Do we get rid of the loading property?


Second Edition


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes I realise that its too late too post this, but I didnt give much thought to this idea until now. But here it is anyway.

Instead of having composite weapons we could have had all ranged weapons (that are not thrown) just add half your strength to damage. On the other hand we could have a mechanical property added to Crossbows that makes it so that since it is a mechanism firing for you, you never add the str modifier from the character. This way bows and crossbows dont compete with each other since a character chooses them depending on their str modifiers and it is no longer needed for crossbows to take one action to load.
So if crossbows and slings are both simple a character would choose one over the other depending on str, the huge dice on some crossbows can also be a reason to pick them over bows even with a positive str Mod.

And this could have been useful during the playtest period, but oh well.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Not sure if this thread is needed or useful and my opinions and musings add nothing at this point so Id be content if someone can just answer the question on the title


Biztak wrote:

Yes I realise that its too late too post this, but I didnt give much thought to this idea until now. But here it is anyway.

Instead of having composite weapons we could have had all ranged weapons (that are not thrown) just add half your strength to damage. On the other hand we could have a mechanical property added to Crossbows that makes it so that since it is a mechanism firing for you, you never add the str modifier from the character. This way bows and crossbows dont compete with each other since a character chooses them depending on their str modifiers and it is no longer needed for crossbows to take one action to load.
So if crossbows and slings are both simple a character would choose one over the other depending on str, the huge dice on some crossbows can also be a reason to pick them over bows even with a positive str Mod.

And this could have been useful during the playtest period, but oh well.

Well this specific suggestion doesn't really make a lot of sense because it is already how it works, more or less. Every bow is going to be a composite bow if you have the silver to afford it and the strength to benefit from it. All you've really done is remove normal bows. And frankly, I think it would be fine if they got rid of composite bows and just made bows propulsive by default, but that's just simplifying the game because the different sorts of bows are confusing, not actually altering the balance in a meaningful way. So you're giving crossbows something and giving bows nothing in return.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Biztak wrote:

Yes I realise that its too late too post this, but I didnt give much thought to this idea until now. But here it is anyway.

Instead of having composite weapons we could have had all ranged weapons (that are not thrown) just add half your strength to damage. On the other hand we could have a mechanical property added to Crossbows that makes it so that since it is a mechanism firing for you, you never add the str modifier from the character. This way bows and crossbows dont compete with each other since a character chooses them depending on their str modifiers and it is no longer needed for crossbows to take one action to load.
So if crossbows and slings are both simple a character would choose one over the other depending on str, the huge dice on some crossbows can also be a reason to pick them over bows even with a positive str Mod.

And this could have been useful during the playtest period, but oh well.

Well this specific suggestion doesn't really make a lot of sense because it is already how it works, more or less. Every bow is going to be a composite bow if you have the silver to afford it and the strength to benefit from it. All you've really done is remove normal bows. And frankly, I think it would be fine if they got rid of composite bows and just made bows propulsive by default, but that's just simplifying the game because the different sorts of bows are confusing, not actually altering the balance in a meaningful way. So you're giving crossbows something and giving bows nothing in return.

Bows are already fine, though, even if there is one end-all be-all choice. Crossbows are the ones that could use the help.


Tbh an Expert bow and an Expert composite bow cost the same money. The difference is only on Common bows.
And once you start adding dice, the difference between dealing 2d8/6d8 damage and 2d8+2/6d8+3 damage isn't going to be that noticeable.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Biztak wrote:

Yes I realise that its too late too post this, but I didnt give much thought to this idea until now. But here it is anyway.

Instead of having composite weapons we could have had all ranged weapons (that are not thrown) just add half your strength to damage. On the other hand we could have a mechanical property added to Crossbows that makes it so that since it is a mechanism firing for you, you never add the str modifier from the character. This way bows and crossbows dont compete with each other since a character chooses them depending on their str modifiers and it is no longer needed for crossbows to take one action to load.
So if crossbows and slings are both simple a character would choose one over the other depending on str, the huge dice on some crossbows can also be a reason to pick them over bows even with a positive str Mod.

And this could have been useful during the playtest period, but oh well.

