View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Help me balance this crossbow?

2017-06-09, 11:35 AM
This crossbow has two bows on it, giving it the ability to fire two shots. The first time it is fired, it deals 2d4, as each bow fires. On subsequent shots, it deals 1d4, unless a bonus action is taken to load the second bow, in which case it deals 2d4.

The average damage doesn't seem bad, but I'm really new to this so I'm not sure. Also, how would this work with crossbow expert feat? Should it just constantly deal 2d4 damage, since the player committed a whole feat to it?

2017-06-09, 12:12 PM
Crossbow Expert aside, this a straight downgrade from the heavy crossbow. The heavy crossbow deals 1d10 damage, which is an average of 5.5. This one deals at most 2d4, which is an average of 5.

It would be worthwhile as a martial weapon if each bolt dealt 1d6 damage. Then you'll deal more damage than the heavy crossbow if you spend your bonus action on it, or less if you don't. It'll be a good pick for people with no use for their bonus actions, or perhaps for melee combatants who carry a crossbow as a back-up weapon. It might be too good though. Most fighters and paladins would have no reason to take the heavy crossbow over this one.

As for how it reacts with Crossbow Master, that's really difficult. If CE removes the need to spend that bonus action, then the double crossbow is a straight-up better than the heavy crossbow for people who have the feat. But it wouldn't make sense to retain the need for a bonus action, considering that CE allows a high level fighter to reload a crossbow about seven times per round.

I guess you need to ask yourself why you're creating this. Is it supposed to be a martial weapon that sees general use, or a rare esoteric one? If the latter, there's a lot more you could do to set it apart. Perhaps firing both bolts at once deals high damage, but the attack roll takes disadvantage. 1d8 damage with one bolt and 2d8 damage with two seems good. Then you can get a good damage boost against a low-AC target, but your damage is worse than a heavy crossbow when firing one bolt at a time, so it doesn't render the heavy crossbow obsolete. In this version you would reload both bolts at once, so it doesn't clash with CE.

But that's just one of the possibilities. It's up to you.

2017-06-09, 03:49 PM
thanks for the in depth reply. It's being used by a bard, so bonus actions are an important decision. I'm making the crossbow light, so I think I'll leave the die as is. With crossbow master if they make a melee attack they can then add a d4 as a bonus action pretty much, unless they had the foresight to use their previous bonus to load it. I think it's good as is. Thanks!