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A question about bows


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Let's say I'm shooting +2 arrows from a +3 bow. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that both the attack and damage bonuses are +5. But what about enchantment? Is it +5 or +3? Could I shoot a guy with Absolute Immunity, or would I be limited to Improved Mantle?


This is an important issue to be solved for me, in order to decide whether it'd truly be worth it to create a bowman.

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Then what's that +3 in the end of the bow's name doing? Shouldn't it tell you something?


If this is true, someone really has to fix it with a mod, or rangeds are seriously underpowered: +5 arrows don't grow in trees.

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The +3 gives attack and damage bonuses. But you're not hitting the monster with your +3 longbow (are you?) so its enchantment doesn't count. The +2 on the arrows also gives attack and damage bonuses but there's no reason for the two enchantments to add up when determining what monster it can hit, that's just silly.


Last time I checked, +5 weapons don't grow on trees either. Missile weapons have the added advantage of ignoring Protection from Magical Weapons (correct me if I'm wrong, haven't actually checked this).


Finally, if you're playing IWD2, Sure Striking arrows pretty much do grow on trees. Obviously they're no substitute for +5 arrows but they get the job done against someone with ridiculous immunities.

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The first IWD, though, has fairly interesting story and setting, and it's fun to play. I never liked IWD2 even a half that much.


Also true, +5 weapons don't grow in trees, but they also won't disappear immediately after using them once. The best kind of arrows that'll last any longer come from Quiver of Plenty +2: Anything beyond that just becomes Too Awesome To Use. And that sucks.

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I can't remember what enchantment arrows the shortbow of gesen shoots but I have a suspicion that they're only +2 also. Still, I always have at least 4 ranged party members in the party. Granted most of those are spell-casters but if you've ever played BG1 and *didn't* use Kivan then you must be crazy (or an evil-aligned party). He ends up with a THAC0 of near to 0 and 3 attacks by the end of the game. If you use BG Tutu and change him to an Archer he's just so deadly it feels like cheating.


Bow-users usually end up with more attacks (aside from dual-wielding Belm and another fast weapon) and a lower THAC0 because the attack bonus from the bow is added to that from the arrow (even if the enchantment bonus isn't).


In conclusion, yes, in certain situations a bow-user will be ineffective because of magical protections but in most cases they're a huge bonus.


There is no mage-killer AI script in BG2 as in IWD2 but another thing I forgot to mention is that ranged characters are the kings (and queens) of spell disruption aside from Insect Plague and the like. Also, if you find yourself without a breach spell then they eat through Stoneskin and Mirror Image pretty damn quick. They just lose out if you come up against a spellcaster that has instant every-protection-spell-ever-created buffs.

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Well the only reason I don't have Kivan right now is, indeed, that I'm evil. And yeah, bows are kinda unbeatable in BG1, which is why I have a bow-user right now, but I just feel I'd really like to hit them demiliches and pals too.


Impact arrows would also be cool in BG2, for golems.

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