Why do Martials need better things?


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I'm working on something I'll post later. First messing with feats a bit and then working on general martial extraordinary abilities based on stamina. But for now I wanted to show a few things I've come up with so far to see if I'm on the right track in terms of giving martials good things.

Spoiler:
Power Strike
Prerequisites: BAB +1
Benefit: As a standard action you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the weapon’s damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision-based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total. When your BAB reaches +6, +11 and 16 you may add your weapon’s damage dice an additional time.

Special: Some effects that use Power Strike require a save. This save is equal to your ½ your BAB plus your strength modifier.

Cleave
Prerequisites:BAB +1, Power Strike
Benefit: When you successfully damage a creature with Power Strike you may make another Power Strike against an adjacent creature that you still threaten in by adding your weapon damage dice one less time. You may repeat this process until you run out of weapon damage dice. Example: If your BAB is +6 and you are wielding a longsword you may make three attacks this way. Your first strike will use 3d8, your second 2d8 and last will be 1d8.

Devestating Push
Prerequisites:BAB +1, Power Strike
Benefit: When you use Power Strike you may attempt a Bull Rush as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. you count as one size category larger for the purposes of determining what creatures you can Bull Rush for each time you have added additional weapon damage dice to the Power Strike.
Special: If you have Improved Bull Rush you gain an additional +2 bonus to Bull Rush attempts made with Power Strikes.

Echoing Pain.
Prerequisites:BAB +1, Power Strike
Benefit: When you successfully damage a creature with a Power Strike that creature must make a fortitude save or take your weapon’s damage dice at the beginning of their next turn. This damage increases by adding your weapon’s damage dice again at BAB+6, BAB +11, and BAB +16. This bonus damage counts as continuous damage for the purpose of making concentration checks to cast spells.

To reiterate, I know martials have a moving, defense and overall utility problem but I'm working on a separate thing for that. For now I'm working on combat feats.


Why has this somehow become the crossbow thread anyhow?

Crossbows don't need to be buffed. Who uses crossbows? Wizards. Sorcerers. Occasionally Clerics. People who don't have martial proficiencies. In short, Casters.

Crossbows may be weaker than they should be, but there's no reason to destroy their character as slow loading weapons to buff martials because martials don't use them anyways.


Atarlost wrote:

Why has this somehow become the crossbow thread anyhow?

Crossbows don't need to be buffed. Who uses crossbows? Wizards. Sorcerers. Occasionally Clerics. People who don't have martial proficiencies. In short, Casters.

Crossbows may be weaker than they should be, but there's no reason to destroy their character as slow loading weapons to buff martials because martials don't use them anyways.

I'm trying to get back on track with my above post.


Malwing wrote:

I'm working on something I'll post later. ...

** spoiler omitted **...

At first glance, it seems like a strong upgrade for 2 handed weapon users, ok for sword and board, but not very helpful for dual wielders. Also, having it kick in at 1st level makes low level martial characters crazy powerful! I would suggest having it start at BAB +6.


Fergie wrote:
Malwing wrote:

I'm working on something I'll post later. ...

** spoiler omitted **...

At first glance, it seems like a strong upgrade for 2 handed weapon users, ok for sword and board, but not very helpful for dual wielders. Also, having it kick in at 1st level makes low level martial characters crazy powerful! I would suggest having it start at BAB +6.

Along the same design I'm working on one that focuses on sword and board and TWF but in the meantime, in regards to the power level, I kind of intended for it to be fairly lethal (With an earthbreaker we're looking at 4d6!) to see what kind of response I'd get. I feel like the playtests paizo puts out are hyper conservative to avoid the complaints of nerfing a class, but I feel like since I'm working on buffing martials I wanted to scale from the top rather than the bottom. I wanted to dance around the line of overpowered than underpowered to see how I can push +1 BAB characters to see what people feel that martial deserve in terms of martial prowess. Especially since earlier in the thread I described something from 3pp that I found reasonable but was called overpowered at least once. Plus I didn't want any waiting for these feats if you're full BAB.

Would you feel better if doing this cost 3 stamina?

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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Malwing wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Malwing wrote:

I'm working on something I'll post later. ...

** spoiler omitted **...

At first glance, it seems like a strong upgrade for 2 handed weapon users, ok for sword and board, but not very helpful for dual wielders. Also, having it kick in at 1st level makes low level martial characters crazy powerful! I would suggest having it start at BAB +6.

Along the same design I'm working on one that focuses on sword and board and TWF but in the meantime, in regards to the power level, I kind of intended for it to be fairly lethal (With an earthbreaker we're looking at 4d6!) to see what kind of response I'd get. I feel like the playtests paizo puts out are hyper conservative to avoid the complaints of nerfing a class, but I feel like since I'm working on buffing martials I wanted to scale from the top rather than the bottom. I wanted to dance around the line of overpowered than underpowered to see how I can push +1 BAB characters to see what people feel that martial deserve in terms of martial prowess. Especially since earlier in the thread I described something from 3pp that I found reasonable but was called overpowered at least once. Plus I didn't want any waiting for these feats if you're full BAB.

