Size of the weapon determines its damage, weight and cost. Smaller weapons deal less damage, but are lighter and cheaper than larger weapons. It would be reasonable that tiny shortbow has smaller range than its large counterpart. However, I cannot find any rule that states that.

How does weapon size affect range increment?


Bigger and littler ranged weapons can have proportionately altered range increments…

The Arms and Equipment Guide on Size and Range says

Larger and smaller versions of ranged weapons have correspondingly longer or shorter range increments. Each time you increase a weapon’s size, lengthen its range increment by 25%. For example, Huge longbows, such as those wielded by ogre mages, have a range increment of 125 feet.

Each time you decrease a weapon’s size, shorten its range increment by 25%. A Medium-size long-bow in the hands of a halfling has a range increment of 75 feet. (4-5)

So that is a thing. A DM will have to adjust the mentioned weapon sizes (which changed radically) due to the 3.5 revision.

…But a 3.5 DM's minor adjustments may eliminate this rule

This is, so far as I'm aware, exclusively a Dungeons and Dragons, Third Edition rule, omitted from any texts after the 3.5 revision. This makes it game-legal for use in a 3.5 campaign but maybe subject to minor adjustments by the DM (DMG 4) due to the revision. Personally, I've never used the rule—the game's complex enough as it is—, but in an archery-focused game, I can certainly see folks wanting to.

  • \$\begingroup\$ While I can see wanting something like this, to keep things consistent with reach I’d want it to be based on the wielder’s size, not the weapon’s size. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 7 '16 at 18:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A Halfling able to use a composite longbow for a medium sized creature should be able to draw and fire just as far as a larger creature using the same bow. It's the size of the weapon and the length of the bowstring that determines the draw strength and the flight distance of an arrow, not the size of the person. \$\endgroup\$ – Sandwich Sep 7 '16 at 18:33
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I see your point, but weapon size is the real cause of weapon damage effects. It's my opinion that it's also the cause of increased reach effects. Large creatures also have natural reach of 10', but if wielding a medium polearm, I'd not double their reach, but add +5'. Considering that the med creature takes -4 for wielding a large longbow, it's paying for the privilege. \$\endgroup\$ – Chemus Sep 7 '16 at 18:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan These are 3.0 rules, so a Medium-size longbow is appropriately sized for a halfling, the weapon being one size category bigger than the wielder, therefore the maximum size for any weapon for most creatures. In 3.5 projectile weapons always require 2 hands to use, so, for example, a Medium creature just can't use a designed-for-a-Large-creature longbow because such a weapon would require effort beyond the creature's (ahem) grasp. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 7 '16 at 18:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan If I'm incorrect, why did you call out undersized weaponry, which is exactly what I was saying? \$\endgroup\$ – Chemus Sep 8 '16 at 1:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.