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jcsw
2008-09-12, 11:48 PM
Background Info: I've got a swordsage with the homebrew http://wiki.faxcelestis.net/index.php?title=Falling_Star_Discipline in a PbP game.
Which basically makes me a raptoran... bowsage... in Sharn? Heh. (it's confined to sharn)

As we're all level 2, i've been looking around at special arrows, and thus been taking an interest in them....
---
1. Why exactly do magic arrows break once shot but normal arrows don't? Shouldn't masterwork arrows be more durable than normal? Wouldn't it sound less nonsensical if they just lost the enchantment? oO Just a random question.

2. Can, and is it a good idea, for arrows be made of Stygian Ice (Frostburn).
If you somehow get a magic cooler box for them it sounds like a very potent weapon, +1d6cold+2wisdom damage and it melts afterwards, nauseating the target...
The only downside I can see is the reflex save to avoid the damage...

Discuss!

Edge of Dreams
2008-09-12, 11:57 PM
The main reason magic arrows break is a game design decision - it's designed to match up to the wealth by level rules. Otherwise, you could buy twenty or thirty +5 arrows and pick them up to reuse after every fight, breaking the WBL. 4e makes this a little better (only slightly though) by just having every arrow break when shot, even mundane ones.

arguskos
2008-09-13, 12:00 AM
The main reason magic arrows break is a game design decision - it's designed to match up to the wealth by level rules. Otherwise, you could buy twenty or thirty +5 arrows and pick them up to reuse after every fight, breaking the WBL. 4e makes this a little better (only slightly though) by just having every arrow break when shot, even mundane ones.
See, that would make sense, except that in 3.5, arrow enhancements and bow enhancements no longer stack, so why even bother buying magical arrows if you can afford the bow? :smallwink:

Anyway, I tend to say that most, if not all, arrows (and other ammunition, within reason) break upon contact with something, magic or not.

Just my 2cp.

-argus

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-09-13, 12:06 AM
Dragon Compendium had arrows that returned to you after each round. It was part of a larger unique enhancement, though, so some reverse math would be needed to figure it.

MeklorIlavator
2008-09-13, 12:20 AM
See, that would make sense, except that in 3.5, arrow enhancements and bow enhancements no longer stack, so why even bother buying magical arrows if you can afford the bow? :smallwink:

Because a +5 arrow=1000 gp instead of 50,000, so you can get an arrow much sooner. Also, stacking enhancements(flaming, frost, ect) can be done much easier since instead of a +5 weapon you buy a +2 weapon with various different arrows.

arguskos
2008-09-13, 12:24 AM
That's true enough. Though, since they break, it's a waste of your money. *shrug* It bothers me that they nerfed ammo so hard in 3.5, but that's just me.

-argus

MeklorIlavator
2008-09-13, 12:30 AM
That's true enough. Though, since they break, it's a waste of your money. *shrug* It bothers me that they nerfed ammo so hard in 3.5, but that's just me.

It's a consumable, just like potions and wands. Still, I agree that they didn't have to go so hard with the nerf bat.

SadisticFishing
2008-09-13, 01:10 AM
Also, a whole slew of +1 bane arrows, and a +5 bow is pretty darn good.

Ent
2008-09-13, 01:35 AM
I thought all arrows had a 50% chance of breaking when shot, magic or mundane, no?

jcsw
2008-09-13, 03:42 AM
Well I know why they did it, but wouldn't it make more sense for them to merely lose the magic? It doesn't seem to make sense that MASTERWORK arrows break more easily than normal ones.

Eldran
2008-09-13, 04:09 AM
You will have to go for the usual solution for such cases.

Make a houserule that magical arrows become nonmagical masterwork arrows after they have been used and give them a 25% chance of breaking.

And Yes it sounds very unlikely that well made arrows break easier than normal ones.

new1965
2008-09-13, 06:53 AM
Background Info: I've got a swordsage with the homebrew http://wiki.faxcelestis.net/index.php?title=Falling_Star_Discipline in a PbP game.
Which basically makes me a raptoran... bowsage... in Sharn? Heh. (it's confined to sharn)

As we're all level 2, i've been looking around at special arrows, and thus been taking an interest in them....
---
1. Why exactly do magic arrows break once shot but normal arrows don't? Shouldn't masterwork arrows be more durable than normal? Wouldn't it sound less nonsensical if they just lost the enchantment? oO Just a random question.

