When did Improved Snap Shot get nerfed from 10' to 5' and why?


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Its all in the title - I can't seem to keep up with these relentless martial nerfs, but I cant' find anything about it on the boards...


*mumbles something about martials can't have nice things*

More seriously, getting anyone to in charge of the nerfs to say why needs a miracle usually. I'd say it's so reach weapons have an edge -however slight- or the superior ranged weapons.


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Yeah, bows being a better reach weapon than any actual reach weapon is a problem. And while martials need nice things, archery is already high on the power scale and not limited to just martials.


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Melkiador wrote:
Yeah, bows being a better reach weapon than any actual reach weapon is a problem. And while martials need nice things, archery is already high on the power scale and not limited to just martials.

With 3 feats though. It isn't just "being a better reach weapon than any actual reach weapon," it comes at a high cost in a combat style that is already feat heavy.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Yeah, bows being a better reach weapon than any actual reach weapon is a problem. And while martials need nice things, archery is already high on the power scale and not limited to just martials.
With 3 feats though. It isn't just "being a better reach weapon than any actual reach weapon," it comes at a high cost in a combat style that is already feat heavy.

Technically 4 feats, plus a fairly high BAB and Dex score... where as Reach weapons require... none?

Still looking for a reason that makes any sense at all - honestly, I've never even met anyone who's character actually had it.


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2 of those feats are had by every archer anyway. And quite a few have weapon focus too. And if you're doing archery, you have the high dex. So, those prerequisites are pretty minor.

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Wiggz wrote:
...honestly, I've never even met anyone who's character actually had it.

I had such a character once, and it was pretty ridiculous... but, when you put all your resources into something, it probably should be ridiculous.


What would you think of a feat that allowed my reach fighter to attack enemies from 100s of feet away with his polearm. It has a lot of prereqs like combat reflexes, power attack and weapon focus.

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Sounds good. Just explain how it works realistically, and we're all set.


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Melkiador wrote:
What would you think of a feat that allowed my reach fighter to attack enemies from 100s of feet away with his polearm. It has a lot of prereqs like combat reflexes, power attack and weapon focus.

I would be totally fine with a 3 feat chain that ended in increasing the thrown distance increment of a pole arm to 50ft. So you could throw it 250ft with a -10 to hit.


BigDTBone wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
What would you think of a feat that allowed my reach fighter to attack enemies from 100s of feet away with his polearm. It has a lot of prereqs like combat reflexes, power attack and weapon focus.
I would be totally fine with a 3 feat chain that ended in increasing the thrown distance increment of a pole arm to 50ft. So you could throw it 250ft with a -10 to hit.

So to follow the analogy, you think improved snap shot should also cause you to lose your bow when you use it? That sounds like a pretty big nerf.

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Why would ISS make you lose your bow, though?

You don't have to throw a bow. You can just shoot people with it. That's... how they work.


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Melkiador wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
What would you think of a feat that allowed my reach fighter to attack enemies from 100s of feet away with his polearm. It has a lot of prereqs like combat reflexes, power attack and weapon focus.
I would be totally fine with a 3 feat chain that ended in increasing the thrown distance increment of a pole arm to 50ft. So you could throw it 250ft with a -10 to hit.
So to follow the analogy, you think improved snap shot should also cause you to lose your bow when you use it? That sounds like a pretty big nerf.

No, but I do think it should lose the arrow. You should carry more pole arms if you want to throw them.


Kalindlara wrote:

Why would ISS make you lose your bow, though?

You don't have to throw a bow. You can just shoot people with it. That's... how they work.

Because balance. The point is that archery is strong enough on its own without also stealing the jobs of other combat styles. And if you were to instead try to bring reach weapons up to par with archery, it gets ridiculous. That's the point.

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I prefer logic over balance, to be honest. I'd rather let archers have something cool that makes sense than say "You can't have this cool thing because it would make reach weapons sad."

As long as people still see reach weapons as a valid option (which my own observation suggests is the case), I think the system will survive.


