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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondeye View Post
    It's also a bit silly to argue that you're less effective with a bow than you would be in melee against an opponent who wwon't enter melee. Well, that's why he won't. I bet if you were built for archery, he'd be closing to melee.
    The point is, you are so much less efficient with bow that you aren't going to make a meaningful contribution vs. level equivalent opponents. That's the heart of the issue. It's not that you're less efficient, it's that you are SO much less efficient that you might as well not bother.

    8000gp isn't negligible until level ~13-14, and a Frost bow with +8 Str still only averages 16 damage vs. things you can hit (not many without archery feats) and ones that aren't resistant to Cold (many Outsiders and Dragons are, and Dragons can cast Energy Immunity to boot).


    Yeah, I get it, you believe it doesn't matter how good your character is. That doesn't change the fact that if you have weak casters, and if the melee Fighter cannot close in to melee range vs. the Dragon, you're looking at a TPK. I think it's a fault of the system. I think the effort you need to be a decent archer should be much lower.

    Yeah, I have no problem with a dedicated archer being a better archer than a primary melee Fighter, but I feel it takes too many resources from a primary melee Fighter to be a competent archer right now.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-09-28 at 11:50 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    The point is, you are so much less efficient with bow that you aren't going to make a meaningful contribution vs. level equivalent opponents. That's the heart of the issue. It's not that you're less efficient, it's that you are SO much less efficient that you might as well not bother.
    Really depends on the character. A Rogue is so much less efficient closing for melee that they might as well not bother, and getting sneak attack once in the surprise round and multiple times in the next round with a bow is vastly superior. And then, unless they've got a reliable flanking partner, they're still better off keeping to the bow and spoiling enemy spells, because (a) the bow allows action against diverse targets; and (b) spellcasters aren't going to get in melee anyway.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    The point is, you are so much less efficient with bow that you aren't going to make a meaningful contribution vs. level equivalent opponents. That's the heart of the issue. It's not that you're less efficient, it's that you are SO much less efficient that you might as well not bother.
    I think part of the problem, though, is that your standards for "meaningful contribution" are unrealistically high. I mean, your previous example of your melee character who could kill what was supposed to be a challenging opponent with one full round attack emphasises the point. If that's your baseline, then pretty much no normal attack methods are going to satisfy you.

    I've seen characters use bows as a backup weapon and be fairly effective - one example would have been in my RHoD game where a couple of characters (a Fighter and a Cleric, both 7th-level) were caught alone by a strafing Manticore. The Fighter switched to her mighty composite longbow, and the Cleric switched to his crossbow, and they were able to do it enough damage to eventually kill it.

    If the Fighter had been a charger build able to kill nearly any enemy in one combat round but unable to do anything else, and who hadn't brought a bow on the grounds that it "wasn't worth bothering" . . . well, things would have gone rather differently, and as far as I'm concerned it would have been her own damn fault.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    Really depends on the character. A Rogue is so much less efficient closing for melee that they might as well not bother, and getting sneak attack once in the surprise round and multiple times in the next round with a bow is vastly superior. And then, unless they've got a reliable flanking partner, they're still better off keeping to the bow and spoiling enemy spells, because (a) the bow allows action against diverse targets; and (b) spellcasters aren't going to get in melee anyway.
    Obviously; I thought this thread was about primary melee combatants though. Archers are better as archers; a shock indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    I think part of the problem, though, is that your standards for "meaningful contribution" are unrealistically high. I mean, your previous example of your melee character who could kill what was supposed to be a challenging opponent with one full round attack emphasises the point. If that's your baseline, then pretty much no normal attack methods are going to satisfy you.

    I've seen characters use bows as a backup weapon and be fairly effective - one example would have been in my RHoD game where a couple of characters (a Fighter and a Cleric, both 7th-level) were caught alone by a strafing Manticore. The Fighter switched to her mighty composite longbow, and the Cleric switched to his crossbow, and they were able to do it enough damage to eventually kill it.