Would you feel better if doing this cost 3 stamina?

I think the big thing is that martial damage is fine during the first 5 levels of play. You've got Cleave, you've got Power Attack, and there isn't much that an earthbreaker or greatsword can't hack down, so boosting damage at those levels seems to miss the point a bit. Power Strike is basically just Vital Strike 5 levels early.

Also, your DC scaling is going to end up being way too low. Wizards get 10+spell level+Int modifier, so by making it BAB + Str Modifier, you're kind of guaranteeing that any save based effects are doomed before it even gets off the ground since they'll be progressively worse as levels go up.

I'd target any damage boosting effects at BAB +6, and either find an additional scaling mechanism to work into the DC formula, or handle the DCs on a feat by feat basis, boosting them to levels similar to the spells that become available at the same time. For example, a feat with a save DC effect that comes online at 7th level should be DC 14 + Str modifier, since the caster's 4th level spells technically have a base DC of 14 before adding Int.


Noted.

I think I'll move most of these feats to start off at +6 BAB since they're all made to compete with iterative attacks since they are so far mostly standard actions. This does make me worried about Power strike. The basic model I'm working with is Vital strike all in one feat which is nice on its own but will scaling up to x4 instead of x5 work out? Because at that rate its just regular old vital strike, admittedly as one feat instead of three but less interesting as a full attack, or is the ability to move valued higher than I'm thinking?

The DC scaling was kind of a typo. Supposed to be 10 plus 1/2 BAB plus Str. Probably will deal with that on a feat by feat basis because as I'm writing these DCs are becoming less and less of a norm.

Would not want to assign a 'spell level' value to these feats. I'd feel like I'm walking on someone's toes...


I have one more crossbow post and I changed my mind on numbers due to a thought I had while asleep: that it really is not that hard to ballpark what the energy of various crossbows would be.

1) Hand/repeating don't need various pulls or str requirements repeating crossbow is designed to load as quickly as possible. Hand crossbow is designed to be small, concealable, and hand loaded. They both have even shorter draw length than standard crossbows. Increasing the pull would have minimal effects on damage and possibly huge effects on the effectiveness of the mechanisms.

2) Light crossbows should should be usable with a strength bonus and would add 1x that bonus to damage. Reasoning is as follows: light crossbow implies a simple loading mechanism that can be completed as a move action for most people. It has about 1/3 the draw length of a longbow, and thus needs a 3x pull to get the same energy from the projectile. If you use a 3x mechanical advantage you exert your force over the same distance as the long bow draw, but you have to reposition it to do so and load the bolt which accounts for the load action - those are things a skilled user can make more efficient though and eliminate the load time with Rapid Reload feat. If the crossbow loads by standing on the end and pulling up the string, you're just using muscle groups that are 300% stronger - still repositioning the bow and loading the bolt are what account for the move action reload.

2) Heavy crossbow should be usable with a strength bonus and would apply 1.5x that bonus to damage. because it would have approximately 2x the pull of a light crossbow made for a user of similar strength. Like a two-handed weapon though, that doesn't give you 2x damage from applying twice the strength because strength is not linear. So why do I say it's 2x the pull? Because the load action takes roughly twice as long. Applying the same force (user strength) to the cocking mechanism for twice as long means that you're probably using a mechanical advantage of 2x the light crossbow. Rapid reload can eliminate some of the time by making your nocking and repositioning more efficient but you're still cranking twice as much so you don't eliminate the load action that easily.

So assuming light load as a rough estimate of bow pull, the person with 18 strength would be able to use a 100lb composite longbow (+4 damage), 300lb light crossbow (+4 damage), or 600lb heavy crossbow (+6 damage). Those would all be custom weapons of course (costing 100 or 150 gp per point) with the off-the-shelf crossbow still being +0 damage.

The bow is still a superior weapon, because you don't have to spend feats on reloading and you can Multishot. It's just not ridiculously superior, and if you have the feats for crossbow mastery, the heavy crossbow can come pretty close and is better in situations where don't get a full attack. That's a reasonable difference for martial weapon vs simple weapon, and doesn't unduly punish the concept of "crossbowman" anymore.

How one can reload crossbows of different pulls than these, or how many actions you could possibly take with how big a crank doesn't really interest me. I'd just assume the mechanism is made to work at the speed dictated by weapon type and moving it faster is not a matter of strength but technique (I.e feats). If you try to speed it up with brute force, roll a strength check to break object. Likewise I wouldn't allow people to take additional actions to load it slower, instead saying you need x strength to work the mechanism or it won't budge. If you attach a different mechanism you can effectively change the weapon type (between light and heavy crossbow), but if it is longer than a full action you're building a siege weapon; it's too unwieldy to carry and use as a personal weapon. That is purely to prevent abuse (I spend an hour cranking up my +600 str crossbow), but seems pretty reasonable-ish.


