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panaikhan
2010-08-13, 07:13 AM
OK. So, I have enough feats / abilities to enable me to reload a hand crossbow as a free action, and without provoking AoO.

Is there anything I can do / select / research to convince the DM to allow this re-loading to happen, while I hold a weapon in my other hand?

Furnok
2010-08-13, 07:17 AM
I would say no as a DM if you had a weapon in your other hand. But I'm a ****. On a long shot if you had Quick Draw you might be able to argue that that you could sheath your sword as a free action instead of drawing then reload the crossbow.

Escheton
2010-08-13, 07:30 AM
Self-loading crossbow? With the quickloading enhancement?

panaikhan
2010-08-13, 07:46 AM
If I could get a crossbow to magically load itself, I wouldn't need the feats...

I'm not asking to be able to load and fire the crossbow with only one hand, I'm just trying to reload it with a hand that is holding something else at the time.
If the sword had a wrist-strap, could I 'drop' it (a free action) then recover it?

Escheton
2010-08-13, 07:54 AM
Other then using gnome quickrazors I see no way. Most ways take at least a move action to put away or need one to retrieve it.

Spiryt
2010-08-13, 07:55 AM
I'm not asking to be able to load and fire the crossbow with only one hand, I'm just trying to reload it with a hand that is holding something else at the time.
If the sword had a wrist-strap, could I 'drop' it (a free action) then recover it?

It's not that crossbows are to powerful in 3.5 so I would say go for it.

Mongoose87
2010-08-13, 07:58 AM
Pick up one of those extra hands from Magic of Eberron, and use that to hold whatever else you need ready.

Nerd-o-rama
2010-08-13, 07:58 AM
You can load as a Free action, right?

Take the Quick Draw feat:

1) Sheathe offhand weapon (Free action)
2) Load Hand Crossbow (Free action)
3) Draw offhand weapon (Swift action with Quick Draw)

Done.

Either that, or take max ranks in Perform (Juggle).

Escheton
2010-08-13, 08:03 AM
You can load as a Free action, right?

Take the Quick Draw feat:

1) Sheathe offhand weapon (Free action)
2) Load Hand Crossbow (Free action)
3) Draw offhand weapon (Swift action with Quick Draw)

Done.

Either that, or take max ranks in Perform (Juggle).

Quickdraw only effects your drawspeed. sheathing is still a move action. Dropping however is a free action.
So you are better off with a weaponcrystal that gives quickdraw.

Crasical
2010-08-13, 08:07 AM
OK. So, I have enough feats / abilities to enable me to reload a hand crossbow as a free action, and without provoking AoO.

Is there anything I can do / select / research to convince the DM to allow this re-loading to happen, while I hold a weapon in my other hand?

RAW: "You can shoot, but not load, a hand crossbow with one hand at no penalty"

It'd be hard to figure out how to do this otherwise. Technically if your other weapon had a small hook or something on it you could draw the string back with it, but you wouldn't be able to put the bolt in without a free hand.

As it is, you could concievably fire your hand crossbow, spend a free action to drop your sword, then use quick-reload to reload your crossbow. Picking your sword up off the floor is a move action that causes an attack of opportunity, although doing it this way there's no real advantage of a hand crossbow over a light crossbow.

Edit: Alternatively, Collar of Perpetual Attendance (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fools/20030401c) will summon an unseen servant you can ask to reload your crossbow for you, among other useful things, but that's fairly useless advice if you've already got the feats.

Psyx
2010-08-13, 08:09 AM
Use a lanyard for the sword?

It's not overly practical, but I guess it'd work.

Boci
2010-08-13, 08:10 AM
Maybe if you had a light chain connecting your weapon to a wrist band you could convince your DM to allow quickdraw to retrieve the dangling weapon as a free action.

Eldariel
2010-08-13, 08:10 AM
Extra Arm [ECS I recall] works. Glove of Storing also allows doing what Nerd suggested. There's also "Ghostly Reload"-spell in Races of the Dragon that enables pretty much this. That's about it tho; you'll need magic or Quick Draw and a beltful of Crossbows.

Crasical
2010-08-13, 08:12 AM
Use a lanyard for the sword?

It's not overly practical, but I guess it'd work.

What's a lanyard? *goes to google*

Edit: Found out what it was. Also:



Extra Arm [ECS I recall] works. Glove of Storing also allows doing what Nerd suggested. There's also "Ghostly Reload"-spell in Races of the Dragon that enables pretty much this. That's about it tho; you'll need magic or Quick Draw and a beltful of Crossbows.

Hand Crossbows clock in at 100g apiece, having more than one is going to be pretty expensive for most starting adventurers.

Fizban
2010-08-13, 08:15 AM
The only way is through magic, homebrew, or getting more than 2 arms (or a combination of the above).

You might try using some Dart Thrusters. They're in Underdark; martial weapon, 1d4 damage with low-ish range, holds three shots before reloading. Does not specify how many hands you need to fire, fire continuously, or reload, so it's all about how your DM fills in the blanks. We can assume that you need two to reload, because duh, and it deals far less damage than the light crossbow you can fire with one hand, so that shouldn't be much of an argument. The picture has mixed effect: it's obviously pistol-like, so that's points for, but whoever drew the picture obviously didn't read the description because it only holds one shot. Basically, if your DM doesn't want you to do it, you won't be able to do it, but if the only thing stopping him is RAW, this weapon is grey enough it can slide.

Obviously I think it should be just what it looks like: a martial repeating hand crossbow that you can fire continuously with one hand. I dare someone to claim that's broken.

Siosilvar
2010-08-13, 08:16 AM
You can load as a Free action, right?

Take the Quick Draw feat:

1) Sheathe offhand weapon (Move action)
2) Load Hand Crossbow (Free action)
3) Draw offhand weapon (Free action with Quick Draw)

Done.Fixed.


Either that, or take max ranks in Perform (Juggle).This, however, is an excellent idea.

Tyndmyr
2010-08-13, 08:16 AM
Other then using gnome quickrazors I see no way. Most ways take at least a move action to put away or need one to retrieve it.

From a completely practical standpoint, it's possible with any light weapon in that hand. I do boffer fighting, and routinely carry both a bow/crossbow and another weapon at the same time. Typically a weight and size appropriate javelin or longsword.

Weapon chains, etc existed in actual historical use, specifically to allow rapid retreival of a weapon knocked from a grip, so that seems quite reasonable.

Crasical
2010-08-13, 08:20 AM
Fixed.

That particular chain of actions requires a feat and has the same number of free actions as the one I posted involving dropping the weapon, and still has an action that provokes an attack of opportunity. The only real advantage it has is that the AoO provoker is sheathing rather than picking your sword up, so your AoO is less likely to involve something unpleasant happening when you're bent over.

