4
\$\begingroup\$

The Shield of Missile Attraction states (emphasis mine):

This shield is cursed. Attuning to it curses you until you are targeted by the remove curse spell or similar magic. Removing the shield fails to end the curse on you. Whenever a ranged weapon attack is made against a target within 10 feet of you, the curse causes you to become the target instead.

These answers stipulate that a 'ranged weapon' is a weapon which is defined as such in the PHB. Thus, a melee weapon with the thrown property does not fit the criteria of a 'ranged weapon', rather it's a melee weapon with the thrown property.

With that in mind, suppose a team of strength based characters had a tank in their lines with the Shield of Missile Attraction, could the teammates make ranged attacks without concern using melee weapons with the thrown property (i.e. hand axes and spears)?

\$\endgroup\$

4 Answers 4

12
\$\begingroup\$

Throwing is making a ranged weapon attack with a melee weapon*

The important distinction here is between a ranged weapon, and a ranged weapon attack. While normally these coincide, throwing a melee weapon (with the thrown property) is one of those odd circumstances where it doesn't. The shield is looking for a ranged weapon attack irrespective of what weapon it is made with, and making one with a melee weapon is still a ranged attack.

The description of ranged attacks (PHB/BR; Chapter 9: Combat) makes it clear that thrown axes are still melee weapons (emphasis mine):

When you make a ranged attack, you fire a bow or a crossbow, hurl a handaxe, or otherwise send projectiles to strike a foe at a distance. A monster might shoot spines from its tail. Many spells also involve making a ranged attack.

To only interact with true ranged weapons (some of which are also thrown FWIW), it would need wording more similar to the Archery fighting style:

You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.

For example

When an attack with a ranged weapon is made against ...

Since it doesn't, any thrown axes or spears would be valid ranged weapon attacks for the shields curse to redirect to the wielder.

\$\endgroup\$
0
9
\$\begingroup\$

Your emphasis missed the last word. If it just said ranged weapon and not ranged weapon attack, you'd be correct.

There are four types of attacks in 5e.

  • melee weapon attack
  • ranged weapon attack
  • melee spell attack
  • ranged spell attack

But, when you throw a spear, you are making a ranged weapon attack with a melee weapon. You are not making a melee weapon attack nor are you attacking with a ranged weapon. To be fair, this is not the natural language the designers strive for and inane enough that Treantmonk made a video about how bizarre this is.

\$\endgroup\$
7
\$\begingroup\$

It's still heading towards the shield

Looking at the rules for weapon properties, under thrown:

Thrown. If a weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon to make a ranged attack.

Additionally, when we look at range:

Range. A weapon that can be used to make a ranged attack has a range shown in parentheses after the ammunition or thrown property.

And sure enough, if we look at something like a handaxe...

Weapon Name Cost Damage Weight Properties
Handaxe 5 gp 1d6 slashing 2 lb. Light, thrown (range 20/60)

It does show a range. It is still a ranged weapon attack and so will be attracted by the shield if you throw it.

\$\endgroup\$
-2
\$\begingroup\$

. . . suppose a team of strength based characters had a tank in their lines with the Shield of Missile Attraction, could the teammates make ranged attacks without concern using melee weapons with the thrown property (i.e. hand axes and spears)?

They can make ranged attacks of any type without hitting their tank. Provided the target is more than 10 feet from the tank. The shield only redirects missiles within 10 feet of the holder.

The players should stand 10 feet from the tank to benefit from the shield. They shoot at stuff more than 10 feet away. Anything within 10 feet of the tank is 20 feet from them, and they should go into melee.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your math doesn't add up. Any ranged weapon attack against ANY target that is within 10' of the shield will get directed to the shield. So regardless of where the strength throwers are located, if the target they are aiming for is within 10' for the shield bearer, it will head to the shield. And since the shield bearer is labeled as "tank", that means they are more than likely toe-to-toe with enemies; well within 10' of the shield. Now, if you're saying THE PARTY should be next to the shield, so that all the enemy ranged attack will go to the tank, that's opposite of what is being asked. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Feb 5, 2023 at 5:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott, I had the same issue parsing the question too I believe. "...suppose a team of strength based characters had a tank in their lines with the Shield of Missile Attraction, could the teammates make ranged attacks..." - implies to me that the teammates are allies of the shield bearer, and the shield bearer is within their lines. What appears to be meant is that the shield bearer is not a member of that strength based team \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5, 2023 at 12:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .