While using this style, you can make melee attacks with the chosen weapon as if it were a heavy mace (or a light mace for melee attack made with a hand crossbow or one-handed firearm), though you don’t automatically threaten the area around you as if you were wielding a melee weapon.
Are you penalized if you don't have proficiency with light/heavy maces, or is proficiency with the bow sufficient? (Probably a DM call...)
Another more complicated question involving Stabbing Shot and a Zen Archer:
When adjacent to an opponent and making a full-attack action with a longbow or shortbow (including composite bows), you may choose to make a melee attack against that opponent with a drawn arrow rather than firing it. ... This melee attack replaces the extra attack from Rapid Shot, and all of your attack rolls for the round (the melee attack and the ranged attacks) take a –2 penalty.
From Zen Archer:
A zen archer cannot use Rapid Shot or Manyshot when making a flurry of blows with his bow.
I would assume then that you cannot use Stabbing Shot as part of a flurry of blows, probably even with Empty Quiver Versatility?
Pretty sure you only need to be proficient with the bow. "as if it were" isn't "it is". It functions as if it were a mace, but it still is a bow.
And it looks like you can use stabbing shot in a flurry just fine. It says "when...making a full attack action..." --the fact that it counts as your Extra attack when you use rapid shot and that rapid shot doesn't work in a flurry don't have anything to do with it.
RAW, proficiency is based on using the weapon, not on how you attack with it. So yeah, you're proficient with the bow-used-in-melee.
Regardign Stabbing Shot, you should really ask the GM. There are multiple issues. Can you even flurry with an arrow? How can you replace something you don't have? Do you get both -2 penalties?
Although I must say, why would a Zen Archer want to select Stabbing Shot or Empty Quiver Style in the first place? You can grab Point Blank Master as your 6th level bonus feat, and don't have to worry about being adjacent to enemies. This is way stronger than the feats you've mentioned.
Great, a GM who f!#*s up game balace because he thinks himself way smarter than he is. Bleargh!
My usual suggestion at this point would be to play the most overpowered caster you can think of, or possibly Summoner, and when he complains, respond with "well, I wanted to play a non-magical archer, but your stupid houserule prevented that".
Seriously though, access to Point Blank Master is one of the main reasons to play a Zen Archer, without that, the archetype is pretty weak after 3rd level, and you might as well play a 6/9 caster archer build instead. Or maybe even a Nature Fang Druid with Erastil's Blessing...
XD Given that he won the monster tournament at PaizoCon with a build he didn't consider optimized, I'd say he is actually that smart. Besides, I don't disagree with him on this and I like the thematic imagery of a monk who unleashes torrents of arrows at foes from a distance, but switches to a close range flurry using the bow if foes are foolish enough to think closing the distance nullifies him as a threat.
The problem with banning PBM is that is shifts game balance further towards classes that are already strongest. Zen Archer can basically do nothing else except shoot arrows, so yeah, it's supposed to be a f@@~ing god of shooting arrows. Casters have the ability to cast defensively baked in, why is is bad when martials have the same ability?
Yes, compared to martials without an ability to move and full attack, archers are indeed very powerful. You know what's even more powerful? Casters! Unless the GM is nerfing casters at least as much, i.e. by removign the option to cast defensively, he's making the game balance worse, not better. Which is, obviously, not smart.
I think that Point Blank Master being "way stronger" than more involved, more interesting feats is also a problem.
What, exactly, is "more involved, more interesting" about Empty Quiver Style? You make a normaly full attack, only with lower bonuses and fewer attacks.
Empty Quiver Style, hence the thread.
I think Talonhawke meant: What are you getting in place of PBM, which is normally part of the archetype?If you still have the Still Mind class feature you qualify for Qinggong, for example.
Besides, I don't disagree with him on this and I like the thematic imagery of a monk who unleashes torrents of arrows at foes from a distance, but switches to a close range flurry using the bow if foes are foolish enough to think closing the distance nullifies him as a threat.
"Ah-hahaha! You've fallen to my devious trap when you choose to engage me, a ranged specialist, in melee! For I possess the incredible ability to treat my bow as... a heavy mace!" - Person who just spent a lot of feats to be mediocre in melee.
Since you're stuck using Strength to hit, it would probably be easier to just take EWP with a beefy two-handed weapon if you're looking for melee prowess. You can't flurry or use Rapid Shot with your Heavy Mace even with Empty Quiver Versatility, so it would probably deal more damage too.
If the idea was to only rely on Stabbing Shot, that's still two additional feats you normally wouldn't have taken just to reach your feat. Rapid Shot and Empty Quiver Style does nothing for your normal attack routine, so you'd have to ask yourself if Stabbing Shot itself is worth three feats.
Those same feats could give you a fly speed, or a mount, or a flying mount, and so on. All of which are better ways to solve your melee problems than Empty Quiver Style.
Yes, and also you can just take this one combination of racial and class abilities which gives you a burrow speed where you don't even ripple the ground as you traverse it, and the inch of stone prevents any means of detection as you bypass the entirety of every dungeon. Or you can just be a wizard and scry 'n' fry every big bad without even bothering with dungeons!
Yah, like, I'm well aware there are more optimal builds, but not everything's about optimizing for that last possible point of DPS, ya munchkins. =-p
My questions are answered.