Atarlost wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


Yes, a crossbow should have a strength rating. It is perfectly likely that you'll have a team with one crossbow person cocking and reloading the weapon, and one person with skill shooting it. That's the reason they don't put Str ratings on crossbows...they don't want 18 dex snipers benefiting from 18 Str quiverbearers swapping weapons.

==Aelryinth

just to point out that i would have no problem whatsoever with an adventuring group, carrying 18str crossbows, which the barbarian reloads out of battle so that they can fire a single opening barrage in a confrontation.

it seems both like a good strategy and realistic.

don't forget that the opposition, especially in an ambush scenario, could make use of the same tactics.

Crossbows shouldn't have strength ratings because anyone can reload a strength 18 or even a strength 24 crossbow. Almost all crossbows use some sort of mechanical advantage. This is especially true if they're going to be loaded out of combat where time isn't an issue and slow mechanisms can be used.

You could have a static value rather than larger dice, but that makes them useless with vital strike and makes the notation for magic crossbows more confusing. Bows arguably need the confusion. Crossbows don't. They just need to be several die steps deadlier.

You can solve that by taking a page from GURPS. It adds actions to reload a crossbow whose Str exceeds your own.

Liberty's Edge

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Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Cool. So tell me again how your versatile fighter is going to get to the next town over in five minutes? Cause I would love to be let in on that secret.

Cannon travel is always a possibility.

Unless gunpowder hasn't been invented in your campaign setting, in which case catapult travel is always a possibility.

The best part? Because cannon/catapults make an attack roll to launch their payload (you), you can get to town in one standard action!


Snorb wrote:
Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Cool. So tell me again how your versatile fighter is going to get to the next town over in five minutes? Cause I would love to be let in on that secret.

Cannon travel is always a possibility.

Unless gunpowder hasn't been invented in your campaign setting, in which case catapult travel is always a possibility.

The best part? Because cannon/catapults make an attack roll to launch their payload (you), you can get to town in one standard action!

That must be a pretty close town. The longest ranged siege weapons printed can't even hit targets a mile away. If one of them could land you in the next town, you could just run+hustle there.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

just going to point out the rules don't allow the use of creatures as ammunition... otherwise i would be using dead cows as my trebuchet ammo.

Liberty's Edge

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Snowblind wrote:
Snorb wrote:
Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Cool. So tell me again how your versatile fighter is going to get to the next town over in five minutes? Cause I would love to be let in on that secret.

Cannon travel is always a possibility.

Unless gunpowder hasn't been invented in your campaign setting, in which case catapult travel is always a possibility.

The best part? Because cannon/catapults make an attack roll to launch their payload (you), you can get to town in one standard action!

That must be a pretty close town. The longest ranged siege weapons printed can't even hit targets a mile away. If one of them could land you in the next town, you could just run+hustle there.

Oh, shoot. Even a heavy trebuchet can only get you 4000'. Still, you're a fighter, you can run n' hustle from there.

Bandw2 wrote:
just going to point out the rules don't allow the use of creatures as ammunition... otherwise i would be using dead cows as my trebuchet ammo.

I would say that dead cows would at least count as plague bundles. (And we launched a character out of a catapult in our Giantslayer game. Amazingly, the character in question survived.)


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People wrote:
Stuff

Maybe there could be a line of them. Like a sort of pony trebuchet express...

Martials need something like that as a class ability.


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Fergie wrote:
People wrote:
Stuff

Maybe there could be a line of them. Like a sort of pony trebuchet express...

Martials need something like that as a class ability.

If we are doing stupidity like that, might as well build a commoner railgun and be done with it.

The Exchange

Dare we have in a magical world a series of interconnected gates between major cities in which one with the right cash can merely step in and be teleported.

Golarion doesn't have those as far as I know. A wizard doesn't care cos they generally learn it anyway.

Sorceror with limited spells is not likely to take that though, except through scrolls.

Divine casters have alternate transport options, so that's cool. Some of the divine casters can't change their spells though, and taking transport spells outside of flying type things is not necessarily the path they want (Inquisitor for example)

Rangers get tree walk.

Fighters buy flying mounts (which anyone can do)

Paladins (not sure really).

There are any number of ways to get over the "I can't automatically teleport so now I'm screwed" that in the reality of most games it never becomes an issue.

Also Snowblind, one man's stupidity is another mans creative world building. Perhaps they run a game in the vein of Terry Pratchett's disk world. Maybe they run a semi technological world were you can catch fast rail to a zone and teleporting is only taught in specific schools under licensing agreements (Eberron). Perhaps the world itself cannot allow teleporting (EN worlds War of Fire campaign). Maybe stopping extra dimensional travel is as simple as placing an unbroken ring of heavy mettle around a place (finger, room, castle, city) like in the Zeitgeist world.

