New OOTS products from CafePress
New OOTS t-shirts, ornaments, mugs, bags, and more
Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Iron_Mouse's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Female

    Default Repeating crossbows...

    I thought about making the repeating crossbow a more common weapon in my world. However, the versions from the SRD doesn't seem to make much sense. How can a crossbow that's drawn with a quick-pull lever be as strong as one that's drawn with a winch, anyway?
    Not to mention that they suck, too, especially the light one, which has absolutely no benefit over the heavy one.

    Repeating crossbows are obviously based on the chinese chu-ko-nu. On Wikipedia, we find the following description:
    The chu-ko-nu was a very simple and rugged design. This weapon was extremely easy to manufacture and use, and could easily launch ten bolts in fifteen seconds. In comparison, a standard arbalest could barely shoot one in that time. The chu-ko-nu, however, had neither the power nor the accuracy of a common crossbow, for operational reasons. This gave it a shorter range, compensated for by using lightweight arrows instead of the heavy bolts of single-shot crossbows. Thus, the chu-ko-nu was not very useful against more heavily armored troops unless poison was smeared on arrows, in which case even a small wound could be fatal. Since a chu-ko-nu was shot from the hip, the accuracy was poor but could be adjusted very swiftly since the next shot was only a second away.
    The default repeating crossbows cost 250gp (light) and 400gp (heavy), thus, they are the most expensive weapons in the core rules. That doesn't sound like a weapon that is "extremely easy to manufacture". And if it's extremely easy to use, it shouldn't be an exotic weapon, either - martial, at most, probably even simple. Ten bolts in fifteen seconds is like 3-4 attacks per round and they say that was "easy"
    However, as suspected, it's weaker and less accurate.

    I thought about it and came up with that:
    Crossbow, repeating: Dmg 1d4(S), 1d6(M), 1d8(L) [piercing], 19-20x2; range increment 30 ft, weight 6 lb

    Special: A repeating crossbow holds a clip with 10 bolts. As long as it holds bolts, you can reload it as a free action by pulling the lever back. Loading a new clip is a full round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
    A character that fires a repeating crossbow with a full attack action gains one additional attack, with his highest attack bonus (this stacks with the Rapid shot feat). However, because of the lacking accuracy, the repeating crossbow can not be used with any precision based feats, like Precise shot or Crossbow sniper, and it can not be used to deliver sneak attacks etc..

    Note: Infos about clip size and range taken from here. 75 yards are 225 feet, so a maximum range of 300 feet is okay (if not a little generous). Damage is the same as the shortbow. Makes sense to me.

    Now, should this be a martial or a simple weapon? What do you think overall, any suggestions?
    Avatar by Abardam.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Repeating crossbows suck in D&D. You can take the EWP feat for one and use a bad weapon, or you can take the Rapid Reload feat for one and use a bad weapon, except slightly better. (Especially prominent for the light crossbow; the light repeating crossbow is clearly worse than the regular light crossbow with Rapid Reload.)

    The weapon you've created is clearly inferior to short- and longbows. In fact, it's still hugely inferior to a light crossbow with the Rapid Reload feat. Even without factoring in that feat, it's bad - smaller damage, short range. Who uses crossbows once they've got BAB +6 or more, anyway? It's definitely not nearly as good as a shortbow. It doesn't fit anywhere in the "point" system of D&D weapons, and it's impossible to suggest a category (Simple or Martial) for it.

    Edit: Crikey, I didn't even notice the extra attack. That's unprecedented, and worth a +3 bonus. This weapon should cost around 15,000 gp.
    Last edited by Thomas; 2007-01-03 at 11:41 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    IMHO drop the crit range to 20x2 and make it a simple weapon, stick it on the wizard's weapon list. Wizards and Sorcs might use it for a level or two instead of a crossbow.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, CA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    There's also the problem that arises with your iterative attack granted by the weapon. Chu-ko-no + Rapid Shot + Haste = 3 extra attacks in a full-attack, which is bad.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    St. Louis (used to be Utah)

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    I think it should be martial at least but probably exotic for two reasons. First it has an expanded crit range 19-20 that most simple weapons don't have and second it gives the user an extra attack per round.

