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ffone
2011-04-30, 02:32 PM
We have a sneak attacker with the Telling Blow feat (crits add sneak attack damage) and some other crit-based abilities.

When all else fails (such as HiPS / Blink / Gr. Invisibility and Sniper's Shot magic) Telling Blow is one way to get sneak attack at range (normally harder than melee b/c of no flanking, the 30' limit, and concealment utterly foiling SA). Crit-fishing of course is unreliable, but if you're in a situation where it's that or nothing...anyway, given the character has crit-based abilities, they might as well try to find a ranged weapon with a wide threat range.

Melee weapons with 18-20 threat ranges are plentiful (rapier, kukri, scimitar, falchion) and include the usual best rogue weapon (rapier), but core seems to have no 18-20 throwing or ranged weapons.

The only one I've found is the (IIRC) great crossbow from Races of Stone, which is exotic and has a slow reloading time.

For a character who can't invest actual feats in the weapon, are there magic properties or other tricks to make it useful?

IIRC MIC has a 'quick loading' enhancement, but it wasn't totally clear to me what that covers (free action to reload? do you still need a free hand or can you now effectively TWF with two quick loading hand crossbows?)

Is there a magic item property to grant automatic proficiency with a weapon?

Can Keen be put on a bow or crossbow? SRD says piercing/slashing and doesn't say 'melee', but it only appears on the random-roll table for melee (and I wondered if it had to be put on the ammo).

Is there a way to get iterative thrown attacks with a single melee weapon (without being a Bloodstorm Blade)? Can you throw nonmagical melee weapons and just eat a -4 penalty or something (like a bag of masterwork rapiers or kukris with least crystals of return for free-action draw), or do they then count as improvised weapons?

Treblain
2011-04-30, 09:08 PM
Keen Edge can be cast on ammunition, so I'd say the arrows or bolts would be allowed to be Keen.

Great Crossbows are pretty good, if you put the work and feats into them. They do good damage, and Crossbow Sniper is another good way to SA from past 30'. What I'd try is getting an Unseen Servant to load it for you. The rogue can UMD a wand of Unseen Servant and it lasts for hours. Technically, it might not be strong enough to pull a crossbow back, but this is D&D, not physics class.

Quick Draw is needed to make iterative throwing attacks.

Another angle might be increasing the number of attack rolls you get, via Rapid Shot, luck re-rolls, and other means.

ffone
2011-05-01, 01:15 AM
Quick Draw is needed to make iterative throwing attacks.


Is this true even if you have another way of making the draw a free action, such as least crystals of return, or using shuriken, or gloves of endless javelins?

balistafreak
2011-05-01, 01:36 AM
Is this true even if you have another way of making the draw a free action, such as least crystals of return, or using shuriken, or gloves of endless javelins?

No. Although I question the wisdom of putting Least Crystals of Return on throwing weapons, the other two are a-ok.

Also, as pointed out by JaronK in another thread, there's a trick for crossbows that seems Really Darn Cheesy by RAW, but doesn't seem that bad powerwise when you think about it.

Feat Hand Crossbow Focus = Weapon Focus + free action reload, NOT "you gain the benefits of Rapid Reload". We're after the second part here: enter Aptitude Great Crossbow. Congrats, you can now free-action reload your Great Crossbow. :smallbiggrin: Takes enough wealth to support a +2 weapon, so there's a bit of a minimum-level floor before you can make it work, but it's awesome. If the fluff of it is challenged, say the specific crossbow is designed for reloading if one knows what one is doing.

Alternatively, you could try using the Throw Anything feat on rapiers, or kukris if you want to TWF throw if you're that crazy. Make sure to get those double-range-increment gloves from the MIC: you'll need them to avoid always taking -2 for ranged increment penalties, and you'll still take a penalty often enough to be annoying.

Rickshaw
2011-05-01, 09:48 AM
If you are going to be critical hit focused, there will come a point when you don't need to worry about penalties. all the penalties in the world don't mean a thing if your crit range is big enough. an 8th level Disciple of Dispater (from book of vile darkness) working with a steel weapon of some kind gets a tripled critical threat range that stacks with improved critical.

so, say we are working with throwing a kukri. you could probably get it to work with even the crazy things like double scimitars or any other weapon that gives you an 18-20 threat range, but lets aim for simplicity.

now, I'm not sure if there are rules on how to multiply crit ranges together, but since every DM EVER wants you to have the smallest possible range, lets say that 18-20 is tripled first. 18-20 is 3 numbers. tripled becomes 9 numbers. 11-20 crit range is pretty sick. toss on improved critical - 9 numbers becomes 18 numbers. 3-20 crit range.

you would have to roll a 2 to not crit (and pretty much miss anyways), or a 1 to autofail.

and if you want to really cheese it up and your DM lets you use a semi-pointless bonus from a D20 book, a laminated steel weapon (+900 gold, only works on slashing weapons) adds +1 to your critical threat range, meaning you have to roll a 1 to not crit.

EDIT: after actually doing the math, it doesn't matter how you stack it, it comes out to 18 numbers of critical threat either way....derp.

The Dark Fiddler
2011-05-01, 10:41 AM
If you are going to be critical hit focused, there will come a point when you don't need to worry about penalties. all the penalties in the world don't mean a thing if your crit range is big enough.

