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Heavily inspired by this question, I wanted to expand the scope a bit.

That question was specifically about using Minor Conjuration to conjure a dagger or dart as an action, which I assume is an ability tied to the School of Conjuration wizard (I only have the SRD available at the moment, and it only lists Evocation), and then throwing the conjured weapon as a bonus action. The negative response was entirely because the proposed character didn't get to attack as a bonus action unless they took the Attack action.

I would like to find an alternate way to accomplish this, since it does seem cool (even if it's likely to be impractical compared to normal ranged attacks or cantrips). There's a lot of theoretical ground to cover, but some examples of effects that could be provided by a feat or class feature are:

  • The ability to make a weapon attack as a bonus action without making an Attack as an action. For example, I could imagine a Feat that says "When you use your Action to cast a spell, you may make an attack with a weapon as a bonus action"
  • The ability to conjure or summon a dagger as a bonus action, leaving the action free to make the attack. For example, if a spell with a casting time of 1 action can accomplish the conjuration or summoning effect, then a Sorcerer could Quicken that spell.

I've found precisely one way to do this, which I will post as an answer, but it seems like this small effect should be available for a less ridiculous cost.

For clarification, the definition I am using for "practical" here is based on having a low total cost to achieve the effect. For example, using something like a Spell Slot that is limited per day is less practical than something which doesn't consume any resources like that. Similarly, an effect requiring more levels in a particular class or more feats is less practical because it "costs" levels/feats that could have been applied to something else.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Define "practical". Also consider that this suspiciously looks like a list question. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Mar 12 '18 at 21:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you tied to having your character be a wizard or sorcerer, or would other classes be acceptable? \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Mar 12 '18 at 21:44
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A simple option is inherent in the Eldritch Knight, at 3rd level. He may summon his Bonded Weapon as a bonus action, and then attack with it as his action.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ditto Pact of the Blade Warlock \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Mar 13 '18 at 1:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, no. The Pact of the Blade Warlock requires a full action to create/summon his pact weapon, and thus cannot attack with it on the same turn (unless you can think of a way to make a weapon attack as an isolated bonus action that does not require anything of the main action). \$\endgroup\$ – Phil Boncer Mar 13 '18 at 2:12
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Yes: Shadow Blade

In addition to the other methods already mentioned, there is a 2nd level spell available to Wizards and Sorcerers, found in the Xanathar's Guide to Everything. (XGtE p. 164)

SHADOW BLADE:

Casting Time: 1 bonus action, Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You weave together threads of shadow to create a sword of solidified gloom in your hand. This magic sword lasts until the spell ends. It counts as a simple melee weapon with which you are proficient. It deals 2d8 psychic damage on a hit and has the finesse, light, and thrown properties (range 20/60).

...If you drop the weapon or throw it, it dissipates at the end of the turn. Thereafter, while the spell persists, you can use a bonus action to cause the sword to reappear in your hand.

(Bold added for emphasis. There are other features of this spell, but these are the relevant ones for this question).

So not only could you cast the spell with a bonus action and throw it (with an action) on the same turn, you could continue to summon it to your hand and throw it on every subsequent turn for a full minute (as long as you have a bonus action and action available).

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've marked another answer as accepted because it doesn't use a spell slot, making it more practical by the definition I am using, but I wanted to give an honorable mention here because this seems like a better way to make this combat style effective \$\endgroup\$ – Kamil Drakari Mar 13 '18 at 14:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the honorable mention. Honestly, I think the Eldritch Knight method is extremely effective: it includes the fighter's built in martial prowess, and could include an Extra Attack at higher levels (for example, throw the weapon, bonus action summon it, throw it again). The only way that this spell is better, in my opinion, is if you wanted to avoid investing 3+ levels in fighter, and wanted to play a primary spellcaster. \$\endgroup\$ – Gandalfmeansme Mar 16 '18 at 16:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Since only one weapon can be summoned per-turn, I considered either option as interacting poorly with extra attack. I also considered the dagger used by the Eldritch Knight as having only 1d4 base damage. Basically, my reasoning was that the Eldritch Knight giving up using any better weapon and the Extra Attack feature to deal 1d4 damage per round while giving up their bonus action seemed like a bigger deal than a caster dealing 2d8 damage per round with the same action+bonus without giving up many other capabilities. \$\endgroup\$ – Kamil Drakari Mar 16 '18 at 17:20
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The easiest ways to do this involve...

