Can I fire my longbow six times in a round, ever?


Rules Questions

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fretgod99 wrote:
Again, what was posited in the FAQ was not the reasonable answer; it was a reasonable answer.

See, this is my point of disagreement:

I do not think it is at all reasonable to reduce someone's attacks in combat due to talking, and I don't think it's reasonable to limit users to reloading weapons three times. Either it applies to crossbows too, in which case it's punitively limiting to builds that weren't broken, or it's intended to apply only to guns, in which case it's an incredibly bad way to express the intent.

But the talking thing is the real "what the heck, that is not in any way reasonable" point. That is horrible.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
fretgod99 wrote:
The FAQ goes out of its way to make clear that it's discretionary.

And it would do that, just as well, without the controversial numerical values. So remove the numerical example.

Silver Crusade

fretgod99 wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

@fretgod99: while I can sympathise with those sentiments, these things aren't done in a vacuum, whatever the intentions of the devs.

Are free actions (the kind which are conceptually 'part of the attack') allowed to be used to enable an AoO that you qualify for to take place?

Whatever the answer, it would apply equally to any AoO that you are allowed to take, whether with a two-handed weapon or with a bow.

Unless what allows the combination for ranged weapons is the fact that you've taken a feat to do it. And the wording of the FAQ implies that you need to have the feat. So, there's still a difference. That's my point.

That interpretation of that FAQ is just as valid as the other; that the 'free' actions needed to make an attack are considered 'part of the attack' and can be taken whenever the attack is taken.

It's not stated either way, and could reasonably be interpreted either way.

It would have been clear if the feat or the FAQ stated that the only reason you can use this free action outside of your own turn is because you've taken this feat, but it doesn't.

Until yesterday, it was 50/50. Today, we have a designer telling us that the PDT views the kind of free actions needed to make an attack are really non-actions, and that the arrows being drawn when making AoOs with a bow are also non-actions.

This, for me, makes it 75/25 in favour of this not being restricted to one feat, but is assumed by the PDT as the way it is, all the time!


Jamie Charlan wrote:
Plus, even this, apparently, is not intended at all, and certain developers did not even know/realize that certain actions were specifically "free actions". Of course, others did, and only did not realize that this would also affect the almighty Bow.

Do people really have a problem with the bow being the best ranged weapon in the game? I would agree that other options should be viable, but I think that the bow should remain the default, and possibly best, option.


Jamie Charlan wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:

Just like every GM can look at the FAQ and say, "Meh, even 5 is too few." Or, "I'm not going to worry about it, just like always, unless somebody is making a mess of things." Or, "3 sounds good, except for [a few specific instances]."

3 to 5 free actions has been established as a baseline. So people can use it as such. Or not. Whatever.

And how are they to know it's too few? Giving those numbers, and explaining "RAI THIS IS WHAT IS REASONABLE TO THE DEVELOPERS OF THE GAME" [emphasis entirely theirs except for those that later disown said response in forum thread comments].

Plus, even this, apparently, is not intended at all, and certain developers did not even know/realize that certain actions were specifically "free actions". Of course, others did, and only did not realize that this would also affect the almighty Bow.

You have to understand; 15 and 20 point-buys are ALSO just suggested guidelines, as is WBL. As were 3.5 and 4e's Standard Arrays correct? Those guidelines get followed, and those not doing so are viewed on the same level as "well they're playing homebrews".

No one is forced at gunpoint to follow these guidelines, but if allowed to fester, these numbers in that guideline become the standard. Because those are allowed, but still "just not how you play officially".

That's the insidiousness of it: This suggestion was either added through a complete lack of understanding of the rules... or WITH one. And in the latter case, it's explicitly a powerful nerf to things those who wrote it do not like [monks, crossbows, firearms, throwing in general], whether or not it is justified [it is not], and done in such a way as to avoid any severe backlash - because it becomes self regulated across the playerbase rather than a "hammer from above".

Maybe 15 and 20 point buys became quite standard because people tried it out and decided they liked the balance of it a lot more than the randomness of dice rolls? Or maybe it became standard (like WBL) because in organized play, more deference is given to balance across the spectrum? If this guideline is massively disliked, how do you expect it to become the norm?

I hardly see this as insidious. And I hardly see this as comparable to WBL or point buy. This isn't even a "In PFS, characters will be limited to ..." guideline. You're making a huge leap, which you're entitled to do. But I don't buy it.


