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vollmond
2009-08-19, 07:42 AM
From http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ask/20061227a

Hankís energy bow acts as a +2 composite longbow that accommodates a user of any Strength. Although unstrung, it fires arrows of pure magical force that deal 2d6 points of damage.

1. So, does that mean it does composite longbow damage (1d8) plus 2d6 for the force arrows? Or would it only do the 2d6, in place of 1d8?

2. If I'm making a buffed energy bow (full +10 equivalent), does the energy bow's inherent +2 enhancement come out of my +10?

Bit new to d20, but hopefully these questions aren't too inane.
Thanks!

Hunter Noventa
2009-08-19, 08:45 AM
From http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ask/20061227a


1. So, does that mean it does composite longbow damage (1d8) plus 2d6 for the force arrows? Or would it only do the 2d6, in place of 1d8?

2. If I'm making a buffed energy bow (full +10 equivalent), does the energy bow's inherent +2 enhancement come out of my +10?

Bit new to d20, but hopefully these questions aren't too inane.
Thanks!

1. It reads to me as doing 2d6 force instead of 1d8 piercing. This also means it doesn't need ammo.

2. The bow already counts as +2. Meaning it really does 2d6+2+Str damage. It's a nice bow.

Person_Man
2009-08-19, 10:41 AM
Hank's Energy Bow deals 2d6 + 2 + Str damage per shot, plus any damage from the Power Shot (which reduces your To-Hit). This damage is a Force effect, which means ethereal/incorporeal enemies don't get a miss chance.

It's a great magic item for low-mid level characters. But at mid-high levels, it's actually quite weak. Archer builds can drastically improve their damage by using a potent magic bow AND potent magical arrows. If you fire a +1 Flaming Shocking Arrow from a +1 Biting Frost bow, you fire +1 Flaming Shocking Biting Frost attacks (you also presumably get a friend to cast Greater Magic Weapon on your bow to increase it's enhancement bonus). You can also tailor your ammo choice for the specific enemy you are shooting at (Holy, Bane, Exploding, etc).

RTGoodman
2009-08-19, 10:45 AM
Yeah, but also:


The bow can be used to fire normal or magic arrows, but in such cases the bow does not confer its damage due to force.

So you can still load up on magical arrows to do slightly less BASE damage but better magical stuff against big/important enemies, but you still have to option of a slightly better "basic attack" (to borrow a 4E term).

Eldariel
2009-08-19, 10:59 AM
The key addition it needs is Splitting. After that, everything else is gravy. But yeah, it should be doable a bit later. It's worth noting that it's the only thing in 3.5 rules set, and one of the two things (Peerless Archer being the other) in the whole 3.X rules set that allows Power Shots. Power Shots are really nice since buffing your To Hit with a bow is much easier than buffing your damage.

AstralFire
2009-08-19, 11:25 AM
I really don't understand why they made power attack so easy with a melee weapon and so hard with archery.

I really don't understand most of their design decisions regarding archery and melee, tbh.

imperialspectre
2009-08-19, 11:41 AM
If you consider the fact that a mounted ranger archer in 4e can basically own almost anyone in the Monster Manual as long as there's room to kite, it might shed some light on why WotC has traditionally avoided buffing archery.

Also, there's a historical facet to it - archers traditionally aren't devastating because of one archer, they're devastating because there's a big group of well-trained archers firing as many arrows as they can as an AoE attack. For a game that emphasizes single characters with multiple levels in badass each, that's not a particularly useful archetype.

If you want archers to be awesome, there are certainly ways to do it (most of them involve making your character as much like an Arrow Demon as possible, plus stacking ridiculous amounts of bonus damage on each attack). But in terms of designer intent, the support just generally wasn't there.

AstralFire
2009-08-19, 11:43 AM
'room to kite' is surprisingly conditional and controllable, particularly if your game system includes hamstring effects and methods of controlling Line of Sight. I have trouble buying balance as any sort of sensible concern there when you consider... well... casting.

Kylarra
2009-08-19, 11:48 AM
In 4e, archery is a lot more snipery than 3.X since the majority of attack powers cap range at 10 squares (a few up to 20), whereas with a greatbow, you can fire up to 25/50, so even if someone with a fairly high speed (8) is running (+2) and taking double move (10*2=20), they'll still take 2 turns to get within range, and running will negate the -2 penalty for shooting long range (26-50 sq).


That's assuming some sort of terrain that doesn't block LoS, but it's one of the fun things we showed our DM a few sessions ago, about how long our ranger's range really is.

imperialspectre
2009-08-19, 12:11 PM
'room to kite' is surprisingly conditional and controllable, particularly if your game system includes hamstring effects and methods of controlling Line of Sight. I have trouble buying balance as any sort of sensible concern there when you consider... well... casting.

It doesn't matter if the game includes a hamstring or slowing effect if you literally never get into range to hit the archer with it.

Also, 3.x never had any comprehensive (or even cursory) playtesting of caster power vs. everyone else's power. Comparing casters to each other (which is why druids got a huge buff in 3.5) and beatsticks to each other (which is why all the good fighter and barbarian PrCs got nerfed in 3.5) was the name of the game. In that environment, archer PrCs got nerfed because they could snipe and kite all the melee classes easily.

