• Simple weapons like darts and slings are great for spellcasters, offering flexibility and creativity in combat situations.
  • Harpoons offer a unique ability to tether and slow down enemies, but their limited availability makes them a rare and exotic choice.
  • Shortbows and light crossbows provide high damage and range for players who prefer a long-ranged playstyles in Dungeons and Dragons.

Simple weapons in the world of Dungeons and Dragons are characterized by their simple design, easy use, and accessibility. Unlike martial weapons, simple weapons do not typically require prior training or knowledge of the weapon to be used. This makes simple weapons a great choice for characters and players who are not primarily specialized for combat purposes, like spellcasters and support classes.


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There are much fewer simple ranged weapons than simple melee weapons, which can make choosing the perfect tool somewhat difficult. However, with access to older editions of Dungeons and Dragons, players can expand their choices and pick the perfect weapon for their trade. With a little innovation and creativity involved, a variety of interesting tools can serve as the right armament for any occasion.

7 Dart

Tiny And Cheap Finesse Weapons

Darts Dungeon & Dragons

The dart is a useful tool of the trade for characters looking to utilize their Dexterity stat. With the “finesse” property, players can choose to add on their choice of either Strength or Dexterity modifier for attack and damage rolls. This means that classes that don’t utilize Strength, like casters and supports, can instead deal more damage with their Dexterity modifier.

At such a cheap price, darts are great weapons that deal piercing damage at a range of 20/60 ft. (20 ft. being the weapon’s normal range and 60 ft. being the weapon’s long range). However, repeated use of darts may require players to retrieve their tiny tools for later use.

6 Boomerang

It Always Comes Back


The boomerang is the perfect tool for those not confident in their accuracy. Unlike other ranged weapons, the boomerang does not require ammo and does not need to be retrieved to be used again. Should the player miss an attack with their boomerang, the weapon simply curves back and returns to the thrower’s hand.

The boomerang deals bludgeoning damage at a range of 60/120 ft., allowing wielders to attack from a decent way away from enemies. With the right arc for their throw, players may be able to hit an attack on enemies hiding behind cover, too.

5 Sling

Easily Concealed & Easily Loaded


The sling is a versatile tool that is best utilized by those with a knack for creativity. Able to be loaded with just about any sort of small ammunition, the sling deals a small amount of bludgeoning damage at a range of 30/120 ft.

Players looking to get the most out of the sling needn’t use it just for combat purposes; it can also be an easily concealable tool for distraction and instigation. The sling is tiny, and characters can easily hide it to get into locations that may not permit weaponry. After all, entering areas with weapon restrictions can be dangerous should there be an ambush.

4 Acid (Vial)

A New Damage Type

Acid (Vial)

A vial of acid can make a great weapon for a variety of combat situations. Contained in an easily shattered glass container, the acid is able to be thrown or loaded into a sling to land on the player’s target of choice at a range of 20/60 ft.


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Dealing a significant amount of acid damage, this improvised weapon deals a damage type that no other simple ranged weapon can deal without magic or special ammunition. However, acid vials are pricey, so only the most wealthy of players can make use of multiple vials of this corrosive material.

3 Harpoon

Tether & Slow


  • 2d6 damage
  • Cost:
  • Varies by DM
  • Picked up by defeating “Merrow”

The harpoon is a weapon utilized by the Merrow, an amphibious humanoid creature. Players who encounter and defeat a Merrow can pick up and use the deadly harpoons they carry as an exotic weapon. The harpoon deals piercing damage at a range of 20/60 ft. If a target is hit by the harpoon and is a “Huge” or smaller creature, it must succeed in a Strength contest with the wielder or be pulled 20 ft. toward the user. This unique trait allows wielders of the harpoon to tether their enemies and disrupt their actions.

The greatest downside to the harpoon is its limited availability, as the player must either find a shop that carries such a unique weapon or defeat a Merrow and steal its tool. Players should also consider that they may not be proficient in such a weapon unless they take the time to practice and understand it, despite its simple make.

2 Shortbow

High Range & Special Arrows


The shortbow is a great weapon for players looking to make the most of a long-ranged play style without the need for martial weapon proficiency. The shortbow deals piercing damage at a range of 80/320 ft., allowing players to attack from a safe distance.


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Since a majority of characters utilizing simple ranged weapons are spellcasters or support classes, remaining away from the front lines is crucial for the health of both the player and the rest of their party. Players should also keep in mind that shortbows can load specialized arrows, such as magically enhanced ammunition. Combined with the sharpshooter feat, any character can become a great archer with the reliable shortbow.

1 Light Crossbow

High Damage & High Range

Light Crossbow

The light crossbow is the perfect simple ranged weapon for players to utilize in their campaigns. Dealing piercing damage, the light crossbow can attack at a range of 80/320 ft.

While its long range is tied for first place with the shortbow, it deals more damage at the price of bearing the “loading” property. This property means that even despite the amount of actions a character may be able to take in combat, due to the time it takes to load the crossbow, only one bolt can be shot from it per turn. Even so, the light crossbow isn’t greatly hindered by this feature due to its range and high damage.


Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons

Original Release Date

E. Gary Gygax , Dave Arneson


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