Have Crossbows Changed in a Meaningful Way?


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Am I wrong? It really seems like we're still in a situation where a 1-die upstep in damage is nowhere near good enough to make up for the longer reload time, and that's before considering bows got sweet upgrades (deadly, propulsive?) while xbows got nothing at all.

What gives? Will fantasy rpgs ever deliver a crossbow that doesn't feel like a drag to choose?

Silver Crusade

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At least at low levels a crossbow ranger seems quite competitive to me.

1 shot a round for d10+d8+2 vs an archer doing 4 shots for d6+1 each. But with penalties of 0/-4/-8,-8. (assuming indoors so volley is an issue. Outdoors they're doing d8+1

And the xbow ranger gets to nearly dump STR if they wish

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, it looks to me like crossbows are generally bad, but a Ranger crossbow specialist can make them good if they focus on it. I'd need to do some DPR math to verify that, though.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think the regular crossbow can be decent if your class has some feats to support it, but in general it's definitely a worse option than a bow. That's true of most simple weapons compared to martial counterparts though.


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pauljathome wrote:

At least at low levels a crossbow ranger seems quite competitive to me.

1 shot a round for d10+d8+2 vs an archer doing 4 shots for d6+1 each. But with penalties of 0/-4/-8,-8. (assuming indoors so volley is an issue. Outdoors they're doing d8+1

And the xbow ranger gets to nearly dump STR if they wish

Am I safe in assuming the extra d8 above is coming from the Precision Hunter's Edge? If so, why isn't it granted to the archer as well?

Also aren't you basically saying, "the Ranger is specifically designed to make the crappy crossbow not as crappy if you pick the right choices,"?
That speaks more to the class than the weapon, doesn't it?

Also worth pointing out that d10 crossbow takes all 3 actions to load and fire - no movement for you until Ranger 4 at minimum.


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I don't know about low levels, but at hight levels Perfect shot do some stupid damage with a high chance of a crit and only work with weapons that have reload time.


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Neo2151 wrote:


What gives? Will fantasy rpgs ever deliver a crossbow that doesn't feel like a drag to choose?

Yes, but not this one. The decision was made in 3.0 for the Crossbow to be the backup ranged weapon for Wizards, and that was kept with PF2. Because of that it's unlikely to ever be as good as a Bow, because a Crossbow is a Simple weapon and a Bow is Martial.

The Heavy Crossbow is one of the most damaging weapons in the Dark Eye RPG, with the trade off being that you'll shoot it at the start of a fight and pretty much never get to reload it. It's an alternative take on the weapon that suits that style of game better than it would suit Pathfinder.


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Anyone who multiclasses for Crossbow ace and move+reload can do pretty good. Extra points if they take Alchemist Xbow and have some cheap lv 1 bombs for elemental targeting.

Otherwise its not the best I imagine. But its not utterly terrible. I think its in a better place than P1 at least when its enchanted.

Neo2151 wrote:


Also aren't you basically saying, "the Ranger is specifically designed to make the crappy crossbow not as crappy if you pick the right choices,"?
That speaks more to the class than the weapon, doesn't it?

I mean, isn't that part of the design space for the game? Certin classes are primed for certain combat methods ? (admitidly only ranger and alchemist are that focused on a specific weapon)

Liberty's Edge

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Neo2151 wrote:
Am I safe in assuming the extra d8 above is coming from the Precision Hunter's Edge? If so, why isn't it granted to the archer as well?

Because he gave the archer reduced MAP instead. Which is better for an archer.

Neo2151 wrote:

Also aren't you basically saying, "the Ranger is specifically designed to make the crappy crossbow not as crappy if you pick the right choices,"?

That speaks more to the class than the weapon, doesn't it?

On one level, sure, on another level if all you want is to make an effective character who wields a crossbow, it absolutely allows that.

Neo2151 wrote:
Also worth pointing out that d10 crossbow takes all 3 actions to load and fire - no movement for you until Ranger 4 at minimum.

Uh...did you read Crossbow Ace? It ups a crossbow's weapon die category.


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Ranger has some decent options even as he levels up. Near the end there is one that maximizes all damage dice for one shot, but at that point your crossbow is like 4d12+2d8 precision (multiplied on crit) +2 crossbow ace + whatever from weapon spec and runes. There's some ways to make the enemy flat-footed and even Deadly aim.. You're aiming for a jackpot crit by superloading 1 shot per turn. With penetrating shot you can nail 2 enemies with the 1 attack!

If you're not a Ranger then don't bother. Tis one of the issues of siloing feats: It's a big hurdle to access the only things that make Crossbow usable. (And Deadly simplicity, I guess!)

Paizo Employee Designer

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Just for any simple weapon in general, rather than crossbows in particular, they are not going to be as powerful as a martial weapon. If they were, what's the point of having simple and martial weapons as a distinguishing feature between characters? When comparing them to bows, as in the OP, they are supposed to be weaker on the net; they are a category down. Now in PF1, due to the action economy, they were pretty terrible even when compared to other simple weapons. In PF2, they're quite solid for a simple weapon, which means worse than a martial.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Updated the thread title from *Crossbows still garbage?* to *Have Crossbows Changed in a Meaningful Way?* I understand that calling things "garbage" or "trash" is becoming more commonplace in pop culture's lexicon, but its not a turn of phrase that's okay for use on our forums.

Liberty's Edge

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The main reason crossbows started to see use in the real world is because they didn't really need much in the way of training to use. They were slower than bows and worse at long ranges*, but any peasant could pick one up and have a reasonable chance of shooting somebody with it, whereas archery required quite a bit more training.

This fits perfectly with them being simple weapons.

(* They could be fired with more force, but the smaller size of the crossbow bolts meant they'd lose power much more quickly than an arrow the farther they traveled.)


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From my point of view, crossbows are in a much better place in PF2 than they were at the start of PF1: out of the gate: Running Reload, Crossbow Ace, Perfect Shot, Deadly Simplicity [Abadar], Point-Blank Shot, alchemical crossbows, everyone starts off with proficiency... Even the simple fact that firing and reloading doesn't eat up your whole round is better for the weapon. You can even true strike, bespell weapon, fire the crossbow and reload all in around.


As a sidenote. Alchemists may be able to use them fairly well as well.
So I don't fully u nderstand familiars yet.. But. I think the alchemist's familiar could reload the crossbow right?
So fire once, use action for familar. Familiar reloads, you fire again. Familiar reloads.
That could net you 2 shots (MAP of course) + elemental if you have an Alchemist xbow.

I mean not amazing, but is an interesting and weird way to use it. Adding in some Ranger feats coudl result in a fairly weird and interesting method. Depending on what a familiar can actually do.. (Because I don't fully know! Could they aid your attack for a circ bonus? Could they ready an action to reload your crossbow to pseudo make it okay for that 2 shot feat?. Probably not RAW but GM might allow)

-----
Personally I rather like where the Crossbow sits now. I do wish Rapid Reload was also a lv 3 general feat though.


Zwordsman wrote:

As a sidenote. Alchemists may be able to use them fairly well as well.

So I don't fully u nderstand familiars yet.. But. I think the alchemist's familiar could reload the crossbow right?
So fire once, use action for familar. Familiar reloads, you fire again. Familiar reloads.
That could net you 2 shots (MAP of course) + elemental if you have an Alchemist xbow.

I mean not amazing, but is an interesting and weird way to use it. Adding in some Ranger feats coudl result in a fairly weird and interesting method. Depending on what a familiar can actually do.. (Because I don't fully know! Could they aid your attack for a circ bonus? Could they ready an action to reload your crossbow to pseudo make it okay for that 2 shot feat?. Probably not RAW but GM might allow)

-----
Personally I rather like where the Crossbow sits now. I do wish Rapid Reload was also a lv 3 general feat though.

Re: Familiars, I think minions have to use their actions before your turn advances past commanding them, so at best 1 reload. Also, the familiar would need to hold the crossbow, so exchanging the item is probably an interact action for each exchange from someone.


IMO, the regular crossbow is the best ranged weapon in the game.

The biggest complaint is you don't get to waste your ammo on a -10 shot.

The classes that would use a ranged martial weapon as their primary damage source have rapid reload, and they both have extra damage outside the weapons basic stats.

The money you save from dealing with a composite longbow gets you halfway to your first rune.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Just for any simple weapon in general, rather than crossbows in particular, they are not going to be as powerful as a martial weapon. If they were, what's the point of having simple and martial weapons as a distinguishing feature between characters? When comparing them to bows, as in the OP, they are supposed to be weaker on the net; they are a category down. Now in PF1, due to the action economy, they were pretty terrible even when compared to other simple weapons. In PF2, they're quite solid for a simple weapon, which means worse than a martial.

If people think a weapon is cool, they will use it. Just give them the tools to build around it and they'll invest the feats if it can give an acceptable return! Crossbow Ace, for example, makes Crossbow a lot better than just a simple weapon. You can spend 1 feat for Martial weapon prof. So why not also one to make your simple weapon stack up? It just should be a bit more widely available.

