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Fingerlessfist
2010-09-10, 09:18 PM
new here, and to D&D in general . Hi.

So, I was reading the pathfinder rulebook the other day when I came across this curious little item:


Crossbow, Hand: You can draw a hand crossbow back by hand. Loading a hand crossbow is a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
You can shoot, but not load, a hand crossbow with one hand at no penalty. You can shoot a hand crossbow with each hand, but you take a penalty on attack rolls as if attacking with two light weapons.

This immediately sent Gears within my head clicking.

step 1: 2 (possibly masterwork) hand crossbows.
step 2: exotic weapon proficiency: hand crossbow, rapid reload, two weapon fighting.
step 3: Lv 3 human ranger
step 4:????

So, I came here to ask about this.
1) Is this a viable build? (Does it lead to Profit!?)
2) Would anyone, as a D.M, accept this?
3) How would other feats react with this?
4) Could the same idea be performed at a lower level, or with light crossbows?

Urpriest
2010-09-10, 09:27 PM
Much of this is possible, but there's one big hurdle: you need two hands to reload. How you can handle that will depend on which books you have access to, but it's definitely the biggest difficulty with dual-wielding crossbows.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-10, 09:28 PM
Considering crossbows are generally considered subpar anyhow, and dual wielding crossbows is awesome, I'd happily allow it.

Fingerlessfist
2010-09-10, 09:40 PM
Considering crossbows are generally considered subpar anyhow, and dual wielding crossbows is awesome, I'd happily allow it.

Good to hear! however, are crossbows subpar compared to magic (witch doesnít count due to quadratic wizards and all that jazz) or subpar in general?

Also, I was thinking that, if I could negotiate with any possible G.Ms, that I might be able to get away with reloading both of them on a move action, as opposed to a free action under the rules for rapid reload.

Said rules:

RAPID RELOAD (COMBAT)
Choose a type of crossbow (hand, light, or heavy). You can reload such weapons quickly.
Prerequisite: Weapon Proficiency (crossbow type chosen).
Benefit: The time required for you to reload your chosen type of crossbow is reduced to a free action (for a hand or light crossbow) or a move action (for a heavy crossbow). Reloading a crossbow still provokes an attack of opportunity.
If you have selected this feat for hand crossbow or light crossbow, you may fire that weapon as many times in a full-attack action as you could attack if you were using a bow.
Normal: A character without this feat needs a move action to reload a hand or light crossbow, or a full-round action to reload a heavy crossbow.
Special: You can gain Rapid Reload multiple times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of crossbow.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-10, 09:44 PM
Subpar in comparison to bows, due to A. longer reload time, and B. no coposite bow for bonus damage from strength.

These things can be overcome, but doing so requires significant investment.

Urpriest
2010-09-10, 09:47 PM
If you're reloading both of them as a move action then you won't be able to full attack, and you won't generally get the benefit of using two crossbows.

It's generally a better option to have rapid reload and something that lets you reload while your hands are full. The best option is probably the Spare Hand from Magic Item Compendium, though it's somewhat expensive.

Fingerlessfist
2010-09-10, 09:55 PM
Good point.

hmm..... is there such thing as a Crossbow of Unlimited Ammuniton or a Self-Reloading Crossbow?

...cause if there isn't, somone should really homebrew one.

Foryn Gilnith
2010-09-10, 09:55 PM
Reminds me of that ungodly build Olo Demonsbane cooked up with Hand Crossbows... (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6968457)

Ravens_cry
2010-09-10, 09:59 PM
There is the REPEATING crossbow, in light and heavy varieties, though that's yet another feat if you don't want a minus 2 on all attack rolls.
I think I remember an item, basically a leather thong or cord attached to the weapon and your wrist that made picking up a dropped item a free action. Fire one, fire two, drop one, reload two, fire two, drop two, reload two, fire two.
Only works with light and hand crossbows.

Fingerlessfist
2010-09-10, 10:00 PM
:smalleek:



.......Ungodly is the correct word for that....

Maybe I should ask him how he manages to avoid having to reload?

edit: ACK NINJAD!


.....Anyway, a pair of repeating crossbows wouldn't do. Itís a free action to reload those, and if can I can't take a free action(due to the rapid reload feat) to reload my hand crossbows, I can't do the same with repeating ones. they'd proably have better damage though.
Better see were I could find those straps....

FMArthur
2010-09-10, 10:10 PM
There are tons of builds for this exact same idea all over the internet. Always take the Hand Crossbow Focus feat from Drow of the Underdark; it's Weapon Focus and Rapid Reload combined for hand crossbows, which is a good deal considering that one or the other is a prerequisite for Crossbow Sniper from PHII, which can give you half your Dex mod to damage and increases the range you can Sneak Attack/Sudden Strike to 60ft. The easiest way to reload is unfortunately a 12000gp item called the Spare Hand from the Magic Item Compendium. It lets you give items to it and take them back as free actions. Your full attack will be full of free action actions, by the way. This is a fact for TWF crossbow builds. There are of course the regular feats for getting many attacks: TWF, Rapid Shot, ITWF, etc. Gloves of the Balanced Hand (8000gp) gives you either TWF or ITWF to reduce your feat load, but this stretches you gold supply mighty thin until a certain point in the game.

