# how do range increments work?

I have seen range increments before in the player's handbook, but I'm not sure if they are how far the weapon can be used from, or if they are actual increments. can someone tell me?

• Have you read the rules on them? Which part of them is unclear?
– Erik
Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 19:34
• basically, are they the maximum of how far you can throw/shoot something? Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 19:35
• So something like "How do you figure out the maximum range from the range increments in the weapon stats?" Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 20:03
• I really have no Idea how they work, and I just want an explanation. Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 20:08
• Your question is tagged [dnd-3e], the third edition of D&D released in 2000. That edition was updated in 2004 to the “v.3.5 revised edition,” or [dnd-3.5e]. It is still possible to play 3e, but the overwhelming majority of 3.x games are 3.5e, not 3e. If you are playing 3e, that’s fine and the question can stay as-is, but I wanted to point out that 3.5e might be more accurate. (I do not know if the answer to this question would be any different in one vs. the other.) Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 20:59

From dandwiki.com:

Any attack at less than this distance is not penalized for range. However, each full range increment causes a cumulative -2 penalty to the attack roll.

Thrown weapons, such as throwing axes, have a maximum range of five range increments. Projectile weapons, such as bows, can shoot up to ten increments.

So it amounts to how far away a target can be attacked effectively.

A weapon with a range of 10ft can be thrown up to that distance with no attack penalty. However, should the target be 10-20 feet away, the attack would take a -2, 20-30 feet takes a -4, and so on.

Player's Handbook, page 96 (under Weapon Qualities):

Range Increment: Any attack at less than this distance is not penalized for range, so an arrow from a shortbow (range increment 60 feet) can strike at enemies up to 59 feet away with no penalty. However, each full range increment causes a cumulative –2 penalty to the attack roll. A shortbow archer firing at a target 200 feet away suffers a –6 attack penalty (because 200 feet is at least three range increments but not four increments). Thrown weapons, such as throwing axes, have a maximum range of five range increments. Projectile weapons, such as bows, can shoot up to ten increments.

It would seem that a shortbow could be used from up to 659 feet away. However, an attack from that distance would suffer from a -20 penalty.

• This question is tagged [dnd-3e], i.e. the third edition. The basic rules you quote are for the 5th edition, i.e. over a decade later. Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 20:57
• My fault, for not reading the tags. Updated my answer to quote the correct rule book.
– Raj
Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 16:42
• that's OK. so what that basically means is that to use a shortbow from 659 away with overall having a penalty, you would have to be about 17th level and a fighter/barbarian/paliden (not sure if I spelled that right, I don't have my D&D books with me right now). you would also by that time have a dexterity of about 16-17 for a plus three bonus Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 19:47