5e SRD:Weapon Categories
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Your class grants proficiency in certain weapons, reflecting both the class’s focus and the tools you are most likely to use. Whether you favor a longsword or a longbow, your weapon and your ability to wield it effectively can mean the difference between life and death while adventuring.
The Weapons table shows the most common weapons used in the fantasy gaming worlds, their price and weight, the damage they deal when they hit, and any special properties they possess. Every weapon is classified as either melee or ranged. A melee weapon is used to attack a target within 5 feet of you, whereas a ranged weapon is used to attack a target at a distance.
Your race, class, and feats can grant you proficiency with certain weapons or categories of weapons. The two categories are simple and martial. Most people can use simple weapons with proficiency. These weapons include clubs, maces, and other weapons often found in the hands of commoners. Martial weapons, including swords, axes, and polearms, require more specialized training to use effectively. Most warriors use martial weapons because these weapons put their fighting style and training to best use.
Proficiency with a weapon allows you to add your proficiency bonus to the attack roll for any attack you make with that weapon. If you make an attack roll using a weapon with which you lack proficiency, you do not add your proficiency bonus to the attack roll.