You know you still have to hit with a threat, or else it just misses, right?

Rickshaw
2011-05-01, 10:43 AM
if your next hit is in the critical threat range, it auto confirms. also, there is the variation of instant decapitation or whatever for rolling multiple critical threat rolls on one attack. it's somewhere in the PHB.

EDIT: no, it's not, lol. I'm wrong on this one.

tyckspoon
2011-05-01, 11:21 AM
if your next hit is in the critical threat range, it auto confirms. also, there is the variation of instant decapitation or whatever for rolling multiple critical threat rolls on one attack. it's somewhere in the PHB.

yeaaahh.. you're gonna have to actually go find that if you want to convince anybody of it, because this is totally [citation needed] ground. Which is to say, you're wrong. For reference, Critical Hits from the SRD:


To find out if itís a critical hit, you immediately make a critical rollóanother attack roll with all the same modifiers as the attack roll you just made. If the critical roll also results in a hit against the targetís AC, your original hit is a critical hit. (The critical roll just needs to hit to give you a crit. It doesnít need to come up 20 again.) If the critical roll is a miss, then your hit is just a regular hit.

And on expanded threat range attacks:

In such cases, a roll of lower than 20 is not an automatic hit. Any attack roll that doesnít result in a hit is not a threat.

balistafreak
2011-05-01, 11:37 AM
if your next hit is in the critical threat range, it auto confirms. also, there is the variation of instant decapitation or whatever for rolling multiple critical threat rolls on one attack. it's somewhere in the PHB.

Objection! (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#criticalHits)


Increased Threat Range

Sometimes your threat range is greater than 20. That is, you can score a threat on a lower number. In such cases, a roll of lower than 20 is not an automatic hit. Any attack roll that doesnít result in a hit is not a threat.

EDIT: Swordsage'd.

Rickshaw
2011-05-01, 12:04 PM
::WHITE FLAG:: I YIELD!

Sorry! Sorry! I totally missed the bit that said anything other than a nat 20 is not an auto-confirmation. :smalleek:

that being said, my example where you still get a crit range of 3-20 means you DO hit a majority of the time, you just have to confirm. the only restriction is that it has to be an Iron or Steel weapon. I haven't looked, but I'm sure there is such a ranged weapon (other than straight up throwing stuff) somewhere. I'ma go digging now to find one such thing


Edit: after looking through a lot of my books and finding nothing, I'm gonna fall back and say that crossbows have steel in them and thus should fit the build XD. or just argue that steel/iron tipped bolts/arrowheads fit the build.

ffone
2011-05-02, 01:44 PM
Thanks for the ideas. I'm pretty sure almost any DM will rule that the doubling/tripling rules apply to threat ranges (so a tripling and a doubling will be a quadrupling, for 9-20...which granted is still awesome.).

What book is that 'laminated steel' thing from? 3rd party likely won't be allowed for me, but I might as well know!

Disciple of Dispater may not work for me, due to the investment of class levels (which cuts out the levels of rogue / swashbuckler which confer the things that make the crits good: the sneak attack die for Telling Blow, and swashbuckler's high level class features do to Str and Con damage on crits). But it's good to know about.


::WHITE FLAG:: I YIELD!

Sorry! Sorry! I totally missed the bit that said anything other than a nat 20 is not an auto-confirmation. :smalleek:

that being said, my example where you still get a crit range of 3-20 means you DO hit a majority of the time, you just have to confirm.

I'm fairly sure that the attack roll has to make the AC, even if it's a threat (a threat which would otherwise be a miss is still a miss, except for 20), as well as the threat roll having to make the AC (again except for 20s), even if it's in the treat range.

So a wide threat range provides no benefit to 'just hitting', in fact it makes a good attack mod *more* important to the player (b/c if they 'miss' with part of their threat range it's wasted investment).

Check my math:

T = min roll needed to threat (i.e. 15 on 15-20), min 2 and max 20
H = min roll needed to hit, min 2 and max 20

Chance of a hit = (21 - H) / 20
Chance of a threat = (21 - max(H,T)) / 20
Chance of a crit = (21 - max(H,T)) / 20 * (21 - H) / 20

The percentage of your hits which are crits will always be (21 - max(H,T)) / 20 . Unless something special is happening - target has fortified armor is a crit immune Type of course, or you have different modifier for the two rolls, (Critical Strike spell), etc.

So as long as you can hit with your full threat range, your crit % will always be 30% on a 15-20 weapon, for example. In fact you could almost just 'reverse the order' - have players roll a d20 or d% after every attack roll, and crit if they roll in the appropriate percentage of the range. Of course this would be inferior since it'd be more rolling; the 'threat range' concept is a clever way of providing a usually-constant-% effect with less extra rolling (and there are a few differences, like cases where a threat is a miss, or bonuses to threat rolls only such as the Critical Strike spell provides).

Rickshaw
2011-05-02, 02:11 PM
laminated steel is 3rd party, its from More Ultimate Equipment.

and goodness, I've got mistakes all OVER the place. you are correct, SRD says any attack roll that doesn't hit doesn't qualify as a threat.

faceroll
2011-05-02, 02:36 PM
Orc Shotput, from Sword & Fist, is an exotic 2d6 19-20x3 thrown weapon.