2. Can, and is it a good idea, for arrows be made of Stygian Ice (Frostburn).
If you somehow get a magic cooler box for them it sounds like a very potent weapon, +1d6cold+2wisdom damage and it melts afterwards, nauseating the target...
The only downside I can see is the reflex save to avoid the damage...

Discuss!

ironically Raptor arrows from MIC dont break and "restrings" itself the next round to be fired again

IM@work
2008-09-13, 08:51 AM
Currently I am playing a lvl 20 straight Fighter from levels 1-20 who uses only bows. I did some intense research during my spare time and came up with this:

Most of these are from either Magic Item Compendium, Arms and Equipment, or DMG. Note, they may not all be correct, their just my personal notes.
Cold Iron: cost x2 as much, effective against fey
Adamantite: +60 for ammunition, ignores hardness less than 20, bypasses hardness for sundering weapons or items, +1 enhancements on attack rolls, masterwork quality, 1/3 more hit points
Silver, Alchemical: +2 gp, -1 penalty on attack roll, good vs. lycanthropes
Slaying Arrow: 2282gp DC 20 Fort Save or Die for determined creature
Greater Slaying Arrow: 4057gp same as above but DC 23
Arrow of Biting: 650 gp, poison, d6 con/d6 con
Holy arrows: +2 cost, good vs. undead
Sleep Arrow: +1 arrow, 132gp non-lethal damage, DC 11 will save or fall asleep.
Fountainhead arrow: 306gp, 2d8 acid area damage
Screaming Bolt: 267gp +2 bolts, cause DC 14 will save or shaken, All within 20 feet of arrows path.
Alchemist Arrow: 75 gp, 1d4 fire damage 1 round later, Dex 15 extinguish
Arrow Blunt: 5sp for 2d6, deals subdual damage
Arrow flight: 8sp for 2d6, increases range by 25 ft.
Arrow Signal: 5sp for 2d6, -2 attack rolls, makes signaling noises
Arrow Thundering: 2sp for 2d6, deals no damage, thunderstone activation(DC 15 fort save or deafened for an hour, -4 penalty on initiative, 20% spell failure, -thunderstones for cheaper than a real thunderstone? YES!!!
Arrow of Disintegration: 3,319gp Fort Save 19 or be disintegrated, saving throw 5d6
Arrow of Eyes: +1 arrow, works as arcane eye,
Fey Arrow: 297 gp, +1 arrow faaerie fire
Smoke Arrow: 25 gp, ranged smokestick

Also, I thought I might throw in these helpful items:
Quiver of Ellhona (DMG) 1,800gp holds: 60 arrows and 18 javelins and six bows
Quiver of energy(MIC): 15,000gp place arrows in for a round, creates any 1 energy type
Quiver of Plenty(Dragon Compendium): 18,000 gp, any type of tipped arrow (wood, cold iron, silver) infinite arrows, 20/day adamantine.

Horizon Goggles (Dragon Magic?MiC? ???) 8000gp (gives Far Shot)

If you have any ?'s I'll try and answer them but hopefully the rest of the boards know about these.

jcsw
2008-09-13, 09:37 AM
1. The Eagle Eye stance more or less gives me as much range as I could possibly realistically use.

2. Nice arrow guide. This will be useful XD.
To add to the list, Races of the Wild has some nice arrows which you may like as well, there's a dragonsbreath arrow which pretty much trumps the alchemist arrow in every way, including cost (50gp for 20)

3. Someone needs to make a Special Arrow guide.

4. Anyone have any comment about stygian ice arrows?

IM@work
2008-09-13, 10:29 AM
2 things:
Where are these ice arrows you speak of found? Are you talking about the icechucker from frostburn (a NO btw as it takes a full round action to load).

I should have mentioned this earlier, but a +1 flaming bow, +1 acid arrow, stuck into a quiver of energy= +1 flaming, frost, acid arrow for the price of a +2 arrow and a +2 bow, plus the 15,000 quiver, as opposed to buying a +4 bow.