The absolute easiest way to get bonus damage on such a build is using the Ninja's Sudden Strike ability, which is exactly the same as Sneak Attack for your purposes (ranged attack). Ninjas can turn invisible for a full round and this ability is not interrupted by your attacking, so you can full attack while invisible to make your foes lose their dex bonus against every hit, giving you Sudden Strike on them as well. At level 6 you can take the feat Martial Study (Cloak of Deception) from Tome of Battle, which is basically the same as your Ninja's invisibility but is given to you once per encounter instead of per day. Expanded Ki Pool also gives you more uses of the ability, and if you like full BAB you might consider taking Martial Stalker and multiclassing into the Sneak Attack Fighter variant from UA. It is important to have enough of this ability to use multiple times per combat.

Fingerlessfist
2010-09-10, 10:16 PM
Good reply but I do not want to stray too far from the rulebook, or into muticlassing. sounds good though.

Can anyone remeber what book the strap is likely to appear in?

Ravens_cry
2010-09-10, 10:27 PM
Good reply but I do not want to stray too far from the rulebook, or into muticlassing. sounds good though.

Can anyone remeber what book the strap is likely to appear in?
Try the Advanced Players Guide. (Pathfinder)

Fingerlessfist
2010-09-10, 11:05 PM
Eh, I was going to buy that anyway. Anything for the cause of crossbows Akimbo!

John Campbell
2010-09-11, 12:45 AM
Try the Advanced Players Guide. (Pathfinder)

If you're talking about the weapon cord from that book, it only reduces recovering a dropped weapon to a swift action.

Ravens_cry
2010-09-11, 12:55 AM
If you're talking about the weapon cord from that book, it only reduces recovering a dropped weapon to a swift action.
Ah dang. Yeah, that was exactly what I meant. Well, it's enough for the first iterative.

Fingerlessfist
2010-09-11, 01:03 AM
Bollocks. At best, that gives me one turn of glorious dual-wielding before I have to reload at one bolt a round. ....
unless there is some feat that turns a swift action into a free one....

Wait no that bad and stupid, you'd end up with infinite quicken disgenerate.

it might still be useful to dual wield one light crossbow and one hand crossbow, however. I could use it to pop off 4 shots(with manyshot) 1st round, and then switch to just using the light crossbow, and keeping the hand crossbow on it's string.... hmm.

On a different note, how about keeping a one-hand weapon and hand-(or pehaps light)crossbow, and dropping the sword on occasion to reload the crossbow? I'd still keep both cords to prevent being disarmed, though.

Scratch that, we should build a class around always having the right weapon for the job on hand. We could call it the hyperspace asenrelizer!

Perfectly Cromulent word, I swear...

Player3
2010-09-11, 02:21 AM
Quick Loading crossbows might help (MIC page 41)

Kylarra
2010-09-11, 02:24 AM
Clearly the only real solution is to do this gun-kata style by carrying a billion preloaded crossbows and just dropping and quickdrawing.

Fingerlessfist
2010-09-11, 02:32 AM
Clearly the only real solution is to do this gun-kata style by carrying a billion preloaded crossbows and just dropping and quickdrawing.

True, but that would get really expensive really fast.

On the plus side, if your gm let you, and you had mutishot, that could easly equal 16 bolts of the first round...

Grifthin
2010-09-11, 05:03 AM
Taking weapon smithing can help - I used repeating light crossbows with VERY big mags so I can have 20-30 bolts before I need to reload. Combined with a Mage hand type item or a arm graft or a 3 armed creature you are sorted. Just keep firing while pulling the lever back. Heck Unseen servant can do the same.

true_shinken
2010-09-11, 09:35 AM
If you're reloading both of them as a move action then you won't be able to full attack, and you won't generally get the benefit of using two crossbows.

It's generally a better option to have rapid reload and something that lets you reload while your hands are full. The best option is probably the Spare Hand from Magic Item Compendium, though it's somewhat expensive.

Gloves of the Master Strategist (Ghostwalk) are better for this.
Free action - store crossbow in glove
Free action - reload other crossbow
Free action - retrieve crossbow from glove
Rinse and repeat.
They are also cheaper (3.6k) and get you true strike 1/day.

Moogleking
2010-09-11, 09:52 AM
Wand of Unseen servant/ Lvl of Sorceror?

Eldariel
2010-09-11, 10:20 AM
Glove of Storing is the core option. I have a little handbook for this kinda things: The Archery Handbook (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=642.00)

nyarlathotep
2010-09-11, 02:44 PM
Crossbow mastery helps here, you don't provoke attacks of opportunity in melee, and all crossbows are free actions to reload.