Some people see a thing in a book and go "I can't think of anyway this is fair, this game is broke"

Others see the same thing and go "Man, this gives me 17 different ideas on how to build a cooler setting".

Pathfinder is a rule set built to offer options to everyone out there, be they homebrewers or strict PFS players. Options breed creativity, especially if they are limited in certain ways. If everyone gets an option of the same type, whole swags of campaign world ideas may never have been created.


Wrath wrote:

Dare we have in a magical world a series of interconnected gates between major cities in which one with the right cash can merely step in and be teleported.

Golarion doesn't have those as far as I know. A wizard doesn't care cos they generally learn it anyway.

Sorceror with limited spells is not likely to take that though, except through scrolls.

Divine casters have alternate transport options, so that's cool. Some of the divine casters can't change their spells though, and taking transport spells outside of flying type things is not necessarily the path they want (Inquisitor for example)

Rangers get tree walk.

Fighters buy flying mounts (which anyone can do)

Paladins (not sure really).

There are any number of ways to get over the "I can't automatically teleport so now I'm screwed" that in the reality of most games it never becomes an issue.

Also Snowblind, one man's stupidity is another mans creative world building. Perhaps they run a game in the vein of Terry Pratchett's disk world. Maybe they run a semi technological world were you can catch fast rail to a zone and teleporting is only taught in specific schools under licensing agreements (Eberron). Perhaps the world itself cannot allow teleporting (EN worlds War of Fire campaign). Maybe stopping extra dimensional travel is as simple as placing an unbroken ring of heavy mettle around a place (finger, room, castle, city) like in the Zeitgeist world.

Some people see a thing in a book and go "I can't think of anyway this is fair, this game is broke"

Others see the same thing and go "Man, this gives me 17 different ideas on how to build a cooler setting".

Pathfinder is a rule set built to offer options to everyone out there, be they homebrewers or strict PFS players. Options breed creativity, especially if they are limited in certain ways. If everyone gets an option of the same type, whole swags of campaign world ideas may never have been created.

Sure, martial get flying mounts, paying thousands of gold, so they can be oneshotted by everything.

I would be OK with that with this with those changes:
Mounted combat:
Replace immediate action with free action taken up to max #of attacks/round of the rider

Sturdy mount:
Prereqs: fighter 6
Benefits: any animal or magical beast you ride has it's maximum hp set to half your maximum hp. An animal or magical beast mount gets a bonus on it's fortitude saving throw equal to your base fortitude from your fighter levels.

Control mount:
Prereqs: bab +11
As a free action you can use your ride check instead of your mounts reflex save. If the saving throw is successful the mount takes no damage (as per evasion)
As a free action, when your mount is under the influence of a mind affecting ability you may roll your ride skill vs the original dc. If you are successful you overpower and gain control of the mount for 1 round.


Malwing wrote:
The DC scaling was kind of a typo. Supposed to be 10 plus 1/2 BAB plus Str. Probably will deal with that on a feat by feat basis because as I'm writing these DCs are becoming less and less of a norm.

The Critical feats all have a DC of 10+BAB. Is there any particular reason to deviate from that?


ZZTRaider wrote:
Malwing wrote:
The DC scaling was kind of a typo. Supposed to be 10 plus 1/2 BAB plus Str. Probably will deal with that on a feat by feat basis because as I'm writing these DCs are becoming less and less of a norm.
The Critical feats all have a DC of 10+BAB. Is there any particular reason to deviate from that?

10+ 1/2BAB+ Str is closer to the DCs of caster abilities and spells. That might be the reason.

For example:

Hexes wrote:
The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the witch’s level + the witch’s Intelligence modifier.


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Just a Guess wrote:
ZZTRaider wrote:
Malwing wrote:
The DC scaling was kind of a typo. Supposed to be 10 plus 1/2 BAB plus Str. Probably will deal with that on a feat by feat basis because as I'm writing these DCs are becoming less and less of a norm.
The Critical feats all have a DC of 10+BAB. Is there any particular reason to deviate from that?

10+ 1/2BAB+ Str is closer to the DCs of caster abilities and spells. That might be the reason.

For example:

Hexes wrote:
The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the witch’s level + the witch’s Intelligence modifier.

Sure. But I have to assume that there's a reason that the Critical feats don't follow that pattern, even though nearly everything else in the game does. Poison, for example, is 10 + 1/2 HD + Con mod.

Though, interestingly, at level 17, a caster likely has around a +8 casting stat mod, which gives a 9th level spell a DC of 27, which is exactly the same DC as a full BAB class with a critical feat.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

thorin001 wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


Yes, a crossbow should have a strength rating. It is perfectly likely that you'll have a team with one crossbow person cocking and reloading the weapon, and one person with skill shooting it. That's the reason they don't put Str ratings on crossbows...they don't want 18 dex snipers benefiting from 18 Str quiverbearers swapping weapons.

