Deflect arrow while using a bow


Rules Questions


Just thought I would ask, can you use deflect arrow while welding a bow? I was ruled against since a bow technically a 2h weapon. Just wondering.

Scarab Sages

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If you have the feat I would say you can. Removing a hand is free action as I recall and even though you need both hands to attack with it you arnt holding it with both hands in between.


That was my defence as well, but everyone else said it was like using deflect arrows by taking a hand off of a great sword too use the feat.


Removing your hand from your weapon is a free action, but it's within a GM's discretion to place limits on how many free actions can be accomplished in one round. So I wouldn't expect to be able to do this whenever I wanted.

(For example, if I provoke an AoO from someone with improved snap shop by making a ranged attack with a bow, I shouldn't expect to be able to deflect that arrow.)


Most GMs generally allow 2-3 free actions per turn, so it should be fine.

Wield bow with both hands (free action)
Attack
Take one hand off bow (free action)

End turn

Repeat

However, you would be unable to use abilities that require you to be wielding the bow (such as the aforementioned improved snap shot feat).

Same thing with a great sword, you'd be able to deflect arrows, but unable to make a 2-handed attack of opportunity.


So like using aoo's and such would not be able then.


Pretty much.

The same argument is made if you wanted to benefit from the Crane Wing feat.

Scarab Sages

I feel you should be able to use this without any problems.. There is a faq about releasing and regripping that says one of each in a round could be deemed fair.

Zen archer specifically places this on the list that they must take their bonus feats from so it seems logical to me it should be allowed.

Its a once per rnd use feat you took and with the ruling you had it is all but useless to you unless you do as n00bxqb states..


Quote:

Deflect Arrows (Combat)

You can knock arrows and other projectiles off course, preventing them from hitting you.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Improved Unarmed Strike.
Benefit: You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat. Once per round when you would normally be hit with an attack from a ranged weapon, you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. Attempting to deflect a ranged attack doesn't count as an action. Unusually massive ranged weapons (such as boulders or ballista bolts) and ranged attacks generated by natural attacks or spell effects can't be deflected.

Quote:
Longbow: At almost 5 feet in height, a longbow is made up of one solid piece of carefully curved wood. You need two hands to use a bow, regardless of its size. A longbow is too unwieldy to use while you are mounted. If you have a penalty for low Strength, apply it to damage rolls when you use a longbow. If you have a Strength bonus, you can apply it to damage rolls when you use a composite longbow (see below), but not when you use a regular longbow.

Are you using the bow?


One of those Heroic moments where you catch the arrow and fire it right back at the enemy archer...


Knight who says Meh wrote:
Are you using the bow?

Well, are you using a bow when you're doing something with it other than "knocking an arrow, drawing, aiming, and firing"?

Like if I'm "using" a bow to try to extend my reach in order to knock something off the edge of a roof, do I need two hands?


man if I can't remove 1 hand from the bow how can I grab an arrow off my back to shoot more then 1 arrow in a full attack?


Yuri Sarreth wrote:

I feel you should be able to use this without any problems.. There is a faq about releasing and regripping that says one of each in a round could be deemed fair.

Zen archer specifically places this on the list that they must take their bonus feats from so it seems logical to me it should be allowed.

Its a once per rnd use feat you took and with the ruling you had it is all but useless to you unless you do as n00bxqb states..

You mean this FAQ?

Note that the FAQ gives an example of being able to threaten despite having taken an action which requires a free hand to cast the spell, so it stands to reason that the inverse of that example is likewise true (in order to ready a spell to cast, you'd have to take one hand off of your staff to do so).


It's just as valid as removing a hand from a greatsword to use deflect arrows when it's not your turn.

It just so happens that you don't give up much by doing so as an archer because you probably don't have Snap Shot and you can't make AoO so you didn't need both hands on your bow.

It's hardly overpowered either. It means spending a feat on deflect arrows when you're already trying to pickup all the feats in the archery tree that you need, and that's going to set you back on its own.

But yeah, it's as simply as spending a free action at the end of your turn to remove you hand from the bow (and another at the start of your next turn to put it back on). So you have two extra free actions per round if you do this.

Some GMs do limit free actions...so I guess watch out.


For the number of times deflect arrows is useful in a game and the fact that it is only useful to deflect one arrow per round, it does not seem overpowered to permit two-handed weapon wielders to do this.

I would rule, as some have stated above, that if you choose to be able to deflect arrows between turns, then you do not get an AOO with your two-handed weapon. I would also ask players to announce at the end of their turn whether both hands are on the weapon they are carrying or not.


It doesn't matter if taking your hand off a weapon is a free action. If your hand isn't off the weapon, it isn't free to use with Deflect Arrows. And, barring explicit exceptions like speaking and limited others, you can't take free actions outside of your turn. That's why the Greatsword example doesn't work. Whether that should also be applicable to bows is perhaps a fair discussion. I'd allow it, but per the rules text quoted earlier, a GM would be perfectly within their right saying a bow uses two hands and Deflect Arrows isn't an option unless you specifically mention removing a hand at the end of your turn.


the difference with a bow is your not sitting there all round with both hands on the bow. and the fact that you can use snapshot which requires you to take your hand off the bow grab an arrow nock it and shoot it all of which you can do off turn lends credence to there being no problems with deflect arrow while using a bow even if you don't say you "remove" 1 hand from the bow before your turn is over.

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