Ranged Weapons

Descriptions of ranged weapons follow. Some are considered simple weapons (covered by the Simple Weapon Proficiency feat), some are archaic (covered by the Archaic Weapons Proficiency), and some are special in that they do not require a feat to be used effectively.

Table: Ranged Weapons
Nonfirearms (feat needed listed in parentheses)
WeaponDamageCriticalDamage TypeRange IncrementRate of FireMagazineSizeWeightPurchase DCRestriction
Air pistol (simple)*1d220Piercing30 ft.11 Int.Small2 lb.7
Air rifle (simple)*1d220Piercing50 ft.11 Int.Large5 lb.8
Blowgun (simple)*120Piercing10 ft.11 Int.Small2 lb.4
Bolas (archaic)***10 ft.1Small2 lb.3
Crossbow, grapple-firing (archaic)*1d3*Piercing120 ft.11 Int.Med.12 lb.12
Crossbow, hand (archaic)1d419–20Piercing30 ft.11 Int.Tiny3 lb.11
Crossbow, repeating (exotic)1d819–20Piercing80 ft.15 Int.Med.16 lb.13
Flare gun (simple)*1d820Fire30 ft.11 Int.Small2 lb.11
Net (archaic)***10 ft.*1Med.10 lb.6
Net launcher (grenade launcher)*10 ft.11 Int.Large20 lb.15Lic (+1)
Paint ball gun (simple)20**30 ft.Semi40 Int.Small2 lb.8
Sling (archaic)1d420Ballistic50 ft.1Small3
Slingshot (simple)1d320Ballistic50 ft.1Tiny1 lb.4
Speargun (simple)*2d620Piercing10 ft.11 Int.Large5 lb.10
Super watergun (no feat required)****10 ft.15 Int.Med.2 lb.4
Water cannon (simple)***10 ft.*20 Int.Huge50 lb.19Lic (+1)
*See weapon description for more information.
Air Pistols and Air Rifles

These low powered weapons are used to fire darts or pellets, typically to deliver a chemical payload (see Craft (chemical)). They are very quiet when fired. Air pistols require a CO2 cartridge to operate, which allows the gun to fire 10 times before needing to be replaced (purchase DC 3).


A bolas consists of two or more wooden spheres connected by lengths of cord. The bolas is a ranged weapon that can be used to entangle a Small or larger opponent. First, you make a ranged touch attack against the target. The target must be at least 10 feet away, as the bolas cannot be used against adjacent opponents. If the attack roll succeeds, the target is entangled. A target can free itself from the bolas as a full-round action or make an Escape Artist check (DC 15) on its turn to escape from the bolas as an attack action. The bolas has 5 hit points and can be broken with a successful Strength check (DC 20) as a full-round action.

If you entangle a creature with the bolas, you may attempt to trip it on your next attack. A failed trip with bolas does not allow the target to make a trip attack against you.


The blowgun is a long tube through which you fire needles. A needle can deliver poison of either the injury or contact type (see Craft [chemical] for poisons).

Crossbow, Grapple-Firing

This device helps heroes scale unclimbable walls, bridge chasms, escape down buildings, and the like. A grapplefiring crossbow is a heavy crossbow modified to fire a special, grapple-headed metal bolt attached to 100 feet of thin, light line.

A successful shot at an appropriate target indicates that the grapple has hooked onto something, anchoring the rope firmly enough for a character to ascend it with a successful Climb check (DC 15). Failure brings one of three results: the grapple simply failed to snag anything, it has lodged but is not secure enough to support a character’s weight, or there’s simply nothing up there for it to catch onto. In the first case, the user can simply recoil the rope and try again. In the second case, a successful Intelligence check (DC 10) made before anyone tries to climb reveals the instability. The user cannot free that grapple but may try to fire another. (Should anyone try to climb the unstable rope, the grapple gives way after the climber has progressed 2d10 feet. Determine damage normally for the resulting fall.) In the third case, retries automatically fail.

A character can easily anchor a grapple-bolt by hand in a niche or use pitons to secure it on smooth stone. This provides the same aid for descent without the need to fire the weapon.

Crossbow, Hand

This exotic weapon is common among spies and others who favor stealth over power. Assassins also use these weapons to launch poison-coated bolts at the target. You can draw a hand crossbow back manually. Loading a hand crossbow is a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Crossbow, Repeating

The repeating crossbow holds five crossbow bolts. When loaded, you can shoot the crossbow according to your normal number of attacks without reloading. Loading a new case of five bolts is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Flare Gun

Normally used as a signaling device, a flare gun can be used as a weapon in a pinch. If fired in the air, it releases a brightly colored flame that can be seen for miles, depending on surrounding terrain. A flare gun automatically ignites flammable items.


A fighting net has small barbs in the weave and a trailing rope to control netted opponents. You use it to entangle opponents.

When you throw a net, you make a ranged touch attack against your target. A net’s maximum range is 10 feet, and you suffer no range penalties to throw it even to its maximum range. If you hit, the target is entangled. An entangled creature suffers a –2 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty on effective Dexterity.

The entangled creature can only move at half speed and cannot charge or run. If you control the trailing rope by succeeding at an opposed Strength check while holding it, the entangled creature can only move within the limits that the rope allows. If the entangled creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) or the spell fails.