This is pathfinder after all, every idea can work reasonably well once there's enough supplements out. Sounds way better than "This weapon was designed to suck forever".


I'll note that with good use of Double Prey (actually not sure if this part's needed) and Penetrating Shot, you can actually do more damage than a longbow user given best case scenario for the longbow.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I seem to remember reading somewhere that a medieval Pope (Innocent?) banned the use of crossbows by Christians in warfare against other Christians because they were too effective.

Liberty's Edge

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It's not because they were too effective, it's because of the lack of required training. The idea that anybody can just pick up a crossbow and have a dangerous weapon that poses a threat to even armored foes is terrifying to people who rely on a monopoly on violence as a means of controlling the masses.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Just for any simple weapon in general, rather than crossbows in particular, they are not going to be as powerful as a martial weapon. If they were, what's the point of having simple and martial weapons as a distinguishing feature between characters?

Thank you. I appreciate Piazo honoring this distinction.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Am I safe in assuming the extra d8 above is coming from the Precision Hunter's Edge? If so, why isn't it granted to the archer as well?

Because he gave the archer reduced MAP instead. Which is better for an archer.

What is MAP?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Am I safe in assuming the extra d8 above is coming from the Precision Hunter's Edge? If so, why isn't it granted to the archer as well?

Because he gave the archer reduced MAP instead. Which is better for an archer.

What is MAP?

Multiple Attack Penalty


wraithstrike wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Am I safe in assuming the extra d8 above is coming from the Precision Hunter's Edge? If so, why isn't it granted to the archer as well?

Because he gave the archer reduced MAP instead. Which is better for an archer.

What is MAP?

Multiple Attack Penalty.

EDIT: ninja'ed


wraithstrike wrote:
What is MAP?

Multiple Attack Penalty.

_
glass.


Micheal Smith wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Am I safe in assuming the extra d8 above is coming from the Precision Hunter's Edge? If so, why isn't it granted to the archer as well?

Because he gave the archer reduced MAP instead. Which is better for an archer.

What is MAP?
Multiple Attack Penalty

To further explain; every attack (which includes strikes; spell attacks; combat manuevers and a few other things) after the first in your turn incurs a penalty on the attack roll (or check technically) which is usually -5 for the second attack and -10 for the third and any subsequent attacks. Agile weapons (weapons or actions with the agile trait) have a progression of -4 on the second attack and -8 on the third and any subsequent attacks. Some special abilites (such as some ranger abilities) can further reduce these penalties in some cases.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
I seem to remember reading somewhere that a medieval Pope (Innocent?) banned the use of crossbows by Christians in warfare against other Christians because they were too effective.

Canon 29 of The Second Lateran Council. This is an often repeated fact, and it's true to a point, but it's usually forgotten that the same canon also banned normal bows. It's likely it was intended to ban all missile weapons. "We prohibit under anathema that murderous art of crossbowmen and archers, which is hateful to God, to be employed against Christians and Catholics from now on." It was of course completely ignored. Canon 14 banned tournaments and jousts. It was also ignored. This was in the 12th century, when crossbows were suplanting standard bows as military bows in most of Europe, with the exception of England where they liked their Longbows. Not that the English didn't use crossbows, or mainlanders didn't use longbows. They did, just not as commonly. A lot of cities in the Holy Roman Empire (mostly modern Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, but also other parts of central Europe) and Italy relied on militia for their defense, and crossbows were quite useful for them.

The bit about crossbows requiring less training is a point that's usually made to mention their popularity. But there are a few other details too. It's not so much the skill training that was easier than traditional archery, but the strength training. Bows used for warfare tended to have a much higher draw weight than those used for hunting. (The draw weight is the weight hung from the string that would draw it to full). The extra strength was to ensure penetration of thick cloth and mail, as well as longer ranges. The issue on whether bows can puncture plate armor is highly controversial with a lot of bad testing going on. From what I've seen it looks like the answer is probably: not usually, at least not the strong parts like the breastplate, but possibly getting into a gap or weak point like side of the visor or piecing cheaply made armor. But with a large mass of arrows, it's more likely that a few will find gaps in the enemy's armor. 50-60 pounds makes for a good hunting bow, but the range for war bows seems to be 90-200 pounds. They also shot much heavier and thicker arrows. That's specifically for the English longbow (particularly based on the Mary Rose finds), but from what I've been able to see, it's also the general range for other war bows, like the recurve bows used by the Turks, Arabs, Mongols, Chinese etc. That's a very heavy bow, there are few archers in the world today that are able to repeatedly draw and acurately shoot a traditional weight war bow, but the skill is starting to come back. It requires muscle groups that aren't used in some other activities, so just lifting weights isn't necessarily enough to get you there. It's to the point that archeologists can easily identify the skeletons of archers because of the bone deformation caused by constantly drawing that heavy bow. So that's why the English had laws that every man had to train with the Longbow every Sunday after church, and why it was much easier to train crossbowmen.

