I am thinking about making an Archer Paladin build for Pathfinder and was wondering about the Divine Bond ability the Paladin gets at level 5.

Normally the Keen weapon property for example states:

Only piercing or slashing melee weapons can be keen

Emphasis mine.

However there is nothing in the ability text of Divine Bond that states that it has to be an appropriate weapon type for the chosen weapon property.

Would it be possible for a Paladin to add Keen to his bow using his Divine Bond ability?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You don't need the [rules-as-written] tag for normal rules questions, just for corner cases where you're really trying to test the legalism of the system. Removed. Welcome to the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jan 3, 2017 at 4:44

3 Answers 3


Rules as written, no.

However, there has been at least one case of a published Keen Composite Longbow, on The Dragon's Demand module.

It's intentional. Sometimes we tweak the rules and put in treasures that you normally wouldn't be able to find, in an attempt to make finding treasure more exciting and more interesting than a shopping trip.

Usually those new treasures are so new that we have to put in a new magic item to detail the rules for the item... but in a case like a keen longbow, no new rules are needed since it's obvious what it does.

  • James Jacobs

You do have other options to obtain increased threat for ranged weapons, however. Such as the Keen Edge spell, which can be cast on ammo.


Only piercing or slashing melee weapons can be keen. If you're making a weapon keen and it's not a piercing or slashing melee weapon, and the effect doesn't state otherwise, the weapon is not keen. It could only be keen if it were a piercing or slashing melee weapon, simple as that.


Yes you are. While keen itself does say that its only suppose to be on melee weapons, Divine Bond is more specific than keen.

Divine bond doesnt seem to care which god is worship or which spirit it is (which does make it far more flexible then say the cleric domains which are tied to gods).

Be warned that while you can add the property, a DM might rule that while its there, it doesnt function because keen does state its for melee weapons.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You are right, divine bond does allow you to add keen to a ranged weapon. Keen however, will not work because it's effect says it only works on melee weapons. So it's a waste of a +1. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jan 3, 2017 at 11:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras I guess if the +1 bow were sharpened then the GM allowed it as an improvised, its damage might then be, like, 1d4+1/19–20 or something. Probably ruins the bow as a bow, though, and, furthermore, I'm almost certain that's not what the asker wants from the weapon special ability. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 3, 2017 at 11:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically, piercing works too, right? img06.deviantart.net/90b5/i/2016/076/5/6/… \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jan 3, 2017 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ If pounce allows rake then divine bond allows keen \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jan 3, 2017 at 13:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Fering Pounce allows rake because pounce says it allows rake. It makes a special exception that divine bond doesn't. Further, rake is flexible in its application (saying "typically" on a grapple), whereas keen is more tight in its restriction. \$\endgroup\$
    – Firebreak
    Jan 4, 2017 at 4:24

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