Crossbow vs Longbow, pros and cons?


Advice

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There are lots of videos of fast shooting archers.

Most of them use 15lb pull bows for exhibition or whatever. Thise are normal shortbows. I have never seen one of those fast shooting archers with a real composite longbow with 100lbs+ pull. And certainly a little girl could not fo it, unless she can bench press like 200+ lbs.

In any case, I'm fine if those with pro-bow selective realism want to give the bow a Rate of Fire advantage. It is ok.

But in no way, shape or form, should a composite bow do more damage than a crossbow, if you pretend realism. Even light crossbows would top that, and crossbows with windmills, hooks, levers, cranks and crannequins should do FAR more damage than a mighty bow +4 strength. Like +10 or +12. A human being cannot ready a crannequin crossbow by hand. Too much pull.


Really, considering the amount of training needed to use Bows and Slings, both should be Exotic weapons, and the more sophisticated Composite Bows like the Japanese bows (Yumi, which also came in short and long varieties) would be a step beyond(*). Also, I would make Hand Crossbows be Simple weapons with a -1 penalty for firing one-handed that goes away if you get Martial proficiency with them. (Note that the Tube Arrow Shooter is an Eastern Martial weapon that is of similar purpose and actually gives you a bonus on Sleight of Hand checks to conceal it, unlike the Hand Crossbow, and has a somewhat longer range increment, but on the other hand takes longer to reload, like a Heavy Crossbow, while having no better damage than a Hand Crossbow.)

(*)Weapon proficiency would be ranked, usually I - III (corresponding approximately to Simple - Martial - Exotic) but sometimes higher, with some weapons having a minimum proficiency level greater than I to avoid a non-proficiency penalty; getting additinoal proficiency levels would provide additional benefits, like in Kirthfinder (which would substitute for some weapon mastery feats, including some that do not have "Weapon Mastery" in their classification).

As things are, I see Crossbows for martial types (who could use a bow if they wanted to) as being potentially useful for snipers/assassins, who may need to shoot from a prone position, and who are either going to run away or draw a melee weapon and fight hand-to-hand if a target didn't go down and is going to get close enough to threaten them.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

The heaviest Genovese Crossbows had up to 1200lbs pull. More average crossbows had between 250 and 500lb pulls

The very best of the english longbows are stimated about 160lb top, and that's being drawn by guys the size of a linebacker. Average longbow pull was around 90lb.

Not to mention that, judging by the skeletons that have been found, archers using those high-draw weight longbows tended to wind up with deformed arms from all the stresses they'd put on them.


gustavo iglesias wrote:


Not really, because Manyshot is a thing.

Yeah I know, and somewhere up there i commented that i generally rate being able to shoot vs touch ac when its important as pretty equivalent to manyshot. Hitting is important.


Really the problem is that guns in pathfinder are treated sort of the way Crossbows should function. High flat damage with no stat modifier that targets touch AC.

The difference would be that strength would determine how fast you could reload and the power of the bow you could use.

The problem is finding a strength/damage balance that doesn't break things over their knees.


Ryan Freire wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


Not really, because Manyshot is a thing.
Yeah I know, and somewhere up there i commented that i generally rate being able to shoot vs touch ac when its important as pretty equivalent to manyshot. Hitting is important.

It is nice, though at a cost of 1 grit for each bolt using that ability will tap out your grit pool pretty quickly.

Scarab Sages

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Bober wrote:
Am I missing something? Is there some trick that I forgot that makes crossbow better or at least as good as a composite longbow? Or are they just there for those who don't have enough STR to fire a composite longbow?

It's a contextual thing.

-Crossbows are loads better if you have a negative strength modifier. All longbows apply the negative strength mod to damage rolls, even if only the composite ones apply the positive strength mod. Crossbows, on the other hand, do not apply a strength mod to damage rolls. So a creature with 5 strength is much more impressive with a crossbow than with a longbow.

-Crossbows can be fired in one hand, even if with reduced accuracy and without the ability to reload with one hand. Longbows always require two hands. You can even attempt to fire two crossbows at the same time.

-Shortbows and crossbows can be fired while mounted, while longbows cannot.

