Bows.


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


Do you think we're likely to get new martial bows at some point? We've been using the same 2 for a while now. We have a plethora of ranged weapon options at this point but not a lot of bows. The only other 2 options are advanced as well. I do really like the hornbow though.


What other bows exist that need to be adapted?


I don't know. Just an observation. Perhaps an elf bow?


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The Monastic Archery Stance refers to "simple and martial bows with the monk trait" but none currently exist. At least one should exist.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
The Monastic Archery Stance refers to "simple and martial bows with the monk trait" but none currently exist. At least one should exist.

That's true. Forgot about that. Gotta be future proofing. I wonder what a simple bow would be.


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I think simple bows are mainly crossbows.


MEATSHED wrote:
I think simple bows are mainly crossbows.

The text in question is about possible monk bows. I don't think they would do a monk crossbow. That would be weird. Then again, we do have the GUNK with bullet dancer now.


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With shortbows being martial, I think the only way we could get a simple bow is if it was some kind of improvised bow (where someone just got a suitable stick and put a string on it).

Silver Crusade

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The Halflings are on it.


A simple bow could hypothetically fit but it would likely immediately outclass simple crossbows. The air repeater is already pretty much better than the hand crossbow.


If anyone is gonna do slingshots, it'll be the halflings.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not sure we'll ever get any. Sort of feels like the CRB bows were a mistake and the devs have gone out of their way to not publish any weapons that really compare with them since.


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I hope we get great bows ala Dark Souls, but that seems more like advanced weapon territory. I'm not really sure where else bows could go, honestly.


Bows were created at the top of the ranged weapon power curve and that's that. All feats are balanced around bow use, with some simply to let other ranged attacks catch up. I've drafted many ranged martial PCs where after much investment I can get them to...wait for it...only as good as somebody simply using a bow (and that's often before factoring in bow feats). Okay maybe a few points of damage in exchange for far less range or having a hand free for a shield, but again, we're talking after investing several feats.

So the question's almost like asking when we'll get improvements on the d12 weapons or d10 Reach weapons. We won't, at least not in terms of power, though maybe in utility (like a Dwarven War Axe).
Perhaps we'll see a d8 bow that exchanges Deadly for Monk?
Or maybe one's that toy around w/ range & volley, though I kinda doubt it given what seems an intentional balance between shortbows and longbows.

I think part of the situation comes from bows being pretty universal on Earth, with much of the difference being ornamental. Or maybe it's a matter of typical arrows working the same once launched. At first I was surprised Paizo didn't offer much in terms of arrow variety, though upon reflection I think it's to avoid some of the power problems w/ archery in PF1, adding too much utility to a single magicked-up weapon which was already powerful.


Not really looking for "improvements" just more variety. Like there's plenty of d10 reach weapons. But I guess there's not a lot of variety of traits you could put on ranged weapons. Fatal is covered by guns. I could see maybe something with backstabber. And hopefully we'll get that monk bow due to the text from monastic archery.


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aobst128 wrote:
Do you think we're likely to get new martial bows at some point? We've been using the same 2 for a while now. We have a plethora of ranged weapon options at this point but not a lot of bows. The only other 2 options are advanced as well. I do really like the hornbow though.

Not really. For the same reasons we won't expect to get new armor. The balance for those types of weapons are so tight that not even Advanced Weapons can compare to them, though I boil that down to poor weapon design than anything, since any Advanced Bow group weapon is inferior to their Martial or even Simple counterparts, based on either weapon balancing or ancillary ability interactions making them inferior.

