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


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The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

That's it. Simple question.

I seem to be limited to 3 bullets a round for guns,
And three bolts per round for crossbows.


BAB 16+ gives 4 attacks. +1 for Rapid Shot, +1 for Haste, +1 for Manyshot. So certainly 6 times, for 7 arrows. I expect someone can do better.

Shadow Lodge

You can shoot a longbow 8 times a full-attack as a 20th level zen archer. How do you get only 3 bullets/bolts per gun/crossbow? Or are you refering to the FAQ that specifically states that it changes nothing (as you get as many free actions as the GM will allow you to have, not the 3-5 that it says you get).

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Just pointing it out, so that some GMs don't suddenly start limiting archers to three per round. Because now that the idea is out there, there can be table variation, over things that have worked for the past 5-6years just fine.


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I think most players and GM are long-since used to the notion that drawing your arrow out is actually part of the bow attack itself.


Bruunwald wrote:
I think most players and GM are long-since used to the notion that drawing your arrow out is actually part of the bow attack itself.

Gunslingers have a stigma working against them though don't they?


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Bruunwald wrote:
I think most players and GM are long-since used to the notion that drawing your arrow out is actually part of the bow attack itself.

yep, and more hatred towards the red-headed stepchild of crossbows, which, even if you spend the feat on rapid reload, still explicitly state that reloading them is a free action.

so yeah, can we just eliminate all the crossbows from the game already and give composite longbows(which you can for some reason use while mounted, unlike normal longbows...guess they are not as unwieldy if they are made from a different material) built-in rapidshot?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
MordredofFairy wrote:
Bruunwald wrote:
I think most players and GM are long-since used to the notion that drawing your arrow out is actually part of the bow attack itself.

yep, and more hatred towards the red-headed stepchild of crossbows, which, even if you spend the feat on rapid reload, still explicitly state that reloading them is a free action.

so yeah, can we just eliminate all the crossbows from the game already and give composite longbows(which you can for some reason use while mounted, unlike normal longbows...guess they are not as unwieldy if they are made from a different material) built-in rapidshot?

Composite Longbows in the real world are specifically horse mounted weapons.


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Bruunwald wrote:
I think most players and GM are long-since used to the notion that drawing your arrow out is actually part of the bow attack itself.

Drawing that arrow is still a free action by the rules.


MordredofFairy wrote:
Bruunwald wrote:


so yeah, can we just eliminate all the crossbows from the game already and give composite longbows(which you can for some reason use while mounted, unlike normal longbows...guess they are not as unwieldy if they are made from a different material) built-in rapidshot?
Composite Longbows in the real world are specifically horse mounted weapons.

Are you entirely sure you are not talking about composite short bows? As used since the Antique by horse archers?

I know composite bows were specifically used by horse archers. But we are talking Longbows here.
A longbow that is, per definition, about the size(height) of the archer.
I can't really see that work mounted without any penalties, also the reason the normal longbow specifically states it is unusable mounted.


ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
You can shoot a longbow 8 times a full-attack as a 20th level zen archer. How do you get only 3 bullets/bolts per gun/crossbow? Or are you refering to the FAQ that specifically states that it changes nothing (as you get as many free actions as the GM will allow you to have, not the 3-5 that it says you get).

Of course it also allows the GM to only allow one arrow, with just as much justification as 8.

What's changed is that the official guideline is 3. Even the given example with pistols suggests that is the intent. And stay quite while shooting, because if you talk as a free action you only get two shots.

Obviously the GM can override that guideline, but the baseline assumption has changed. Before the GM could choose to override the base assumption of as many free actions as desired. Now he can choose to override the baseline of 3 (or 5 if they're all different).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

The daikyu is a composite longbow, and also made for horseback. 'Composite' bows were invented to have a powerful bow usable from horseback, and evolved into the combined material bows that we have today.

Pistols and crossbows have problems with attack speed, which is born out in reality. Archers were far more valuable individually then crossbowmen on a battlefield at all times, but you could field a LOT more crossbowmen since it was simpler to learn.

And we all know how guns vs arrows does in reality, even with the poor load rate. The range and armor punching puts it all in the favor of gunpowder. Live with hitting Touch AC, eh?