    I like the idea and think it could work. It makes sense that in general people would gravitate towards weapons with more firepower and rapid shots and many soldiers would use these in the opening round of combat and then switch to melee weapons. Your snipers are going to probably still use the standard crossbows and longbows and such for precision damage and other benefits.
    Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for
    anything, but you still can't help but smile when
    you see one tumble down the stairs.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Def. Exotic, yes, because of that extra attack, and the cost should be exorbitant, and I still wouldn't allow the weapon.

    "Easy to use" is not modelled in D&D. The Simple/Martial/Exotic system doesn't catch that. Basically, you could say that Exotic weapons are the ones that aren't common, not the ones that are hard to use (rifles were eminently easy to use, once you'd been shown the basics; compared to longbows, it was like 1+1 vs. non-Euclidean geometry).

    In actuality, the weapons are built on a "point" system. You go up one size category, you increase damage by one step. You go up one "complexity category" (Simple - > Martial - > Exotic), you increase damage by one step, and possibly introduce some other rules. If you decrease damage by one step, you can increase the critical values (either the threat range or the multiplier, but not both for the same weapon).

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis View Post
    There's also the problem that arises with your iterative attack granted by the weapon. Chu-ko-no + Rapid Shot + Haste = 3 extra attacks in a full-attack, which is bad.
    This problem fixes itself via the limited "clip". Which can be reduced even more. If its still a problem, you could do something like this instead, which might even be more true to the historical weapon.

    -
    A character that fires a repeating crossbow with a full attack action instead add make choses a number of attacks from 1 too 4. For each attack, all attacks that round suffer a cumulative -2 attack penalty. All shots must be at the same target.


    Sort of like a full round multishot.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, CA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Except that then makes Manyshot overpriced, since it takes a good investiture of feats to acquire. Three, off the top of my head, with a potential fourth for Greater Manyshot. Why spend feats on it if you're just going to buy an item that can already do it for you (albeit at an attack penalty)?

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis View Post
    Except that then makes Manyshot overpriced, since it takes a good investiture of feats to acquire. Three, off the top of my head, with a potential fourth for Greater Manyshot. Why spend feats on it if you're just going to buy an item that can already do it for you (albeit at an attack penalty)?
    Because manyshot takes a sdt action and can carry stuff like sneak attack. The feats power is in the ability to move and still shoot a bunch of arrows. This requires a full attack action.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, CA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Okay, so basically spending three feats for manyshot would essentially give you spring attack. Still not worthwhile. There's no reason you can't carry sneak attacks with the chu-ko-nu. Unless you specifically specify that, since it's so incredibly inaccurate, you can't SA with it.

    Which makes it pretty much useless.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Person_Man's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    There's a Reload enchantment in one of the splat books. I think it's a +2 cost.

    Still, a normal composite longbow wielded by someone with 12 Str has the same average damage as a heavy crossbow, without any of the reload problems. The heavy crossbow has a slightly better range increment, but its not worth the tradeoff.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Iron_Mouse's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Thanks for the replies. Okay, some say it's overpowered, other that it's useless...that helps
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    "Easy to use" is not modelled in D&D. The Simple/Martial/Exotic system doesn't catch that. Basically, you could say that Exotic weapons are the ones that aren't common, not the ones that are hard to use (rifles were eminently easy to use, once you'd been shown the basics; compared to longbows, it was like 1+1 vs. non-Euclidean geometry).
    I always assumeed it does. Crossbows or spears are simple weapons because they are easy to use. Bastard swords are exotic because they require extra training to wield them onehanded. Of course, their stats reflect that for balance issues, still, most exotic weapons look very difficult to wield (if not impossible...dire flail, anyone?). Well, except for the repeating crossbows and maybe the hand crossbow.

