This might sound like a silly question, but it seems oddly placed in the PHB.

Looking simply on what characters get regarding starting equipment, every item listed, regardless of class, seems to indicate they gain 1 unit found in the weapons list (save for 2 daggers or swords)... All except for the Monk that gains 10 Darts. While thrown like a javelin, the dart is the only item listed in the Simple Ranged Weapons list that is actually thrown and not projecting ranged ammunition, and unlike arrows and bolts, it does not indicate an amount in brackets, leading me to understand that a monk is the only class that gains 10 units of a weapon.

Again, I might have understood this clearly, but I can't help shaking the feeling that I am missing something, so I'd like to verify this once and for all:

Is each dart sold individually for 5cp a shot? And does this mean that after a fight, the monk can go and reclaim all 10 of those darts undamaged, unlike arrows?


1 Answer 1


Yes, darts are fully recoverable, individual, thrown weapons

This is actually not as unique as you seem to think. Darts are thrown weapons, just like javelins (which barbarians get 4 of by default) or handaxes, daggers, light hammers, spears, tridents or nets. The difference is that darts can't be used in melee with the same effectiveness as those other weapons (ignoring nets); for instance, a javelin used in melee would still deal 1d6 damage. This is not automatically true for darts. However, since they only deal 1d4 damage, they can be used as improvised weapons in melee to deal the same amount of damage as if thrown:

Improvised Weapons [...] If a character uses a ranged weapon to make a melee attack, or throws a melee weapon that does not have the thrown property, it also deals 1d4 damage.

PHB p. 147/148

Since darts are weapons on their own, and not ammunition, the rules on collecting ammunition don't apply to them:

Ammunition. You can use a weapon that has the ammunition property to make a ranged attack only if you have ammunition to fire from the weapon. Each time you attack with the weapon, you expend one piece of ammunition. Drawing the ammunition from a quiver, case, or other container is part of the attack. At the end of the battle, you can recover half your expended ammunition by taking a minute to search the battlefield.

PHB p. 146/147

Therefore, the monk doesn't "go and reclaim all 10 of those darts undamaged like arrows", because he would only get 50% of his arrows back, whereas, by the rules, he gets all his darts back (at the DM's discretion, of course - it's unclear how big the darts are, and hence it might be difficult to find them all again).

See also:

  • \$\begingroup\$ FYI darts are about 10 to 12 inches long \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 11:42
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @dalem where do you get that from? I always imagined them much smaller \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 12:04
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri these are war darts, not pub darts. They were real weapons - there’s a Wikipedia article on them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 12:38
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM That's one interpretation of them...another treats them more like bo-shuriken, which are about the length of your hand and are used in several martial arts. Ultimately, the books don't say...so we can only say what they look like around our tables. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would it be worth mentioning that 20 darts cost the same as 20 arrows? This was even if a DM chooses to treat the return of them as ammunition they can be replaced with the same cost archer's deal with. \$\endgroup\$
    – RallozarX
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 18:40

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