Additional weapon damage (e.g., +4) - Beginner Box


Beginner Box


Hello!

Newbie question here: How is weapon damage determined?

On the pregenerated character sheets, some damage descriptions have a die roll plus some other number (e.g., Valeros longsword 1d8+4, Merisiel dagger 1d4+1). When I look up the weapons in online reference tables, I can only find the die roll damages listed there (e.g., 1d8, 1d4), but I don't understand where the other number comes from (e.g., +4, +1).

This makes me a little hesitant about adding new weapons to my characters, because I don't know when I need to add extra damage for a weapon!

Any help would be appreciated :) Thank you!


For a melee weapon, you add your strength modifier to attack and damage rolls. With a two-handed weapon you add 1.5 times your strength modifier (so 14 str adds +2, or +3 on a TH weapon). You can also add damage depending on if the weapon is magic (it would say +1 longsword, which means +1 to attack and damage), certain feats (check what feats these pregenerated characters have), or certain abilities (Ie. a rogue's sneak attack). Read over the entire character sheet. Usually those numbers are explained by things further down on the sheet.

I'm guessing you are new to tabletop RPGs in general. Welcome, don't be afraid to ask any questions on these forums. I wish I had found the forums earlier in my career (started about a year ago w/ beginners box) because I did not understand ANYTHING and I tried just figuring it out myself (eventually worked).

Don't feel stupid about any questions like these, we've all been there (for me just one year ago!). I hope you enjoy yourself and prosper in the hobby. We're glad to have you!


thelivingmonkey wrote:

For a melee weapon, you add your strength modifier to attack and damage rolls. With a two-handed weapon you add 1.5 times your strength modifier (so 14 str adds +2, or +3 on a TH weapon). You can also add damage depending on if the weapon is magic (it would say +1 longsword, which means +1 to attack and damage), certain feats (check what feats these pregenerated characters have), or certain abilities (Ie. a rogue's sneak attack). Read over the entire character sheet. Usually those numbers are explained by things further down on the sheet.

I'm guessing you are new to tabletop RPGs in general. Welcome, don't be afraid to ask any questions on these forums. I wish I had found the forums earlier in my career (started about a year ago w/ beginners box) because I did not understand ANYTHING and I tried just figuring it out myself (eventually worked).

Don't feel stupid about any questions like these, we've all been there (for me just one year ago!). I hope you enjoy yourself and prosper in the hobby. We're glad to have you!

Thank you for your quick response and the warm welcome!

I want to clarify, I did not mean the attack bonus.

For example, Merisiel's dex modifier is +3, so on the pregen sheet her attack bonus next to the dagger also says +3. But in addition to that, the damage of the dagger is given as 1d4+1, and I don't understand where the +1 comes from.
On the other hand, Valeros has a +3 attack bonus with his shortbow, but the damage still says only "1d6" instead of "1d6+3".

These two examples made me think that attack bonus and the +number damage points were two different things, or am I mistaken there?


I don't have the things, but there are a few specific situations (I'm assuling they're lv 1).

Merisiel probably has the Weapon Finesse feat, which allows her to use Dexterity to attack (in mele) instead of Strength, with certain weapons (daggers among them).
She still has to use Strength for damage however, which is probably where the +1 is from.
There are ways to add Dex to damage, but it's not the baseline.
(If that's not it, it's probably magic)

Ranged weapons don't add anything to damage. Normally.
Exceptions being thrown weapons and slings, which add Str (see : Merisiel's daggers) as well composite bows, which also add Str, but only up to a maximum decided during a bow's creation - which inflates its price and imposes penalties if you're not strong enough.
Look at the composite bows' description for details.

The Gunslinger can add Dex to damage with firearms (or crossbows for Ace Bolts), but that's class-specific.

Lv 1 Fighter Valeros has none of that so he adds nothing : shortbow does 1d6 dmg.

Hopefully that was clear enough ?


Hi rpghh.
I don't have Merisiel's sheet but I would guess she either has a strength bonus of +1 or a dagger with an enchantment bonus of +1.
There exist some other ways of getting +1 on dagger damage but they are probably not covered in the Beginner Box.
Normally with melee weapons you add your Base attack bonus and strength bonus on the to hit. Merisiel most likely has Weapon finesse feat, so she adds her Dexterity mod to the dagger attack bonus instead of Strength bonus.

Valeros adds his Base attack bonus and his Dexterity modifier to attacks with a bow. Ordinary bows do not add Strength bonus to damage. You need a composite bow with a Strength rating to add Strength do damage and Valeros clearly has an ordinary short bow. Now should Valeros throw his dagger he would attack with a bonus of +3 and damage of 1d4+his Strength bonus.