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You still see people playing rogues instead of wizards. It doesn't mean that there isn't a problem with rogues.

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It also doesn't mean the power discrepancy is nearly as wide as you claim.

"Rogue vs. Wizard" =/= "Spear vs. Bow"


Kalindlara wrote:

It also doesn't mean the power discrepancy is nearly as wide as you claim.

"Rogue vs. Wizard" =/= "Spear vs. Bow"

The point still stands. Imbalanced is imbalanced. Players choosing weaker options doesn't mean that those options aren't weak. It doesn't mean that there isn't a problem.

What can the spear do that the bow can't? And it doesn't help that combat reflexes is dex based which favors archery over almost every reach weapon. Now add to that imbalance the ability for the bow to have an even further reach than the polearm.


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I see literally tons of people using reach weapons, I pretty much never saw anyone using Snapshot, in large part due to the multiple requirements in an already feat-intensive build. A 1st level Fighter can wield a polearm right off the bat (and benefit from little things like +1.5 STR to damage as well).

Under very specific circumstances - in the mid (and more often late) game - there may have been some imbalance, yes... but not until the archer in question had paid his dues and been forced to abandon other equally attractive options - and that's hardly demonstrative of the REAL issues in the mid to late game that continue to go unaddressed. Now, I don't worship at the altar of balance, and many who claim to seem to deliberately turn a blind eye to far greater imbalances out there, but even if I did, where was the outcry? Who's game was being broken, who's fun was being wrecked? Its bad enough that Paizo tends to over-react when faced with actual table issues, but is this kind of retro-active nit-picking really the best use of their time and energy?


Melkiador wrote:
What can the spear do that the bow can't? And it doesn't help that combat reflexes is dex based which favors archery over almost every reach weapon. Now add to that imbalance the ability for the bow to have an even further reach than the polearm.

It can gain attack and damage bonuses from a single stat - enhanced bonuses in the case of damage - and can be wielded effectively with a minimum of feat investment. It can threaten squares 10' away from the moment you pick it up, and without any special training. It is less prone to sundering and disarm and can gain a variety of weapon properties not available to ranged weapons. Spears don't suffer attack penalties for engaging a foe already in melee, nor treat allies as soft cover simply for being between the wielder and his target... and that's just for starters.

And yes, bows have a further reach than a polearm. That comes to the surprise and dismay of absolutely no one.

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I believe they do suffer from soft cover, although there's a feat for that - one available ten levels earlier than the equivalent for bows.

You can't wield a bow and a shield... polearms do get a feat for that.

You can't get the +1.5 Power Attack effect with a bow - in fact, you have to pay extra for Strength-to-damage at all, and now you're splitting between two stats. (I don't know of any way to get Dex-to-damage with a bow.)


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August 2015 is when the errata'd improved snap shot.


Maezer wrote:
August 2015 is when the errata'd improved snap shot.

Thanks for that. I only noticed it a couple of weeks ago.


You know, listing the damage advantages of a polearm when archery is one of the most dominant builds in the game in terms of raw damage feels a bit disingenuous.

Wiggz wrote:
I see literally tons of people using reach weapons, I pretty much never saw anyone using Snapshot, in large part due to the multiple requirements in an already feat-intensive build.

I also find it questionable to complain about burdensome pre-reqs when pretty much every archer already has those feats independent of snap shot. The only extra feats you're taking are the snap shot feats themselves.

It's like calling power attack an unfair pre-requisite for two handed feats.

Kalindlara wrote:


You can't wield a bow and a shield... polearms do get a feat for that.

Unhindered shield and a buckler?

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Kalindlara wrote:

Why would ISS make you lose your bow, though?

You don't have to throw a bow. You can just shoot people with it. That's... how they work.

So you would it be fine if you were unable to reload your bow off turn, as that is a free action and normally you can't do free action off turn?

(The bows and only the bows, no other weapon that can be reloaded/draw as a free action, has a specific exception for that).

