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Ammunition (Arrows)

Arrows are the staple ammunition used by Archers as well as those who are less-experienced with bows. Made up of a feather end, wooden shaft, and metallic arrowhead, arrows are commonplace amongst hunters and adventurers, however, they have seen several variations and improvements over the years. Either made up of different materials or enchanted to have varying effects, arrows can appear in so many different ways that you can find one to fit almost any situation. While not generally listed, an arrow should fit the same size as the weapon that fires it, a medium arrow for a medium bow, if not they suffer the same Inappropriately Sized Weapons penalty of -2 on attack rolls for each size category difference.

Martial ArrowsSpecial MaterialsMagic EnchantmentsExample Arrows

Martial Arrows

Listed below is a vast number of arrows, though it is not 100% of all arrow types. If an arrow (or bolt in some cases) notes a number in brackets that is how many of that arrow you gain for the price you pay, for example, you get 20 arrows for 1 gil. Generally speaking, ammunition that hits its target is destroyed or rendered useless, while ammunition that misses has a 50% chance of being destroyed or lost.

Cost is the price of the listed stack of arrows. Critical is the range and effects of critical. Range is the range increments the arrows can be fired. Weight is how much the stack of arrows weighs. Type is the type of damage the arrow deals. Special is for any special effect not listed on the other columns.

Table: Arrows (Martial)

AmmunitionCost (gil)CriticalRangeWeightTypeSpecial
Arrows, common (20)13 lbs.P
Arrows/bolts, barbed (20)2see textsee text3 lbs.Pgrapple
Arrow, bleeding (1)360see textsee textsee textsee textsee text
Arrows, blunt (20)23 lbs.Bsee text
Arrow, distance (iron-tipped) (20)14 lbs.
Arrow, durable (1)1see textsee textsee textsee textsee text
Arrow, dye (1)1see textsee text4 lbs.see text
Arrows, flight (20)2see text3 lbs.Psee text
Arrows/bolts, incendiary (20)10see textsee text3 lbs.see textsee text
Arrow, lodestone (1)10see textsee textsee textsee textsee text
Arrow, pheromone (1)15see textsee textsee textsee textsee text
Arrows/bolts, pronged (20)2see textsee text3 lbs.see textsee text
Arrow, raining (1)30see textsee textsee textsee textsee text
Arrow, slow burn (1)150see textsee textsee textsee textsee text
Arrow, smoke (1)10Psee text
Arrow, splintercloud (1)25see textsee textsee textsee textsee text
Arrow, tangleshot (1)20see textsee textsee textsee textsee text
Arrow, throwing (2)1see textsee text1/2 lb.see textsee text
Arrow, trip (1)25see textsee textsee textsee textsee text
Arrows, whistling (20)23 lbs.


Arrows, Common:
A standard (common) arrow used as a melee weapon is treated as a light improvised weapon (–4 penalty on attack rolls) and deals damage as a dagger of its size (critical multiplier ×2). Unless indicated otherwise, arrows come in a leather quiver that holds 20 arrows.

Arrows/bolts, barbed (20): The head of a barbed arrow resembles that of a harpoon. When a barbed arrow is attached to a length of silk rope and fired from a bow, the arrow’s range increment is reduced to 30 feet, but it gains the grapple special weapon quality. Barbed bolts exist for crossbows.

Arrow, bleeding (1): A bleeding arrow deals normal damage when it hits a creature. Each round thereafter, the creature bleeds for 1 point of damage until the bleeding is stopped by a DC 10 Heal check or the application of a cure spell or some other healing magic. A critical hit does not multiply the bleed damage. Creatures immune to critical hits (such as Aeon, Elemental, Incorporeal, Ooze, and Swarms) are immune to the bleed damage dealt by this weapon.

Arrows, blunt (20): Blunt Arrows deal bludgeoning damage rather than piercing damage. A creature can use a blunt arrow to deal nonlethal damage (at the normal –4 attack penalty for using a lethal weapon to deal nonlethal damage).

Arrow, distance (iron-tipped) (20): Used tactically for long-range attacks on troops, these arrows are fitted with heavy iron heads. While these heads help them travel great distances, they make the arrows less effective at dealing damage. Iron-tipped distance arrows increase their bow’s range increment by 10 feet but take a –1 penalty on damage dealt per range increment (minimum 1 point of damage).

