Ghost touch longbow

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Goal: I'd like to hit incorporeal creatures with a ranged weapon and no 50% miss chance. How can this be achieved?

The ghost touch property is listed as a +1 bonus cost on the melee weapon chart in the DMG, but does not appear on the ranged weapon chart. This means ghost touch longbows are not open in LG, right? Or, since the description of ghost touch just mentions "+1 bonus", and makes no reference to melee vs. ranged, does the text trump the chart, and it really is open?

Alternatively, I have access to a lesser truedeath crystal from the MIC. This makes a +1 weapon act as a ghost touch weapon per the DMG. The specific page reference points to the text of ghost touch, which does not mention melee vs. ranged. The MIC has entries for crystals (e.g. crystal of arcane steel, witchlight reservoir) that specifically require melee weapons. The truedeath crystal just says "weapon". So, opinions on whether the crystal can be attached to a +1 longbow to get a +1 ghost touch longbow?

If it's not possible to put ghost touch on a bow, is there any other way to shoot incorporeals with a ranged weapon and have no miss chance?
You've summarised the arguments fairly well. Firstly, you're correct in that ghost touch is a melee weapon only enhancement. You can't put it on a ranged weapon. I think the reason for this is that ghost touched items are either corporeal or incorporeal as the wielder desires, and this doesn't allow a bow to bestow the "ghost touch" enhancement upon arrows it fires. In the same manner, I believe (and most will probably disagree with me - that's fine, and if you can point me to text that says otherwise, I'll change my mind) that putting a truedeath crystal on a bow lets your hit things with your bow (think elvencraft bow), but doesn't help with the ammunition.

The enhancement you want is the Force enhancement in the MIC. It not only gets you around the pesky incorporeal miss chance problem, but also all DR problems (and DR is an archer's bane...). That said, I've only seen it once (with my archer :D).
The ghost touch property is listed as a +1 bonus cost on the melee weapon chart in the DMG, but does not appear on the ranged weapon chart. This means ghost touch longbows are not open in LG, right? Or, since the description of ghost touch just mentions "+1 bonus", and makes no reference to melee vs. ranged, does the text trump the chart, and it really is open?

It isn't open, but you might be using that term less specifically than I am.

I might be reading more into what you wrote than you intended, but this appears to be written under the assumption that a +1 bonus is open in LG if it appears on in the DMG. +1 weapons are open. +1 bonus items are not. They must be obtained via campaign access.

If you have campaign access to place ghost touch on a weapon, or to craft it onto a weapon, I'm of the opinion that it cannot be placed on projectile weapons. In addition to it's absence from the ranged chart, there are three other points.

The first is that Ghost Strike in MIC (ghost touch plus other abilities) is explicitly melee weapon only. This is sort of guilt by association rather than a direct chain of logic.

The second is that most of the entries for enhancement properties that can be added specify that it transfers over to the ammunition (see flaming). However, some entries (such as brilliant) call out melee only; this leaves this point unclear, since ghost touch says neither.

The third is that there is very good reason to think that arrows, while gaining the attributes of the weapon that fires them, do not gain magic for the purpose of qualifying for 50% incorporeal miss chance. Arrows gain magic for overcoming DR; the FAQ entry on Ki (magic), which uses the same language, specifies that this is insufficient qualify as a magic weapon for incorporeal purposes. +1 arrows solve this problem. This well may be a 3.0 artifact, and I suspect than many DMs either are unaware, choose not to apply it, or don't interpret it this way, but it's an issue that is out there.

You should be good place ghost touch on a thrown weapon and using that; you clearly could for a dual function weapon such as a dagger or spear that can be both melee or thrown. A strictly thrown weapon (javelin) is less clear; I'd accept it as a DM but not attempt it as a player.


Alternatively, I have access to a lesser truedeath crystal from the MIC. This makes a +1 weapon act as a ghost touch weapon per the DMG. The specific page reference points to the text of ghost touch, which does not mention melee vs. ranged. The MIC has entries for crystals (e.g. crystal of arcane steel, witchlight reservoir) that specifically require melee weapons. The truedeath crystal just says "weapon". So, opinions on whether the crystal can be attached to a +1 longbow to get a +1 ghost touch longbow?

