I have a fighter (warforged weaponmaster, level 6). He wields a Mordenkrad (2-handed hammer, brutal 1). He has a "Dwarven Thrower" Throwing Hammer (1-handed throwing weapon) sheathed at his belt.

In combat, he wants to draw the Dwarven Thrower and fling it at a ranged opponent. This is my interpretation of the required actions:

  • [free action] release primary hand from the Mordenkrad.
  • [minor action] draw Dwarven Thrower
  • [standard action] throw Dwarven Thrower at ranged opponent.
  • [free action] grasp Mordenkrad with primary hand.

Leaving a move action.

In this context, I'd like to know:

  1. Is my interpretation of the actions correct?
  2. Are there any penalties because of holding the Mordenkrad in the off hand?

I don't believe the Mordenkrad would be considered "Wielded" when held in the offhand. Is there support in the rules for this assertion either way?

Please cite where in the rules to find support for you answers.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ short answer is that you are correct. and there is no penalty. Don't have sources on hand, so I can't give a full answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMNoob
    Aug 26 '11 at 7:22

The rules don't actually define the terminology except as far as the phrases themselves. To wield a two-handed weapon, you have to use two hands. So your Mordenkrad cannot be wielded while throwing your hammer, since you can't hold it in two hands, and you will not get any associated bonuses if they applied.

I see nothing wrong with merely holding it up while you use the hammer, and I don't know of any associated penalties, since the rules don't cover it. It's not much different than throwing with a shield equipped.

Magical thrown weapons automatically return to their owner's hands after the attack is resolved, so if your Dwarven Thrower is magical, you will have to ignore the catch (which per the Rules Compendium you can do) and let it drop to the ground before putting your main hand back on the Mordenkrad.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you can't catch or hold a magical thrown weapon, doesn't it just fall at your feet? \$\endgroup\$
    – Snowbody
    Aug 26 '11 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Snowbody: I have no idea. Purely by RAW, the throw and catch are the same action, so the weapon would be thrown caught before you had the opportunity to put your hand back on the Mordenkrad. I have no idea if the catch is optional, but I assume you could free-action drop the Dwarven Thrower first. I will edit to reflect this. \$\endgroup\$
    – jprete
    Aug 26 '11 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jprete good point about the catch. I suppose I could forgo movement and use the move action to sheath the thrower again. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – Aaron
    Aug 27 '11 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could the minor draw action be avoided with a clever choice of storage device for the axe? Drawing an arrow is considered a part of shooting a bow, after all \$\endgroup\$ Aug 28 '11 at 23:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jprete: From Player's Handbook (page 232). "Catching a returning thrown weapon is a free action; if you do not wish (or are unable) to catch the weapon, it falls at your feet in your space." \$\endgroup\$ Aug 30 '11 at 16:48

The is no penalty for holding the Mordenkrad in one hand while throwing the hammer.

A quarterstaff, which is also a two handed weapon can be explicitly held in one hand (though while doing so, it ceases to function as quarterstaff).

There is nothing in the rules that penalizes someone for throwing a weapon with one hand while holding something (a weapon, shield, implement or whatever) in the other hand.

As for the action usage, as others have said, that looks right.

Finally, remember that D&D isn't intended to be a perfect simulation. When I DM I'm perfectly happy to let my players do stuff like this, as well as the more complex: toss a throwing hammer whilst holding a sword and shield... I just rationalize it as stuffing the sword under their non-throwing arm or holding it awkwardly in their shield hand while throwing.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah - quarterstaff can be wielded in one hand as a staff implement, but not as a weapon. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 27 '11 at 15:32

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