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How do thrown weapons interact with the Extra Attack feature? Can you throw more than one weapon per turn?

How about two-weapon fighting? Do you need the Dual-Wielder feat to throw two weapons every turn?

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Throwing multiple weapons in a turn is limited by the action economy. The rules say you can only interact with 1 object for free on your turn (PHB 190). Any other object interactions require a full action.

This is different from grabbing arrows/bolts as bows and crossbows have the Ammunition property, which has the specific rule that grabbing ammo for these weapons is fee. Thrown weapons do not have the Ammunition property that grants this.

The rules for two weapon fighting specifically allow thrown weapons to be used for both the first attack and the bonus action attack.

So how many weapons can you throw? It depends on what you start your turn holding and the number of attacks you can make.

  • Starting empty handed you can only draw a weapon and throw it for 1 attack.
  • Starting with a single weapon drawn you can throw it, draw, then throw again for 2 attacks (possible through two weapon fighting if both weapons are light, if not you must have a feature that grants an additional attack).
  • Starting with two weapons drawn, throw first, throw second, draw, then throw for 3 attacks (must have a feature that grants an additional attack if using two weapon fighting, or have features that grant 3 attacks if weapons are not light) .
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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is my reading as well. I'm hoping that I'm missing something because it seems like even with the Extra Attack feature thrown weapons are limited to at most two per turn, and you can only do that consistently with the dual-wielder feat. \$\endgroup\$ – Eric Oct 21 '14 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but due to the limitations of free object interaction, you could... Start with two thrown weapons, throw both, draw one. Turn two, draw one, throw both. From there on out you're limited to one per turn without the feat. \$\endgroup\$ – Eric Oct 21 '14 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does that mean that a two-weapon fighter has to draw his weapons one turn at a time? \$\endgroup\$ – Trevel Oct 22 '14 at 1:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trevel yes, that is indeed what that means. Though I'll be honest, that doesn't really make any sense, and Mearls is on record (Though he did back off that it is RAW) as saying that's now now how he'd play it. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Oct 22 '14 at 2:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer needs clarification in order for it to be correct. The second bullet point only applies if the attacker has Extra Attack, for example. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Mar 18 '16 at 15:23
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Extra Attack specifies that you can attack multiple times when you take the Attack action. Thrown weapon attacks are attacks, so they can be done more than once as long as you have the weapons in hand (or can draw them fast enough) and as long as you respect any special properties of the weapon that might limit that (for example, some non-throwing weapons have the Loading property).

Two-weapon fighting specifically allows thrown weapons for either of the two weapons, allowing you to throw two weapons in a turn.

Note that you can normally only drawn one weapon in a turn (as your "interact with an object" option), so continually throwing two weapons per turn is unlikely. You can, however, consistently attack with a melee weapon and throw a thrown weapon every turn.

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So, this is legalistic to the point of absurdity, but...

The Use an Object description (PHB p 193) states (emphasis mine):

You normally interact with an object when you are doing something else, such as when you draw a sword as part of an attack.

The description of the Ammunition property (p 146), which does allow for interaction with more than one object in a turn, uses almost the same wording (emphasis mine):

Drawing the ammunition [...] is part of the attack.

Note that the PHB distinguishes between "an attack" and "taking the Attack action" elsewhere (e.g. Extra Attack description, Two-Weapon Fighting). This sets up a direct contradiction with the box o' single object interactions (p 190). By Specific Beats General, the more narrowly defined case would hold, making weapons drawn as part of an attack (not the Attack action) the sole exception to the "one free object interaction per turn" rule.

While it seems silly to read so much into this, it seems even sillier that thrown weapons would be singled out as the only form of physical attack that could not be incorporated into a fully-functional build. Given how far the system appears willing to bend to allow quirky builds to be viable, it's hard to believe the rules would intentionally hamstring darts champions and axe tossers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Except for ammunition. The rule that creates that exception uses almost exactly the same wording as Use an Object (edited into post). And these are the two cases where you would routinely need to draw once per attack rather than per Attack action. \$\endgroup\$ – GoblinTheodicy Oct 22 '14 at 1:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman I think he's making the point (one I'd otherwise make if this question wasn't tagged RAW and didn't already have hits answer), that there are literally no balance concerns here Re: allowing this. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Oct 22 '14 at 2:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle Ah, I see what you mean. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Oct 22 '14 at 2:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, I'm not being very good about explaining this. I'm actually taking a very rules-lawyery perspective that RAW the mechanic that allows for multiple ammunition attacks as part of a single action is that ammunition is drawn as part of each attack rather than as part of the entire Attack action. Based on the similarity of language used in the Use an Object description, the extension I'm seeing is that RAW interacting with an object expressly to use it in an attack is part of an attack rather than part of the entire Attack action. Thanks for the patience! \$\endgroup\$ – GoblinTheodicy Oct 22 '14 at 2:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ But by this same logic couldn't a player draw two weapons as part of a normal TWF routine? I mean normally I wouldn't think anything of it but the Dual-Wielder feat heavily implies that in order to draw two weapons a turn you need the Dual-Wielder feat. Note, I'm not disagreeing on the game balance issue of it. I'm rebuilding my rogue for AL and just want to cover my basis and make sure my build is legal. \$\endgroup\$ – Eric Oct 22 '14 at 19:05
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Personally, with items such as darts, I revert back to original DnD rules. There is no way it costs as much movement and time to handle 3 darts held in hand as it does to pull, nock, draw, aim and shoot an arrow. I have done both IRL and there's a massive difference. So the ability to throw 3 darts/round with ease especially as a proficient weapon… you have developed that automatic eye hand coordination to release darts with fair accuracy. And don't forget you still have to roll the hit.

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