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Say that I know the spell pyrotechnics and am carrying a lit torch. There's a cluster of enemies a short distance from me that I want to blind, so my goal is to throw the torch onto a square within 10 feet of them and cast the spell on it.

Does throwing the torch take an action even though I'm not making an attack with it, or is it covered as an object interaction?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Kate, welcome to rpg,se! Take the tour and visit the help center for more information. This is a great first question. Thanks for contributing and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Aug 29 '19 at 0:39
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From the description of the Use an Object action in the PHB:

You normally interact with an object while doing something else, such as when you draw a sword as part of an attack. When an object requires your action for its use, you take the Use an Object action. This action is also useful when you want to interact with more than one object on your turn.

This isn't particularly useful for your example, and I would say that the actual implementation of that is best set by the DM. Personally, I would rule it as an object interaction - uses their action - and get the player to make a Dexterity check to see how accurate they were (I don't tend to give away stuff like that for free), but other DMs would obviously have different opinions. But I don't think there is anything RAW that specifies how to play it.

As pointed out in a comment below, the oil flask is specifically mentioned as being able to be thrown as an action and then set alight.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I would do the same, however, I would not require the DEX throw for a close distance (especially in OPs question, which is a 5ft by 5ft target) \$\endgroup\$ – Bob Kerman Aug 29 '19 at 1:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you used your suggested mechanic to resolve the throw in your own games, or seen it used? How has it worked, in your experience? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Aug 29 '19 at 3:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, unfortunately my players have some kind of phobia against using torches to the extent that the ones without darkvision have blundered around in the dark, complaining about having to attack with disadvantage :) Do you think it wouldn't work? \$\endgroup\$ – Steve Aug 29 '19 at 8:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ To support this answer: An Oil (flask) specifically states that as an Action, you may throw it up to 20 feet, shattering on impact. That's an example of Throwing a non-weapon item. However, the Oil can then be ignited for 5 fire damage per round. Now, allowing the Torch to be thrown without spending an Action will mean players can throw the Oil, and immediately throw the Torch to ignite it instead of having to use another Action like they would with almost every other way to ignite it. \$\endgroup\$ – Chronocidal Aug 29 '19 at 12:31
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Throwing a non-weapon item is an interaction, but...

The Player's Handbook gives a number of examples of object interactions (p190). Looking at those examples; if you had an already lit torch in your hand, it seems reasonable that you could throw it as an interaction on your turn.

However it is also reasonable that the DM might have some limitations around the range/accuracy of the throw. For example throwing a torch 10 feet to land in a general vicinity might be a given (or possibly a very easy or easy DC Dexterity or Sleight of Hand check), still allowing the character to take an action. Throwing a torch 40 feet to land in a particular place amongst the enemy would a different proposition; that starts to look a lot more like throwing a weapon and therefore could require an action (e.g. a hand axe has a thrown range of 20/60 feet, and requires a successful attack to get it "on target").

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