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According to the Weapon and Torch feat (Dungeonscape, p. 47) I can:

Attack once with your melee weapon. If the attack hits, you also sweep your torch across your foe's eyes, dealing ld6 points of fire damage and dazzling him for 1d4 rounds.

Now, if I held a torch with the same hand as the arm wielding a light shield, would I fall under these limitations:

You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A light shield’s weight lets you carry other items in that hand, although you cannot use weapons with it.

Using the Weapon and Torch feat, specifically, am I actually attacking with the torch? Or is merely sweeping it across the foe's face just a part of the weapon attack in my main hand?

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Weapon and Torch does not have you using the torch as a weapon

Notably, you do not make a separate attack roll with the torch: you make an attack roll with whatever weapon you are using, and then if that hits, you also use the torch for some extra damage. The use of the torch in this manner is automatic following a hit with the weapon.

You can use a torch as a weapon itself (it deals bludgeoning damage as with a gauntlet, plus 1 point of fire damage), but this is separate from Weapon and Torch. In fact, since the torch can be a melee weapon, you could use the torch as the weapon for Weapon and Torch (Torch and Torch?).

But since Weapon and Torch does not use the torch as a weapon, and does not require that you make an attack roll with the torch, a light shield on the same arm as the torch should not interfere with the feat. It would prevent you from using the torch as a weapon in its own right, but if you, say, slashed with a sword in your right hand, you could sweep the torch in your left hand across your foe’s eyes using Weapon and Torch, even if you had a light shield on your left arm.

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A Torch can be used as a weapon, but is not considered one inherently.

You've run up against an odd quirk of the rules.

If a torch is used in combat, treat it as a one-handed improvised weapon that deals bludgeoning damage equal to that of a gauntlet of its size, plus 1 point of fire damage.

From the Torch equipment entry in the PHB means that one could argue that it 'counts as' a weapon (an improvised one) when you use the Weapon and Torch feat. That said, it also would count as one when you 'use' it for light during a combat and don't swing it at anyone at all.

These two rules (torches in combat and light shields) were never designed to interact. Light shields not allowing weapon use was designed to disallow two-weapon fighting. Torch improvised weapon was to allow you to strike at a foe with a torch in an extremity. Weapon and Torch is not TWF by any margin, doesn't allow sneak attack etc, and you could simply use a crawling shield or a buckler if you were trying to minmax this.

Ergo, simply ignore that odd quirk of the rules and allow it to work in the obvious fashion. A light shield + holding a torch and benefiting from the feat. It's not overpowered, it's a clear rules-oversight, the RAW is unclear (is an improvised weapon the same as a weapon? What counts as 'use'?), so there's absolutely no reason not to allow it to function.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You didn’t address the Weapon and Torch feat at all, which is the question. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 23 '15 at 14:10

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