Well this specific suggestion doesn't really make a lot of sense because it is already how it works, more or less. Every bow is going to be a composite bow if you have the silver to afford it and the strength to benefit from it. All you've really done is remove normal bows. And frankly, I think it would be fine if they got rid of composite bows and just made bows propulsive by default, but that's just simplifying the game because the different sorts of bows are confusing, not actually altering the balance in a meaningful way. So you're giving crossbows something and giving bows nothing in return.
Bows are already fine, though, even if there is one end-all be-all choice. Crossbows are the ones that could use the help.

I'm skeptical of this claim. Crossbows work fine as a simple weapon for wizards to use, and they do comparable damage to a shortbow in the hands of a ranger with the relevant feats. Rogues can also pretty dang well with one-- running reload is an excuse for the rogue to Sneak and set up Sneak Attack for their next Strike. That basically leaves fighters and paladins as needing their own weapons paths if they want to specialize in crossbows for some reason. But the crossbow works well in the niches it has.

If they are going to buff the crossbow, I really don't want it to be by letting it fire at the same rate as a shortbow. The current paradigm makes the crossbow more unique in that it does bigger damage on single Strikes. That contrasts really nicely with the bow.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm skeptical of this claim. Crossbows work fine as a simple weapon for wizards to use, and they do comparable damage to a shortbow in the hands of a ranger with the relevant feats. Rogues can also pretty dang well with one-- running reload is an excuse for the rogue to Sneak and set up Sneak Attack for their next Strike. That basically leaves fighters and paladins as needing their own weapons paths if they want to specialize in crossbows for some reason. But the crossbow works well in the niches it has.

If they are going to buff the crossbow, I really don't want it to be by letting it fire at the same rate as a shortbow. The current paradigm makes the crossbow more unique in that it does bigger damage on single Strikes. That contrasts really nicely with the bow.

Yeah, the crossbow really shouldn't just be like normal bows. The heavier hitting but slower shooting paradigm is a good fit. But I do think it still needs a bit of a buff, because it falls behind over multiple shots, and lacks something like Propulsive. I still kind of like the idea of crossbows having an effective strength rating. That will make it a bit heavier hitting without bumping the damage die up another step. Some kind of accuracy bonus for taking an extra action or two to aim might also help make it a distinct thing. A sniper weapon as opposed to the rapid shot bows.

What I don't want is to just relegate it to only being useful as a backup for spellcasters who can't properly use a real bow. It's a weapon of war that should be able to stand up as a primary weapon of a ranged martial type, just with a different style than bows.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm skeptical of this claim. Crossbows work fine as a simple weapon for wizards to use, and they do comparable damage to a shortbow in the hands of a ranger with the relevant feats. Rogues can also pretty dang well with one-- running reload is an excuse for the rogue to Sneak and set up Sneak Attack for their next Strike. That basically leaves fighters and paladins as needing their own weapons paths if they want to specialize in crossbows for some reason. But the crossbow works well in the niches it has.

If they are going to buff the crossbow, I really don't want it to be by letting it fire at the same rate as a shortbow. The current paradigm makes the crossbow more unique in that it does bigger damage on single Strikes. That contrasts really nicely with the bow.

Yeah, the crossbow really shouldn't just be like normal bows. The heavier hitting but slower shooting paradigm is a good fit. But I do think it still needs a bit of a buff, because it falls behind over multiple shots, and lacks something like Propulsive. I still kind of like the idea of crossbows having an effective strength rating. That will make it a bit heavier hitting without bumping the damage die up another step. Some kind of accuracy bonus for taking an extra action or two to aim might also help make it a distinct thing. A sniper weapon as opposed to the rapid shot bows.

What I don't want is to just relegate it to only being useful as a backup for spellcasters who can't properly use a real bow. It's a weapon of war that should be able to stand up as a primary weapon of a ranged martial type, just with a different style than bows.

Let's compare a level 1 ranger who focuses on bows vs crossbows, with the appropriate feats and hunter's edge. Both can add half a secondary stat to their damage rolls so we will ignore that for the moment (even though the crossbowman arguably gets to do so with a better stat so it will probably be higher.)

