More Damage for All!!!!


Combat & Magic

Dark Archive

The other night I was playing in a friend’s game and I noticed that the combat was taking a pretty long time. I could understand a long battle for a main encounter ,“boss battle”, but the encounter seemed not too important and took the entire night. Makes me want to suggest more damage, I also ask what is the time of the average encounter and is this too long? That night we found our selves taking too long to hit them and not doing a lot of damage when we did. This makes me think that either damage is too low or ACs are too high.

If ACs are too high then I’d suggest the base number to add for AC is 8 rather than 10. But AC may not be an issue for too many people.

But if damage is too low I’d like to suggest adding damage to everyone’s attacks. Adding more damage like every character adds ½ their level to their damage round down. Example is a 7th level elf archer can have a base damage with a longbow of 1d8+3, this is before the str, feats and magic adjustments to damage. This is to show how a character is not just more accurate with his/her tools but they are also better with the tools at hand. Currently melee fighters get power attack and end up doing massive damage but are loosing hits to do so and this doesn’t show character growth too well. Power attack is still and option along with any other feats and magic items it’s just cooler when a skilled archer can not pick up ANY bow and see himself being better with the weapon than he was six levels ago.


That's why I'm thinkin' of BAB to all non-magic damage rolls.
I must add that in my game there are no automatic extra attacks at higher BAB.


the ac reduction wont fly for most, the damage bump will get a entire group up in arms. I like the idea (gritty quick battles are fun) but the only way to do this without one-uping the current system is to decrease hp gain wizards get 1 or 2 hit points per level, rogues 2 or 3 etc etc. I would keep the first level hitpoints high, I would just mess with hitpoints by level gain.


another fun idea is to reinstitute the 2nd ed Constitution rules ^^ nonfighters do not gain bonus hitpoints for cons higher than 16 ( or 14 if you want to stick to the heart of it) It will never fly but fun to think about^^


SneaksyDragon wrote:
another fun idea is to reinstitute the 2nd ed Constitution rules ^^ nonfighters do not gain bonus hitpoints for cons higher than 16 ( or 14 if you want to stick to the heart of it) It will never fly but fun to think about^^

You could also stop hit dice and con bonus after level 9 or 10. cut it down to a flat +2/3/4/5 per level based on what their hit dice was.

Exploding hit dice was one of worst design decisions in 3e anyway, since they instituted it without changing anything else.

Dark Archive

I'm not too familar with 2nd Ed. What was the system then?


I found the damage curve pretty well balanced so far. Did this group of players have an attack plan, work together, and priortize targets? Also players can get off topic very easily (in my experience) that can lead to all night battles. You could have also just misbalance the encounter.

Any number of things can cause this but I feel the damage to hp curve is pretty good as is and would like to see much change.


Voss wrote:
Exploding hit dice was one of worst design decisions in 3e anyway, since they instituted it without changing anything else.

I thought it went along with the increased number of iterative attacks, as well as the mechanic that gave iterative attacks to the cleric and rogue as well as the fighter.

I think this would be difficult to change while still maintaining backwards compatibility with 3.5.

Dark Archive

himwhoscallediam wrote:

I found the damage curve pretty well balanced so far. Did this group of players have an attack plan, work together, and priortize targets? Also players can get off topic very easily (in my experience) that can lead to all night battles. You could have also just misbalance the encounter.

Any number of things can cause this but I feel the damage to hp curve is pretty good as is and would like to see much change.

I played a bard who kept singing the enhancement song and we also had two rogue/fighters who kept flanging, a fighter and a mage who kept missing acid splatter. (now the mage did roll VERY bad)

What I'm talking about isn't far from being compatibile with 3.5. Just every character adds half their HD to base damage.


I find running most combats that it doesn't matter if the combat is level 1 or level 12 it is always as deadly. The more hit points you get the more damage they do. The higher you AC the higher their to hit bonus is. The better your save the crazier the DC is. I have seen too many combats that last the same amount of rounds regardless the level. I never see 12th level PCs fighting a dozen simple medium skeletons in an encounter. What's the point?? I always assumed everything ramped up together to give the illusion of the players getting tougher. Sure that goblin almost cut you in half at level one but you ain't fighting that little guy anymore, are ya?