Edit: Also, although sword-and-pistol crossbow (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SwordAndGun) is a cool mental image, using a combination of ranged and melee weapons is kind of a bad idea in DnD. A ranged attack causes an AoO, and if you're two-weapon-fighting then things are gonna get real hairy real quick when you try and use your sword AND bow at the same time. And if you're NOT TWFing, then why not just, y-know, wait until he's moving into range before you draw your sword?

Lhurgyof
2010-08-13, 08:49 AM
Be a thri-kreen?

Psyx
2010-08-13, 08:57 AM
Maybe if you had a light chain connecting your weapon to a wrist band

You mean a lanyard?

:smallbiggrin:

Eldariel
2010-08-13, 09:07 AM
Hand Crossbows clock in at 100g apiece, having more than one is going to be pretty expensive for most starting adventurers.

If you can't afford multiple hand crossbows, what does it even matter that you can't wield one one-handed? For that matter, who cares since you don't have iteratives/rapid shot/whatever anyways?

Person_Man
2010-08-13, 09:33 AM
We've dealt with this problem a bunch of times. Here are your options:

Have an Unseen Servant reload your crossbows (a simple task that only requires a free action).

Hire an NPC to follow you around and reload your crossbows (and hope that he doesn't get killed by a Fireball).

Girrilion's Blessing spell from the Spell Compendium gives you 2 extra arms.

Thri Kreen have 4 arms.

Buy a Third Hand (Magic Item Compendium).

Fang of Lolth (3.0 material) Prestige Class, which eventually gives 2 extra arms.

Take Quick Draw, buy several repeating crossbows (you can keep any number strapped to your body, up to your carrying capacity), fire them until they're empty, and then drop them and draw two more.

Play a Kobold. Take the Draconic Tail (Races of the Dragon) and Prehensile Tail (Serpent Kingdoms) feat. You can now use your tail as a hand.

Crasical
2010-08-13, 10:10 AM
Play a Kobold. Take the Draconic Tail (Races of the Dragon) and Prehensile Tail (Serpent Kingdoms) feat. You can now use your tail as a hand.

I was squeaky happy for a minute, because I thought I could play a kobold and use my as a reloading hand to play a fighter dual-wielding crossbows, before realizing that two feats for a third hand isn't worth it on pretty much any level. I'd have to wait for level 3 to pick up Prehensile Tail and make it work, and I'd have to be small-sized (Also a kobold). I'd rather just save gold and buy the collar at 3rd level as another class and save the feats....

EDIT: from the sound of it, this is one of the things that gets brought up a lot. Is there some mysteriously deep appeal to the nerdish mind that makes everyone gravitate to the idea?

EDIT 2, Son of Edit:

Wait, nevermind. Unseen Servant can only reload two crossbows per turn. Long-term, the Prehensile Tail thing is a better option...

ericgrau
2010-08-13, 10:27 AM
I would say no as a DM if you had a weapon in your other hand. But I'm a ****. On a long shot if you had Quick Draw you might be able to argue that that you could sheath your sword as a free action instead of drawing then reload the crossbow.

Quick draw doesn't change the action to sheath your weapon. You'd have to drop your weapon, reload and draw another weapon. Which brings me to another option. Drop your crossbow and draw another pre-loaded crossbow. Although at that point you might as well be using thrown weapons. A better high level option would be to have a glove of storing (20k gold iirc) in your sword hand . Then you store the sword as a free action, reload your crossbow, and retrieve your sword as a free action.

Crasical
2010-08-13, 10:36 AM
Hire an NPC to follow you around and reload your crossbows (and hope that he doesn't get killed by a Fireball).

... I'm now picturing some aristocratic twit of a fighter who has his manservant-butler follow him around and hand him loaded crossbows. I'm vaguely amused by this and may store it for a character one day.

Psyx
2010-08-13, 10:41 AM
We've dealt with this problem a bunch of times. Here are your options:

Have an Unseen Servant reload your crossbows (a simple task that only requires a free action).


That's not going to work, is it? Isn't US STR 2?
STR 2 or 20lb of pull is not going to **** a hand crossbow.

Psyx
2010-08-13, 10:42 AM
Grrr...

Str 2 is not going to MALE PHEASANT a hand crossbow.

Ruinix
2010-08-13, 10:56 AM
use hand repeating crossbows.
homebrew a bagpack/belt with reload your magazines, use some kind of gnome weird way to do this. like lara croft's dual magazine reload bagpack ^^.

thats one way ...


also 2 wizard hand MIC. done.

DaragosKitsune
2010-08-13, 11:10 AM
... I'm now picturing some aristocratic twit of a fighter who has his manservant-butler follow him around and hand him loaded crossbows. I'm vaguely amused by this and may store it for a character one day.

"Okay, Nigel, hand me the... let's say the #4 crossbow." "Yes, sir"
Funnier if you imagine a really thick british accent for the first guy and the very morose typical long-suffering butler voice for the second.

Crasical
2010-08-13, 11:17 AM
That's not going to work, is it? Isn't US STR 2?
STR 2 or 20lb of pull is not going to **** a hand crossbow.

Possibly not. Doesn't say what the draw of a hand crossbow is. A quick search has located some bows with draws of 18-25 pnds, though, so it might work. Crossbows don't have a strength requirement to use, though, so... yeah.

EDIT:
Kobolds have Str -4. Prehensile Tail requires Str +13. I'm seeing a problem with this line of inquiry. Maybe you can play a Tiefling and use the "Others have small horns, pointed teeth, red eyes, a whiff of brimstone about them, or even cloven feet. No two tieflings are the same" line as the prerequisite for you having a tail. :smallyuk:

Edit: Crasical HATE tiny font! SMASH tiny font that says you need a tail-attack prerequisite! :smallfurious:

Psyx
2010-08-13, 11:47 AM
"some bows with draws of 18-25 pnds"

So not enough to actually do anything more than make a hole in a piece of paper, then. Even LARP-safe bows have a pull of up to 30lb.

ZeroGear
2010-08-13, 12:53 PM
I have three solutions:
1) forget the sword and just use a bayonet (complete Scoundrel).
2) There is an enchantment that allows you to use the bow as an ax, use that.
3) Have a special sheath that allows you to load a bolt as you stick it into the sheath, and just use quickdraw to pull it out again and shoot.

BenInHB
2010-08-13, 01:07 PM
I like the Perform: Juggle idea

Toss the item in your other hand into the air, quickly use your free action reload on the hand crossbow, catch your item before it hits the ground.

If you fail the check you would either just drop the item or if it was a weapon and you failed by a lot you might catch it by the blade and take damage.

Person_Man
2010-08-13, 02:06 PM
Oh, there's also a 3.0 solution somewhere. There's an enchantment that gives your crossbow an extradimensional space that holds up to 50 bolts and auto-loads them as you fire. I think it's in the arms and equipment guide. I incorporated it into my Iron Man homebrew (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6900315&postcount=3) a while back.

Honestly though, there's no optimization reason to use crossbows. If you want to use ranged attacks, use a composite bow.

Wonton
2010-08-13, 02:10 PM
I don't understand why Glove of Storing has only been mentioned once... Sure, it's quite overpriced at 10,000 gp, but it allows you to do exactly what you wanted - Free action to store the blade, free action to reload with two hands, free action to retrieve the blade. :smallconfused:

Also, I've heard something about a really cheap Glove of Storing in Ghostwalk, you should look into that.

Edit: Glove of the Master Strategist. Glove of storing + True Strike for 3,600 gp. I love WotC sometimes.

Urpriest
2010-08-13, 02:18 PM
The Gnome Quickrazor has already been mentioned, but given the number of feats you seem to be pouring into this it's worth a shot. Having a melee weapon that you can sheathe as a free action makes the whole problem go away.

Curmudgeon
2010-08-13, 09:42 PM
Oh, there's also a 3.0 solution somewhere. There's an enchantment that gives your crossbow an extradimensional space that holds up to 50 bolts and auto-loads them as you fire. I think it's in the arms and equipment guide.
You're a little mixed up. The quick loading enhancement (in Magic Item Compendium, +1 enhancement cost) is what has the extradimensional space and automatically loads the next bolt. The self-loading enhancement (in Arms and Equipment Guide, +10,000 gp cost) will automatically pull back the string. So together these enhancements will give you a semi-automatic weapon good for 100 shots.

playswithfire
2010-08-13, 10:12 PM
I think this was already mentioned (though as Third Hand), but the Spare Hand from MiC is my preferred way of doing this. Transfer crossbow to Spare Hand (belt slot) as free action, reload as free action use now empty hand that was wielding the crossbow, then transfer back to hand as free action. Repeat for each crossbow for each iterative attack.

RndmNumGen
2010-08-13, 10:35 PM
You're a little mixed up. The quick loading enhancement (in Magic Item Compendium, +1 enhancement cost) is what has the extradimensional space and automatically loads the next bolt. The self-loading enhancement (in Arms and Equipment Guide, +10,000 gp cost) will automatically pull back the string. So together these enhancements will give you a semi-automatic weapon good for 100 shots.
That's awesome, though I'm not sure it's worth the pricetag.

Why can't the OP just use a repeating crossbow though?

Urpriest
2010-08-13, 10:36 PM
That's awesome, though I'm not sure it's worth the pricetag.

Why can't the OP just use a repeating crossbow though?

Much larger dualwielding penalties.

Fizban
2010-08-13, 10:53 PM
That's awesome, though I'm not sure it's worth the pricetag.

Why can't the OP just use a repeating crossbow though?

Because repeating crossbows specifically require two hands to fire the repeating. If you use it in one hand you've only got the one shot, even if it would only take a free action if you had an empty hand.

And no, it's definitely not worth the pricing. The only reason to ever use a crossbow is the Crossbow Sniper feat (extend sneak attack range and add some of your dex to damage). Other than that, there is never any reason you should be using a crossbow. If you have enough strength penalty to need a crossbow, and badly enough to blow a feat on repeating, then you don't have enough strength to carry your weapon in the first place.

Not that that stops anyone, myself included. Crossbows are cooler, and just because DnD has a longbow fetish doesn't mean we can't twist and wrench things until they work.

Snake-Aes
2010-08-13, 11:01 PM
Not that that stops anyone, myself included. Crossbows are cooler, and just because DnD has a longbow fetish doesn't mean we can't twist and wrench things until they work.

Well, technically the only advantages crossbows ever had over bows were the fact they could be used on day 2 instead of day 1825 like war-crafted bows. xbows have a longer range, but they take much longer to reload (a good archer could fire 4 or 5 arrows in the mean time) and are easier to break (you can't remove the cord as easily so if it rains you're screwed, plus the weapon also wears out faster if it can't be unfastened).
Bows require years of training, crossbows don't. Remove the training concern and bows are simply better.

Spiryt
2010-08-14, 05:44 AM
Well, technically the only advantages crossbows ever had over bows were the fact they could be used on day 2 instead of day 1825 like war-crafted bows. xbows have a longer range, but they take much longer to reload (a good archer could fire 4 or 5 arrows in the mean time) and are easier to break (you can't remove the cord as easily so if it rains you're screwed, plus the weapon also wears out faster if it can't be unfastened).
Bows require years of training, crossbows don't. Remove the training concern and bows are simply better.

Uhm no. No, no and no.

Crossbows are different weapons, and "technically" they have many advantages. Easiness of training advantage is definitely not "technical" even if practically was often most important advantage.

Crossbows were used trough hundreds of years, much money and effort was brought into their research, they weren't definitely only used on war, not only by untrained people, etc.

Advantage of "firing rate" takes into account only one hypothetical situation of firing as often as possible on some open field....

Anyone who used the two can easily compare compactness of average bow compared to crossbow, how crappy it is too shoot bow if any rail, branch or anything is near. Not to mention architecture or possibility to shoot lying, kneeling or whatever.

Then comes possibility of keeping the crossbow ready to shoot for long period of time, possibility of aiming without tiring your body, for a long period of time, general higher recurrence if reloading was done properly...

This, along with less intuitive, "down the sights" way of shooting resulted in much better accuracy, or, more importantly, way more easily achieved accuracy.

Generally shooting a bow, especially heavy one, is tiring physical activity, where many things must be coordinated at one time to achieve good shot. Crossbow is, without even bothering about what's ''better" or "worse", different.

Then comes the difference in aerodynamics and impact characteristics of short bolt compared to arrow, just to mention other distinction.

Finally, there is of course immense amount of punch that can be achieved with large, heavy draw crossbow, compared to even heaviest bows.

Or, again, easiness of achieving quite a punch, compared to bows, as not all crossbows were very heavy.

So, in short, considering this ^ all, with all variations of draw length, weight and other "details", one cannot say that bows are "simply better" at all.

Snake-Aes
2010-08-14, 07:20 AM
The people who were culturally used to bows could use them effectively in warfare, and such bowmen dominated large-scale wars until gunpowder evolved into real value. Indeed aiming is easier on the body for crossbowmen, but that's not a factor when you have 1200 people on each side. Nor does it help to be able to keep it rigged, and cramped-space is a rare ocurrence where soldiers with shields could advance almost unharmed.

Anyway, this is not the topic's intent.

Spiryt
2010-08-14, 08:06 AM
Anyway, this is not the topic's intent.

Indeed not, but since you stated that wonky and lazy mechanics of 3.5 are alright, because "longbows are simply better", I cannot agree.


The people who were culturally used to bows could use them effectively in warfare, and such bowmen dominated large-scale wars until gunpowder evolved into real value.
What people? :smallconfused:

One can think of English and Mongols, and not only they dominated trough about only 200 years, or few battles of war they finally lost (in case of English). And of course, thesis that bow was main reason of their success is horrible simplification, and it's not true, to say at least. A bit like saying that Allies won the war because of Spitfire.