But the idea that longbowmen were the elite and crossbowmen were all untrained slobs is also a myth. Standard pay for a good mercenary crossbowman was actually higher than a longbowman, which wouldn't be the case if that was true. It's just the barrier to entry is lower in terms of training. In areas where crossbows were popular, they trained with them a lot, and had frequent shooting competitions (I saw some bits about how some of the German Cities actually had women competing fairly often, but I also heard about on in particular where the top prize, was a woman, and the winner got to marry her. She volunteered and ended up marrying a merchant who won). Some of those same areas sill have crossbow competitions as part of their cultural heritage. While slower than longbows, crossbows are more accurate.

Crossbows usually had a much higher draw weight than even the heavy warbows, but used mechanical devises to make spanning it easier. From stirrups and spanning belts, to levers cranequins and windlasses. That upper end 200 pounds for war bows is near the lower ends for medieval crossbows, some got up to 1,000 pound draw weight or even higher. That doesn't mean they were much stronger though. Draw weight is only one part of the equation, there is also draw length, how far back the string is drawn. This is also known as the Power Stroke, how much distance the force is applied over. Longer is better. Longbows draw from the outstreached left hand, across the body to the base of the right cheek, 30 inches was a common length. Crossbows on the other hand only drew back like 10 inches or so. A longer length given the high draw would have increased the risk of breaking, which could seriously injure or kill the user. This loses a lot of efficiency, so they don't hit with quite as much energy as would be expected for the high weight. Earlier crossbows were less powerful with shorter range than the longbows, but as time went on, they got higher and higher draw weights and became more powerful and longer ranged than the longbows, especially some of the big cranequin or windlass drawn crossbows.

There's a lot of mythology and half-truths out there with regard to bows and crossbows, it's really a more nuanced topic than it's often treated as. Early guns too.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

How are crossbow rangers supposed to compete with flurry bow rangers by the time Weapon Specialization opens up at 7th?

Liberty's Edge

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Colette Brunel wrote:
How are crossbow rangers supposed to compete with flurry bow rangers by the time Weapon Specialization opens up at 7th?

Well, let's look at respective DPR at 7th.

A 7th bow level Ranger is probably doing attacks at +16/+12/+8/+8 (4 Dex +11 Proficiency +1 Item) for 2d8+3 damage (Str 14-16, Weapon Specialization) vs. AC 25. That's a DPR of 19.8. Being a Longbow, this has issues within 30 feet, dropping to 14.4 at that range (and instead drops to 16.5 with a shortbow). This damage will be somewhat lower (to the tune of 16.8 on the ideal longbow, 14 on the shortbow) on turn 1 due to needing to Hunt Prey.

A 7th level crossbow Ranger, meanwhile, using Crossbow Ace and Hunter's Aim is attacking only once, but doing it at +18 (same bonuses plus Hunter's Aim) for 2d10+4+1d8 (Crossbow Ace,Weapon Specialization, Precision), which again vs. AC 25 is a DPR of 17.55. So that's higher than a shortbow (and much higher than a longbow within 30 feet), though admittedly lower than the longbow in ideal conditions. This is the same on turn 1, assuming they walk around with their crossbow loaded.

With any Resistance that applies, the crossbow also shoots ahead, and it does the same vs high AC foes (at AC 29, the bow guy drops to 9.6 with longbow and the crossbow guy to 10.725, making the crossbow pull ahead...this is easier than it sounds, as while AC 25 is around average for level 7 foes, AC 28 is not unknown among them).

Both get a free move while doing this, by the way (the Bow guy with Skirmish Strike, the crossbow one with Running Reload).

So the crossbow is a tad worse in a white room scenario vs. on level opponents (or vs. minions) but potentially better vs. bosses, those with DR, and in less than ideal circumstances. The crossbow guy also saved on stats by not taking Str (or at least taking less of it) if they wanted. That seems fine to me.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Your math does not seem quite right to me. Why are you dropping the attack bonus by 4 for each subsequent bow attack when Flurry reduces the penalties to -3/-6 for a bow?

Strength 18 for a longbow- or shortbow-user is not unlikely by 5th level. Point-Blank Shot also helps a fair deal here, though that admittedly takes a fighter multiclass.

Liberty's Edge

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Colette Brunel wrote:
Your math does not seem quite right to me. Why are you dropping the attack bonus by 4 for each subsequent bow attack when Flurry reduces the penalties to -3/-6 for a bow?

Oh crap, you're right. I was apparently still thinking in playtest terms in regards to Hunt Prey.

That said, that changes the damage for the bow user as as follows:

Longbow: 22.8
Shortbow: 19
Longbow within 30 feet: 17.4

The first round damage is reduced to 18.6 for the longbow, 15.5 for the shortbow, and 14.4 for the longbow within 30 feet.

That looks a tad less good for the crossbow user (and increases the level at which AC alone makes them better), but it's honestly still not bad, and I think the crossbow user still winds up better versus meaningful Resistance.

It does occur to me that at 10th level, Penetrating Shot does ridiculous things to raise your DPR as a crossbow user, though. All you need to do is line up two enemies and your DPR gets very good indeed. The extra d8 at 11th doesn't hurt either.

Colette Brunel wrote:
Strength 18 for a longbow- or shortbow-user is not unlikely by 5th level. Point-Blank Shot also helps a fair deal here, though that admittedly takes a fighter multiclass.

Str 18 at level 5 is a ridiculous monofocus on an archer. You're either crippling yourself long term, or you went Str 16, Dex 18, which necessitates a very specific build (for example, you must be a Human, Elf, or Goblin, and an Elf with this build cannot have Con over 10). Point Blank Shot is plausible, but just makes all Longbow stuff do the 'not within 30 feet'...but at the expense of first turn damage, and costs two Feats.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It does not seem that implausible for a human ranger to have Strength 16, Dexterity 18, Constitution 12, Wisdom 12 and then focus on those four ability scores.

Penetrating Shot has the open trait, so it can be hard to use; you cannot reposition yourself before a Penetrating Shot, for example.

Liberty's Edge

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Colette Brunel wrote:
It does not seem that implausible for a human ranger to have Strength 16, Dexterity 18, Constitution 12, Wisdom 12 and then focus on those four ability scores.

It's possible, but, as noted, very specific.

And in that case we get into the advantages the crossbow guy can have by going Str 10-12. The extra Ability points go pretty far in terms of Saves and Skills.

Colette Brunel wrote:
Penetrating Shot has the open trait, so it can be hard to use; you cannot reposition yourself before a Penetrating Shot, for example.

Uh...the Open Trait only restricts you from using Attack or Open actions before it. It works fine after moving, reloading, or the like.


One question, why is every Ranger crossbow damage calculation done with d10s? Is the light crossbow damage just better? Heavy Crossbow with Crossbow Ace would be d12, since it ups all simple weapon crossbow's damages. How's the damage there?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I see. So Penetrating Shot would be usable with a Running Reload beforehand.

The heavy crossbow is not looking too good with its reload 2. It seems like a one-shot backup weapon at best.

Liberty's Edge

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masda_gib wrote:
One question, why is every Ranger crossbow damage calculation done with d10s? Is the light crossbow damage just better? Heavy Crossbow with Crossbow Ace would be d12, since it ups all simple weapon crossbow's damages. How's the damage there?

There are too many good two-action attacks in Ranger for this to usually be a good plan, at least at the moment.

Colette Brunel wrote:
I see. So Penetrating Shot would be usable with a Running Reload beforehand.

Yup. A very good combo for a variety of reasons.

Colette Brunel wrote:
The heavy crossbow is not looking too good with its reload 2. It seems like a one-shot backup weapon at best.

Until something shows up allowing reduced reloading time, pretty much, yeah.


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It seems like crossbows should be the best ranged weapon for a creature with no ability score bonus and little training, just like real life.

5th Ed allowing Dex mod to crossbow damage seriously bothers me.


masda_gib wrote:
One question, why is every Ranger crossbow damage calculation done with d10s? Is the light crossbow damage just better?

Reload 1 vs reload 2... Yeah, no one really takes a serious look at wasting an action every round for what boild down to +1 damage per weapon die.

masda_gib wrote:
Heavy Crossbow with Crossbow Ace would be d12, since it ups all simple weapon crossbow's damages. How's the damage there?

You give up ANY OTHER ACTIONS while using the heavy crossbow. The slight damage bump isn't worth it.


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The heavy crossbow really only seems to come online at 18 for Perfect Shot silliness.

Aside from that, the action economy pushes light above it. You can't take Penetrating Shot consistently, and lose out on quite a bit of variety. Not to mention that you can't Hunt, Strike, and Running Reload it back to loaded in a turn.


Weasel, thanks for the post - that was a really good explanation


How would Running Reload interact with the Reload 2 of a heavy crossbow? Does it let you simply reload with the action? It doesn't say it reduces reload time, but rather it just lets you reload.


Doesn't the crossbow work pretty nicely even at level 4 if you go for it? Just a casual, average joe but at a glance:
1: Crossbow Ace
2: Quick Draw
4: Running Reload
Just top of the hat, Quick Draw and fire the crossbow, then move and Reload, which also triggers crossbow ace, then fire with more damage. Next round the ranger could start off with Hunt Prey instead of Quick Draw?

Still not familiar with the encounters but is that way off?

Neo2151 wrote:
How would Running Reload interact with the Reload 2 of a heavy crossbow? Does it let you simply reload with the action? It doesn't say it reduces reload time, but rather it just lets you reload.

I'm assuming it means you spent 1 interaction on reloading, and need to spend 1 more. Leaving the third to fire. Which means you could move, reload and fire each round?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
JRutterbush wrote:
It's not because they were too effective, it's because of the lack of required training. The idea that anybody can just pick up a crossbow and have a dangerous weapon that poses a threat to even armored foes is terrifying to people who rely on a monopoly on violence as a means of controlling the masses.

Interesting point, with modern day applications. :-)


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Just for any simple weapon in general, rather than crossbows in particular, they are not going to be as powerful as a martial weapon. If they were, what's the point of having simple and martial weapons as a distinguishing feature between characters? When comparing them to bows, as in the OP, they are supposed to be weaker on the net; they are a category down. Now in PF1, due to the action economy, they were pretty terrible even when compared to other simple weapons. In PF2, they're quite solid for a simple weapon, which means worse than a martial.

The problem is, simple weapons occupy a weird niche where martial weapons are given for free or at a really trivial cost. So 'simple weapons are not as powerful' just means that they're bad, and not worth using (with specific exceptions for piling wackiness together from various sources).

Even the characters that don't have access and don't want to pay the general or ancestry feat tax universally have access to cantrips or are monks, so, again, don't have any reason to manipulate their starting stats to be mediocre at using bad weapons.

Bad and trap options are basically non options.


Out of curiousity.

How does the numbers look for a Ranger with an Alchemist Xbow? Rangers are pretty good at identifying creature weaknesses right? (or am I crossing edition streams again?).

It is expensive depending on lv but you can always use a lv 1 bomb for the energy damage--whether you're lv 1 or lv 20. Does cost 1 action per 3 shots however.

I'm also not entirely sure how that energy damage works with all the other damage interactions you can do.

--------
I think I'd only use a heavy xbow on someone who was planning to take hunt target+farshoht + hunters aim and runnign reload to stealth around sniping once a round.

sneak+reaload, sniping shot avoiding being caught.
your first increment is 120 with heavy bow gun. double for farshot at 240. Then hunt target's range increase.
you'll probably have issues seeing and aiming properly at that point. But the enemy would have the same issue with you.
not an ideal thing but could be rather amusing depending on your purpose.


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Quick Draw

Mostly unneeded: if you're playing a crossbow ranger, you'll most likely have a crossbow in hand already. Personally, I'd take Hunter's Aim over quick draw.

Zwordsman wrote:

Out of curiousity.

How does the numbers look for a Ranger with an Alchemist Xbow? Rangers are pretty good at identifying creature weaknesses right? (or am I crossing edition streams again?).

It is expensive depending on lv but you can always use a lv 1 bomb for the energy damage--whether you're lv 1 or lv 20. Does cost 1 action per 3 shots however.

Looks solid and for cost, take alchemist devotion at 2nd.


Thanks. Shiny goodness. Honestly it looks like a ton of fun to build an elemental huntress like that.

I wonder how the energy damage is dealt with, when it comes to critical hits and such? Just treat it like normal weapon damage? Or treat it like as a separate thing?
(Well in general I need to relook up the rules on critical hits and things like sneak attack, elemental xbow, and whatever else adds rider effects--spells probably have something)


Pretty sure all bonuses and precision damage are all multiplied on a critical hit. But extra elemental rider damage form runes or effects will not.

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