View Full Version : Dual Quickloading Crossbow Build Question

2007-05-12, 04:27 PM
In the game I currently play in we all make backup characters that we can bring in if our main character dies. I am making a dual crossbow build. Starting level is 8, 27,000 gps to spend. Almost all books usable, even dragon magazines. Now I am going to give the basics of the build I am planning. I'm going to be using 2 Quickloading +1 crossbows: Cost 16,000gps, I plan on taking +2 Dex gloves: 4000gps and a Hat of Disguise: 1800gps. The rest of my money open to suggestions, but not much left.

Race: Whisper gnome
Class starting: Fighter 2/ Swordsage 3/ Rogue 3
Class Ending: Fighter 2/ Swordsage 3/ Rogue 13/ Exotic Weapon Master 2

Str: 9
Dex: 24
Con: 18
Int: 17
Wis: 14
Cha: 11

I plan on taking for Exotic Weapon Master Stunts: Close Quarter Ranged Combat and Twin Exotic Weapon Fighting. I plan on going into Exotic Weapon Master ASAP.

My Feats up to 8th level:

Exotic Weapon: Hand Crossbow
Weapon Focus: Hand Corssbow: Free
Crossbow Sniper
Two Weapon Fighting
Rapid Shot

Not sure on my Swordsage Stances and Maneuvers I need to read through them. I have scanned through it, so I'm open to suggestions here. I read there was a nice flanking ability in there somewhere. But, don't know it by name.

Now, down to my question. Does my rapid shot feat apply to my off hand? Will I get 3 attacks with my main hand and 2 off hand? Or will I get 3 main hand and 1 off hand? If I get 3/1 do i apply the rapid shot penalty to my off hand even if I dont get 2 off hand attacks?

And I'm generally open to suggestions here because I usually play only front line melee characters. I know this build may not be the most effective or optimized, but I need the dual crossbows because its something I have been thinking about since we don't use gunpowder in our game. A gnome gunslinger crossbow type shooting bolts everywhere, destroying monsters with sneak attacks

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

2007-05-12, 04:47 PM
You need two hands to reload a crossbow, so it won't work.

2007-05-12, 04:55 PM
Swordsage is kinda useless if all you're using are crossbow bolts. You cannot apply strikes to ranged weapon attacks.

2007-05-12, 04:59 PM
With quickloading they would hold 100 bolts per hand crossbow? Reloading a new bolt is a free action it says.

Hmm I have to look and see then if Swordsage is worth keeping in there.

2007-05-12, 05:08 PM
Rapid Shot gives you one extra attack per round. Not per weapon. And the -2 penalty applies to every attack you make that round. Not every attack the weapon makes that round.

If you want multiple shots from a second weapon, you need to invest in two-weapon fighting feats...and come up with some way to reload crossbows with two hands occupied, since loading a crossbow requires two hands. I've never heard of this Quickloading before, so I don't know if that will do it for you.

You won't need the exotic proficiency feat for a hand crossbow, rogues are proficient with them.

What are you intending to do with those Swordsage levels, anyway? Just stances?

2007-05-12, 05:09 PM
I was thinking stances mostly, I see about the two hand thing, hmmm. I guess maybe this won't work.

2007-05-12, 05:14 PM
This may seem out there a bit, but if you can fit in some way to have four arms, like playing a Thri-kreen, that would take care of your reloading issues.

2007-05-12, 05:18 PM
We use all the books, but the DM is abit stiff on really unusual races.

Too bad theres no magic property that makes bolts leap into the crossbow. But, that would probably be too pricey.

2007-05-12, 05:20 PM
going out on a bit of a limb here, but IIRC an invisible servant can carry and hand you throwing weapons, or pretty much any other thing you would want handed to you. It may be possible to UMD a wand or ring or w/e of the spell and have it reload your crossbows.

But I don't know for sure that would technically work.

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-12, 05:20 PM
There's an item (in HoB IIRC) that gives you an extra arm. It can reload for you.

Citizen Joe
2007-05-12, 05:24 PM
This may be exceedingly abusive of the rules, but can Unseen Servants reload crossbows? I think there are just regular repeating crossbows, holding 5 shots each. So the Unseen Servant (or maybe a mage hand) can pull back the lever to reload (free action). Then, after you've fired your 10 shots, you drop the crossbows and flip up your two spares... while those are firing, your handy unseen servants reload new clips into the dropped crossbows and hand them back.

