View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Custom concepts concenring crossbow craziness

2017-09-26, 11:05 PM
Ahoy! I have gotten into my head an idea for a character. Normally my 'great ideas' require a lot more customization than my DMs would appreciate, but this one, as far as I can tell, only needs two.

It starts with the Bladed Crossbow (MiC page 47). In a nutshell, the Bladed Cross bow is a Heavy Crossbow with blades attached so it can also function as a Battleaxe. It's one of the few items in the book with no picture & I have a little trouble picturing exactly how it would operate, but the rules say it works and that's good enough for now.

A minor tweak, which I doubt any DM would mind, is turning this into a light crossbow, and that being a repeating crossbow. I presume this would drop the 'axe' part from the 1-handed 1d8 Battleaxe down to the 1d6 Light Handaxe. This is not one of the 'homebrew' things I am asking for critique on, but it is vital to the concept.

The (super original I am sure) concept is: dual-wielding crossbows. There is nothing in two-weapon fighting saying it cannot be done; in fact, the crossbow entries explicitly state it CAN be done, just that only an idiot would want to do it. Ladies and gentlemen, [B]I[B] am that idiot!

1) Autoloading enhancement

The first thing I need is a way to overcome the manual reload lever. My first thought is a weapon enhancement, but I struggle with what that should cost. A simple spell such as Mage Hand or even prestidigitation could easily **** that lever, but I know these prices need to represent the actual power of the ability vs the spell level. The closest I can come to is Dancing, at a hefty +4. I compare as follows:


+Doubles number of attacks
+Able to use wide variety of Melee feats
+works with any weapon
-Robs user of weapon (thus needing a second weapon of equal value)
-Only lasts 4 rounds

AUTOLOADING (Enhancement allows Repeating Crossbow to operate its own reloading lever whenever a shot is fired)
+Doubles number of attacks when used with Two-Weapon Fighting
+Allows use of crossbow & shield
+Allows user to keep weapon
+Synchronizes well with additional +1 enhancement 'quickloading'*
- -2/-4 to each attack depending on crossbow size
- additonal penalties from Twi-Weapon Fighting
- feat-intensive to pursue as dual-wielding
- more limited selection of feats that work woith crossbows
- only works on repeating crossbows

*The 'Quickloading' feat is a confusing fellow and I am choosing to simplify it down to 'your repeating crossbow holds 100 bolts' which I think is simple enough to houserule without a fuss.

Initially I was leaning to making this +4 because I thought you could Flank with a Dancing weapon, but I now realize this is not the case. Still, a level 20 Ranger could use a pair of these to get 8 ranged attacks per round (at -4/-6 each) and a Fighter could use Weapon Specialization to get it to the normal -2/-4. Add in Crossbow Sniper and that fighter would be shooting 8 shots at 1d8+4+1/2 dex each turn with a range increment of 80 feet. This is not the most potent 2-weapon fighter I've seen, but it still seems very powerful.

I think this enhancement should be +3 or +4. What do you all think?

2) Custom Feat 'Surgical Strike'

This issue relates more to the bladed crossbow aspect. There's no good canon way to add dex to damage without wrapping your whole build around it and I've been trying to come up with a fair and balanced way to do so. Of course, adding Dex to your damage almost completely removes the need for Str (carrying capacity and opposed Str checks only) and anything that cuts out a whole attribute to that extreme needs balancing. Here is my idea:

Surgical Strike [General]
You are adept at guiding even your basic blows toward more vital areas. You slice, stab, and hammer with an understanding of anatomy to maximize every impact.

Dex 15; Heal 5 ranks OR ability to do precision-based damage.

You may add your Dexterity bonus to damage on melee attacks you make. Creatures that are immune to critical hits are not subject to this additional damage.

An attack benefiting from Power Attack cannot also benefit from Surgical Strike.

A fighter may select Two-Weapon Fighting as one of his fighter bonus feats

I like this layout because a Fighter can dip into it for a little extra damage on his Greatsword, or a Two-Weapon Weapon-Finesse fighter could really maximize their damage at the risk of being stunted vs undead or constructs. I'm notsure on the prereqs; I know I don't want Weapon Finesse to be a prereq.

The actual character would eventually have two Light Repeating Bladed Crossbows, a Mithral Buckler (every housewife needs one) and a good Tower Shield. This would allow me to spray down the battlefield from range, but also charge in and make regular melee attacks enhanced by my Dex bonus (hand-axes are Light so I can Finesse them and dual-wield at reduced penalty) or I can hole up somewhere behind my shield & snipe with one crossbow.

Note: one of my DMs has allowed a player to have a +2 enhancement that would turn any crossbow into a one-handed-operation weapon with 250 bolts for +2. I think this is overpowered but he does not.

Thanks for any insight any of you have!