[RPG] Does Martial Arts Damage Apply to Ranged Attacks with Monk Weapons


Inspired by an answer to What is the Attack Roll for Deflect Missile?.

The Monk's Martial Arts feature states that monk weapons are, "…short swords and any simple melee weapons that don't have the two-handed or heavy property." (emphasis mine)

For the purposes of my question, I am assuming a 17th level Monk, so that the Martial Arts damage die is 1d10.

My question is that when making a damage roll with a weapon that can be either melee or ranged, like a dagger, which damage die do I roll on a hit for a ranged attack? I am assuming this uses 1d4 because this isn't a simple melee weapon anymore, but a simple ranged weapon based on the definitions for melee and ranged weapons as defined on page 146 of the PHB:

"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." (emphasis from the PHB)

Best Answer

The weapon is still a simple melee weapon, even when you throw it to make a ranged attack.

The weapon's position on the table tells you what type of weapon it is. Since it's a simple melee weapon, it's a monk weapon. Since it's a monk weapon, you can use your martial arts die for its damage instead of its "natural" damage die.

See also Are weapons with the "Thrown" property considered a "Ranged Weapon" for the purpose of sharpshooter? for more on how we treat a melee weapon when thrown.