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Melkiador wrote:
You still see people playing rogues instead of wizards. It doesn't mean that there isn't a problem with rogues.

Funny. I'd say that's exactly what it means.


Kalindlara wrote:
I prefer logic over balance, to be honest. I'd rather let archers have something cool that makes sense than say "You can't have this cool thing because it would make reach weapons sad."

If we want to apply logic to archery, we should cut their attack rate from approximately once per second forever to a more reasonable, once every two rounds.

We should also require an extensive, life-long specialized training and an incredibly high strength requirement to effectively use a longbow - maybe restrict their use to only one specific class.

Or we can just realize that it's a game and in-game balance is an actual concern.


Not really.

That's what the whole background thing is for, and you already need at least a 10 to use a longbow effectively(not doing less damage).

That too.


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I wouldn't put too much stock in that video. Multiple videos out there showing that Lars is a hack. One example.

Also, 10 is baseline average strength that most adult humans will have. Most baseline humans don't have the strength to use a longbow.


It isn't that Lars is a hack. It's just that his bow is a bow for tricks. It's less a combat style than a performance style. He probably could also use a "real" bow fairly well. He just couldn't use it like he uses that trick bow.


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Bows are already far and away the best martial option for damage because they don't suffer nearly as much for martials move/attack dichotomy. There's no point giving them the best defensive abilities too.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Bows are already far and away the best martial option for damage because they don't suffer nearly as much for martials move/attack dichotomy. There's no point giving them the best defensive abilities too.

+1

Well said.


So we justify nerfs to Archery by comparing it to melee? Can we do the same for spellcasters too?

I wanna stop time by swing my sword, damnit.

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Kaouse wrote:

So we justify nerfs to Archery by comparing it to melee? Can we do the same for spellcasters too?

I wanna stop time by swing my sword, damnit.

Because more don't want that? I knew a ton of people in real life that hated the "Tome of Battle" and most people on forums thought it was the best book of all time (3.5 book that became 4e D&D if you don't get the reference.)


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I think a lot of people liked that part of 4E. They just didn't like the side effect that combats took forever.


To compare, a Melee can get Combat Patrol, which lets them move to make attacks of opportunity with a threatened area = their reach + their BAB. Sounds good, right? Except that it's prerequsites include Dodge and Mobility, is limited by your movement, and might require you to eat an AoO yourself. Oh, and using Combat Patrol requires a Full Round Action, so you can't actually attack or do anything else in that same round. So, in that respect, the nerfed Snap Shot is still a far superior feat.

Kaouse wrote:

So we justify nerfs to Archery by comparing it to melee? Can we do the same for spellcasters too?

I wanna stop time by swing my sword, damnit.

Well, the corollary would actually be reducing the power of a high level spell to doing a whole bunch of HP damage, possibly with some sort of debuff added on if you spend a couple of feats and confirm a crit.


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CBDunkerson wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
You still see people playing rogues instead of wizards. It doesn't mean that there isn't a problem with rogues.
Funny. I'd say that's exactly what it means.

False. Many GM's either have houserules or they run the game in such a way as to reduce/negate the imbalance. That does not mean the problem does not exist. If you want to subscribe to the logic that "the GM can fix it" then nothing is broken, and everything should be allowed because the GM can account for in his own games. However for people prefer not to or don't have the time to fix things, these problems show up quiet often.

People also buy the books because they don't have time to houserule everything and they assume Paizo has mostly pre-balanced it for them.

In addition you see some people avoid the rogue because of it's problem so by that logic alone, which I also think is not a good reason*, you can argue it is not balanced.

*I am referring to idea that some people avoid it is not sufficient to say it is broken and likewise some people playing the class is not sufficient to say the class is ok.


Kaouse wrote:

So we justify nerfs to Archery by comparing it to melee? Can we do the same for spellcasters too?

I wanna stop time by swing my sword, damnit.

No, you compare melee doing melee to casters doing melee and archers doing melee. If something does melee better than melee THEN you have a problem.