    If the Fighter had been a charger build able to kill nearly any enemy in one combat round but unable to do anything else, and who hadn't brought a bow on the grounds that it "wasn't worth bothering" . . . well, things would have gone rather differently, and as far as I'm concerned it would have been her own damn fault.
    Yeah, I suppose level 6-7 is still in the range where the Fighter can make a meaningful contribution. I'm not really talking about chargers here though; just any focused melee type much prefers melee (obviously). Take the...level 13 example, for one. Let's assume we have a Fighter with the following:

    27 Str (18 + 3 levels + 6 item)
    16 Dex (14 + 2 item)

    +1 Shocking Composite Longbow (+8 Str)
    +1 Holy Shocking Spiked Chain


    He further has the Improved Trip & Combat Reflexes-line, and since we're making a coreish type, I suppose Weapon Focus-line. Further, he has access to Boots of Speed and Greater Magic Weapon cast by a Cleric with Beads of Karma, on both weapons.

    His party is now faced by an Old White Dragon (with +4 Con item, Greater Magic Fangs, Wingover, Hover, +4 Str, maybe Dex-booster, some Ability Foci/Improved Natural Armor and so on). It has 324 HP. It has obviously cast Mage Armor on itself and may have Magic Vestment or some such. This gives us an AC of ~36-37.

    Now, the Fighter's melee attack is:
    13 BAB + 8 Str + 4 Weapon + 2 Weapon Focus + 1 Haste = +28, for +28/+28/+23/+18 with damage 2d4+12 Str+4 Specialization+4 Weapon+3d6 Others = 2d4+20+3d6, averaging at 35.5.

    So, melee +28/+28/+23/+18 for 35.5 damage. Criticals 20/x2.

    His bow attack is:
    13 BAB + 3 Dex + 4 Weapon + 1 Haste = +21, for +21/+21/+16/+11 with damage being 1d8+8 Str+4 Weapon+1d6 Others, averaging at 20.

    So, ranged +21/+21/+16/+11 for 20 damage. Criticals 20/x3.


    Given 37 AC on the Dragon, the melee has expected full attack of 60.63 and single attack (charge) of 25.72 damage. The bow full attack without increments has an expected damage output of 12.98. So the single attack charge deals twice the expected damage of a full attack. Full melee attack does some 5 times as much damage as an expected bow full attack.

    Now, this is admittedly in the higher range of the expected AC (as Dragons usually tend to be), so let's take something with...AC 28 (pretty usual for these levels). We get:
    - Melee full attack for 124.89 (Power Attack for 2)
    - Melee charge for 42.89 (Power Attack for 4)
    - Ranged full attack for 42.69

    It should be bloody obvious that even not accounting for a Trip, you should rather spend two turns trying to get that melee full attack off than trying to use ranged weapons (for the record, vs. a tripped opponent, the full attack damage goes up to 150.51 and the single attack to 50.87).


    You needn't ask me if I'd bother full attacking with that bloody bow. And this is not accounting for annoyances like damage reduction.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-09-28 at 01:21 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    The point is, you are so much less efficient with bow that you aren't going to make a meaningful contribution vs. level equivalent opponents. That's the heart of the issue. It's not that you're less efficient, it's that you are SO much less efficient that you might as well not bother.
    Except for the part where sometimes your melee focused, TWF fighter whips out her composite longbow and crits the enemy wizard. Why use a bow? Because said wizard is behind two umber hulks, twenty low-level fighter mooks, and frelling wooden barricades, all of which prevent charging. You're not always going to crit the enemy wizard, of course, but you can interfere with spellcasting.