Souphin wrote:

The other night I was playing in a friend’s game and I noticed that the combat was taking a pretty long time. I could understand a long battle for a main encounter ,“boss battle”, but the encounter seemed not too important and took the entire night. Makes me want to suggest more damage, I also ask what is the time of the average encounter and is this too long? That night we found our selves taking too long to hit them and not doing a lot of damage when we did. This makes me think that either damage is too low or ACs are too high.

If ACs are too high then I’d suggest the base number to add for AC is 8 rather than 10. But AC may not be an issue for too many people.

But if damage is too low I’d like to suggest adding damage to everyone’s attacks. Adding more damage like every character adds ½ their level to their damage round down. Example is a 7th level elf archer can have a base damage with a longbow of 1d8+3, this is before the str, feats and magic adjustments to damage. This is to show how a character is not just more accurate with his/her tools but they are also better with the tools at hand. Currently melee fighters get power attack and end up doing massive damage but are loosing hits to do so and this doesn’t show character growth too well. Power attack is still and option along with any other feats and magic items it’s just cooler when a skilled archer can not pick up ANY bow and see himself being better with the weapon than he was six levels ago.

I use a base damage bonus of 1/2 base atack for everyone for just the reasons you describe. I also use a base defense of 1/2 base attack to armour class, but that's because I don't give out a lot of rings of protection and amulets of natural armour.


If we increase the damage by the party, then you increase the damage by the monsters to maintain balance. Then you want more HP for the party because they are getting wiped out too fast, and need to give the clerics more healing power. But then the NPCs have more HP and healing power, so you need to do more damage to take them out... See where I'm going here? It's not broken. If anything, we need to scale back the damage so we don't have to tack crazy "side effects" onto existing cleric abilities and change the base HP in the core rules.

Dark Archive

FeranEldritchKnight wrote:
If we increase the damage by the party, then you increase the damage by the monsters to maintain balance. Then you want more HP for the party because they are getting wiped out too fast, and need to give the clerics more healing power. But then the NPCs have more HP and healing power, so you need to do more damage to take them out... See where I'm going here? It's not broken. If anything, we need to scale back the damage so we don't have to tack crazy "side effects" onto existing cleric abilities and change the base HP in the core rules.

What I'm speaking of is not to change all of the other stuff. Just damage.

Like you have stated, changing the others make it would be a pointless circle. Paizo's Pathfinder has a change in the hit point system but it's very small and I think the whole community is quite happy with it.

The fighters that we were fighting were the ones on p.117 of the 3.5DMG. On that page it has an example of a 5th level fighter and he does 1d10+5 damage and has 47 hit points, that is the sword,STR and a feat and hasn't changed too much since since 1st level. Later they show the same fighter 10 levels higher and he's doing 1d10+9 the fighter now also has 132 hp now of course this character could have picked up better weapons but some type of rule or mechanic should be showing that if a 1st level character and a 20th level character picked up the same weapon ,that the 20th level character's effect with that weapon is much better than the 1st level characters.

Liberty's Edge

Increasing attacks or damages across the board may not be a good idea. It makes it more likely that battles will be short, but it also means that PCs are more likely to be dead.

Blanket increases are bad for the PCs.


DeadDMWalking wrote:

Increasing attacks or damages across the board may not be a good idea. It makes it more likely that battles will be short, but it also means that PCs are more likely to be dead.

Blanket increases are bad for the PCs.

This is what I meant. Any change made to the PCs is also a change to NPCs and monsters. Starting HP increases should apply to NPCs and monsters also to be fair. Then if you increase the damage output, NPCs damage should increase also. Then players will scream that they are getting killed too quickly, and we're back to heaping HP onto everyone. One of the biggest things about 3.5 is that the rules for PCs and NPCs are exactly equal. Honestly though I'm not worried that Paizo is even considering this because it changes things way too much.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
DracoDruid wrote:
That's why I'm thinkin' of BAB to all non-magic damage rolls.

