Halfling Ranger That Wants to Use a Greatbow

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So basically my friends and I recently (within the last few months or so) have started to learn and play D&D. Each of us has sort of remade their character since, seeing as how we were completely new to the game and had made seriously unbalanced characters with powers that could not link to each other/did not compliment feats/etc.

My one friend made a Halfling Ranger that is currently using a long bow however she wants to use a greatbow. We did discover that because of the two handed nature and size of the bow that her race could not use a bow of that size.

Just to make sure we've covered all of our bases, does anyone have any ideas about any possible feats that would make it so that she could use a greatbow? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! n____n; 
You could have a bow that is magically enchanted such that a small person can fire it or fires without your hands on it?
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I... think your friend might be a little boned. Frown

Without DM intervention (to wit, houseruling away those silly "Being Small" sidebars), the only options that halflings have for ranged weapons are shortbows, hand crossbows, and thrown weapons.  They do, however, have a feat in Dragon magazine that gives their shortbows the brutal 2 property.
Houserule it. Like a Boss.

If your player is willing to spend a feat on Weapon Proficiency, then just ignore the fact that he is small.
Like Salty said, let them spend a feat and use it anyhow.

As far as justification, (the name escapes me but,) there was a long bow used by the samurai from horseback that while pretty much as long as a European longbow, had the handgrips placed far to one end of the weapon; perfect for a shorty.

Or...it's an enchanted bow gotten from the gnomish engineers, that while small, uses "pulleys" to increase the range and damage to that of a greatbow. And it has a built in slide whistle and can opener.
My one friend made a Halfling Ranger that is currently using a long bow however she wants to use a greatbow.



But halflings can't use longbows, can they?

That aside... you could come up with a good-sized weapon for small characters. There are rules for making weapons one size larger, although the reverse isn't strictly allowed. I don't see why a small greatbow can't be created.

Also, is there really a need for a weapon as damaging as a greatbow? Imo, if I were to play a halfling, I'll stick to the rules and use weapons of the right size for me. Being small comes with its good and bad points, and it's all part of the package. What counts only as cover for medium sized characters become superior cover for you. For me, it's all about how I turn the weakness (being small) into an advantage I can use. 
No, they can't.  The only bows available to Small characters are Shortbows and Hand Crossbows.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
There's a halfling-specific feat from Dragon that gives them increased range with a shortbow, as well as better damage. Sadly, my D&Di account expired, so I can't provide the name of the feat.
Probably Halfling Short Bow Hunter (I don't have my CB open to check for sure).

The Compendium still lets you search even without a sub, you just can't read the entires ;)
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
It gives the shortbow brual 2 and 20/40 range.
As far as justification, (the name escapes me but,) there was a long bow used by the samurai from horseback that while pretty much as long as a European longbow, had the handgrips placed far to one end of the weapon; perfect for a shorty.



They are called Yumi. Strangely enough, it might actually be worse of a justification for a small character as yumi are immensely large, most measuring well over 2 meters. Even the largest English Longbows were only about 1.8 meters.

OP - So you can either hand-wave/justify it or there are mechanics in place to offset the restriction, it all comes down to how the group and DM want to shape the world.
The Compendium still lets you search even without a sub, you just can't read the entires ;)

Ah, great tip! Thank you very much, I'll remember that one.

could always treat it as a foot bow... means he is firing while sitting and laying on his back, thereby becoming VERY immobile.
Presumably there are advantages to being small, which the game designers felt offset the inability of small characters using large weapons. Simply allowing the halfling to use a greatbow will presumably slightly unbalance the character.

Is that worth sticking strictly to the rules?

Well, consider this. All damage in the game is purely arbitrary. All that matters is whether the encounters are challenging enough to be fun, while being limited enough to be winnable. A good DM is going to tailor the challenge to fit the group so that the fun is maximized. That means that it really shouldn't matter if you use a greatbow or hurl daggers. The amount of damage is purely arbitrary in real terms and all that matters is if your character contributes.

If this were the CharOp borad I'd try to figure out how to get your halfling greatbow ability. But this is character development, and on this board it should be more about character concept than maximum damage.

Use the shortbow, hurl daggers, build a concept that matches the race of the character. You don't need a greatbow to have fun. 
I see no great advange for being small, they even get screwed on trying to jump up and grab on a ledge.. it doesn't make sense to me to not just allow them to use any weapon from a balance standpoint.
I need no great advange for being small, they even get screwed on trying to jump up and grab on a ledge.. it doesn't make sense to me to not just allow them to use any weapon from a balance standpoint.


I don't think it's a balance issue. It's more of a realistic-or-not issue. I for one don't think that it's possible for gnomes to wield bigger weapons like mauls.
Did he go to the bowyer to buy one but when he was counting out his gold he realized he was short?

...


Let him use it as a footbow and then give him a turtle companion so he has a flat mobile surface to lie on while he shoots!
I need no great advange for being small, they even get screwed on trying to jump up and grab on a ledge.. it doesn't make sense to me to not just allow them to use any weapon from a balance standpoint.


I don't think it's a balance issue. It's more of a realistic-or-not issue. I for one don't think that it's possible for gnomes to wield bigger weapons like mauls.



And yet, a Goliath can pick up and wield a Gnome's shortsword, to precisely the same effect and for precisely the same damage.  And a Gnome can do the same with the Goliath's shortsword.  Despite the fact that a Gnome's shortsword would look like a letter-opener to the Goliath, and the Goliath's like a bastard sword to the Gnome.

Weapons in 4e are hopelessly abstracted already, I don't personally see the issue with abstracting them a little further and saying 'screw it, Small characters aren't limited in their weapon choices' - though maybe their big weapons should use a smaller die size to account for them being a bit smaller.

It's basically a punishment for trying to use a Small character in a weapon-using class - and I dislike that idea, it's counter to the 4e design principles that all races should be able to play all classes effectively, if not optimally.

Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
We were having a related discussion about small characters and weapons here:
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

4E kept the disadvantage of being small with regaurds to useable weapons and removed the defense advantage they got to make up for it. It's still here with essentials, so it seems like the game developers want it in there.

I'd suggest to let your friend take the greatbow feat. Make a weapon with the same stats as a greatbow, but give it the 'small' property. Then call it something else like a Halfling Greatbow or a Gnomish Compound Bow.

Of course the online CB could not handle the house rules, so you'd have to pencil them in.

One thing I found interesting is that my Essentials only halfling knight could only use a scimitar or a throwing hammer if he wanted to be able to use his level 7 weapon expertise bonus.

The scimitar is the same weight as a longsword, but the hilt is not long enough for a medium character to use in both hands. Somehow that means a small character can use it in one hand instead of two.
Really late on this but, the ocular adept paragon path for rangers (hunter rangers only) and seekers. Does have this 11th, and 16 level feature which works for what your trying to do.



 Spiriteye Manifestation (11th level): As a free
action, you can transform your ranged weapon into
a spiriteye. Your spiriteye uses your ranged weapon’s
proficiency bonus, properties, powers, and enhance-
ment bonus, but no longer requires ammunition or
any action to load it. This transformation lasts until
you dispel it as a minor action, or until the end of
your next extended rest.

Spiriteye Perfection (16th level): Your spirit-
eye floats above you when you manifest it, and
you can mentally control its attacks. It no longer
requires any hands to wield it, and when you use it
to make a ranged basic attack, it does not provoke
opportunity attacks.
If a halfling can use a greatbow....can a human wield a ballista?