    I mean, honestly, if my options are fire a bow and do a small amount of damage, or shrug my shoulders every turn and go "sorry guys, can't do anything, it's still in the air/too far away"... I'm gonna take the former every time. And you can't always rely on your caster to rectify the "in the air/far away" situation. What if your caster had the gall to focus on offensive spells rather than catering to your every whim? Or what if you're too low a level for the caster to know any spells where they can fix the problem? Or what if your caster is dead because the flying thing shot him? These aren't utterly unheard of situations, and it is always always ALWAYS better to be prepared for bad things happening than to have a character be utterly useless because the DM didn't provide a combat situation catered to their particular skillset.
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhiannon87 View Post
    I mean, honestly, if my options are fire a bow and do a small amount of damage, or shrug my shoulders every turn and go "sorry guys, can't do anything, it's still in the air/too far away"... I'm gonna take the former every time. And you can't always rely on your caster to rectify the "in the air/far away" situation. What if your caster had the gall to focus on offensive spells rather than catering to your every whim? Or what if you're too low a level for the caster to know any spells where they can fix the problem? Or what if your caster is dead because the flying thing shot him? These aren't utterly unheard of situations, and it is always always ALWAYS better to be prepared for bad things happening than to have a character be utterly useless because the DM didn't provide a combat situation catered to their particular skillset.
    Yeah, obviously it's better to have an illusion of doing something than do nothing. Just, compared to what you'd be doing without the bow, you're but a shadow of yourself.
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  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Yeah, obviously it's better to have an illusion of doing something than do nothing. Just, compared to what you'd be doing without the bow, you're but a shadow of yourself.
    I'd rather be a shadow than nothing. No one is suggesting that a fighter-type who hasn't focused on it can just pick up a bow and do as well as one who has.
    But it can help.
    For example, I am playing a paladin. With my other fighter types we are doing quite well, seriously enjoying the Pathfinders version of Smite Evil, when the abyssal beasty literally jumps out of the fight onto the roof of a building. So I drop my falchion and plink the guy with my bow. It's enough, he's dead. Even with things like regeneration, that's a few points they still have to regenerate, making the quill shooting sun blotter of an archer more effective.
    And your doing something, sitting out rounds of combat is not much fun.
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    I'd rather be a shadow than nothing. No one is suggesting that a fighter-type who hasn't focused on it can just pick up a bow and do as well as one who has.
    But it can help.
    For example, I am playing a paladin. With my other fighter types we are doing quite well, seriously enjoying the Pathfinders version of Smite Evil, when the abyssal beasty literally jumps out of the fight onto the roof of a building. So I drop my falchion and plink the guy with my bow. It's enough, he's dead. Even with things like regeneration, that's a few points they still have to regenerate, making the quill shooting sun blotter of an archer more effective.
    And your doing something, sitting out rounds of combat is not much fun.
    If I was doing HALF of what I'd usually be doing, I'd have no trouble with bows. But it's not even that. You're doing like from 1/3rd to 1/6th as much damage as you'd be doing in melee, and lack the ability to inflict Trips/Disarms (lol)/Sunders (double lol)/any other conditions upon the opponent.

    I don't know about you, but when I know that I just dealt 10 damage to an opponent with 300+ HP, I'm not gonna be very happy with myself. I'd take over 30 rounds to drop it, and even if allies deal a couple of hundred points of damage to it, it's still TEN FRIGGIN' ROUNDS to kill it. That's a lot.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-09-28 at 01:54 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    If I was doing HALF of what I'd usually be doing, I'd have no trouble with bows. But it's not even that. You're doing like from 1/3rd to 1/6th as much damage as you'd be doing in melee, and lack the ability to inflict Trips/Disarms (lol)/Sunders (double lol)/any other conditions upon the opponent.

    I don't know about you, but when I know that I just dealt 10 damage to an opponent with 300+ HP, I'm not gonna be very happy with myself. I'd take over 30 rounds to drop it, and even if allies deal a couple of hundred points of damage to it, it's still TEN FRIGGIN' ROUNDS to kill it. That's a lot.
    If your doing nothing, it will take ∞ rounds. That's even more.

    Sure, I am not happy doing plinks, I know it's not my strength, but I feel better then watching it fly over my head and doing absolutely nothing, waiting for the DM to take pity and have it land so I can go base to base with it. If and when it does land, I will attack it, weakened from the combined efforts of all of us, (there's no 'I' in 'party') it will be that much easier, and it will feel less like the DM threw me a sop.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2009-09-28 at 02:19 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Obviously; I thought this thread was about primary melee combatants though. Archers are better as archers; a shock indeed.
    But I made no pretense of this Rogue being an archer other than by having a bow. Which is to say: no feats or dips to add anything to what the character already gets as Rogue class features. Rogues get shortbow proficiency, so use a composite shortbow.

    The thing is that sneak attack works regardless of whether it's a melee or ranged attack (within the distance limit), as long as one of the triggering conditions happens. But the one condition that's almost always going to happen is enemies being flat-footed at the start of combat. And it's just stupid to squander prime opportunities for sneak attack by moving instead of attacking. (It would be equally stupid for the Rogue to focus on archery feats, when things like Craven apply to sneak attack generally.)

    Later, maybe you'll have an opportunity to get into flanking position and get sneak attack from that triggering condition. However, that's dependent on the vagaries of terrain and enemy actions, which can easily foil attempts at teamwork.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    But I made no pretense of this Rogue being an archer other than by having a bow. Which is to say: no feats or dips to add anything to what the character already gets as Rogue class features. Rogues get shortbow proficiency, so use a composite shortbow.
    They are not melee-types either, hence their triviality in this discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    If your doing nothing, it will take ∞ rounds. That's even more.

    Sure, I am not happy doing plinks, I know it's not my strength, but I feel better then watching it fly over my head and doing absolutely nothing, waiting for the DM to take pity and have it land so I can go base to base with it. If and when it does land, I will attack it, weakened from the combined efforts of all of us, (there's no 'I' in 'party') it will be that much easier, and it will feel less like the DM threw me a sop.
    Sure, but if it's "hard" by CR and melee-types can't close into melee, it's probably a TPK; of course, casters run the show on those levels anyways, but that's besides the point. Point being, if you take 10 turns to kill the Dragon (or force it to use its Scroll of Heal anyways), chances are you are not going to be able to kill it. If you had flight and teleportation and got into melee, you could probably kill it. That's what I consider the heart of the problem.

    If the difference wasn't large enough to mean that when you have to use Bow, you lose to encounters you'd beat in melee relatively consistently, I'd have no problem with it. If you dealt even half of the damage you deal in melee with the bow, I'd have no problem with it.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    If your doing nothing, it will take ∞ rounds. That's even more.

    Sure, I am not happy doing plinks, I know it's not my strength, but I feel better then watching it fly over my head and doing absolutely nothing, waiting for the DM to take pity and have it land so I can go base to base with it. If and when it does land, I will attack it, weakened from the combined efforts of all of us, (there's no 'I' in 'party') it will be that much easier, and it will feel less like the DM threw me a sop.
    Exactly. Of course it's frustrating to not be able to fight with your strength, but sometimes it happens. It's realistic that sometimes it happens-- not every fight is going to be perfectly geared towards a given character's strength. And you should be prepared for those fights where you can't play to your strength away if at all. It's why our fighters carry bows, why our rogue carries a variety of daggers to help him get past DR (if he can't sneak attack the construct, then by god he will do 1d4+3 damage to it with an adamantine dagger because every little bit helps), and why our archer carries a longsword. Sometimes situations arise where you can't do what you're best at, and it's better to at least do something instead of nothing at all.
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    But very often it's not a dichotomy like that. The choice isn't just between archery and inaction. In many cases, with sufficient effort, you can make the move to engage in melee, which is more effective and possibly more efficient.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    They are not melee-types either, hence their triviality in this discussion.
    The thing is, Rogues can be built for melee. Use a keen rapier with Weapon Finesse. Dip into Shadowdancer for Hide in Plain Sight and full attack while hiding to get sneak attack on every in-their-face blow. Buy Bracers of Striking because they grant Improved Unarmed Strike cheaply, and add Snap Kick for more attacks. That's a pretty solid Rogue build that focuses on melee.

    But then you still want to walk around with a bow to use at the start of every combat. Even if you're great at melee, you don't squander perfectly good opportunities to do sneak attack damage.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    The purpose of this advice isn't to advocate using the bow often...it's simply a general one of being prepared for situations in which your usual combos are ineffective. It doesn't have to be a literal bow. It may be a reserve feat for a caster, so they can continue to blast if they face a very combat intensive day. It might be a backup weapon in case your magical weapon of doom gets sundered or is somehow inaccessible.

    Being mostly ineffective is better than being completely ineffective.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Bow is nice and all, but having a bow and the option to actually contribute with it in combat would be what I'd be after; levels 1-5 or so, it's no problem as 1d8+Str tends to be plenty sufficient but right after that, bow damage stops growing while HP keeps on scaling and the stupid Bow becomes more of a relic than an actual tool.
    So in 3.x or 4E D&D (where ranged attacks are also comparatively impotent for melee due to lack of to-hit and access to powers) and your DM throws a high-level flying monster at the party, what do you expect the meleers to do, complain?
    Last edited by Indon; 2009-09-28 at 02:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    The point is, you are so much less efficient with bow that you aren't going to make a meaningful contribution vs. level equivalent opponents. That's the heart of the issue. It's not that you're less efficient, it's that you are SO much less efficient that you might as well not bother.
    No, that isn't true. All you're doing is arbitrarily defining "meaningful" a lot higher than it actually is. You're NOWHERE NEAR so much less efficient that you shouldn't bother.

    8000gp isn't negligible until level ~13-14, and a Frost bow with +8 Str still only averages 16 damage vs. things you can hit (not many without archery feats) and ones that aren't resistant to Cold (many Outsiders and Dragons are, and Dragons can cast Energy Immunity to boot).
    A) You can hit plenty of things without archery feats. The only ones that give bonuses to hit are the WF/WS line which aren't weapon specific.
    B) 16 damage is certainly a meaningful contribution even with an opponent with 300 hitpoints. That's 5% of its hitpoints every time you hit. Even if it's only, say, +6
    C) It doesn't have to be cold, there are 5 types of energy you can put on it.
    D) No one said 8,000 GP was negligable. It doesn't need to be negligable. It's also not a crippling investment even at, say 9th level, and you BUILD UP to that.

    Yeah, I get it, you believe it doesn't matter how good your character is.
    Strawman attack. No one said anything of the sort.

    That doesn't change the fact that if you have weak casters, and if the melee Fighter cannot close in to melee range vs. the Dragon, you're looking at a TPK. I think it's a fault of the system. I think the effort you need to be a decent archer should be much lower.
    If the DM is putting you up against a creature you can't effectively fight he's being a **** and the problem isn't archery. You also can't base your argument on the "if" of weak casters because then it only holds in that case, nor on dragons for the same reason. Finally, fighters DO NOT have to close to melee range to be effective, regardless of caster strength if the encounter is appropriate to the party. Doing 12-16 damage per round is a perfectly decent contribution for an encounter that is suppsoed to be non-melee centric.

    Yeah, I have no problem with a dedicated archer being a better archer than a primary melee Fighter, but I feel it takes too many resources from a primary melee Fighter to be a competent archer right now.
    Except that it doesn't. The problem is that you're setting the standard for 'competant' too high. This is especially true with any sort of DEX based melee build.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    The rogue that works best as a melee fighter is the two weapon rogue, also optimized to get snap kick. A level in fighter for 20 is also a decent idea. Or possibly barbarian. Or Warblade, you get a stance that way.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Foryn Gilnith View Post
    But very often it's not a dichotomy like that. The choice isn't just between archery and inaction. In many cases, with sufficient effort, you can make the move to engage in melee, which is more effective and possibly more efficient.
    It might be more effective or more efficient, but there's also plenty of monsters that you don't want to melee if you can kill them just fine without it. Who cares if it takes 10 rounds?

    Besides, the main point here is situations where you can't get into melee. Claiming that you shouldn't carry a bow because it doesn't do a lot of damage when you have no other choice is just silly. We can clearly see that from the fact that it relies on nonsensical claims like "you only have the illusion of doing something."

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Brutal Throw from Complete Adventurer allows you to apply your Strength bonus to attack rolls with thrown weapons.

    Power Throw from the same book allows you to Power Attack with thrown weapons.

    There, now you fight just as well from a distance as from close range. I do try to fit these two feats on any Power Attack build, if it has some feats to spare.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indon View Post
    So in 3.x or 4E D&D (where ranged attacks are also comparatively impotent for melee due to lack of to-hit and access to powers) and your DM throws a high-level flying monster at the party, what do you expect the meleers to do, complain?
    Generate jetpacks through sheer force of will.

    Because Jetpacks are awesome.
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondeye View Post
    A) You can hit plenty of things without archery feats. The only ones that give bonuses to hit are the WF/WS line which aren't weapon specific.
    B) 16 damage is certainly a meaningful contribution even with an opponent with 300 hitpoints. That's 5% of its hitpoints every time you hit. Even if it's only, say, +6
    C) It doesn't have to be cold, there are 5 types of energy you can put on it.
    D) No one said 8,000 GP was negligable. It doesn't need to be negligable. It's also not a crippling investment even at, say 9th level, and you BUILD UP to that.
    You're still spending 8000 on your bow when you could be spending 8000 on something granting flight. Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondeye View Post
    Strawman attack. No one said anything of the sort.
    It's not an attack. It's simply an observation I've made on your posts; you don't seem to care how good characters are and I respect that. It's certainly one way to play.

    Maybe it's just what I read into your posts regarding Wizards. *shrug* Don't take it as an offense, I'm just acknowledging that we probably play in different ways which is probably the root cause of this disagreement in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondeye View Post
    If the DM is putting you up against a creature you can't effectively fight he's being a **** and the problem isn't archery.
    See, this is where we disagree. You feel DM should always make sure the specific party is fit for a given encounter. In such a case, it doesn't matter what the party is doing. The DM is going to make sure they have the tools to beat it anyways. You can have the VoP CW Samurai/VoP Monk/VoP Truenamer/VoP Commoner party and DM will craft encounters you can beat. This is much like keeping enemy scaling on in Oblivion. You'll always face appropriate encounters no matter what, and as you grow stronger, so do the opponents.


    My approach is completely different; while lower level characters are generally beyond the notice of the stronger intelligent beings and capable of avoiding the stronger less intelligent beings, I don't specifically tailor the encounters for the party and same goes for other DMs in our playgroup. If a character is going to die, he's going to die. If the party happens upon the hunting grounds of a Dragon, they just might be waylaid by the said Dragon. And the Evil Wizard doesn't always send their weakest lieutenant to deal with the PCs.

    And fighting isn't always the right option; sometimes you'll have to run and hide and hope that whatever you encountered doesn't consider you worth the effort to hunt you down. And sometimes you have to bribe or bluff your way out. And sometimes...well, the dice fall as they fall. And if you don't have means to fly and to teleport, that's too damn bad 'cause the Dragon is going to shamelessly abuse this weakness. And yeah, sometimes you run into complete pushovers. Much like taking the encounter scaler off in Oblivion; you fight what you fight, not what happens to be appropriate for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondeye View Post
    You also can't base your argument on the "if" of weak casters because then it only holds in that case, nor on dragons for the same reason. Finally, fighters DO NOT have to close to melee range to be effective, regardless of caster strength if the encounter is appropriate to the party. Doing 12-16 damage per round is a perfectly decent contribution for an encounter that is suppsoed to be non-melee centric.
    And what if the DM didn't plan the encounter as "non-melee centric"? Strafing Dragon can be approached with simple flight + teleportation. If you haven't acquired access to them, you'll be less effective which may prove fatal to the party.

    Why is it ok to deal less damage in encounters that are supposed to be "non-melee centric"? Why should an encounter even be non-melee centric? Are the elusive opponents so much weaker that you can afford to drop to a quarter of your damage output and still survive?

    I stated "if your caster is weak", 'cause a strong caster pulling out all the stops wouldn't really need you on those levels so it doesn't matter what you do. Sure, he could deal with the Dragon, but at that point, you wouldn't even need to be a party member. I specified weak caster 'cause if the caster is weak, you'll have to contribute too.

    It's completely trivial to discuss how Fighters should or should not close into melee in high-level parties with casters not holding back as they're no more useful than some Planar Bound demon or some such; hell, Demons at least have Greater Teleport at will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondeye View Post
    Except that it doesn't. The problem is that you're setting the standard for 'competant' too high. This is especially true with any sort of DEX based melee build.
    Dex-focused melee build isn't gonna be able to deal damage with a bow. I fail to see your point here. Only extremely high Dex & Str-type is going to have both, decent To Hit and Damage and even then, their melee is going to be vastly superior simply due to feat investment.

    Is it really too much to assume half my performance in an area other than my focus? Honestly, half. That already means it takes twice as long for me to accomplish anything; I think it's a handicap enough.


    Quote Originally Posted by Indon View Post
    So in 3.x or 4E D&D (where ranged attacks are also comparatively impotent for melee due to lack of to-hit and access to powers) and your DM throws a high-level flying monster at the party, what do you expect the meleers to do, complain?
    For 3.5? I expect them to find a way to close into melee. I don't care if you have to run into a dungeon 1000 miles away where you can force the opponent to give up chase or close into melee, or if you have to burrow underground with your hands until it closes in, I expect them to find some way to encounter the flying beast on terms where they can accomplish something. Easiest is of course acquiring magical flight themselves.

    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    Brutal Throw from Complete Adventurer allows you to apply your Strength bonus to attack rolls with thrown weapons.

    Power Throw from the same book allows you to Power Attack with thrown weapons.

    There, now you fight just as well from a distance as from close range. I do try to fit these two feats on any Power Attack build, if it has some feats to spare.
    yeah, as long as minor inconveniences like RANGE don't enter into it.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    I had a charger with 4 levels of ranger, mostly for animal companion.

    At various points, Rapid Shot, house-ruled called shots, and a Keen Composite Longbow make for awesome moments.

    GM: "G, what are you doing?"

    G: "Four Called shot- Eyes" *Two misses and two crits.* "Can each be in a different socket?"

    GM: "Yes. Yes they can. However, you are fighting a Destrachan."

    G: "Ohhhh..."

    Optimized? No. But it made him more than viable when people started flying all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    You're still spending 8000 on your bow when you could be spending 8000 on something granting flight. Why?
    Because flight has a speed limit.
    Arrows don't. Or have it both ways, get a strength bow, cheap at the levels where 8000 gold can be spent on a secondary weapon, AND a flying item. There, now you can plink it all the way in, and then go for the slice and dice, bash and smash, or chop and lop. You're not running around the map not doing your full attack, your moving when needed, and only then. And if it dies before you came to full grips with it, who cares? You contributed, and it's dead.
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 3.5? I expect them to find a way to close into melee. I don't care if you have to run into a dungeon 1000 miles away where you can force the opponent to give up chase or close into melee, or if you have to burrow underground with your hands until it closes in, I expect them to find some way to encounter the flying beast on terms where they can accomplish something. Easiest is of course acquiring magical flight themselves.
    Unless the opponent flies faster - most magical items that offer flight do not offer high speeds.

    Though, I imagine a shock trooper with an adamantine weapon could ground-sunder himself a cave pretty quick. Stone only has 15 HP per inch of thickness, after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.
    Fair enough.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    I think part of the problem is that some people feel that an encounter should always use everyone's primary ability to it's fullest extent. This is just not how it works, and for good reason. A game in which everyone is able to contribute equally all the time would get boring after a while. It takes all the fun out of having a unique character. Say there is a flying opponent, well the melle fighter won't be able to close in but perhaps there is an archer in the group or a wizard that can blast it. Sure the fighter won't be that effective but they will be when you have to have them tank it up on the minotaur. The DM can set up encounters that will exemplify each players strength at one time or another.

    Rogues will suck going up against things like constructs, but they can still have an adamantine dagger so they can do something, even 1d4+. Not all players can be perfectly useful all the time. Having a party that relies on each other is more fun the basically a group of individuals all wanting to show how much they are awesome. Sometimes the fighter has to suck it up with flying, and the then ranged ones have the spotlight. Sometimes the wizard has to suck it up because of SR, and have the fighter paste that pesky caster.
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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ostien View Post
    Rogues will suck going up against things like constructs, but they can still have an adamantine dagger so they can do something, even 1d4+.
    This is an unusual example, because the Nd4 damage dealt would likely be meager compared to the X extra damage dealt to the rogue which then must be healed.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Ranged > Melee. Check out the Battle of Agincourt if you dont believe me.

