Do all thrown weapons need the returning rune at higher levels?


Advice


My question is what is says on the tin. Is there a way to play a character that uses thrown weapons that does not require the use of returning runes? I feel like throwing a returning shuriken or javelin is kind of dumb but that seems to be the only way to play a character specializing in these kinds of weapons.

Am I missing something?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes you'd want the returning rune or spend a lot of money getting multiple magical weapons.


Vlorax wrote:

Yes you'd want the returning rune or spend a lot of money getting multiple magical weapons.

That seems to be the case. Do you figure that is a bug or a feature?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Vlorax wrote:

Yes you'd want the returning rune or spend a lot of money getting multiple magical weapons.

That seems to be the case. Do you figure that is a bug or a feature?

I don't know, but it seems intended.

I could also see a relatively simple way around it by creating a magic item like gloves that grant X weapon properties to thrown weapons and overwrites any inherent magic properties of the weapon. That way you could sling javelins etc as long as you had ammo.


Vlorax wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Vlorax wrote:

Yes you'd want the returning rune or spend a lot of money getting multiple magical weapons.

That seems to be the case. Do you figure that is a bug or a feature?

I don't know, but it seems intended.

I could also see a relatively simple way around it by creating a magic item like gloves that grant X weapon properties to thrown weapons and overwrites any inherent magic properties of the weapon. That way you could sling javelins etc as long as you had ammo.

Yeah, I hope something like that gets published. I have some house rules like that which I offer when I GM but that doesn't really help me when I am actually playing the game rather than GMing.

I was hoping that there was some work-around that I missed.


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Well, lets think of it as a comparison to ammunition based weapons.

If you throw a weapon, it's definitely easiest if you have the returning rune.

But let's assume you don't want to.

Instead you just buy multiple weapons with attack bonus runes at max, and damage dice bonus runes at one less than max for your level. It's expensive, but the damage dice bonus is the more expensive of the two runes.

However, your thrown weapon gets to add strength (something even propulsive weapons only get half of) and you get to use your main attack attribute rather than switch to dex.

In terms of damage, it probably works out as a wash even without the extra damage dice because of the strength damage (though it will depend on dice size, and I haven't run the math).

Certainly the easiest way is just buying a weapon with the returning rune.

Unlike older version of returning, at least this one returns your weapon to you as soon as the strike is resolved so you don't have to worry about multiple returning weapons.


Perhaps they will create a "sharding" property like the PF1 enchant that basically just says "As you make an attack with this weapon instead of actually letting go a copy breaks off to complete the attack and disappears once the attack is resolved."


Claxon wrote:
Perhaps they will create a "sharding" property like the PF1 enchant that basically just says "As you make an attack with this weapon instead of actually letting go a copy breaks off to complete the attack and disappears once the attack is resolved."

I maybe like that more flavor-wise.

Discussing your earlier post: I do not think buying 3+ full level enchanted shuriken is a valid use of money. You would just fall too far behind in all the other things you need to buy. It is a non-option.


I think whether or not buying several +3 potency runes for multiple throwing weapons is viable depends on viewpoint. At 16th level when they become available it's about 10% of your wealth. As you continue to level up that percentage goes down. The real problem is that it doesn't including the striking runes, which are equally important and more costly.


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There is something cool about throwing a dagger at a guy, then closing the distance and taking the dagger from the guys chest as his dead body falls to the ground and stabbing another guy with it (which nicely fits into the 3 action economy).

Another idea is having multiple magic daggers, and having the multiple daggers being a positive as they can all be different, giving you some versatility. Maybe against a werewolf you throw the magic dagger made out of silver first, while against a golem it is the adamantium one first. The guy with just one returning dagger can't have it be ideal for every situation, but with multiple daggers your first shot can be.


IIRC, we also had a pair of gloves in PF1 that basically gave enhancement bonus to weapons thrown, but i can't recall the name of it.

We might get something like that too.

I'd be okay with a system wherein I have 10 daggers for throwing, I pay to put runes on one with potency & striking and the rest end up with the same bonus somehow. And then I proceed to throw and use them all up.

Generally speaking this is worse than just having returning on that one dagger, so the cost should honestly end up at about the same.

I wish they just let the doubling rings work on thrown weapons.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I've always really wanted like, a magic bandolier or quiver that is enchanted like a weapon and temporarily imparts those enchantments to thrown weapons, so you could have a quiver of javelins or pouch full of shurikens that all get the magic buffs when you throw them.

Returning works great in PF2 mechanically and has good flavor for weapons you use as both melee and ranged weapons like hammers or whatever, but it is really goofy when instead of throwing a volley of shurikens you're just throwing the same shuriken over and over really fast.


Tender Tendrils wrote:

There is something cool about throwing a dagger at a guy, then closing the distance and taking the dagger from the guys chest as his dead body falls to the ground and stabbing another guy with it (which nicely fits into the 3 action economy).

Another idea is having multiple magic daggers, and having the multiple daggers being a positive as they can all be different, giving you some versatility. Maybe against a werewolf you throw the magic dagger made out of silver first, while against a golem it is the adamantium one first. The guy with just one returning dagger can't have it be ideal for every situation, but with multiple daggers your first shot can be.

I do like the idea of burying a knife in a guy's chest and then going to retrieve it. It would be cool to have a feat or enchantment to formalize how that kind of thing could work. Maybe removing dagger could be some kind of specialized attack that can cause damage? I have also been toying with the idea of creating an alternative to the returning rune that requires an extra action to call back (ala the axe in the latest God of War game) that could let you attack an enemy in between you and where the weapon landed/stuck. That is more tangentially related though.

I agree that having multiple enchanted daggers of varying material types is useful, but I still think you would want to have returning on those +whatever daggers if only to stop those weapons from being taken by an opponent or accidentally losing it in the ocean or off a cliff or whatever on a miss.

Even beyond that point, I don't mind returning daggers so much as I am bothered by returning shurikens and darts and stuff. If your dagger or light hammer is your main weapon, I think having the returning property is kinda neat. I really like how specialized throwing weapons play at lower levels (where you generally have to draw the weapon with a free hand and chuck 'em). I like using hand-and-a-half weapons like bastards swords and the katana and backing that up with javelins, shurikens, or even throwing hammers. However, when your throwing weapons are all valuable artifacts in-and-of-themselves, throwing them at dudes is suddenly a real issue without the returning property. Also, you suddenly have the problem of having stow your throwing weapons rather than freeing up your hand each time you attack.


Claxon wrote:

IIRC, we also had a pair of gloves in PF1 that basically gave enhancement bonus to weapons thrown, but i can't recall the name of it.

We might get something like that too.

I'd be okay with a system wherein I have 10 daggers for throwing, I pay to put runes on one with potency & striking and the rest end up with the same bonus somehow. And then I proceed to throw and use them all up.

Generally speaking this is worse than just having returning on that one dagger, so the cost should honestly end up at about the same.

I wish they just let the doubling rings work on thrown weapons.

I also wish doubling rings worked with thrown weapons.

Squiggit wrote:

I've always really wanted like, a magic bandolier or quiver that is enchanted like a weapon and temporarily imparts those enchantments to thrown weapons, so you could have a quiver of javelins or pouch full of shurikens that all get the magic buffs when you throw them.

Returning works great in PF2 mechanically and has good flavor for weapons you use as both melee and ranged weapons like hammers or whatever, but it is really goofy when instead of throwing a volley of shurikens you're just throwing the same shuriken over and over really fast.

The "magical bandoleer" is more or less my houserule, actually. I just price the bandoleer like a magical weapon and weapons drawn from the bandoleer stay magical until the end of your turn.

I also have a house rule that players can have all their weapons gain the necessary striking/whatever runes but I generally like to make my house rules well balanced against existing options and rules and I still have some tweaking to do with that w.r.t. specific interaction rulings and pricing/item level regimes. I kind of went into that in someone else's homebrew thread, but I have already changed my mind about some things there. My current version is an item that costs about 1.5x the cost of a base weapon and then the price goes up for each category of weapon that you want the items to apply to. I don't know how to handle the item level itself yet though.

Liberty's Edge

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Is there a reason this is in the Third Party rules questions forum?


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Claxon wrote:

IIRC, we also had a pair of gloves in PF1 that basically gave enhancement bonus to weapons thrown, but i can't recall the name of it.

We might get something like that too.

I'd be okay with a system wherein I have 10 daggers for throwing, I pay to put runes on one with potency & striking and the rest end up with the same bonus somehow. And then I proceed to throw and use them all up.

Generally speaking this is worse than just having returning on that one dagger, so the cost should honestly end up at about the same.

I wish they just let the doubling rings work on thrown weapons.

I also wish doubling rings worked with thrown weapons.

Well actually by raw they can. Doubling Rings only work on melee weapons true, but the thrown trait makes no mention on changing weapon type, so as long as you are throwing melee weapons that happen to have the thrown trait (hand ax for example) instead of ranged weapons with the thrown trait it is technically legal.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Malk_Content wrote:


Well actually by raw they can. Doubling Rings only work on melee weapons true, but the thrown trait makes no mention on changing weapon type, so as long as you are throwing melee weapons that happen to have the thrown trait (hand ax for example) instead of ranged weapons with the thrown trait it is technically legal.

That's not the problem. The problem is that any weapon augmented by doubling rings stops working the moment you stop wielding it. The rules for the rings themselves even specifically call out that you can't throw them.


Yeah, the way the rings are written it's pretty clear they don't allow you to throw weapons.

Which was very disappointing for my rogue. I built him with the doubling rings thinking I would have thrown daggers as backup ranged weapon, but no.


They should be for free, I agree.

Consider take a champion dedication for an extra rune on your main hand.


I don't know of any way to get potency or enchantments on shuriken (Sadly). but quicksilver mutagens can keep you "up to date" with the item bonus to hit at least. Which sucks.

Alchemist bombers friggin adore shurikens. Its my favorite one. It works so well with the hand issues and it has the same range as bombs. I'm intending to basically use them until lv 10+ where I can get a starknife with wounding and returning on it... mainly because I can't do it to shurikens.

well I can do returning and such on a shurien. But at that point it doesn't help the handedness.

Something I've toyed with the idea with is Hand of the Apprenteice though. Since I think if you multiclass wizard and don't choose the feat that lets you have a school. You're a universalist.. but I'm not sure if that works techincally due to the arcane school class feature.. but with that it was some fun moments for 'throwing' but not really worth it (makes an absolutely wonderful opening poisoned wounding knife to the face though)

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Moved this to the PF2 forums advice section. If there was a reason it specifically went into the compatible publisher's subforum, let me know.


Sara Marie wrote:
Moved this to the PF2 forums advice section. If there was a reason it specifically went into the compatible publisher's subforum, let me know.

That was actually a mistake on my part, but I decided to keep it there since I figured, "well, if there is a 3PP solution somewhere, I guess I'd like to know."


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Honestly, I'd suggest just reflavouring it. Mechanically, it's still a returning weapon. In-universe, it's a bag full of shuriken, or a quiver full of javelins, with each attack being a different one each time. Remember, the system is the mechanics, not the skin over top of them.


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The easiest way to solve this is playing with the ABP variant rule. This makes all your weapons +X and striking for your level.It feels so good when you can switch your weapon or when you wear a bunch of throwing stuff and your damage doesn't get plummed.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:
Another idea is having multiple magic daggers, and having the multiple daggers being a positive as they can all be different, giving you some versatility. Maybe against a werewolf you throw the magic dagger made out of silver first, while against a golem it is the adamantium one first. The guy with just one returning dagger can't have it be ideal for every situation, but with multiple daggers your first shot can be.

A throwing based flurry ranger. He rolls his "knowledge" check to see if the enemy has any elemental weaknesses.

This "knowledge" check is a series of dagger throws. Each dagger has a different elemental property, and he listens to see which weapon makes the creature yell the loudest.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you have spellcasters in your group, you could also consider getting the Magic Weapon spell cast on a few thrown weapons.

The RAW don't really support a fighting style based solely on thrown weapons. You're better off mixing it up between throwing and melee. Or sticking with the returning property.


Excaliburproxy wrote:

My question is what is says on the tin. Is there a way to play a character that uses thrown weapons that does not require the use of returning runes? I feel like throwing a returning shuriken or javelin is kind of dumb but that seems to be the only way to play a character specializing in these kinds of weapons.

Am I missing something?

Not really.

If you play with "automatic bonus progression" the oomph is in you, not your weapon, and thus you don't need the rune - you can just buy a dozen javelins in the nearest town market.

Edit: ninjaed by aaswarg


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
I was hoping that there was some work-around that I missed.

There is only one official way to play a throwing-things-guy, and that is through the returning rune. Everything else us stupidly expensive for no mechanical benefit.

But there is nothing broken by you offering other ways to let the player describe his character.

Reskinning the rune as a necklace you wear would change nothing in practice, so it wouldn't be broken.

Why hasn't Paizo offered this? Two reasons:
1) because there IS an officially-supported way to make the thrown guy work, this can be considered "good enough" - why not spend dev resources elsewhere first?
2) because if you're a stickler for details, I guess offering other ways (such as the necklace above or the other solutions mentioned) technically does open the door to... shenanigans and ruleslawyerism.

Can you abuse those other solutions? I don't know and I don't care - the point here is that you should only meet your player half-way if you trust him to not immediately try to game your generosity!

And since Paizo doesn't want to spend the effort needed to safeguard alternative ways, we have only one official way of doing it.

But assuming you're playing with good-faith players, there's nothing wrong with giving them the satisfaction of being able to throw MANY daggers or whatever.

When you are the player, and you feel you don't get to do this, maybe it is because the GM doesn't know you?

tl;dr: you'll simply have to settle for the fact that there are reasons why there is only a single official solution provided for now.


ABP is great for this, but there isn't any special reason it should only apply for characters using throwing weapons, and doing so would be harder than doing it for everybody since total loot distribution is changed. To be clear, even using ABP you are likely going to have some weapon with better enchants than others, but those are specific enchants and every weapon can benefit from basic accuracy and damage die "runes". But that is at least something tangible in the world i.e. "look at my magic fire dagger burn bright", and not abstract numbers. While you probably want to recover your fire dagger after a fight, if you can't recover every generic dagger you threw it's no big deal if you can restock sooner or later.

Ultimately, this just seems about Returning Runes not happening to align to whatever your prexisting notion of swords & sorcery fantasy was. I think you were fighter/adventurer who had the opportunity of Returning Runes, it's fair to say that is useful/beneficial. And it happens that in P2E (or really, P1E also, but throwing weapons in general were worse then), Returning Runes are part of the assumed lore/dyanmic of the magical setting. So of course they are normalized by mechanics. But ABP does exist to make Returning not so necessary in terms of base mechanics (although it still has benefit in terms of not needing to draw new weapon, even if Quickdraw still has further advantage when you haven't yet drawn weapons or want to switch to new weapon type)


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If you care about this, make sure to yell at Paizo to make the brace-of-pistols bandolier in Guns and Gears also work for throwing weapons. The blinkback belt and returning property were Ultimate Equipment additions in 1E and throwing builds that actually functioned came even later than that so we're still well ahead of the pace for this build working.


Was wondering about a shuriken-based Thaumaturge earlier and found this thread - apologies for the necro, but has anything come out to fix this since?


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There are some work arounds like Ricochet Stance from Fighter, Fane's Fourbiere (though this one is another can of worms) for Rogue and Swashbuckler.

Though there is a huge book of equipment coming soon, maybe they'll have a "shuriken pouch" you can inscribe in that one.


Yeah, I love me some shuriken, thanks to kung fu media and Diablo 2's expansion pack. :-) Yet I can't seem to make them work...like at all compared to other options, including the simple javelin.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would allow creating a pouch, sheathe, bandolier or other container that is designed to only work with one thrown weapon type and can accept all the runes that that weapon type could accept and applies it to any weapon drawn from it. This item's cost would be some percentage of the Returning rune that makes sense for requiring having a bunch of mundane ammo loaded into it, and then upgrades could allow it to apply to multiple types of weapons so you could throw different kinds of shuriken.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

One partial workaround is via the Soulforger archetype. Unfortunately, it requires two class feats (plus a third if you want to take another archetype): Soulforger Dedication and Rapid Manifestation. It's not as good as a returning rune, but it still lets you throw the same weapon multiple times.

Manifest your soulforged weapon (free action), throw your soulforged weapon (one action), dismiss your soulforged weapon (one action), manifest your soulforged weapon (free action), and throw your soulforged weapon again (one action). The next round, dismiss your soulforged weapon (one action), manifest your soulforged weapon (free action), throw your soulforged weapon again (one action), and dismiss your soulforged weapon (one action). Rinse/repeat.

Sovereign Court

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As a homebrew, it probably would be reasonable to basically make a variant handwraps of mighty blows that applies to all and only thrown weapons. It'd save you a rune but at the cost of a point of investment and a magic item slot. Since handwraps are currently also considered reasonable for augmenting all of your different unarmed strikes, this doesn't seem a big step to me.


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Automatic Bonus Progression is definitely the ruleset to use for someone that carries a boatload of thrown weapons.

The default game is, for better or worse, designed so that that a large portion of player power comes from the strength of the items they wield. ABP on the other hand is all about character skill. It's both mechanically and thematically more appropriate for this type of character.

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