Arrow, durable (1): Durable arrows don’t break due to normal use, whether or not they hit their target; unless the arrow goes missing, an archer can retrieve and reuse a durable arrow again and again. Durable arrows can be broken in other ways (such as deliberate snapping, hitting a fire elemental, and so on). Drawback: If crafted with magic (such as bane), the magic only lasts for one use of the arrow, but the nonmagical arrow can still be reused or imbued with magic again.

Arrow, dye (1): Firing a dye arrow is a ranged touch attack; a creature struck by a dye arrow takes no damage but is splashed with black, blue, green, or red marker dye (see Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting 213) sufficient to coat about 1 square foot.

Arrows, flight (20): A flight arrow’s range increment is 30 feet greater with greatbows, 20 feet greater with longbows, 10 feet greater with shortbows. Drawback: Flight arrows deal damage as if one size category smaller.

Arrows/bolts, incendiary (20): A metal cage behind this arrow’s point contains flammable material. Benefit(s): You take a –1 penalty on attack rolls when firing incendiary arrows. You can light up to six incendiary arrows as a full-round action (a standard action if you use a tindertwig) that provokes attacks of opportunity. Once lit, the arrow burns for 2 rounds. A lit incendiary arrow deals an additional 1 point of fire damage. On a critical hit, the target must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save or catch fire. Incendiary bolts exist for crossbows.

Arrow, lodestone (1): Action: Pulling the string to break the seal and activate the reaction in the arrowhead is a move action. Benefit: You gain a +4 bonus on attack rolls when firing a lodestone arrow at a target wearing a significant amount of metal armor (at least chain mail or a metal shield) or made of metal. The increased magnetism fades 1 round after you activate it, after which time it is a normal arrow. Special: In areas with a lot of magnetic metal, the attack bonus may drop to 0 or even become a penalty as competing sources steer the arrow away from your intended target. Drawback: The magnetized arrow only deals half damage.

Arrow, pheromone (1): Any creature with the scent ability gains a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls made against a target marked with a pheromone arrow. This effect lasts for 1 hour or until the target spends 1-minute washing.

Arrows/bolts, pronged (20): Rather than narrowing to a single point, a pronged arrow has a wide face with two points resembling a crescent or V-shape. Benefit(s): Originally used for hunting game, a pronged arrow deals damage as if one size category smaller, but you gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls against creatures or objects one or more size categories smaller than you.

Arrow, raining (1): The reservoir of holy water is designed to burst on impact, hitting the target and splashing nearby creatures as if you had thrown the vial. Drawback: A raining arrow has a –2 penalty on attack rolls due to its weight.

Arrow, slow burn (1): On your turn, 1 round after impact, a burst of flame deals 1d6 points of fire damage to the target. Drawback: The extra weight of this arrowhead gives you a –1 penalty on attack rolls with the arrow.

Arrow, smoke (1): A smoke arrow trails smoke as it flies, and creates a 5-foot cube of smoke where it strikes for 2 rounds. This smoke obscures vision, giving concealment (20% miss chance) to characters within it. It otherwise functions like a normal arrow in terms of damage, range, and so on.

Arrow, splintercloud (1): When fired, the numerous bone fragments tear themselves apart, forming a 5-foot burst of razor-sharp bones that deals 1d3 points of piercing damage (Reflex DC 18 negates). These arrows do not apply ability modifier to damage (such as STR or DEX) nor do they apply extra damage from Point-Blank Shot, Deadly Aim, or other feats that increase damage. Magical enchantments only aid in hitting the square intersection, they do not apply their damage or status effects onto the targets.

Arrow, tangleshot (1): You fire a tangleshot arrow as a ranged touch attack; the arrow deals no damage when it hits, but the target is splashed with the alchemical adhesive. The reduced amount of the glue means this arrow is less effective than an actual tanglefoot bag (DC 10 Reflex save, DC 12 Strength check to break, 10 points of slashing damage to cut through, DC 10 Concentration check). Drawback: The weight of a tangleshot arrow reduces its range increment to half normal.

Arrow, throwing (2): Too long to use in a bow, the throwing arrow has no nock at the tail. Instead, it has a notch ahead of the fletching where a throwing arrow cord can be attached. Benefit(s): If thrown without the use of a cord, treat a throwing arrow as a dart.

Arrow, trip (1): If the arrow hits, it makes a trip attack against the target with a CMB of +5; the target falls prone if it fails its check, but if it succeeds it cannot attempt to trip you in return.

Arrows, whistling (20): These arrows come with specially designed grooves and fletching that cause them to emit a loud keening sound. Benefit: The sound is audible within 500 feet of the flight path.

