Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon - does it keep the enchantment the bow has?


Advice


This rule comes from 3.5 i think.
Is there a rule that states the same for Pathfinder?

Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon (in addition to any alignment it may already have).

My question is, if i activate elemental assult (suli ex) while holding my bow and firing and arrow will i deal the extra 1d6 damage from each shot i do?

My dm will argue that I am no longer in contact with the arrow so it looses its enchantment.

Is there any difference between my elemental assult ex ability and a spell that adds a form of elemental damage to a weapon, in this case a bow?


The flaming enchant on a bow is transferred to the arrows as an example.

If you look here at the ranged weapon enhancements table it specifies that special abilities marked with a 2 are

Quote:
Bows, crossbows, and slings crafted with this ability bestow this power upon their ammunition.

However, Elemental Assault reads as follows:

Quote:
Elemental Assault (Su): Once per day as a swift action, a suli can shroud her arms in acid, cold, electricity, or fire. This lasts for one round per level, and can be dismissed as a free action. Unarmed strikes with her arms or hands (or attacks with weapons held in those hands) deal +1d6 points of damage of the appropriate energy type.

Elemental Assault is not a magical enhancement to the weapon and does not function like the Flaming, Frost, or other energy enhancements, and the specifically use the terminology "held in hands".

This would certainly imply you can't use it with thrown weapons, and I can see no compelling reason it would work with any ranged weapons.

So yes, ranged weapon bestow their enhancements onto their ammunition, but no Elemental Assault doesn't work because it's not an enhancement bonus and doesn't work like them.

Scarab Sages

There is a difference (For example, Elemental Assault stacks with those other damage types, which normally doesn't happen), but you're attacking with a bow, which you are holding in your hands. Basically, yes, it works.

*Edit: AAAAAAND THEY'RE OFF!


For normal Enchantments like Flaming, yes the arrow would have it on it.

For Suli's Elemental Assault no the arrow would not keep it since it specifically calls out unarmed attacks with your arms and hands or weapons held in them; you're not holding the arrow in those when you use it to attack so it wouldn't work, you'd have to be using unarmed attacks like above or a weapon like a sword wielded in your hands.


Alreight, that seems fair and logical, but how about Energy Weapon spell.
A spell that adds and enchantment to a bow.
When the arrow is shoot would the arrow than deal energy damage?
Thanks!


From how I'm reading it, it gives an effect that is pretty much a temporary elemental weapon enchantment like Flaming, Corrosive, etc. so I'd rule that it does give that bonus to the ammo if you cast it on a ranged weapon like a bow.


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First, the pertinent rules:

PRD/Magic Items wrote:

Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon.

...
2 Bows, crossbows, and slings crafted with this ability bestow this power upon their ammunition. (e.g. flaming, frost, merciful) {from table of ranged enchantments

It takes specific rules to transfer effects onto ammo. For instance, normally, a magic weapon bypasses DR/Magic and a +3 weapon bypasses DR for both silver and cold iron. A +4 weapon bypasses adamantine and +5 bypasses alignment. But there are specific rules, both in magic weapon creation as well as the glossary entry on DR that needs to specify that ammo from a magic bow is also considered magic and from an aligned bow is also considered aligned. Therefore, we can deduce that these things don't automatically transfer from bow to ammo (ie. a +4 bow doesn't let its arrows bypass DR/adamantine).

Any specific enhancements (eg. Flaming, Bane, Holy) will include an explicit notation as to whether they impart this ability to ammunition. From this, we can determine that something like a Suli's Elemental Assault doesn't automatically transfer to ranged attacks. Another way to look at it is that your hands are sheathed in elemental power and, when holding a weapon in that hand, the energy spreads around the weapon; but it's still anchored to your hand. So you can swing a sword and the energy will go along for the ride, but you couldn't throw a dagger or fire an arrow and expect the same thing.

PS: you have a duplicate thread.


Yes, that general rule is in PF too.

In this particular case it doesn't matter, because the elemental assault ability states

Advanced Race Guide wrote:
Elemental Assault (Su): Once per day as a swift action, a suli can shroud her arms in acid, cold, electricity, or fire. This lasts for one round per level, and can be dismissed as a free action. Unarmed strikes with her arms or hands (or attacks with weapons held in those hands) deal +1d6 points of damage of the appropriate energy type.

so it works fine with attacks from any weapon, including a bow, regardless of the general rules.


Aaaand I see the other thread came to the opposite conclusion :-(

Well, I still think a bow counts as "a weapon you hold in your hands" even though it hurts people via arrows that are not held in your hands.

Not sure if I should repost in the more popular thread.

Shadow Lodge

The arrow isn't the weapon. The bow is the weapon. The bow is held in the hands. The bow is a weapon held in the hands.

See also Deliquescent Gloves, which benefit bows.

This question re: Elemental Assault has come up before so it may be an FAQ candidate, though I don't expect it's that high up the list.


If the suli ability is clarified to work like Flaming, Corrosive, Frost, or Shock weapon enhancement that should have said that instead of using an ambiguous phrase of "held in hand".

When I read "held in hand" it means clearly that thrown weapons wouldn't qualify.

And since the ability doesn't work like the normal energy weapon enhancement (which specifically state the ability is transferred to ammunition) I can see no reason to think that elemental assault works on ranged attacks of any sort.

Now, whether or not they should is another question altogether. I wouldn't be opposed to a clarification of the ability that said it worked as the appropriate energy weapon enhancement ability.

As the for the deliquescent gloves, the work specifically because the gloves are stated to work like the corrosive weapon property, which is specifically stated to impart the effect to ammunition.


Normally any enchantment on the projectile weapon would be transferred to the ammunition. The thing is that a Suli’s Elemental Assault is not an enchantment on the projectile weapon so would not be transferred.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Normally any enchantment on the projectile weapon would be transferred to the ammunition. The thing is that a Suli’s Elemental Assault is not an enchantment on the projectile weapon so would not be transferred.

The fact that enchantments are transferred does not imply that non-enchantments are not transferred. You have to look at the text of the specific non-enchantment.

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