The crossbow does 1d10+1d6 for an average of 9 damage. The shortbow does a mere 1d6 for 3.5. The shortbow can fire 2 arrows as one action, for up to 4 a round, but it has to LAND 3 hits before it actually overtakes one hit for the crossbow, and considering those are firing at a -4/-8 penalty that isn't a given.

I haven't done an exhaustive examination of how the two compare at every level or against different ACs or whatever, but any level I've put under the microscope the crossbow seems to more than hold its own against the shortbow. The longbow obviously does better damage than the shortbow but the volley trait really offsets that.

I maintain that if fighters and maybe rogues get some crossbow feats the crossbow will be just fine without buffing it as a base weapon.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

Let's compare a level 1 ranger who focuses on bows vs crossbows, with the appropriate feats and hunter's edge. Both can add half a secondary stat to their damage rolls so we will ignore that for the moment (even though the crossbowman arguably gets to do so with a better stat so it will probably be higher.)

The crossbow does 1d10+1d6 for an average of 9 damage. The shortbow does a mere 1d6 for 3.5. The shortbow can fire 2 arrows as one action, for up to 4 a round, but it has to LAND 3 hits before it actually overtakes one hit for the crossbow, and considering those are firing at a -4/-8 penalty that isn't a given.

I haven't done an exhaustive examination of how the two compare at every level or against different ACs or whatever, but any level I've put under the microscope the crossbow seems to more than hold its own against the shortbow. The longbow obviously does better damage than the shortbow but the volley trait really offsets that.

I maintain that if fighters and maybe rogues get some crossbow feats the crossbow will be just fine without buffing it as a base weapon.

I'm firmly a crossbow fangirl but I think your analysis is sound and crossbows are quite good (with the relevant feats).

I definitely would avoid taking away the loading property, it's the least we can have to simulate a crossbow's long loading times and lack of quick fire potential. At most we could have 1 type of crossbow, a very light one, that like in The Witcher 3 requires very little time to load, so essentially that type could work like a bow in that respect, but it must be very light - hand crossbow, I would say. Bigger ones can't be plausibly used to attack more often than what we already have... but for one.

The zhuge nu, or Chinese repeating crossbow, is an ancient weapon developed for massed battles. It's deceptively simple in its functioning - all the darts are contained in a box above the staff, one above the other. There's no trigger or lever - you push a handle forward to drop a bolt into the flight groove, then pull it towards you to let it fly. You can them immediately push again, and pull again, and it only takes the time to aim - reload is automatic. A case can contain I think about ten bolts, maybe a little less.

Now this kind of crossbow can certainly dispense with the loading quality (as long as your bolt case isn't empty yet - then you have to switch to a new one and that should indeed take an action), but there are cons of course. It's not very accurate, it doesn't shoot terribly far, and it has less power than your typical crossbow. It was used mainly by groups of crossbowmen against lightly-armored infantry - you were bound to hit anyways against enemies pressed together in battle formation, and your bolts weren't liable to be easily stopped by armor.

It wouldn't be my weapon of choice (I'd prefer something with a little more punch and greater precision, at the expense of loading time, but Running Reload helps a lot with the latter) but it would be great for anyone who wishes for a fast-firing crossbow.

And this of course is always talking about real crossbows. Anyone who's played Dragon Age knows Bianca, Varric's "auto-crossbow", which is one of a kind, developed by something like a Legendary engineer, and not really making sense IRL. Say there's a magic item similar to it and it would make for a terrific weapon - as fast as a zhuge nu, as powerful and precise as a heavy x-bow.

That will have to wait for a successive product though, if anything.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
I maintain that if fighters and maybe rogues get some crossbow feats the crossbow will be just fine without buffing it as a base weapon.

I agree with you on most of this.

I agree that it's good to keep the fighting style of crossbows and bows distinct (so keeping the loading property is good).

I agree with you that a ranger who uses a class feat to boost crossbows ends up with an expected damage out that's comparable to that of a ranger using a composite longbow. (I got similar results running through expected damage calculations here this thread.)