Lord Twig wrote:
Jamie Charlan wrote:
Plus, even this, apparently, is not intended at all, and certain developers did not even know/realize that certain actions were specifically "free actions". Of course, others did, and only did not realize that this would also affect the almighty Bow.
Do people really have a problem with the bow being the best ranged weapon in the game? I would agree that other options should be viable, but I think that the bow should remain the default, and possibly best, option.

It is not just the best, it is the best by far. Sometimes you just want to do something different. So you look and see what other options are available, see that you have to take some extra feats, see that you have to deal with different action economy, take some more feats, all to do less damage and be less versatile than the guy with the bow. So you say screw it and go back to the bow. It sucks. Because I want to say my toon in a fantasy game shoots with a crossbow instead of a longbow I have to spend more feats and do less with them.


fretgod99 wrote:

Just like every GM can look at the FAQ and say, "Meh, even 5 is too few." Or, "I'm not going to worry about it, just like always, unless somebody is making a mess of things." Or, "3 sounds good, except for [a few specific instances]."

3 to 5 free actions has been established as a baseline. So people can use it as such. Or not. Whatever.

The problem comes in where "people...use it as such" because the suggested reasonable limitations actually contradict perfectly balanced and common builds.

A Gunslinger who carries a single double-barreled pistol and who has 2 attacks from BAB, Rapid Shot, and Haste isn't 'breaking' the system - an archer at the same level will get just as many arrows (if they take into factor Manyshot, which the Gunslinger can't use). Yet that Gunslinger can't actually make all of those attacks if the GM actually applies those guidelines.

So let's say we remove them, because of the fact that it sets up a system under which a normal build is penalized:

What's the point of the FAQ at all then? At that point, it's restating a rule that already exists, to fix a problem that occurred even though that rule already existed.

That's why I say that despite all the "just a suggestion" and "gudelines" language doesn't make sense, because if the designers really meant for people just to ignore it, then the FAQ did nothing to fix the problem they claim it was meant to resolve.


Its not a huge leap to think that a suggestion that is presented amidst a bunch of actual rules will be treated with more weight than any other suggestion.

We have had devs participate in this discussion and they have suggested alternatives, even to the point of saying that "none should be counting free actions", but that doesn't hold the weight that a suggestion presented in an official FAQ does.

If this guideline had come up in some thread about how to handle an OP TWF double-barreled pistolero, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

More to the point, a suggestion is very different when only one option is presented explicitly. WBL, point buy and many other optional guidelines at least provide multiple examples. It would be one thing to say something like:
"yes you can limit free actions, you can decide on a flat number of free actions that can be performed each turn or you can decide which free actions should be limited on a case by case basis, or you can limit the players to one free action per attack or other action. You are the GM, and by the power of greyskull you have the power and all of these are reasonable ways to handle free action abuse."

But they didn't say that. The implicit meaning of the FAQ is "we think X is reasonable... this is not a rule, and you can make your own limits but this is our suggestion." In the same way, WBL suggests that game balance can be thrown off kilter if you go against it, this FAQ suggests that allowing more than 3-5 free actions would be generous while less than 3-5 would be restrictive. Since 3 free actions would demolish pretty much any ranged build, the implication is pretty clear.... demolishing ranged builds is a reasonable thing to do, and this is further highlighted by the fact that they specifically use reloading a ranged weapon in their given example.

Designer

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Hey everyone, before this thread goes on for even more posts, I wanted to just chime in and let you know that the design team has been discussing this issue in great detail. We have been hearing all sides of the issue and we appreciate all the great points that you have all been making on this thread and others.

While we have not made any concrete decisions as of yet, we get it. We really do. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LazarX wrote:

Firearms have a unique advantage no other non-magical weapon has... they hit at touch AC. And that's before the special gunslinger tricks come in.

There are legal ways of full attacking with a firearm.

1. Operate in a campaign where revolvers are allowed weapons. (sorry that leaves out PFS)

2. Do what we did in Living Arcanis.... Carry more guns. A person carrying three flintlocks would not be that much out of order.

And how many of those special gunslinger tricks are just giving you a way to deal with one of the countless disadvantages of using a gun, like clearing misfires or allowing you to add an ability score to your damage as the bow does, or making ammunition *marginally* affordable? And, because it can't be sated enough--unless you're allowing rifles into your campaign, which is decidedly not the default assumption, you're only hitting touch AC if you're within charge distance.

As to your second suggestion, I'd point out that mundane, non-masterwork Pathfinder guns approach and occasionally exceed magic weapon costs all on their own, making multiple-carry distinctly infeasible.