==Aelryinth

just to point out that i would have no problem whatsoever with an adventuring group, carrying 18str crossbows, which the barbarian reloads out of battle so that they can fire a single opening barrage in a confrontation.

it seems both like a good strategy and realistic.

don't forget that the opposition, especially in an ambush scenario, could make use of the same tactics.

Crossbows shouldn't have strength ratings because anyone can reload a strength 18 or even a strength 24 crossbow. Almost all crossbows use some sort of mechanical advantage. This is especially true if they're going to be loaded out of combat where time isn't an issue and slow mechanisms can be used.

You could have a static value rather than larger dice, but that makes them useless with vital strike and makes the notation for magic crossbows more confusing. Bows arguably need the confusion. Crossbows don't. They just need to be several die steps deadlier.

You can solve that by taking a page from GURPS. It adds actions to reload a crossbow whose Str exceeds your own.

and putting maximum limits on Str bonuses for bows and crossbows by size.

But, yeah, a Str 24 heavy crossbow that takes your STr 10 20 Dex sniper 7 rounds to crank up because he has one HELL of a time turning the winch is quite realistic.

==Aelryinth


ZZTRaider wrote:
Just a Guess wrote:
ZZTRaider wrote:
Malwing wrote:
The DC scaling was kind of a typo. Supposed to be 10 plus 1/2 BAB plus Str. Probably will deal with that on a feat by feat basis because as I'm writing these DCs are becoming less and less of a norm.
The Critical feats all have a DC of 10+BAB. Is there any particular reason to deviate from that?

10+ 1/2BAB+ Str is closer to the DCs of caster abilities and spells. That might be the reason.

For example:

Hexes wrote:
The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the witch’s level + the witch’s Intelligence modifier.

Sure. But I have to assume that there's a reason that the Critical feats don't follow that pattern, even though nearly everything else in the game does. Poison, for example, is 10 + 1/2 HD + Con mod.

Though, interestingly, at level 17, a caster likely has around a +8 casting stat mod, which gives a 9th level spell a DC of 27, which is exactly the same DC as a full BAB class with a critical feat.

i find 10+bab aweful scaling compared to 10+1/2hd+mod.

because basically you can't raise it.

at lvl17 a caster p.e. would certainly NOT have only a +8. with a starting +5 he would have at least a +11 maybe +12, making a 9th level spell having a dc of 31 before even spell focus, gr spell focus, and etc things to raise the dc even higher.

as an example, when you fist aquire a critical feat it's lvl 11-13, let's go with 13, with a saving throw DC of 23. At 13, a caster would have a +9 mod, for a 7th level spell that's already a dc of 26 (again before any other ways a caster can increase it's dc)

if it was a 10+1/2hd+mod and it was based on a primary stat, like p.e. highest of str/dex. then for the martial with a +9 mod it would be 10+6+9= dc of 25


I felt like BAB + 10 + Str would be too strong and 10 + BAB was too bounded. But this is all not set in stone. I'll post what I have so far later today.


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Wound up making the thread so I'm not derailing this one.


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Wrath wrote:

It's funny, but most times I mention for people making these claims to actually prove it through game play, they tell me they don't need to.....

<sigh> It's the same arguments repeated by the same people. And the same defence by the same people ironically. All I need is DrDeth to chime in with me and it will be like all the discussions over last two years again :)

You Rang? Chime!

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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DrDeth wrote:
Wrath wrote:

It's funny, but most times I mention for people making these claims to actually prove it through game play, they tell me they don't need to.....

<sigh> It's the same arguments repeated by the same people. And the same defence by the same people ironically. All I need is DrDeth to chime in with me and it will be like all the discussions over last two years again :)
You Rang? Chime!

DD! Where you been buddy? The Nascar track discussion hasn't been the same without you!

[friendly sarcasm]
Let me know if you want to touch on competitive/cooperative, "the fighter is my sorcerer's best weapon", table variation, or anything else we haven't covered recently. I think if we do it, we should just respond with links to our own earlier posts!
[/friendly sarcasm]

:D


I just drifted back in the this thread, read like... three posts... and it's basically:

If you wanna have a better crossbow, it's gonna take at least two rounds to load, and will do less damage than a first level spell!

Apparently, the caster/martial disparity is getting worse.

If heavy crossbows did 2D6 instead of 1D10 it wouldn't be a big deal.

If heavy crossbows did 10D6 instead of 1D10 it MIGHT make them equal to casters...

Food for thought.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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alexd1976 wrote:

I just drifted back in the this thread, read like... three posts... and it's basically:

If you wanna have a better crossbow, it's gonna take at least two rounds to load, and will do less damage than a first level spell!

Apparently, the caster/martial disparity is getting worse.

