Weapons that have the ammunition property, such as bows and crossbows, can be used without having to worry about the action economy with regards to the ammunition itself (such as arrows or bolts) as drawing the ammunition is considered part of the attack.
From PHB (pp. 146-147):
Ammunition. You can use a weapon that has the ammunition property to make a ranged attack only if you have ammunition to fire from the weapon. Each time you attack with the weapon, you expend one piece of ammunition. Drawing the ammunition from a quiver, case, or other container is part of the attack.
Some melee weapons have the throw property, such as the Javelin, allowing the weapon to be used to make a ranged attack.
From PHB (p. 147):
Thrown. If a weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon to make a ranged attack.
As it stands, because Javelins and other thrown weapons do not have the ammunition property, an object interaction (or even an action) would be needed to draw the weapon before it can be thrown. In particular, characters with Extra Attack can only use both attacks to throw such weapons if they started their turn already holding one.
When a melee-focused STR-based character such as a Barbarian or a Paladin is forced to use Javelins at range (for example, against flying creatures), it can be frustrating to essentially lose out of their Extra Attack class feature because they can't draw enough Javelins per round, whereas if they were a DEX-based character with a bow (such as a Ranger) they would have no such penalty and could make full use of their Extra Attack class feature.
Therefore, I propose the following houserule:
- Thrown weapons can be treated as being drawn as part of the attack, just like weapons with the ammunition property;
- However, they can only be drawn "for free" like this if they are immediately thrown as a ranged attack;
- If you are drawing one just to hold it or to make a melee attack with it, you must use the free object interaction or your action like normal;
This way, a Barbarian or similar can make two ranged attacks with thrown weapons per turn, but this can't be exploited for being used in melee.
Is this balanced? Is there anything I'm overlooking with regards to balance or other exploits I haven't considered?