Hand Crossbow vs. Sling

ShinRyuuBR

First Post
I must be missing something, this is just too wierd.

Why the heck would someone get a hand crossbow, when the sling has exactly all the same stats and is much cheaper?

They both are simple one-handed ranged weapons, +2 to hit, 1d6 damage, 10/20 range and load free.

The hand crossbow costs 25gp and weighs 2 lb. 20 units of ammunition cost 1gp and weigh 2 lb. Total 26gp and 4 lb.

The sling costs 1gp and weighs 0 lb. 20 units of ammunition cost 1gp and weigh 5 lb. Total 2gp and 5 lb.

I simply can't imagine any sain DM making a character pay 26gp instead of 2 over a difference of just 1 lb.

Also, everyone in the PH1 who's proficient with the sling is also proficient with the hand crossbow. I would find it very wierd for some future class to be able to operate a crossbow, no matter how simple, and not be able to shoot a sling.

Even rogue powers apply to both sling and hand crossbow. Might there be a class to come with benefits to crossbows but not slings? Even so, does it justify the price? Shouldn't perhaps the hand crossbow have a slightly better range than the sling? Might there be errata coming?
 

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MarkB

Legend
If you're a ranged combat specialist, you're not going to be buying just one unit of ammunition. Multi-target attacks use one piece of ammunition per target, so you can get through quite a lot.

If you're equipping yourself with enough ammo to get through several fun-packed adventuring days, those extra pounds will stack up.

It's not a massive factor, but it is a point in the hand crossbow's favour.
 

ShinRyuuBR

First Post
Point noted... But I still don't think it's worth it. First of all, the game suggests not to track load unless it seems very significant. Also, I don't think more than 40 units would be necessary per adventure, so it would be just 2 extra pounds. Maybe 3 if you want to be even more prepared (60 units).
 

Jack99

Adventurer
Poisoning sling bullets might be a tad weird? Else, I guess the only thing that makes you chose the hand crossbow over the sling is the feel of your character. I know that I would never make anything but a halfling that uses a sling. I mean, how gauche is that?
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
As a counterpoint: Why buy a luxury sedan over an entry-model? Both carry 4 or 5 people, get similar gas mileage, and will get you where you want to go. Style is a factor that people will pay for - whether it's worth 26 gp is up for debate. :)
 

lukelightning

First Post
As a counterpoint: Why buy a luxury sedan over an entry-model? Both carry 4 or 5 people, get similar gas mileage, and will get you where you want to go. Style is a factor that people will pay for - whether it's worth 26 gp is up for debate. :)

Exactamundo.

I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a +6 hand crosswbow, the most powerful crossbow in the world and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? Oh, you can clearly see that there's not a bolt loaded in it? Um, nevermind.
 

Staffan

Legend
There's a paragon-tier feat that gives you +3 to damage with a crossbow if you didn't move that round. I can't find anything comparable for slings (but there is a bow version, which gives +3 damage against a target that doesn't have anyone else nearby).
 


Goumindong

First Post
Slings compress very small, but they are actually quite large. A hand cross bow you can conceal and shoot while concealed. A sling... not so much, its a weapon of war, making a 2-4 foot radius circle above your head before you release it.

You can poison crossbow bolts.

Many powers work with crossbows and not slings. Ditto feats.
 

Obryn

Hero
In 3e, you needed a feat to use a hand crossbow, and even then it was pretty much identical to a sling. The only difference is that hand crossbows in 3e crit on 19-20.

Hand crossbows were quite lame in 1e/2e, as well, IIRC.

I think the designers of every edition actually hate hand crossbows, since I can't remember an edition where they haven't sucked.

-O
 





Old Gumphrey

First Post
From what I've seen, the point of the sling is to allow 1st-level characters to buy a ranged weapon if they only have 5 gold left from spending on other, more important items.

After that, the hand crossbow is generally superior, because of previously mentioned points. If you think those points are irrelevant, then keep your dumb sling. :)
 

babinro

First Post
The paragon feat Steady Shooter is about the only reason I can see wanting a crossbow over the sling. +3 damage is pretty significant and the 'drawback' isn't that bad.

Still, neither is worth using unless you have no alternative.
 



DM_Blake

First Post
In 3e, you needed a feat to use a hand crossbow, and even then it was pretty much identical to a sling. The only difference is that hand crossbows in 3e crit on 19-20.

Hand crossbows were quite lame in 1e/2e, as well, IIRC.

I think the designers of every edition actually hate hand crossbows, since I can't remember an edition where they haven't sucked.

-O

Earth's real history hates them too.

In fact, they're virtually invisible in any historical record.

It seems that the technology of engineering a crossbow that small, with a decent, reliable trigger mechanism, that was still powerful enough to be worth using in a life-or-death situation, was superceded by the rapid spread of firearm technology.
 


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