They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but why not take out your enemies at long range instead? Use one of these ranged weapons.
Dungeons & Dragons is a game of high adventure of swords and sorcery, but today we’re going to take a look at the things you use when you have no sorcery and you can’t get close enough to use your swords. That’s right we’re taking a look at ranged weapons because sometimes you want to deal with your enemies before they get close enough to grapple you and swallow you whole.
Let’s start with something simple. The longbow is a classic for a reason, it has an absurd range and though it is difficult to use in that you have to have martial weapon provision C to be able to use it, the longbow gets you by far the best range on any single ranged weapon.
Even more so when you consider that most encounters are drawn out on a battle grade that fits somewhere on the table, and most battle grades have 1″ squares come out so unless your playing at a very large table indeed if you’re using a longbow, you’ll be able to hit anything in the fight. In fact, it’s almost got too long of a range, you’ll never really take advantage of the fact that you outrange most everyone else. That’s where the theater of the mind comes in.
While the longbow might be the workhorse of distance, the hand crossbow is the player character’s choice of damage it seems. The hand crossbow in particular is an important tool in the build of many a rogue or a fighter, all you really need to make it work is the crossbow expertise feat, and if you can combine that with sharpshooter you have all the makings of a powerhouse ranged character.
What do these feats do? They let you fire the crossbow as many times as you have attacks, as well as being able to make a bonus action attack, and with sharpshooter, if you have a good chance of hitting your enemies you can sacrifice accuracy for damage which is always a trade worth making.
Of course, not everyone has the dexterity to wield a bow or crossbow to the utmost effect. For fierce fighters and burly barbarians, there are the throne weapons, and while you can throw a javelin, a dagger, or even a rock, there’s no better-thrown weapon than the hand ax.
Look if it’s good enough for Jason Momoa to do, then it’s good enough for Ragnar and Thok.
Yup, that’s right D&D has guns. There in the Dungeon Master’s guide, and just like in real life, they beat the pants off of pretty much any other ranged weapon option that you might have. Sure they may be hard to find, but if you can get your hands on one, you can show your enemies that even 30 to 50 feral hogs won’t stop you.
Ha if you thought guns were the best though you’d be sorely mistaken. Tucked away inside the pages of the Dungeon Master’s guide, not that far from the guns, are futuristic weapons which include laser rifles, laser pistols, and the antimatter rifle.
If you think this is something that is just sort of in there as an Easter egg, let me remind you that in Icewind Dale Rime of the Frostmaiden, you can find a gnomish mind flayer that’s in possession of a laser pistol, and if things go your way soon you’ll be in the possession of a laser pistol.
But all that’s nothing compared to the power of antimatter, which as we all know is dangerously explosive whenever it comes into contact with matter. Just make sure that you hit what you’re aiming at because not much else will be around. It does 6D8 damage. And that’s per shot. And that’s before sneak attack. And sharpshooter. And everything else that makes ranged weapons good in D&D.
What’s your favorite ranged weapon?