In Pathfinder, a thrown weapon could gain the Special Ability of Returning. The weapon could be thrown, then fly through the air back to the creature that threw it.

Can a warlock with the "Pact of the Blade" feature create a similar effect to Returning? I believe the following steps are within the rules:

  1. Warlock acquires a magic weapon with the thrown property, a +1 spear
  2. Warlock uses "Pact of the Blade" and transforms the magic weapon into his pact weapon. This takes one hour.
  3. Warlock dismisses the weapon, "shunting it into an extradimensional space." No action required.
  4. Flying monster appears forty feet over head. Out of mêlée range, but not out of throwing range for the pact weapon spear.
  5. Warlock throws spear and hits monster. Spear stuck in monster. This takes one action.
  6. Warlock dismisses the spear. No action required.
  7. Warlock "creates his pact weapon" and the +1 spear appears in the hand of the warlock. This takes one action.

Steps 5 to 7 are repeated until monster flies away or one of the combatants dies.

If all of the above is correct, do I have the duration of each step right?

As I've outlined it here, the warlock basically has to spend an action recovering the weapon. The Returning Special Ability in Pathfinder gets the item back without losing that action. Is that correct?

  • \$\begingroup\$ related: an answer of mine to a by itself loosely related question, but the answer contains some ideas that might be helpful here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 8:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sdjz I meant “correct” to indicate that some pact weapons may not be thrown. My warlock would attempt this stunt only with a weapon that may be thrown. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @StandardEyre Oh thank you for clarifying, that does make sense. I changed the question a bit to clarify this, if you don't like the change feel free to edit it as usual. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can throw your pact weapon every other turn

You have the basic idea right. You alternate using your action to throw the weapon on one turn and re-summon it in your hand on the next turn.

Obviously, only attacking every 2nd turn (and making no more than one weapon attack on any turn) is going to greatly reduce your damage output. If you have the eldritch blast cantrip, that is almost certainly going to outperform a thrown pact weapon in every way: it has a much longer range, can attack every turn, gets multiple attacks per turn at higher levels, and usually has higher attack and damage modifiers.

If you really want to be effective at ranged attacks with your pact weapon, you might want to consider the Improved Pact Weapon invocation from Xanathar's Guide to Everything, which allows you to summon a bow as a pact weapon.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for "Improved Pact Weapon invocation". Might be worth mentioning that's in Xanathar's though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthew
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 12:28

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