D&D 3rd Edition / 3.5 3.5- Multiple shots with a bow?





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  1. #1
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    3.5- Multiple shots with a bow?

    Hello!

    I recently joined a 3.5 D&D game, and an issue came up that the DM and I disagreed on. He made a ruling for the session, and we both agreed to research it in the meantime to find out whether this was correct.

    My character is 2nd level, and was using a bow. I fired once per round, and the DM (and another player) insisted that anybody using a bow can choose to fire twice as a full-round action (with no penalty to the attack roll) any time he wants. This sounded foreign to me, but since I haven't played 3.5 in a couple years, I could have been wrong. I (and the other player) have searched the Player's Handbook, and have found nothing aside from the Rapid Shot feat (which I do not have, and which also imposes a -2 penalty on both attacks when used) that would imply anything either way.

    Would someone be able to point out a specific rule or page that would indicate whether a bow can naturally be fired once or twice per round? Any help would be most appreciated.
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  • #2
    Bows work just like any other weapon as far as attacks per round goes. Rapid shot gets you an extra with a -2 penalty on all your attacks for that round. The only time you get extra attacks in a full round action without a feat is once you gain iterative attacks. (A.K.A. Multiple base attack bonuses)

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    your dm is wrong
    if you want a reference to the rules, it's at the player's handbook page 22, at the paragraph that begins with "Base Attack Bonus".
    Last edited by parinho7; Monday, 19th July, 2010 at 12:46 AM.
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    Perhaps this is the DM's house rule, archery is pretty weak in DnD, but vicious against swordsmen in real life. I have heard many house rules to improve bows in combat.

  • #5
    I suspect they're using the rule from AD&D, where bows got a rate of fire of 2.
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    It is remotely possible that the DM is using the Archer class from "Three Arrows for the King" 3.0 supplement which does allow an extra shot by level 2 as a class ability.
    Cheers!
    Noffham

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    I personally never found archery weak if used correctly in D&D. You can stay out of range of the melee if you use terrain to your advantage when possible(not always). When I used an archer I almost always had an initiative that was pretty ridiculous so I would hold actions to interrupt spell casting. I've had an archer who did 150+ per round on a regular basis.
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    Not at second level, he didn't

    Archer/Skirmisher and Archer/Sniper builds can be awesome, although my favourite are size Small characters who are thrown-weapon specialists. I'm getting a lot of cheesy goodness out of one of those right now At low levels, ranged attacking only keeps up if you can manage to finagle bullsh*t bonuses somehow. It's the feats that punish ranged combatants in most campaigns; CharOp theoretical crazy is all very well, but few groups play to the verge of the Epic Level Jokebook and a lot of ranged builds don't begin to compete until 12th level or even higher.

    Of course, if you're playing a campaign where a cheese sauce topping is permissible, the correct course of action for ranged (non-spell) combat is: "Be an Arrow Demon. Win."

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    Yeah, and that's my point, in a nutshell. Without taking a lot of class levels in a bow specialist class and taking a bunch of archery feats, using a bow is just short of pathetically not worth it. On the other hand, without taking a lot of specialist class levels and a bunch of feats, melee combat can kick some serious ass.

    A bard is forced into combat because the party is losing, the cleric buffs him, he pulls out his composite longbow. Combat, no big deal, he took a level of fighter for all the nifty proficiencies. If he has quick draw, he may take a full-round action, if he doesn't, he can still attack that round. That's pretty much where the bow stops being good. Any buff like bull's strength or bear's endurance does nothing. If he choses to attack that round, he'll likely get swamped by dudes with swords and his archery skills start to suck. If he choses to take a move action, he can get pretty far away and start hailing arrows, but melee combatants can make a charge attack and make up the difference in a second. He can take a full-round action to run, that gets him a good distance to fire arrows, but so can the melee combatants and once they catch up to the bard, taking a run action prevokes an attack of opportunity. Let's assume nobody wants to fight him, he has cooties. The melee combatants engage in battle with other party members, so unless the bard has precise shot, he takes a penalty to hit. WTF? Swordsmen don't get a penalty to hit archers launching arrows at their friends. Well, at least maybe the fact that you're launching fast moving, sharp pointy objects at people is mowing them down pretty quick, right? Nope, people can dodge arrows just as well as somebody swinging a friggin huge, hulking greatsword. Also, in terms of damage, it never hurts worse than somebody poking you with a number of one-handed melee weapons. In fact, unless you pay extra for your bow and can accurately guess your strength modifier at any given time, the melee weapon hurts more. And the guy with a pitiful weapon like that usually has a shield. You can't use a shield! The melee combatant without the shield has a hulking 2d6 kill stick that adds strength and a half to cut you in half. Seriously? Maybe the bard shouldn't try to attack that guy, look, there's one with no weapons! He just caught the friggin arrow. He can CATCH it. I have a two-handed weapon that does slightly less than a good one handed weapon, it has range but more penalties and limitations than what range makes up for, and some silly guy in robes keeps catching my arrows, anything else? Oh, I only have six arrows left.

    *packs up and goes home*

  • #10
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    LMAO!

    Yes, all of that and a bag of chips - well said!

    You've touched on another gripe of mine with ranged combat in D&D: you have to really, really specialise to be any good at it (or "be a cleric") and there's only a handful of builds that actually work through a range of levels. Whereas all you need to do heinous damage in melee is a decent BAB, a high Strength and a two-handed weapon (or "be a cleric"). There are a thousand valid routes to melee and a paltry few for archery.

    Speaking as someone who has spent many years as a longbow archer, the weakness of archery in D&D (in all its forms) makes me sad: albeit not as sad as the fact that to get real goodness from archery, you've pretty much GOT to employ amounts of cheese rarely seen outside of French wedding receptions

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