Xaratherus wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:

Just like every GM can look at the FAQ and say, "Meh, even 5 is too few." Or, "I'm not going to worry about it, just like always, unless somebody is making a mess of things." Or, "3 sounds good, except for [a few specific instances]."

3 to 5 free actions has been established as a baseline. So people can use it as such. Or not. Whatever.

The problem comes in where "people...use it as such" because the suggested reasonable limitations actually contradict perfectly balanced and common builds.

A Gunslinger who carries a single double-barreled pistol and who has 2 attacks from BAB, Rapid Shot, and Haste isn't 'breaking' the system - an archer at the same level will get just as many arrows (if they take into factor Manyshot, which the Gunslinger can't use). Yet that Gunslinger can't actually make all of those attacks if the GM actually applies those guidelines.

So let's say we remove them, because of the fact that it sets up a system under which a normal build is penalized:

What's the point of the FAQ at all then? At that point, it's restating a rule that already exists, to fix a problem that occurred even though that rule already existed.

That's why I say that despite all the "just a suggestion" and "gudelines" language doesn't make sense, because if the designers really meant for people just to ignore it, then the FAQ did nothing to fix the problem they claim it was meant to resolve.

They didn't mean for people to ignore it. They meant for people to consider it. If people follow it explicitly, great. If people ignore it, great. If people use it as a starting point for figuring out something more workable for their own table, great.

And remember, I'm not trying to say a 3 or 5 limit on free actions is a good thing. I'm not necessarily advocating nerfing ranged builds. I'm just asking people to be honest with what the FAQ actually does say. There is plenty to discuss (as we can see) about this FAQ without having arguments based off of things the FAQ doesn't actually say. Doing so only clouds the issue.


Seeing as how Ultimate Combat hasn't had a new printing yet, is changing the rules for firearms to better match the intent 'on the table'?

You could free up wordcount by removing double barreled pistols :)


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Lord Twig wrote:
Do people really have a problem with the bow being the best ranged weapon in the game? I would agree that other options should be viable, but I think that the bow should remain the default, and possibly best, option.

Personally I do have issue with it because of the sheer disparity. Bows get basically all of the benefits, while others get the "this isn't a fantasy game, you have to have realism" tacked on as a restraint.

If "you expend more feats, more training, more resources, and with all of these an archer eventually is the best option" it's one thing. But instead they're best out of the box, even at a level where other weapons are supposed to be SIGNIFICANTLY better [even down on 'we armed this militia with a week of training under it levels] options, and the gap just gets wider from there.

If the game's rules are supposed to reflect that additional time, training and resources poured into a weapon will be more important than other factors, then why are crossbows still worse than just picking up a bow with it after Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot and Crossbow mastery?

If the game is supposedly supposed to have a bit of realism to it, why are bows martial weapons - something anyone of any class can use, at worst through proper selection of race and/or racial/character traits? It takes YEARS just to be able to volley-fire them in the proper general direction, and yet a wizard can be proficient by default with it while "hand it to peasants, they'll figure it out quick enough" repeating crossbows are exotic proficiencies?

If 'exotic > martial > simple' gets used as an excuse for why the bow gets higher RoF AND higher damage [no stat to the crossbow or firearm], why are repeaters and firearms still inferior by default and for equal amounts of additional feats expended?

Why are againcourt and crecy constantly touted, even by developers, when it had almost nothing to do with the two weapons [crossbows were obsoleting bows almost everywhere, including professional forces] and everything to do with weather, terrain, and a few tactical decisions so bad you can't help but laugh? Why are those touted but examples of the weapons outperforming bows then tossed aside "because this is a game"?

Why does reaching for your quiver when all you have is an easily sundered stick not an AoO, but pulling back a mechanical lever is?

Why do some folks complain that there's no rules on hammering a crossbow's range and penetrating power while wet, yet mention that the animal glue on a composite bow would make it utterly fall apart with a few days in slightly humid temperate climates and you get "this is a fantasy game you pedant"?

Why does a world with giant clockwork spiders incapable of producing crossbows that are more advanced than roughly 500 BCE? By medieval times steel-prodded arbalests were easily equivalent to a 500lb draw bow, though at 800lbs due to a level of inefficiency [flat out they're a bit shorter for portability than a bow, so they lose efficiency - something in-game engineering would easily notice and remedy in golarion], but apparently all we get are wooden sinew gastraphetes.

