Not so fond of the autocrossbow concept but the pic is nice.
I thought about this concept for a while – my campaign is magic-punk, Eberron style. This autocrossbows are like the modern composite crossbows with the bow replaced with an underbarrel rotating mechanism which acts both as a kinetic storage and rotary magazine.
The standard D&D autocrossbow is an exotic weapon, I simply adjusted it to be a simple weapon and to have a hand version. They now replaced most of the bows in my setting due to the advantages and simplicity.
Storywise they have been created by a joint idea between the Gnomes (always fond of strange mechanisms) and the Dwarves (the only ones with the skills to make the Gnomish idea work), brought far and wide by the humans – who we know to have the uncanny ability to recognize and abuse the most lethal objects around. Also in this setting Dwarves and Gnomes have overlapping territories, embedded in a (now) mostly human continent so it makes sense.
I also created 4 versions of the autocrossbow: the one-handed (Defender), low damage, low reach, 3 shots; the civillian two-handed (Hunter), light crossbow damage, light crossbow reach, 5 shots; the military issue two-handed (Trooper), martial weapon with slighlty higher damage than the civillian one, longer reach, 3 shots; the exotic Beesplitter, with an astonishing reach and heavy damage but heavy, costly and with only 2 shots.
I’d like to be able to draw them with Inkscape but I’m afraid I’m a bit of a klutz in any kind of drawing…