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As I understand it, Knights have the ability to use crossbows, but
I've never seen the weapon used. I am not sure if it's effective, but it
certainly does not seem popular.
As I recall from people debating weapons, crossbows
can hold their own against bows in usefulness. It's standard sacrifice
in speed for attack strength. Also, as I recall, thief-types can use
crossbows, and sneaky serpents can probably use the crossbow to backstab -- it COMES loaded, so the mechanism seems the same as a backstab because you just sneak up, get in position and unload the weapon. There's probably other uses as well -- for example, it could be made to partially ignore armor. (Artefact bows could be better and better and better at this by artefact weapon level.)
So, I was hoping to propose a crossbow equivalent of the darkbow ability, a development of crossbows to be equally good as bows balance-wise by
being stronger but slower in a way that makes them worthwhile, and the
introduction of three Artefact crossbows built on this premise.