My group (4 players + GM, all new to D&D 5e,) is going to organize a campaign where the characters are based on famous sports players from our world. They asked me to play the ranged striker. I immediately thought of Phil Taylor, the English darts champion nicknamed "The Power". With his 16 world championship titles in 24 years, it should be somewhat doable. However, I'm not yet familiar enough with D&D 5e to figure out what the different classes, backgrounds, feats, races and archetypes can bring to the table for a player specialized in using darts.
I also checked Google, and the forum post Analysis of D&D Next Weapons said that Darts are a below-average weapon. I hope I can counteract this somewhat with a specialized build.
TL;DR: I want to play a ranged striker who specializes in using darts as a combat throwing weapon in 5e, but I'm not familiar enough with the different options. How can I make this work?
While Darts are only a 1d4, you can still make this work my optimizing damage modifiers and extra damage. The difference in expected damage between a 1d4 (darts) and 1d10 (heavy crossbow) is 3 damage.
Basically, you need to compensate for your lower damage with having more opportunities to hit/crit, and having more damage dice to roll, or damage modifiers. Sadly, most of the abilities that increase static damage are focused on Melee weapons. A shame you can't use a thrown spear instead of a dart.
To start, I would take 6 levels of Fighter as a human variant, and then continue on as a Rogue Assassin. With this you can take the following:
Then at level 7, take rogue and keep on going with the Assassin path. This will give you sneak attack damage dice, to compensate for your lack of good damage dice on your weapon. You miss out on one last ability score improvement/feat but you won't be needing it.
A few important things you need to do.
The Assassin will allow you to make more critical strikes compensating for the lower weapon damage die. Your d4 won't even be noticed under the mountains of d6s you will be rolling.
For completeness sake, here is the average damage per round at level 20 for comparison of different builds using the same feats but different weapons:
House rules: You might want to ask your DM to convert Crossbow Expert to Dart Expert giving you the same benefits, but uping the damage of the dart to a 1d6 rather than ignoring the loading property, and allowing your bonus action to be used to throw a second dart. Such a house rule might allow you to go pure rogue assassin or maybe just 1 level dip in fighter for the bonus accuracy.