Reloading a Crossbow

Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells

So a crossbow has 1 reload action, but by RAW my players have informed me that you have to take your hand off as an action to reload as an action. I was inclined to say that this was incorrect, but reading it over the rules seem to agree, although putting your hand back on the weapon is part of the reload action. Can I get a ruling on this?

Your hand comes off a weapon for free. You just need to memorize that your hand comes off for free, but doesn't go back on for free.

So it happens to work out that in 3 actions you can remove your hand, open a door, return your hand, and fire your crossbow AND in 3 actions you can remove your hand, open a door, reload your crossbow, and fire your crossbow. BEST of all is that a bow user with their 1+ handed weapon can open the door and fire in 2 actions because we all know archers have an OBVIOUS advantage over a crossbow user when it comes to performing an action with their hands and then transitioning into shooting their weapon...

They took a perfectly good idea for an action system and ruined it with a nit-picking levels of detail, and then 'fixed' the ruining by riddling it with exceptions to make corner cases work (i.e. reloading a crossbow) and left themselves with a good system still ruined by nit-picking made 'better' by needing to memorize all the exceptions welded on to it before even one splat book is out.

even weirder on that detail.

is the bow is easier than say a blow gun

or drawing a dart and throwing it.

Page 179 under Reload:
When you spend the last action required to reload a weapon you’re holding, as part of that action, you can place your hands in the grip necessary to wield the weapon normally.

I think that's how it's supposed to work. Unfortunately since a crossbow is 2-handed I think there's a problem. Bows are 1+ hands, and 1+ handed weapons have something in there about using your other hand for drawing ammunition. Since a crossbow is two-handed, it looks like you would have to remove your hand as an action to draw the ammo, since the reload action only states that you can put your hand back on the weapon as part of the last reload action.

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