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Monks get 10 darts as part of their starting equipment. Except it looks like they are only proficient in Simple Melee Weapons and Shortswords. Did I miss a rule somewhere?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Cue image of monks hanging out in the pub.... \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Sep 8 '14 at 3:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm Darts in D&D aren't like pub darts. They're more like mini-spears. comitatus.net/images/comitatusplum.jpg \$\endgroup\$ – Duncan Matheson Sep 9 '14 at 2:00
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I see Simple Weapons under monk proficiencies, not Simple Melee Weapons. You should be fine.

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There are two different relevant entries in the Monk here. The first is their proficiencies. The second is what counts as a "Monk Weapon." The dart qualifies as the former, but not the latter.

First the Proficienies list:

Weapons: Simple weapons, shortswords (PHB 77).

So yes! The monk can use the dart. However it doesn't count as a "Monk Weapon"

...monk weapons, which are shortswords and any simple melee weapons that don't have the two-handed or heavy property. (PHB 78 emphasis mine)

You can see the difference in these two lists. Monks can use the dart as it is a simple ranged weapon. However, they cannot use them with the Monk's martial arts class feature since they are not melee weapons.

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Simple Melee Weapons and shortswords are monk weapons, not proficiencies. So you can still get your proficiency bonus with darts but you can't use your monk abilities with them.

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