Land of Suldaire
Gaining a free hand
Using the rules as we are, you may find yourself desperate to free up a hand to grab a potion, cast a spell, etc. Here are a number of options that are actually straight from the 3.5e rules, but often overlooked:
- Drop your weapon. This is a free action. May not be practical if flying, swimming, on a ledge or bridge, waterwalking, etc. Picking it up again will provoke an attack of opportunity.
- If wearing a light shield, switch your weapon to your shield hand. I’ll allow this as a free action but you need to declare it. If you’re using a buckler the shield hand is already considered free for any action except wielding a weapon.
- Loose the shield. This is a move action*. It’s easy to find historical references to shields that had straps, allowing the shield’s weight to be borne across the shoulders. Strapping the shield back on again is another move action* that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
- Keep your weapon sheathed. Drawing a weapon is a move action* or can be done as part of a move (see below) or with Quickdraw its always a free action.
- See Table 8-2 in PHB3.5 (p.141) for more combat actions