The entangled creature can escape with an Escape Artist check (DC 20) that requires a full-round action. The net has 5 hit points and can be burst with a Strength check (DC 25, also a full-round action).

A net is only useful against creatures within one size category of you. For instance, a Small character wielding a net can entangle Tiny, Small, and Medium creatures.

A net must be folded to be thrown effectively. The first time you throw your net in a fight, you make a normal ranged touch attack roll. After the net is unfolded, you suffer a –4 penalty on attack rolls with it. It takes 2 rounds for a proficient user to fold a net and twice that long for a nonproficient one to do so.

Net Launcher

This is a bulky, compressed air rifle with a conical muzzle that throws a weighted net when fired. Police and animal control personnel use net launchers, as well as big game hunters and the occasional field researcher hoping to bag a live Shadow creature.

Net launchers have a much greater range than a regular thrown net. It takes 10 minutes to reset a net that was previously fired or 1 minute to set the net launcher with a prepackaged net (purchase DC 6, 2 lb. per package).

Paintball Gun

Paintball guns offer a way for the average person to experience what it’s like to be in a “live fire” scenario, but without the possibility of taking lethal damage. A paintball deals no damage, but a successful hit will spatter the target with a large splotch of bright, degradable paint. Getting struck with a paintball stings and, if the target is not aware of the circumstance, they might believe they have been shot with an actual bullet.

A critical hit with a paintball gun deals 1d6 points of nonlethal damage.


The sling, commonly used by primitive people, hurls lead bullets to kill small game. It’s not as easy to use as the crossbow or as powerful as a bow, but it’s cheap and easy to improvise from common materials.

You can hurl ordinary stones with a sling. Stones are not as dense or as round as bullets, so you deal only 1d3 points of damage and suffer a –1 penalty on attack rolls.


Less powerful than a regular sling, a slingshot has a strong pair of rubber bands attached to a V-shaped handle. The damage listed in the table is for lead bullets (as the sling above), but you can also hurl other small objects like firecrackers, paintballs, rocks, and the like.


A speargun uses a powerful set of bands to propel a stainless steel shaft at the target. Most speargun shafts are tied to a thin, strong line (DC 20 Strength check to break). This line is attached to a reel, allowing the shooter to draw the shaft back.

If you deal damage to your opponent, the shaft may lodge in the victim if the victim fails a Reflex saving throw against a DC equal to 10 + the damage dealt. The creature moves at only half speed and cannot charge or run while a spear is lodged in its body. If you control the trailing rope by succeeding at an opposed Strength check while holding it, the harpooned creature can only move within the limits that the rope allows (the trailing rope is 30 feet long). If the speared creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) or the spell fails.

The speared creature can pull the shaft from its wound if it takes a full-round action, but in so doing it deals 2d6 points of damage to itself. Reloading a speargun is a full-round action.

Sticky Foam Sprayer

This bulky and unusual weapon looks similar to a flamethrower, with a fuel tank and sprayer nozzle. However, instead of jellied flaming fuel, the sticky foam sprayer launches a stream of liquid goop that hinders movement and can create impromptu barriers.

The sticky foam sprayer has a range of 15 feet and fills a 5-foot square per round. A creature hit by the sticky foam suffers a –2 penalty to attack rolls and a –4 penalty to effective Dexterity. The entangled character must make a Reflex save (DC 15) or be glued to the floor, unable to move. A creature simply moving into a square with the foam also must make this save, but does not suffer the penalty to attack rolls or Dexterity. Even with a successful save, it can only move at half speed. Creatures that are Huge or larger are unaffected by sticky foam.

A character who is glued to the floor can break free with a successful Strength check (DC 20) or by dealing 15 points of damage to the sticky foam with a slashing weapon. A character trying to scrape sticky foam off himself, or another character assisting, does not need to make an attack roll; hitting the sticky foam is automatic, after which the character who hit rolls damage to see how much of the goo he scraped off.

A character capable of spellcasting who is bound by the sticky foam must make a Concentration check (DC 15) to cast a spell. The sticky foam becomes brittle and breaks apart easily after 10 minutes.

Super Watergun

The super watergun is a toy gun that shoots a thin stream of water. The tank holds enough water to shoot 5 times before needing to be refilled. A super watergun has a maximum range of 10 feet. No attack roll is required to hit, and thus no feat is required to operate one effectively. Any creature caught in the path of the stream can make a Reflex save (DC 15) to take half damage (if applicable). Creatures with cover get a bonus on their Reflex save.

Regular water deals no damage, but special substances (such as holy water) can be used for different effects. If you make a full-round attack against a target, it deals the same amount of damage as a vial of the substance—an attack action does not produce enough of a stream to deal damage.

The super watergun has a handle that must be pumped to shoot, thus requiring both hands to use effectively. A super watergun cannot hold acid, which will eat through the thin plastic tank in a matter of seconds. The entire tank of water must contain the given substance to be effective— mixing with regular water will negate the effect.

Water Cannon

Used for crowd control and riot dispersion, water cannons are essentially mounted fire hoses built into vehicles with a large tank. A water cannon can fire continuously for 2 minutes before needing to be refilled.

A person struck by a water cannon takes 1d10 points of nonlethal damage per round, and must make a Reflex save (DC 15) or be knocked prone by the force of the blast. A water cannon that is attached to a vehicle cannot be removed. Use these same statistics if attacking someone with a firehose.

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