I'm not saying it would be a good idea or a bad idea, but adding BAB to damage would be by far the easiest way to do it if one wanted to increase damage.

* It builds on an existing stat that everyone has.
* Every stat block in every 3.5 product already has the information needed so it is 100% backwards compatible.
* It's already balanced to favor combat types vs. non-combat types.
* It scales up as levels increase.
* No new calculations, just a plus to an existing calculation.
* It would be modular in that anyone who didn't want to play this way could just ignore it.

The same could said for adding BAB to AC and calling it Defense. Just using BAB makes it much easier than coming up with a whole new whose-more-dodgy-than-who progression.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
himwhoscallediam wrote:

I found the damage curve pretty well balanced so far. Did this group of players have an attack plan, work together, and priortize targets? Also players can get off topic very easily (in my experience) that can lead to all night battles. You could have also just misbalance the encounter.

Any number of things can cause this but I feel the damage to hp curve is pretty good as is and would like to see much change.

I have to agree with himwhoscallediam. I find that the D&D game is a constant learning experience.

If hitting a creature repeatedly with a sword isn't having much effect, it could be his AC is too high, the fighter is missing too often, the creature has regeneration, and is healing damage faster than your ability to deal it. Solution might be to boost the fighter's AC, or lower the creature's AC, by tactics such as flanking, aid another, grappling, intimidate etc. Even if you're not the main fighter in the group, there are many ways you can assist the fighter to do his job better, and therefore take the enemy down quicker.

Souphin wrote:
I played a bard who kept singing the enhancement song

A problem I frequently notice with Bard players, is they seem to think that standing back and singing is the only action they have for that round. Please correct me if I'm wrong (as I haven't myself played a Bard):

PHB wrote:
Starting a bardic music effect is a standard action. Some bardic music abilities require concentration, which means the bard must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability.

However, using Inspire Courage as an example:

PHB wrote:
The effect lasts as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter.

GM: "Bard's turn - what are you doing this round?"

Bard: "I continue singing"
Unconscious Player: "Hello! Isn't there ANYTHING else you can do? Some of us could use some HEALING!"

The bard in this example could also Inspire Courage for one round, and fight (or aid another, intimidate etc) for four rounds, before maintaining Inspire Courage again.

I'm not familiar with the enchantment song you're referring to, and it may be a song that requires a standard action every round to maintain. I'm not picking on your choices as a player, just trying to highlight options that are often missed during combats, that I myself have often learned the hard way.

The lesson to be learned is, after a few rounds, if the situation isn't tipping in your favour, then take a second look at everyone's actions, and see if there might be something different any of you could be doing that might work better.

A good GM noticing a deadlocked battle might suggest things the players might not have noticed, such as

  • "you might do better trying to take down one opponent at a time, instead of all attacking different opponents"; or
  • "it doesn't seem that all of your damage is getting through the gargoyle's stone-hardened skin"; or
  • "instead of making your own attacks, and missing, you might be more effective assisting the barbarian, who at least seems to be getting an occasional hit in"; etc.
If the GM prefers, he could allow a Wisdom check each round to depart this information, so it isn't a simple give-away.

A trend I've noticed on these boards since the Alpha rules were announced, are calls for magic to do more damage; or more damage for all; or standard BAB for Monks; or [insert power-up here]. Isn't it enough that characters now get more hit points at first level; races get +2 on two abilities; feats every 2 levels instead of every 3; arcane schools for wizards granting bonus spell effects every 2 levels; etc. Give the alpha rules a try, and see if they don't already improve the problems you're referring to.

Dark Archive

I had abilities that let me attack and cast while singing. Combat wise we maxxed ourselves out, we won it just got repetitive.

The main thing is just she showing of character growth. 1/2 of bab to base damage really isn't too much damage and will not break the game.

Liberty's Edge

I think your DM should know when to speed up combat a bit for the sake of brevity and expediency, rather than retooling the entire damage system for the game.

Dark Archive

Plognark wrote:
I think your DM should know when to speed up combat a bit for the sake of brevity and expediency, rather than retooling the entire damage system for the game.