If heavy crossbows did 2D6 instead of 1D10 it wouldn't be a big deal.

If heavy crossbows did 10D6 instead of 1D10 it MIGHT make them equal to casters...

Food for thought.

I think the trick with crossbows involves first coming up with a suitable mechanic for replacing full attacks. Although, considering casters use crossbows more than martials I'm still trying to figure out how that conversation even got going.

If there's any particular weapon dynamic that I think is undermining martial characters, it's the exotic weapon rules. If something's going to be an exotic weapon, it should provide some kind of bonus or ability that is actually worth a feat and not available in a martial weapon. Few things make me twitch the way that a kama or hand crossbow being exotic do.


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Ssalarn wrote:
I think the trick with crossbows involves first coming up with a suitable mechanic for replacing full attacks. Although, considering casters use crossbows more than martials I'm still trying to figure out how that conversation even got going.

If you gave crossbows reasonably high base damage, and then had them automatically grant the effects of the Vital Strike feat chain, based on the user's BAB, they'd be reasonably good for casters and for martial guys -- the former due to the simple proficiency and decent starting damage, and the latter because of the scaling damage by BAB.

For example, imagine a heavy crossbow did 2d6 damage. In the hands of a 1st level fighter or 1st level wizard, it deals 2d6 damage. In the hands of an 11th level wizard it deals 2d6 damage, but in the hands of an 11th level fighter it deals 6d6 damage.


Ssalarn wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

I just drifted back in the this thread, read like... three posts... and it's basically:

If you wanna have a better crossbow, it's gonna take at least two rounds to load, and will do less damage than a first level spell!

Apparently, the caster/martial disparity is getting worse.

If heavy crossbows did 2D6 instead of 1D10 it wouldn't be a big deal.

If heavy crossbows did 10D6 instead of 1D10 it MIGHT make them equal to casters...

Food for thought.

I think the trick with crossbows involves first coming up with a suitable mechanic for replacing full attacks. Although, considering casters use crossbows more than martials I'm still trying to figure out how that conversation even got going.

If there's any particular weapon dynamic that I think is undermining martial characters, it's the exotic weapon rules. If something's going to be an exotic weapon, it should provide some kind of bonus or ability that is actually worth a feat and not available in a martial weapon. Few things make me twitch the way that a kama or hand crossbow being exotic do.

Good point

Hand crossbows are all kinds of suck.

Maybe making them immune to 'Poison Use' makes them worthwhile...(I mean they don't risk poisoning themselves)

But yeah, D4 crossbows suck donkey butter.

Crossbows in general are useless. Longbows do more damage and can attack more often without feats.

Not sure why I bothered saying this, it's kinda obvious.


Yeah, it really bugs me that crossbows are more feat-intensive than longbows, since in reality it was the longbow that needed a lifetime of training while a crossbow could be used reasonably well by an untrained peasant after a single day of training.

Really, that ought to be the niche the crossbow holds: the ranged option for characters who aren't focused on ranged combat. The longbow retains its niche since it would still be the best weapon in raw damage potential, but only when you invest feats/character resources in it. The crossbow, in the mean time, would be the ranged weapon of choice for melee characters who need a backup ranged weapon and don't want to sink character resources into a secondary combat style..


Crossbows are not more feat intensive. There are only a couple of classes that are not proficient with crossbows, while bows are martial weapons.


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thorin001 wrote:
Crossbows are not more feat intensive. There are only a couple of classes that are not proficient with crossbows, while bows are martial weapons.

Crossbows require Rapid Reload to not be single shot per round weapons. That means that at best they are equal. Classes with proficiency(most of the classes that work well with ranged) don't have to pay an equivalent of the rapid reload feat, so they are ahead. Not to mention that longbows have the same base damage as a light crossbow, but longbows get strength to damage. The only time crossbows are better is when the character wielding them has no proficiency in bows but does in crossbows and doesn't want to invest resources in archery (read:some of the casting classes and...the monk? That's about it).


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
I think the trick with crossbows involves first coming up with a suitable mechanic for replacing full attacks. Although, considering casters use crossbows more than martials I'm still trying to figure out how that conversation even got going.

If you gave crossbows reasonably high base damage, and then had them automatically grant the effects of the Vital Strike feat chain, based on the user's BAB, they'd be reasonably good for casters and for martial guys -- the former due to the simple proficiency and decent starting damage, and the latter because of the scaling damage by BAB.

For example, imagine a heavy crossbow did 2d6 damage. In the hands of a 1st level fighter or 1st level wizard, it deals 2d6 damage. In the hands of an 11th level wizard it deals 2d6 damage, but in the hands of an 11th level fighter it deals 6d6 damage.

Reduce hit points across the board, base the damage done by weapon attacks on the hit dice of the user. So a 5th level barbarian would have their starting hit points plus three per level, a fifth level wizard would have the starting hit points plus one per level. The barbarian does 1d12 with a sword, the wizard does 1d6 with that same sword. For heavy weapons like crossbows and greatswords, roll twice and use the higher number for damage, and for light weapons like daggers and darts roll twice and use the worse one.