Arrow Special Materials

Arrows can be crafted with several special materials aside from normal feathers, wood, and metal. These materials can aid in the durability of the arrow as well as allow it to deal higher damage to foes. If a material notes masterwork in brackets then the ammunition counts as masterwork and already calculates the price in the material. If a material notes DR in brackets that means it is normally used to overcome a form of Damage Reduction.

Type is the special material name and a link to their own page. Additional price is how much extra you must pay on top of the base arrow. HP/inch notes any change to the HP of the base arrow. Hardness notes any change to the hardness of the base arrow. Weight Change notes any change to the weight of the base arrow. Special notes any additional abilities of the material.

Table: Arrows (Special Materials)

TypeAdditional price
per Missile (gil)
HP/inchHardnessWeight ChangeSpecial
Adamantine601/3 more HP than normal.20see text
Blight Quartz20010/inch10see text
Bone1/2 price1/2 less hardness than normal.fragile, see text
Bronzefragile, see text
Crystal, Blood301/2 less HP than normal.10see text
Elysian Bronze20see text
Iron, Cold2x price, see text3010see text
Obsidian1/2 normal price1/2 less hardness than normal3/4 normal weightfragile, see text
Silver, Alchemical2108see text
Steel, Fire-forged15see text
Steel, Living103515see text
Stone1/4 normal price1/2 less hardness than normal3/4 normal weightfragile, see text
Viridium201/2 less hardness than normal.fragile, see text

Adamantine (Masterwork, DR): Ammunition fashioned from adamantine has a natural ability to bypass hardness when sundering weapons or attacking objects, ignoring hardness less than 20.

Blight Quartz: Blight quartz can be worked into arrowheads, spear tips, and similar ammunition. Doing so costs an additional 200 gp per piece of ammunition. A creature hit with a blight quartz weapon must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or take 1 negative level. A negative level imparted by a blight quartz weapon or ammunition lasts for 1 minute before fading and never results in permanent level loss. Negative levels imparted by multiple hits reset the duration but do not otherwise stack, nor do they stack with any other negative levels the weapon may otherwise impart, or with any negative levels the creature struck may already have. This is a negative energy effect.

Blight quartz has 10 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 10, but the material decays rapidly when taken from the Negative Material Plane, taking 2d6 points of damage that bypasses its hardness each round until it crumbles away into nothingness.

Bone: Bone arrows have half the hardness of their base weapons and have the fragile weapon quality. Masterwork bone weapons also have the fragile quality, but magic bone weapons do not. Bone weapons take a –2 penalty on damage rolls (minimum 1 damage).

Bronze: Bronze weapons have the hardness of their base weapons but also have the fragile quality. Bronze weapons do the same damage as steel weapons of the same type, and have the same cost and weight.

Crystal, Blood: If an attack with an arrow made of blood crystal weapon hits a target suffering from a bleed effect, the creature takes 1 additional point of damage from the attack as the blood crystal drains blood from the wound. This applies even if the creature was taking bleed damage before the attack with the blood crystal weapon. This does not increase the amount of the bleed effect.

Elysian Bronze: Ammunition made of Elysian bronze adds a +1 bonus on weapon damage rolls against magical beasts and monstrous humanoids; this damage is multiplied on a critical hit. After a creature uses an Elysian bronze weapon to deal damage to a magical beast or monstrous humanoid, the wielder gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls against that specific creature type (for example, against chimeras, not all magical beasts) for the next 24 hours, or until the weapon deals damage to a different kind of magical beast or monstrous humanoid.

Iron, Cold (DR): Weapons made of cold iron cost twice as much to make as their normal counterparts. Also, adding any magical enhancements to a cold iron weapon increases its price by 2,000 gp. This increase is applied the first time the item is enhanced, not once per ability added. A double weapon with one cold iron half costs 50% more than normal.

Obsidian: Obsidian weapons have half the hardness of their base weapon and have the fragile quality.

Silver, Alchemical (DR): Ammunition made of alchemical silver can be used to overcome damage reduction that requires silver weapons. On a successful attack with a silvered slashing or piercing weapon, the wielder takes a –1 penalty on the damage roll (with a minimum of 1 point of damage).

Steel, Fire-forged (Masterwork): If the ammunition is exposed to 10 points or more of fire damage (such as from an opponent’s fira or by holding it in a campfire for 1 full round), the weapon adds +1d4 points of fire damage to its attacks for the next 2 rounds. If the wielder is wearing fire-forged armor and using a fire-forged weapon, this bonus damage increases to 1d6 points of fire damage and lasts for 4 rounds. This bonus damage does not stack with fire damage from weapon enhancements such as flaming.