Adumbration
2010-09-11, 03:06 PM
For extra coolness, use double handcrossbows, one in each hand. One of my more memorable characters did just that - it was quite epic to let loose 4 bolts in a single round at 1st level, even if you were pretty much useless for the rest of the encounter. (Well, I used sling/melee weapon after dropping my weapon, but that's beside the point.)

Double handcrossbows are in the web enhancement for Races of the Dragon.

mabriss lethe
2010-09-11, 03:34 PM
there was also an exotic weapon in sword & fist that was basically a hand's free wrist mounted hand crossbow. I forget its name. While it's 3.0 material, it actually fixes the whole "needing an extra hand to reload" bit.

Edit: Found it. It's the Spring-Loaded Gauntlet

FMArthur
2010-09-11, 06:15 PM
For extra coolness, use double handcrossbows, one in each hand. One of my more memorable characters did just that - it was quite epic to let loose 4 bolts in a single round at 1st level, even if you were pretty much useless for the rest of the encounter. (Well, I used sling/melee weapon after dropping my weapon, but that's beside the point.)

Double handcrossbows are in the web enhancement for Races of the Dragon.

And don't work at all like you think they do. Their attacks are special actions and can't be combined with a full attack.

Fingerlessfist
2010-09-11, 07:48 PM
I like the level of wizard/sorc one, actually, and had already considerd double-light-crossbows.

i'll have to root though the rulebook again and see what would help.

Adumbration
2010-09-12, 01:20 AM
And don't work at all like you think they do. Their attacks are special actions and can't be combined with a full attack.

They do, actually.


Double Crossbow, Hand: A hand double crossbow functions like a regular crossbow of the same type, but is constructed with a second crossbow above the foregrip. Individually loading each hand crossbow takes a move action that provokes an attack of opportunity. It takes a full-round action to load both hand crossbows.

A character can fire one of the two crossbows as an exotic weapon (hand crossbow) with a standard action, or both crossbows as an exotic weapon (hand crossbow) with a full round action (using multiple attacks gained from a high base attack bonus). A character with exotic weapon (double crossbow) training can fire both crossbows as a full-round action using their highest base attack bonus, but each attack takes a -2 penalty.

You can shoot a hand double crossbow with each hand, but you take a penalty on attack rolls as if attacking with two light weapons (see Table 8-10: Two Weapon Fighting Penalties, page 160 of the Player's Handbook). This penalty is cumulative with the penalty for one-handed firing.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060420a

true_shinken
2010-09-12, 08:08 AM
They do, actually.

Those rules are just badly, badly written.
You need a full-round action to shoot both crossbows, right?
It means you need at the very least an extra standard action to shoot with the crossbow in your off-hand.
It might have been intended to work as you said, I don't know. RAW, it does not work and makes the whole thing pretty pointless.

Adumbration
2010-09-12, 08:33 AM
Those rules are just badly, badly written.
You need a full-round action to shoot both crossbows, right?
It means you need at the very least an extra standard action to shoot with the crossbow in your off-hand.
It might have been intended to work as you said, I don't know. RAW, it does not work and makes the whole thing pretty pointless.

It is counter-intuitive to assume that you need an extra standard action - extra standard actions are extremely rare, and have not been taken into account in any item or piece of equipment that has ever been made that I know of.

I can see where you're getting at, but the RAI is pretty clear. It clearly states that you can fire a hand doublecrossbow with each hand, taking additional penalties.

If your concern is that it might be overpowered, please take into consideration that you need 2 counts of exotic weapon proficiency, or take -8 on your attack rolls, and Two-weapon fighting to further reduce from there. That's 3 feats right there.

Ravens_cry
2010-09-12, 08:40 AM
Player3 mentioned Quickloading crossbows from the Magic Item Compendium that, IIRC, had an extra-dimensional chamber that held a hundred bolts or so.
Once you get the coinage, this sounds like it would do the trick.

Urpriest
2010-09-12, 09:45 AM
It is counter-intuitive to assume that you need an extra standard action - extra standard actions are extremely rare, and have not been taken into account in any item or piece of equipment that has ever been made that I know of.

I can see where you're getting at, but the RAI is pretty clear. It clearly states that you can fire a hand doublecrossbow with each hand, taking additional penalties.

If your concern is that it might be overpowered, please take into consideration that you need 2 counts of exotic weapon proficiency, or take -8 on your attack rolls, and Two-weapon fighting to further reduce from there. That's 3 feats right there.

It says you can fire a hand doublecrossbow with each hand (presumably as part of a full attack). It does not say you can fire both barrels with each hand as a full attack. I read that section as meaning that you can use them like normal handcrossbows on a full attack.

true_shinken
2010-09-12, 09:53 AM
I can see where you're getting at, but the RAI is pretty clear. It clearly states that you can fire a hand doublecrossbow with each hand, taking additional penalties.


Like I said, it's a case of badly written rules. RAI, it certainly should work. RAW, it sure as hell doesn't.