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View Full Version : [3.5] Cragtop Archer + Swiftwing Arrows = No range penalty?



Psyborg
2009-10-22, 01:37 AM
I'm uncertain how to handle the

Cragtop Archer PrC, Races of Stone pg. 101

Farsight (Ex): A cragtop archer enjoys great visual acuity. She suffers only half the normal penalty on her Spot checks because of distance (1 per 20 feet of distance, rather than 1 per 10 feet). In addition, a cragtop archer takes only half the normal penalty on ranged attacks per range increment (1 per range increment, rather than 2).

Swiftwing Arrow, Races of the Wild pg. 164

Arrow, Swiftwing: These arrows are made slightly longer than normal with a small, aerodynamic head and enlarged fletching (the feathers added to the shaft) for extra stability and accuracy on long shots. A swiftwing arrow incurs only half the usual penalty for attacking at range (1 per range increment rather than the usual 2).

Is there an official position on the matter?

How does D&D stack fractional multipliers? (x2 + x2 = x3...does x1/2 + x1/2 = x1/3 or x1/4?)

I'm inclined to say that it halves the penalties again (to -1 per two full range increments), but does not allow a farther shot than the normal maximum range.

Is this sensible?

Zaydos
2009-10-22, 01:40 AM
I'd say that sounds sensible.

Starscream
2009-10-22, 01:46 AM
I'm inclined to say that it halves the penalties again (to -1 per two full range increments), but does not allow a farther shot than the normal maximum range.

Yeah, that's probably the best interpretation.

Although it would be fun to claim otherwise, and abuse it. Use a scrying mirror to see your target. "Lessee, he's 3500 miles away...rotate 46.282 degrees counter clockwise...and Fire!"

Watch the mirror and several minutes later an arrow comes from nowhere and strikes your target in the keister. Gives a whole new twist to Scry and die tactics.

sadi
2009-10-22, 01:50 AM
Since they both state half penalty, I'd think that would mean 1/4th the penalty, or -1 at every odd range increment. So a -5 at the maximum of 10 range increments for a missile weapon makes sense to me.

Zeful
2009-10-22, 02:11 AM
Well quartering the penalty would be -.5 and I'm pretty sure the game states somewhere that you round all decimals, and you round up when it would be detrimental to the players and round down for monsters. So an villain Cragtop Archer would be able to shoot pretty much everywhere that exists on the plane he's on, and a PC wouldn't get the benefit from the arrow (as rounding up makes it -1 again).

sofawall
2009-10-22, 02:16 AM
I'm pretty sure the game states somewhere that you round all decimals, and you round up when it would be detrimental to the players and round down for monsters.

I wonder how this particular myth got started.

BobVosh
2009-10-22, 02:21 AM
I wonder how this particular myth got started.

It is in the DMG. I have seen it with my eyes. Go forth, and tell the truth to the minions!

Anyway...are you really planning on shooting people from more than 300 feet away? How often does that even happen?

Zeful
2009-10-22, 02:33 AM
I wonder how this particular myth got started.

I know the decimal rounding is in the DMG. D&D simply runs better with whole numbers. How you round is more the sticking point in my memory.

BobVosh: Could you provide a page number for that?

Psyborg
2009-10-22, 02:41 AM
Meh. Probably never. That said, you can reach truly ridiculous ranges if you feel like it.

Try Goliath Fighter 4 / Barbarian 1 / Deepwood Sniper 10 / Cragtop Archer 4.

Strongarm Bracers + +1 Sizing Distance Splitting Force Dragonbone Composite Greatbow
Composite Greatbow starts at 130' at Medium. Projectile weapon range increments increase by 125% each time they go up a category.
A Large CompGBow has a 162' increment.
A Huge CompGBow has a 203 point a bunch of decimals. Call it 200'.

Dragonbone bows have +20' range increment. (My understanding is that this does get multiplied, unlike all the other modifiers, because it's a mundane property of the bow.)

So a 220' range increment on the unmodified bow.
We have Far Shot: x1.5
Distance enchant: x2
Flight arrows: x1.25 (Dragon 349 p22, or see Crystalkeep's Equipment file)
Total multiplier: x2.75
Result: 605'
Add +20' for Ranged Weapon Mastery (Piercing).
Add +100' for Deepwood Sniper 10.