AstralFire
2009-08-19, 12:19 PM
It doesn't matter if the game includes a hamstring or slowing effect if you literally never get into range to hit the archer with it.

Run or charge action versus move and shoot.

imperialspectre
2009-08-19, 01:01 PM
Run or charge action versus move and shoot.


Horse, Heavy
Size/Type: Large Animal
Hit Dice: 3d8+6 (19 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
[rest snipped because nothing matters after the speed entry]

The occasional double-move or withdrawal means that you can't get anywhere close. Especially because the range increment of the archer's bow is something like four times the beatstick's move speed (3x if it's a barbarian who for some reason isn't a Spirit Lion Totem type, more if the beatstick is wearing something heavier than chain shirt).

The best part? If the horse is doing the movement, the archer can full attack every single round. Occasionally taking a whole -2 penalty on attacks in exchange for not being attacked evar.

EDIT: Actually, using a normal horse sucks because it gets scared and you waste actions to control it. Use a light warhorse. It has a move of 60, which means you move twice as fast as anyone except barbarians (a little scary, sure, but a double move is still as far as a full-blown run) and monks (lulz).

AstralFire
2009-08-19, 01:24 PM
So you're comparing an unmounted warrior to a mounted archer and talking about the mounted archer's better mobility...?

vollmond
2009-08-19, 01:33 PM
This is some great discussion, but I wanted to clarify my second question:


2. If I'm making a buffed energy bow (full +10 equivalent), does the energy bow's inherent +2 enhancement come out of my +10?

To be more specific: If I buy a +10 energy bow, how much of that +10 can I use for buffs? The energy bow is already +2, does that mean I can add +8 (10-2) or would I get to add +10 after the built-in enhancement (for +2 bonus + 10 points' worth of buffs like flaming/holy/etc). Or would I have +9 available because the +2 that comes with the bow is irrelevant?

As you can see, I'm a bit confused by it.

braingamer47
2009-08-19, 01:46 PM
This is some great discussion, but I wanted to clarify my second question:



To be more specific: If I buy a +10 energy bow, how much of that +10 can I use for buffs? The energy bow is already +2, does that mean I can add +8 (10-2) or would I get to add +10 after the built-in enhancement (for +2 bonus + 10 points' worth of buffs like flaming/holy/etc). Or would I have +9 available because the +2 that comes with the bow is irrelevant?

As you can see, I'm a bit confused by it.
Vollmond,

You can add up to an additional +8 before the item becomes epic. Note, however, the the property that makes it an energy bow may count as a +1 or +2 in and of itself, thus limiting the +8 to something lower. Or, perhaps it simply has an added cost. In either case, once you get above +10 or above 200,000 gp cost (whichever comes first), the item becomes epic and costs are multiplied by 10.

Either way, only a maximum of +5 can go to enhancement bonuses and a maximum of +5 to special abilities (holy, flaming, etc.). If a +6, or a total of +6, is given to either, it also becomes epic. Your DMG has more rules, you can also find it online under the open gaming license.

braingamer47

vollmond
2009-08-19, 01:47 PM
Hmm, I hadn't realized the +5 limit applied to abilities as well. Thanks!

braingamer47
2009-08-19, 01:50 PM
Hmm, I hadn't realized the +5 limit applied to abilities as well. Thanks!
You may double check, but I'm 95% sure.

RTGoodman
2009-08-19, 01:51 PM
As you can see, I'm a bit confused by it.

You're not the only one.

As far as I can tell, the Energy Bow doesn't follow the normal rules for crafting a weapon. We can figure that out by its cost. A masterwork composite longbow, the vital first part, is 400gp, plus 100gp per point of Str bonus. A +2 weapon is only 8000gp, so basically a +2 composite longbow is 8400gp, plus the Str enhancement.

The two problems we have are that we don't know how much the special abilities cost. The first, that in works with a user of any Str, isn't found anywhere; nor is the 2d6 force damage instead of the normal base damage; nor is the "sheds light like a torch part;" nor is the Power Shot part.

Now since the energy bow has a set cost (22600gp), we can assume that they take up at least 14,200gp. That's only enough to pay for another +1-equivalent enhancement, meaning that the other three together are equal to 4200gp. Maybe it's 2000gp each for the unlimited Str bonus and the Power Shot, and +200gp for the glowing? We don't know.

The best bet is to work it out individually with your DM if you want an improved energy bow.

AstralFire
2009-08-19, 01:52 PM
You may double check, but I'm 95% sure.


Magic weapons have enhancement bonuses ranging from +1 to +5. They apply these bonuses to both attack and damage rolls when used in combat. All magic weapons are also masterwork weapons, but their masterwork bonus on attack rolls does not stack with their enhancement bonus on attack rolls.

Weapons come in two basic categories: melee and ranged. Some of the weapons listed as melee weapons can also be used as ranged weapons. In this case, their enhancement bonus applies to either type of attack.