If you do this, you should probably look out for falling rocks.

2007-05-12, 05:26 PM
There is. In Planescape: Torment, there is a character built around identical concept - two crossbows, many bolts per round.

The problem is, Nordom (reverse of Modron) is 4-handed modron (which takes care of reload issues) and his crossbows are planescape-flavored ,machine-ghosts, which can actually grow new bolts in place (which was actually stated as unexplainable because nobody in party had any useful knowledge about such things).

If he allows you to use planescape D&D stuff or self-loading crossbows from modern/sw (although it might be a bit of no-no) you might pull it off :smallcool:

2007-05-12, 05:26 PM
Feat: Rapid Reload. Look into it.

2007-05-12, 05:34 PM
I looked in HoB but didn't see the arm item, I bet its pricey though.

That unseen servent idea is nice. Know any items that can summon a unseen servent or I may be able to drop swordsage and do 3 levels of wizard. Its pushing it, but maybe.

I saw rapid reload, but I still need a way to reload with both hands holding crossbows or I thought possibly maybe I can have the crossbows on ropes connected to my waist and with Quick Draw shoot both drop one, reload one, shoot, drop other reload grab shoot etc.

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-12, 05:39 PM
Yeah. I messed up. Its the Arm of Nyr on page 26 of Defenders of the Faith. But it only replaces a missing arm, it doesn't actually give yo ua third arm. And it costs 12,800 GP.

As for the unseen servant, that works.

See if your DM will let you make a command word item of it. Per the guidelines it would only cost 1,800 GP.

Oh and look at quickloading again, I coudl have sworn it actually loaded the bolt for you.

Oh and Champions of Ruin (Forgotten Realms book) has the twinned weapon enchantment. For a +3 bonus every shot from the weapon is twinned.

2007-05-12, 05:46 PM
A plain old Ring of Invisible Servant (Ring, Use Activated (command word), Invisible Servant, CL1) appears to cost a mere 2,000gp.

Citizen Joe
2007-05-12, 05:57 PM
I think a few levels of wizard would do you well, particularly when it comes to scribing your own spells. You could have a stockpile scrolls for unseen servants, mage armours, shield, protection from arrows, and true strike. If you want to be even more cheesy, summon up a floating disk and use it as a mobile firing platform, you'd probably lose your dexterity bonus since dodging around would knock you on the floor, but in theory IT would be moving you instead of you moving... So you get to move and still get a full attack... maybe.... that's definately asking for rocks to fall.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-05-12, 07:21 PM
Quickloading (Magic Item Compendium) does in fact seem to reload the crossbow without the use of a hand (free action), at least in the case of a non-heavy bow.

However, the description does look a lot like rapid reload, which do require two hands, so it probably requires your dm's approval.

There is not really a balance issue here, so I personally would not mind approving it.

2007-05-12, 10:24 PM
There is indeed a third arm available. In the Magic Item Compendium, but originally from... Magic of Eberron, I think. MIC page 137, the Spare Hand. Sadly, it doesn't look like it would be very useful for you. Plus it's expensive.

Quick Loading is a good enchantment, but I don't think it removes the need to use two hands to reload. I'd personally allow it, though, simply because it's a good flavorful build.

When I was building a similar character for the Pirate contest a while back, I homebrewed a feat, lemme find it...

Crossbow Juggler [General]
Your usage of crossbows is as entertaining as it is deadly.
Prerequisite: Tumble 5 ranks, Rapid Reload, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus in a crossbow that can be reloaded as a free action when taking Rapid Reload into account.
Benefit: When wielding a pair of crossbows appropriate for your size that you are capable of reloading singly as a free action, you can reload both of them as a free action without having to holster or drop one. Reloading your crossbows still provokes attacks of opportunity, and all penalties applying to firing two crossbows and firing crossbows one-handed apply. This feat essentially allows you to fight with two crossbows at your full number of attacks granted by BAB and two-weapon fighting feats.
Normal: You can shoot, but not load, a crossbow with one hand. Depending on the type of crossbow, you may take penalties to your attack roll for firing one-handed in addition to normal two-weapon fighting penalties.
Special: A fighter can select Crossbow Juggler as one of his bonus feats.

Tumble was the best of a bad lot of choices for the skill prereq there, Sleight of Hand may be better.

2007-05-12, 10:30 PM
I think if The Rock can rearm a shotgun with only one hand, there should be some kind of slight of hand check that lets you reload a crossbow. D&D is all about heroic badassery, and this I think qualifies.

2007-05-12, 11:14 PM
there are 2 ways to do it as i recall one is a glove of storing:

Glove of Storing

This device is a simple leather glove. On command, one item held in the hand wearing the glove disappears. The item can weigh no more than 20 pounds and must be able to be held in one hand. While stored, the item has negligible weight. With a snap of the fingers wearing the glove, the item reappears. A glove can only store one item at a time. Storing or retrieving the item is a free action. The item is held in stasis and shrunk down so small within the palm of the glove that it cannot be seen. Spell durations are not suppressed, but continue to expire. If an effect is suppressed or dispelled, the stored item appears instantly.

Faint transmutation; CL 6th; Craft Wondrous Item, shrink item; Price 10,000 gp (one glove)
from the srd.


Quick Draw [General]

Base attack bonus +1.

You can draw a weapon as a free action instead of as a move action. You can draw a hidden weapon (see the Sleight of Hand skill) as a move action.

A character who has selected this feat may throw weapons at his full normal rate of attacks (much like a character with a bow).
also from the srd
with quick draw you either sheath the crossbow somehow(depends on the action) or drop it with it tied to your wrist or belt or something like that and then draw it again. If you use the gloves of storing you had better be good at snapping your fingers. Either way you will you way to many free actions, possibly to the point your dm decides he needs to limit the number of free actions each player gets during his turn.:smallbiggrin:

2007-05-12, 11:53 PM
Well...... I talked to my DM earlier and Unssen servent is a no go. Thanks for all the ideas here. I didnt run the rope and quickdraw thing by him yet. Gonna let him breath a little first.

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-12, 11:56 PM
Quickloading (Magic Item Compendium) will in fact reload the crossbow without the use of a hand (free action).

You seem to have missed this Shinkoro

2007-05-13, 12:06 AM
That was what I origanally thought, but the description of Quick Loading actually looks alot like rapid reloading feat. It says a extradimensional space that you can access to get bolts. Although I'm going to ask about it letting me reload for free.

I have also been looking through some books and if I add Kensai I was thinking I could add speed on a hand crossbow and with rapid shot get 4 attacks a round with a hand crossbow. But, its not the very cool dual crossbows I origanally imagined.

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-13, 12:20 AM
I believe it may have a different description in the MIC did then it had in the book it was first published in.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-05-13, 06:10 AM
I would like to retract and apologize for my previous statement on Quickloading.

The activation required is manipulation, which the MIC explicitly says requires a free hand.

I still do not think it would be an unreasonable house rule, but the RAW is indifferent on that matter.

Again, I am sorry.

2007-05-19, 04:24 PM
What about Repeating crossbows with extended magazines?

2007-05-19, 09:42 PM
There's an item (in HoB IIRC) that gives you an extra arm. It can reload for you.Not HoB, but the MIC (from one of the Eberron books, I can't remember.) Don't have the sources on me, but it takes up a belt slot and I believe it can reload for you.

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-19, 10:22 PM
Read my post after that.

2007-05-19, 10:30 PM
You could carry a dozen or so different crossbows and just cycle through them (like those dwarf pirates from Warhammer Fantasy :smallbiggrin: ), but I suppose that's not effective due to not being able to make them all magical, right?


Hmmm, have you tried just asking your DM if there's anything he'd bend or houserule to let you do this? "Crossbow of Infinite Ammo, priced as a +2 bonus" or somesuch?

2007-05-20, 06:40 PM
Cavalry crossbows used to have a foot stirrup so that you could pull back the string with one hand, while still retaining some degree of control over the horse.

If you could have the crossbows outfitted with a mechanism that automatically "chambers" another bolt into the notch once the string is pulled back, you'd be set, as ridiculous as bending over several times a round may look.

Alternately, there's the example of Kore (http://goblinscomic.com/d/20050910.html) who apparently reloads his crossbows through sheer badassery. Though I wouldn't count on your GM letting you get that past him.

2007-05-21, 01:18 AM
Eh, you could always try to run a custom belt past him. Kinda like the old west holster and belt with all the bullets around it. Make it a masterwork hand Xbow bolt storage and quick reload Xtreme belt! Something like 15-20 bolts total, or enough to give ya like 5 or 6 rounds of combat shooting. The quickdraw enchantment will **** it, and the belt device will nock it, so you can Rock the Casbah!