It's the constant double standard of giving or excusing the bow's every break, while going "woooaaah there. Stop. let's not get unrealistic" the moment other weapons show themselves. Even this change to free actions reeks of "CRAP. I've heard there's some very specific class/feat/equipment builds that might almost catch up to a bow, and one that really abuses above and beyond the rules is even beating their output" nerf-power-hammering, especially after the "oh, sorry, yeah this isn't supposed to affect bows, only other reloading weapons" that came out from one developer on the subject early on.

I apologize for the wall of text but figured tossing all the issues regarding the weapon would be faster than letting them slowly get injected in a back and forth as a handful of people join each side.


Cheapy wrote:

Seeing as how Ultimate Combat hasn't had a new printing yet, is changing the rules for firearms to better match the intent 'on the table'?

You could free up wordcount by removing double barreled pistols :)

I would like that, but I doubt it will happen. Perhaps they could publish alternate rules for firearms, though?

Anyway, if they remove the ability to target touch AC, they should compensate for it in some way. Firearms are alredy the worst weapons in the game unless you're a Gunslinger or Trench Fighter. Personaly, I'd triple their range and limit misfires to natural 1s only. I'd also make them much, much cheaper.


And simpler. Don't forget simpler.

If they're to be kept exotic and weak because of game balance when they should be lethal, simple weapons, then we have to accept that they also have to be kept VIABLE AND EFFECTIVE because of game balance.

Enough of axing things for realism because fantasy while axing them for game balance ignoring realism.


@Jamie Charlan

I agree and disagree at the same time. I agree from the standpoint that getting a gun to be as effective (though it can often become MORE effective in the hands of a gunslinger) as a bow requires a lot of character building resources (i'll include ammo costs in those).

OTOH I think that Pathfinder has a very bad habit of building in drawbacks to certain weapons or abilities and then providing ways to completely sidestep those drawbacks. Personally, I think it is a bit silly that firearms can be loaded as a quickly as a bow is shot, but this is just from a stylistic perspective.

If it were my game to design I would have made guns into incredibly deadly weapons with the (unremovable) drawback that they take a long time to load and can misfire or jam up... but Pathfinder chose to give them only a slightly higher base damage and the ability to hit touch... so from a mechanics perspective, gunslingers really need to be able to load quickly.

For anyone that takes serious issue with the realism presented by these mechanics, they can always amp the damage of a firearm way way up and keep the load time at a move action at best (10 shots per minute would still be pretty impossible for any human with a blackpowder weapon, but not as insane as the 96 that a pistolero can get now).


I don't mean that drastic of a change. Just with the way reloading works (and probably clear up that "Do Advanced Firearms work with rapid reload?" question as well.)

Think more like what they did with the Monk, rather than a whole new system.


Jamie Charlan wrote:
Lord Twig wrote:
Do people really have a problem with the bow being the best ranged weapon in the game? I would agree that other options should be viable, but I think that the bow should remain the default, and possibly best, option.

Wall of text.

I apologize for the wall of text...

No apology needed. I pretty much agree with everything you said. Notice the bold part above. Guns, crossbows and other ranged weapons should be viable, and they currently aren't, but I do not want to replace the bow as the primary ranged weapon of the game.

Honestly this is related to the "power creep" argument. I don't want any core classes replaced by new base classes (may be too late for the Fighter or Rogue). I don't want core weapons replaced by new unusual weapons (Hello falcata!). Core feats should not be inferior to new feats (Um... yeah). etc...

So guns and crossbows do need to be fixed, but let's not make the bow obsolete in the process.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Hello Everybody,

Let me start off by thanking the folks who took the time to post to this thread and who kept their remarks civil and courteous to the other people on the boards.

We have decided to walk back the FAQ concerning free actions.

We had hoped that this simple piece of advice would help solve the issue in a "soft" way without having to change the rules. This was clearly not the case. It created more problems than it solved and ultimately was not a very good fix of the problem we were trying to tackle.

In its place, we have decided to make a change to weapon cords. Within the next few minutes, a new FAQ will go up in the APG and UE FAQ forums. The time required to retrieve a weapon on a weapon cord is being changed from a swift action to a move action. This change allows the weapon cord to be used as it was originally intended (to retrieve a dropped weapon without provoking an AoO, and to prevent you from losing your weapon if panicked). We generally try to avoid making outright rules changes in the FAQ, but in this case we feel it is warranted. This change will be reflected in future printings of those books.

Thanks for participating everybody and helping us troubleshoot this issue. This thread will now be locked.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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