D&D 5E Composite Short And Longbow Homebrew


Not sure what to really label this, so I'm putting this under 5e as it pertains to it. So, a few hours ago I was thinking of adding these to 5e as they are something fond from my childhood. After getting a bit more info form some lovely people here, I have finally come up with a conversion to 5e. I hope you like it and if you have any feedback for it, please let me know.

Composite Shortbow: 75gp Simple Ranged, 1d10P; Range (100/400), ammunition, two-handed, STR req. 14, uses STR.
Composite Longbow: 100gp Martial Ranged, 1d12P; Range (170/680), ammunition, heavy, two-handed, STR req. 14, uses STR
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Distracted DM

Distracted DM
EN's Level Up Advanced 5e has a composite bow, as pictured below and you can check it out here: Item List
Your version is pretty potent- it has a greater range and better damage... I don't think the Strength requirement is strictly necessary since it's going to be benefiting from strength, but I can't see it hurting either :)
The higher damage dice probably aren't necessary? The higher damage comes from higher strength.. but if you're looking to make Dex-focused characters jealous then I guess it does the job.



Personally, I would go with version of 3E to it.

You add STR to damage in addition to dex if you have that specific bow and required Str(or more)


Mighty bow(str +1), if your STR mod is +1 or higher add +1 damage,
if you do not have required STR, you have disadvantage on attack and deal only minimum damage.

you can get up to +5 str bow(or higher if you want to).
this still gives Str characters ways to utilize high str outside thrown weapons.

for damage calculations:
DEX 20, normal longbow
1d8+5, 60% hit chance
5,93 damage per hit

STR 20, lets say decent DEX of 12
1d8+6, 40% hit chance
4,43 damage per hit,

it's worse than current but not horrible and still comes with 150ft range.


Personally, I'd set the STR requirement lower at 10/12, the shortbow basically not have a minus and the longbow being a touch higher.

Shouldn't they also have the Ammunition tag?
having used quite a few bows, I would say that 10 is really low for any kind of bow, unless we are talking about practice target bows, low would be 14.

maybe just have base damage of bow being reliant on min STR of user and being cratfted with that in mind


STR 8, d4 damage
STR 10, d6
STR 12, d8
STR 14, d10
STR 18, d12
STR 20, 2d6

if you do not have required STR, deal minimum damage and disadvantage on attack rolls.


Personally, I think that D&D's short bow and longbow distinction is pure nonsense, and it should be preplaced by Hunting (light) bow [1d6P] no strength requirements. The medium bow [1d8P] martial but no STR restriction and the war bow [Martial, STR 13, and 2d4+2P] or something like that.

So, I looked more into the 3.5 composite bow, and somewhere in my searching I found a picture of them and then found some information (again this was all after a long shift and my brain wouldn't let me sleep, so I'm sorry I do not have the info of where I found it all on hand) My goal here was to have a bow that stood out over the regular ones that did the same thing as the regular ones. I didn't want to limit what they could do based on what STR stat they had. I wanted to have a steady damage and range that also reflected the STR of the person using it, while also not completely wholesale copying the composite bow from what I was told of 3.5. and what I found. With that came the higher die and the extra 20 ft edition to range. I'm still not sure if I'm going to have the split DEX to hit STR for damage, as it kind of seems out of place considering that all the other weapons only ever use one stat for both.

Yes, it should, sorry, I will add it. Also, I added the STR bonus I did because well the lowest required STR that is needed for heavy armor is 13, the highest being 15, I figured that something in the middle to reward for that type of STR would be a bow that has a requirement of 14. Again, it's really rough, I am looking back on it now after posting and sleeping and rethinking some stuff lol.

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