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I can't find anything in the PHB that actually says that Monks are proficient with unarmed strikes by default. Their Proficiencies list just says simple weapons and shortswords. Their Martial Arts ability says it gives them "mastery of combat styles that use unarmed strike..." but not actually proficiency. Am I missing something, or is it actually correct that Monks don't have their proficiency bonus with unarmed strike unless they get the proficiency from a feat or something?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Monks are proficient with unarmed strikes, as are any other classes with Simple Weapon proficiency.

If you look at the list of Simple Weapons, Unarmed Strike is listed. Thus, any class who has proficiency in simple weapons (like the Monk does) also is proficient with unarmed strikes.

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Unarmed Strike is a Simple Weapon.

See the Simple Weapons table on (p45, Basic D&D. p17, Starter Set Rulebook)

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In addition to being listed as a weapon in the starter guide, in the PHB, the monk description and level table explicitly mentions it as well as the base damage a monk does unarmed.

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