    D&D wise, I always go for having the option of ranged combat. I would even go for a ranged weapon over the ability to fly with no ranged option. The thing is not only that you can hit flying people with it, there are just some things you need to kill out there you dont really want to get to close to, either because they have some weird aura that sucks out your soul, or drives you mad or some other nasty thing, or because it really hurts hitting them with melee weapons (fire shield anyone?) or because it is very unhealthy to stand before then (swallow whole). With a bow you can do something against those, without you are just useless and deserve to go insane, roasted or eaten.

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    Default Re: Always Carry a Sword and a Bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ostien View Post
    I think part of the problem is that some people feel that an encounter should always use everyone's primary ability to it's fullest extent. This is just not how it works, and for good reason. A game in which everyone is able to contribute equally all the time would get boring after a while. It takes all the fun out of having a unique character. Say there is a flying opponent, well the melle fighter won't be able to close in but perhaps there is an archer in the group or a wizard that can blast it. Sure the fighter won't be that effective but they will be when you have to have them tank it up on the minotaur. The DM can set up encounters that will exemplify each players strength at one time or another.

    Rogues will suck going up against things like constructs, but they can still have an adamantine dagger so they can do something, even 1d4+. Not all players can be perfectly useful all the time. Having a party that relies on each other is more fun the basically a group of individuals all wanting to show how much they are awesome. Sometimes the fighter has to suck it up with flying, and the then ranged ones have the spotlight. Sometimes the wizard has to suck it up because of SR, and have the fighter paste that pesky caster.
    The question is, is this right? Casters obviously have no trouble contributing regardless of the opponent, but that's more of a fault intristic to 3.5 than a conscious design choice; to me it seems like Spell Resistance was at least intended to be a hurdle for casters (and then they print a thousand ways around it and make the most efficient Wizard-spells SR: No...).

    Should characters have to be almost completely useless vs. some challenges? Drop in efficiency I can accept; as I've said again and again, I wouldn't complain about this if you'd be at 50% while using a bow. It's the same with the Rogue though; a level ~11 Rogue deals ~20 points of damage per attack with Sneak Attack and about 6 with weapon damage (assuming Daggers/Short Swords with maximum enhancement). Denying him the Sneak Attack damage doesn't make him weaker, it makes him useless damage-wise. Now, the good news is that Rogue has Use Magic Device in class which always gives him something to do, but still, is it really a goal worth pursuing that some players could just join the peanut gallery as their mighty hero's contribution to the combat is something akin to a level 1 Warrior's.

    Again, I feel the Rogue should be getting half his SA against normally immune opponents at least when flanking (Penetrating Strike does just that) and with some Knowledges/whatever (right now only certain out-of-core magic items and spells offer this), be able to SA against anything. It's not the same problem, but I feel Rogue going to get a pizza while the rest fight a Golem just isn't a good way to run the game.


    Now, as touched upon above, this doesn't happen with Rogue 'cause of Use Magic Device, but overall my thesis is thus: When characters are faced with an adversary they are weak against, they shouldn't drop to under half their normal efficiency, since at that point their contributions in a level appropriate encounter begin to be small enough to not likely make a meaningful difference in the number of rounds the party survives/it takes for them to kill the opponent.

    Carrying the bow is nice, but if you deal 12 damage per turn to the Dragon while others are dealing 50, it's fully possible that independent of your efforts, the Dragon will come down in the exact same number of turns it would've taken without you. I feel this isn't good for the game and I've personally made a conscious choice in my own games to make it cheaper to purchase the archery-line feats (mostly removing the entirely pointless PBS) and to make feats more available, along with using homebrew ToB school for archery making it easier to acquire some incidental archery skills.

    Focused archer is still better than a non-focused one, of course, but I feel with this change martial characters just splashing archery skills will get something out of the deal. I also allow Rogues to deal SA damage to normally immune opponents. My own experience is that the game is better when the variance in character efficiency isn't large enough to render their contributions in some combat encounters trivial; I feel it important that everyone can do something at any given time and feel like they're making a difference. Casters need no help in this as their spell lists + scrolls offer solutions or at least efficient tools to anything that could possibly come up within the realms of mortal adversaries, but martial types need all the help they can get since they're naturally so limited in scope of ability.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-09-28 at 05:57 PM.
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