Action Surge

By taking a 2-level dip into Fighter, any character has access to Action Surge:

Starting at 2nd level, You can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one additional action on top of your regular action and a possible bonus action.

So, once per short rest, you can take a second action to accomplish your goal. This is still a pretty steep cost to get a single throwable item off in one round, but sometimes masters of the arcane arts have reasons beyond our comprehension!

Combinations that allow this include using Action Surge to throw the item after:

  • The aforementioned Conjuration Wizard method, based on the ability "Minor Conjuration" [Requires Wizard 2, School of Conjuration]

Starting at 2nd level when you select this school, you can use your action to conjure up an inanimate object in your hand or on the ground in an unoccupied space that you can see within 10 feet of you. This object can be no larger than 3 feet on a side and weigh no more than 10 pounds, and its form must be that of a nonmagical object that you have seen. The object is visibly magical, radiating dim light out to 5 feet. The object disappears after 1 hour, when you use this feature again, or if it takes any damage.

  • Using Wish to replicate the effects of Creation [Fifth-level spell] as an action, as you described. Note that doing this doesn't run the risk of losing Wish forever, since it's replicating a lower-level spell's effect.

You pull wisps of shadow material from the Shadowfell to create a nonliving object of vegetable matter within range: 50ft goods. rope, wood, or something similar. You can also use this spell to create mineral objects such as stone, crystal, or metal. The object created must be no larger than a 5-foot cube, and the object must be of a form and material that you have seen before.

  • Using Wish [Ninth-level spell] to create the object, which carries the 1-in-3 chance to never be able to cast that spell again

I started to include a method of the Illusion School with Illusory Reality, but that explicitly states the object cannot deal damage or directly harm anyone. Although I guess you could get their attention with it...

By 14th level, you have learned the secret of weaving shadow magic into your illusions to give them a semireality. When you cast an illusion spell of 1st level or higher, you can choose one inanimate, nonmagical object that is part of the illusion and make that object real. You can do this on your turn as a bonus action while the spell is ongoing. The object remains real for 1 minute. For example, you can create an illusion of a bridge over a chasm and then make it real long enough for your allies to cross. The object can't deal damage or otherwise directly harm anyone.

Emphasis mine.

There's also

Abilities that allow you to summon actual weapons

Two options are out there, with slightly different traits:

  • Eldritch Knights can bond with up to two weapons, allowing them to recall the weapon as a Bonus Action:

Once you have bonded a weapon to yourself, you can't be disarmed of that weapon unless you are incapacitated. If It is on the same plane of existence, you can summon that weapon as a bonus action on your turn, causing it to teleport instantly to your hand.

Emphasis mine. So if you bond with a dagger and leave it anywhere on your plane of existence, then you can walk naked and unarmed into a room, call it to your hand as a Bonus Action, and throw it with an Attack Action. No spells needed, and all it takes is three levels of fighter.

I admit this is not the same as creating a weapon to throw, but it could be functionally the same, depending on WHY you need to summon throwing knives. Plus, this can be redone every turn so long as the weapon remain in tact.

  • Three levels of Warlock will let you summon Pact Weapons:

You can use your action to create a pact weapon in your empty hand. You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it...This weapon counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Again, this requires two levels of Fighter to Action Surge after the creation so you can throw it on the same turn, but this doesn't require bonding with a weapon in advance. of course, it requires "striking a bargain with an otherworldly patron," but let's not nitpick.