Look at the Hongali Hornbow, an Advanced weapon, compared to the Martial Shortbow. The Shortbow does a D6 dice with Deadly D10 (Propulsive if Composite), and 60 feet of range, which should cover most battlefields without being at major risk of retaliation from enemies. It's a solid, reliable close-range weapon that most Martials can use right out of the gate, no feat investments or scaling help required. A Hongali Hornbow, however, is Uncommon (which makes sense, since it's a cultural weapon from a specific region, but good luck getting it as a drop or purchasable item), has a lower Deadly dice, and has only 40 feet of range, which may not cover more than a single move action's worth of distance by the endgame, and requires a feat just to have training with, and requires even further investment for the proficiency to scale, just for what, the damage dice to go to D8? Bad design is bad, since Advanced Weapons are meant to be a step up from their Martial counterpart, and this is strictly a downgrade since Level 1.

The Daikyu is in a similar position with the Longbow. The Longbow is a D8 ranged Martial weapon that has the Deadly D10 (and Propulsive if Composite) trait(s), similar to a Shortbow, but also includes a Volley trait, which penalizes the user for close-ranged combat. This is made up by having significantly more range (100 feet), and if so desired, can be feated to remove as a drawback entirely. Ignoring the obvious typos and assuming identical handling, the Daikyu is likewise Uncommon, deals the same damage dice, as well as loses the Deadly D10, and for what? Removing a penalizing trait that can be solved with a better feat, all the while not having proficiency scaling and requiring a feat to use in the first place? Worse design is worse, since you gain practically nothing in the long run compared to other feats that give you more without ruining your proficiency scaling, and if I seriously want this character to utilize this weapon, there's no reason not to take it by comparison.

Crossbows are even worse, since you need a feat from a specific class or archetype dedication just to make them up to par for viable weapons, as you're almost always going to have Martial proficiency anyway, with special abilities that synchronize quite well with the Crossbow playstyle. So, outside of one specific build, they aren't comparable to martial ranged weapon power in the slightest. Granted, thrown weapons need a rune and have worse range, they can still make multiple attacks in a round as needed/desired, especially if there aren't many better things to do, or if my build functions well as a result of making numerous attacks. Flurry Rangers, Fighters with Agile Grace, etc. are all examples of effective throwing builds.

The worst part is that the Advanced Crossbows are scaled from the Simple weapon damage dice, and don't actually provide an inherent benefit to using them compared to their simple counterparts because the specific feat only works on Simple Crossbows, not the Advanced Crossbows, and the Magazine trait is only there to frontload you and leave you with a round either switching weapons (which is bad unless you have ABP rules in place), or spending said round doing absolutely nothing.

Maybe Advanced weapons shouldn't be weapons that can be used out of the gate, perhaps, but there should be clear advantages to using them compared to other weapons that some characters/builds might feel inclined to select them, and yet there isn't any clear indication as to why that is. It is, in essence, a waste of design space that could have been better put towards other game elements, making them better.


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We have 5 (shortbow, longbow, composite shortbow, composite longbow, Hongali Hornbow) all martial.

The split between crossbows being simple and bows being martial makes sense - proper bows take a lot of training to use effectively, while crossbows really upset the apple cart by being effective in the hands of a peasant with 30 minutes of training.

With basic shortbows being martial, the design space to squeeze in a simple bow that isn't a crossbow is pretty narrow. Maybe some kind of improvised bow where someone just got a springy stick and tied some string on it?

For martial bows - maybe a horsebow? It is pretty niche, but bows specifically designed for use from horseback where a pretty big thing historically (PF2s shortbows already mention that they are favoured by mounted archers, because longbows specifically mention that they can't be used while mounted, but a bow with some kind of other horse archery adjacent feature could work)

Some kind of "Greatbow" - even bigger and more powerful than a longbow, but has a ridiculous draw weight - not really something that was popular historically, because longbows are already ridiculous, but in a setting with orcs and ogres and so on, greatbows would have a bigger niche. Probably have volley, a bigger damage die than longbows, but some kind of drawback and have a minimum strength requirement.

Being a fantasy setting, we can also have dumb stuff like bows (and crossbows) with more than 2 arms, weird energy bows, bows made from parts of magical creatures, bows that shoot a whole rack of arrows, bows with extra strings, etc.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Do you think we're likely to get new martial bows at some point? We've been using the same 2 for a while now. We have a plethora of ranged weapon options at this point but not a lot of bows. The only other 2 options are advanced as well. I do really like the hornbow though.

Not really. For the same reasons we won't expect to get new armor. The balance for those types of weapons are so tight that not even Advanced Weapons can compare to them, though I boil that down to poor weapon design than anything, since any Advanced Bow group weapon is inferior to their Martial or even Simple counterparts, based on either weapon balancing or ancillary ability interactions making them inferior.

Look at the Hongali Hornbow, an Advanced weapon, compared to the Martial Shortbow. The Shortbow does a D6 dice with Deadly D10 (Propulsive if Composite), and 60 feet of range, which should cover most battlefields without being at major risk of retaliation from enemies. It's a solid, reliable close-range weapon that most Martials can use right out of the gate, no feat investments or scaling help required. A Hongali Hornbow, however, is Uncommon (which makes sense, since it's a cultural weapon from a specific region, but good luck getting it as a drop or purchasable item), has a lower Deadly dice, and has only 40 feet of range, which may not cover more than a single move action's worth of distance by the endgame, and requires a feat just to have training with, and requires even further investment for the proficiency to scale, just for what, the damage dice to go to D8? Bad design is bad, since Advanced Weapons are meant to be a step up from their Martial counterpart, and this is strictly a downgrade since Level 1.

The Daikyu is in a similar position with the Longbow. The Longbow is a D8 ranged Martial weapon that has the Deadly D10 (and Propulsive if Composite) trait(s), similar to a Shortbow, but also includes a Volley trait, which penalizes the user for close-ranged combat. This is made up by...

Hongali Hornbow and Daikyu are in a proper position. You lose Volley, which is equivalent to a dice increase, and to compensate some advantageous traits (Deadly is roughly half a dice increase, Propulsive is only meaningful if you have high Strength, range can be ignored for 95% of the fights). Overall, they are better than Composite Longbows. Just not by a lot (which is a design philosophy, otherwise you end up with just another Flickmace).

Sovereign Court

I think the hornbow is okay really. Yeah, it's advanced, but it's clearly from a specific culture so Unconventional Weaponry will work.

It has the same damage die as a longbow, but it can be used while mounted (not so important) and doesn't have volley (very important). Many fights do end up in short range after all.

Compared to a shortbow, it's got worse range and worse deadly die, but better base damage die. If you're not expecting to crit frequently (say, you're not a fighter), I'd rather have the bigger base damage die.

I dunno if it truly feels all the way up to "advanced", it could have maybe passed for martial. It's also in the strange position of thematically being a horse-archer's bow, but actually being at its best in a dungeoncrawling environment.

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I don't know what happened with the daikyu. Something clearly went wrong in development because it makes no sense.

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What's still missing?

- An advanced elven bow. Make elven weapon training do more. Maybe this one has a new trait that lets you fight better against opponents with (forest) cover/concealment? And for the dungeoncrawling elf with so-so constitution, having an extra bump to firing from the rear would be welcome too.

- A martial monk bow. Maybe this one should be lower damage die and/or short range focused, but agile? Designed to feel good with Flurry of B(l)ows?


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Couldn't find anything better than a composite bow with the propulsive trait ( which is always useful given the 4 stats increment every 5 levels).

I think it was a big mistake to give reload 0 to already excellent weapons ( we didn't use a single crossbow so far, and it's a shame they are so underpowered compared to bows).

Sovereign Court

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Eh. Compared to melee weapons I'm still not blown away by bows. They're at "not unusable", I wouldn't call them excellent.

Crossbows are just painfully weak, only relevant for very specific characters that don't have martial weapons AND no usable cantrip like Telekinetic Projectile or Ray of Frost. Rangers/gunslingers need to pay feats to just get next to bows.