==Aelryinth

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

"Official Guideline" it is not.

Nothing has changed.

Free actions are limited by DM fiat only.

Nothing has changed.


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I like how everyone is whining like children about this FAQ when it even says in the FAQ:

"Again, these are guidelines, and the GM can allow more or fewer free actions as appropriate to the circumstances."

But no, please, continue casting Transmute Molehill into Mountain. It entertains me.


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Aelryinth wrote:

The daikyu is a composite longbow, and also made for horseback. 'Composite' bows were invented to have a powerful bow usable from horseback, and evolved into the combined material bows that we have today.

Pistols and crossbows have problems with attack speed, which is born out in reality. Archers were far more valuable individually then crossbowmen on a battlefield at all times, but you could field a LOT more crossbowmen since it was simpler to learn.

And we all know how guns vs arrows does in reality, even with the poor load rate. The range and armor punching puts it all in the favor of gunpowder. Live with hitting Touch AC, eh?

==Aelryinth

So we are not talking about normal composite longbows, but about a Japanese Yumi now that somehow is not in the eastern weapons or exotic weapons and thus becomes the new standard?

In that case, i would also like the Chinese Repeating Crossbow, which specifically could fire 10 bolts in 15 seconds, after which the magazine would be reloaded.

For Longbows, classically, about 6-10 arrows per minute for a trained archer.
If we go with 10 arrows, thats 1 per round.
If we assume reloading the Crossbow-Magazine took 5 seconds, thats 30 shots a minute or 3 per round.

So if the Longbows get 6 attacks per round in Pathfinder, surely it's reasonable to give the Repeating Crossbow 18 attacks, right?


ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
You can shoot a longbow 8 times a full-attack as a 20th level zen archer.

I think a Sohei archer can reach 10 shots and 11 arrows by 20th level. But I don't think it's worth it; better to multiclass out to fighter or something after around 8 levels and never get that last flurry attack.

"Full" flurry BAB: 4 attacks
Flurry attacks: +3
Ki point: +1
Rapid Shot: +1
Haste: +1
Manyshot: 2nd arrow on one attack

It's a lot of dakka, but I think other archers can outperform it on average damage per round.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

The Yumi isn't a composite weapon like the daikyu is.

I have seen videos of people shooting bows much faster then 10/minute. One girl was doing about 1/3 seconds, and there was one fellow who invented a completely new style where he'd hold ten arrows in his hand at one time by the feathers, and thus didn't have to draw the arrows...he simply fit and pulled the string back repeatedly.

He could put six arrows IN THE AIR at the same time. Yeah, that fast.

And a repeating crossbow in the game has a full firing rate. it's not a very powerful weapon, however...more like a dart thrower then anything. It has to be, because a crossbow is an unwieldy thing to pull back, so you have to keep the draw light to use it with speed, which means it doesn't have as much killing power (hence, the low damage).

Some weapons are better then other weapons. Complaining about it is silly. Crossbows are better weapons for anyone without Rapid Shot, martial weapons, or multiple attacks. They are simple weapons that do more damage.

Now, if you want to complain about not being able to make xbows with a str bonus, that's a different story...

===Aelryinth


Seraphimpunk wrote:

That's it. Simple question.

You will find the answer under the feat 'Quick Draw'.

-James


james maissen wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:

That's it. Simple question.

You will find the answer under the feat 'Quick Draw'.

-James

So you can with thrown weapons if you have Quick Draw and it's implied with bows, but not with other ranged weapons, even if you have feats that reduce loading times to a free action, unless the GM chooses to let you have more free actions than the guidelines suggest?


MordredofFairy wrote:
Bruunwald wrote:
I think most players and GM are long-since used to the notion that drawing your arrow out is actually part of the bow attack itself.

yep, and more hatred towards the red-headed stepchild of crossbows, which, even if you spend the feat on rapid reload, still explicitly state that reloading them is a free action.

so yeah, can we just eliminate all the crossbows from the game already and give composite longbows(which you can for some reason use while mounted, unlike normal longbows...guess they are not as unwieldy if they are made from a different material) built-in rapidshot?