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Cavall wrote:
.Besides, the argument is silly. Melee requires no ammo spent to use, a bow does. That's the supposed trade off. If you want to know what a spear can do a bow can't, it's function while the user is naked and armed only with a spear. Bow doesn't have that luxury.

I think you have that backwards. Ammo is a great strength of archery. The magical bow imparts its bonuses to its ammo, so you can just use regular arrows which are super cheap. But then you can also have arrows for every situation. It's very common for archers to carry silvered, cold iron and adamantine arrows for overcoming DR. And then you can have Bane arrows to take down big bosses fast. Or flaming arrows, if fighting creatures with fire vulnerability. And you can do all of these things with one magical bow, because ammo is an awesome situational option.

To do the same thing with a polearm, you'd have to buy lots of different ones and enchant them all up to a high level, which would be too expensive for any character.


Melkiador wrote:
Cavall wrote:
.Besides, the argument is silly. Melee requires no ammo spent to use, a bow does. That's the supposed trade off. If you want to know what a spear can do a bow can't, it's function while the user is naked and armed only with a spear. Bow doesn't have that luxury.

I think you have that backwards. Ammo is a great strength of archery. The magical bow imparts its bonuses to its ammo, so you can just use regular arrows which are super cheap. But then you can also have arrows for every situation. It's very common for archers to carry silvered, cold iron and adamantine arrows for overcoming DR. And then you can have Bane arrows to take down big bosses fast. Or flaming arrows, if fighting creatures with fire vulnerability. And you can do all of these things with one magical bow, because ammo is an awesome situational option.

To do the same thing with a polearm, you'd have to buy lots of different ones and enchant them all up to a high level, which would be too expensive for any character.

So if I enchant it to a high level you know it acts like silver and cold iron and all sorts of things, right? So it's not expensive at all to buy one weapon to work on as opposed to buying bane arrows all the time. Bane arrows which would have to also come in cold iron and silver and adamantine just in case, according to you.


My point stands. At low level, the material arrows are relatively cheap and are a great strength and cost savings of archery. At high levels, the effect arrows, like bane, are relatively cheap and a great strength of archery.

At low level, it'd be too expensive to keep a polearm of every material and it'd take up a lot of room. At high level, it'd still be expensive to keep a properly enhanced polearm of every bane, and still hard to carry them all with you, even with magical bags.


Your point doesn't stand because a guy with a spear can also buy a bow. It's not an either or at low levels, or even mid to high levels.

At high levels (hell, level 5) I could just make my fighter take bane at a whim. For free. Costing nothing. Buying arrows is for suckers now


Cavall wrote:
Your point doesn't stand because a guy with a spear can also buy a bow. It's not an either or at low levels, or even mid to high levels.

No, for the same reason two weapon fighting has trouble. At that level it would be too expensive to keep a second properly enhanced weapon. Especially one that doesn't use any of your feats.

Quote:
At high levels (hell, level 5) I could just make my fighter take bane at a whim. For free. Costing nothing. Buying arrows is for suckers now

Maybe there's a new thing I'm not aware of. How is your fighter getting bane? At any rate, it doesn't have to be bane. Other good to have arrows are things like flaming and holy.


Flaming you say? At a whim. Level 5. You'd have to wait til level 9 for holy. At a whim. For free.

You're right about one thing. Doesn't have to be bane.


Cavall wrote:

Flaming you say? At a whim. Level 5. You'd have to wait til level 9 for holy. At a whim. For free.

You're right about one thing. Doesn't have to be bane.

Again, how? You make it sound like an advanced weapon training but I'm not seeing one that does that.


So apparently Magic Tactics added a new weapon training powerful enough to get banned from PFS.

Still, Warrior Spirit takes a standard action to start and only lasts for a minute, so it's not completly convenient. Meanwhile, drawing an arrow is a free action. And it's not like every martial is a fighter.


This wasn't a PFS discussion. Never was. Don't know what they banned. And I'll gladly spend one action to get 10 rounds of advantage.

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