat or barring that, instituting a point blank range for everyone.

Never said Pathfinder was a perfect system. No system is perfect because they are all created by flawed imperfect humans.

Nothing wrong with thinking and bettering things... my assertions of absurdity had nothing to do with your original topic. They were all in answer to the rail gun and one bow for a millions soldiers thought projects.

Desna's Avatar wrote:
Tempestorm wrote:

To address the original question....

No, it does not make sense that it applies across the board.

However, it follows the KISS formula (Keep it Simple Stupid). It is one way of applying a point blank bonus to all ranged weapons without being overly complicated.

Is it perfect? Nope.
Does it have to be? As you pointed out, it may not need to be.

You brought up some very valid points with the differences between long ranged vs. short ranged weapons. Those points could be handled as you suggested, but would it add value? Or does it simply add extra steps to the process that aren't truly needed?

Hey there, yeah, personally I think it would add value, as do my players.

As well, if one is looking for pure simplicity in a game, Pathfinder is most assuredly not one's best option. ;)

Pathfinder is wonderfully complex, with layered depth and breadth. That's one of the things I love about it.

As I said in my response, you brought up some very valid points. My questions were to ask if such a change would add value to you and your players. You say it will, then most likely it will.

If I were going to adjust the ability I would do it one of two ways:

1. Point blank range is 30ft or first range increment, whichever is lower.

2. Point blank is first range increment.

I believe I would favor 1 over 2 though.

When I referenced KISS I wasn't referring to the system as a whole. There are things that are overly complicated (that usually don't need to be). I was referring only to this rules instance and giving a possible reason why it was so streamlined and simple.


Gauss wrote:

I do not think anyone (especially myself) was seriously suggesting that the 1 bow for an army concept was anything but an exercise in rules ridiculousness. After all, there are a number of things in the rules that are ridiculous and yet are RAW.

Example: if you are prone you still *somehow* provide cover for someone behind you. Why? because the rules do not say otherwise and you still occupy your space.

Note: anyone who says that the GM should've said otherwise, this has actually happened in PFS games because the rules do not say otherwise.

The idea of the 1 bow for an army is not intended to be a serious suggestion. It was intended to be funny. An idea of what the RAW can be taken to without common sense applied. That people are actually calling that a waste of time just goes to show that they missed the point. :)

- Gauss

P.S. To clarify: the point is that RAW is not king despite my often debating RAW with people.

And there's a more serious point to these exercises. They demonstrate, by being as absurd as possible, flaws in the game rules. Showing a more modest example of the same flaws is often not as illuminating, imho.

As for point blank shot, I don't really see the problem with it. It's an alright combat feat...is there any good reason to nerf it? It's easy to make sense of as well. It just means you're better able to adjust your aim and predict the movement of enemies close by -- it's about hand-eye coordination. It doesn't have anything to do with a particular ranged weapon. Your training in a particular weapon determines how well you can apply it in practical terms.

Let's not nerf the half-decent combat feats.


So the issue with the feat is its name? So if it were called Sniper's Eye instead would you be saying it doesn't make sense because a sniper takes shots much further than 30ft?

Instead of trying to change the mechanic of the feat just call it something else in your head that fits...there is nothing mechanically wrong with the feat to warrant a rewrite or errata


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Desna's Avatar wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Actually, the commoner railgun comments have reminded me of something. And this applies to the OP's dissection of Point Blank Shot as well:

The time you have spent considering this would be far better spent preparing the next session for your players, or failing that, actually playing the game.

You have no way of knowing that.

Perhaps I have no game session scheduled. Perhaps I am not wanting to play the game during that time frame, or am unable to. Thus, my time would not best be spent doing something I do not want to do, and perhaps did not have the opportunity of doing.

If the ruleswanking has zero value, and game prep has even potential value, then yes, I do know this to be true.

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