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A follow on question from Is drawing an arrow from a quiver an item interaction?, using throwing darts. This time I have, let's say, a level 1 Dex-based Fighter who has two shortswords and darts. He duel wields, but there's an enemy that's just out of melee range, even after closing the gap with his movement, so he wants to throw a dart at them.

Can he sheath one sword, then throw the dart as his Attack Action without needing another Action to draw the darts (let's assume they're not buried in a backpack but instead strapped to the outside of his leather armour or something, in other words they're easily accessible like arrows in a quiver). Again, I'm ignoring the "drop the sword" option for this hypothetical situation.

This, to my mind, is similar enough to drawing an arrow from a quiver, so given that the answer to my first question is that drawing arrows doesn't count as an item interaction, would the darts example also avoid requiring an item interaction, and if not, why not?

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RAW yes, drawing darts uses a free object interaction

You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action. For example...you could draw your weapon as part of the same action you use to attack.

A dart is a weapon just as a sword or spear is. Darts have the finesse and thrown properties, but not the ammunition property.

It is not ammunition like an arrow so it does not follow the rules for ammunition, it follows the rules for drawing a weapon.

Spears, javelins, and daggers are other examples of thrown weapons that must be drawn like any other weapon: using your free object interaction as part of an attack.

Potential houserule (rules as fun)

The thing that makes darts different from the other weapons (especially daggers) I mentioned is that it cannot be used as a melee weapon. Or, more precisely, it is treated as an improvised weapon if used as a melee weapon.

Given the likeness of darts to arrows or bolts and the downsides of the dart as a weapon, I actually would consider it a reasonable houserule to allow darts to be drawn and thrown as part of their attacks. In other words, to treat darts like ammo instead of weapons.

I can see this being of particular importance for characters that want to emulate the stereotypical shuriken-throwing ninja.

In fact, my group has played with a similar houserule involving a character with a bandelier of daggers. The DM has allowed that character to draw and throw the daggers as one action and not count it against the free object interaction. It has been a lot of fun and had no game-breaking effects or even close to it.

If there is any way to exploit this houserule I haven't seen it or can't think of it. In the end, talk to your DM and see if they'll allow it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ RAW, this seems to be the correct answer, since you cannot "use" a weapon that you have not drawn, even if that weapons is a dart; although logically, drawing and firing and arrow (which takes only the Attack Action) should be as easy as drawing and throwing a dart (which essentially takes two Actions); I suppose this just comes down to "D&D is not much of a reality simulator"? \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Feb 19 '18 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS: caught me in the middle of my edit. See if that helps :) \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 19 '18 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, your edit does address what I was thinking. It does seem like a sensible houserule, even if RAW doesn't technically allow it. The shuriken-throwing ninja stereotype especially helps to justify why such a houserule might be needed to realise someone's vision of their character. I'd +1 it but I already did that before the edit (since it was the right answer, but better now). I shall indeed point a DM at this answer when I come to make my dart-using character... (this question, and the previous question, were in anticipation of a character idea that I will make once my current one is dead). \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Feb 19 '18 at 15:56

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