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The rogue feat "Two-Fisted Shooter" (Martial Power, p.140) says:

You can treat the hand crossbow as an off-hand weapon, and you can reload it one-handed as a free action. When you score a critical hit and have a hand crossbow in your off hand, you can make a ranged basic attack with that weapon.

So, if your attack with the hand crossbow was the weapon you were using to attack with and you crit, could you use a ranged basic attack with the same weapon (free reload doesn't take any time)?

If not, it seems like you could still wield two hand crossbows to get the effect.

This should combine extremely nicely with ruthless hunter, which increases the weapon damage to 1d8 and makes it a high-crit weapon.

Edit:

I was just rereading this and, if it's possible, I'm pretty sure there is nothing in the language disallowing you from chaining crits — if you get one on the basic attack, I can't see why you wouldn't get another: the trigger is, "When you score a critical hit".

By the way, I know none of this is intended and someday it will be modified to say "When you score a critical hit with your primary weapon", but as written, I don't see a problem with it.

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3 Answers 3

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No,

If the reload was No Action then it would be permissible. However, it is a free action, which must be declared and cannot be done in response to a trigger.

Furthermore, you can use a free action to use an attack power only once per turn. (Rules Compendium, p194)

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I think what you are saying is that it's not possible for a free action to go between an action and another action that triggers it. I mostly agree with this but can't free actions be used anywhere? I'm not even sure that there is wording that says that a free action can't happen during another action. However I tend to think you are right. –  Bill K Apr 30 '11 at 19:01

The question really is, "Does a free action count as an action?" As written, if you score a crit and have a hand crossbow in your off hand, you can make a basic ranged attack with it. Does that mean you can take a free action to reload it before making that attack or does the action of reloading the crossbow interrupt the triggering action and disallow the attack? That's up to your GM to interpret.

As written, I'd allow a crit to trigger a reload plus an immediate free ranged basic attack. I don't think that fits the spirit of the feat, but a single follow-up attack won't seriously disrupt the balance of the game. I think the feat should say:

When you score a critical hit and have a loaded hand crossbow in your off hand...

This wording would explicitly disallow using a free action to reload the hand crossbow in your off hand with which you scored the triggering crit, since it's no longer loaded after making the triggering attack.

If you're thinking of making your character a gatling gun of 1d8 hand crossbow crits with other feats layered on top of these two, I'd step in and stop the madness with the following rule. In the 4e Player's Handbook p. 267 under "Free Action", it says:

The DM can restrict the number of free actions in a turn.

I'd give you one reload as a free action per round. I'd up that to one per hand crossbow if you're good. (grin)

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I'd up that to one per hand crossbow if you're good Time to get some Thri-kreen out then... –  Pureferret Jan 6 '12 at 10:12

No.

Your "off-hand" weapon is the one that you did not use to make your attack, so double-shot from the same hand crossbow won't work. The twin-hand-crossbow version works fine, though.

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