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I am brand-new to DND, and I'm trying to roll a Druid character. I'm looking at weapon proficiencies, and I see that Druids are proficient in both sickles and scimitars. When I checked in the weapons chart, it seems that scimitars are just significantly better, 1d6 verses 1D4, and only weighing one more pound. Also, scimitars have the finesse property.

Is the one extra pound for a scimitar that significant? Or would one only choose sickles for role-playing purposes? Is there some case where I might need to harvest something, and the sickle would be beneficial to have?

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    \$\begingroup\$ related: Why do druids use scimitars?. There's some talk of sickles in the answers. Also, I believe, the only post on the site to cite Pliny. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 May 27 '16 at 3:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ In a word: style. \$\endgroup\$ – okeefe May 27 '16 at 4:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 Late reply but here are a couple others: rpg.stackexchange.com/search?q=Pliny \$\endgroup\$ – tox123 Oct 24 '18 at 3:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ObliviousSage NB that protection is against persistent spam or “thanks”/“me too” posts. Protection isn’t called for if it’s just new users posting poor or discussion-y answers. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 16 at 16:26
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The shortest answer is, assuming the druid has the best-case scenario available to them, they wouldn't. The scimitar is all-around a better weapon than the sickle, assuming you're proficient in both (since the sickle is simple and the scimitar is martial, this is a reason why a character might wield the sickle instead, but doesn't apply to the druid).

As a general rule of thumb, there is no guarantee that any two weapons on the equipment chart "balance out" against one another (compare the trident and the spear for another sterling example).

That being said, there are some hypothetical reasons why you might find a druid wielding a sickle instead of a scimitar (this list is in no way comprehensive; I'm sure people will add others in the comments):

  • Price: a druid who's hard-up for gold might have a sickle because it costs 1 gp. Likely won't be the case for a starting character, but you can run on hard times.
  • Weight: the sickle is lighter, so if encumbrance is an issue, you might pack it instead (or as SPavel put it, you might keep a sickle as a backup because you're already weighed down by your main weapon).
  • Magic: maybe at some point you find a magic sickle that's better than your plain ol' scimitar.
  • Ritual: a sickle is a symbolic item for someone who worships life and nature. maybe for religious reasons, you feel free to use a scimitar to defend yourself but will only use a sickle to deliver the killing blow.
  • Tool: besides being a weapon, a sickle is a farming implement. A druid might be caught unawares in a barn and have a sickle in reach. They might be traveling incognito, disguised as a farmer who might be expected to have a sickle but not a "real weapon." They may be out harvesting sacred plants under the full moon when they're attacked by a werewolf, &c.

...all of these are pure speculation, of course, If you're looking for a mechanical/optimization reason why druids in general might carry a sickle instead, refer to my shorter answer :)

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    \$\begingroup\$ As a tool: the sickle is more than just a disguise; a druid may use it to harvest useful herbs. \$\endgroup\$ – Samthere Mar 13 '17 at 11:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added an example inspired by this comment, though if the point was just to say the druid would be using it as a tool instead of a weapon, I'd point out that the weapons tag on this question indicates that the question is specifically about weapons \$\endgroup\$ – Polisurgist Mar 13 '17 at 18:08
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Because it's Cool!

Remember D&D is a role playing game first and a war game second. If the player imagines her Druid as a sickle wielding bad ass, reaping the foes of nature: fan-bloody-tastic.

I am DMing a player whose gnome cleric dual wields daggers - mechanically she is giving up +2 AC from a shield or a 1d8 primary for the chance to do roughly the same damage with a secondary because "that's what I do".

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have a suspicion you're thinking of a scythe, rather than a sickle. \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc Oct 10 '16 at 22:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @jadasc you can reap with either a scythe or a sickle - or a combine harvester - reaping is the act of cutting a crop independent of what you are doing it with. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Oct 10 '16 at 23:13
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He wouldn't, if he could help it

A sickle is a simple weapon. A scimitar is a martial weapon. Strictly speaking, martial weapons are straight up better than simple weapons, role-playing aside. This is balanced by the fact that magic heavy classes tend to not have martial weapon proficiency, so they are limited by what types of weapons they can use. It usually doesn't matter because they cast spells. Martial weapons are also more expensive

So yes, the scimitar is better in every way than the sickle. If we're talking about money, apparently it's worth 25 times more than a sickle (1g sickle, 25g scimitar).

Why do they have sickle proficiency? I don't know. It's a cheaper option, so having a good spread is awesome. After all, who wants a class that can only use the highest damage weapon?

Perhaps better than both of those is a quaterstaff, because it can be used with Shillelagh, which gives you 1d8 of damage and lets you use your wisdom modifier for attack and damage rolls.

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Another role-play based answer is that the scimitar may not be available or even exist the the game world, as would be the case if your game world is Celtic based, remember that the scimitar was a weapon found predominantly in the Middle East/Asia IRL and would be completely foreign to anyone in the British Isles or France in the middle ages. The land the character lives in may have outlawed martial weapons (as ancient China) so only farm tools such as rice flails, sickles, scythes, and pitchforks could be carried legally. Style. Religious restriction. Concealability. Just a few.

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A lot of caster PCs carry some kind of weapon with them just in case they need one. But for that a light weapon that doesn't look too martial does the trick. So why not use the sickle have with you to harvest plants? My warlock's starting equip was two daggers + one simple weapon, so now he has three daggers. Are there better simple weapons than daggers? Sure, but is this PC relying on fighting with a weapon on a regular basis? No. So why burden down with something bigger?

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Sickles will fit a strong, farmer character much better than a scimitar. The finesse doesn't help much if you have a druid that has high Strength or low Dexterity, and the scimitar costs more, as well as weighing more. It all evens out in the end, although the scimitar is the more efficient weapon.

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protected by KorvinStarmast Feb 16 at 16:52

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