32,000gp for a +4 enhancement
or
8,000gp (+2 enhancement)+ 8000 gp (for 50 +2 arrow) +15,000gp quiver=31,000 gp. For 1,000 gp less you get one static energy and 2 flexible energies, your major options being: electricity, cold, fire, and acid. The best part is the quiver stays with you!
You can also do a +3 bow and a quiver for 33,000gp... you get the idea.
An arrow users guide would be cool. There is a archery guide on the CharOp boards but no arrow as far as I know.

jcsw
2008-09-13, 11:43 AM
I meant Stygian Ice Arrows from Frostburn, under special materials. The entry never mentions arrows but I assume you can make 20 of them for +6000gp.

1. +1d6 Cold Damage, and if they take damage, DC12 Will Save or +2 Wisdom damage, however, you must make a DC 15 reflex save or the weapon also takes the damage (Not so much of a problem with arrows)
2. They melt in normal temperatures (I'm not sure how hot it is, cause I only use Celsius, so I don't know at what temperature they melt.) However a Magic-Cooler Box shouldn't be too expensive...
3. When they melt they release a cloud of smoke which nauseates anyone within a 5ft radius on a failed DC12 Fort Save.
4. Stygian Ice deals 1d6 cold to anyone who touches it, but it should not be a problem since the shafts are still made of Wood.

---

Maybe I'll compile a list of good arrows... hmm.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-13, 11:55 AM
Arrows: An arrow used as a melee weapon is treated as a light improvised weapon (4 penalty on attack rolls) and deals damage as a dagger of its size (critical multiplier x2). Arrows come in a leather quiver that holds 20 arrows. An arrow that hits its target is destroyed; one that misses has a 50% chance of being destroyed or lost.


Magic Ammunition and Breakage: When a magic arrow, crossbow bolt, or sling bullet misses its target, there is a 50% chance it breaks or otherwise is rendered useless. A magic arrow, bolt, or bullet that hits is destroyed.

Regular ammo has the same chance to be destroyed as magical ammo.

Arrow enchantments generally are worthless, except for arrows of slaying.

IM@work
2008-09-13, 12:48 PM
Arrow enchantments generally are worthless, except for arrows of slaying.

Did you even read the list of arrows I posted? Check out the arrow of disintegration. Disintegration as the spell plus damage from the arrow.
Arrow enchantments are a great way to do a couple of things:
1.Stack the damage. Sneak attack plus energy damage from a bow=win.
2. Utility/play wizard. Arrow of eyes, disintegration, slaying, plus many other utility arrows allow for access to high damage spells as well as communication/battlefield disruption.

As for the ice arrows mentioned, for 8,000 gp you can get 50 cold arrows, or for 6000 gp you can get 20 special cold arrows. I'd rather go for the cold arrows as it would be harder to keep the special cold arrows as well as more costly. But if you really like the effects of the arrows invest in it. With a splitting bow, full base attack bonus, and rapid shot you have the possibility for 10 attacks, each with a possibility of 2 Wis damage each time, 20 WIS! After if the WIS is 0 CON damage, eventually rising as a wraith (assumedly under your control). However, save is only a DC 12 will save and at high levels it would be a little hard to do. However, if you were evil you could just kill a ton of weak things and have them rise as wraiths. Expensive, but effective if you have no access to spells.

jcsw
2008-09-13, 01:01 PM
Regular ammo has the same chance to be destroyed as magical ammo.

Arrow enchantments generally are worthless, except for arrows of slaying.

I was talking about the fact that normal arrows don't always break when you hit the creature in question, wheras enchanted ones always do.

Keld Denar
2008-09-13, 01:05 PM
Did you even read the list of arrows I posted? Check out the arrow of disintegration. Disintegration as the spell plus damage from the arrow.
Arrow enchantments are a great way to do a couple of things:
1.Stack the damage. Sneak attack plus energy damage from a bow=win.
2. Utility/play wizard. Arrow of eyes, disintegration, slaying, plus many other utility arrows allow for access to high damage spells as well as communication/battlefield disruption.