Crossbow were used on much bigger scale, it's possible that up to 70 % of combatants of Grunwald/Tannenberg battle were mounted crossbowmen.
Can it be said that crossbowmen dominated large scale wars?



Indeed aiming is easier on the body for crossbowmen, but that's not a factor when you have 1200 people on each side.

It is. As hell. You can still aim easier, generally, when you have crossbow. Or to aim more carefully. Or over the arm of your ally.

I could go on, but that's not the point as you said.


Nor does it help to be able to keep it rigged, and cramped-space is a rare occurrence where soldiers with shields could advance almost unharmed.

Both those things happened a lot, especially cramped spaces, with balustrades, galleries, passages, battering rams...
As in High Medieval sieges of varying scale would most often be dominating form of large scale battle.

And finally, mass use doesn't matter, as D&D anyway is rarely about large scale battles.

And even when it is, those are not really battles similar to historical ones, because of Griffins, mages, not to mention very slight idea of actual warfare of most gamers.


To make it short, no saying that bows are inherently superior to crossbow is very wrong, and it's all I tried to say.

Tyndmyr
2010-08-14, 08:35 AM
Uhm no. No, no and no.

Crossbows are different weapons, and "technically" they have many advantages. Easiness of training advantage is definitely not "technical" even if practically was often most important advantage.

You'd be wrong about that. The ability to hand one to a minimally trained infantryman and have a decently effective ranged option is the primary reason they existed. It's not a small reason, given how frequently poorly trained troops have been used throughout history. This ease of use IS due to technical reasons. IE, they're compact, and have basically a point and shoot interface.


Crossbows were used trough hundreds of years, much money and effort was brought into their research, they weren't definitely only used on war, not only by untrained people, etc.

But they were mainly used for those purposes. Bows were vastly more common for hunting, and professional crossbow units, while they did exist, were rare.

Relying on the rare exception to make a general statement is silly. You might as well say that the gun is not "better" than the bow, because bows are occasionally used in modern combat(see the tale of Jack Churchill).


Advantage of "firing rate" takes into account only one hypothetical situation of firing as often as possible on some open field....

The ability to rapidly reload and fire a second time is a major factor in any ranged weapon across a wide variety of situations. It's hardly limited to open field battles.


Anyone who used the two can easily compare compactness of average bow compared to crossbow, how crappy it is too shoot bow if any rail, branch or anything is near. Not to mention architecture or possibility to shoot lying, kneeling or whatever.

I've done archery for many years. A longbow is my personal favorite, and while it is lengthy, it is quite slender, and can be fired accurately at nearly any angle. A branch laying around is not going to make it "crappy too shoot bow" unless you're silly enough to position your bow against the branch. It's not a rifle, and shouldn't be used as such.


Then comes possibility of keeping the crossbow ready to shoot for long period of time, possibility of aiming without tiring your body, for a long period of time, general higher recurrence if reloading was done properly...

Mitigated by the ability to draw and fire a bow in under a second. Keeping an arrow nocked requires little effort. Certainly no more than keeping a crossbow raised.

If merely aiming the bow is tiring, then you are using a bow that's too heavy for you. There are two solutions, either get stronger, or use a lighter bow. It's hardly a reason to give up using the bow, as it's something that isn't an issue for a practiced bowman.

Higher recurrence? I presume you mean faster firing speed? No. There is no way to load and fire historical crossbows nearly as rapidly as a bow. I make an exception for the asian repeating crossbows, but these were rare, and sacrificed even the most basic level of accuracy in the process.


This, along with less intuitive, "down the sights" way of shooting resulted in much better accuracy, or, more importantly, way more easily achieved accuracy.

Er, this IS the "easily used by the untrained" bit.

However, at the very high end of training, a bow acheives better accuracy. Higher draw strength is required on crossbows in order to get equal energy from a shorter bow. They also have a shorter draw length. IE, the energy is being imparted to the bolt over a very short period of time, resulting in rather high flex. Flex is bad for accuracy.


Generally shooting a bow, especially heavy one, is tiring physical activity, where many things must be coordinated at one time to achieve good shot. Crossbow is, without even bothering about what's ''better" or "worse", different.

Battle is tiring physical activity. Again, if it tires you out too much to continue, you're doing it wrong. If it doesn't, it's not relevant.


Then comes the difference in aerodynamics and impact characteristics of short bolt compared to arrow, just to mention other distinction.

In pretty much every way describable, short bolt is worse than a long arrow. After all, bows CAN shoot short arrows. There are reasons that longer bows with longer draws, and thus, longer arrows were more successful in battle.


Finally, there is of course immense amount of punch that can be achieved with large, heavy draw crossbow, compared to even heaviest bows.

Or, again, easiness of achieving quite a punch, compared to bows, as not all crossbows were very heavy.

Punch...such a technical term. First off, lets ignore all crew served ballistas and the like. Those are great, yes, and they bear some similarity to crossbows but they are seige weapons, and thus, not comparable to regular bows.

Both crossbows and bows must be drawn. Given the shorter draw length and shorter limbs, an equal draw weight crossbow is vastly weaker than a bow. To even get up to equal, they generally require some sort of assistance in the form of a hand crank. By making progressively stronger bows, and slower cranks, you can arrive at very high poundages, yes. However, in doing so, you multiply your reloading time.

And a shaft from a 90 lb longbow anywhere important will be quite lethal unless the target has well made mail or plate covering the impact point. So, adding more power is usually not profitable.


So, in short, considering this ^ all, with all variations of draw length, weight and other "details", one cannot say that bows are "simply better" at all.

In the context of "ideal weapon for a historical skirmish, like what D&D models", yes, yes you can.

Spiryt
2010-08-14, 10:38 AM
But they were mainly used for those purposes. Bows were vastly more common for hunting, and professional crossbow units, while they did exist, were rare.
They were not rare. Polish, Teuton, Italian, mounted armigers, squires, Flemish, Genoese or whatever mercenaries were all professional soldiers.

In fact most famous longbow users weren't professional soldiers.
Many 100 years war archers turned professional soldiers in reality of so many conflicts, but many were just peasants who were training archery extensively. Or not.

And among higher classes crossbow were much more popular hunting device in 15th and 16th century. Because it was more expensive, of course.

Even if peasant could hunt legally, and was not a poacher, he rarely really would afford crossbow, if bow was sufficient.

Still most of crossbows in Muzeum Wojska Polskiego are hunting ones, for example.



Relying on the rare exception to make a general statement is silly. You might as well say that the gun is not "better" than the bow, because bows are occasionally used in modern combat(see the tale of Jack Churchill).

As crossbow in many forms saw huge use in the battles of period, mainly by at least somewhat wealthy, prof. soldiers.

Situations were townguard received "city's" crossbow were rare, and that's what you seem to think about.

In most others, to use a crossbow, you naturally had to own it. It's not modern army.


The ability to rapidly reload and fire a second time is a major factor in any ranged weapon across a wide variety of situations. It's hardly limited to open field battles.

