I was making an artificer (from the May 2019 UA) who has a dagger with the Returning Weapon infusion. I planned on using the arcane weapon spell with it, but I am unsure if it works.

Arcane weapon states:

You channel arcane energy into one simple or martial weapon you’re holding, and choose one damage type: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder. Until the spell ends, you deal an extra 1d6 damage of the chosen type to any target you hit with the weapon.

This spell seems to work with ranged weapons such as bows and melee weapons, but would it work with a thrown weapon such as a dart or javelin?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Am I correct in assuming you're referring to the May 2019 UA version of the artificer? (I think the relevant parts of the February 2019 UA are the same; the May 2019 UA adds 2 more subclasses, Xanathar's spells, and 3 infusions.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 28 '19 at 0:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a particular reason you think this would work for ranged and melee weapons but not thrown? What is your concern here? \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz May 28 '19 at 0:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Because Arcane Weapon specifically states that it is a weapon that you are HOLDING. So I could see some ambiguity when a weapon is thrown. \$\endgroup\$ – King-of-Deceit May 28 '19 at 5:15

Yes, this works

Weapons with the thrown property still appear on the Weapons table, and are still classified as simple or martial weapons. As such, the arcane weapon spell can channel energy into them.

Note that the specification of "a weapon you're holding" only matters when the spell is cast; nothing in the spell description says the spell ends if the weapon leaves your hand. As such, once you cast arcane weapon on any simple or martial weapon that you're holding, the spell remains active on that weapon for up to an hour as long as you maintain concentration - even if you sheathe the weapon, drop it, or throw it.

Normally, it might not be very useful to use the spell with thrown weapons, as you wouldn't normally have a way to get the weapon back after you throw other than going and picking it up - but the Returning Weapon infusion causes the weapon to return to your hand after you make a ranged attack (presumably a thrown one) with it, so you can keep doing this every turn.

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