As for the ice arrows mentioned, for 8,000 gp you can get 50 cold arrows, or for 6000 gp you can get 20 special cold arrows. I'd rather go for the cold arrows as it would be harder to keep the special cold arrows as well as more costly. But if you really like the effects of the arrows invest in it. With a splitting bow, full base attack bonus, and rapid shot you have the possibility for 10 attacks, each with a possibility of 2 Wis damage each time, 20 WIS! After if the WIS is 0 CON damage, eventually rising as a wraith (assumedly under your control). However, save is only a DC 12 will save and at high levels it would be a little hard to do. However, if you were evil you could just kill a ton of weak things and have them rise as wraiths. Expensive, but effective if you have no access to spells.

The problem with things like arrows is that the DCs are fixed, and don't scale. At the levels where they'd be effective, the cost is prohibitive, and once cash becomes more readily available, the DCs are all WAY too low. They are based on the same DC formula that wands are, and as anyone will tell you, you almost never buy wands with spells that allow saves, unless the spell also has a 2ndary effect.

So yea, you just spent almost 3.5k on a single disintegrate arrow. Disintegrate is a 6th level spell, which sets the base DC to 16. Now, a 16 int/cha min is required to cast it, so this increases the DC to 19. Its also at minimum CL, which is 11, so that's 22d6 damage on a failed save, or 5d6 damage on a successful save. So...lets say you manage to get ahold of 1!!! by about level 8. Something at that level is gonna have at least a 60% chance to save, more if its something big, which is probably what you'd be saving it for. So you fire your arrow. If it fails, well, you've just killed something you could have killed without blowing 1/5 your wealth by level in another round or 2. If it makes the save, you do an extra 5d6, which is about the equivalent of 1.5-2 extra bow shots, not really a huge advancement in damage, given the opportunity cost. You could have spent that 5k gold on something like Bracers of Archery to increase your long term damage, or as a down payment on a Quiver of Energy or something similar.

Items like this tend to be very anticlimactic, and often disappointing, not to mention a terrible financial decision. Maybe, just maybe, if you had an artificer cohort lying around with nothing better to do...nah, probably not even then. Its just a bad idea.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-13, 01:06 PM
I was talking about the fact that normal arrows don't always break when you hit the creature in question, wheras enchanted ones always do.

I guess I'll have to repeat the quote I just posted?

"An arrow that hits its target is destroyed; one that misses has a 50% chance of being destroyed or lost."

"When a magic arrow, crossbow bolt, or sling bullet misses its target, there is a 50% chance it breaks or otherwise is rendered useless. A magic arrow, bolt, or bullet that hits is destroyed."

It doesn't matter whether it's magical or not. If it hits, it breaks. If it doesn't, it has a 50% chance to survive.

Edit:

Did you even read the list of arrows I posted? Check out the arrow of disintegration. Disintegration as the spell plus damage from the arrow.

Yes, I did.

The arrow of disintegration costs about 20% less than the greater arrow of slaying. It has a worse DC (your target has a 20% better chance of making that save), and it deals damage instead of killing (remember, disintegrate doesn't actually destroy anything, it just deals damage). It's also ridiculously, prohibitively expensive for such a poor one-use item. You have to hit, then your target has to fail a save, or they just take barely more damage. (Bringing the damage of your attack up to half what your fighter just dealt with one blow.) Even a necklace of fireballs is a better investment.

The only use magical arrows have is in equipping large numbers of creatures with them. If you need to kill some dozens of trolls with a bunch of archers, you need +1 flaming arrows, but that's about it. Usually, they're only useful for the DM's humanoid monsters.

Magical arrows just aren't worth the money. A GMW'd bow with a lot of special weapon qualities is what you actually want.

jcsw
2008-09-13, 01:39 PM
I guess I'll have to repeat the quote I just posted?

"An arrow that hits its target is destroyed; one that misses has a 50% chance of being destroyed or lost."

"When a magic arrow, crossbow bolt, or sling bullet misses its target, there is a 50% chance it breaks or otherwise is rendered useless. A magic arrow, bolt, or bullet that hits is destroyed."

It doesn't matter whether it's magical or not. If it hits, it breaks. If it doesn't, it has a 50% chance to survive.