-Crossbows can be fired while prone, while longbows cannot.

-Crossbows can have a bayonet mounted on them. Longbows lack a bayonet option. The bayonet itself is a somewhat lackluster weapon, but it can have it's own moments of value. In summary of value, it's a melee weapon that doesn't require dropping the ranged weapon, it has the 1.5x str of a two handed weapon, and it has very low weight.

-In terms of training, although most classes can use crossbows, the simple weapon proficiency feat is considerably better than the martial weapon proficiency feat, if you are using feats to acquire proficiency (just because simple applies to all simple weapons and martial only grants a single weapon).

-Another strong point of the crossbow is that the CRAFT skill require is Craft Weapons, not Craft Bows. Minor, I suppose, but it means that a class with limited skill access, doesn't need to choose between melee weapons and ranged weapons when selecting a skill to maintain their weaponry.

-Finally, there is a feat to use oversized crossbows while there is not a method of using oversized longbows.


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It's a little known fact that Genghis Khan wasn't a successful conqueror due to psychological warfare, brutal fighting, and effective use of cavalry. The real reason is because he had a crossbow... That fired katana.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

In no way the mighty composite longbow should outdamage a crosbow. Not even close. Not even close to be even close. If ypur best mighty longbows, shot by the strongest people, do 1d8+3 or 1d8+4, then the realistic average light crossbow should start at 1d8+5, and the cranked genovese heavy crossbows should do mo less than 1d10+10, at least.

Of course, that would not be balanced.

It could be balanced if the longbow still had a higher fire rate. If you're going to play Realismfinder with realistic damage, it should take a couple of full round actions to reload your heavy crossbow.

(Balanced in terms of relative quality of missile weapons, that is. Possibly not balanced in terms of everyone dying in the first round of a combat at level 1.)


Murdock Mudeater wrote:

-Shortbows and crossbows can be fired while mounted, while longbows cannot.

-Crossbows can have a bayonet mounted on them. Longbows lack a bayonet option. The bayonet itself is a somewhat lackluster weapon, but it can have it's own moments of value. In summary of value, it's a melee weapon that doesn't require dropping the ranged weapon, it has the 1.5x str of a two handed weapon, and it has very low weight.

Mostly a good list, just noting a couple of points. Composite longbows can be fired while mounted, it's just the basic longbow (which no-one uses) that can't. And there's a number of options to make longbows melee capable; also PF crossbow users tend not to have high strength.


Crossbows have a niche - they're weapons for strength-dumping casters to use when they want to conserve spells.

But yeah, it would be nice if there were feats that could make them competitive with bows for Rangers, etc.

Grand Lodge

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Crossbows can be shot prone and 1 handed. They are also simple weapons.
Shooting prone imposes severe penalties.

Huh, I see that you can shoot from prone but I don't see penalties listed anywhere.

EDIT:
Oh ahaha


Matthew Downie wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

In no way the mighty composite longbow should outdamage a crosbow. Not even close. Not even close to be even close. If ypur best mighty longbows, shot by the strongest people, do 1d8+3 or 1d8+4, then the realistic average light crossbow should start at 1d8+5, and the cranked genovese heavy crossbows should do mo less than 1d10+10, at least.

Of course, that would not be balanced.

It could be balanced if the longbow still had a higher fire rate. If you're going to play Realismfinder with realistic damage, it should take a couple of full round actions to reload your heavy crossbow.

(Balanced in terms of relative quality of missile weapons, that is. Possibly not balanced in terms of everyone dying in the first round of a combat at level 1.)

And firing longbows would also be way slower and manyshot would not be a thing.

The problem is two fold. On the one hand the game fails a be realistic (which is fine because this is just a game) but then use false realism to fail to have a good mechanics.


Matthew Downie wrote:

Crossbows have a niche - they're weapons for strength-dumping casters to use when they want to conserve spells.

But yeah, it would be nice if there were feats that could make them competitive with bows for Rangers, etc.

There are feats for them.

They're just not enough, and they are in addition to the feats required for anyone who wants to specialize in ranged combat.

