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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    I swear there used to be a search function on this forum, but I cannot seem to find it anymore. So let me know if this stuff has been posted before.

    So on the subject of crossbows in D&D, it seems as though there is little incentive to use them over bows. I suspect this is due to the lack of crossbow accessories present in the D&D rules. Here are some of my suggestions and feel free to PEACH me to death.

    Bipod
    Weight: 1
    Cost: 5 gp
    -A bipod attached to the bottom of a crossbow. Provides +2 circumstance bonus to attack when firing from a rest, or a prone position. Folding out a bipod is a free action.

    Crossbow Shield
    Weight: 7
    Cost: 20 gp
    -Wooden sections attached to the sides and bottom of a crossbow.
    Provides a +1 shield bonus to AC. Can be magically enhanced as a shield, but must be done so separately from the crossbow to which it is attached.


    Crossbow Spyglass
    Weight: 1
    Cost: 1500 gp
    -A masterwork spyglass that has an aiming reticule and fittings for
    a crossbow. Provides +2 to attack with a crossbow, provided that the wielder is not distracted (concentration check required)


    Thus, the spyglass and bipod would allow for accurate long range shooting, or they could be used to offset penalties for using larger sized crossbows.

    Also, I see even less incentive to ever use a hand crossbow. If you plan to use it as a one-shot-then-drop weapon, then a javelin or light crossbow would be preferable in my opinion as they do more damage and don't require exotic weapon proficiency. So, I suggest that the hand crossbow should be repeating, if it requires EWP.

    Hand Crossbow, Repeating
    Weight: 3
    Cost: 800 gp
    Damage: 1d4
    Range: 30 ft
    Crit: 19-20 x2
    -Has a top loading, 5 round bolt magazine. Comes with a belt hook,
    allowing the shooter to simply hook the re-loading lever and push
    down to re-arm the crossbow (as a free action). Loading a new bolt magazine requires two hands and a move action.


    Thus, one could effectively dual wield short-ranged weapons. Weight and cost are calculated by the same factors as upgrading from standard light/heavy crossbow to a repeating one (1.5x weight, 8x cost).

    And while I'm here, what about this as a general ranged fighter tool:

    Shooter's Blind
    Weight: 20
    Cost: 35 gp
    -A large piece of wood (similar to a tower shield) with notches
    cut out in the top and bottom for standing and prone shooting,
    respectively. It requires 1 FRA to set up and provides cover to
    the shooter.
    Last edited by Chaos_Laicosin; 2012-11-05 at 11:31 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    Ooh, neat. Mind if i pinch them?

    This sounds like the kind of thing a gnome would invent to keep pesky elves and their longbows off his lawn.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos_Laicosin View Post
    Crossbow Shield
    Weight: 7
    Cost: 20 gp
    -Wooden sections attached to the sides and bottom of a crossbow.
    Provides a +1 shield bonus to AC.


    Crossbow Spyglass
    Weight: 1
    Cost: 1500 gp
    -A masterwork spyglass that has an aiming reticule and fittings for
    a crossbow. Provides +2 to attack with a crossbow.
    Everything looks pretty good, but you should note whether these can be further enhanced, magically or otherwise. (I'd definitely expect the crossbow shield to be enchantable, but not sure about the spyglass.)
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    I always figured that the main purpose of a hand-crossbow was to deliver a dose of poison (kind of like a hand-held tranquilizer gun), not to deal damage on it's own.
    It's not the crossbows fault that poisons in D&D have their own myriad of problems!

    I do agree about the exotic-weapon issue though; in my eventual weapon-rework they will be martial weapons. I had not thought about a repeating version though, which I guess the best benefit for is that it's easier to hide than a full-size weapon (like a javelin).
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    Awesome, I've always loved crossbows (not so much in Dnd though).
    A few thing I would do:
    Note that the bipod gives a circumstance bonus.
    Maybe give specialize the Crossbow shield a little, couldn't really see it block other things than arrows and bolts, and maybe rays, so would make it a a bonus only applied to ranged attacks.
    Also specify that after using 5 bolts with the Repeating Hand Crossbow you'd have to insert a new clip as a move equlant action or somthing.

    A suggeston:
    Add extended magazines and Reloaders that would allow the user of a crossbow to further decrease reload time.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    I like the idea of the accessories, but feel that flat bonuses to attack rolls with no detriment makes them little more than a few plusses to make the crossbow user get higher on his attack rolls. The crossbow shield has no penalty, and since I am using a crossbow to fight anyways, it's basically free. Also, why should a crossbow spyglass give me a +2 to all attacks? What if I'm shooting at an orc that's trying to hit me with an axe? I sure am not using the sight, but I still get the +2 bonus? The shield I just don't think would work. The blind I can see, but its much too heavy. Maybe make it 20 pounds and it would be all right. But for the bipod and spyglass, what about this:

    Bipod
    Weight: 1
    Cost: 5 gp
    -A bipod attached to the bottom of a crossbow. When in a prone firing position, it allows the shooter to steady his aim, reducing penalties for each range increment past the first by 1. This can reduce the penalties to 0 when combined with similar effects, but not past 0. The bipod may be flipped into either position as a free action.