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Snowblind wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Crossbows are not more feat intensive. There are only a couple of classes that are not proficient with crossbows, while bows are martial weapons.
Crossbows require Rapid Reload to not be single shot per round weapons. That means that at best they are equal.

Crossbow Mastery too, if you want to use a heavy crossbow.


Bluenose wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
I think the trick with crossbows involves first coming up with a suitable mechanic for replacing full attacks. Although, considering casters use crossbows more than martials I'm still trying to figure out how that conversation even got going.

If you gave crossbows reasonably high base damage, and then had them automatically grant the effects of the Vital Strike feat chain, based on the user's BAB, they'd be reasonably good for casters and for martial guys -- the former due to the simple proficiency and decent starting damage, and the latter because of the scaling damage by BAB.

For example, imagine a heavy crossbow did 2d6 damage. In the hands of a 1st level fighter or 1st level wizard, it deals 2d6 damage. In the hands of an 11th level wizard it deals 2d6 damage, but in the hands of an 11th level fighter it deals 6d6 damage.

Reduce hit points across the board, base the damage done by weapon attacks on the hit dice of the user. So a 5th level barbarian would have their starting hit points plus three per level, a fifth level wizard would have the starting hit points plus one per level. The barbarian does 1d12 with a sword, the wizard does 1d6 with that same sword. For heavy weapons like crossbows and greatswords, roll twice and use the higher number for damage, and for light weapons like daggers and darts roll twice and use the worse one.

So your suggestion is to reduce hitpoints to almost nothing, and give a tiny boost to damage for martials?

Yikes.

That just makes area effect spells even more powerful than they are now.


alexd1976 wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
I think the trick with crossbows involves first coming up with a suitable mechanic for replacing full attacks. Although, considering casters use crossbows more than martials I'm still trying to figure out how that conversation even got going.

If you gave crossbows reasonably high base damage, and then had them automatically grant the effects of the Vital Strike feat chain, based on the user's BAB, they'd be reasonably good for casters and for martial guys -- the former due to the simple proficiency and decent starting damage, and the latter because of the scaling damage by BAB.

For example, imagine a heavy crossbow did 2d6 damage. In the hands of a 1st level fighter or 1st level wizard, it deals 2d6 damage. In the hands of an 11th level wizard it deals 2d6 damage, but in the hands of an 11th level fighter it deals 6d6 damage.

Reduce hit points across the board, base the damage done by weapon attacks on the hit dice of the user. So a 5th level barbarian would have their starting hit points plus three per level, a fifth level wizard would have the starting hit points plus one per level. The barbarian does 1d12 with a sword, the wizard does 1d6 with that same sword. For heavy weapons like crossbows and greatswords, roll twice and use the higher number for damage, and for light weapons like daggers and darts roll twice and use the worse one.

So your suggestion is to reduce hitpoints to almost nothing, and give a tiny boost to damage for martials?

Yikes.

That just makes area effect spells even more powerful than they are now.

I would assume the reducing HP bit means rebuilding other parts of the system to suit.

Of course, if you are doing this you basically might as well rebuild the entire system from the ground up and fix all other problems it has since you are gutting half of it anyway just to tweak weapon damage mechanics.


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It sounds like some people in this thread could benefit from some Alternate paths: Martial Characters in their lives.


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Crossbows fire farther do more damage and are easier to use than bows. People with god-like martial prowess and titain like strength prefer composite bows, but that doesn't mean crossbows are unrealistic.

The issue with crossbows is that you can only aim better with them. You can't add further force to the bolt. Now in 3.5 crossbows had tons of alchemical options for bolts that made them more useful. More advanced options for crossbows seems like what would be a good way to make them viable.


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One more point of damage compared to adding strength bonus is nothing.

There's nothing to prevent someone with titan-like strength to use it to draw an Arbalest the way you might pull a hand-crossbow, or using that strength to winch adamantine cable for a portable weapon with a ballista's kick. Nothing, except that the game simply goes "NOPE THERES NONE BOWS ONLY".

And actually the longer range IS unrealistic: while they had a better ballistic profile at short ranges, the stocky, lighter, un-fletched bolts are inferior to arrows for long range delivery. One big disadvantage crossbows had, in fact, was ineffectiveness at long-range volleys the way you could get 40 archers to do across a battlefield.

So yeah, they definitely need actual options. No need to have 'trap' choices in a game anyways.

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I am interested in the concept of stronger draw crossbows... but then we must consider that they just used mechanical systems ANYWAY...

I think just bumping their damage dice up a level or two would be an easy fix. If light crossbows did 2D6 damage, I might consider making a character who uses it...

my two cents...


alexd1976 wrote:
I am interested in the concept of stronger draw crossbows... but then we must consider that they just used mechanical systems ANYWAY...

