I don't get the blowgun. Given that a blowgun is just a pipe-like thing that you blow on one end and a dart-like thing flies out the other end, why is it the case that:
- it requires martial weapon proficiency?
- it only does 1 damage whereas a dart (a simple ranged weapon) does 1d4 damage?
- it has its own ammunition instead of using the same darts I just mentioned?
It seems like no-one would ever choose this weapon if they had martial proficiency, so there must be something I'm missing. Unfortunately I've not been able to find any info in the PHB about this. I wanted to make sure I'm not missing some crucial point that puts all this into perspective before I just homebrew what I think a blowgun should be like (in prep for a game I'll be running soon).
Could anyone provide some insight into why this weapon is as it is and why anyone would use it, ideally with quotes from the handbooks (especially if it's the PHB, I couldn't find anything and would like to know what I missed).
There was a related question, but it's about Pathfinder, and I'm interested in 5e specifically: Blowguns. What's the point?
In light of a comment pointing out the difference between a throwing dart and a blowgun needle, this question is now mostly about why such a thing requires martial proficiency given how it compares to the other martial weapons when dealing only 1 damage, and are their any other benefits to this weapon that justify this?