    Crossbow Spyglass
    Weight: 1
    Cost: 1500 gp
    -A masterwork spyglass that has an aiming reticule and fittings for a crossbow. When aiming down the sight of the spyglass (a free action), reduce all range increment penalties for shooting past the first range increment by 1. This can reduce range increment penalties to 0, but not past 0. In addition, add +2 to all attacks made while aiming down the sights against a target more than 1 standard range increment away. When calculating range increments for this ability, use the range increments listed for a weapon of its type, ignoring effects that extend range increments such as the Far Shot feat. This item can only be mounted on a masterwork crossbow. Other crossbows are too inaccurate to mount a spyglass on.

    There. Now our crossbowman gets a sniper rifle, basically. He can ignore the range penalties and get a +2 when he's doing long-range shooting. But that doesn't fix the main problem people have with crossbows: damage. You can use a Composite Bow to get your Strength added to bow damage, but you can't do the same with crossbows, even though historically they took a lot of strength to operate! You could probably draw up rules for that, but it is late and I am tired. Hope this helps.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepbluediver's Avatar

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    Default Re: Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Conor77 View Post
    But that doesn't fix the main problem people have with crossbows: damage. You can use a Composite Bow to get your Strength added to bow damage, but you can't do the same with crossbows, even though historically they took a lot of strength to operate! You could probably draw up rules for that, but it is late and I am tired. Hope this helps.
    When I was trying to boost ranged combat a while back I worked out a few adjustments for bows and crossbows; I'll give a shortened version of the more relevant weapon stats here, and anyone who wants to can take any piece(s) they like.


    Bows and Crossbows
    Bows and crossbows still use the Dexterity modifer for attack rolls, but all bows can now add the user's Strength bonus directly to damage just like any other weapon, without needing to be mighty/composite/have a strength score/whatever. That requirement seemed like an unescessarily complicating factor and a not-very realistic nod to realism (IMO).

    Crossbows do not get a bonus to their damage, but to compensate they are easier to operate (all normal crossbows are simple weapon, the repeating versions are martial weapons). The basis for this is the admittadly-brief research that mastering a weapon like a longbow took years, but you could teach some one to be moderatly skilled with a crossbow in just a few days or even hours. (generally, I consider "realism" to not be a very important factor in my homebrew, so I only apply it when I can do so without disturbing balance or fun)

    You provoke Attacks of Opportunity from enemies within melee range when you fire a bow, or when you reload a crossbow (but not when you load a bow or fire a crossbow).

    I discussed quite a bit about real-world bows and crossbows with other posters who had some interest amd knowledge about them, and after some additional reading I decided to add a third crossbow to the 2 standard ones to try and more fully represent the range of crossbow-style weapons available in the medieval period. In the real-world, bows where generally superior to crossbows up until about 1100, when improvements in steelmaking allowed more powerful and durable bows to become comparable to and eventually surpass bows by 1400-1500, before they all began to be phased out in favor of guns.

    I decided to assume that crossbow making in the D&D world was at it's peak era of technology, and these (approximately) mimic the basic distinctions in real-life crossbows.

    Light Crossbow- weighed 1.5-2.5 pounds, held in one hand while the string was drawn back with the other hand
    *lower damage but quick reload time

    Heavy Crossbow- weighed 3-5 pounds, to reload the shooter put his foot in a stirrup attached to the front of the crossbow or braced it against his hip, while using both hands to pull back the string; a metal or horn hook was frequently used to assist reloading
    *good damage and moderate reload time

    Siege Crossbow- Weighed 8-15 pounds, required a crank and winch system to draw back the steel cable which formed the draw-string
    *excellent damage but a very long reload time

    Weapons
    {table=head]Projectile Weapons|Small|Medium|Large|Critical|Range Increment|Wieght

    Simple

    Crossbow, Light|1d4|1d6|1d8|19-20/x2|
    80 ft.
    |4 lb.

    Crossbow, Heavy|1d8|1d10|2d8|19-20/x2|
    100 ft.
    |8 lb.

    Martial

    Crossbow, Siege|2d6|2d8|3d6|19-20/x2|
    120 ft.
    |14 lb.

    Repeating Crossbow, Light|1d4|1d6|1d8|19-20/x2|
    60 ft.
    | 5 lb.

