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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default The best nonmagical bow

    Alright! I'm trying to have my non-magical supersciency character in a sci-fi game craft the best bow he can for another character in the party. It's pretty much an "anything d20" game for the most part. The DM looks over any new material but he's very open.

    I can supply more details as needed. But, at the moment what is the single best bow set up that can be built without using magic? Anything D20. Any mundane arrows, bows, any technology that can be stacked in, etc.

    I'm already (mostly) familiar with the contents of the D20 Future book. I have also read through D20 BESM and Silver Age Sentinels but I can't build anything with character points and give it to another character (nor do I want to).

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    I personally think the Bone Bow is an excellent non magical bow. I think it is in frostburn.
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    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Composite Greatbow from CWar has 10 feet more of range, but is pretty much the same.
    Whichever you choose, make it elvencraft from Races of the Wild. For 300 gp more, a bow can be used as a quarterstaff, interchange ranged and melee attacks, and best of all, threaten the squares around you at all times.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Serrenwood from BoED gives nonmagical Ghost Touch for 4000gp.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Greenish's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Footbow (RoW) gives you 1.5*Str to damage when used with both hands. It requires you to either fly or be prone and take a penalty, but on the other hand it's martial weapon for raptorans, who get flight anyway.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    For 800gp you could make the bow 'deceptive', making it easier to disguise as a weapon and giving +4 on disguise checks.

    There aren't a lot of bow related materials, and even fewer completely non magical ones. Dragon bone and dragon fang materials might not exist without dragons, for instance.

    There are a lot more metal type properties... I suppose in a scifi game you might make a bow out of those metals, but they wouldn't confer the extra damage or other properties to the arrows (you'd have to make the arrows using those materials). Of course, if you made a bow that doubled as a quarterstaff, those properties would be useful in melee. Also, a lot of those materials are special because they come from the heavens, the hells or various other planes, which might not exist in a scifi universe.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Riverine is kinda magical in a weird way, so I don't know if it counts, but it can make your bow completely unbreakable (short of Disjunction or a rod of cancellation).
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Add Dragonbone Bow from the Draconomicon p117. This makes the bow’s range increment 20 feet longer than normal for the bow’s type, so whatever the "best" bow would be, this makes it better by adding +20 ft. to its range.

    Add Elvencraft to it from Races of the Wild p166. This allows it function as a quarterstaff in addition to being used as a bow. You have to pay for masterwork three times, for the bow portion and both ends of the quarterstaff, and each of those three upgrades separately if you make it a magic weapon. You'll still threaten adjacent squares and be able to make AoOs with this, and if you eventually make it magical, each quarterstaff end can be made +1 Defending with Greater Magic Weapon every day and contribute the full bonus from each to your AC.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Dragon 349 (November 2006) has good arrows.

    Flight Arrows get +25 ft to range increment.

    Swiftwing Arrows get -1 penalty instead of -2 penalty for each range increment beyond the first.

    Serpentstongue arrows do both piercing an slashing damage (and full damage to objects instead of half damage).

    Blunt Arrows have a shorter range increment (half, rounding up), and automatically do nonlethal damage (Good if you need to take a target alive).
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Daftendirekt's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    So, a Dragonbone Bone Footbow

    or a Serrenwood Elvencraft Composite Longbow.

    Those seem to be the two best possible bows.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Strictly, the Dragonbone property can only be added to composite bows (short or long)- extrapolating to the Bonebow or the composite greatbow requires homebrew DM ruling.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Daftendirekt's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Strictly, the Dragonbone property can only be added to composite bows (short or long)- extrapolating to the Bonebow or the composite greatbow requires homebrew DM ruling.
    Well, the text for Bone Bow says the following:

    "A bone bow functions as a composite longbow with regard to applying the user's Strength bonus to damage...For purposes of feats such as Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization, a bone bow is treated as if it were a longbow..."

    I'd say that lets you apply Dragonbone to it.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Feats. But not necessarily other things.

    And you still need Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bonebow) to use it to its fullest.

    I admit a DM might seem to be taking an overly literalist approach- but RAW is by definition "literalist".

    (same principles probably apply to having a Dragonbone Footbow).

    The Compound Bow from D20 Modern has horrible range- but allows you to apply your Str bonus, whatever it is, to damage. So it's the only bow that doesn't need to be traded out as your Str increases with level.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2013-03-16 at 03:32 PM.
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    Daftendirekt's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    There's also the whole common sense thing of it being a Bone Bow. What possible reason could there be that dragon bones are the only bones it can't be made of?

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms

    Still, I personally would allow Dragonbone Composite Greatbows (rib of a Colossal Dragon?) and Dragonbone Footbows (since they work like Composite Bows).

    EDIT:
    However, the Bonebow looks like it's made from multiple small bones rather than one huge one.

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    And for dragonbone, according to Draconomicon:

    "A bow carved from a single bone of a dragon (a thigh bone or similarly large bone)"
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2013-03-16 at 04:13 PM.
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    Greenish's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    I find that, especially (but not only) when it comes to weapons, D&D art is, well, less than representative.
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    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Anyone who wants to use it is perfectly welcome to.
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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Quote Originally Posted by Venusaur View Post
    Riverine is kinda magical in a weird way, so I don't know if it counts, but it can make your bow completely unbreakable (short of Disjunction or a rod of cancellation).
    How do you make a riverine bow? Walls of force don't flex.
    Oh wait, I know, all other items of riverine cost X/pound of weight.

    I'm trying to think of ways of crafting force effects in a science setting, but the best I got is Susan Storm from the Fantastic 4 movie who can throw her force fields at people. Gives you an opening for a Hank Energy bow.


    Could also do serrated arrowheads. +1 to crit range I think. Same dragon mag as teh one that gives 'blood groves.'

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
     
    The Viscount's Avatar

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Quote Originally Posted by Daftendirekt View Post
    So, a Dragonbone Bone Footbow

    or a Serrenwood Elvencraft Composite Longbow.

    Those seem to be the two best possible bows.
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    Quote Originally Posted by herrhauptmann View Post
    How do you make a riverine bow? Walls of force don't flex.
    Makes about as much sense as making a bow from a single bone. I guess dragons are all like Mr. Fantastic. (Might as well continue the FF references)
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  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Thanks for all the input guys. Pretty much every resource listed here is applicable but it'd just be a matter of getting a hold of it. We haven't run into Dragons yet in this specific campaign yet but they do exist in his universe (as it's a sci-fi setting it operates on a galactic scale). That said I'd have to go find one. Which I could do. And if I'm smart with the tech I could bring it down too.

    Makes me wonder what of the above I could apply to the Compound Bow found in D20 Modern (which IIRC allows any str to be applied) since they're just the materials that the limbs would be made from.

    Thanks for all the input so far.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Quote Originally Posted by herrhauptmann View Post
    Could also do serrated arrowheads. +1 to crit range I think. Same dragon mag as teh one that gives 'blood groves.'
    Your memory might be playing tricks on you. Serrated weapons are from Dragon # 358, and don't do anything to improve threat ranges. On a critical hit they instead add 1 point of damage on each of the following 1d4 rounds.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    Your memory might be playing tricks on you. Serrated weapons are from Dragon # 358, and don't do anything to improve threat ranges. On a critical hit they instead add 1 point of damage on each of the following 1d4 rounds.
    Right you are.
    Hmmm, that means last time I saw them in a pbp, the player had them even more wrong. (Serrated on his energy bow for spiky balls of force, because his incarnate dusk form greensnake naga halfminotaur unseelie fey (gloura?)was also a servant of an elder evil who gave gear to his chosen, but made it so his chosen had to obey anyone who held a particular rock).

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    Default Re: The best nonmagical bow

    There is a Serrated weapon addon in AEG's Mercenaries source book, and it does enhance a bladed weapon's crit range.
    Last edited by Agent 451; 2013-03-16 at 11:25 PM.
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