    Of course, if I want to make the chu-ko-nu a martial or even simple weapon it needs balanced stats. What I want is a weapon that does relatively crappy damage (as in RL), is inaccurate (as in RL) but fires very fast, even on low levels (as in RL!).
    It was used in armies to counter mass attacks. If your average foot soldier fires once per round with a repeating crossbow, just like with a light one, what's the point of using it? Thus, I came up with the extra attack.
    Unless you specifically specify that, since it's so incredibly inaccurate, you can't SA with it.
    They say that it was (literally) fired from the hip. I just see no way that you can aim for vulnerable spots and do other "sniping stuff" while doing that.

    However, some changes:
    - Critical toned down to 20/x2.
    - Firing from the hip grants you the extra attack as written, but imposes a -2 penality to all attack rolls with the weapon that round.
    - When you don't use the extra attack, it is assumed that you fire the weapon (somehow) from the shoulder. In this case, you can use precision based feats, sneak attack and the like, as normally.

    How's that?
    Avatar by Abardam.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Kanagawa, Japan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Cross Bows basically need revising. Giving them a Strength Rating that provides an Attack and Damage Bonus is always my solution of choice.

    The Repeating Cross Bow is pretty much fine as is. The only changes you need to make to bring it into your game is bring the Proficiency Requirement down to Simple or Martial or give the Weapon Proficiency out as a Bonus to certain Races or Classes. You might wish to up the Magazine size, which also seems less than problematic. If you're aiming for 'historical accuracy', a Magazine of six would probably be a reasonable maximum.

    If you want it to shoot four times every six seconds, there are no easy RAW solutions. Rapid Shot gives 2, in combination with BAB 6 it gives 3, in combination with BAB 11 it gives 4...

    Alternatively, you could make it a Special Full Round Attack Action to make four seperate Attacks with this weapon, and a Special Standard Attack Action to make two. Lowering the Damage to 1D6, as you have suggested, would be a good idea, but I wouldn't increase the magazine size beyond Six.
    Last edited by Matthew; 2007-01-03 at 04:16 PM.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after ones own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron_Mouse View Post
    I always assumeed it does. Crossbows or spears are simple weapons because they are easy to use. Bastard swords are exotic because they require extra training to wield them onehanded. Of course, their stats reflect that for balance issues, still, most exotic weapons look very difficult to wield (if not impossible...dire flail, anyone?). Well, except for the repeating crossbows and maybe the hand crossbow.
    That's just not how it works. To begin with, the "bastard sword" is an imaginary weapon; the actual weapon is a longsword (bastard sword is practically a neologism), and it's not a hand-and-a-half weapon, it's a two-handed weapon (see here for how it's used). It was the standard weapon for knights in 14th/15th century Europe.

    With martial and simple, the distinctions are pretty much impossible to make. A quarterstaff is simple? Right... again, that could reflect how common it is, but it's certainly not an easy weapon to use. (But if that were the criteria, then the bastard sword should be martial and the greatsword should be exotic, because the greatsword - zweihander - is a far more specialized, far less common weapon.)

    The "reality" of the weapons is entirely irrelevant in D&D; the only criteria is how they fit into the "point" system for weapons.

    As you point out, hand crossbows and repeating crossbows would be no more difficult to use than regular crossbows - you point and you fire. Similarly, the firearms in the DMG shouldn't be exotic, since they really replaced bows by virtue of being so easy to use. An English yeoman would and should have stuck to the longbow, but conscripts who hadn't practiced with the bow all their lives were better off with rifles.


    I much prefer games like GURPS or RuneQuest in this area; the weapons aren't supposed to be balanced against each other. They're just supposed to represent the real weapon; and you learn each type of weapon separately. (Although in Mongoose's new RQ's Arms & Equipment, the weapon lists and stats are a bit horrible. They did the whole "zomg Japanese swords are all infinitely better than any other sword" thing, and were stunningly confused about European swords...)

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    They did the whole "zomg Japanese swords are all infinitely better than any other sword" thing, and were stunningly confused about European swords...)
    OMG, what are you talking about. You can cut a tank in half with a katana!

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Dhavaer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    What about if, instead of the extra attack, you could fire two bolts per attack. You'd do more damage (maybe a die increase or two) but take a -2 penalty and, of course, use extra ammo.
    Thanks to Veera for the avatar.

    I keep my stories in a blog. You should read them.

    5E Sorcerous Origin: Arcanist

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by ClericofPhwarrr View Post
    Dhavaer, your ideas are like candy from the sky, sprinkled lightly with cinnamon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll View Post
    Wow. Badass without being flashy and showy, attractive while remaining classy. Bravo Dhavaer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    ...Why do I imagine you licking your lips and rubbing your hands together?

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    The_Snark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Crossbows are indeed inferior to bows. The D&D crossbow does a bit more damage than the bow of the same size, and have better range, in addition to being easier to use. The downside is that a skilled archer (somebody proficient with bows, in D&D terms) can shoot far faster. It's reasonably accurate, historically. Crossbows should not be the equivalent of bows.

    As for the repeating crossbow version above, I think it should deal less damage but grant use of the Rapid Shot feat. That way, you don't get the problem with multiple attacks stacking, and you retain the feel of being easy to use but not superior. Keep it a simple weapon, if you like, with a reasonably large magazine; with d6 damage, it needs to be a viable weapon for simple weapon-users.
    Avatar by GryffonDurime. Thanks!

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhavaer View Post
    What about if, instead of the extra attack, you could fire two bolts per attack. You'd do more damage (maybe a die increase or two) but take a -2 penalty and, of course, use extra ammo.
    Sounds more balanced. Basically a free, limited Manyshot effect.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maclav View Post
    OMG, what are you talking about. You can cut a tank in half with a katana!
    The inevitable rejoinder to this is:
    "So why did the Japanese lose the war again?"
    My favorite exchange:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Betty
    If your idea of fun is to give the players whatever they want, then I suggest you take out a board game called: CANDY LAND and use that for your gaming sessions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Obviously, you have never known the frustration of being stranded in the Molasses Swamp.
    _______
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeavelli View Post
    Physics is a dame of culture and sophistication. She'll take you in, keep you warm at night, provide all kinds of insight into yourself and the world you never find on your own.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Kanagawa, Japan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Couldn't get close enough to the Tanks? Cut too many of their own Tanks in half, in order to prove they could?
    Last edited by Matthew; 2007-01-04 at 06:33 AM.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after ones own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Jack Mann's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    They had too many ninjas. Everyone knows that the more ninjas you have, the less effective they are. They should have had all of their ninjas fight each other until only one was left, and then he could have fought the allies by himself.
    I am a poor man, some say Im half crazy,
    son of the sword and the knife
    Lady I pledge you my sword and my honor,
    my heart and my pride and my life
    --Bella Doa, by Joe Bethancourt
    Spoiler
    Show


    Alas, poor Draknir. By Mephibosheth

    Owl-atar by KingGolem
    You will be missed, dear 'stache...

  22. - Top - End - #22

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    The last two ninjas got a little careless with their katanas and cut atoms in half. The Atomic Bomb was a cover-up.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    I thought that was just Chuck Norris showing how he created the Big Bang.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bears With Lasers View Post
    The last two ninjas got a little careless with their katanas and cut atoms in half. The Atomic Bomb was a cover-up.
    roofleskates and rooflecopters

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Kanagawa, Japan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhavaer View Post
    What about if, instead of the extra attack, you could fire two bolts per attack. You'd do more damage (maybe a die increase or two) but take a -2 penalty and, of course, use extra ammo.
    Yeah, I think this is probably on the right track. That way you could Rapid Shot Four Bolts per Round at Level 1 (albeit with -4 AB) and at Level 6 you could empty the magazine.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after ones own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location

    Default Re: Repeating crossbows...

    There are advantages to the crossbow; it can be used while prone, each model has a longer range than the equivalent common bow, low strength doesn't hamper it, and you don't need martial prof to use a crossbow.

    Now, in most games, none of those advantages shine. At low levels, it is quite a viable alternative to the bow, but at higher levels the combat effectiveness of the bow outstrips the crossbow.

    However, there's a very simple fix that can be made for the repeating crossbows; move them into simple weapons. They are a minor, at best, improvement over standard crossbows, and their cost should deter very low level adventurers can attaining them.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •