Longbow + Deadeye Bowman or Hornbow?


Advice

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Silver Crusade

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Tengus are proficient with all blades. Elves are proficient with two specific bows, not all bows.

To my understanding, given the author's posts, the final sentence in the Hornbow description should be read as "Any effect applying to all bows, applies to Hornbows as well", so Elves should not get proficient with them (especially since Orcs don't get proficiency as well, but only familiarity). However, it's true this is not what it's written, maybe because the author wanted to include also all those effects that were originally meant for all bows but refer only to Long- and Shortbows.

Additionally, it's not clear whether proficiency is considered an "effect" at all.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Were there other bows in existence when elves were written? Maybe the writer of the elf entry thought they *were* giving access to all bows.

Silver Crusade

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In other words...

Elves are proficient with both Long- and Shortbows. Let's start with the hypothesis that proficiency is an "effect" for the purposes of the Hornbow description. As a result, Elves are proficient with the Hornbow.

However, if Elves are proficient, so should be all classes being proficient with martial weapons, since martial weapon proficiency includes Elves proficiency with Long- and Shortbows (saying otherwise makes somehow proficiency with a set of weapons less inclusive than proficiency with a subset of it, which doesn't make sense). Therefore, all such classes are proficient with Hornbows, which defies the exotic weapon categorisation in the first place.

The only way to avoid the absurd, is to negate the initial hypothesis that proficiency is an "effect".


Gray Warden wrote:
To my understanding, given the author's posts, the final sentence in the Hornbow description should be read as "Any effect applying to all bows, applies to Hornbows as well", so Elves should not get proficient with them (especially since Orcs don't get proficiency as well, but only familiarity). However, it's true this is not what it's written, maybe because the author wanted to include also all those effects that were originally meant for all bows but refer only to Long- and Shortbows.

I'm pretty sure she said that was the reason, and the trait she said worked uses similar language to the weapon familiarity.

Quote:
Additionally, it's not clear whether proficiency is considered an "effect" at all.

Then what's the effect of the Opalescent White Pyramid Ioun Stone? It doesn't grant you a feat.


Gray Warden wrote:
However, if Elves are proficient, so should be all classes being proficient with martial weapons, since martial weapon proficiency includes Elves proficiency with Long- and Shortbows (saying otherwise makes somehow proficiency with a set of weapons less inclusive than proficiency with a subset of it, which doesn't make sense). Therefore, all such classes are proficient with Hornbows, which defies the exotic weapon categorisation in the first place.

You could interpret it to mean that the longbow and shortbow need to be called out specifically, in which case only a few classes would get free proficiency, like the inquisitor.

But you could also try arguing that weapon proficiency is not actually a class ability and thus doesn't count as having an effect.

Silver Crusade

Melkiador wrote:
Then what's the effect of the Opalescent White Pyramid Ioun Stone? It doesn't grant you a feat.

I meant an effect for the purposes of the Hornbow description, assuming which leads to a paradox as explained before.

Melkiador wrote:
You could interpret it to mean that the longbow and shortbow need to be called out specifically, in which case only a few classes would get free proficiency, like the inquisitor.

But why? Only because Fighters are too much qualified to clearly state all the weapons they are proficient with? Wouldn't this be a joke (if not an insult) for the deeply martial classes?

Honestly, the fact itself we are here discussing about this indicates quite clearly in my opinion that this is not the correct way to interpret the weapon description.


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I feel very confident the intention was not to give several classes this proficiency for "free", and so it would be nice to find some sort of rule to back that up, but no such rule is currently written, so we try to take the rules and make them say what we want them to say.

But I'm not confident at all that elves aren't supposed to get free proficiency, as their flavor and text match the given rules.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gray Warden wrote:


The only way to avoid the absurd, is to negate the initial hypothesis that proficiency is an "effect".

I hate having to fall back on defining things like "what is an effect" and "what is an ability".

What about thinking of it like this:

The effect of Martial Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Familiarity is that they give a character, among other things, the following feats: Martial Weapon Proficiency (Longbow) and Martial Weapon Proficiency (Shortbow).

The effect of Martial Weapon Proficiency (Longbow) is to no longer take -4 penalty to attacks with the weapon. This effect does not apply to both longbow and shortbow, so you don't get to apply the effect to Hornbow. Same with Martial Weapon Proficiency (Shortbow).

Edit:

Just realized that this is basically what Squiggit said. Weapon Familiarity's effect is on the character (granting them proficiency feats) and is not an effect on Shortbows and Longbows.


WatersLethe wrote:
Gray Warden wrote:


The only way to avoid the absurd, is to negate the initial hypothesis that proficiency is an "effect".

I hate having to fall back on defining things like "what is an effect" and "what is an ability".

What about thinking of it like this:

The effect of Martial Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Familiarity is that they give a character, among other things, the following feats: Martial Weapon Proficiency (Longbow) and Martial Weapon Proficiency (Shortbow).

The effect of Martial Weapon Proficiency (Longbow) is to no longer take -4 penalty to attacks with the weapon. This effect does not apply to both longbow and shortbow, so you don't get to apply the effect to Hornbow. Same with Martial Weapon Proficiency (Shortbow).

Edit:

Just realized that this is basically what Squiggit said. Weapon Familiarity's effect is on the character (granting them proficiency feats) and is not an effect on Shortbows and Longbows.

We have author confirmation that the Weapon Training trait does work which gives a +1 trait bonus on damage rolls. Given that the default state in non-proficiency, proficiency grants a +4 to attack rolls (or removes the -4 non-proficiency penalty if you prefer to parse it that way). If we are to determine what is an effect on the bow and what is an effect on the character, this will get overly complicated. Your reading wouldn't allow a hornbow user Stabbing Shot for example.

The feats Martial Weapon Proficiency (Longbow) and Martial Weapon Proficiency (Shortbow) would not grant you Martial Weapon Proficiency (Hornbow), but as written any single effect that applies to both applies to the hornbow as well (elven weapon familiarity, class features that grant proficiency with both longbows and shortbows, etc.)

GMs are free to houserule otherwise, but RAW it's hard to argue.


I wouldn't characterize proficiency as an effect because, well, being proficient in the use of a weapon has no effect whatsoever. It's using a weapon that you're not proficient in that affects your rolls, and it would be charitable to call that an effect rather than a foundational rule for how weapons work.

At least intent is clear that proficiency with short & long bows does not automatically grant proficiency with hornbows, because at that point the exotic weapon classification is clearly meaningless, since a huge number of classes get martial weapon proficiency.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I wouldn't characterize proficiency as an effect because, well, being proficient in the use of a weapon has no effect whatsoever. It's using a weapon that you're not proficient in that affects your rolls, and it would be charitable to call that an effect rather than a foundational rule for how weapons work.
Dictionary wrote:

ef·fect

əˈfekt
noun
1.a change that is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.

Being proficient with a weapon improves your ability to hit with that weapon. To put it another way proficiency has the consequence of changing your attack roll. It is an effect.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
At least intent is clear that proficiency with short & long bows does not automatically grant proficiency with hornbows, because at that point the exotic weapon classification is clearly meaningless, since a huge number of classes get martial weapon proficiency.

I agree with you here, homerules will follow this I'm sure.


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A dictionary definition is basically meaningless in game speak. Games have specific key words that mean specific things and may or may not always line up with a dictionary definition.


Found while trying to find a clear in game definition of effect:
Racial Traits

Weapon Familiarity (1 RP) wrote:
Prerequisites: None; Benefit: Choose up to two weapons, or one weapon and a racial weapon group. When choosing a racial weapon group, you must choose a group that includes the same name as one of your subtypes. Members of this race are proficient with those weapons. For the purposes of weapon familiarity, all bows are considered one weapon. Special: This trait can be taken up to two times. The second time it is taken, the race becomes proficient with another two weapons or one weapon and a racial weapon group.


To be clear, it’s not that short bow proficiency plus longbow proficiency equals hornbow proficiency. The question is “If the same source gives you proficiency in both shortbow and longbow, does that source also give you proficiency in hornbow.


Just to add to the clarity of the hornbow, this is ripped right out of page 8 of the AA2;

"Larger even than a longbow, these bows are often made from
the horns of great beasts. Though they have a shorter range
than other bows, their greater destructive power is highly
favored by orcs and their kin. All hornbows are composite bows
and can be modified to benefit from high Strength scores in the
same way as other composite bows. Any effect that applies to
both longbows and shortbows also applies to hornbows.
"

Just going off of the entry here and past entries in other books that have treated X weapon gets Y benefit. If you can do it with a short/longbow you can do it with a hornbow


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

does this mean that i can't create a half-orc arcane archer using a hornbow


serithal wrote:
does this mean that i can't create a half-orc arcane archer using a hornbow

I would consider "requires longbow or shortbow" to be an effect that "applies to both longbows and shortbows". That said, text parsing can be a complicated and deeply interpretive process. I recommend speaking with your GM about this. ^_^


Nothing stops you from being an arcane archer with a hornbow, you just end up with a dead feat weapon focus (longbow or shortbow). Your GM may let you use weapon focus hornbow to qualify as arcane archer isn't that strong a prestige class.


Isabelle Lee, the gang over at Hero Lab has decided that your text about "longbows and shortbows" means that anyone with shortbow or longbow proficiency doesn't need to take the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat to use the hornbow. So bards and others with shortbow proficiency are equipping orc hornbows without penalty. Was that your intention?

Discussion here.


outshyn wrote:

Isabelle Lee, the gang over at Hero Lab has decided that your text about "longbows and shortbows" means that anyone with shortbow or longbow proficiency doesn't need to take the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat to use the hornbow. So bards and others with shortbow proficiency are equipping orc hornbows without penalty. Was that your intention?

Discussion here.

She already ignored the question when she posted earlier, so it seems pretty clear it's the kind of thing she doesn't want to answer. "Intention" is a funny word. There probably wasn't an intention to give so many free proficiency, but there wasn't actually an intention to prevent it either. Designers are only human and can't think about every given side-effect of what they write.

But Hero Lab rulings do carry enough weight to now strongly encourage Paizo to make their own ruling or just accept the Hero Lab ruling as "standard". And Hero Lab has occasionally had insider info about what a rule is meant to be before it reaches the rest of us...


Melkiador wrote:


She already ignored the question when she posted earlier, so it seems pretty clear it's the kind of thing she doesn't want to answer. "Intention" is a funny word. There probably wasn't an intention to give so many free proficiency, but there wasn't actually an intention to prevent it either. Designers are only human and can't think about every given side-effect of what they write.

I mean, the answer isn't really one that needs to be called out either. It's pretty self evident that it's not intentional to give free EWP to everyone.

Moreover it's not even consisting with the rules as written. Shortbow proficiency is not an ability that effects both longbows and shortbows.


I would say reading "shortbows and longbows" as "shortbows or longbows" is the height of disingenuousness. It's pretty clear to me that the people who should have hornbow proficiency are:
- Orcs and Half-Orcs with the weapon familiarity racial trait and martial weapon proficiency in class.
- People who take EWP Hornbow as a feat

Martial weapon proficiency shouldn't give it to you for free, specific proficiency shortbows and longbows (say elf bards) shouldn't give it to you, and specific proficiency with one or the other obviously shouldn't give it to you.

In historical context "longbows and shortbows" was used as a shorthand for "bows that are not crossbows" and the hornbow was written with the intent that effects applying to "bows that are not crossbows" would apply to it.


swoosh wrote:
Moreover it's not even consisting with the rules as written. Shortbow proficiency is not an ability that effects both longbows and shortbows.

The armor/weapon proficiency section is though. The section regularly give proficiencies in blocks [all simple, all martial, all close, all thrown...].

Secondly, it's treated as a single ability for archetype swaps/alteration.

IMO, the hornbow wording clearly allows it's proficient use when your class/archetype gives you both long/short bow proficiency. it's a side effect of treating your armor/weapon proficiencies [class] as a single ability.


What was the point of making this an exotic weapon if anybody with martial proficiency is proficient in it?

At the very least RAI should be "you need EWP."


PossibleCabbage wrote:

What was the point of making this an exotic weapon if anybody with martial proficiency is proficient in it?

At the very least RAI should be "you need EWP."

Oh, I agree: the wording is an example of RAI and RAW not seeing eye to eye. It's much like the elven branched spear requiring you be an elf and NOT requiring weapon familiarity [elf]: I'm sure they meant to add it to the familiarity list, but they made it so that any 1/2 elf can pick one up with a martial weapon proficiency.