    Repeating Crossbow, Heavy|1d8|1d10|2d8|19-20/x2|
    80 ft.
    | 10 lb.[/table]


    {table]Reloading Projectile Weapons|Proficient|Not Proficient

    Light Crossbow|Swift|Standard

    Heavy Crossbow|Move|Full Round

    Siege Crossbow|5 Rounds|1 Minute

    Repeating Crossbow (light)|Free|Swift

    Repeating Crossbow (heavy)|Free|Swift[/table]


    So there are the stats and reload times I worked out (I left other ranged weapons off the table because I'm still tweaking them and they're not really relevant here anyway). Yes, I recognize that the Siege Crossbow has unusually high damage and a ridiculously long reload time, I honestly don't expect many people to try and use them; they where mostly designed to end argument over which was "realisticly" better- the bow or crossbow.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-11-03 at 10:25 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos_Laicosin View Post
    I swear there used to be a search function on this forum, but I cannot seem to find it anymore. So let me know if this stuff has been posted before.

    So on the subject of crossbows in D&D, it seems as though there is little incentive to use them over bows. I suspect this is due to the lack of crossbow accessories present in the D&D rules. Here are some of my suggestions and feel free to PEACH me to death.
    1: The search function was disabled while they started to package up the forums for something.

    2: from memory: Crossbows actually are better then bows, if you can afford the feat investment. a Heavy Repeater can get off as many attacks in a round, with a much higher damage and accuracy, as a composite longbow. the most significant disadvantage of crossbows, is that a Bow can make 4 attacks at -8 from their highest attack bonus, where as a crossbow has to use itteratives. the thing is, this is really only observable in Gestalt, when you can make a Fighter//Rogue who can afford all of the crossbow feats they need.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post

    I discussed quite a bit about real-world bows and crossbows with other posters who had some interest amd knowledge about them, and after some additional reading I decided to add a third crossbow to the 2 standard ones to try and more fully represent the range of crossbow-style weapons available in the medieval period. In the real-world, bows where generally superior to crossbows up until about 1100, when improvements in steelmaking allowed more powerful and durable bows to become comparable to and eventually surpass bows by 1400-1500, before they all began to be phased out in favor of guns.

    I decided to assume that crossbow making in the D&D world was at it's peak era of technology, and these (approximately) mimic the basic distinctions in real-life crossbows.
    First steel prods for crossbows appeared around 1300, and composite ones lasted alongside them for pretty much whole history of crossbow...

    There was nothing indicating that they were really much "better" than wooden ones (steel weights a lot, not good for bow) - but it was much easier to make really powerful prods from it.

    Anyway, crossbows weren't much "better" or worse than bows, just different.

    Generally it was easier to shoot accurately and powerfully, so indeed they had beaten bows in popularity along Europe.


    As far as representing this good, I like this homebrew - can be tweaked a lot, but generally will give crossbows more damage in exchange for their reload time.
    Last edited by Spiryt; 2012-11-05 at 11:45 AM.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    2: from memory: Crossbows actually are better then bows, if you can afford the feat investment. a Heavy Repeater can get off as many attacks in a round, with a much higher damage and accuracy, as a composite longbow. the most significant disadvantage of crossbows, is that a Bow can make 4 attacks at -8 from their highest attack bonus, where as a crossbow has to use itteratives. the thing is, this is really only observable in Gestalt, when you can make a Fighter//Rogue who can afford all of the crossbow feats they need.
    This is only vaguely true. A heavy repeater has 10' greater range increments and does an average of 1 more point of damage, at the cost of requiring a move action to reload the bolt case every other round (or an extra weapon special). If you're attacking from within a single range increment and have at least +1 Str modifier on a composite bow, both of these advantages are negated entirely, while the downsides and limitations of crossbows remain.

    On the other hand, hand (and light and repeating light) crossbows have the unusual ability to be dual-wielded; if you have auto-loading crossbows you can gain more attacks that way, at the cost of still more feats.
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    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crossbow Stuff (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    This is only vaguely true. A heavy repeater has 10' greater range increments and does an average of 1 more point of damage, at the cost of requiring a move action to reload the bolt case every other round (or an extra weapon special). If you're attacking from within a single range increment and have at least +1 Str modifier on a composite bow, both of these advantages are negated entirely, while the downsides and limitations of crossbows remain.

    On the other hand, hand (and light and repeating light) crossbows have the unusual ability to be dual-wielded; if you have auto-loading crossbows you can gain more attacks that way, at the cost of still more feats.
    you can get, with crossbows, +2.5x dex to damage (plus sneak attack dice), which is what i was talking about. the problem is the ammount of feats required makes it rediculously difficult to actually make it to that point.
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