Ascalaphus wrote:

Eh. Compared to melee weapons I'm still not blown away by bows. They're at "not unusable", I wouldn't call them excellent.

That was a mistake of mine.

I meant to also include "among the ranged weapons".

Sovereign Court

Maybe there should be some martial or even advanced gnomish crossbow, and a martial or advanced halfling sling, with stats that make them worth using.


Squiggit wrote:
I'm not sure we'll ever get any. Sort of feels like the CRB bows were a mistake and the devs have gone out of their way to not publish any weapons that really compare with them since.

How so? Die size? Traits?


Ascalaphus wrote:

Eh. Compared to melee weapons I'm still not blown away by bows. They're at "not unusable", I wouldn't call them excellent.

Crossbows are just painfully weak, only relevant for very specific characters that don't have martial weapons AND no usable cantrip like Telekinetic Projectile or Ray of Frost. Rangers/gunslingers need to pay feats to just get next to bows.

Being a low-HP caster, I try to stay out of melee range as much as possible. And of the ranged weapons that I have seen, I find the standard shortbow to be the most generally useful. I have looked at some of the firearms, but they all take more time to use or do lower damage. Or both in some cases.

I have access to Telekinetic Projectile, but I have never bothered learning it. If I want to shoot something, I will just regularkinetic a projectile. Even if I didn't have proficiency with the shortbow, I would probably use either a hand crossbow or a standard crossbow. When I only have one action left in a round, I can load the crossbow with one action. I can't half-cast Telekinetic Projectile.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Maybe there should be some martial or even advanced gnomish crossbow, and a martial or advanced halfling sling, with stats that make them worth using.

We do have a martial halfling sling, the slingstaff.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
aobst128 wrote:
If anyone is gonna do slingshots, it'll be the halflings.

I thought the slingstaffs were basically slingshots.

There was at least one image somewhere that portrayed them that way.


Ravingdork wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
If anyone is gonna do slingshots, it'll be the halflings.

I thought the slingstaffs were basically slingshots.

There was at least one image somewhere that portrayed them that way.

By the description, they sound like a sling on a stick that they whip around using the length of the staff to add power.

Scarab Sages

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HumbleGamer wrote:

Couldn't find anything better than a composite bow with the propulsive trait ( which is always useful given the 4 stats increment every 5 levels).

I think it was a big mistake to give reload 0 to already excellent weapons ( we didn't use a single crossbow so far, and it's a shame they are so underpowered compared to bows).

Id go the other way and say the reload trait was a mistake. Ranged weapons are already weaker than melee weapons, and the opportunity cost just isn't there. Reload 1 should have resulted in weapons that had Power Attack baked in.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

Couldn't find anything better than a composite bow with the propulsive trait ( which is always useful given the 4 stats increment every 5 levels).

I think it was a big mistake to give reload 0 to already excellent weapons ( we didn't use a single crossbow so far, and it's a shame they are so underpowered compared to bows).

Id go the other way and say the reload trait was a mistake. Ranged weapons are already weaker than melee weapons, and the opportunity cost just isn't there. Reload 1 should have resulted in weapons that had Power Attack baked in.

You gotta include movement requirements *somewhere* in the action/effectiveness budget. A melee attacker has to run around a lot more than a ranged attacker does, for retargeting if nothing else.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Hongali Hornbow and Daikyu are in a proper position. You lose Volley, which is equivalent to a dice increase, and to compensate some advantageous traits (Deadly is roughly half a dice increase, Propulsive is only meaningful if you have high Strength, range can be ignored for 95% of the fights). Overall, they are better than Composite Longbows. Just not by a lot (which is a design philosophy, otherwise you end up with just another Flickmace).

Disagree. Volley can be shored up with other feats that still keep proficiency scaling. Taking a feat that gives you proficiency without scaling is a trap by comparison.

You're also losing more range in these scenarios. In the lower levels, with smaller battlefields, this isn't that big of an issue, but in higher levels, where battlefields get bigger, and monsters get faster, more range means less actions for them beating on you.