Steel, Living: This glossy green metal slowly repairs itself. An item made from living steel repairs damage to itself at a rate of 2 hit points per day, or 1 hit point per day if it has the broken condition. This effect does not restore destroyed arrows.

Stone: Weapons made of stone have half the hardness of their base weapons, and have the fragile quality.

Viridium: Any successful hit with a viridium weapon causes the target to contract leprosy (Fortitude DC 12 negates). On a successful critical hit, a tiny fragment of viridium breaks off within the target, affecting it as though with greenblood oil (Fortitude DC 13 negates).

A creature carrying a viridium weapon must save every 24 hours or contract leprosy unless the weapon is kept inside an extradimensional space (such as an efficient quiver) or a scabbard lined with lead.

Oozes, plants, and outsiders are immune to the deadly emanations of viridium.

Viridium weapons have half the hardness of their base weapon and have the fragile quality. Viridium can be magically strengthened at an additional cost of +1,000 gp for a weapon or +20 gp for ammunition. This removes the fragile quality from the item but does not otherwise affect its abilities.

Magic Enchantments

Aside from the base design of an arrow, ammunition can be enchanted similarly to normal weapons. When an arrow with a magical enhancement or special ability hits a target, it uses that effect on the impact and becomes a mundane arrow. All enchantments require the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat. The listed prices, or base price modifier, is for a set of 50 arrows to be enchanted in bulk.

Table: +1 Ammunition Special Abilities

Special AbilityBase Price Modifier¹CLSpell(s) Needed
Abyssal+1 bonus8thDark or darkra
Bane+1 bonus8thSummon Monster I
Conductive+1 bonus8thSpectral Hand
Cunning+1 bonus6thTrue Strike
Earthen+1 bonus10thStone or stonera
Flaming+1 bonus10thFire or fira
Frost+1 bonus8thBlizzard or blizzara
Ghost Touch+1 bonus9thPlane Shift
Jestream+1 bonus8thWater or watera
Merciful+1 bonus5thCure
Planar+1 bonus9thPlane Shift
Roaring+1 bonus8thAero or aera
Seeking+1 bonus12thTrue Seeing
Shining+1 bonus8thLight or lightra
Shock+1 bonus8thThunder or thundara

Table: +2 Ammunition Special Abilities

Special AbilityBase Price Modifier¹CLSpell(s) Needed
Abyssal Burst+2 bonus12thDark III or darkra
Earthen Burst+2 bonus12thStone III or stonera
Flaming Burst+2 bonus12thFire III or fira
Icy Burst+2 bonus10thBlizzard III or blizzara
Jetstream Burst+2 bonus12thWater III or watera
Igniting+2 bonus12thFire III or fira
Roaring Burst+2 bonus12thAero III or aera
Shining Burst+2 bonus12thLight III or holy
Shocking Burst+2 bonus10thThunder III or thundara

 

1 Add to enhancement bonus on Table: Weapon Pricing by Bonus to determine total price.

Example Arrows

Setting up a range of arrows for any situation, below are some advised or common picks for characters who want to stick with arrows for combat. After 1st level it is always advised to be using durable arrows, since they can be used over and over you make your gil back rather quickly, just remember that enchanted arrows lose their enchantment when they hit a target.

Durable Adamantine: Buying a set of 20 Adamantine arrows that are made of durable materials costs 1,220 gil and allow for the archer to have a good stack of arrows to deal with one of the more common materials that overcome Damage Reduction.

Durable Cold Iron: Buying a set of 20 Cold Iron arrows that are made of durable materials costs 40 gil and counters a less-common material to overcome Damage Reduction. These are better held in reserve and not at the top of the shopping list, but still nice to have at hand.

Durable Alchemical Silver: Buying a set of 20 Alchemical Silver arrows that are made of durable materials costs 60 gil, though these mostly are only useful against lycanthropes and were-folk. If you know you will be facing these types of foes, stock up, otherwise you can pass on these.

Silver Ghost Touch: Buying a set of 50 Alchemical Silver arrows with the Ghost Touch special ability costs 8,453 gil (153 for the arrows + (50*6) for the masterwork + 8000 for +1 and ghost touch), add an extra 49 gil (8,502 total) for durable for incase you miss or want to use the mundane arrows again, these are prime anti-incorporeal arrows as silver is the more common material to overcome incorporeal creature’s DR, and ghost touch allows you to do full damage to them. If you don’t want to enchant a bow with ghost touch, or lack someone who can let you deal full damage to incorporeal creatures, then this is the best option available to you.