In truth, there was no such thing as a composite longbow or composite shortbow, there were just composite bows. They were developed by horse nomads to be shot from horseback. They had the power of the English Longbow, or greater, but were compact enough to be used horseback.


... lets see if we can come up with a new, better solution. I say 2x(attacks granted by BAB)+2 = free actions per round.

Example at 6th level

Wizard gets 4 free actions a round
Fighter gets 6 free actions a round.

That's a rough idea off the top of my head. What do you guys think?

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

I've edited a post. Remember the most important rule of the Paizo message boards.


Aelryinth wrote:

The Yumi isn't a composite weapon like the daikyu is.

I have seen videos of people shooting bows much faster then 10/minute. One girl was doing about 1/3 seconds, and there was one fellow who invented a completely new style where he'd hold ten arrows in his hand at one time by the feathers, and thus didn't have to draw the arrows...he simply fit and pulled the string back repeatedly.

He could put six arrows IN THE AIR at the same time. Yeah, that fast.

And a repeating crossbow in the game has a full firing rate. it's not a very powerful weapon, however...more like a dart thrower then anything. It has to be, because a crossbow is an unwieldy thing to pull back, so you have to keep the draw light to use it with speed, which means it doesn't have as much killing power (hence, the low damage).

Some weapons are better then other weapons. Complaining about it is silly. Crossbows are better weapons for anyone without Rapid Shot, martial weapons, or multiple attacks. They are simple weapons that do more damage.

Now, if you want to complain about not being able to make xbows with a str bonus, that's a different story...

===Aelryinth

Yumi is the Japanese word for bow, and encompasses both the daikyu and the hankyu.

So, technically, since every daikyu is a yumi, yes, a yumi is a composite weapon too. It's just the longbow/shortbow variant.
It's the same thing as saying "composite bow" versus "composite longbow" and "composite shortbow". Sorry if i confused you.

As for shooting faster than 6-10 arrows per minute(that is, one shot every 6 seconds), please, do fix a lot of internet sources starting with, for example, wikipedia.
In combat use, with aiming and firing, about 6 per minute was an astonishing fire rate. With individual firing, 10 per minute or one every 6 seconds.
Unless you want to imply pathfinder is using modern hunting bows from composite plastics that are easier to draw/aim, thats what we have to work with. You had to fetch the arrow, nock it, pull back to release point, then you could aim, and let fly. Suffice to say doing this 5 times in 6 seconds is far from realistic. Now, if the point is NOT realism, i wonder why crossbows HAVE to work realistically? You know, there was even quite simple "loading claws" that allowed you to use your body weight to load them, fascinating concept and in widespread use, allowed you to fire, face down, put a bolt in, and load while drawing it up again, for quite a high firerate.

As for repeating crossbows, in the GAME, you have to pull a lever. Realistically speaking, there were already mechanisms that automated this, you cranked a wheel and it spit bolts. Sure enough, that was far from accurate. The chinese version had a lever that you pushed and pulled, to get the aforementioned 10 shots in 15 seconds. Call it a pump-action crossbow. Also, higher magazine capacity than what pathfinder allows.

It's true, some weapons are better than others. It is silly however to make weapons a non-option. Yes, one reason for crossbows widespread use was the ease of use and the ease of widespread deployment. Regardless of that, they were accurate and powerful weapons, something not represented. The bow gets extra love, which is fine. I'm not complaining about a Rapid-Shot Ranger or Zen Monk shooting about 50-80 arrows per minute.

But the way crossbows are handled is ridiculous. Extra feat needed to use them, still provoking upon reloading, less range and ammunition choice...
Unless you want to spend a move action loading your crossbow, even those people you mentioned would be better off investing that feat into martial weapon proficiency(composite longbow) rather than "rapid reload" (or just spend a trait on hunter's eye).

I am merely saying that it would have been easy enough to give crossbows a niche where they shine. The way they ARE handled is as vastly inferior bows.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I repeat:

Nothing has changed.

There is no new limit on free actions.

Nothing has changed.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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I'm not using Wikipedia, I'm using VIDEO.

look at this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o9RGnujlkI

Granted, she's using a shortbow. But still, she's doing 1/3 seconds.