While I can agree Propulsive is somewhat niche, a Fighter Archer will gladly keep a +1 or +2 damage bonus, and so could most other CRB classes, and those classes are the ones most likely to fall back on a bow.

At the end of the day, you're comparing a sidegrade at best, which is not the niche that Advanced weapons are supposed to fulfill. This is why characters may choose a Guisarme instead of a Ranseur, for example, since both are Reach D10 weapons, but one has Trip and one has Disarm. The fact that two existing weapons do sidegrades better than Advanced weapons do clearly demonstrates a poor understanding of their own design.

And really, what makes the Flickmace so great? Because it's a one-handed reach weapon? There's plenty of those prior to that which already exist. There are Whips (and Scorpion Whips), there are Bladed Scarves, there are Asp Coils, all of which can be available with not a terrible amount of effort, and aren't Advanced weapons. Granted, some of those options aren't Core, but unless we're playing a Core-only game, this isn't a unique advantage. Is it because it's a D8 damage dice? This can be an advantage, but other weapons do include traits that may better reflect what the character wants to do with said weapon. Maybe they want to trip or disarm enemies instead of strike. Is it because you can do a lot of things with your free hand, like use a shield? This is really the only major benefit, but the thing is you can do that with the other weapons as well, making it not a clear advantage this weapon has over those other ones.

At best, when you combine all 3 components of the weapon, do you get a unique weapon type, and even that is hard to justify a feat for, given the ancestry it is for has a Strength penalty (a build most likely to make it work), and Reach is only excessively useful for reaction-based classes, like Fighters, Rangers, Barbarians, etc. Otherwise it only lets you avoid Attacks of Opportunity on creatures of Large size or bigger (maybe Huge with Lunging). It's build dependent, but can be powerful under those circumstances, and really, that's perhaps the optimum point for Advanced Weapons being worth justifying a feat without it being a standard.

Compared to the other Bows and Crossbows of the Advanced category, absolutely none of them fit that bill. None of them.

Scarab Sages

Sanityfaerie wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

Couldn't find anything better than a composite bow with the propulsive trait ( which is always useful given the 4 stats increment every 5 levels).

I think it was a big mistake to give reload 0 to already excellent weapons ( we didn't use a single crossbow so far, and it's a shame they are so underpowered compared to bows).

Id go the other way and say the reload trait was a mistake. Ranged weapons are already weaker than melee weapons, and the opportunity cost just isn't there. Reload 1 should have resulted in weapons that had Power Attack baked in.
You gotta include movement requirements *somewhere* in the action/effectiveness budget. A melee attacker has to run around a lot more than a ranged attacker does, for retargeting if nothing else.

I don't really think you do. Between the cover that pops up in a fight, how shooting provokes, and the generally short ranges of maps, I don't think ranged combat is actually that far ahead, if at all.

From my own games, if it wasn't for Distracting Shadows on the archer rogue we had for a while, ranged combat just loses out in every way.


The daikyu is pretty strange as an advanced weapon but I'm fine with the hornbow being a potent close to midrange weapon. Bladed scarves are 2 handed btw.


Ranged combat is excellent...for combats at range.
So yeah, whether that's a niche or a norm depends a lot on the GM, campaign, and party strategy.

Ranged combat does often give an extra round of attacking. To make it further competitive would be to make combats at range super deadly for range-deficient parties (which it can be already!). Since most any mook can pick up a ranged weapon, ranged combat could naturally occur in most any narrative, often involving obstacles like rivers or other terrain. To keep those kinds of encounters viable for different party builds means IMO keeping bows (et al) in the space they are.

Also, making reload weapons more powerful might be too much at lower levels (where all weapons are equally magic, as in not magic) because those first shots wouldn't require that action investment. It's already a reasonable tactic to carry a heavy crossbow to drop (again, before Runes come into play and make that cost-prohibitive).


