Question about arrows and bows (RESOLVED)

After all this time you’d think I know but I am still confused about how the enhancement bonus and attack bonus on arrows work, how they stack and how they stack with bows which are either enhanced or with attack bonuses.

i.e.: A Longbow with +1 enhancement bonus with a +1 enhancement arrow does what really? Say your BAB is 20. Does that mean with this combo it is now 22 BAB (+1 from the bow and plus 1 from the arrow)? And since it is enhancement…does that mean you get +2 total for damage added to the attack?

i.e. A Longbow with +1 “Attack” bonus with a +1 “enhancement” arrow bonus with a BAB of 20

Does that mean my BAB is 22 and my damage is only 21 (due to attack only applying to the attack not the damage)?

Can someone help clarify this as when i see in game the above don’t seem to apply.

I always thought that “enhancement” was attack bonus PLUS damage bonus

While the “attack” bonus was only effecting the BAB and not the damage

Last of all…does one make bows enhancement or attack? Same for arrows? Which is used?

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For all ranged weapons with ammunition - so not throwing weapons - without modding the game cannot have an enhancement bonus applied but have the attack bonus on the launcher, and the damage on the ammunition.

So assuming an attack bonus of +0 for everything outside the weapon (stats, weapon focus etc), a non-magical longbow shooting non-magical arrows does 1-8 damage with no bonus to hit.

A longbow +1 gives +1 attack (so attack bonus of +1) but still does 1-8 damage.

A non-magical longbow shooting arrows +1 has an attack bonus of +0 but does 1-8 +1 damage on a successful hit.

A longbow +1 shooting arrows +1 has an attack bonus of +1 (from the bow) and does 1-8 +1 damage (from the arrows).

The only times that the launcher itself from properties can affect the damage, are where either the launcher has the ‘Unlimited ammunition’ property, and therefore it acts as if it is firing arrows of the specified type, or it has the ‘Mighty’ property and therefore it allows the strength bonus of the character using it to be applied up to the Mighty value.


+1 enhancement on bow/xbow/sling will not stack with +1 arrows/bolt/bullet

Hey Tarrasque…thank man.

Question…so the +1 on a long bow then is a +1 “Attack” not +1 “Enhancement” right?

And arrows…do we put +1 “Enhancement” on it or +1 “Attack”?

LOL…Shadow…Ah you just replied as I posted above…exact time…lol

Thanks guys for your willingness to help :slight_smile: …much appreciated

Very interesting and insightful thread! I have to admit I’m still ignorant about quite a few of NWN’s mechanics myself, despite playing the game for almost 15 years.

So if you don’t mind, I have another question to add to the above: If an opponent can only be hit by a magical weapon +x, is it the attack bonus of the launcher that counts or the damage bonus of the ammunition? I’m assuming the first?

I will answer this differently.

Enhancement bonus is in fact a “composite” itemproperty which in reality adds an Attack Bonus property and Damage Bonus (physical dmg type of the weapon) with corresponding values. Hence why the damage does not stack with ammunition, as the Enhancement Bonus on bow will add +X piercing and arrows has +X piercing too. The damage reduction mechanics is only checking Attack Bonus, not damage.

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Well…this is why I am a die-hard 2nd Ed D&D player…the system was simple… a +1 arrow did both damage and increased your to hit. And a +1 Bow did the same (+1 to hit and damage - it would stack with the arrows). These guys who did 3rd ed and higher made the game stupid in my opinion…lol

Thanks Shadooow…your clarification was much appreciated

well, you can get… ‘halfway’ [?] there by modifying itemprops.2da. this is the file that tells the game what properties are allowed on what types of items. by default, the ‘enhancement bonus’ property isn’t allowed on missile weapons. however, you can allow it by placing a ‘1’ in the 1_Ranged column on line 6, then make the +1 on your bow an enhancement bonus. this will make your bow +1 to hit and +1 [piercing] damage, à la 2nd ed. however, the piercing damage still won’t stack w/any piercing bonus damage from the arrow [that’s hardcoded]. :frowning:  it will stack w/other types of damage, though. for example, a fire arrow shot out of your new handy dandy +1 [enhancement bonus] bow will do an additional 2-7 damage ; 1d6 fire + 1 piercing. :slight_smile:
…or, hell, let’s get really crazy here and modify itemprops.2da to allow bonus damage on missile weapons as well. then you can have your bow ‘imbue’ your arrows with, say, divine damage, for example – something for your players to find while seeking out the mythical lost theopolis of ambrosia. [of course, you needn’t tell them they’ll have to wrest it from the hands of a long-forgotten battle-crazed angel driven mad by loneliness… :wink: ].

LOL…sounds good to me!!!