With the way classes are structured and the hornbow wording, we'd need an FAQ to make it 'not legal' to get the proficiency for free with 'all martial'. So I have to agree with how Hero Lab ruled it. With how often we see FAQs for non-hardback material, it will potentially be legal for years to come.


graystone wrote:
o I have to agree with how Hero Lab ruled it.

Hero lab is apparently giving it out to everyone though. The example class mentioned is Bard, which has shortbow proficiency but not longbow proficiency.

Even the loosest reading of the text can't justify that being RAW.


swoosh wrote:
graystone wrote:
o I have to agree with how Hero Lab ruled it.

Hero lab is apparently giving it out to everyone though. The example class mentioned is Bard, which has shortbow proficiency but not longbow proficiency.

Even the loosest reading of the text can't justify that being RAW.

I must have misread: I thought they were giving it to those with both proficiencies. I disagree with only one getting hornbow proficiency.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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This issue has been addressed in the thread outshyn started for FAQ purposes.


Isabelle Lee wrote:
Gray Warden wrote:
Does it mean that also this trait applies to Hornbows as well?
It lists both longbow and shortbow, so yep. Go for it. ^_^

According to Moreland, this quote is no longer true.


I didn't like the idea of "traditional Ulfen weapon training" applying to a weapon that is not traditionally Ulfen anyway. I mean, one is flavor and the other is mechanics, but it's best when those don't work at cross-purposes.


But the question becomes might hornbows see/have seen more use in Ulfen culture had the not only recently come in to existence?


Not only would I not let shortbow proficiency apply to a hornbow, I also wouldn't let bards and rogues get away with the cracked Opalescent White Pyramid trick because they don't have carte blanche martial proficiency either.

(Of course I'm just some schnook on the internet....)


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Yeah. It's hard to remember that most of these new options in the game that are new to us, are probably old to the world, and we just weren't aware of them.

It's not like Golarian had never had a vigilante or shifter before a couple years ago. We just didn't know about them.


Talonhawke wrote:
But the question becomes might hornbows see/have seen more use in Ulfen culture had the not only recently come in to existence?

I don't know if there is a game mechanical way to represent "the technique of creating this thing is proprietary within the group or culture that devised it" but that's certainly going to be a thing that these cultures or groups are actively interested in. Like I don't think the Orcs of the Hold of Belkzen are interested in a cultural exchange program where we teach our neighbors how to make bows out of tusks of large animals.

I mean, sure it's going to be hard to keep high level wizards from finding out somehow, but wizards probably don't care that much about how people make bows or guns or alloys.


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If only there were a race of people who had a lot of wizards and all practiced archery...


Maybe the secret to creating hornbows involves having a bunch of really strong people who will do what you say without questioning because they fear for their lives, and this takes place inside of lead-lined caves.

I mean, if you're going to spy on anybody - spy on Alkenstar.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, if you're going to spy on anybody - spy on Alkenstar.

Seriously, can you? It's a magic dead region, so I don't know if you can scry there.


Melkiador wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, if you're going to spy on anybody - spy on Alkenstar.
Seriously, can you? It's a magic dead region, so I don't know if you can scry there.

Scrying is probably out, but I imagine you could contract with some diminutive outsider who is good at being sneaky to get inside the gunworks.

Perhaps the reason that elves aren't keen on the hornbow is that it doesn't fit what they want in a bow? I mean, I understand why players want to use it- the 2d6 damage die and the fact that a lot of fights are going to take place in rooms, caverns, clearings, etc. that aren't even 80' across. Likely this is just a logistical conceit by the developers since most people don't own or want 400' battle mats.

But in the diagesis, battles (particularly ones elves prefer to fight) are going to be fought from the outer range of ranged weapons inward. So the fact that you can shoot a composite longbow 110' feet before you can shoot a hornbow probably matters to elves, who unlike orcs, do not favor close combat. A battle where elves pepper the orcs with arrows while the heavily armored orcs march into range hornbow range, at which point the elves withdraw to a safe distance and recommence shooting is one that very much favors the elves.

As always though, the easiest explanation for "how does anything stay secret when high level wizards exist" is "the things which stay secret are the things high level wizards don't care to expose."

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