I agree that if other classes (e.g., fighters and rogues) got similar options, then they'd also be able to keep up, damage-wise, using a crossbow.

But I'm inclined to think this all makes the case for thinking that crossbows need to be buffed in some way. In particular, as is a ranger has a choice between using a composite longbow, or spending one of their most valuable resources (a class feat) in order to the same damage using a crossbow.

That makes using a crossbow a strictly suboptimal choice. And it imposes a hefty style-tax (namely, a class feat) on anyone who wants to play a competent crossbow user.


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Porridge wrote:

I agree with you on most of this.

I agree that it's good to keep the fighting style of crossbows and bows distinct (so keeping the loading property is good).

I agree with you that a ranger who uses a class feat to boost crossbows ends up with an expected damage out that's comparable to that of a ranger using a composite longbow. (I got similar results running through expected damage calculations here this thread.)

I agree that if other classes (e.g., fighters and rogues) got similar options, then they'd also be able to keep up, damage-wise, using a crossbow.

But I'm inclined to think this all makes the case for thinking that crossbows need to be buffed in some way. In particular, as is a ranger has a choice between using a composite longbow, or spending one of their most valuable resources (a class feat) in order to the same damage using a crossbow.

That makes using a crossbow a strictly suboptimal choice. And it imposes a hefty style-tax (namely, a class feat) on anyone who wants to play a competent crossbow user.

I see the problem as similar to the one with starknives. Crossbows are simple weapons. If they buff them, they could become as strong as martial weapons like bows while still being available to most classes.

This must be avoided.

If they are to be buffed, they also need to get appropriate cons in addition to the load property.

We might end up with such a specialized weapon that people will buy slings just to avoid the headache...

Liberty's Edge

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Personally, I'd remove the reload from normal crossbows (and slings), make Propulsive add full Str Mod, remove or drastically reduce the necessary range on Volley, and maybe add another property to Bows in general. Heavy crossbows would keep the reload thing, but might get something else in compensation.

That powers up everything at once (which is necessary, ranged combat was lackluster at best in the playtest), leaving crossbows (and slings) weaker than bows (at least composite ones), but making the simple weapons viable, though not optimal, if you want to focus on them.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Personally, I'd remove the reload from normal crossbows (and slings), make Propulsive add full Str Mod, remove or drastically reduce the necessary range on Volley, and maybe add another property to Bows in general. Heavy crossbows would keep the reload thing, but might get something else in compensation.

That powers up everything at once (which is necessary, ranged combat was lackluster at best in the playtest), leaving crossbows (and slings) weaker than bows (at least composite ones), but making the simple weapons viable, though not optimal, if you want to focus on them.

It would be nice if ranged combat stayed away from its PF1 strength, though. Just the fact that it's ranged is pretty powerful.

Liberty's Edge

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Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
It would be nice if ranged combat stayed away from its PF1 strength, though. Just the fact that it's ranged is pretty powerful.

I definitely agree it should stay away from PF1 strength, but the changes I suggest up damage very slightly (by a general max of +3 at most due to the Propulsive change) and make archers not be required to multiclass Fighter for Point Blank Shot...and do nothing else to increase actual damage.

So you're effectively stuck with a d8 weapon that requires two hands, while other dedicated combatants using a two-handed weapon can have a d12 if they desire, a very potent advantage.

Add in the fact that most of what made archery really overpowered in PF1 is simply no longer true in PF2, and I doubt this would be a problem. Most notably, the ability to take full attacks every round was wonderful in PF1...the equivalent bonus in PF2 is a single attack at -10, and not nearly as appealing. It's still an advantage, but the ability to attack an extra time some turns at -10 vs. the ability to attack for, by mid-levels, 3d12+5 (24.5 average) instead of 3d8+3 (16.5 average) on every attack is simply not nearly as one-sided a trade as the options were in PF1.


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I feel like eventually guns are going to come back, and thus "it hits hard but fires slowly" is a thing we want to keep around. I personally do not want to see a "get reloading down to a free action" paradigm like we had in PF1, and would prefer reloading guns be very slow so that we could replace "reload real fast" with "carry a brace of pistols."

