The exotic weapon bone bow (Frostburn 75, 76) (250 gp; 4 lbs.) says that it
functions as a composite longbow with regard to applying the user’s Strength bonus to damage done with arrows shot from it. (75)
Many interpret this to mean that a bone bow's user applies his Strength bonus to damage—unlike with the composite longbow and composite shortbow—without the need to purchase and specify the bone bow's Strength bonus (e.g. Brilliant Gameologists forums, EN World forums, Giant in the Playground forums and here). There exist dissenters (e.g. Giant in the Playground forums). Obviously, an official word is unlikely.
- Does the bone bow, as printed in Frostburn, allow the user to add his Strength bonus to a bone bow arrow launched from it?
- Should the bone bow, as printed in Frostburn—given its feat requirement, high base cost, greater weight, inability to use normal arrows, and but +10 ft. range increment and +1 damage over the composite longbow—, allow the user to add his Strength bonus to a bone bow arrow launched from it?
A level 4 NPC archer with more Strength and feats than gp has a highly variable Strength score due to his barbarian alternative class feature ferocity and potion of animalistic power [trans] (PH2 101) (2nd-level spell at caster level 3) (300 gp; 0.1 lbs.). Both Hank's energy bow (Animated Series Handbook 3) (22,600 gp, 3 lbs.) and the bow of the wintermoon (MIC 48) (3,400 gp; 3 lbs.) are out of reach financially, and carrying 2-3 bows is too costly and too cumbersome. For this NPC I want a published, preferably official method of affordable Strength-adjusting archery; an answer that also provides that (if any!) would be especially useful.