If ghost touch works, the crystal works. If ghost touch doesn't work, the crystal doesn't work.

If it's not possible to put ghost touch on a bow, is there any other way to shoot incorporeals with a ranged weapon and have no miss chance?

Throw a ghost touched weapon. Or, there may be a SpC or LM ghost touch property spell that could be applied to ammunition.

David
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. You can buy 50 +1 ghost touch arrows and save them for the incorporeals (assuming you have access). But this is expensive.
Another option, if you have access, are Gauntlets of Ghost Fighting .
The wearer of gauntelts of ghost fighting deals damage normally to incorporeal creatures with spells or attacks, ignoring an incorporeal creature's 50% miss chance. In addition, melee attacks made by the wearer deal an extra 1d6 points of damage against incorporeal foes.

I bought them the AR I got access. :-)

-Swiftbrook
Another option, if you have access, are Gauntlets of Ghost Fighting.

An archer build is much more likely to be going for Gloves of Dexterity.

The Force enhancement, if you can find access to it, is much the better choice. Are there any creatures out there who are immune to force effects?
The third is that there is very good reason to think that arrows, while gaining the attributes of the weapon that fires them, do not gain magic for the purpose of qualifying for 50% incorporeal miss chance. Arrows gain magic for overcoming DR; the FAQ entry on Ki (magic), which uses the same language, specifies that this is insufficient qualify as a magic weapon for incorporeal purposes.

That's really shaky for a different reason - creatures that strike as magic weapons use the same language.

If we can expand the logic to arrows, we must expand that language to creatures. But....Incorporeals specifically state that such creatures can attack them.

Ignoring that a Monk 4 is a such a creature, I think the only really valid option is to decide that the FAQ was making a bad ruling and to limit it solely to what the FAQ was describing as being limited. Regardless of the explanation given.
That's really shaky for a different reason - creatures that strike as magic weapons use the same language.

If we can expand the logic to arrows, we must expand that language to creatures. But....Incorporeals specifically state that such creatures can attack them.

Not quite. Creatures with DR/magic, whose natural attacks bypass DR/magic, use the same language. Incorporeals state that "creatures that strike as magic weapons" can hit them with a 50% miss chance. It's possible to rule that "creatures that strike as magic weapons" are creatures with Magic Fang cast on their natural weapons (since that explicitly grants an enhancement bonus to natural weapons), and that creatures whose natural attacks bypass DR/magic do not necessarily qualify.

That said, I think the FAQ ruling is silly too
Are there any creatures out there who are immune to force effects?

There are a few, but they're extremely rare (I haven't seen them in LG in nearly 300 ARs). The Force enhancement is indeed a very good buy.
Not quite. Creatures with DR/magic, whose natural attacks bypass DR/magic, use the same language. Incorporeals state that "creatures that strike as magic weapons" can hit them with a 50% miss chance. It's possible to rule that "creatures that strike as magic weapons" are creatures with Magic Fang cast on their natural weapons (since that explicitly grants an enhancement bonus to natural weapons), and that creatures whose natural attacks bypass DR/magic do not necessarily qualify.

I think that has its own problems - monster manual constantly refers to creatures with DR/magic as striking as magic weapons for purpose of overcoming DR. Even if you were right, the Incorporeal/FAQ should have cleaned up both of them. Which it didn't.
There are a few, but they're extremely rare (I haven't seen them in LG in nearly 300 ARs). The Force enhancement is indeed a very good buy.

So, where is one likely to find such access? Mainly year 598 mods? Maybe some late 597?

Sorry for the sidetrack, but my main is an archer build, as well.
I think that has its own problems - monster manual constantly refers to creatures with DR/magic as striking as magic weapons for purpose of overcoming DR.

Eh... the entries I can find say, "natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction". That is subtly different from "this creature strikes as a magic weapon" - before the FAQ ruling, I regarded them as close enough, but the FAQ says they're not the same in the case of a monk. "Strikes as a magic weapon" could just be referring to Magic Fang (I don't think that was the intent - I think the FAQ ruling is stupid - but given the FAQ ruling I think it's more consistent).

