In the player's handbook, it says Wizards and Sorcerers have a option between a light crossbow with 20 bolt or any simple weapon as a weapon, But the light crossbow is classed as a simple weapon. so why do you get a option between a simple weapon and a list of other simple weapons? because i would imagine if you were to pick a different ranged weapon, you will get ammo regardless.

(Also, why do Wizards and Sorcerers have the choice of any simple weapon when they are only proficient with five of them?)

  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to edit your question. Wizard weapon proficiencies are daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows, and starting equipment are (a) a quarterstaff or (b) a dagger. Sorcerer is as you describe however. \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2017 at 1:43
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ When you ask "why" do you mean "why did the designers do this?" or "What makes this option different from the other one?" \$\endgroup\$ May 13, 2017 at 8:47

2 Answers 2


It's seen as a good suggestion for the class. For example, a Bard is given weapon choices, and rapier/longsword are probably better choices than any simple weapon:

(a) a rapier, (b) a longsword, or (c) any simple weapon

Barbarian gets a choice of a greataxe (which is martial) or any other martial melee weapon, but greataxes are commonly used by Barbarians.

(a) a greataxe or (b) any martial melee weapon

For the Sorcerer specifically, the proficiencies make the choice a bit more interesting: PHB page 100:

Proficiencies: Weapons: Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows

The choice of "a light crossbow and 20 bolts" or "any simple weapon" could be seen as a suggestion to take the crossbow, or another simple weapon if desired. Most Sorcerers are only proficient in Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs. However, if you were to choose an Elf with proficiency in shortbows, you could start with this since you have proficiency. A Dwarf proficient in Handaxes could make this choice and be proficient in it.

Additionally, a Sorcerer could choose one of the other simple weapons and just not get a proficiency bonus in it. Perhaps the sorceror is Human and picks a feat such as Weapon Master (PHB: 170) and picks up proficiency in a simple weapon that a Sorcerer does not already have proficiency with. But if this Human Sorcerer picking Weapon Master also chooses to be proficient in Heavy Crossbows, could not choose to start with one of these due to it not being within the Sorcerer starting kit (feel free to work with your DM or come up with a background reason, or spend some of your starting gold on it).


A wizard is not given the option to have any simple weapn as a piece of starting equipment. A wizard is offered a quarterstaff or dagger for their starting weapons.

as for the sorcerer, they have a choice between a light crossbow and 20 bolts, or any simple weapon. thus the distinction. if you pick something else you don't get free ammo.

as for why the sorcerer can start with weapons it is not proficient in; it is shorter than listing the proficient weapons out again and allows character's with racial proficiencies to bring one of those weapons


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