Result? 725' range increment.

Cragtop Archers can shoot out to 15 range increments. That's 10,875', or about 2.06 miles.

Put differently, that's 2,175 one-inch squares, which would require a grid 181'3" long to play on.

(For context, a Wizard with Enlarge Spell would still need caster level 126 to get his Fireball that far.)

olentu
2009-10-22, 02:49 AM
Hmm I would think the question is what do the words usual and normal mean. If they mean the usual penalty or the normal penalty that everyone without some ability takes then having the two abilities gives no benefit as they both reference the same -2 per range increment and one would take half of the -2 either way.

Eldariel
2009-10-22, 02:52 AM
In other words, high-level archers can easily act as mobile artillery. They can even match the damage of modern artillery, if not quite the area of effect. But yeah, detecting people becomes the problem with such ranges. The highest I've found myself profitably using are around ~1000' - 2000', and it's rare to be in a position where it's possible to shoot that far.

A couple of thousand feet are doable with Spot alone though (for a Cragtop Archer, it's mere DC 100 Spot-check and you can have ~60 from just standard modifiers so pimping out the check with Divine Insight, Guidance of the Avatar and so on allows reaching 100).


Just using Hawkeye and Wind Tunnel could actually further extend the range (*1.5 & *2 respectively). Actually, that's why I love Archivist Archer; he can have all these spells persisted.

Aindriahhn
2009-10-22, 05:16 AM
I'm uncertain how to handle the
I'm inclined to say that it halves the penalties again (to -1 per two full range increments), but does not allow a farther shot than the normal maximum range.

Is this sensible?

I agree, I suppose, except for the sensible part. I've always made specialized items super scarce.

lesser_minion
2009-10-22, 07:31 AM
My understanding is that if a calculation fails to produce an integer, you simply ignore the fractional part - you never round up.

In D&D the convention doesn't change from one person to another - it does in a few White Wolf games, however (In Exalted, supernatural characters/creatures always round up, others always round down).

@OP:

RAI is probably that the two effects shouldn't stack.

The rule against compound multipliers is really there to avoid people stacking six or seven effects that double some quantity, but I'm pretty sure it actually applies here, so halving a quantity twice would actually reduce it to nothing.

(Halving something is equivalent to subtracting half its original value - the rule against compound multipliers then tells you to do that twice, rather than reduce it to a quarter of its value).

There is the danger, I guess, that someone might be able to stack three effects that halve a penalty they receive and somehow convert it into a bonus, but hopefully common sense would prevail.

Kalirren
2009-10-22, 07:39 AM
So the reason why x2 + x2 = x3 is that they effectively work as percentage bonuses. x2 is +100%. x2 + x2 = +100% +100% = +200% = x3.

By the same logic, (-1/2)x + (-1/2)x = -50% -50% = 0% = no range penalty, and honestly, I think that's perfectly fine in terms of balance. As has been pointed out, you still have to spot them to be able to pull off your crazy sniping.

Keewatin
2009-10-22, 08:18 AM
There is a reason modern snipers use scopes, anyone ever made a scope or something similar for a DnD game?

Kelb_Panthera
2009-10-22, 09:43 AM
Sounds, to me, like you wouldn't take a range penalty at all. You'd still be limited to 10 range increments, 15 if you've reached the appropriate level in cragtop archer. Loss of the penalty doesn't mean there's no longer a limit on how far you can shoot.

AstralFire
2009-10-22, 09:57 AM
I agree at no penalty. It's the least bookkeeping and if someone's investing resources in shooting really far, let 'em.

Carden
2009-10-22, 12:43 PM
I would say no penalty, mainly due to the massive amount of cover people would naturally garner at a high distance. Not only would it be useless if your enemy was inside anything, but it would probably have an AC jacked up by at least 10-20 due to random objects in the way, probably far more.

