So, last night i was cooking up a new character and had this in mind. While reading the Wild Shape topic from PHB, i couldn't find anything that rules out the option to turn into an Ape/Giant Ape that can wield a Spear/Club.
Is it possible?
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Let's look at the relevant rules for wild shape:
Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature.
And this part:
You can’t cast spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form.
Since you retain your mental statistics, and apes have opposable thumbs, there is no reason to restrict a wild shaped druid ape from wielding any sort of weapon.
The only question is, does weapon proficiency apply? My ruling is yes, your proficiencies in any weapons must apply, since proficiency is a measure of skill and knowledge using a tool/object. My thought behind weapon proficiency being omitted from the wild shape rule is simply that most animals don't have thumbs which let them wield weapons with any sort of success.
Then again, even if your DM rules that your proficiency doesn't apply, that doesn't mean you can't use it; it just means you can't use it as well.