Many hunting crossbow up to about 400 pounds of draw, were operated by goats foot, or other devices that allowed often very quick reload.

Not to mention hand spanning, in case of lighter bows, and stronger people.

Such devices allowed sufficiently quick reload for most purposes - famous battle tempo like 12 arrows per minute actually wouldn't have purpose in most other situations.




I've done archery for many years. A longbow is my personal favorite, and while it is lengthy, it is quite slender, and can be fired accurately at nearly any angle. A branch laying around is not going to make it "crappy too shoot bow" unless you're silly enough to position your bow against the branch. It's not a rifle, and shouldn't be used as such.

And, because it's not used as rifle, it's problematic. Because positioning against branch would indeed spoil the shot. And positioning it in a way that allows to avoid it would be often tricky.

In case of shooting opening like these crossbow would be times more practical.

If you're good enough archer that you can shoot easily regardless of what's in the way, I congratulate, but that's human factor, with the same amount of this, you can have one of a kind crossbowman.



Mitigated by the ability to draw and fire a bow in under a second. Keeping an arrow nocked requires little effort. Certainly no more than keeping a crossbow raised.

No, because bow couldn't be kept stringed whole time, and in any case drawing and firing would take more time than just placing bolt and firing.



If merely aiming the bow is tiring, then you are using a bow that's too heavy for you. There are two solutions, either get stronger, or use a lighter bow. It's hardly a reason to give up using the bow, as it's something that isn't an issue for a practiced bowman.

And yet, no practical battle shooting was really done in really high tempo, as shooting was indeed tiring.

And you can keep aiming a crossbow for a long time, if there's need from some reason. Or to aim really carefully. Or to wait until deer comes just in right spot...


Higher recurrence? I presume you mean faster firing speed? No. There is no way to load and fire historical crossbows nearly as rapidly as a bow. I make an exception for the asian repeating crossbows, but these were rare, and sacrificed even the most basic level of accuracy in the process.

No, I mean ability to put one bolt as close to the previous as possible.

Bow isn't accurate beast at all, aside from tales and stuff most archers, hunting with modern bows agree that having "sure" shot beyond 30 yards is not guaranteed at all.

If you shoot extensively, you know how much difference drawing just a bit to far, or to close, holding arrow a bit too tight with left/right hand etc. can make.

There are guys who claim that they're very pro, and they do it like it was rifle, but you know - stories.




Er, this IS the "easily used by the untrained" bit.

However, at the very high end of training, a bow acheives better accuracy. Higher draw strength is required on crossbows in order to get equal energy from a shorter bow. They also have a shorter draw length. IE, the energy is being imparted to the bolt over a very short period of time, resulting in rather high flex. Flex is bad for accuracy.



No, because as I said, no one will ever be trained enough to draw bow mechanically enough to compare it to crossbow - where you can always place the string, bolt, both arms of the bow etc - in virtually the same spot.

Not to mention way of aiming, way more optimal "down the sights".

Also, the vibrations of bow, that can affect accuracy in most historical bows, weren't really problem with crossbow. Again, obviously, arm of shooter doesn't really have contact with bow. So accuracy problems, nor arm shake problem (or however it's called in english)

"Trained or not" don't cover it at all, if you have very trained bowman, you can also have guy who takes advantage of his own crossbow, and can shoot more accurately with it. So that's not really that you can't be very proficient with crossbow, only with bow.

And bolt were not bending much (or in more extreme cases, not more than arrows) from quite simple reason of their thickness.

Most bolt were weighing as much as your average arrows. Books like "Armbrust" give detail that for 600 pound crossbow 90 g bolts would be quite standard, optimal missile. So quite alike 150 pound bow.

And to be shorter a bit more shorter, and have the same mass, bolt will have to be way thicker. Although more substantial metal parts were prevalent, still 8 inches thick arrow won't flex as much as 32 inches thinner one.

And, again with more recurrent nature of crossbow, even with serious flex, all could be more easily set in a way that would allow to minimize the problems.



Battle is tiring physical activity. Again, if it tires you out too much to continue, you're doing it wrong. If it doesn't, it's not relevant.


It's not relevant if you're doing it wrong or not. What's relevant is that drawing, aiming and releasing heavy bow is tiring, physical activity, and you're doing it all at the same time, basically, with your arms, back, yes, hands.... That's simple. No archer can do it "right" enough to avoid it.

Shooting from crossbow isn't nearly as tiring at all. Raising the weapons is the only really "draining" process. Process of reloading is tiring, of course, but it doesn't affect shooting as much, because you don't stress you while
you shoot.



In pretty much every way describable, short bolt is worse than a long arrow. After all, bows CAN shoot short arrows. There are reasons that longer bows with longer draws, and thus, longer arrows were more successful in battle.


In a way of flight characteristics, they are worse, for example.
Belt is more rigid, and shaking during flight reduces velocity rapidly.

For example, with replica of longbow about 24 kg, you can speed up given arrow up to 44 m/s. Decrease of velocity is 0,13 (m/s)/m.

With bolt of similar weight and materials, modern crossbow about 34 kg of draw weight can speed it up to 47 m/s.

Decrease of velocity will be 0,10 (m/s)/m, even though it's a bit faster, and faster projectile slows more rapidly due to greater air resistance.



Punch...such a technical term. First off, lets ignore all crew served ballistas and the like. Those are great, yes, and they bear some similarity to crossbows but they are seige weapons, and thus, not comparable to regular bows.

I'm not. I'm talking about personal crossbows. Ballista is not crossbow, and siege crossbows and the like generally started at least at 2000 pound of draw weight.


Both crossbows and bows must be drawn. Given the shorter draw length and shorter limbs, an equal draw weight crossbow is vastly weaker than a bow. To even get up to equal, they generally require some sort of assistance in the form of a hand crank. By making progressively stronger bows, and slower cranks, you can arrive at very high poundages, yes. However, in doing so, you multiply your reloading time.

And a shaft from a 90 lb longbow anywhere important will be quite lethal unless the target has well made mail or plate covering the impact point. So, adding more power is usually not profitable.

And that's why people were making very expensive 1200 pound draw weight crossbows and reloading windlasses and cranequins....Because it's not profitable. Sorry, but history tells us that it was profitable.

Yes, because of draw length and other problems with shorter arms, 150 pound of bow would be generally 'equal' (of course with different missiles, but for simplicity) to about 500 -550 pound draw weight crossbow.

That doesn't change the fact that 1000 pound weight "halb rustung" crossbows were used, drawn with windlasses, and could, with steel prods achieve something like 67 m/s with 80 g bolt, giving 180 J of energy. "Die Armbrust" , again.

Not really achievable with even 180 pound longbow.

With such great velocity, again accuracy would be improved.

Bolts were also often more lethal, as chance of feather hiding in body was greater. And feathers inside tissue do nasty stuff moving quickly. But that's certainly just anecdote.