To Kinevon, it's an MIC upgrade, so yeah, late Year 7 or Year 8 is probably your best bet. I've seen access once, FWIW (and it wasn't in a Core).
An archer build is much more likely to be going for Gloves of Dexterity.

The Force enhancement, if you can find access to it, is much the better choice. Are there any creatures out there who are immune to force effects?

I normally wear Gloves of Dex +2. If I encounter an Incorporal, I drop the gloves and don the Gauntlets. Free & Move action. I haven't been able to afford Gloves +4 and I haven't see Force access.

-Swiftbrook
Eh... the entries I can find say, "natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction". That is subtly different from "this creature strikes as a magic weapon"

In the Monster Manual Glossary under DR it uses that language. "For example, the gargoyle has damage reduction 10/magic and can strike as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction."
In the Monster Manual Glossary under DR it uses that language. "For example, the gargoyle has damage reduction 10/magic and can strike as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction."

Hmm, interesting. Maybe I'll just pretend I haven't read the FAQ entry when I'm judging. It's pretty obviously in direct conflict with the Core rules at this point
I normally wear Gloves of Dex +2. If I encounter an Incorporal, I drop the gloves and don the Gauntlets. Free & Move action. I haven't been able to afford Gloves +4 and I haven't see Force access.

Dropping gloves as a free? You've had really generous DMs -- that's at least a move action in my estimation...

Donning as a move I'll accept, but where are they before you don them? In a pack? Tucked in your belt? There's another move action to get them out before you can don them...
Dropping gloves as a free? You've had really generous DMs -- that's at least a move action in my estimation...

Donning as a move I'll accept, but where are they before you don them? In a pack? Tucked in your belt? There's another move action to get them out before you can don them...

Dropping an item is a free action PHB p. 144. Yes, the gloves are generally in my belt. But, when I do this, I don't get to rapid shot as that is a full round action. So drop, don, and one shot instead of three to five shots. Now Rules Lawers may have other oppinions. The situation has only come up once or twice since I got the gloves. Generally, if there is a rumor of an Incoporeal, I don the gloves ahead of time.

-Swiftbrook
Dropping an item is a free action PHB p. 144. Yes, the gloves are generally in my belt. But, when I do this, I don't get to rapid shot as that is a full round action. So drop, don, and one shot instead of three to five shots. Now Rules Lawers may have other oppinions. The situation has only come up once or twice since I got the gloves. Generally, if there is a rumor of an Incoporeal, I don the gloves ahead of time.

-Swiftbrook

Don't you have to take them off?
Dropping is a free action.
Taking the gloves off is a move action.

Looks like 3 move actions to me.. which doesn't mean it isn't worth doing.

I'm also not entirely convinced that you can buy ghost touch arrows ..especially if you're trying to take the discount for them being ammunition.
Dropping is a free action.
Taking the gloves off is a move action.

Looks like 3 move actions to me.. which doesn't mean it isn't worth doing.

I'm also not entirely convinced that you can buy ghost touch arrows ..especially if you're trying to take the discount for them being ammunition.

You're correct; ammunition is considered a ranged weapon also, and thus can't be enchanted with ghost touch. I was incorrect above.
Goal: I'd like to hit incorporeal creatures with a ranged weapon and no 50% miss chance. How can this be achieved?

Say it with me . . . "Please, oh please, Fickle Gods of AR Access grant me Force Bow!" Ignores DR, hits incorps, also slices, dices and makes julien fries! My wife's cheese bow was made all the better by it. Now she just needs to save up for Prismatic Shot (30,000 gp).
The True death crystal should work fine to give you no miss chance with your shots. It's not game breaking so I see no reason to argue against it.
For what (very) little it's worth, I asked customer service about weapon crystals and ammunition using weapons:

Customer (Thomas Stann) 03/25/2008 01:07 PM
Are ranged weapons with augment crystals supposed to bestow their abilities upon their ammunition? There's no explicit indication either way...though they do lack the standard "Bows, crossbows, and slings so equipped bestow X upon their ammunition."

