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I'm trying to figure out if I can still throw my buckler in a full attack action and, if I can, with which attack bonus I do so.

Here's how I've broken it down:

Full-round action

A full-round action consumes all your effort during a round. [...] You can also perform free actions and swift actions

Throwing Shield

This shield is designed for throwing and has specially designed straps that allow you to unclasp and throw it as a free action.

Buckler

This small metal shield is worn strapped to your forearm. You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it.

Let's say I've strapped a Throwing Buckler on my bowstring arm and I'm shooting my bow for a full round. Can I still throw my buckler as a free action? Do I use my full ranged attack bonus for it?

Masterwork Tools: Pathfinder Open Reference

Pathfinder Companion: Adventurer's Armory

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan To me, there was no confusion because my source explicitly lists it as a weapon. However D20PFSRD does not and now there is debate over discard vs. attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Marc Dingena Mar 24 '17 at 16:47
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That means you can just unstrap as a free action

Attacking with the shield is still a standard action, or part of your full-attack action, but not a free action.

Due to the amount of threads about the subject, even if their FAQ click count is considerable low, the development team just issue a FAQ about this item:

The throwing shield says that it has special straps “that allow you to unclasp and throw it as a free action.” It seems likely that “unclasp and throw” means “unclasp in order to throw” but it could also mean “unclasp and additionally throw” which could give a character any number of extra attacks. Which interpretation is correct?

Throwing shield’s wording means you can unclasp as a free action in order to throw it; throwing it would requires its own action. The wording will be updated to disambiguate in the next errata.

However, should the doubt arise again, there are FAQs upon FAQs about gaining attacks, or by ignoring other rules in very specific conditions, and none are actually allowed by the rules.

Your number of attacks is limited by general rules, like high BAB, number of natural weapons, abilities that call out that you gain an extra attack, or by using two weapons. Specific items or spells cannot ignore those rules unless it explicitly mentions doing so.

For example, the fact that you pick a race with four arms, capable of wielding four weapons, does not mean you gain extra attacks with them, unless the race also has an ability declaring that you can use the extra arms for extra attacks. Or gaining claws on all of your limbs (normally four), but the ability says you only gain two claw attacks.

This is also true for monks, even if they can use all their limbs, and some races could possibly have more than four limbs, on a flurry of blows, the number of attacks they can do is limited by their BAB/monk levels.

To simplify what the (older) FAQs say, normally you cannot gain more attacks per round unless it says you gain additional attacks.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with your answer. That said, I imagined that only having two arms wouldn't be the limiting factor in this case. The buckler is strapped to one of my arms. I can still use my bow without penalty. I could, as a very dexterous person, after loosing my last arrow, fling my arms in a direction and release the shield. But I needed to know at which attack bonus. Your answer makes total sense though: using it as a free action in a round where I have already spent actions not involving attacks necessarily. "Cast spell, move, throw" was a great example. \$\endgroup\$ – Marc Dingena Mar 24 '17 at 23:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ You cannot use the shield arm on the same round that you used your bow, because your bow is a two-handed weapon. Even if you do attack with your main hand and use your last interative attack to attempt to throw the shield, that would turn your action into a two-weapon fighting full-attack, which means you needed to declare that you had intention to use the shield`s arm, and apply the TWF penalties to your attack rolls, after all, you are attacking with two different weapons. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Mar 25 '17 at 0:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I cast a spell, move, then throw my shield as a free action, I use my highest attack bonus, right? \$\endgroup\$ – Marc Dingena Mar 25 '17 at 0:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, just like most attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Mar 25 '17 at 0:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ And thus, the 8000 gp buckler on my archer build is useless :) time to find a new money sink. Thanks \$\endgroup\$ – Marc Dingena Mar 25 '17 at 1:03
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No, throwing the Shield is a Free action, but making that throw an Attack is still an Attack action.

All of the FAQ's and asks for clarification aside, the correct answer RAW is still that you cannot make an attack without using an attack or full attack action. The Throwing Shield benefit is very clear:

allow you to unclasp and throw it as a free action.

It does not give statistics for this causing damage, or mention that the throw you deal is an attack. Of course you can use the throw as a throwing weapon attack, but then you're free action unclasping and throwing, trying to use your attack action to hit something.

Even if you disagree that this is RAW (it is), it's undeniably RAI.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Swinging a sword does not require explicitly mentioning it causes damage. The throwing shield has weapon stats. So why do you think it it needs to state explicitly throwing that weapon causes damage for it to be used as a weapon? Just doesn't make sense to me. \$\endgroup\$ – Marc Dingena Mar 24 '17 at 23:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Because swinging a sword is a non-action unless you're doing something with it, like attacking. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Mar 24 '17 at 23:58

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