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If a bard takes the Moonbow Dedicate feat:

Moonbow Dedicate

Heroic Tier

Prerequisite: Must worship Sehanine

Benefit: You gain proficiency with the shortbow, plus you can use a shortbow as an implement for divine and arcane powers. In addition, you gain a +1 feat bonus to weapon and implement damage rolls with the shortbow. Increase this bonus to +2 at 11th level and +3 at 21st level.

and then takes the Battle Song Expertise feat:

Battle Song Expertise

Prerequisite: Bard

Benefit: You gain a +1 feat bonus to attack rolls you make with any weapon with which you have proficiency and with a wand or another item designated as a bard implement. This bonus increases to +2 at 11th level and +3 at 21st level.

You also gain a +1 feat bonus to the number of squares that you can pull, push, or slide creatures with your bard attacks and bard paragon path attacks.

Does the bard get a +1/2/3 feat bonus to implement attacks made through a shortbow?

It's obvious that the bard would receive his +1/2/3 feat bonus to weapon attacks, given that he has proficiency with the shortbow, but the Moonbow Dedicate feat does not explicitly make the shortbow a bard implement. The online character builder is not adding the feat bonus to implement attacks.


Is there a better way to do a shortbow-wielding bard?

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White Lotus Dueling Expertise gives the +1 to both in builder. You don't get the bonus to forced movement, but you do get it to the attack rolls. –  wax eagle Aug 13 '13 at 1:00
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This actually does work together. Note the text:

You gain a +1 feat bonus to attack rolls you make with any weapon with which you have proficiency and with a wand or another item designated as a bard implement.

The first part gives you a bonus to attack rolls you make with any weapon with which you have proficiency. The second gives you bonuses with wands or other bard implements.

Note that it doesn't say "weapon attack rolls." Instead, it says "attack rolls you make with any weapon." They're not the same.

Now, the rules for Weapons as Implements and vice versa:

Using a Weapon as an Implement: If an adventurer is able to use a weapon as an implement, the weapon works like a normal implement, but the adventurer uses neither the weapon’s proficiency bonus nor its nonmagical weapon properties with his or her implement powers.... When an adventurer uses a magic version of the weapon as an implement, he or she can use the magic weapon’s enhancement bonus, critical hit effects, properties, and powers. However, some magic weapons have properties and powers that work only with weapon powers (Rules Compendium 275).

You're making an attack with a weapon with which you have proficiency. You happen to be using it as an implement, but that doesn't matter- the text says you get the bonus with attack rolls made with any weapon, and you're making an attack roll with a weapon.

This issue comes up in a variety of ways in the game. For example, if you're using a Frost Shortbow, you could attach a Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold to it to do extra damage, which would work even when making an implement attack. If you're using a Weapon of Speed Shortbow, you make make a Ranged Basic Attack with it once per encounter as a minor action...even if the RBA is using the bow as an implement, not as a weapon.

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Good post! A couple suggestions: Please try to limit your quoted text to just the relevant few lines, or, if it's all necessary, feel free to paraphrase. Large blocks of text, while sometimes useful, are somewhat unclear. Additionally, it's extraordinarily helpful and highly encouraged for you to cite which pages/links you used to find the quotes. Feel free to edit your answer, and thank you for the contribution! –  Emracool Aug 12 '13 at 20:58
How do you explain the fact that this is not supported by the character builder? I grant that it should work, but it doesn't seem to. –  wax eagle Aug 13 '13 at 0:55
The Character Builder isn't a rules source and isn't done by Wizards in house (it's outsourced to a 3rd party company). There are a number of things that work RAW (Rules As Written), but don't function correctly in the CB. This particular bug holds true even with Songblades and Songbows, despite the fact that they're explicitly noted as Bard implements (so CB would be listing them even if I was wrong). –  JLan Aug 13 '13 at 2:56
Good catch! I did not notice it was lacking the bonus to weapon attack rolls text that those feats often exclusively indicate. –  Corion Aug 13 '13 at 23:49
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