throwing knives


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

After looking for this in any way, I decided to come post about this.

I can't find any rules on if you can thrown a tactical or survival knife. None of basic knives have the "thrown" special ability (unlike the advanced weapon tactical starknife that has a thrown (20')).

I don't know if this was in error--that thrown (x feet) was forgotten on the humble knife or not. Or if there is a rule buried somewhere either in the equipment section, tactical section or somewhere I haven't seen yet that talks about being able to throw any one handed weapon but at only X' and maybe with a penalty.

Anybody find any info on this in the book anywhere?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

You can pretty much throw anything (I italicized the part about the Thrown special property). The thrown special property just means you add Str mod to the damage as well as the attack roll, which is also why weapons with that property have the range increment.

Starfinder Core Rulebook p. 245 wrote:

Ranged Attacks with a Thrown Weapon

With a thrown weapon or a grenade, you can make a ranged attack at a target that is within the weapon’s maximum range and in your line of effect (see page 271). You add your Strength modifier to your ranged attack rolls with a thrown weapon, and to your damage rolls with weapons with the thrown special property. Do not add your Strength modifier to damage rolls with grenades.


theheadkase wrote:

You can pretty much throw anything (I italicized the part about the Thrown special property). The thrown special property just means you add Str mod to the damage as well as the attack roll, which is also why weapons with that property have the range increment.

Starfinder Core Rulebook p. 245 wrote:

Ranged Attacks with a Thrown Weapon

With a thrown weapon or a grenade, you can make a ranged attack at a target that is within the weapon’s maximum range and in your line of effect (see page 271). You add your Strength modifier to your ranged attack rolls with a thrown weapon, and to your damage rolls with weapons with the thrown special property. Do not add your Strength modifier to damage rolls with grenades.

I don't see where it says what the range for throwing a weapon without the thrown property is though.


The thrown weapon quality:

"Ranged weapons that must be thrown and melee weapons that can be thrown as a ranged attack have the thrown special property. You apply your strength modifier to damage rolls for thrown attacks. After you throw a weapon, it lands near your target and you must recover it if you want to attack with it again."

So, if a melee weapon does not have the thrown special property, then it is not a melee weapon that can be thrown as a ranged attack.


Might have to consider it an improvised weapon. Range would be 10'.

But that's a judgement call (GM's discretion)


Pax Rafkin wrote:

Might have to consider it an improvised weapon. Range would be 10'.

But that's a judgement call (GM's discretion)

I can't find anywhere in the rules that says an improvised weapon has a range increment of 10'. It appears to be (RAW) that a character cannot throw anything (or at least hit anything if throwing) that does not have the "thrown" weapon special property. So the only things in the universe that can be thrown and have any effect in combat (without a house rule) are grenades, spears and starknives?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I just noticed this myself. I'd probably treat knives the same way daggers are treated in Pathfinder - thrown weapons, no improvised weapon penalty, 10ft. range increment.


When your tactical knife lacks the thrown weapon property, just remember what old Jack Burton says... what the hell?


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Sir, I don't understand. Who needs a knife in a nuke fight anyway? All you gotta do is push a button, sir.

Silver Crusade

DrDew wrote:
Pax Rafkin wrote:

Might have to consider it an improvised weapon. Range would be 10'.

But that's a judgement call (GM's discretion)

I can't find anywhere in the rules that says an improvised weapon has a range increment of 10'. It appears to be (RAW) that a character cannot throw anything (or at least hit anything if throwing) that does not have the "thrown" weapon special property. So the only things in the universe that can be thrown and have any effect in combat (without a house rule) are grenades, spears and starknives?

Shuriken too. They're actually a fairly attractive option, even at the cost of a feat. For low levels only, of course :-(.

If we assume that any improvised weapon would also be archaic then not bothering to provide rules for a nearly irrelevant attack seems reasonable to me. As a GM, I'd probably allow it to give a +2 to somebody elses action as an aid (distraction) but that would be about it


bookrat wrote:
Sir, I don't understand. Who needs a knife in a nuke fight anyway? All you gotta do is push a button, sir.

If Final Fantasy has taught me anything, it's that the nuke will heal your enemy but the knife will deal 9,999 damage twice and take down Mecha Godzilla.


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Omnius wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Sir, I don't understand. Who needs a knife in a nuke fight anyway? All you gotta do is push a button, sir.
If Final Fantasy has taught me anything, it's that the nuke will heal your enemy but the knife will deal 9,999 damage twice and take down Mecha Godzilla.

The enemy cannot push a button if you disable his hand.


To be fair, throwing daggers and fighting daggers are two different kind of weapons. Throwing daggers don't have a grip and made as light as possible (to a point) with the center of balance near the tip. Fighting daggers have a grip, and probably a guard, and meant for close quarters combat so it's center of balance is near the guard (this also makes it so you can spin dagger going for a forward grip to a reverse grip more easily).

There are probably no throwing daggers is because lasers can do everything a dagger can but better (this includes stealth). The only time I'd want to take a throwing dagger over a laser gun is probably if it's raining or something.


bookrat wrote:
Sir, I don't understand. Who needs a knife in a nuke fight anyway? All you gotta do is push a button, sir.

You never know when you have to push that button with a thrown blade!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Sorry it took so long to get back, been really busy writing.

So, upon further looking, it appears that if the weapon does not have the thrown quality or if it doesn't have a range increment then it cannot be thrown to cause damage. So, a basic knife cannot be used as a thrown weapon to cause damage. Looking at the tactical combat chapter, the range and penalties section on page 245 it seems to keep referencing range increments or the thrown property, which is consistent with the wording on other areas in the equipment chapter.

Seems like this qualifies as one of those rules that might trip up PF vets.

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