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like eventually guns are going to come back, and thus "it hits hard but fires slowly" is a thing we want to keep around. I personally do not want to see a "get reloading down to a free action" paradigm like we had in PF1, and would prefer reloading guns be very slow so that we could replace "reload real fast" with "carry a brace of pistols."

For the record, I'm not against such a property existing, I simply feel that it shouldn't apply to baseline slings or crossbows, restricting it exclusively to d10 or higher weapons...like Heavy Crossbows or Guns of various sorts.


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Porridge wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I maintain that if fighters and maybe rogues get some crossbow feats the crossbow will be just fine without buffing it as a base weapon.

I agree with you on most of this.

I agree that it's good to keep the fighting style of crossbows and bows distinct (so keeping the loading property is good).

I agree with you that a ranger who uses a class feat to boost crossbows ends up with an expected damage out that's comparable to that of a ranger using a composite longbow. (I got similar results running through expected damage calculations here this thread.)

I agree that if other classes (e.g., fighters and rogues) got similar options, then they'd also be able to keep up, damage-wise, using a crossbow.

But I'm inclined to think this all makes the case for thinking that crossbows need to be buffed in some way. In particular, as is a ranger has a choice between using a composite longbow, or spending one of their most valuable resources (a class feat) in order to the same damage using a crossbow.

That makes using a crossbow a strictly suboptimal choice. And it imposes a hefty style-tax (namely, a class feat) on anyone who wants to play a competent crossbow user.

Your analysis looks dated to before the updates though. Since then Rangers got Precison edge which is a big upgrade to single hit combat styles. They also got Hunted Shot, which is almost certainly going to be where most archers spend their 1st level class feat. The DPR looks comparisons look pretty good to me at this point, though you're welcome to prove me wrong because as I mentioned I didn't go very in depth with them.

Crossbows probably also want to spend one more class feat to get Running Reload, but that is pretty nice because it means your reload actions can be used to sneak (granting flat-footed) or remove screening and cover, which can be up to a +4 to hit difference.

And because crossbows are meant to be simple alternatives to the martial bows, they really shouldn't be equal to them sans class feats. What matters more is if they are equal to bows with an equal level of class feat investment. If crossbows are normally a 6 and bows are normally an 8, that is fine. As long as a crossbow feat is worth 4 while a bow feat is worth 2, so both weapon styles wind up at 10.

If anything, I'm inclined to agree with Deadmanwalking that ranged combat could use a boost across the board. I'm not sure I think it is as bad off as he does, but if I was going to start buffing stuff I'd do it across the board. Which actually brings us full circle because this is what the OP wanted to do, they just picked a path that didn't really accomplish said goal. I'd probably keep crossbows needing load time and give them additional properties like Deadly, which fits much better with the one big hit paradigm. Perhaps even a way to make crossbows fatal, which would cement them as the sniper's weapon of choice.


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Even taking the loading property from the standard crossbow doesn't really sit right with me. That starts to erode the paradigm of crossbows as slow, heavy hitters and be more mechanically like a standard bow. And the fact is, crossbows do take a while to span. It might not be too much with a light draw-weight hand-spanned crossbow, but it's still more so than a traditional bow. And very quickly you start getting into needing mechanical devices, and those all take some extra time. You need to pull the spanning device out, attach it to the crossbow, span it, then remove the device and put it out of the way. And with cranequins and windlasses, you also need to unwind it for the next time. I could easily see some super-heavy draw crossbows taking 3 or potentially even more actions to span and load. Same with some guns. Even that is way faster than real-world weapons can be prepared to shoot. So there's already some leeway for the purpose of heroic fantasy. I could maybe see the return of something like rapid reload, but yeah, we need to avoid people firing off muzzle-loading firearms several times a round.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Your analysis looks dated to before the updates though.

That's certainly true. (Those calculations were done for the first iteration of the playtest.)

Captain Morgan wrote:
And because crossbows are meant to be simple alternatives to the martial bows, they really shouldn't be equal to them sans class feats.
Roswynn wrote:
I see the problem as similar to the one with starknives. Crossbows are simple weapons. If they buff them, they could become as strong as martial weapons like bows while still being available to most classes.