********************
Page Number: 221
Book Name: Magic Item Compendium

Response (Support Agent) 03/25/2008 03:14 PM
Thomas,

Yes, Augment Crystals attached to a ranged weapon, such as a Long Bow or Crossbow also apply their bonus to the ammunition they fire (though remember that enhancement bonuses will not stack). Refer to the Dungeon Master's Guide on page 221 on the right hand column under the bold heading: Ranged Weapons and Ammunition.

Customer (Thomas Stann) 03/25/2008 03:48 PM
You seem to have completely mis-interpreted my question. DMG 221 only explains how enhancement bonuses work with with ranged weapons and ammunition, which has nothing to do with what I asked. What I am asking is if for intance a bow is equipped with a weapon augment crystal, does the ammunition fired from the bow gain the special abilities provided by the crystal?

Response (Support Agent) 03/25/2008 03:58 PM
Thomas,

The question you've asked isn't explicitly defined in any rules currently in print, and strictly speaking, would then be up to your DM. However, collectively around the office here, we have determined that augments to ranged weapons apply their bonuses to the ammunition they fire, based on the entry in the Dungeon Master's Guide I referred you to. If you feel that the answer I've given you is not sufficient, you should discuss this with your DM and come to a compromise. In the end, no matter what we here say, your DM's decision is always final.

For what (very) little it's worth, I asked customer service about weapon crystals and ammunition using weapons:

Thanks for checking with WotC!

So, according to Customer Service, spend 5000gp for the lesser truedeath crystal, and hope to succeed on the diplomacy check with the DM... I suppose if that fails, the fighter in the group will be extremely happy with a borrowed crystal.

Or pray to be able to find the Force upgrade on an AR. I wonder which is more likely? :D

If the general idea is that augment crystals need to explicitly confer their coolness upon their ammunition, as opposed to automatically assuming it, then that means the following are also useless for ranged weapons:

Crystal of Energy Assault (or does "weapon's attack" mean ammunition?)
Crystal of Life Drinking
Demolition Crystal
Fiendslayer Crystal
Phoenix Ash Threat
Revelation Crystal
and of course, Truedeath Crystal

... right? I'm trying to understand the subtle nuances involved if some of these work on longbows, and others do not.

With that strict interpretation of the rules, these are the only crystals that have any function on a ranged (not thrown) weapon:

Crystal of Adamant Weaponry
Crystal of Illumination
Crystal of Return (Least and Lesser only)
Crystal of Security

Anything else is ETV.

-Dave
Even if the GM agrees that the crystals transfer their effects to ammunition, there's no guarantee that they will deem Truedeath applicable to bows since that references Ghost Touch


Can't really see any rationale for Ghost Touch not working on arrows but hey-ho.
Can't really see any rationale for Ghost Touch not working on arrows but hey-ho.

If you look at the DMG weapon enhancement tables, Ghost Touch appears only on the Melee Weapon Special Abilities table, and ammunition is listed on the Common Ranged Weapons table (not any of the Melee Weapons tables). Why do you think it should work? (not a rhetorical question: if there's a reason I'd like to know)

FWIW, I'd let Truedeath work, but I generally rule in the players' favor in situations that seem genuinely ambiguous to me - I don't think this one is clear.
Arrows can be, in and of themselves, melee weapons - or at least could be considered as such. I've played with many archers that have purchased and used "50 +1 ghost touch arrows" and I've never seen a DM complain or disapprove. I mean, I suppose I could see one line of argument against ghost touch arrows, but I could see many more for them.

Ghost touch on a Longbow? Of course not. Ghost Touch on arrows? Absolutely fine by me and everyone I've spoken with. This falls into one of those ETV grey-area arguments, but as it is cleaarly not an attempt to abuse any rules, I see no reason why anyone would have an issue with it. I mean, you're spending 8k on consumables. 50 arrows get eaten in 10 rounds of shooting at incorps and what's the advantage? No 50% miss chance? I doubt anyone would encounter a problem with a judge disapproving of using ghost touch arrows.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
This falls into one of those ETV grey-area arguments, but as it is cleaarly not an attempt to abuse any rules, I see no reason why anyone would have an issue with it.

Try replacing "ghost touch" with "spellstoring". Add Telekinesis to taste ;) (this was actually what got me looking at the DMG tables in the first place) But as you say, if a player pulled out their ghost touch arrows at a table, I probably wouldn't call them on it - there doesn't seem to be any particular game-balance reason why archers should get nerfed vs incorporeals, especially if they're willing to spend a lot of money on expensive consumables.
I didn't say it worked but that I can't see the rationale for it not working. ie the reason why they wrote it that way.
Try replacing "ghost touch" with "spellstoring". Add Telekinesis to taste ;) (this was actually what got me looking at the DMG tables in the first place) But as you say, if a player pulled out their ghost touch arrows at a table, I probably wouldn't call them on it - there doesn't seem to be any particular game-balance reason why archers should get nerfed vs incorporeals, especially if they're willing to spend a lot of money on expensive consumables.

If you wanted to be sick craft the bow with Undead Bane and then use Ghost Touch arrows and if you play a Ranger choose Favored Enemy Undead now your talkin about serious damage to Undead.
If you wanted to be sick craft the bow with Undead Bane and then use Ghost Touch arrows and if you play a Ranger choose Favored Enemy Undead now your talkin about serious damage to Undead.

I wonder if Copper would retract her allowance of Truedeath if my wife's scout/ranger with swift hunter (undead) were to show up with a +1 undead bane longbow and a truedeath crystal.
I wonder if Copper would retract her allowance of Truedeath if my wife's scout/ranger with swift hunter (undead) were to show up with a +1 undead bane longbow and a truedeath crystal.

How's that all that great against Incorporeal Undead? The extra damage only applies to attacks made during your turn. Either you're giving up a full attack or you can't get your skirmish in the first place.
How's that all that great against Incorporeal Undead? The extra damage only applies to attacks made during your turn. Either you're giving up a full attack or you can't get your skirmish in the first place.

She usually gives up the full attack anyway, since she wants to move in order to get the extra AC bump. Improved skirmish adds an extra 2d6 on top of all the other bonuses, so she'd be hitting for 1d8+8d6+8 (strength bow, skirmish, improved skirmish, undead bane, lesser truedeath, favored enemy +6) with no miss chance. And her AC goes up +3. Full attack would be two shots at 1d8+3d6+8 with lowered attack bonuses and no AC bump.

You're right about it not being that great if the incorporeal in question is a dread wraith, since she'd have to ready, and skirmish won't apply.

This is all hypothetical anyway. She's more likely to slam into the end of LG before all of this could come to fruition.
She usually gives up the full attack anyway, since she wants to move in order to get the extra AC bump. Improved skirmish adds an extra 2d6 on top of all the other bonuses, so she'd be hitting for 1d8+8d6+8 (strength bow, skirmish, improved skirmish, undead bane, lesser truedeath, favored enemy +6) with no miss chance. And her AC goes up +3. Full attack would be two shots at 1d8+3d6+8 with lowered attack bonuses and no AC bump.

At the point where you can afford a +2 bow and a 5k crystal, you ought to be getting Haste and/or an iterative attack on a regular basis(or very soon)

i.e. you could be doing 4d8+12d6+32 vs 1d8+8d6+8...
If you wanted to be sick craft the bow with Undead Bane and then use Ghost Touch arrows and if you play a Ranger choose Favored Enemy Undead now your talkin about serious damage to Undead.

{stands tall and at bow}

With Gauntlets of Ghost Fighting on, -1 to hit (Gloves of Dex are only +2) ...

+1 Sacred Cold Hunting Composite (+3 Str) Longbow
1d8 arrow damage
+1 magic
+3 strength
+1d6 cold (if applicable)
+1d6 sacred vs. undead
+4 hunting

Bane Undead arrows
+2 additional magic
+2d6

Elven Ranger
+9 favored enemy undead (12th level with elven ranger substitution levels)
+3 Improved Favored Enemy feat

Total (assuming cold damage)
1d8 + 4d6 +22 per arrow with undead bane arrows (27 to 54 per arrow)
1d8 + 2d6 +20 per arrow with cold iron arrows (25 to 40 per arrow)

Hasted and/or Rapid Shooting = Lots of damage

Now generally I don't use undead bane arrows, the cost is too high. I adventure in Furyondy where there are lots of undead and evil outsiders. I've built my character around my environment. Yes, I can quickly pump out the damage, if I hit. My last adventure, an interactive, I missed four times in one round against the evil outsider, using bane arrows, and it summoned a huge creature right next to me. Thankfully, another member of our party too care of it before it took a swing at me.

All that specialization comes at a price. I'm much easier to hit and I don't have buff spells to bump my AC.

-Swiftbrook
Undead Destroyer
{stands tall and at bow}

With Gauntlets of Ghost Fighting on, -1 to hit (Gloves of Dex are only +2) ...

+1 Sacred Cold Hunting Composite (+3 Str) Longbow
1d8 arrow damage
+1 magic
+3 strength
+1d6 cold (if applicable)
+1d6 sacred vs. undead
+4 hunting

Bane Undead arrows
+2 additional magic
+2d6

Elven Ranger
+9 favored enemy undead (12th level with elven ranger substitution levels)
+3 Improved Favored Enemy feat

Total (assuming cold damage)
1d8 + 4d6 +22 per arrow with undead bane arrows (27 to 54 per arrow)
1d8 + 2d6 +20 per arrow with cold iron arrows (25 to 40 per arrow)

Hasted and/or Rapid Shooting = Lots of damage

Now generally I don't use undead bane arrows, the cost is too high. I adventure in Furyondy where there are lots of undead and evil outsiders. I've built my character around my environment. Yes, I can quickly pump out the damage, if I hit. My last adventure, an interactive, I missed four times in one round against the evil outsider, using bane arrows, and it summoned a huge creature right next to me. Thankfully, another member of our party too care of it before it took a swing at me.

All that specialization comes at a price. I'm much easier to hit and I don't have buff spells to bump my AC.

-Swiftbrook
Undead Destroyer

Well daaaaaamn My 5th lvl spellsword is about as effective against Evil Outsiders because he just crafted an Evil Outsider Bane Starmetal Great Sword. When enlarged and Smiting (Kelanen Worshiper) with Improved Critical and a Sacred Scabard I have a +21 to attack and 6D6+21 for damage. Just for fun throw in a Spell Channeled Orb of Acid for another 12 D6 and the grand total 21D6+25 on a Crit. Oh I amost for got to mention the Undead Bane I have on it as well so if I ever meet an Evil Ousider that's Undead like a Lich that will be it's worst day EVER !!!!. For me hitting is not the issue bad damage roles are no joke my worst roll was the time I fired Magic Missiles at 7th level for 2 straight rounds. I did a total of 17 points we calculated the odds of rolling a 1 on a D4 7 out of 8 times as a 1 in 4000 chance so after it happened I was kind of impressed.
Put the crystal in a+1 arrow

Three pages down is Incorporeal Subtype
katrick
Put the crystal in a+1 arrow

Ahhh?? to those on the DR/magic question:
in the monster manual it says that if you have DR/x then your natural attacks are treated as beating DR/x. ie if you are an adamantine golem then your slam attack gets through DR/adamantine, because you are made of adamantine

It does not say, if for some reason your natural attacks gain the ability to overcome DR/x then you get DR/x.

Three pages down is Incorporeal Subtype
katrick

That's because the attacks gain the property independently of your self as with the case of Monks at 4th lvl. They gain the ability KI Strike which makes their Attacks Magical but it doesn't not give you DR Magic because your not Magic you simply have a Magical Attack. This is why WARFORGED MONKS are sooo broken because they can aquire Mithirl or Adamantine Plating as part of their construction. That's not concidered armor for them so when they use Ki Strike they get the properties of both Magic and Adamantine on attacks but only for attacks when not attacking they only retain the benefit of Adamantine.
Warforged are broken cause they dont breathe, sleep, fatigue,exhaust, and by some interpretations dont daze or stun either.
Garoyle hits monk does normal damage(getting through DR 5/evil) because the gargoyle IS evil and his natural attacks are considered evil.

Actually, no, they're not. If you have DR of kind other than DR/--, you generally have the ability to treat your attacks as having that quality.

Gargoyles have DR/Magic, so their natural attacks are considered magical weapons for purposes of bypassing DR. They do not have DR/Evil, so their attacks will not bypass Righteous Might. Regardless of whether or not they, themselves, are evil.
what