All of the feats (sans Manyshot) that Bows use, Crossbows also use, and Crossbows require feats like Rapid Reload (and even Crossbow Mastery, for the bigger crossbows) in addition. For Light and Hand Crossbows, it's about the same; for other crossbows, it's more feat intensive, and is overall worse since you'll do less damage in the long run due to lacking a scaling damage modifier (even if it's a secondary/tertiary one).

Hell, unless you're using a Heavy Crossbow (which is really only useful for flavor purposes, as it's only maginally better due to damage dice), feats like Crossbow Mastery are pretty damn useless, and in my opinion, Crossbow Mastery should do more for you than let you reload every crossbow in existence as a Free Action. Which, I might add, doesn't apply to Repeating Crossbows, since reloading bolt cartridges is different from reloading bolts themselves.


If you want a Repeating Crossbow hero, why not an Inquisitor? The only class that gets proficiency! I think it's cool, really. Heavy Repeater with Empty Quiver style as an Inquisitor?! Beat down those infidels!


Fourshadow wrote:
If you want a Repeating Crossbow hero, why not an Inquisitor? The only class that gets proficiency! I think it's cool, really. Heavy Repeater with Empty Quiver style as an Inquisitor?! Beat down those infidels!

Bolt Ace gets proficiency too. In any Repeating Crossbow you want.


Problem with specializing in the repeating crossbow is that it actually gets worse as you level because the magazine size is 5 and it's not easy to speed reloading (Crossbow Mastery would work, but you'd still provoke when reloading, so why not just use a heavy crossbow instead?)

So at level 2, you make 1 attack so you have to spend a round reloading after 5 attacks. The combat may well be over before then, so that's great.

Level 7 Inquisitor with a repeating crossbow, rapid shot, and under the effect of haste? Round- 1 you make 4 shots. Round 2- you make 1 shot and can't shoot any more. Round 3- You spend the whole round reloading. Round 4- you make 4 shots again.

Combat in this game really wants you to make a lot of attacks, and the repeating crossbow is one of the worst weapons at handling this.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Honestly, I think a lot of issues would be improved with a couple of minor tweaks:

1) short bows are martial, but long bows (both composite and non-) are exotic and thus require an investment for the upgrade over their smaller analogs to account for the higher damage (like the exotic proficiency needed for the one-handed use of the bastard sword to justify what is effectively the longsword upgraded a die).

2) crossbows add a strength mod to damage that the PC doesn't need to have (since it's a mechanical aspect of the bow). I'd even consider starting all crossbows at +1 strength bonus at their base prices and allow upgraded version from there.


Matthew Downie wrote:

Crossbows have a niche - they're weapons for strength-dumping casters to use when they want to conserve spells.

But yeah, it would be nice if there were feats that could make them competitive with bows for Rangers, etc.

I thought that was what cantrips are for. Ray of frost or acid splash. by hitting touch the DPR is about the same.


SO yeah, niche builds and all that. Shadow Shooting Hand-crossbows on a Bolt Ace 5/Inquisitor X for full TWF + Rapid Shot for DEX+1 X (number of hits) plus bane effects?

Realistically you could get 6 DEX +1 Base damage on a save +2 +2D6 from bane.. around 16 damage per hit with around 5 or 6 hits. Hopefully you get Clustered Shots in there somewhere and you arent doing too bad.


Ryan Freire wrote:
The investment for worthwhile crossbow use is 5 levels of bolt ace+ crossbow mastery, after which it becomes superior to the longbow. At level 4 gunslinger you take rapid shot + crossbow mastery and you dont even have a level where you can't use rapid shot. Bows get more attacks for like 3 levels maybe.

But then Precise Shot is missing from the build, which sucks. All in all, the Bolt Ace is 4 feats behind the Fighter by level 5 (which means a lot, since a longbow using fighter is very feat busy).

The only thing you actually get for the 5 level Bolt Ace tax is the possibility to a SAD DEX character OR the possibility to fire a touch attack IF you invested anything in WIS. But that's not going to be that big of a difference, the 4 extra feats compensates the Fighter well.


Torbyne wrote:
SO yeah, niche builds and all that. Shadow Shooting Hand-crossbows on a Bolt Ace 5/Inquisitor X for full TWF + Rapid Shot for DEX+1 X (number of hits) plus bane effects?

