Fairly new to D&D and my question relates to what should be listed on my character sheet for weapons in equipment and what attacks should be listed.

Given a Fighter's Equipment listing under Class Features in the free rules provided online, it would appear that I potentially have up to 5 weapons of my choosing:

  • (a) chain mail or (b) leather armor, longbow, and 20 arrows
  • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) two handaxes
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack

If I chose (b) for each option (disregard the last option), it is my perception that, for weapons, I could have a longbow (20 arrows), two martial weapons, and two handaxes (simple melee weapons). Thus, giving me a grand total of 5 weapons I can attack with.

Is this correct? And if so, should I list them all within my Attacks on my character sheet? Correct me, or direct me if I am wrong, but I have yet to come across any text that states limitations on weapons or attacks for any level.


3 Answers 3


5 weapons is correct if you always choose the option with the most weapons. Though this probably isn't the best use of your initial equipment loadout.

You could list them all on your character sheet, but it might be better to note your attack bonus (your strength mod plus your proficiency bonus plus any other bonuses), and your damage modifier (your strength plus any relevant bonuses), and then either write down or remember the die that you roll depending on which weapon you're using.

This is probably easier than writing the same expression down several times with a different die in each one.

There are only limits on what kind of attack you can take with a specific weapon if specified. One such limitation is for two weapon fighting which requires light weapons.


That's just your initial loadout - in 5e, as in real life, you can buy/steal/loot as many weapons as you want, and can carry as many as don't make you fall over into a ditch.

It's up to you (especially after character start) how many different weapons you want to deal with and how many you want to explicitly list for quick reference on your character sheet. Most fighters I know generally just carry some missile weapon, and then a big slashy weapon with a bashy one as a backup (or vice versa) for flexibility vs weird opponents/if you get disarmed. (+1 if you're a two-weapon fighter).

How many you list on your sheet is purely utilitarian - you are optimizing your time. Having a weapon not listed means you may need to do a quick calculation when you use it; having a long list means time spent hunting through it. I generally only list stuff I use routinely; if I have a handaxe in my backpack I have "in case I need to chop something" but have never used it in anger, then it's a waste of space to have a whole line for.

This also depends on your character concept. I remember once in AD&D 2e I played a wild elf gladiator with a 19 STR (which was a Godawful high strength back then) and his schtick was he'd leave his weapon in anyone he killed during the fight, so he had a bunch of weapons that got depleted over the course of a fight till he was just head-butting people to death. In that case a wide roster of weapons saw repeated use. Or you might have some kensai guy where one sword is his life, and if he needs something else he'll punch or "tell the mage to shoot it."


Having the most weapons is not necessarily a good thing. The longbow is expensive, but so is the chain mail, and you'll probably get a lot more out of the chain mail if you're a pure melee fighter. Melee weapons are relatively cheap, even martial ones. If you find that you need a weapon later, it really won't be much of an issue for your character to buy it. However, it is a decent idea to have some kind of ranged weapon -- keep in mind that the "two handaxes" option gives you two throwing weapons -- just to broaden your tactical options slightly. Generally, you will be worried about switching weapons when you either find one that is obviously better (magical, etc), or you find that an enemy is weak to a particular damage type -- for instance, skeletons are weak to bludgeoning weapons.

EDIT: Whoops, maybe that paragraph was a tad unnecessary, as I interpreted "How many weapons should I have" as "Which of these packages should I choose," not "Is it correct to have five weapons if I choose all of these options." Apologies, I've been up for about 30 hours with only a 3 and a half hour sleep inbetween.

When writing a character sheet, it's a good idea to write out weapon attack expressions somewhere easy to see, in addition to your base stats. For best results, use an Excel spreadsheet with formulae tying your weapon attack rolls to your stats. You can write all of your different weapon attack/damage rolls this way, although most characters don't need five different weapons. This is how I usually format my character sheet, if I'm rolling a martial-type (and using a pure text file):

Name, Alignment Race Class Level
Total experience points

Stat block (STR XX, DEX XX, CON XX...)

Armor class
Save proficiencies

Proficiency bonus
Weapon attack formulae (Ex. [Attack roll] [Weapon] [Damage roll] -- "+3 Longsword d8+2")

Skill proficiencies, spells, feats, background...

Obviously, spells will be more important for casters, so they might be listed further up, perhaps even above the proficiency bonus and weapon attacks.


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