Composite Bows


Rules Discussion


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These have the "Propulsive" trait, so you add half your strength modifier to the damage. As I read it, this means (because you round down) that you need a strength modifier of at least +2 to make the extra cost of a composite bow (over the corresponding not composite bow) worthwhile. Have I got this right?


Yes, though if you're planning on increasing your Str later, it might be simpler to begin with a composite bow. ETA: Assuming Runes & such.


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Well, you can't *begin* with a composite bow (usually) since a 1st level character doesn't have enough gold for one*. Runes could be a financial problem, though they're easy enough to move and don't cost much (as I recall).

* A composite short bow costs 14 GP, which leaves you 1 GP for everything else. A composite longbow is 20 GP.

One possibility, I think, lies in the gradual abilities option (GMG). If you can arrange your beginning STR boost to be +1, then you could (in theory) get to +2 at level 2. By that time you might have enough money to upgrade your bow (you won't usually have enough for a +1 potency rune until third level, IME).

OTOH, if you just can't bring yourself to up your STR modifier from 0 (because you really, really need boosts elsewhere), composite bows, it seems to me, are essentially out of the picture for quite a while.


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You could also go for the gakgung. It's basically a composite shortbow that trades a deadly die size for an extra 40 feet of range. Can easily afford one at level 1 too.


Ed Reppert wrote:
Well, you can't *begin* with a composite bow (usually) since a 1st level character doesn't have enough gold for one*. Runes could be a financial problem, though they're easy enough to move and don't cost much (as I recall).

By 'start with' I am thinking before spending thousands of GP on runes for the bow that will then have to be transferred.

Transferring costs 10% of the price of the rune and needs either a skill boost, a feat, and a skill check - or some unspecified price to get an NPC to do it for you.

For a composite shortbow with +1 striking flaming runes, that would be 60 GP. Nothing outrageous, but not really trivial either. Getting the composite shortbow at level 3 when have only a +1 STR, but your regular shortbow only has the +1 potency rune means that you are spending only 3.5 GP in rune transfers.


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The gakgung raises some questions in my mind that are pretty much irrelevant to this thread but I'll throw them out there anyway:

1. "Gakgung" is Korean for "horn bow" because unstrung it looks a bit like a water buffalo's horns. What is the in-game provenance of this thing? In which region or nation is it most used?

2. This is a monk weapon, meaning it is "primarily used by monks". RAW, that doesn't seem to make any difference, but I would think "monk weapons" would be uncommon outside monkish circles, i.e. everywhere except maybe Vudra, Tian Xia, Jalmeray and some actual monk schools/enclaves, of which there are iirc several in the Inner Sea region. Yeah, it's just easier to say it's common everywhere and let anyone pick one up even if he's starting in say Taldor or Cheliax, but… <shrug> maybe it's just me.

Interestingly, while PF1 doesn't have a weapon named "gakgung" it does have the orc horn bow, which is not a monk weapon, but it does require a feat: exotic weapon proficiency.

Hm. Level 3. IME, you won't have enough gold to put a +1 proficiency rune on the short bow you bought at level 1 until you reach level 3. So you could, I think, just buy the +1 composite short bow outright at that point, no transfer required. Of course you might find one your first day adventuring, in which case this is all irrelevant anyway. :-)

All *that* said, I kind of like the idea of the gakgung. :-)


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Ed Reppert wrote:

The gakgung raises some questions in my mind that are pretty much irrelevant to this thread but I'll throw them out there anyway:

1. "Gakgung" is Korean for "horn bow" because unstrung it looks a bit like a water buffalo's horns. What is the in-game provenance of this thing? In which region or nation is it most used?

2. This is a monk weapon, meaning it is "primarily used by monks". RAW, that doesn't seem to make any difference, but I would think "monk weapons" would be uncommon outside monkish circles, i.e. everywhere except maybe Vudra, Tian Xia, Jalmeray and some actual monk schools/enclaves, of which there are iirc several in the Inner Sea region. Yeah, it's just easier to say it's common everywhere and let anyone pick one up even if he's starting in say Taldor or Cheliax, but… <shrug> maybe it's just me.

Interestingly, while PF1 doesn't have a weapon named "gakgung" it does have the orc horn bow, which is not a monk weapon, but it does require a feat: exotic weapon proficiency.

Hm. Level 3. IME, you won't have enough gold to put a +1 proficiency rune on the short bow you bought at level 1 until you reach level 3. So you could, I think, just buy the +1 composite short bow outright at that point, no transfer required. Of course you might find one your first day adventuring, in which case this is all irrelevant anyway. :-)

All *that* said, I kind of like the idea of the gakgung. :-)

I don't know if Paizo is sticking to the "common means common in the Inner Sea Region" thing anymore. Maybe because they kept publishing adventures in other corners of the globe and realized having that baseline caused more work than it is worth.


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So what does that mean? That because something is easily found *somewhere* on Golarion, it is deemed Common everywhere? To me, that’s just nuts.


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The Gakgung having the monk trait is so monks can use it with monastic archery. It doesn't mean non-monks can't or don't use it.


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I didn’t say it did, Possible. I just wonder why it should be Common for non-monks in the Inner Sea Region.


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The Problem with the rarity trait is that it currently has multiple functions

One is to let gms know that they have the last word If someone is allowed to use a weapon (kinda good?)

The other is to say that a weapon is not widely used in [originally the inner sea/later golarion as a whole]

The last Part is internally incoherent and has some problems attached to it because of it and it's clearly changing

(The odachi is common while the katana is uncommon)

So, just ask the gm of it's okay to use it and otherwise it's best to ignore it for now


Because it's not uncommon. Don't overthink it

Liberty's Edge

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The real problem comes from having to build a character a certain way just to have them get access to an Uncommon weapon the player wants.

Best to just make it Common right away.

It does not mean anymore that everyone in the Inner Sea Region suddenly wields gakgungs.

It is a rather deep and recent change in the philosophy behind the rarity system. I expect it to be clarified in Remastered.

The katana was based on the old philosophy and is Uncommon. The odachi came after the change and is Common.

I fully expect the katana to be Common in Remastered.


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Maybe they'll just get rid of the rarity system. That would be a shame; I think it can be useful. But that seems to be the way folks want to go.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Maybe they'll just get rid of the rarity system. That would be a shame; I think it can be useful. But that seems to be the way folks want to go.

Both rage of elements and even the core preview have rarity so if they're not gone there it's a system that's not going anywhere


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Maybe they'll just get rid of the rarity system. That would be a shame; I think it can be useful. But that seems to be the way folks want to go.

No, rarity has its uses. In particular, a lot of Rare options are outright disruptive and it is good to remove them from the baseline.

If you need an explanation for why one Asian weapon has is common but another isn't, just assume that one caught on like manga in the states but the other didn't like the live crab vending machines.


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Who would buy a vending machine made out of live crabs? :-)


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The use of rarity for "the blacksmith who lives in this particular hamlet does not, in fact, know how to make katanas" is probably unnecessary since a GM is within their rights to insist that particular smith doesn't know how to make any number of common weapons.

"There are no katanas in this region" should be exactly as surprising as "there are no elves in this region" which is to say "it's not exceptional, even if both are common."


Ed Reppert wrote:
Maybe they'll just get rid of the rarity system. That would be a shame

I would NOT be upset to see it go... Is there room for bulk in that trash bin? ;)

Liberty's Edge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
The use of rarity for "the blacksmith who lives in this particular hamlet does not, in fact, know how to make katanas" is probably unnecessary since a GM is within their rights to insist that particular smith doesn't know how to make any number of common weapons.

Given the low cost and rarity of the Basic Crafter's Book, as a GM of a standard game of Pathfinder, I'd feel like a bit of a jerk insisting that regarding a common weapon found in the CRB. I feel like the existence, commonality, and rarity of the Basic Crafter's Book communicates a baseline assumption about the ubiquity of those basic forumulas.

Quote:
"There are no katanas in this region" should be exactly as surprising as "there are no elves in this region" which is to say "it's not exceptional, even if both are common."

Even if katanas were common and in the CRB, I'd have no problem with saying "there are no katanas in this region," but if my players wanted to commission a smith to make one, I'd have a hard time saying no.


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If a player in a story about people from the middle of nowhere wanted a specific kind of sword, I would have the smith be willing to make it *if* the player can provide the smith plans for the sword.

Like it's not significantly harder to make one kind of sword than another, but smiths mostly make smaller things to sell (there's a brisk business in nails and horseshoes), so if you're getting a sword it's probably made to order anyway.

Liberty's Edge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
If a player in a story about people from the middle of nowhere wanted a specific kind of sword, I would have the smith be willing to make it *if* the player can provide the smith plans for the sword.

Well if we’re talking about a common, 0 level item in the CRB, that formula, which is what I assume you mean by “plans,” is. a 1 sp, common item away, because they are explicitly included in the Basic Crafter’s Book. I honestly have a hard time believing a working smith doesn’t have one, and instead has a bunch of individual formulas for a bunch of items that are also in the Basic Crafter’s Book, but sure, we’re dealing with an inefficient smith.

Liberty's Edge

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GM decides what fits his campaign best. And that's it.

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