I've seen combats where melee only players did the frightening amount of 0 damage due to not being able to reach the enemy. Range is so big of an advantage sometimes that you can't make them any stronger without shafting melee completely in any encounter that starts more than 2 strides away.

Also, ranged combatants can make use of light levels, cover and terrain way more often. Ranged and melee damage is fine as it is.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

We have 5 (shortbow, longbow, composite shortbow, composite longbow, Hongali Hornbow) all martial.

The split between crossbows being simple and bows being martial makes sense - proper bows take a lot of training to use effectively, while crossbows really upset the apple cart by being effective in the hands of a peasant with 30 minutes of training.

With basic shortbows being martial, the design space to squeeze in a simple bow that isn't a crossbow is pretty narrow. Maybe some kind of improvised bow where someone just got a springy stick and tied some string on it?

For martial bows - maybe a horsebow? It is pretty niche, but bows specifically designed for use from horseback where a pretty big thing historically (PF2s shortbows already mention that they are favoured by mounted archers, because longbows specifically mention that they can't be used while mounted, but a bow with some kind of other horse archery adjacent feature could work)

Some kind of "Greatbow" - even bigger and more powerful than a longbow, but has a ridiculous draw weight - not really something that was popular historically, because longbows are already ridiculous, but in a setting with orcs and ogres and so on, greatbows would have a bigger niche. Probably have volley, a bigger damage die than longbows, but some kind of drawback and have a minimum strength requirement.

Being a fantasy setting, we can also have dumb stuff like bows (and crossbows) with more than 2 arms, weird energy bows, bows made from parts of magical creatures, bows that shoot a whole rack of arrows, bows with extra strings, etc.

The Hongali Hornbow is Advanced, not Martial, even though it has the statblock of a Martial weapon. As for the split, I'm somewhat fine with that.

A Double Bow or Twin-bow would make sense as an Advanced Bow weapon, that lets you switch between short and long range combat (equal ranges and benefits/penalties to the existing Longbow/Shortbow) as an Interact action, with maybe a Kickback trait to give it the added damage boost with incentive to invest at least somewhat into Strength, lest you become significantly inaccurate with it. After all, nothing says the Kickback trait is exclusive to firearms, why not all other excessively large/unwieldy projectile weapons?

Those other examples you provide seem more like special material/magical items, and not base/standard items we can use as templates for runes and other magical effects.


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aobst128 wrote:
The daikyu is pretty strange as an advanced weapon but I'm fine with the hornbow being a potent close to midrange weapon. Bladed scarves are 2 handed btw.

It has obvious typos, but even ignoring that, it isn't anywhere near justifiable enough to warrant being an Advanced weapon, certainly nowhere near what the Flickmace does to fill a niche.

Also, whoops on the Bladed Scarf, then. I must have confused the hands column with the bulk column on the Nethys website. But those other weapons are still legit comparable, and even that is still enough.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
WWHsmackdown wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
I'm not sure we'll ever get any. Sort of feels like the CRB bows were a mistake and the devs have gone out of their way to not publish any weapons that really compare with them since.
How so? Die size? Traits?

Mostly in terms of what Paizo's published since and overall output. When the CRB came out, there were a number of complaints about the sizeable gap between crossbows and bows (even moreso than the gap between other simple and martial weapons).

Since then, the ranged weapons Paizo has been publishing have mostly been balanced like crossbows, not like bows and the few weapons that have been similar have all been bumped up a tier to advanced.

Scarab Sages

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roquepo wrote:

I've seen combats where melee only players did the frightening amount of 0 damage due to not being able to reach the enemy. Range is so big of an advantage sometimes that you can't make them any stronger without shafting melee completely in any encounter that starts more than 2 strides away.

Also, ranged combatants can make use of light levels, cover and terrain way more often. Ranged and melee damage is fine as it is.

I can count on one hand the number of fights that have been that far away in the last 5 years of play. And arrows are the worst damage type, I've seen more fights where the arrows did less than a gauntlet than the other way around.