Edit:


Yes, I did.

The arrow of disintegration costs about 20% less than the greater arrow of slaying. It has a worse DC (your target has a 20% better chance of making that save), and it deals damage instead of killing (remember, disintegrate doesn't actually destroy anything, it just deals damage). It's also ridiculously, prohibitively expensive for such a poor one-use item. You have to hit, then your target has to fail a save, or they just take barely more damage. (Bringing the damage of your attack up to half what your fighter just dealt with one blow.) Even a necklace of fireballs is a better investment.

The only use magical arrows have is in equipping large numbers of creatures with them. If you need to kill some dozens of trolls with a bunch of archers, you need +1 flaming arrows, but that's about it. Usually, they're only useful for the DM's humanoid monsters.

Magical arrows just aren't worth the money. A GMW'd bow with a lot of special weapon qualities is what you actually want.

1. Splitting
2. Spell Storing
3. Lucky
4. You can't have a bow for each special enchantment, you can with arrows. Arrows, while less cost efficient, make up in versatility.

Keld Denar
2008-09-13, 03:35 PM
1. Splitting
I have yet to see a DM IRL or on the internet who openly admits to allowing the splitting enhancement in any standard game. Granted, this is a bit of a Straw DM comment, but regardless...not a single one.

2. Spell Storing
Doesn't work. Arrows are ammunition, not melee weapons, and spell storing only works on melee weapons. And don't give me the old "stab you with an arrow" BS, its classified as ammunition, just as a greatsword is classified as a melee weapon, even though you could chuck it at someone.

3. Lucky
Luck favors monsters, not PCs. PCs typically make 2-3 attack rolls per monster, maximal, while monsters make dozens of attack rolls per DAY vs the PCs. If anyone's gonna get lucky, its not you. Statistically, you're special arrows will probably fail, while a number of foes equipped with such arrows would have a much more likely chance to affect you, plus being monsters, can afford to invest more gold in 1 shot items such as potions and special arrows. As a PC, if you invest heavily in 1shot consumables, you will eventually fall behind power curve unless your DM makes up for it by giving you more gold, which penalizes the other PCs for not investing heavily in consumables as well.


4. You can't have a bow for each special enchantment, you can with arrows. Arrows, while less cost efficient, make up in versatility.

No, but you can have a bow thats versitile enough. I'd get a +1 Holy Force bow, which would be the best bang/buck for everything you'd fight. Pump it with GMW, and then get a ton of non-magical, non-masterwork arrows in vanillia, cold iron, silvered, and adamantine. If I had a TON of superfluous gold and advanced knowledge that the campaign was heavy outsider/undead/orc/etc influenced, I might invest in a stack or 2 of +1 Bane:X arrows, but that'd be tops.

Grynning
2008-09-13, 03:54 PM
... get a ton of non-magical, non-masterwork arrows in vanillia, cold iron, silvered, and adamantine....

I don't think you can have non-masterwork cold-iron or adamantine anything. The cost of a cold iron or adamantine item already includes the masterwork cost.

Also, while I know what you meant, the thought of "vanilla" arrows evoked an image in my mind of an archer launching arrows with scoops of ice cream on the ends instead of arrowheads. That would be a novel character concept.

jcsw
2008-09-13, 08:41 PM
I have yet to see a DM IRL or on the internet who openly admits to allowing the splitting enhancement in any standard game. Granted, this is a bit of a Straw DM comment, but regardless...not a single one.

Doesn't work. Arrows are ammunition, not melee weapons, and spell storing only works on melee weapons. And don't give me the old "stab you with an arrow" BS, its classified as ammunition, just as a greatsword is classified as a melee weapon, even though you could chuck it at someone.

Luck favors monsters, not PCs. PCs typically make 2-3 attack rolls per monster, maximal, while monsters make dozens of attack rolls per DAY vs the PCs. If anyone's gonna get lucky, its not you. Statistically, you're special arrows will probably fail, while a number of foes equipped with such arrows would have a much more likely chance to affect you, plus being monsters, can afford to invest more gold in 1 shot items such as potions and special arrows. As a PC, if you invest heavily in 1shot consumables, you will eventually fall behind power curve unless your DM makes up for it by giving you more gold, which penalizes the other PCs for not investing heavily in consumables as well.


