Based on the Dwarven Thrower, this homebrew magic weapon is essentially an elven dagger with the similar returning feature. The exact specifics:

Elven Thrower

Weapon (dagger), rare (requires attunement by a elf or half-elf)

You gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. It has the thrown property with a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.

When you hit with a ranged attack using this weapon it deals an extra 1d6 damage. Immediately after the attack, the weapon flies back to your hand.

The main concern I have is its rarity; does this classify as Rare?

The original Dwarven Thrower was "Very Rare", but I removed the extra damage to a specific enemy, and decreased the damage die down from a d8 to a d6, and +3 to a +2. Should they be higher or lower? Should the extra damage dice be a d4 perhaps?


3 Answers 3


Yes, this looks balanced.

When comparing rare and very rare items, I usually just start with the base weapons/armor as my guideline, and then add modifiers based on the number of magical effects. The formula I use is as follows:

  1. Base item comparison - so for instance +1 weapon = uncommon, +2 = rare, +3 = very rare. Armor/Shields start at rare.
  2. Does it require attunement? If yes, rarity drops one category.
  3. Is it cursed? If yes, rarity drops one category.
  4. Add one rarity level for every two magical effects it has. For example: A sunblade deals extra damage to undead, and sheds light. Add one rarity level.

Using this formula allows me to balance out homebrew weapons fairly easily and keep them on par with the weapons in the book for balance.

So for your case:

  1. +2 weapon = starts at rare
  2. Extra damage + flies back to your hand = +1 rarity = Very rare
  3. Requires attunement = -1 rarity = rare
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 21:39

It is perfectly fine as rare

I would pick a simple +2 Bow or Crossbow (rare) over it any time. It would deal far more damage with Sharpshooter.

While this is usable with Two-Weapon Fighting, you need 2 of Elven Throwers if you want all your weapons to return and deal magic damage.
A +2 Hand Crossbow could be used for all your attacks with Crossbow Expert.

A rare +2 Longbow would do 1d8 + 2 = 6.5 damage per hit, this 1d4 + 1d6 + 2 = 8, with much shorter range, while requiring attunement.

Elven Thrower Pros:

  • Never runs out of ammo
  • Bit more damage

Elven Thrower Cons:

  • Very short range
  • Needs Attunement

For me all this makes it worse than a simple +2 Ranged Weapon. This Elven Thrower is not too powerful.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Two-weapon fighting CAN be used with thrown weapons \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 15:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "While this is usable with Two-Weapon Fighting, you need 2 of these." Are you saying here that they need two Eleven Throwers for TWF to work? Because I don't see how that is correct. They'd just need another light melee weapon of any type. If this is not what you intended to say you may want to clear it up by defining what "this" and "these" are. I think maybe what you intended to say was that you need two ETs if you want to use them for every attack maybe? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 16:25

It is difficult to gauge the proper rarity.

The most powerful Rare weapon that requires attunement is likely the Sunblade. The Sunblade shares the +2 bonus but does not have a conditional 1d6 in addition. The damage output is as follows (since the condition for 1d6 is easy to meet, I reduced the damage for comparison by 0.5, a method I have used many times in the past).:

  • Sunblade: 1d8 [4.5] + 2 = 6.5 (requires Attack action or Dual Wielder)
  • Elven Thrower: 1d4 [2.5] + 2 + 1d6 conditional [3.5 - 0.5] = 7.5 (can be used with Two-Weapon Fighting)

Being able to use the weapon with two-weapon fighting is extremely strong and effectively increases your damage output by 3.5 - 0.5 (the other light weapon you are wielding, easy condition) bringing the total to 10.5.

One of the only times radiant damage is better than piercing damage is if you are fighting swarms, plants, or some undead (since it is a magical attack). Hard condition to meet (unless the setting warrants otherwise) means +0.5 for the Sunblade comparatively. We end up with 7 vs 10.5. Sunblade does however keep a hand free, an easy condition to use that hand (for a shield or spellcasting) for +1.5. The difference is therefore 2 points, which is somewhat decreased by the light from Sunblade.

Compare to Scimitar of Speed, a Very Rare item.

  • Scimitar of Speed: 1d6 [3.5] + 2 = 5.5 (gets bonus action attack)
  • Elven Thrower: 1d4 [2.5] + 2 + 1d6 conditional [3.5 - 0.5] = 7.5 (can be used with Two-Weapon Fighting)

Again the bonus action attacks increase the damage output: Scimitar of Speed has a free condition so +5.5 = 11; Elven Thrower has an easy condition so +3.5 - 0.5 = 10.5. Scimitar of Speed does however keep a hand free, an easy condition to use that hand (for a shield or spellcasting) for +1.5. The difference is 1.5, fairly comparable to the difference from the Sunblade.

Elven Thrower is right in the middle of Rare and Very Rare, so you should be fine at Rare, but it will be slightly above the power curve.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It is strictly worse than a Dwarven Thrower, at least one level weaker. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 16:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András I did miss something, but it wasn't that. The edit clears up the free hand from the other items \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 17:13

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