Good; I think we're actually in complete agreement here.

I agree with both of you that, all else being equal, you want simple weapons to be inferior to martial ones.

What I'd like (and I think you both agree?) is for a martial specialist who invests in simple weapons (e.g., a fighter or ranger who focuses on crossbows) to be on a par with a martial specialist who invests in martial weapons (e.g., a fighter or ranger who focuses on bows).

So instead of saying "crossbows need a boost", I should have said "crossbow specialists need a boost". (Assuming the numbers still bear that out, which, as Captain Morgan pointed out, they may not.)

Captain Morgan wrote:
What matters more is if they are equal to bows with an equal level of class feat investment. If crossbows are normally a 6 and bows are normally an 8, that is fine. As long as a crossbow feat is worth 4 while a bow feat is worth 2, so both weapon styles wind up at 10.

Completely agree!


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Yes, we are in total agreement on this. That's rare on the internet!


I think I agree too. I'm not sure - the point that I hesitate about is whether a martial specialist who specializes in crossbows should actually be as powerful as one who does so with bows. I simply don't have enough system knowledge to give an informed opinion.

I know I agree with Doktor Weasel - most x-bows should have the load property, otherwise it gets really cartoonish. Of course lighter ones can dispense with it - it's a fantasy rpg, not the ARMA.


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Roswynn wrote:

I think I agree too. I'm not sure - the point that I hesitate about is whether a martial specialist who specializes in crossbows should actually be as powerful as one who does so with bows. I simply don't have enough system knowledge to give an informed opinion.

I know I agree with Doktor Weasel - most x-bows should have the load property, otherwise it gets really cartoonish. Of course lighter ones can dispense with it - it's a fantasy rpg, not the ARMA.

Well I think the appeal of Pathfinder is that any sort of concept you can come up with can be actualized, and hopefully without making your character worse than taking a more conventional path. So if someone says "I want a martial character who uses a crossbow" then hopefully there is a way to do that without being strictly worse than if you just used a shortbow.

Basically you just need class feats for crossbows that are more powerful than class feats for bows to make up that difference, and you wind up with the best of both worlds with both being equally viable.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Roswynn wrote:

I think I agree too. I'm not sure - the point that I hesitate about is whether a martial specialist who specializes in crossbows should actually be as powerful as one who does so with bows. I simply don't have enough system knowledge to give an informed opinion.

I know I agree with Doktor Weasel - most x-bows should have the load property, otherwise it gets really cartoonish. Of course lighter ones can dispense with it - it's a fantasy rpg, not the ARMA.

Well I think the appeal of Pathfinder is that any sort of concept you can come up with can be actualized, and hopefully without making your character worse than taking a more conventional path. So if someone says "I want a martial character who uses a crossbow" then hopefully there is a way to do that without being strictly worse than if you just used a shortbow.

Basically you just need class feats for crossbows that are more powerful than class feats for bows to make up that difference, and you wind up with the best of both worlds with both being equally viable.

What if someone says "I want a martial character who uses a sling"? How powerful do the sling class feats have to be?


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Roswynn wrote:

I think I agree too. I'm not sure - the point that I hesitate about is whether a martial specialist who specializes in crossbows should actually be as powerful as one who does so with bows. I simply don't have enough system knowledge to give an informed opinion.

I know I agree with Doktor Weasel - most x-bows should have the load property, otherwise it gets really cartoonish. Of course lighter ones can dispense with it - it's a fantasy rpg, not the ARMA.

Well I think the appeal of Pathfinder is that any sort of concept you can come up with can be actualized, and hopefully without making your character worse than taking a more conventional path. So if someone says "I want a martial character who uses a crossbow" then hopefully there is a way to do that without being strictly worse than if you just used a shortbow.

Basically you just need class feats for crossbows that are more powerful than class feats for bows to make up that difference, and you wind up with the best of both worlds with both being equally viable.

What if someone says "I want a martial character who uses a sling"? How powerful do the sling class feats have to be?

well, I don't think the sling is nearly as iconic a weapon as the crossbow, so I feel like there's less pressure there. But the Halfling Sling Staff is actually almost identical to a crossbow with Crossbow Ace without any feat investment. Better even, since it isn't tied to Hunt Target and can be used by any class. So I'd probably point someone at that.