No, but you can have a bow thats versitile enough. I'd get a +1 Holy Force bow, which would be the best bang/buck for everything you'd fight. Pump it with GMW, and then get a ton of non-magical, non-masterwork arrows in vanillia, cold iron, silvered, and adamantine. If I had a TON of superfluous gold and advanced knowledge that the campaign was heavy outsider/undead/orc/etc influenced, I might invest in a stack or 2 of +1 Bane:X arrows, but that'd be tops.

In the same way that no sane DM would allow splitting, no sane DM has yet not allowed me to use spell storing on arrows. So if your arguments for 1 and 2 work against each other unless you have a DM who invokes rule 0 just cause he can.

And I've never figured out why just because spell storing can't be used on ammunition. The only place that seems to mention spell storing in relation to melee is the random weapon treasure table. The text itself for spell storing in no part mentions what kind of weapons you can apply it to.
So if the argument is that they don't exist because it doesn't appear on the ranged treasure table, obviously you can't buy items from other splatbooks cause they don't appear on the treasure table.

And I have no idea what you mean in part 3, how does that in any way relate to Lucky Arrows? I mean the Lucky enhancement, which allows two attack rolls per arrow.

Keld Denar
2008-09-13, 09:33 PM
As far as spell storing arrows go, the possibilities for abuse are incredible. Compare with a melee weapon. One casts the spell into the melee weapon during downtime, where it waits until the wielder wishes to cast the spell upon striking. This gives an action advantage, essentially giving the wielder of the weapon a quickened spell to cast, once per combat. Its impractical to cast the spell back into the weapon during combat, so the action advantage is limited to one combat round. That's a fine benefit for the cost, a +1 equivalant. Regardless of how many attacks the wielder makes, the spell can only be discharged once.

NOW, we look at an archer with a quiver full of spell storing arrows. During extended downtime, the archer has a wizard fill ALL of his arrows with spells, things like Combust or Vampiric Touch. Now, the archer begins combat with his quiver, activates his boots of haste, initiates a rapid shot, and makes 5 shots in a single round. He's now cast 5 spells, on top of his 5 attacks, all in the course of a single round. This is TOO much damage, as it unbalances typical damage curves. Its just too much stored energy being released in too short of a period of time. THAT'S why its only allowed to be on melee weapons.

And forgive me about the Lucky thing, I didn't know it was an enhancement bonus. I was thinking more than you were talking about getting a couple of those special arrows, shooting them, and hopping you get lucky that your DM rolls a 1 on the save. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to roll an unfortunate 1 than your DM is, and if he replies with arms in kind, you are at a disadvantage...

Ganurath
2008-09-13, 09:38 PM
You know, doesn't the wording of the Burrowing Arrows from Complete Warrior imply that the arrows remain intact when they hit, even after removed?

Koalita
2008-09-13, 09:54 PM
While I agree that it doesnt make much sense that a masterwork arrow breaks more easily than a normal one... I think that a mw arrow is made to be... easier to aim. 5% easier to aim. Nowhere it stands that it shall last more. Or less for the case. It could be any of the 3 options, to be the as durable, less durable or more durable than normal ones. Just some tweaks, making it sharper but a bit more fragile, or making it with better materials, can all be ways to create mw arrows, while giving it different resistance to being broken.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-13, 10:10 PM
You know, doesn't the wording of the Burrowing Arrows from Complete Warrior imply that the arrows remain intact when they hit, even after removed?

If it does, then they would be a special case. All ammunition is, by default - according to the rules, which spell it out explicitly - destroyed when it hits. Specific overrides general, though, so maybe burrowing arrows aren't destroyed. (I'd say you need some pretty strong implication, though.)


While I agree that it doesnt make much sense that a masterwork arrow breaks more easily than a normal one.

???

What piece of rules says that MW ammo breaks more easily?

Again: all ammunition, magical or not, masterwork or not, has a 50% chance to be destroyed on a missed attack, and is automatically destroyed if the attack hits.

Specific exceptions may apply in some cases, as stated above.