This one was a head turner. watch Lars at work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zGnxeSbb3g

Also an awesome reason to use a shortbow. Due to the draw length, you couldn't do this with a longbow. Just an Awesome Ten Arrows technique.

You can get to some good videos by Googling 'speed archery'.

Granted, longbow technique, and especially with volley fire, is going to take longer. But you can certainly fire faster if you want to.

And there is definitely a difference between composite long and short bows.

The daikyu is a composite bow, and seven feet long on average. That's definitely a longbow.

A Mongol's bow is three, maybe four feet long, tops, and is definitely a short bow, as well as the world's first composite bows.

==Aelryinth


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I repeat:

Nothing has changed.

There is no new limit on free actions.

Nothing has changed.

This. Clearly, if your character gets four or more attacks in a round, they know how to do the actions that accompany attacking, like nocking an arrow, so this wouldn't fall under any sort of "reasonable limit" below that. The FAQ just is there to remind GMs that they have the power to limit things like "I let go of my spear with one hand and grab it again, as free actions, infinite times, and generate so much heat that the very air combusts around me".

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This has spread like wildfire, with many confused about what is written.

Even talking is being questioned.

If look closer though, you will realize, nothing has changed.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

This has spread like wildfire, with many confused about what is written.

Even talking is being questioned.

If look closer though, you will realize, nothing has changed.

I knew nothing changed from the start! Do I get a cookie for that?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
MrSin wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

This has spread like wildfire, with many confused about what is written.

Even talking is being questioned.

If look closer though, you will realize, nothing has changed.

I knew nothing changed from the start! Do I get a cookie for that?

Snickerdoodle?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
MrSin wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

This has spread like wildfire, with many confused about what is written.

Even talking is being questioned.

If look closer though, you will realize, nothing has changed.

I knew nothing changed from the start! Do I get a cookie for that?
Snickerdoodle?

Never had one!... I feel bad for not knowing what that is off the top of my head. On the bright side, its something to think about other than arrows while browsing the forum.


Bizbag wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I repeat:

Nothing has changed.

There is no new limit on free actions.

Nothing has changed.

This. Clearly, if your character gets four or more attacks in a round, they know how to do the actions that accompany attacking, like nocking an arrow, so this wouldn't fall under any sort of "reasonable limit" below that. The FAQ just is there to remind GMs that they have the power to limit things like "I let go of my spear with one hand and grab it again, as free actions, infinite times, and generate so much heat that the very air combusts around me".

Unless, of course, you're a gunslinger, in which case, the FAQ strongly suggests, in its example, that you be limited to 3 shots regardless of BAB or feats. Unless you want to talk or something in which case you get less.

And if SKR hadn't specifically said otherwise, I'd have to assume it would apply to archers as well.

Obviously the GM can override that guideline, but that's what the FAQ suggests.


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thejeff wrote:
Obviously the GM can override that guideline, but that's what the FAQ suggests.

Except he doesn't have to override anything, because the limit doesn't exist unless he places one.

You are imagining the progression as this:

EXPECTATION: 3 Free actions
GM: "I choose to stick with this, but I have agency to overrule it."

When in fact, the progression is this:

GM: "I can place a limit on free actions if I feel it is necessary. There is no expectation to do so as long as the players are not trying anything ridiculous."


Aelryinth wrote:

I'm not using Wikipedia, I'm using VIDEO.

look at this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o9RGnujlkI

Granted, she's using a shortbow. But still, she's doing 1/3 seconds.

This one was a head turner. watch Lars at work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zGnxeSbb3g

Also an awesome reason to use a shortbow. Due to the draw length, you couldn't do this with a longbow. Just an Awesome Ten Arrows technique.

You can get to some good videos by Googling 'speed archery'.

Granted, longbow technique, and especially with volley fire, is going to take longer. But you can certainly fire faster if you want to.

And there is definitely a difference between composite long and short bows.

The daikyu is a composite bow, and seven feet long on average. That's definitely a longbow.

A Mongol's bow is three, maybe four feet long, tops, and is definitely a short bow, as well as the world's first composite bows.

==Aelryinth

you are using video about medieval longbow warfare? or about people doing sports in modern times? because i feel we may be talking about different things here.

like, people doing this for fun versus people actually using it in combat situations versus a target that actively tries not to get hit? and as you said, those were mostly shortbows.
As for speed archery: Again: Quickly shooting against an immobile target is one thing. Against a armored person with a shield charging towards you, different thing.

I know the Daikyu, but i do hope you agree it's quite a unique variant of bow(and was, in the used form, developed before the advent of horse archery in japan) that is NOT generally represented by what a typical "Longbow" in the pathfinder setting should be, same as a typical "Longsword" would not be a Katana or Nodachi. The medieval Longbows used alongside Full Plates, Lances, Morning Stars and all the other fancy stuff were generally speaking of the british origin-variant, for foot archers.

As for the mongol's bows, even earlier steppe raiders, such as the Samartians during the Roman Era supposedly used an early form of composite bows, which makes them even older. And a composite shortbow is totally reasonable in my eyes.

As for the Daikyu, it was an utterly different weapon from the English Longbow. It had significantly lower draw weight, and way less penetrating power with slightly less range(though the lightweight arrows did have quite the effective range).
The English variant was for use with heavy bodkins arrows that had to penetrate steel armor, and subsequently very high pull weight.

So if the daikyu as "mounted composite longbow" was to be seen in pathfinder, it should probably rather deal 1d6 damage if not 1d4, if we assume the european longbow is the 1d8 variant.


Bizbag wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Obviously the GM can override that guideline, but that's what the FAQ suggests.

Except he doesn't have to override anything, because the limit doesn't exist unless he places one.

You are imagining the progression as this:

EXPECTATION: 3 Free actions
GM: "I choose to stick with this, but I have agency to overrule it."

When in fact, the progression is this:

GM: "I can place a limit on free actions if I feel it is necessary. There is no expectation to do so as long as the players are not trying anything ridiculous."

Well, yeah. That's exactly what I'd expect when the developers suggest 3 or 5 as a good limit for free actions. I'd expect GMs to start with that and then move away from it as they find it a problem.

Now that may not really happen because experienced GMs will know better and novice GMs probably won't come looking for the FAQ unless they're having a problem, but if it was more widely visible ...
I suppose you might get some who have a problem with the ridiculous, find the FAQ and think "Oh wow, I should only have been allowing 3 all along". And then clamp down on everyone.

But my issue is really more with the actual suggestions. Why so low? Is there really a case where 4 or 5 of the same action would be ridiculous? Why use an example limiting pistols to 3 shots, if that isn't really what they think is a good limit? With the added ridiculousness of losing one for talking?


Bizbag wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Obviously the GM can override that guideline, but that's what the FAQ suggests.

Except he doesn't have to override anything, because the limit doesn't exist unless he places one.

You are imagining the progression as this:

EXPECTATION: 3 Free actions
GM: "I choose to stick with this, but I have agency to overrule it."

When in fact, the progression is this:

GM: "I can place a limit on free actions if I feel it is necessary. There is no expectation to do so as long as the players are not trying anything ridiculous."

This is a terrible FAQ. Worse than the monk flurry fiasco.

The book says the limit is whatever the GM. The FAQ says the limit is {roll:1d6} but the GM can change it as appropriate.

What is the point of this FAQ? It answers nothing and does nothing but create misconceptions about archery. Earlier SKR was defending the Spiritual Weapon FAQ by saying that FAQs shouldn't change the rules. What happened to that?


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For those who are stating that "nothing has changed", you're correct in most cases - but if you really think this won't lead to at least a few GMs pointing at the FAQ and saying, "Nuh uh! You can only draw 3 arrows a round so that's all you can shoot!" then I have some ocean front property in Phoenix, Arizona to sell you.

That's really my issue with the FAQ: It does nothing to address the problem because it's reiterating a rule that is already there - and at the same time introduces examples that will be used by some GMs (who will be in the wrong, but that's irrelevant) to incorrectly limit the number of attacks ranged characters can make during a round.


Xaratherus wrote:

For those who are stating that "nothing has changed", you're correct in most cases - but if you really think this won't lead to at least a few GMs pointing at the FAQ and saying, "Nuh uh! You can only draw 3 arrows a round so that's all you can shoot!" then I have some ocean front property in Phoenix, Arizona to sell you.

That's really my issue with the FAQ: It does nothing to address the problem because it's reiterating a rule that is already there - and at the same time introduces examples that will be used by some GMs (who will be in the wrong, but that's irrelevant) to incorrectly limit the number of attacks ranged characters can make during a round.

This is the voice of reason speaking here folks.


Atarlost wrote:
The FAQ says the limit is {roll:1d6} but the GM can change it as appropriate.

I think you and I read very different FAQs. Would you care to share the part of it that says the limit is anything other than a suggestion? Or even better, that it's the default rule that GMs are simply empowered to change? Because I don't see that.

Xaratherus wrote:
at least a few GMs pointing at the FAQ and saying, "Nuh uh! You can only draw 3 arrows a round so that's all you can shoot!"

Bad GMs misreading rules and making unfair (but "legal") rulings is not a new phenomenon, and as you are certainly aware, something they could have done prior to this FAQ, because they could have pointed to the CRB which already empowered them to limit free actions. You'll notice that the situation is the same as it was before.

It would take a very rare sort of GM, combined with a fairly rare sort of situation, where you would run into such a GM. If you just joined a new gaming group, you'd be subject to any number of house rules anyway. If you are playing Society, nothing forces you to play with that GM, and you can, you know, share your opinion that you feel they are an unfair GM.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Xaratherus wrote:
That's really my issue with the FAQ: It does nothing to address the problem because it's reiterating a rule that is already there

... a rule that most players conveniently forget when it's their turn in combat.

Reminding the GM that he or she is the final arbiter of the rules is a good thing.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Xaratherus wrote:
That's really my issue with the FAQ: It does nothing to address the problem because it's reiterating a rule that is already there

... a rule that most players conveniently forget when it's their turn in combat.

Reminding the GM that he or she is the final arbiter of the rules is a good thing.

Still, I understand the concern that offering a guideline in a rules section does go a long way to encourage GMs to adopt just such a recommendation - and in this case, it would interfere with what I am certain is the intended ability of characters - to be able to make as many ranged attacks as their various abilities allow them, without being throttled by a clamp on free actions.

More sophisticated players, which I would hope to include myself as, understand this, but it's usually better to avoid making suggestions, even if couched in language such as "optional" or "reasonable", that one wouldn't actually want implemented.


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That the absolutely-mandatory-rule situation hasn't changed doesn't mean there's not a huge change between "it's up to the GM" and "it's totally up to the GM, but here's some examples."

Anchoring effects are very significant.

To put it another way:

Imagine that you have a large pool of experienced pathfinder GMs, none of whom have seen this FAQ ruling. Now, you do a little experiment: You give each of them a little survey form, which asks two questions:

1. Given a BAB of +16, and a light crossbow, and the Rapid Reload feat, can a character starting with the crossbow drawn but not loaded shoot the crossbow four times with a full attack action?
2. Can the same character shoot the crossbow four times, and also shout something to a party member in the same turn?

But there's a gimmick! Half of the survey forms start out explaining that there has recently been a FAQ published on free actions, and quote the complete text of the FAQ.

I put it to you that:
1. The proportion of GMs who would say "yes" to the first question would be measurably lower among the GMs who saw the FAQ answer than the ones who didn't.
2. The proportion of GMs who would say "no" to the second would be much lower among the GMs who saw the FAQ answer than the ones who didn't.

I've never seen a GM even consider the idea that shouting something short in combat would have any impact on non-speech actions like reloading crossbows. The example guideline in the FAQ entry clearly suggests that the designers would expect a cap of two reloads in a turn if you were also talking during your turn. That's going to show up, I expect, as a noticeable difference.

Unless you sincerely believe that there isn't a single GM anywhere whose ruling would change, then it's simply not the case that "nothing has changed". Before, it was pure GM fiat. Now it's pure GM fiat, but with some clear and specific guidelines for likely reasonable answers in place. That might be a good thing for the game; it's certainly a good thing for things like PFS, where consistency of GM rulings is a benefit. But it's also a guideline that is VERY far from how I'd ever seen anyone run the game...

