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Prone Shooter?

Prone Shooter?

I was looking through the Pathfiner feat selection, and noticed Prone Shooter.
Benefit: If you have been prone since the end of your last turn, you can ignore the penalty the prone condition imposes on ranged attack rolls you make using a crossbow or firearm with which you have Weapon Focus.
The PFSRD text helpfully links to the Prone condition, which describes the penalties and benefits associated with being Prone.

The character is lying on the ground. A prone attacker has a 4 penalty on melee attack rolls and cannot use a ranged weapon (except for a crossbow). A prone defender gains a +4 bonus to Armor Class against ranged attacks, but takes a 4 penalty to AC against melee attacks.

Standing up is a move-equivalent action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
So what penalties is Prone Shooter supposed to negate? I'm a little confused right now.

It's due for errata I think.

I'm guessing the feat itself is the error and there was never supposed to be a penalty to attack for crossbows and firearms (as makes sense).

Apparently, when the creator of the feat wrote it, it gave some small bonuses to firing from a prone position. The editors decided that was too powerful, and simply had it negate the penalties, somehow forgetting that there are no penalties to firing a crossbow or firearm from prone.

EDIT: Ultimate Combat clarifies that firearms can be used while prone. So the feat still does nothing.

If I were redesigning the feat, I'd allow a small bonus if you took a full round action to line up a single shot.

Yeah, make it a sniper feat. That's the only thing that can save it.

Does it allow you to use firearms while prone? The Prone condition makes mention of crossbows being usable while prone, but not firearms.
I guess it depends on the firearm. I don't recall musketmen firing prone, but a marine with a post american civil war rifle would certainly do it (mostly to do with loading). Musketmen usually stoop to load or kneel to fire and those in the rear can fire while standing.

That said, I dunno how a crossbow man could manage to load while laying down (apparently loaded crossbows can even jostle and misfire while moving; good way to balance this out maybe by making them better against armor or do more damage).

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