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A druid's starting equipment consists of:

  • (a) a wooden shield or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a scimitar or (b) any simple melee weapon
  • Leather armor, an explorer’s pack, and a druidic focus

So, it seems that I can take the "any simple weapon" option and select a shortbow. However, the starting equipment makes no mention of any ammunition, so it seems that if I choose a ranged weapon to start with, I will be unable to use it. This seems a bit counter-intuitive, both in terms of mechanics and role-playing.

Am I correct in reading that a druid who starts with a bow will have no ammunition for it? Is there an implied expectation that I will spend some of my starting money to buy ammunition at my earliest convenience? Or is there a rule I'm missing somewhere that says a character starting with a ranged weapon also starts with some amount of ammunition for it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you ask about the designer's intent, literal reading of the rules, or do you ask for advice should you do this as the DM? \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Apr 4 at 7:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Mainly I'm asking if my literal reading is correct. But if there's also a clear reason for this unintuitive result, I'd like to know that as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Apr 4 at 7:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, looking back over things, I just realized that my shortbow proficiency comes from my race (wood elf), not my class. So perhaps that's the reason for the unintuitiveness. I'm not sure if the question requires any editing in light of this. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Apr 4 at 7:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ryan. Despite how you acquired the bow, the Druid class still allows any simple weapon, which includes shortbows. So I think your question still stands. \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Apr 4 at 7:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tom please don't answer the question in the comments. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruse Apr 4 at 16:39
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By a literal reading of the rules, then no you do not start with ammunition (possibly just because Druids aren't really associated with ranged weapons).

Compare with the Ranger starting equipment that specifically mentions a quiver and 20 arrows.

However, you can speak to your DM. It would hardly be unbalancing to start you off with 20 arrows or whatever.

Plus, note that your background will likely start you off with some money as well so even if your DM is really strict, the money for the ammunition could simply come out of this (and, again, I doubt it would be an issue to assume that your character purchased this along with his bow rather than needing to role-play a day to the shops!).

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RAW the druid starts with no arrows, but virtually every background starts with gold, which can be spent (pre-gaming session if the group is OK with it) on stuff like arrows, so no big deal.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Excellent first answer, but how is this different than the current answer? IN general, we also look for either rules(objective) or table experience (subjective) citations. TBH, the other answer could use the former as well :) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 4 at 19:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 4 at 19:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ I may have gone in half-cocked. Apparently, this ain't reddit. Thanks though, I'll keep the community rules in mind. \$\endgroup\$ – Mad_Joe Apr 5 at 17:39
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Depends on the DM.

I just recently created a new character as my previous character was killed. Standard equipment included a crossbow, and I gave her a full load of crossbow bolts and a case for them. The DM was ok with that.

Bottom line: Talk to your DM. They may grant you free ammo or they may require you to buy it.

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