And yes, you are correct, damage bonus and attack bonus are different. They have some common components but they are not dependent on each other. For example one of my players has a 7th level cleric. His Strength is 10, so he gets no damage bonus. He attacks with his masterwork mace with +6 to attacks and 1d8 to damage. In contrast his friend the antipaladin attakcs with his +1 greatsword with +13 to attack and deals 2d6 +7 damage. The antipaladin has Strength and a magical weapon to give him bonus to the damage while the cleric has neither of those things.
Edit: also what Nyerkh (the Ninja ;-) ) said


Sorry if I wasn't clear. The other responses are more thorough and explain it better. I shouldn't have mentioned attack lol. Good luck, hope all these responses answered your questions.


Bows don't add strength unless you have a composite bow. Basically a stronger bow means more pull. Means arrow hits harder. Without that, arrows do just the straight d8.

Here

https://www.d20pfsrd.com

This is the website to use to click on for all sorts of links.

This one is for weapons. Click on any weapon to get a description.

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/equipment/weapons


The reason Val may be doing less is some weapons add strength (almost all do) but some few (like that one later on) can add dex to damage instead.


Thank you all so much! This makes a lot more sense now.


I know it looks like you resolved this hours ago, but I wanted to add my two cents as well.

rpghh wrote:

Hello!

Newbie question here: How is weapon damage determined?

On the pregenerated character sheets, some damage descriptions have a die roll plus some other number (e.g., Valeros longsword 1d8+4, Merisiel dagger 1d4+1). When I look up the weapons in online reference tables, I can only find the die roll damages listed there (e.g., 1d8, 1d4), but I don't understand where the other number comes from (e.g., +4, +1).

This makes me a little hesitant about adding new weapons to my characters, because I don't know when I need to add extra damage for a weapon!

Any help would be appreciated :) Thank you!

rpghh wrote:

For example, Merisiel's dex modifier is +3, so on the pregen sheet her attack bonus next to the dagger also says +3. But in addition to that, the damage of the dagger is given as 1d4+1, and I don't understand where the +1 comes from.

On the other hand, Valeros has a +3 attack bonus with his shortbow, but the damage still says only "1d6" instead of "1d6+3".

Based on the information you provided above, I'm trying to generate weapon stat blocks that match the ones you've been provided. These should look the same as the ones you have. Either that, or I'm doing something wrong.

I'm guessing from this entry that it says something like:
Valeros
Melee longsword +5 (1d8+4/19-20)
Ranged shortbow +3 (1d6/x3)

Merisiel
Melee dagger +3 (1d4+1/19-20)
Ranged dagger +3 (1d4+1/19-20)

(If The Beginner Box doesn't say /19-20 or /x3, you can ignore that bit here. Those have to do with Critical Hits and may not be something covered in The Beginner Box.)

If both of these characters are level 1 then Velisario has a BAB (Base Attack Bonus) of +1 as a fighter, and Merisiel has a BAB of +0 as a rogue.

Based on the information above, which assumes none of their weapons are magical weapons (and I have not listed them as magical weapons), I would say:
Valeros has a strength of 18 or 19 (demonstrated by the +4 Strength bonus with the longsword) and a dexterity of 14 or 15 (+2 Dexterity bonus) to get +3 attack with the shortbow (+1 BAB and +2 Dexterity bonus).
Merisiel has a +0 BAB so that +3 to attack is coming strictly from her dexterity bonus, making her Dexterity 16 or 17. The +1 on her damage is because she still uses her Strength bonus for damage, and her Strength bonus is only +1, meaning her Strength score then should be 12 or 13. Normally Strength bonus is added to attack bonus for melee attacks, but Merisiel likely has Weapon Finesse that allows her to use her Dexterity bonus instead of her Strength bonus for melee attacks with certain weapons (including daggers).

If Valeros uses the longsword two-handed, he would add 1.5x his STR bonus to the damage instead of 1x. I've assumed with the numbers above that he's wielding it one-handed. Merisiel cannot wield a dagger two-handed for 1.5x STR bonus to damage because the dagger is a light weapon, and they can't be wielded that way. Two-handed weapons and one-handed weapons may be wielded two-handed for 1.5x STR bonus to damage, but light weapons may not.

Also, if Merisiel used a longsword two-handed, her STR bonus is only 1, and Pathfinder rounds down by default, so 1.5x would still round to 1. Longsword also cannot be used with Weapon Finesse, so she'd have to use her Strength bonus to attack instead of her higher Dexterity bonus.

Do the partial stat blocks above match the information you have?


Valeros has a STR score of 16, and the feat Weapon Focus (longsword)
Valeros DEX score is 15

Merisiel DEX score is 17
Merisiel STR score is 12
Merisiel Feat Weapon Finesse
She's using a Rapier

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