5E Magic Ranged Weapons and Magic Ammunition

LordEntrails

Adventurer
(My search fu both in the books and online is very weak today)

RAW:
Ranged magic weapons, do they add their magic bonus to both the attack and damage roles?
Magic ammunition, do they? Do they stack with magic weapons?
 

Satyrn

Villager
The weapon +x entry says nothing about whether it's a melee or ranged, so yeah, a longbow +1 applies to attack and damage.

And the ammunition +x entry specifically says it applies to attack and damage.

I don't know about stacking those, but I would rule against it.
 

aco175

Explorer
It does make it slightly more dangerous to give out both magic weapons and ammo. I typically only make ammo that does special things against certain monsters. A giant killer arrow deals (+4d6) vs. giants, or the PC could waster it on a goblin for the normal (1d6) damage. Also, ammo is used up once shot and cannot be re-used. Not sure if that last part is RAW.
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
I think RAW says that ammo that hits is destroyed, and ammo that misses their is a chance to collect undamaged. I'll keep looking.

Maybe sage advice has something...
 
I believe that they both stack. I wouldn't recommend giving out magic bows and magic ammunition with just straight pluses. Granted, I think that's somewhat boring anyway and would prefer more interesting magic weapons.
And I think that you can recover 50% of all ammunition used, whether hit or miss. But for magic ammunition, the enchantment is used up on a hit regardless of if you can recover it intact.
 

Satyrn

Villager
I think RAW says that ammo that hits is destroyed, and ammo that misses their is a chance to collect undamaged. I'll keep looking.

Maybe sage advice has something...
Yeah, my DMG says "once it hits a target the ammunition is no longer magical."
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
(My search fu both in the books and online is very weak today)

RAW:
Ranged magic weapons, do they add their magic bonus to both the attack and damage roles?
Magic ammunition, do they? Do they stack with magic weapons?
FYI, and in addition to the other answers-

"Bonuses stack, unless a feature or item tells you otherwise. And remember that magic ammunition loses its magic when it hits."

JC tweeted that, so ...

(Which is why you shouldn't give out both IMO).
 

Satyrn

Villager
(Which is why you shouldn't give out both IMO).
The is the easiest way to answer the question for a given campaign, certainly.

It's certainly better than the moment of idiocy I had when I introduced magic magazines for my campaign's guns. So now I gotta be real careful that some gunslinger doesn't wind up with a +3 rifle loaded with a +3 magazine holding +3 bullets.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
The is the easiest way to answer the question for a given campaign, certainly.

It's certainly better than the moment of idiocy I had when I introduced magic magazines for my campaign's guns. So now I gotta be real careful that some gunslinger doesn't wind up with a +3 rifle loaded with a +3 magazine holding +3 bullets.
Woot! Unbounded accuracy FTW!
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
It's certainly better than the moment of idiocy I had when I introduced magic magazines for my campaign's guns. So now I gotta be real careful that some gunslinger doesn't wind up with a +3 rifle loaded with a +3 magazine holding +3 bullets.
What boy doesn't remember when he found his dad's stash of +3 magic magazines hidden in the attic?
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
My thought was that a Bow +1 has an Enhancement bonus to hit, but since it's the weapon and not the arrow, the damage bonus has to come from the arrow. I suppose you could club with the bow (makeshift weapon rules) and get the damage bonus, but that's another thing.

The rules say that non-magical ammunition counts as magical, for purposes of bypassing DR. That was what made me question the whole thing.
In 3.0 ranged weapons and ammunition stacked. In 3.5 they don't. You get the better of the two. The only exception would be with extra abilities, so if the bow had Fire and the arrows had Lightning, both hit together.

It also say something about "if they're compatible", which suggests that you won't be able to stack Cold and Flame together.

This stacking idea of the +3 gun with the +3 magazine with the +3 bullets does push a boundary. I might allow such stacking, so long as the total, the "top of the stack" if you will, never tops the +5 enhancement limit spelled out in the rules. So loading those bullets into that clip and firing them from that gun gets a total of +5 to hit and damage, not +9.

That also answers what happens if someone has a +1 bow with +9 worth of special ability bonuses added in, then casts Greater Magic Weapon on it, raising the enhancement to +4 or +5. They now have a weapon with an effective total bonus of +13 or +14.

So just say that no matter how you manipulate or argue the rules, the total enhancement bonus can't go above +5 total.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
(My search fu both in the books and online is very weak today)

RAW:
Ranged magic weapons, do they add their magic bonus to both the attack and damage roles?
Magic ammunition, do they? Do they stack with magic weapons?
The stacking rules are in the DMG errata. Basically, unless they have the exact same name they stack. So +2 arrows and a +1 bow will give you +3 to attack and damage.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
They stack.

This isn't spelled out anywhere, though. There just isn't an exception that prevents it.

Another example of a rule you can't find because it is a negation that just isn't there.
 

LordEntrails

Adventurer
The stacking rules are in the DMG errata. Basically, unless they have the exact same name they stack. So +2 arrows and a +1 bow will give you +3 to attack and damage.
They stack.

This isn't spelled out anywhere, though. There just isn't an exception that prevents it.

Another example of a rule you can't find because it is a negation that just isn't there.
Thanks you two. That's what I was leaning towards, but was just wanting to make sure I wasn't missing something that couldn't really be found :)
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Aren't they both "Enhancement" bonuses?
The concept of typed bonuses (grouping bonuses into "types"; you can only benefit from one bonus of any given type) doesn't exist at all in 5th edition.

The only thing that doesn't stack is multiple instances of the same thing.
 

Satyrn

Villager
I think RAW says that ammo that hits is destroyed, and ammo that misses their is a chance to collect undamaged. I'll keep looking.

Maybe sage advice has something...
And just to clear up this last question: In the PH equipment section, when it defines ammunition it says that the character can recover half his used ammo (hit or missed) after a fight by spending one minute gathering it up.

How you integrate that with the DMG's description of +x ammunition becoming non-magical on a hit is another question.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
And just to clear up this last question: In the PH equipment section, when it defines ammunition it says that the character can recover half his used ammo (hit or missed) after a fight by spending one minute gathering it up.

How you integrate that with the DMG's description of +x ammunition becoming non-magical on a hit is another question.
That's extremely simple.

The DMG is discussing the magical charge. The PHB is discussing the physical object.

First all magic ammo that hits become non-magical. Then you find half of what you have shot. Regardless of whether any given arrow, bolt or bullet was or remains magical.

Simple.
 

Satyrn

Villager
That's extremely simple.

The DMG is discussing the magical charge. The PHB is discussing the physical object.

First all magic ammo that hits become non-magical. Then you find half of what you have shot. Regardless of whether any given arrow, bolt or bullet was or remains magical.

Simple.
Right, but let's say I hit 7 times out of 10. The simple part is figuring out I recovered 5 pieces of ammo, aye. It's also easy to see that only 3 pieces of ammo are still magical.

The question I was trying to ask is, how do we determine how many of those 3 still-magical shots do I actually recover?
 

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