Bane? You mean you're going to wait till level 10 to have fun? Level 1 Human Fighter with a Longbow is 9 levels ahead of you.


Rub-Eta wrote:
]But then Precise Shot is missing from the build, which sucks. All in all, the Bolt Ace is 4 feats behind the Fighter by level 5 (which means a lot, since a longbow using fighter is very feat busy).

Isn't this why the heavy crossbow is largely considered a trap option? Bolt Ace with a light crossbow in the first 5 levels picks up PBS, Rapid Reload, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, and can do whatever they want with their 5th level feat if they're human.

It's not really worth spending a feat just for an extra +1 damage and 40 feet of range. Either go for the light crossbow, or one of the really big ones (Gastraphetes or Minotaur Double, probably.)

The Exchange

I won't give away all his secrets, you can try to create a build yourself, but a friend I play with runs a Mutation Warrior dual wielding crossbows and uses the lvl 7 'Mutagen Discovery' to get a Tentacle that he uses to Reload both weapons as he alternates firing.


I like the idea of strength crossbows that you can only use trength but deal extra damage.

I'd suggest double damage according to strength rating, so a Crossbow (Strength Rating +1) does +2 damage on its shot and etc.


Rub-Eta wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
SO yeah, niche builds and all that. Shadow Shooting Hand-crossbows on a Bolt Ace 5/Inquisitor X for full TWF + Rapid Shot for DEX+1 X (number of hits) plus bane effects?
Bane? You mean you're going to wait till level 10 to have fun? Level 1 Human Fighter with a Longbow is 9 levels ahead of you.

Level 10 is where everything bumps up at. Really, as with anything built on a Bolt Ace, you are only waiting until level 5 for the character to "turn on".

Grab that Bane Baldric and practice your Boondock Saints quotes!


Torbyne wrote:


Grab that Bane Baldric and practice your Boondock Saints quotes!

Technicality: Bane Baldric is restricted to light/1hed melee weapons only


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:
]But then Precise Shot is missing from the build, which sucks. All in all, the Bolt Ace is 4 feats behind the Fighter by level 5 (which means a lot, since a longbow using fighter is very feat busy).

Isn't this why the heavy crossbow is largely considered a trap option? Bolt Ace with a light crossbow in the first 5 levels picks up PBS, Rapid Reload, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, and can do whatever they want with their 5th level feat if they're human.

It's not really worth spending a feat just for an extra +1 damage and 40 feet of range. Either go for the light crossbow, or one of the really big ones (Gastraphetes or Minotaur Double, probably.)

It is and it isn't.

It's a trap in that Heavy Crossbows requires Crossbow Mastery to be functional similar to Light or Hand Crossbows (though Hand Crossbows still require a feat for proficiency anyway).

It's not a trap, in that although it requires Crossbow Mastery, you don't provoke to reload it, which can otherwise be a problem if you try to take Point Blank Master in concert with just Rapid Reload and expect everything to go without a hitch. A smart GM would tell you that you'd still provoke for reloading, which means Point Blank Master becomes the trap feat for Light/Hand Crossbows, and not Crossbow Mastery.

Quite frankly, I'd rather just dot all the I's and cross all the T's so I don't run into an embarrassing moment like that, which is why I decided to go with the Heavy Underwater Crossbow for my Bolt Ace (though it's really just a flavor choice).

The "really big ones" are even worse than the Heavy Crossbow, since the Minotaur Double Crossbow can't function worth a damn past level 6 (or when you get 2 attacks via BAB), and the Gastraphetes imposes severe penalties and requires specific usage, just for a D12 damage dice (instead of a D10), which is obviously not worth it in the long run, and because combat doesn't let you sit there and make attacks for free.


"Reloading without Provoking" is not that useful to the Bolt Ace since they get the ability to do that at level 1 if they have any grit in their pool.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
"Reloading without Provoking" is not that useful to the Bolt Ace since they get the ability to do that at level 1 if they have any grit in their pool.

If they decided to take that deed.

Some don't, and value the Touch AC option much more. At least, I did, since the ability to reload can be fixed with feats, whereas the ability to target Touch AC can't.

