The feat Snap Shot says

While wielding a ranged weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you threaten squares within 5 feet of you. You can make attacks of opportunity with that ranged weapon. You do not provoke attacks of opportunity when making a ranged attack as an attack of opportunity.

Emphasis mine. But if a creature has a natural reach of more than 5 ft., are the creature's attacks of opportunity due to the feat Snap Shot still limited to only the creature's adjacent squares? For example, does a storm giant that's armed with a Huge composite longbow and that possesses this feat still only threaten adjacent squares with his composite longbow or does he threaten 15 ft. out with his composite longbow?


2 Answers 2


By RAW, they are still limited to only 5' from you.

This is, however, obviously insane.

A GM should simply houserule this to be the natural (or magically modified natural) reach of the creature.

Otherwise there's little (no) reason for a Large or larger (or buffed with a +reach spell) creature to ever have this feat. It's use is still dubious compared to armour spikes or quick-drawing a one-handed weapon or improved unarmed strikes, but at least the use it has (dealing bow damage with enhancements instead of smaller non-primary-weapon damage from an aoo) is preserved.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Minor point: The feat Quick Draw doesn't grant the ability to draw a weapon to make an attack of opportunity if otherwise not threatening an area. That is, if not threatening an area, the creature can't make an attack of opportunity in the first place. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 2:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Take one hand off bow. Draw longsword as a free action. End turn. New turn. Drop longsword, both hands on bow, fire bow. Repeat. End of battle - collect all those daggers or swords or whatever you were grabbing to stab people with and then dropping to fire your bow. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 14:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough. I'm not sure that process is entirely clear in your answer, but that works for me. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 15:05

You still only have a 5' range for Attacks of Opportunity (with the bow).

Attacks of Opportunity can only occur in squares that are Threatened by a creature.

You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn.

(emphasis mine)

This means that without Snap Shot (or some way of obtaining melee attacks while holding a ranged weapon) a creature holding a bow can't make Attacks of Opportunity at all*. Snap Shot not only gives your bow a Threatening range of 5', but also allows the bow to make those Attacks of Opportunity in the first place. Because you do not threaten squares while holding a bow, natural reach does not apply, you're only able to threaten at all due to the fact that you have Snap Shot.

So for your example, an unarmed Storm Giant is able to take Attacks of Opportunity with his weapons (or unarmed with Slam) at range 15', but once he wields his bow with both hands his Attacks of Opportunity with the bow would drop to a 5' range.

I don't think this is entirely unreasonable, as shooting a ranged weapon at close range is actually quite difficult! your target can increase the arc or their movements with much less effort, causing you to correct more. It also serves as an obvious balancing factor to the fact that ranged attackers are able to hit melee attacker long before the melee attacker get close the distance.

You can increase this range to 10' with the Improved Snap Shot feat

*There is an argument to be made that creatures with natural weapons (Slam, in this case) or PCs with Improved Unarmed Strike could take unarmed opportunity attacks with a free hand while wielding a 2-handed ranged weapon such as a bow. This is currently unresolved, so is 100% subject to GM ruling.

The actual question in the link above is only tangentially related to this question, but the core disconnect is relevant: Are bows considered 2-handed weapons, or are they something different? If you can remove your hand from the bow as a free action like you can with 2-handed melee weapons, then you're free to make Attacks of Opportunity, otherwise you're not

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you haven't nocked an arrow, then a bow only takes one hand. There'd be nothing stopping you from punching with the other. (Speaking from realism here, not rules). \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 0:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is a free action to remove your hand from the bow and put it back on the bow \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 1:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering There actually appears to be some contention on whether you have a free hand with a bow, and whether you can release one hand or not as a free action. I've updated my question to address this \$\endgroup\$
    – lithas
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 1:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, I might as well make the comment, I was allowed to use the custom race builder and made a race that was large (tall) which gave me the 10 feet natural reach. I am also a zen archer monk, so I have the improved unarmed strike and the ability to also use my legs for AOO's if my hands are full. So I can make the AOO's, but currently my bow has a better to hit, and soon it will also have better damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 2:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering If you want to add those details to your top-level question I'll add a response to my answer. It sounds like you'll have to deal with having a shorter range on your bow AoOs compared to unarmed strikes, though, as any interpretation of the rules as written (and arguably intended) supports the Snapshot 5' limitation. \$\endgroup\$
    – lithas
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 2:10

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