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It's a little off of what you propose, but close enough to merit mention:

Obtain Aegis-Fang Mjolnir a Dwarven Thrower

(And be a dwarf, of course.)

Immediately after making a ranged attack with this hammer it flies back to your hand. So can you "summon it and throw it in the same round?" Sure, but not in that order. And as long as you take "summon" with a grain of salt.

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Here's one way to replicate the effects you describe.

  1. Take 3 levels in Warlock choosing the boon Pact of the Chain.

  2. Cast find familiar choosing the imp or sprite form.

  3. Have the familiar carry your dagger(s) and then turn invisible flying nearby.

  4. Have the familiar use the Ready action to drop the dagger into your hand when you signal.

  5. Catch the dagger and throw it using the Attack action.

This method gives the appearance of a conjured dagger that you can throw on your turn without expending any additional resources (except perhaps for the other actions the familiar could take).

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As I mentioned, if the dagger is conjured as a bonus action then making an Attack as a regular action is easy. Additionally, the Sorcerer has access to Metamagic that would allow any Sorcerer spell with a casting time of 1 action to work, though 2 sorcery points is a fairly high cost for something that is likely to be no better than just carrying a few darts normally, but for dramatic effect I could see doing so on occasion. So, what spells are there for this purpose?

Unfortunately, compared to the Conjuration Wizard who can make a dagger appear out of thin air as an action from level 2, for the Sorcerer to be able to conjure an object as an action requires a staggering 17 levels to obtain the immensely versatile Wish. Wish is a spell with a casting time of 1 action and which, among nearly infinite other possibilities, explicitly can do the following

You create one object of up to 25,000 gp in value that isn’t a magic item. The object can be no more than 300 feet in any dimension, and it appears in an unoccupied space you can see on the ground.

A 5 sp dart is almost certain to be within the constraints, and I can't see a reason why you would be unable to create it within reach, then pick it up with your free object interaction and throw with your action in the same turn. Doing so in this way would trigger Wish's extra drawback, among other things risking your ability to cast Wish ever again, but it is also able to copy lower level spells without those effects so a simpler option that was dismissed for other reasons would work.

In this case, using Wish to copy the 5th level spell Creation (which wasn't an option directly due to its normal 1 minute casting time) would allow the conjuration of a Mithral or Adamantine dart that lasts for 1 minute and can be conjured anywhere within 30 feed which would likely include your hand. Duplicating the effect of a lower-level spell is also explicitly within the capabilities of Wish, and is the sole use for it which bypasses all of the additional drawbacks.

Of course, since it's for dramatic effect anyway, as a DM I would probably allow a quickened Minor Illusion combined with a Dexterity (Slight of Hand) check to seem very similar for only the two sorcery points.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Or you could be a Sorcerer 3, Wizard 5 multiclass (School of Conjuration). Quicken spell cast Haste (bonus action), Action spent on Minor Conjuration (conjure a dagger), Hasted additional Action to throw the dagger. \$\endgroup\$ – Gandalfmeansme Mar 13 '18 at 2:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ NOTE: The Minor Conjuration does not break the rule about casting an action spell in the same round as casting a bonus action spell, since it is a class feature, not a spell. (Oh, and Sorcerer 5, Wizard 2 is also an option, getting Haste from Sorcerer). \$\endgroup\$ – Gandalfmeansme Mar 13 '18 at 2:43
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Spiritual Weapon

You create a floating, spectral weapon within range that lasts for the duration or until you cast this spell again. When you cast the spell, you can make a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of the weapon. On a hit, the target takes 1d8 force damage + your spellcasting ability modifier.

As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the weapon up to 20 feet and repeat the attack against a creature within 5 feet of it.

The weapon can take whatever form you choose.

Although this is not exactly "thrown", I think you can reflavor the bonus action to move the conjured weapon to give off the same feeling as throwing it. You can also make it a dagger, and as a bonus: it deals 1d8 dmg instead of 1d4.

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