In the context of "ideal weapon for a historical skirmish, like what D&D models", yes, yes you can.

And as you see all I'm trying to say it's that "no, you can't". :smalltongue:

I'll probably give people in "Real Weapons" thread a link, so they can strike with Great Vengeance, without further derailing this one.

Shademan
2010-08-14, 11:02 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpuVK1jwMIA&p=9083F16C6B52E472&playnext=1&index=10 (3:20)
they might not be the best and brightest. and indeed it is a old show, but they have some good points.

listen, if the crossbow wasnt a good weapon, it would not be BANNED by the pope, FEARED by knights and USED. Warriors DO NOT use ineffectual weapons for long

Snake-Aes
2010-08-14, 11:05 AM
I don't think anyone here is calling crossbows ineffectual.

Boci
2010-08-14, 11:08 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpuVK1jwMIA&p=9083F16C6B52E472&playnext=1&index=10 (3:20)
they might not be the best and brightest. and indeed it is a old show, but they have some good points.

listen, if the crossbow wasnt a good weapon, it would not be BANNED by the pope, FEARED by knights and USED. Warriors DO NOT use ineffectual weapons for long

Isn't that because it is easier to use without any training? I.E. give a peasant a longbow and he cannot do too much, give him a crossbow and he has decent chance of taking down a knight.

Spiryt
2010-08-14, 11:25 AM
I don't think anyone here is calling crossbows ineffectual.

But two people (who posted, at least) here are calling bow superior weapon, and crossbow a weapon used only if you couldn't afford to train with a bow, which is not the case.

Snake-Aes
2010-08-14, 11:40 AM
But two people here are calling bow superior weapon, and crossbow a weapon used only if you couldn't afford to train with a bow, which is not the case.

Evaluate them in a more appropriate situation then.
Bows have a much higher firing rate and killing power to down people with a single shot.
Crossbows have a much slower firing rate and a longer range, ease of usage, shooting from cover and penetration power.

Where did those matter? In a large scale battle, bows were better than crossbows simply because the higher power of a bolt wasn't necessary to one-shot people down. In the time a crossbowman kills two infantry units, the bowman kills 4 or 5. In open battle, bowmen were simply more dangerous. In sieges, both sides are fortified to the point they're all wasting most of their shots anyway.

The selling point of crossbows was the ease of use. The higher raw power is incidental to it.

Spiryt
2010-08-14, 12:02 PM
Evaluate them in a more appropriate situation then.
Bows have a much higher firing rate and killing power to down people with a single shot.
Crossbows have a much slower firing rate and a longer range, ease of usage, shooting from cover and penetration power.

Where did those matter? In a large scale battle, bows were better than crossbows simply because the higher power of a bolt wasn't necessary to one-shot people down. In the time a crossbowman kills two infantry units, the bowman kills 4 or 5. In open battle, bowmen were simply more dangerous. In sieges, both sides are fortified to the point they're all wasting most of their shots anyway.


Again it's all, unfortunately, gross simplification.


killing power to down people with a single shot.

Uhm, how? Bolts usually had broader points, and as I mentioned, feather to the tummy were often nasty.

If there is any difference between "lethality" it won't be big, and probably it will be on crossbow side (provided it's powerful one).


n the time a crossbowman kills two infantry units, the bowman kills 4 or 5.

It doesn't work like that.

Arrows would be slower, harder to aim, had steeper arch, all causing that they won't be hitting too often. At least in moderately proficient bowmans hands.

When infantry has any armor or shields, which they would have (at least one of the two) to not be killed silly, crossbow can give more advantages - like aiming above shields to do something.

Also, crossbowman often had pavises or other large shields - another nice thing about crossbow is that can be easily shot from behind such shield, as opposed to bow.


In sieges, both sides are fortified to the point they're all wasting most of their shots anyway.

It depends on the siege - but again, to advance to the fortress, man with crossbow could way more easily shoot without exposing himself.


Generally, different weapons meant different tactics. Ability of the bow to shoot, say 8 arrows per minute, meant that it was great to form massive rain of missiles for, say 2 minutes. Longer than that, archers would get tired, and after few such "Rains" arrows would end.

Crossbow would be used to much more prolonged firing, with 2 shots per minute, at longer period.

If longbows were shooting for a longer time, they could indeed give spectacular effects - see Agincourt.

But that was perfect defensive position and tactic. If you have time just to shot few missiles, those one or two from crossbows would mean more, before cavalry reached you. See battle of Patay, where cavalry massacred archers, like so many times before Crecy etc, because they didn't have clever position, instead "face to face" archers vs knights charging battle commenced.

Also, obviously, more powerful crossbows would be better against solidly armored - mailed, plated, helmeted warriors.

Add the fact that shorter bolts were much more portable, easier to operate in closed spaces etc.

Problem is complicated, people discuss it whole time, and I would never claim to be any kind of expert.

But it's simple - crossbow was used by people of all classes and position, constantly researched and advanced, costing quite a lot, because it was great weapon, in many situations, and to many people, "better" than simpler bow. If bow was "better" but just harder to master, it wouldn't be the case.But crossbow had it's values, and thus was valuable weapon.

And, again, open battles are not really D&D 3.5 theme, anyway.

Evard
2010-08-14, 02:45 PM
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/weapons.htm#crossbowRepeating

why get all the feats when this is in core?

Crasical
2010-08-14, 02:54 PM
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/weapons.htm#crossbowRepeating

why get all the feats when this is in core?

1. Penalties for firing a full-sized crossbow one handed

2. Exotic weapon feat is needed to use one. Rogues get proficiency with hand crossbows for free.

PId6
2010-08-14, 03:01 PM
Honestly though, there's no optimization reason to use crossbows. If you want to use ranged attacks, use a composite bow.
There are a few. Crossbow Sniper comes to mind immediately. It's also nearly impossible to dual wield bows, while crossbows at least have roundabout methods of doing that.

Snake-Aes
2010-08-14, 03:05 PM
Like the 4-armed warblade totemist? O.o

ZeroGear
2010-08-14, 04:27 PM
I think we have Really gotten off topic.
As to the X vs. Long issue, both have theirs and cons. But it is ridiculous to argue which one is "better" because it is always an opinion.
As to the issue of getting more shots off while dual-wielding, try the spell Gillions Blessing (I think) from the Spell Compendium, and make it permanent.
You could also try adding a Steam Power to it, provided you have access to the Dragon Mech books. May require you to take a few levels of Coglayer, butt is worth it.

panaikhan
2010-08-16, 07:23 AM
To give some people a little background...

Two 'Drow' feats.
One gives TWF if wielding a rapier and a hand crossbow. It also allows crossbow attacks without AoO.
The other gives 'free' reloading, again without AoO.

So, if I can solve the 'need an extra hand' problem for a 4th level rogue, I'll be away.

Psyx
2010-08-16, 07:39 AM
Didn't it get solved on page one, with a bit of string?

Greenish
2010-08-16, 10:24 AM
To give some people a little background...

Two 'Drow' feats.
One gives TWF if wielding a rapier and a hand crossbow. It also allows crossbow attacks without AoO.
The other gives 'free' reloading, again without AoO.Ask your DM? It's not like it'd be too strong, and you're already blowing several feats to your combat style. (Though Hand Crossbow Focus qualifies you for Crossbow Sniper, I seem to recall.)

panaikhan
2010-08-17, 07:37 AM
My DM is a bit... odd.
In the last Forgotten Realms campaign, he allowed Illumians as a race choice (since they are part of a 'generic' book) but disallowed Shifters (because they first appeared in Eberron).

If I can present either a reasonable argument, or a printed example, I stand a better chance than 'just asking'.

hamishspence
2010-08-17, 07:41 AM
Shifters are also in a "generic" book- MM3. I'm not sure, but I think it may have had a bit of text suggesting how they occur in Faerun as well.

Warforged are also in MM3, but are harder to justify.

I managed to convince my DM that, since Ruamathar used huge armies of constructs, and since the Witches of Rashemen are descendants of the Ruamathari, they may retain some of the secrets, and that warforged stats are a passable way to represent a construct of this kind. That was in 4E though.

true_shinken
2010-08-17, 07:46 AM
My DM is a bit... odd.
In the last Forgotten Realms campaign, he allowed Illumians as a race choice (since they are part of a 'generic' book) but disallowed Shifters (because they first appeared in Eberron).

If I can present either a reasonable argument, or a printed example, I stand a better chance than 'just asking'.

Just buy gloves of the master strategist. 3600gp, solves your problem and you get true strike 1/day.

Curmudgeon
2010-08-17, 08:13 AM
Didn't it get solved on page one, with a bit of string?
Not really. The idea of a lanyard dangling a long, sharp blade from your wrist as you try to grab bolts, pull back a string, aim, and fire is really pretty funny. You'd drag the sword all over your body, slicing up your side, hip, and thigh pretty much every time you shoot.

Not a solution.

Spiryt
2010-08-17, 09:01 AM
Not really. The idea of a lanyard dangling a long, sharp blade from your wrist as you try to grab bolts, pull back a string, aim, and fire is really pretty funny. You'd drag the sword all over your body, slicing up your side, hip, and thigh pretty much every time you shoot.

Not a solution.

Really, any kind of armor solves this problem.

Real one would be that sword on your wrist would make anything very awkward to do...

Try to hang 3 pounds of steel on your wrist and perform some rather precise actions.

Funny indeed.

panaikhan
2010-08-18, 07:09 AM
Ok, so, I've come to a bit of a conclusion.

Short of taking another feat at 6th, Quick Draw, I can't get around this.

Sequence would go something like:
1. Move... sheath rapier as part of the move action (free)
2. load xbow (free)
3. Draw rapier (swift action)
4. Attack with both weapons once (because I've moved)
5. Repeat.

This sound about right?

Curmudgeon
2010-08-18, 07:20 AM
Ok, so, I've come to a bit of a conclusion.

Short of taking another feat at 6th, Quick Draw, I can't get around this.

Sequence would go something like:
1. Move... sheath rapier as part of the move action (free)
2. load xbow (free)
3. Draw rapier (swift action)
4. Attack with both weapons once (because I've moved)
5. Repeat.

This sound about right?
Afraid not. Sheathing a weapon is always a move action by itself. You can only combine drawing a weapon with a regular move, not sheathing.

Drawing a weapon is either a move action, or a free action in combination with a regular move, or free if you have Quick Draw. It's never a swift action AFAIK.

panaikhan
2010-08-18, 07:29 AM
I'm away from my books, and my memory is a little hazy. Sorry for that.

So, there's no (non-magical) way to actually put away a weapon for free?
I'm back to needing three arms, and my build collapses once again.

Maclav
2010-08-18, 07:40 AM
First I apologize for not providing a citation.. I can't seem to find it.

Historically, there were mounted archers whom had a sword with a loop on it. They could loop the sword over their thumb while the drew an arrow and fired their bow and quickly alternate back and forth between the two. Perhaps you could convince your DM to allow something like this.

true_shinken
2010-08-18, 10:16 AM
I'm away from my books, and my memory is a little hazy. Sorry for that.

So, there's no (non-magical) way to actually put away a weapon for free?
I'm back to needing three arms, and my build collapses once again.
If you somehow got an extra move-action per round, you could do this.
Why can't you just buy'em damn gloves?

Gorilla2038
2010-08-18, 01:24 PM
You could use the hand of the mage magic item,(i think) that lets you use mage hand at will.

true_shinken
2010-08-18, 09:23 PM
You could use the hand of the mage magic item,(i think) that lets you use mage hand at will.

...and how exactly would this be of any help?

Urpriest
2010-08-18, 09:33 PM
I'm away from my books, and my memory is a little hazy. Sorry for that.

So, there's no (non-magical) way to actually put away a weapon for free?
I'm back to needing three arms, and my build collapses once again.

As has already been stated, gnome quickrazors can be sheathed for free.

Crasical
2010-08-18, 09:35 PM
...and how exactly would this be of any help?


You point your finger at an object and can lift it and move it at will from a distance. As a move action, you can propel the object as far as 15 feet in any direction, though the spell ends if the distance between you and the object ever exceeds the spellís range.

Theoretically, if you have mage hand at-will you could just levitate one of your weapons, since a rapier and a Hand Crossbow both weigh less than two pounds. I have no idea how this would interact with drawing/sheathing the weapon, but it would give you two hands free to reload a hand crossbow.

EDIT



So, there's no (non-magical) way to actually put away a weapon for free?
I'm back to needing three arms, and my build collapses once again.

TBH, the feats you are using don't seem to be all that great in the first place. Looking in the book, Versatile Combatant says you are treated as having TWF 'For the purpose of calculating attack penalties'. I think you would have to buy TWF proper to qualify if you ever wanted to upgrade to improved or greater two weapon fighting, all the problems with reloading the hand crossbow with a sword in your off hand aside. I think at this point you're best off just discussing it with your GM and seeing if he'll agree that you can reload the hand crossbow one-handed somehow as long as you're wielding your rapier, just for the purpose of making the feat kind of useful.

true_shinken
2010-08-20, 09:38 AM
Theoretically, if you have mage hand at-will you could just levitate one of your weapons, since a rapier and a Hand Crossbow both weigh less than two pounds. I have no idea how this would interact with drawing/sheathing the weapon, but it would give you two hands free to reload a hand crossbow.

And how would you shoot if you are using your standard action to levitate stuff?