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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I get your point, seebs. As I said in another thread, in a perfect world, the rulebook would state that drawing ammunition to fire it as part of an attack isn't an action at all, and therefore the "what about my iterative bow attacks" wouldn't even be a question.


Is there any remote possibility of that getting errataed?

I'm not sure if that would affect anything significant in a negative way but it seems like it would solve a fair few minor problems, disagreements, etc. if "Drawing an arrow" was moved from Free actions to "Not an action".


Rynjin wrote:

Is there any remote possibility of that getting errataed?

I'm not sure if that would affect anything significant in a negative way but it seems like it would solve a fair few minor problems, disagreements, etc. if "Drawing an arrow" was moved from Free actions to "Not an action".

I think it's unnecessary, as it only becomes an issue if your GM is arbitrary about his rulings (which you can't prevent at home games anyway). Official GMs and Judges can simply be advised to remember that this is not a set rule.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I get your point, seebs. As I said in another thread, in a perfect world, the rulebook would state that drawing ammunition to fire it as part of an attack isn't an action at all, and therefore the "what about my iterative bow attacks" wouldn't even be a question.

Hand crossbows with rapid reload? Prior to this, they could be fired at full iteratives all the way to 20 (and beyond if you used epic rules).

Now, they also are limited to 3 times by suggestion?

Note, I'll just completely ignore the FAQ myself, I've never had a problem with that. But it is a bad precedent, to me, to give an example that directly breaks a bog standard one pistol firing gunslinger at level 16 in it's example text.


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mdt wrote:

Now, they also are limited to 3 times by suggestion?

Note, I'll just completely ignore the FAQ myself, I've never had a problem with that. But it is a bad precedent, to me, to give an example that directly breaks a bog standard one pistol firing gunslinger at level 16 in it's example text.

See this is an important point that some people aren't quite understanding, I think - they aren't "limited by suggestion", and you don't even need to ignore the FAQ. There is an example of a ruling, preceded by a statement empowering and encouraging GMs to make reasonable judgments.

You can "follow" this FAQ and allow for infinite free actions, simultaneously. This is not a rule you have to ignore to play the way you want.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I get your point, seebs. As I said in another thread, in a perfect world, the rulebook would state that drawing ammunition to fire it as part of an attack isn't an action at all, and therefore the "what about my iterative bow attacks" wouldn't even be a question.

But crossbows, it's not just "drawing ammunition", but also cocking the crossbow, which is clearly something. And prior to seeing this FAQ ruling, I would have assumed that no GM would ever rule that you couldn't take full iteratives with a light crossbow and rapid reload. And it would never, ever, in a million years, have occurred to me to think that whether or not you also talked would be relevant.


Bizbag, the problem is that the example provided has the force of a rule with some people. Any GM anywhere that has wondered about the number of free actions to limit people to now has two examples.

Some GM somewhere is going to see the limit on reloading and apply it to a single-shot pistol that, prior to this FAQ, he would never have thought did not shoot 4 shots a round. That GM will wind up with a very unhappy player.

Now, this FAQ probably won't ever affect me, but for anyone who has an inexperienced GM looking for answers to free action limitations this will be a real kick in the teeth to certain, otherwise legitimate, builds. How can such a GM say yes to a guy shooting and reloading his ONE pistol 4 times when Paizo said cited this as their example of "no, that is too much".

In short, putting in examples IS interpreted as close to being a rule by many people, especially the less experienced people.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The fact that there are all these new rules threads popping up on the subject, should be evidence enough that it is easily misunderstood.


Gauss wrote:

<snip>

In short, putting in examples IS interpreted as close to being a rule by many people, especially the less experienced people.

- Gauss

Oh yes, I'm quite aware:

Bizbag wrote:

Still, I understand the concern that offering a guideline in a rules section does go a long way to encourage GMs to adopt just such a recommendation - and in this case, it would interfere with what I am certain is the intended ability of characters - to be able to make as many ranged attacks as their various abilities allow them, without being throttled by a clamp on free actions.

More sophisticated players, which I would hope to include myself as, understand this, but it's usually better to avoid making suggestions, even if couched in language such as "optional" or "reasonable", that one wouldn't actually want implemented.

I'm simply doing what I can to try to remind people on this forum that it is not a Set Rule.

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