Myrmex
2009-10-22, 12:47 PM
Well quartering the penalty would be -.5 and I'm pretty sure the game states somewhere that you round all decimals, and you round up when it would be detrimental to the players and round down for monsters. So an villain Cragtop Archer would be able to shoot pretty much everywhere that exists on the plane he's on, and a PC wouldn't get the benefit from the arrow (as rounding up makes it -1 again).

You always round down.

Cieyrin
2009-10-22, 01:01 PM
Meh. Probably never. That said, you can reach truly ridiculous ranges if you feel like it.

Try Goliath Fighter 4 / Barbarian 1 / Deepwood Sniper 10 / Cragtop Archer 4.

Strongarm Bracers + +1 Sizing Distance Splitting Force Dragonbone Composite Greatbow
Composite Greatbow starts at 130' at Medium. Projectile weapon range increments increase by 125% each time they go up a category.
A Large CompGBow has a 162' increment.
A Huge CompGBow has a 203 point a bunch of decimals. Call it 200'.

Dragonbone bows have +20' range increment. (My understanding is that this does get multiplied, unlike all the other modifiers, because it's a mundane property of the bow.)

So a 220' range increment on the unmodified bow.
We have Far Shot: x1.5
Distance enchant: x2
Flight arrows: x1.25 (Dragon 349 p22, or see Crystalkeep's Equipment file)
Total multiplier: x2.75
Result: 605'
Add +20' for Ranged Weapon Mastery (Piercing).
Add +100' for Deepwood Sniper 10.

Result? 725' range increment.

Cragtop Archers can shoot out to 15 range increments. That's 10,875', or about 2.06 miles.

Put differently, that's 2,175 one-inch squares, which would require a grid 181'3" long to play on.

(For context, a Wizard with Enlarge Spell would still need caster level 126 to get his Fireball that far.)

One slight problem, in that I don't think Goliath's Powerful Build and Strongarm Bracers stack. Other than that, I don't see anything else out of the ordinary here.

As Eldariel has pointed out and I myself have contended with is the ability to spot that far. I settled on using an a custom item that gives Arcane Eyes as a spell-like so I know where I'm shooting before I make the shot. Also, if accuracy becomes an issue, you can always just use Cragtop Archer's Horizon Shot. Add in Hawkeye and Wind Tunnel and you can break range even further.

Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.

arguskos
2009-10-22, 01:04 PM
There is a reason modern snipers use scopes, anyone ever made a scope or something similar for a DnD game?
Yes. In the Arms and Equipment Guide, there's a gnomish crossbow sight. There's also a Gnome Steam Bow with a sight on it. :smallwink:

hamishspence
2009-10-22, 01:20 PM
If 2 X 2 = 3 when it comes to multipliers, does this mean 1/2 X 1/2 = 1/3 for penalties?

Quietus
2009-10-22, 01:28 PM
I'd allow full-power penalty reductions, personally; The frequency with which even shooting beyond ONE range increment comes up is fairly rare. Being able to fire ten range increments with no penalty is really just a "moment of awesome" thing, which I'm all for.

As has been noted, however, no range penalty does not mean no maximum range.. and also, you'd need to spot the target. Of course, with Cragtop Archer's spot penalty reduction and a (weapon-mounted?) spyglass, that's not necessarily difficult.

Wow. Finally a good reason to have and use a spyglass.

Cieyrin
2009-10-22, 01:45 PM
Wow. Finally a good reason to have and use a spyglass.

But...but...there's always a reason to have a spyglass!:smallwink:

arguskos
2009-10-22, 01:47 PM
But...but...there's always a reason to have a spyglass!:smallwink:
To sell? :smalltongue:

Cieyrin
2009-10-22, 02:05 PM
To sell? :smalltongue:

What poor sch...I mean adventurer are you going to find to sell it to?:smallbiggrin:

Rogue 7
2009-10-22, 03:01 PM
All of a sudden I want to build a sniper character like this in games.

Grumman
2009-10-22, 09:06 PM
All of a sudden I want to build a sniper character like this in games.
As I said in the last thread, you need 2 levels in Trickster Spellthief. Cast Sniper's Shot, sneak attack a spellcaster from half a mile away and steal a spell slot. Use that spell slot to cast Sniper's Shot, and do it again.