I just don't agree that ranged is as good as you say, which means I don't think the damage is fine either.


You never fought a flier before the party gets flight? Or had enemies attack from across a gorge/river/rooftop/tree etc? Or a superior mobility enemy with a ranged weapon? An area filled with difficult or hazardous terrain.

Man 5 sessions at my table and you'd need another hand.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
roquepo wrote:

I've seen combats where melee only players did the frightening amount of 0 damage due to not being able to reach the enemy. Range is so big of an advantage sometimes that you can't make them any stronger without shafting melee completely in any encounter that starts more than 2 strides away.

Also, ranged combatants can make use of light levels, cover and terrain way more often. Ranged and melee damage is fine as it is.

I can count on one hand the number of fights that have been that far away in the last 5 years of play. And arrows are the worst damage type, I've seen more fights where the arrows did less than a gauntlet than the other way around.

I just don't agree that ranged is as good as you say, which means I don't think the damage is fine either.

Not having a ranged option is a major problem for a martial, especially if the fight has no other alternative. Enemies with flight, severe obstacles preventing (immediate) engagement, etc. are all possibilities when out adventuring. Not preparing for those moments should be a big shot in the foot at-best, or a TPK at-worst.

But I blame the tight scaling and assumed WBL guidelines shoehorning players to be good at one schtick and not being able to be competent in other assumed required interactions as well, thus de-incentivizing players to be prepared like that, which is probably why you have so few such encounters; because it's bad design.


Let's see...

If we assume that a prospective archer has the Archer archetype, then both Volley and Advanced can be paid off with a feat (Point-Blank Shot and Advanced Bow Training, respectively). Fighter is similar; they can buy off Volley with a feat, and their advanced weapons automatically scale to match Advanced Bow Training. This puts Volley and Advanced at roughly equivalent places, up close; Archer can focus on either Advanced or Volley at the same cost, while Fighter explicitly places Advanced on the same tier as unpaid Volley.

This, in turn, means that the daikyu is slightly worse (but more versatile) than a longbow for Fighters, and roughly equivalent to a longbow for Archers... which suggests that it's actually meant to be comparable to a shortbow, not a longbow (in which case, it trades Deadly for a higher damage die & more range). This is weird, since explicitly being useable while mounted suggests that it's meant to be comparable to a longbow (in which case, it trades Deadly for dropping Volley... but fails to understand that both Volley and Advanced are feat taxes). The best interpretation is that the daikyu is meant to fit somewhere in between the two, for some reason... it's a bit hard to analyse, really.

The Hongali hornbow, in comparison, is clearly meant for a mounted hit-and-run playstyle that the game doesn't really do much else to cater to; it has its niche, and is a perfectly valid choice in that specific niche... but it's the niche itself that isn't all that useful so far. I'm not sure how well this one compares to composite shortbows, exactly; if you're crit-fishing, it clearly falls behind, but being 1d8 base is a notable improvement if you don't expect to crit often.

It's honestly kinda hard to say how well they're balanced, since the advanced bows are pretty weird compared to most PF2 weapons. It gives the impression that Paizo is afraid of making bows too powerful, and thus makes their bows comparable to the shortbow so that the longbow can remain at the pinnacle of ranged combat.

Scarab Sages

Malk_Content wrote:

You never fought a flier before the party gets flight? Or had enemies attack from across a gorge/river/rooftop/tree etc? Or a superior mobility enemy with a ranged weapon? An area filled with difficult or hazardous terrain.

Man 5 sessions at my table and you'd need another hand.

Sure, and fliers need to get in AoO or readied action range unless they have ranged attacks too (and usually they don't). Across impassible terrain? They can't cross it either. Difficult terrain is difficult for everyone, they can't escape once you're there.

Ranged weapons make it easier, but unless the GM is deliberately making it extra difficult they aren't as valuable as the design indicates.

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