The Heavy Crossbow is a two-handed, ranged weapon and a weapon type in all games of the Baldur's Gate series.
The Heavy Crossbow is a heavier, larger and more intricately to handle variant of crossbows. Due to its size and the long time it needs to be readied to fire, Thieves don't use this and refer to Light Crossbows instead. Warriors, who relay on high damage with their first hit rather than to be able to deal a second one in a shorter time, and Bards with a sufficient Strength of twelve, who alternate between firing, spell-casting and chanting and for whom speed isn't the factor of highest priority, may use this weapon.
The usual weight of 14 lb requires a Strength of 12 to be able to use the crossbow. As bows, crossbows also need two hands for the handling. Heavy Crossbows need double the time to be readied to fire as their lighter kin, and are the slowest ranged weapon to be found on the Sword Coast and in Amn: they come with a speed factor of 10. In addition, they never have more than one attack per round, due to the complicated process of reloading.
Weight and speed are their disadvantages, compared to Light Crossbows, but these also bring an advantage: Heavy Crossbows deal the highest base damage of all ranged weapons, adding a +2 damage bonus to every Bolt fired from them.
Enchanted and unique variants may differ from these characteristics.
- In the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition Arms and Equipment Guide, the difference between light and heavy crossbows originates mainly in the used ammunition, with the Bolts for the heavy variant being two feet long – thus dealing higher damage –, while the light variant's Bolts measure only one foot. Baldur's Gate, instead, quits the already complicated system of having several types of ammunition, and applies the differences in damage to the weapons themselves.
- Heavy Crossbow article at the Icewind Dale Wiki, a wiki for the first Icewind Dale game.
- Crossbow article on the Forgotten Realms Wiki, a guide to the fantasy universe named the Forgotten Realms.