I also ruled you can use the sling staff as a quarterstaff in melee, FWIW.

I guess if someone didn't except the Slingstaff as a sling, I'd hope they would get some feat support eventually. But it feels like less of a priority than crossbows for the CRB.


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I think I get it... essentially, we want crossbows to be a good choice for classes who aren't trained with martial ranged weapons, and slings to be a decent choice, probably do less damage right off the bat, but at least cost less (and sundry other properties).

But then, when it comes to class feats, we want to give martial characters feats that make them about as powerful with any of the three (or in theory even with thrown weapons like javelins, or blowguns, etc). This way, for instance, x-bows stay simple weapons easily used by most classes (as it should be), but when it comes to fighters, rangers and rogues, with the right feats an x-bow can be as powerful as a bow if you took the feats that let you specialize in it. So those feats should on the whole be slightly more powerful than the bow feats - whatever weapon you choose, you'll end up at about the same power level.

Yes, I think it should work. I can't see any downside - the weapon by itself stays the same, it's just allowing a player to customize their character the way they want, no big deal...

Yeah, I think I agree. Unless I'm not considering some factors I'm not aware of (which might very well be the case, but right now it seems like it wouldn't unbalance anything).


I'll throw out there that the wording of Crossbow Ace makes me suspect strongly there will be martial and/or exotic crossbows down the line that will be stronger out the box but won't get the full benefits of feats like Crossbow Ace. A repeating crossbow that acts more like a bow seems like a given to me.


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I feel like once we get repeating crossbows then that will really help characters that want to be good at crossbowing.

"Spend 2-3 actions to reload every however many shots" is going to work better in PF2 than repeating crossbows did in PF1 (as the paradigm for crossbows was "reduce reloading to progressively cheaper options) and especially since we are likely be be putting fewer shots in the air in PF2.

Maybe make it so the heavy repeating crossbow holds 6, so you can move and shoot twice in 3 consecutive turns, or shoot thrice in 2 consecutive turns, then spend 3 actions reloading.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like once we get repeating crossbows then that will really help characters that want to be good at crossbowing.

"Spend 2-3 actions to reload every however many shots" is going to work better in PF2 than repeating crossbows did in PF1 (as the paradigm for crossbows was "reduce reloading to progressively cheaper options) and especially since we are likely be be putting fewer shots in the air in PF2.

Maybe make it so the heavy repeating crossbow holds 6, so you can move and shoot twice in 3 consecutive turns, or shoot thrice in 2 consecutive turns, then spend 3 actions reloading.

Nice symmetry!


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My idea was having the slings be the simple version of bows (slings want and need more love) and have the crossbows be a less strength dependent option with heavy crossbows as the martial version of those weapons


Biztak wrote:
My idea was having the slings be the simple version of bows (slings want and need more love) and have the crossbows be a less strength dependent option with heavy crossbows as the martial version of those weapons

Slings being the simple version of bows would probably require downgrading their damage die to d4. Crossbows already are the least strength dependent option.

The problem isn't that crossbows and slings are badly balanced against bows-- they are actually about where they need to be. Even cantrips, which people have said don't do enough damage, actually hits the sweet spot for being balanced against ranged weapons. Bows should be better than the rest of this sans class feats.

If there's a problem, it is that ranged combat as a whole is a bit lackluster. And if you want to boost that, you probably want to start with bows, which represent the peak of ranged performance. Get them bows to the desired balance point compared to melee weapons, and then adjust the other options to so that they are still below bows but better than they were before.

Anecdotally, I'll add the level 1 sorcerer in my game loves her crossbow so much she forgets she's a spellcaster half the time. That is fairly worthless as a lone data point and doesn't say much balance wise, but I am perpetually amused by it.


No crossbow should be a martial weapon. One of crossbows' big advantages is that they're remarkably easy to train with, and you won't need years of practice and constant training like with a longbow (a martial weapon). Crossbows are relatively easy. If you make even just the heavy crossbow a martial weapon its main advantage is lost.

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