The gastraphetes, sometimes called a "belly bow," is an oversized crossbow reloaded by pressing one end against the ground, the other against one's abdomen, and locking the string in place through ratchet action. Reloading takes a full-round action, uses two hands, and requires that the wielder be standing. Wielding a gastraphetes requires two hands, and due to the weapon's bulk, firing it while standing without support (such as a wall, a window, or a stand) imposes a –4 penalty on attack rolls; you take no penalty for firing a gastraphetes while prone. A Large or larger creature can use a gastraphetes one size smaller than itself without any support, but takes the normal penalty for firing an inappropriately sized weapon.
- Distant Shores
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