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For a comprehensive overview of the game's damage calculations, see Damage mechanics.
1d4 + 1d6 Poison.png

Damage is a number that represents how deadly a threat is. When a creature takes damage, they subtract that amount of damage from their current amount of hit points.

Damage is dealt with attacks and other harmful actions, as well as by a variety of conditions.

Damage rolls[edit | edit source]

The base damage dealt by a weapon, spell, class action, or condition is usually determined by a damage roll. Damage rolls always have an associated damage type that is given following the dice notation, e.g. .

Damage modifiers[edit source]

Modifiers added to damage rolls are only added per source, even if multiple dice are rolled.

Which ability score modifier is added to a damage roll depends on the attack:

  • When making weapon attacks, the attacking creature usually adds the ability score modifier that they added to the attack roll.
  • Ability score modifiers are not normally added to damage rolls dealt by spells or spell attacks, unless specifically stated otherwise in the spell's description, or if enabled by some feature, such as Agonising Blast Agonising Blast.
Proficiency bonuses are added to damage rolls unless the attack being used (e.g. Shadowsoaked Blow) says so.

Example[edit | edit source]

A successful attack with a Daggers Dagger does a base of 1d4Damage TypesPiercing damage (1~4). This means a single four-sided die D4 Piercing.png is rolled to determine the damage, for a total of 1 to 4 piercing damage. Most weapons use a single damage die, but some two-handed weapons use two: a successful attack with a Greatswords Greatsword does 2d6Damage TypesSlashing damage (2~12), rolling two six-sided dice D6 Slashing.png for a total of 2 to 12 slashing damage. Damaging spells typically roll more dice: for example, being caught in a Fireball Fireball will cause 8d6Damage TypesFire damage (8~48), though a successful Saving Throw can reduce it to half.

Attacks[edit | edit source]

In order to damage a target when making an attack, creatures must first make an attack roll. Attack rolls are rolled against the target's AC. If the attempt is successful, the attack hit, and the attacker rolls for damage. If the result was less than the target AC, the attack was a miss.

Attack roll modifiers[edit | edit source]

Attack rolls are always made using an associated ability:

  • Unarmed attacks, and attacks made with melee weapons and thrown weapons generally add the attacking creature's Strength modifier.
  • If the weapon has the Finesse property, attacks with it add either the attacker's Strength or Dexterity modifier, whichever is higher.
  • Unarmed attacks may use the attacker's Dexterity modifier if they have certain features like Dextrous Attacks from the Monk class.
  • Attacks made with ranged weapons add the creature's Dexterity modifier.
  • Spell attacks add the caster's spellcasting ability modifier, generally determined by their class.
If the attacker is proficient with the weapon they are wielding, or if the attack is a spell attack or unarmed attack, they also add their proficiency bonus.

Critical hits[edit | edit source]

Example of a critical hit with a 1d6 shortsword.

When a creature rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll, the attack is a critical hit. Critical hits automatically land regardless of the target's AC, and the attacker also rolls twice the normal number of dice to determine damage dealt, including additional dice such as those from smites or combat maneuvers. Modifiers and bonuses – including the creature's relevant ability score modifier and proficiency bonus – are not doubled.

Some feats, class features, and items reduce the critical hit threshold by 1, allowing the creature to land critical hits by rolling either 19 or 20 on attack rolls. Multiple sources of this effect stack, allowing the critical hit threshold to go even lower than 19.

Damage types[edit | edit source]

All damage has a damage type, of which there are 13:

Bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage are sometimes collectively referred to as Physical damage. Almost all weapons, melee or ranged, deal one of the physical damage types, although there are exceptions such as the Ne'er Misser.

The wiki sometimes uses the term Weapon damage when the type of damage is based on the primary damage type of the weapon being used. This is almost always one of the physical damage types, but can be something else in rare cases. For example, after casting Hunter's Mark on an enemy, an attack with most longswords would deal additional slashing damage, and an attack with most hand crossbows would deal additional piercing damage. However, an attack with the Ne'er Misser would deal additional force damage, because the Ne'er Misser uses force as its primary damage type. Another example would be using Sneak Attack with a Flame Blade or Shadow Blade, which would make the sneak attack deal fire or psychic damage, respectively.

If a source of damage mixes different sizes of dice or damage types, they will be listed separately with a plus sign between them, e.g. 1d8Damage Typespiercing + 1d4Damage Typesfire. Each type is dealt separately, though see damage mechanics for more details.

Resistance, Vulnerability and Immunity[edit | edit source]

Main article: Resistances

A creature's resistances determine which damage types they are immune, resistant or vulnerable to:

  • Damage dealt to a creature with resistance to that damage type is halved.
  • Damage dealt to a creature with vulnerability to that damage type is doubled.
  • Damage dealt to a creature with immunity to that damage type is reduced to zero.

Resistance and vulnerability to the same type cancel each other out, but don't affect immunity.

A bit of mathematics[edit | edit source]

Note that due to the mathematics of dice rolls, the difference between, say, 1d8 and 2d4 is more than just the higher minimum value of 2 on the 2d4 roll. With the d8, you have an equal chance of getting, say, a 5 and an 8. On the other hand, the 2d4 roll is statistically more likely to lead to a total value of 5, than a total value of 8. This is most easily explained with a table of all possible outcomes:

Possible results of a 2d4 roll, highlighting the outcomes resulting in a total value of 5
+ 2nd roll
1 2 3 4
1st roll 1 2 3 4 5
2 3 4 5 6
3 4 5 6 7
4 5 6 7 8

Notice how often the 5 appears in the possibilities for the total value (4 out of 16 possibilities) vs. how often the 8 appears (1 out of 16). This means a 2d4 roll has a 25% chance of resulting in 5 points of damage, but only a 6.125% chance of resulting in 8 points of damage. Meanwhile, the 1d8 roll actually has a higher chance of resulting in the maximum damage value of 8, since 1 out of 8 possibilities (12.5%) result in an 8. However, the average roll of 2d4 is 5 damage, while the average roll of 1d8 is only 4.5, because 2d4 can never roll a 1. Therefore, 2d4 is generally more consistent in damage output and will result in higher rolls in the long run.

See also[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]