Tell me... Where do you think the energy to shoot the bolt comes from? What is generating the force that adds tension to the crossbow's string?


Lemmy wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
I am interested in the concept of stronger draw crossbows... but then we must consider that they just used mechanical systems ANYWAY...
Tell me... Where do you think the energy to shoot the bolt comes from? What is generating the force that adds tension to the crossbow's string?

Magic!


"Mechanical Systems" Is an upgrade.
And a bow is a mechanical system anyways.

See, first, you have pointy stick.
You throw pointy stick. That does damage.

Bow lets you take smaller pointy stick and throw it faster, further, thus more dangerously, by using the mechanics of bendy stick and notactuallystring.

Crossbow takes Bow and adds a little rail so small pointy stick doesn't fly off at a strange angle, which makes it much much faster to learn. This is a good thing. A good one. As far as things go. A good thing everyhere save this weapons table here... Then it adds trigger system and maybe special pulling system, so that crossbow itself holds notactuallystring drawn: all that means is your arm doesn't get tired.

Then, later Crossbows go "hey, arm not get tired nice, but what if we make ultra-strong crossbow with pulley to draw, since we don't need arm-strong anyways?"

A Crossbow is taking that same power you'd put into a draw, and multiplying it further in exchange for time; by having that same energy, say, turn a winch for 20s. In exchange, they can give it weights that give no f***s about how strong your arms are beyond needing to turn the crank, which results in utterly ridiculous output.

Now of course because they also liked to make the things more portable the bow of a crossbow was generally made shorter, which made it less efficient (but even if half you were getting half but on like 6+x the draw weight a bow could have) but you don't HAVE to do it that way either.

No, if reason or this so-called "realism" that got applied to crossbows here were anything even remotely similar to their actual definitions (reason and realism), crossbows would be extremely scary, because the last thing anyone wants to be staring is the force-wall-reinforced-adamantine monstrosity a storm-giant spent a minute with a windlass cranking up to eight times what he could draw.


Lemmy wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:
I am interested in the concept of stronger draw crossbows... but then we must consider that they just used mechanical systems ANYWAY...
Tell me... Where do you think the energy to shoot the bolt comes from? What is generating the force that adds tension to the crossbow's string?

A mechanical crank that allows even the weakest person to pull the bow back.

The string gets pulled to a fixed position, and is held in that place until the trigger is pulled.

it doesn't matter how strong the person pulling the trigger is. The string is going to be X distance back regardless of how strong the person was loading it.


You forget that the person's strength can influence how fast they can turn that crank (and there's far more than just cranks, from hand-pulled to a simple lever to belt-hooks and stirrups to windlasses), as well as - given the limitations of size, weight and available materials - how powerful a 'crank' they can be turning.

A strong enough person may be capable of hand-drawing what another would need a slow, minute-long winching for. A strong enough person may instead apply this to a mechanism you'd normally have a pair of pack animals on a giant wheel for.

Someone with Strength 5 couldn't use a normal "light" crossbow anymore than they could handle a shortbow.

Edit: If you want a good example of crossbow adjustments, look up how they did in GURPS. Just like a bow, you get a crossbow meant for your strength. Usually. Compounds are a bit more efficient (treat Strength as 2 higher), but beyond that if you want a different strength, it's loading mechanisms. Crossbows have their own strength, you have your own strength, and mechanisms multiply both time and what you can handle. Whether a 2.5 multiplier means a strength 4 guy can use a strength 10 crossbow (just give him a minute) or a strength 10 guy can use a strength 25 crossbow (that's more normal), that's up to how you have it built. No need for anything other than drawing it over the trigger by hand if you're as strong or stronger than it is.


Jamie Charlan wrote:

You forget that the person's strength can influence how fast they can turn that crank (and there's far more than just cranks, from hand-pulled to a simple lever to belt-hooks and stirrups to windlasses), as well as - given the limitations of size, weight and available materials - how powerful a 'crank' they can be turning.

A strong enough person may be capable of hand-drawing what another would need a slow, minute-long winching for. A strong enough person may instead apply this to a mechanism you'd normally have a pair of pack animals on a giant wheel for.

Someone with Strength 5 couldn't use a normal "light" crossbow anymore than they could handle a shortbow.

Incorrect.

I did not forget that.

I just didn't care enough about the topic to analyze it that much.

If anything, strong characters SHOULD be allowed to reload faster than weaker ones, but i don't think they should get a strength bonus on the damage.

I guess you COULD conceivable make a crossbow that required a certain strength to use, but then you could just make a gearing system to load it regardless of strength...

I just use Composite Longbows and ignore crossbows, so it's a non-issue to me.

Was there not a time when crossbows ignored a certain amount of armor? Maybe back in 2nd ed?

That is something worth considering if you want to come up with new rules for crossbows...

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