FelixG
2010-08-20, 09:43 AM
Dont know if its been mentioned, but in action movies you see heroes who have extra clips for their pistol along their belt and just slam them in by flicking their wrist down, set that kind of thing up with bolts along the side with the weapon and wham, you can do it with some awesome imagined visuals :P

Snake-Aes
2010-08-20, 09:49 AM
Dont know if its been mentioned, but in action movies you see heroes who have extra clips for their pistol along their belt and just slam them in by flicking their wrist down, set that kind of thing up with bolts along the side with the weapon and wham, you can do it with some awesome imagined visuals :P

That would be quite a trick. A "Bolt clip" on each side, then the guy lifts and jams the xbow against his hips to load it. I'd call it near impossible because part of the loading process involves making sure the support for the string is properly locked, which it often wasn't.

true_shinken
2010-08-20, 11:49 AM
That would be quite a trick. A "Bolt clip" on each side, then the guy lifts and jams the xbow against his hips to load it. I'd call it near impossible because part of the loading process involves making sure the support for the string is properly locked, which it often wasn't.

I think it whould only work on repeating crossbows anyway.

Snake-Aes
2010-08-20, 11:52 AM
I think it whould only work on repeating crossbows anyway.

I can see the stunt being with a normal crossbow, I just don't think it can be pulled off. Nothing stops it from being worked into the game though. PF has a feat that lets you do free action xbow reloads and a couple other toys for the xbow which you have focus on.

panaikhan
2010-09-21, 07:23 AM
Sorry to dredge this one up again...
I've been thinking.

What kind of action is it to swap a sword from one hand to the other?
If you made a hand crossbow that strapped to the wrist instead of being held in the hand, you could swap the rapier over to that hand, reload the crossbow, and then swap back.

Chipp Zanuff
2010-09-21, 07:51 AM
Solution 1: Magnetic Gauntlets (http://www.videogamesblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/blaz-blue-iron-tager-character-artwork-big.jpg).

Solution 2: Wield the Crossbow Bolts as your primary weapon. Find a way to negate the -4 for Improvised Weaponry that doesn't involve Drunken Master.

Esser-Z
2010-09-21, 09:19 AM
**** the crossbow with your teeth. That's how badass you are.

...oh right. Forgot that certain words with multiple meanings were banned. Uh. Grasp and pull the bow into position using your teeth.

Ormagoden
2010-09-21, 09:55 AM
That's it. I'm sick of all this "Masterwork Crossbow" bullcrap that's going on in the d20 system right now. Crossbows deserve much better than that. Much, much better than that.

I should know what I'm talking about. I myself commissioned a genuine Crossbow in England for 452 pounds (that's about $703.06) and have been practicing with it for almost 2 years now. I can even shoot through slabs of solid steel with my Crossbow.

English bowyers spend years working on a single crossbow and string it up to a million times to produce the finest pull known to mankind.

Crossbows are thrice as strong as Dueling pistols and thrice as fast for that matter too. Anything a dueling pistol can shoot through, a crossbow can shoot through better. I'm pretty sure a crossbow could easily bisect a catgirl wearing full plate with a simple vertical shot.

Ever wonder why medieval Europe never bothered conquering Britain? That's right, they were too scared to fight the disciplined Punk Rockers and their Crossbows of destruction. Even in World War II, American soldiers targeted the men with the Crossbows first because their killing power was feared and respected.

So what am I saying? Crowssbow are simply the best weapon that the world has ever seen, and thus, require better stats in the d20 system. Here is the stat block I propose for crossbows:

(Two-Handed Exotic Weapon)
2d10 Damage
17-20 x4 Crit
+5 to hit and damage
Counts as Masterwork
Punk Rockers treat Crossbows as one handed Martial weapons.

Now that seems a lot more representative of the shooting power of crossbows in real life, don't you think?

Esser-Z
2010-09-21, 09:57 AM
Well played, good sir. Well played.

Greenish
2010-09-21, 10:11 AM
Ever wonder why medieval Europe never bothered conquering Britain?It should be Switzerland, not England, given that the English were famed for their longbow, while most other countries tended to employ crossbows (for the ease of use).

Seffbasilisk
2010-09-21, 01:57 PM
I was wondering when that meme would emerge...


I used to teach archery, and can flatly say, practiced with firing both, that in time of war, I would choose a longbow over a crossbow. A crossbow should be strung similarly to a bow, and it IS easier to sight on a crossbow and take the time for a shot.

All of that aside, mechanically, a crossbow has one very powerful advantage over a longbow.

It can be fired from prone.


As to the one-handed crossbow loading, I was going to say, talk to your DM if you have a high enough dex you might be able to toss them around, but the Preform: Juggling crowd already hit that angle, and I doubt you've the skillpoints to spare.

Personally, I houserule that sheathing a weapon takes as much time as drawing it, so long as the wielder is proficient with it, and has prepared the sheathe for such. A hook hanging out from either side of your belt, might allow you to easily place the hand-crossbows, to free up your hands for loading, swordplay, or what have you.

Swapping weapons from hand to hand, is unlisted IIRC, but takes no time at all.

Crasical
2010-09-21, 09:15 PM
I should know what I'm talking about. I myself commissioned a genuine Crossbow in England for 452 pounds (that's about $703.06) and have been practicing with it for almost 2 years now. I can even shoot through slabs of solid steel with my Crossbow.

I read that as 'Shoot slabs of solid steel with my crossbow' and imagined some mad dorf genius loading a buzzsaw into his specially-designed crossbow.

Esser-Z
2010-09-21, 09:51 PM
I read that as 'Shoot slabs of solid steel with my crossbow' and imagined some mad dorf genius loading a buzzsaw into his specially-designed crossbow.

Be right back building a character.

Hague
2010-09-21, 10:12 PM
The Versatile Combatant feat allows you to wield a rapier in your main and a hand crossbow in your off-hand. It treats you as having TWF for the purposes of attack penalties and you don't provoke AoOs from adjacent opponents when you make a ranged attack with the crossbow. Combine with an arrow-storing, self-loading crossbow and you have Sword and Gun.

Esser-Z
2010-09-21, 10:52 PM
Again, teeth! They're good for more than bite attacks!

Thajocoth
2010-09-21, 11:01 PM
I don't see anything specifying what game or edition your playing... But if I were to assume 4e:

The Hand Crossbow is one-handed and can be loaded as a free action. This means you can load it one handed.

The Shoulderbow, for Warforged only (minumum 9th level magicitem), is no-handed hand crossbow and can be loaded as a free action. This means you can load it no handed.

panaikhan
2010-09-22, 07:14 AM
To Thajocoth:
Sorry for not specifying - it's 3.5

To Hague: I wanted to take Versatile Combat and the 'hand crossbow focus' feats, so I could reload the hand crossbow as a free action, and load & fire without AoO while TWF with rapier. Nothing in those feats (or any others I can find) removes the line in the PHB that it 'takes two hands to reload a crossbow'

My DM is strongly against 'simply buying magical items'. If we don't find it, it's hard to obtain through other means. It was a struggle to get him to agree to paying a capable mage in one city to perform simple enchanting (+1) on already discovered MW items.