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A crossbow is a weapon consisting of a bow mounted on a stock that shoots bolts. A mechanism in the stock holds the bow in its fully-drawn position, without human effort or intervention, until it is shot by releasing a trigger. Due to the short travel of the bow section in firing the weapon, significant force is needed to prime it for firing.
A hand crossbow is a very small crossbow ideal for concealment. It is a short range weapon, but can be drawn for firing with just one hand.
A hand crossbow costs around 100 gold pieces.
It is small enough to be fired (somewhat less accurately) from one hand, and a pair of them can be wielded and fired simultaneously, but two hands are required in order to reload a light crossbow, usually by inserting a bolt and pulling a lever.
Light crossbows cost around 35 gold pieces.
A heavy crossbow is a larger version of the light crossbow. It is primed with a winch. Although it can be fired with one hand, accuracy is impaired even further than with a light crossbow due to the increased weight. It requires two hands to reload.
Heavy crossbows cost around 50 gold pieces.
Repeating crossbows are available in both light and heavy varieties, and hold a case of five bolts. These bolts can be fired in quick succession, interspersed with the drawing action, to avoid having to continually reload bolts. Two hands are required to operate the repeating crossbow, due to the need to draw the bow each time a bolt is fired.
A light repeating crossbow costs around 250 gold pieces, whereas a heavy repeating crossbow costs around 400 gold pieces.
An enchanted variety of repeating crossbows existed in the Moonsea region. These enchanted +3 light crossbows gave its users the boon of haste that not only affected the crossbow's firing speed, but also the wielders movement speed.
Regardless of size, all crossbows fired bolts, otherwise known as quarrels. Though shaped like arrows, their shafts were much thicker and shorter. Bolts used in active warfare would often have conical or pyramidal-shaped heads. Ten bolts usually cost around 1 gold piece, although a case of five bolts for a repeating crossbow (regardless of size) would typically cost the same amount.
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