In addition to an enhancement bonus, weapons may have special abilities. Special abilities count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of the item, but do not modify attack or damage bonuses (except where specifically noted). A single weapon cannot have a modified bonus (enhancement bonus plus special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +10. A weapon with a special ability must have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

Sorry; it's not.


The two problems we have are that we don't know how much the special abilities cost. The first, that in works with a user of any Str, isn't found anywhere; nor is the 2d6 force damage instead of the normal base damage; nor is the "sheds light like a torch part;" nor is the Power Shot part.

Light Generation

Fully 30% of magic weapons shed light equivalent to a light spell (bright light in a 20-foot radius, shadowy light in a 40-foot radius). These glowing weapons are quite obviously magical. Such a weapon canít be concealed when drawn, nor can its light be shut off. Some of the specific weapons detailed below always or never glow, as defined in their descriptions.

braingamer47
2009-08-19, 01:59 PM
You're not the only one.

As far as I can tell, the Energy Bow doesn't follow the normal rules for crafting a weapon. We can figure that out by its cost. A masterwork composite longbow, the vital first part, is 400gp, plus 100gp per point of Str bonus. A +2 weapon is only 8000gp, so basically a +2 composite longbow is 8400gp, plus the Str enhancement.

The two problems we have are that we don't know how much the special abilities cost. The first, that in works with a user of any Str, isn't found anywhere; nor is the 2d6 force damage instead of the normal base damage; nor is the "sheds light like a torch part;" nor is the Power Shot part.

Now since the energy bow has a set cost (22600gp), we can assume that they take up at least 14,200gp. That's only enough to pay for another +1-equivalent enhancement, meaning that the other three together are equal to 4200gp. Maybe it's 2000gp each for the unlimited Str bonus and the Power Shot, and +200gp for the glowing? We don't know.

The best bet is to work it out individually with your DM if you want an improved energy bow.
Many magical items naturally shed light. If you want to put a cost on it it would be 50gp (plus casting cost) for material components for the continual flame spell (sheds light like a torch).

AstralFire
2009-08-19, 02:02 PM
Still, there is no limit to your weapon's effective enhancement bonuses aside from the normal limit of +10.

braingamer47
2009-08-19, 02:10 PM
Still, there is no limit to your weapon's effective enhancement bonuses aside from the normal limit of +10.You could very well be right. I tried looking and can't find anything that says it's limited. If you find anything, let me know.

I will withdraw my previous statement until further proof is found.

thubby
2009-08-19, 02:22 PM
I really don't understand why they made power attack so easy with a melee weapon and so hard with archery.

in-game it makes more sense. in melee, you can swing harder (damage) while sacrificing control of the weapon (to hit).
with a bow, you can't pull harder, the weapon itself has a set draw weight.

imperialspectre
2009-08-19, 02:39 PM
So you're comparing an unmounted warrior to a mounted archer and talking about the mounted archer's better mobility...?

Considering that the archer can kill the other guy's mount before the other guy has any chance of catching up to the archer, yeah. :smalltongue:

Person_Man
2009-08-19, 02:54 PM
RE: Power Attack for bows

In 3.5 it's easy for an archer to deal solid damage by using a magic bow, magic ammo, magical buffs, and maybe precision damage if they're willing to get within 30 feet of their enemy. They can't get to the same damage level as Leap Attack + Pounce + Shock Trooper + Headlong Rush + Battle Jump + Valorous Weapon + Rhino Rush, but most DMs don't allow that level of ridiculous anyway.

Archers have a huge benefit over melee builds, in that they don't need to stand anywhere near their enemy. With Flyby Attack or Shot on the Run and Greater Manyshot, they can swoop within 30 ft, rain death, and then move away. Or if you're not using precision damage, you can stand 100+ ft away with little or no penalty. In most cases your enemies will have few chances to seriously harm you, especially if you're teamed with at least one melee build and/or a battlefield control build. So in my opinion, they shouldn't deal as much damage as melee types, who actually have to risk getting hurt.

Myrmex
2009-08-19, 07:19 PM
If you consider the fact that a mounted ranger archer in 4e can basically own almost anyone in the Monster Manual as long as there's room to kite, it might shed some light on why WotC has traditionally avoided buffing archery.

That's my guess of the nerfage- they saw it as "at-will fireball".


Also, there's a historical facet to it - archers traditionally aren't devastating because of one archer, they're devastating because there's a big group of well-trained archers firing as many arrows as they can as an AoE attack. For a game that emphasizes single characters with multiple levels in badass each, that's not a particularly useful archetype.


I feel like anytime someone wants to argue a mechanical position based on "a historical facet", they don't really have much of an argument. There are so many problems with the "historical facets" of D&D, not having a badass archer for such a reason isn't very convincing.


in-game it makes more sense. in melee, you can swing harder (damage) while sacrificing control of the weapon (to hit).
with a bow, you can't pull harder, the weapon itself has a set draw weight.

You can aim smaller, though.

Keld Denar
2009-08-19, 07:36 PM
Thus the difference between "you hit" and "BOOOM!!!!! HEAD SHOT!!!!"