On top of that, if you decided to spend all your grit (such as by using your Touch AC option that you took at a later time), then that option wouldn't function as long, whereas my feats are active at all times.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
"Reloading without Provoking" is not that useful to the Bolt Ace since they get the ability to do that at level 1 if they have any grit in their pool.

If they decided to take that deed.

Some don't, and value the Touch AC option much more. At least, I did, since the ability to reload can be fixed with feats, whereas the ability to target Touch AC can't.

On top of that, if you decided to spend all your grit (such as by using your Touch AC option that you took at a later time), then that option wouldn't function as long, whereas my feats are active at all times.

You don't pick deeds. Slingers automatically have access to all deeds that they satisfy the level pre reqs for.


I don't think deeds are things you have to choose; you just have all the ones you qualify for at your level. So every bolt ace gets to reload without provoking if they have at least 1 point of grit in their pool.

I think I'd very much prefer to save a feat than to have to worry about provoking in those situations where I have no grit and can't take a 5' step.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I don't think deeds are things you have to choose; you just have all the ones you qualify for at your level. So every bolt ace gets to reload without provoking if they have at least 1 point of grit in their pool.

I think I'd very much prefer to save a feat than to have to worry about provoking in those situations where I have no grit and can't take a 5' step.

...Huh, I thought they were like any other limited resource pool, in that you had to make choices for specific selections.

It's good to know I've been potentially shorting myself this whole time on my character's abilities...


reloading provoking matters as much as attacking provoking. Only thing different is if they have combat reflexes and really HIGH dex.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

...Huh, I thought they were like any other limited resource pool, in that you had to make choices for specific selections.

It's good to know I've been potentially shorting myself this whole time on my character's abilities...

One of the major reasons the Gunslinger generally isn't seen as worth playing past level 5 is that you don't have to pick deeds, you just get all of the ones you qualify for. So there's not that much worth waiting around in the class for. The Swashbuckler has a similar problem, as their absolute best deeds are available at levels 1 and 3, but Precise Strike scales at least.)

All you'd get from sticking around in Bolt Ace from levels 6-11 are:
-Ability to take Signature Deed (Which doesn't work with your touch AC gimmick)
- +2 Dodge Bonus to AC
- 1 bonus feat
- Crossbow training for a different kind of crossbow
- The following deeds
-- Can spend 1 grit and miss on purpose to deny target Dex to AC
-- Dead Shot (which is poor because it multiplies only base damage)
-- 1 grit, full round, cause target to drop something, fall out of sky, knock prone, or become confused for 1 round.
-- Doesn't provoke when shooting if 1 grit point spent on shot
-- Reload crossbows even faster if you have >0 grit
-- Spend 1 Grit to do DexMod bleed damage

Just the opportunity of not going, say, fighter (6 feats and weapon training) instead is immense by comparison.


Chess Pwn wrote:
reloading provoking matters as much as attacking provoking. Only thing different is if they have combat reflexes and really HIGH dex.

Getting disarmed or getting your quiver sundered can be a problem.


Rub-Eta wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
The investment for worthwhile crossbow use is 5 levels of bolt ace+ crossbow mastery, after which it becomes superior to the longbow. At level 4 gunslinger you take rapid shot + crossbow mastery and you dont even have a level where you can't use rapid shot. Bows get more attacks for like 3 levels maybe.

But then Precise Shot is missing from the build, which sucks. All in all, the Bolt Ace is 4 feats behind the Fighter by level 5 (which means a lot, since a longbow using fighter is very feat busy).

The only thing you actually get for the 5 level Bolt Ace tax is the possibility to a SAD DEX character OR the possibility to fire a touch attack IF you invested anything in WIS. But that's not going to be that big of a difference, the 4 extra feats compensates the Fighter well.

You also get dex to damage, and the best crit range and multiplier combination 19+ X3. Although i admit i miscalculated feat progression.

1. Point blank shot, precise shot (human)
3. rapid reload
4. rapid shot
5 crossbow mastery

Still fine and ready to go by 5, and capable of taking your iterative before you actually have one.

Scarab Sages

avr wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
In summary of value, it's a melee weapon that doesn't require dropping the ranged weapon, it has the 1.5x str of a two handed weapon, and it has very low weight.
PF crossbow users tend not to have high strength.

Yes and no.

In terms of weaponry, if they already have the crossbow weighed in, the medium size bayonet adds a meager 1lb. A dagger weighs the same. So a low str chracter will at least consider the bayonet for weight reasons. Yeah, the dagger is way better if they have weapon finesse, but not all str dump characters decide to invest in that feat.

The other kind of character that would have crossbow is a melee fighter. Just because they are focused in melee, doesn't mean they don't value the crossbow. It's a long range weapon that can be paired with a shield and used while prone to cope with enemies that attack at long range and just can't be brought into melee. (A character should be able to load a crossbow with a light shield equipped. They'd still have to take the one-handed penalties to fire it with the light shield equipped.) And a melee fighter won't have dumped Str.


^Except that a melee type with high Strength would probably prefer to use a Bow instead of a Crossbow if they can (unless they are doing something like focusing on Vital Strike, and maybe even then). The melee types that would prefer Crossbows would be high Dexterity types with not much Strength -- still get Dexterity-to-Hit with the Crossbow, while using Weapon Finesse to do the same in melee (along with some Dexterity-to-Damage feat). If you have no feats invested in either type of ranged weapon, but have proficiency with both, the Bow is better for letting you get more shots off, unless you are up against something with Damage Resistance that you don't have a bypass for, or your Strength is below 10.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Except that a melee type with high Strength would probably prefer to use a Bow instead of a Crossbow if they can (unless they are doing something like focusing on Vital Strike, and maybe even then). The melee types that would prefer Crossbows would be high Dexterity types with not much Strength -- still get Dexterity-to-Hit with the Crossbow, while using Weapon Finesse to do the same in melee (along with some Dexterity-to-Damage feat). If you have no feats invested in either type of ranged weapon, but have proficiency with both, the Bow is better for letting you get more shots off, unless you are up against something with Damage Resistance that you don't have a bypass for, or your Strength is below 10.

If I have str 10 or 8 and will not spend any feat whatsoever in ranged combat I still would prefer the bow over the crossbow as secondary weapon just for the sake of faster reloading.


Murdock Mudeater wrote:
avr wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
In summary of value, it's a melee weapon that doesn't require dropping the ranged weapon, it has the 1.5x str of a two handed weapon, and it has very low weight.
PF crossbow users tend not to have high strength.

Yes and no.

In terms of weaponry, if they already have the crossbow weighed in, the medium size bayonet adds a meager 1lb. A dagger weighs the same. So a low str chracter will at least consider the bayonet for weight reasons. Yeah, the dagger is way better if they have weapon finesse, but not all str dump characters decide to invest in that feat.

The other kind of character that would have crossbow is a melee fighter. Just because they are focused in melee, doesn't mean they don't value the crossbow. It's a long range weapon that can be paired with a shield and used while prone to cope with enemies that attack at long range and just can't be brought into melee. (A character should be able to load a crossbow with a light shield equipped. They'd still have to take the one-handed penalties to fire it with the light shield equipped.) And a melee fighter won't have dumped Str.

With its better crit range a dagger has about the same base stats as a bayonet, barring strength bonus. A sickle weighs just one pound more and has a d6 damage if you especially want that. (I briefly played a str 8 shaman who carried a sickle & a light crossbow.)

A melee fighter could use empty quiver style/flexibility with a bow and a buckler as easily I think - you'd need at least as many feats to make melee fighting with the crossbow/bayonet while prone worthwhile.


I think the main advantage of the crossbows come in the long run when you have a crapton of feats. They have a higher crit range, so making them keen and grabbing a crit feat or two could really help you out. Also you can two weapon fight with them, as long as you have the wrist straps so that you can reload them both and still have a "free" hand. And I believe if you take improved and greater two weapon fighting as well as rapid fire, you have one more extra shot than the bow build. As far as I know, going twf and rapid shot nets you the most attacks in a round. So it could help people like Paladins with Smite damage and Rangers with Favored enemy.

So yeah, I think you can make crossbows kind of good in a different way from bows. You've just got to take a billion feats (including rapid reload) to make it work. The main advantages again are the higher crit range and the potential for an extra attack over bows.


Domestichauscat wrote:
so making them keen

Keen only goes on piercing and slashing melee weapons, which no crossbow is. Improved Critical works fine, but it comes on kinda late though.

Scarab Sages

avr wrote:

With its better crit range a dagger has about the same base stats as a bayonet, barring strength bonus. A sickle weighs just one pound more and has a d6 damage if you especially want that. (I briefly played a str 8 shaman who carried a sickle & a light crossbow.)

A melee fighter could use empty quiver style/flexibility with a bow and a buckler as easily I think - you'd need at least as many feats to make melee fighting with the crossbow/bayonet while prone worthwhile.

My arguement was that they'd "consider" it, not that they decided on the bayonet over the other options. And if the str dump class requires a feat for bow training, I'd certainly reconsider the crossbow + bayonet route, over the bow and even more feats to make it melee able....

A melee fighter who is not using the crossbow or bayonet as a primary weapon, does not need to dedicate any feats to either weapon. The advantage of going prone is purely for the AC bonus, since the melee fight is weak to range. If they can use their BAB and limited dex to occasionally contribute, that's great and is the goal here. A melee fighter is not expected nor required to be amazing at long range. The light crossbow + light shield route is superior if the melee fighter has feats invested in shields, but not in ranged weapons.

Anyway, the question is about when you'd use a crossbow over a longbow. That's all I'm commenting on. I'm not debating which is best overall, because that wasn't the question posed.

Oh, PS, the Bayonet is d6 piercing damage, two handed, crits only on a 20, and can't be thrown. It's stats are nothing like a dagger. The only comparision is in proficency requirements, weight and cost.


Domestichauscat wrote:
Also you can two weapon fight with them, as long as you have the wrist straps so that you can reload them both and still have a "free" hand.

Nope, it's a move action to recover a weapon from a weapon cord.

There are ways to pull off TWF with crossbows, but it generally takes something like an Alchemist dip to get an extra arm. And between the TWF and Rapid Shot penalties, losing some BAB (and any other relevant progression) for that dip is going to sting.

Dark Archive

Chengar Qordath wrote:
Domestichauscat wrote:
Also you can two weapon fight with them, as long as you have the wrist straps so that you can reload them both and still have a "free" hand.

Nope, it's a move action to recover a weapon from a weapon cord.

There are ways to pull off TWF with crossbows, but it generally takes something like an Alchemist dip to get an extra arm. And between the TWF and Rapid Shot penalties, losing some BAB (and any other relevant progression) for that dip is going to sting.

Losing a BAB sucks for feat access and delaying your extra attack but that 20-minute Mutagen more than makes up for the loss in accuracy for the Alchemist dip. It's probably the best one if you wanna TWF. Well, except for Juggler Bard. Such a cool archetype.

Scarab Sages

Oh, and kinda silly application, but found another reason a character would consider crossbows over longbows:

-Only a 2 pt evolution to make your Unchained Eidolon use a Crossbow. 4pt evolution for a Longbow/composite longbow.

Liberty's Edge

As a design challenge, 2 friends of mine and I set out to build crossbow users for PFS and all bring them to the same table. We all came back with Minotaur Double Crossbow builds. I submit mine to you for evaluation. It does not, in fact, fire less arrows than a Longbowman.

MDXB Build:

Human Double Crossbow Inquisitor

Str 9
Dex 18
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 16
Cha 7

HP: 12
BAB: 1

Init: +6 (4 dex, 2 trait)

Traits: Reactionary, Magical Knack (Inquisitior)

AC: 18 (10 + 4 Armor + 4 Dex)
Fort: 4, Ref: 6, Will: 3

Skill Points: 7 / level (5 at level 1 and 3)

Class Skills (level 1) - Acrobatics, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Know Engineering, Know Local (1), Perception (1), Profession (1), Ride, Sleight of Hand, Survival (1), Swim

Non Class Skills - Knowledge Religion (1)

Level 1 Bolt Ace: Point Blank, Rapid Reload (Minotaur Double Crossbow), EWP (Minotaur Double Crossbow)
Level 2 Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor: Spells, Studied Target
Level 3 Lore Warden Fighter: Crossbow Mastery, Rapid Shot
Level 4 Inq: Wis to Init, ABI Dex
Level 5 Inq: Precise Shot, Teamwork Feat: Coordinated Shot,
Level 6 Inq: Sneak Attack 1d6, Level 2 Spells
Level 7 Inq: Bane (5 rounds), Studied Target +2, Weapon Focus
Level 8 Inq: Teamwork Feat: Filadating Fire, 6 BAB, ABI Dex, Retrain Weapon Focus to Clustered Shots
Level 9 Inq: Deadly Aim, Sneak Attack 2d6, Study as Swift, 3rd level spells
Level 10 Inq: Slayer Talent: Weapon Focus,
Level 11 Inq: Teamwork Feat: Shake it off

Level 1 gear: MW Minotaur Double Crossbow (0g, 18lbs), Leather Lemallar (60g, 8lbs), Potion of CLW (50g, 1lbs), Bolts x20 (2g, 2lbs), Weight at light 30, Weight cost 28, Money spent 112g

Level 2: HP+ 8, BAB +0, Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +2, 7 skill points (Know Religion, Know Arcane, Know Local, Know Planes, Know Nature, Perception, Spellcraft), Spells Level 1 (Divine Favor, Shield of Faith), Travel Domain (+10ft move), Studied Target +1

Level 3: HP+ 8, BAB +1, Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +0, 3 skill points, Rapid Shot, Bonus Feat: Crossbow Mastery

Level 4: Dex+1 HP+ 8, BAB +1, Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +1, 7 skill points (Know Religion, Know Arcane, Know Local, Know Planes, Know Nature, Perception, Spellcraft), Spells (Cure Light Wounds) Wis to Init

Level 5: HP+ 8, BAB +1, Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +0, 7 skill points (Know Religion, Know Arcane, Know Local, Know Planes, Know Nature, Perception, Spellcraft), Spells (Bless), Precise Shot, Coordinated Shot

Level 6: HP+ 8, BAB +1, Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +1, 7 skill points (Know Religion, Know Arcane, Know Local, Know Planes, Know Nature, Perception, Spellcraft), Spells Level 2 (Bloodhound, Lesser Restoration),

Level 7: HP+ 8, BAB +0, Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +0, 7 skill points (Know Religion, Know Arcane, Know Local, Know Planes, Know Nature, Perception, Spellcraft), Spells (Align Weapon), Studied Target +2, Bane, Weapon Focus,

Level 8: Dex+1 HP+ 8, BAB +1, Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +1, 7 skill points (Know Religion, Know Arcane, Know Local, Know Planes, Know Nature, Perception, Spellcraft),Spells (Resist Energy), Filadating Fire, Retrain Weapon Focus into Clustered Shots

Level 9: HP+ 8, BAB +1, Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +0, 7 skill points (Know Religion, Know Arcane, Know Local, Know Planes, Know Nature, Perception, Spellcraft), Spells Level 3 (Channel Vigor, Daylight), Study as swift, Sneak Attack 2d6, Deadly Aim

Level 10: HP+ 8, BAB +0, Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +1, 7 skill points (Know Religion, Know Arcane, Know Local, Know Planes, Know Nature, Perception, Spellcraft), Spells (Communal Resist Energy), Weapon Focus

Level 11: HP+ 8, BAB +1, Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +0, 7 skill points (Know Religion, Know Arcane, Know Local, Know Planes, Know Nature, Perception, Spellcraft), Spells (Heroism), Shake it Off, Open Feat

It fires 2 arrows at level 1, 4 arrows at level 3, 6 arrows at level 8, and 2 more arrows whenever I have Haste, which I get personally though Channel Vigor at level 9


I might be missing something, but how are you reloading both bolts as a free action? And do you mind posting the stats for it or linking to the stats you're using?

Liberty's Edge

The Repeating Crossbow has a clause that prevents Crossbow Mastery from allowing it to reload as a free action. The Minotaur Double Crossbow does not have that clause, so it falls under the ability to be freely reloaded by Crossbow Mastery.

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