Simple Weapons in DnD 5E explained

If you’re new to Dungeons and Dragons 5E then it’s likely that you’ve come across the term ‘simple weapons’ but may be confused by what it means in the game. In this article, we’ll explain what this means and list all simple weapons currently in the game.

What are Simple Weapons?

Simple weapons are a group of weapons defined for the purpose of proficiency, it’s a shorthand way of letting you know what kind of weapons you can effectively use, allowing you to reference the weapons table for any specific details. Some features and spells may also refer to simple weapons, such as the Monk’s Martial Arts feature considering all simple weapons as Monk weapons.

These are weapons that generally use smaller, or fewer, damage dice and are meant to represent weapons that are easy to learn to use effectively.

List of Simple Weapons

Simple melee weapons:

  • Club
  • Dagger
  • Greatclub
  • Handaxe
  • Javelin
  • Light Hammer
  • Mace
  • Quarterstaff
  • Sickle
  • Spear

Simple ranged weapons:

Note: Whilst this is a complete list of simple weapons in the game, some features also create weapons that are considered simple weapons. Examples of features that do this are the Soul Knife Rogue’s Psychic Blades and the Path of the Beast Barbarian’s Form of the Beast, with each of the three options being considered a simple melee weapon.

Which classes have Simple Weapons proficiency?

This is a complete list of all currently published classes that have proficiency with all simple weapons:

Note: The Druid, Sorcerer, and Wizard have a curated list of weapons that includes some simple weapons, instead of all of them.

We hope that this article has helped explain a piece of 5E terminology, if you are interested in playing a weapon user, then check out our Fighter guide, or if you’re interested in learning more about 5E-related terms, then check out our DnD glossary. Until next time, remember adventurers, the best weapon is the one you have. Also magic weapons.

What are simple weapons in DnD 5E?

A group of weapons deemed easy to use, often doing lower damage or having a shorter range than martial weapons.

Why are spears simple weapons in 5E?

Mechanically, they do a lower amount of damage and lack any traits that would warrant them being a martial weapon, in the fiction of DnD they are considered easy to use.

Which simple weapon is the best in DnD?

The shortsword/scimitar and the shortbow are the best simple weapons due to their damage die, range, and the finesse trait for the former.

How do you become proficient in simple ranged weapons in 5E?

You gain proficiency in simple ranged weapons through your class or through the Weapon Master feat.

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