This is more based off the fact that damage really doesn't grow as characters improve. Some feats show the character being more effective but for the most part this is not something that gets better as the character gets better. After 2 levels two fighters would get +1 to damage and that same fighters would get 2-20 plus con modifiers to HP. The bonus damage is almost nothing compared to the hitpoint growth and would make a match between the 2 fair.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Plognark wrote:
I think your DM should know when to speed up combat a bit for the sake of brevity and expediency, rather than retooling the entire damage system for the game.

Adding a single modifier to damage is hardly "retooling the entire damage system."


DarkWhite wrote:
A trend I've noticed on these boards since the Alpha rules were announced, are calls for magic to do more damage; or more damage for all; or standard BAB for Monks; or [insert power-up here]. Isn't it enough that characters now get more hit points at first level; races get +2 on two abilities; feats every 2 levels instead of every 3; arcane schools for wizards granting bonus spell effects every 2 levels; etc. Give the alpha rules a try, and see if they don't already improve the problems you're referring to.

The Alpha rules haven't fixed one problem, which is that even non-dramatic combats still take all night to do.

My opinion is that is that people fight things close to their own EL for max XP, so the combats are always long and drawn out. A different XP model would allow people to fight weaker enemies and thus have shorter combats, as well as do more encounters per game day.


Souphin wrote:
This is more based off the fact that damage really doesn't grow as characters improve. Some feats show the character being more effective but for the most part this is not something that gets better as the character gets better.

The damage does grow, only indirectly. As a character gains more levels, they get more iterative attacks and a higher base attack bonus. Both of those will contribute to a higher per-round damage, even with the same weapons and feats.

That said, most of the fighters I've seen that keep up in damage as they level do so by leveraging some of their increased attack bonus into Power Attack. I wouldn't mind Paizo knocking Power Attack down a peg in exchange for increased overall melee damage. In fact, I might like that. :)


If the rating system I suggested was used this could be based on that. You'd get 1/2 you're rating on relevant attacks. Of course arcane and divine spells would already increase damage by rating so it would only really apply to normal attacks.


K wrote:
The Alpha rules haven't fixed one problem, which is that even non-dramatic combats still take all night to do.

The obvious fix for this, of course, is to simply make sure all your combats are dramatic. Works like a charm.


Burrito Al Pastor wrote:
K wrote:
The Alpha rules haven't fixed one problem, which is that even non-dramatic combats still take all night to do.
The obvious fix for this, of course, is to simply make sure all your combats are dramatic. Works like a charm.

I lol'd.


I have to disagree with the OP's assessment (as always, YMMV). As it stands now, in 3.5, damage is already escalating at mid to high levels. You don't even need to be a powergamer: it's just the inherent stacking of bonuses that ramps up everyone's damage output. Cleric spells here, bard song there, standard magic items per level ... Most of the time, in my games, combats don't last for more than three or four rounds, because enemies and PCs alike go down like flies. This seriously dampens the fun for my players, as they often don't even get to act (enemy wins initiative, deals 80 points of damage, character goes down, player has to sit around doing nothing until someone has the time to heal him up).

Note that I, too, have faced the problem of "long-running" combats (in real time), but the issue here, for me, is players having to look up spells and/or maneuvres in the PHB or various splatbooks. If those things are streamlined, as PFRPG seems to do, then delays will be minimized.

Anyway, I think that increasing damage output isn't the right way to go. On the contrary, I would even submit that hit points need to be increased above and beyond what PFRPG does - but it's okay for me to houserule that*. It would be much more difficult if I had to manually downgrade all damage values by one step, or whatever, just to keep the game actually fun for all.

(* If anybody is interested: My fix for this is to massively increase hit points. At first level, (for example) a barbarian gets 24 + 2*CON hp. Each subsequent level, he gains 12 + 1d12 + CON hp. This rule applies to both PCs and NPCs/monsters.)

Dark Archive

Dance of Ruin wrote:
...... Cleric spells here, bard song there, standard magic items per level ... Most of the time, in my games, combats don't last for more than three or four rounds, because enemies and PCs alike go down like flies. This seriously dampens the fun for my players, as they often don't even get to act (enemy wins initiative, deals 80 points of damage, character goes down, player has to sit around doing nothing until someone has the time to heal him up).

80 points of damage is alot but we'd also have to know the level and how balanced is the encounter, the Balor does around 80 on a full attack and he's CR20, there's no way 7th level characters can take that. 2 6th level wizards doing max damage can put out about 80 (72) in a round with fireballs, but that's a CR8 and it's magic. Spell have a great progression of as character level grows so does effectiveness.

]Note that I, too, have faced the problem of "long-running" combats (in real time), but the issue here, for me, is players having to look up spells and/or maneuvres in the PHB or various splatbooks. If those things are streamlined, as PFRPG seems to do, then delays will be minimized.[/QUOTE wrote:

Most of the "long-running" issues is when the melee fighters start playing "patty-cake" and It ends up being a turtle race to see who can count up to the others HP first

Dance of Ruin wrote:


(* If anybody is interested: My fix for this is to massively increase hit points. At first level, (for example) a barbarian gets 24 + 2*CON hp. Each subsequent level, he gains 12 + 1d12 + CON hp. This rule applies to both PCs and NPCs/monsters.)

Pathfinder has a sidebar for this to add the CON score to first level hit points, almost like what you've suggested, it looks like it's work very well.

*** off subject but for the bard enhancement song, can he fight and sing or does singing take up the bard's turn every round?


Souphin wrote:
Most of the "long-running" issues is when the melee fighters start playing "patty-cake" and It ends up being a turtle race to see who can count up to the others HP first

I had that problem too.

I was thinking: Maybe I should add the whole CON score as HPs at first level (since PCs tend to die/drop down too fast down there) and then not count Con Mod to HPs every level, since that brings the issue of ridiculous CON scores granting ridiculous amounts of HPs at high levels (and ridiculous drops in HPs once the Con score takes damage).

Since the game system doesn't seem to be geared for that kind of HP/damage scaling, however, I was wondering if I didn't just nerf con bonuses too much this way.


Souphin wrote:

*** off subject but for the bard enhancement song, can he fight and sing or does singing take up the bard's turn every round?

Depends on the song type, but for most, the following holds true: The bard can sing for a round, and then fight while the after-effects of the song last; then sing again for a round ... and so on.

The bard player in my group uses this tactic with Inspire Courage to great effect. 5 rounds of, effectively, enjoying bard song benefits while being able to cast spells or whatever.


Dance of Ruin wrote:
Depends on the song type, but for most, the following holds true: The bard can sing for a round, and then fight while the after-effects of the song last; then sing again for a round ... and so on.

Yes it does depend on the song and the type of Perform you use. A Bard focused on combat will have Perform(Singing) or Perform(Oratory) which leaves his hands free.

Songs you can fight with:
• Inspire Courage
• Inspire Greatness
• Inspire Heroics

None of those require a Bard to Concentrate and is back by FAQ. If you are Singing you can't verbally communicate with allies (your mouth is in use) but you can Attack or perform an other actions that don't involve Spell casting. I guess if you had a single maraca you would also have a free hand to use a whip (aid another combat boost from 15 ft, or a sword.)

DarkWhite is slightly wrong in his example. The bard could continue to sing (no action needed) and rush over to use the Heal Skill to stabilize his downed ally. Alternatively the bard could stop singing (effect now lasts for this round and 4 more rounds after that) and Cast Cure Light Wounds.

This goes to people not actually reading the bardic music entires. Inspire (Courage, Greatness, and Heroics) do not require Concentration to maintain. As long as the bard keeps playing/singing/speaking the effect is maintained, no Standard Action used.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I've never had an issue of combats lasting too long, in fact the majority of the time its the opposite, at most we usually look at 5-6 rounds of combat no matter the level, and usually less for none big bads. Damage input is most certainly not an issue. Though I admit that in Realtime at the table combat is still considerably long usually lasting an hour or more. [url=smurf][/url]

But that doesn't have anything to do with the combat itself its more group coordination, or lack thereof, that leads to lengthy realtime combat. People who aren't ready with a choice action or whom don't even have their dice ready, and of course sidetracking jokes.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'd really want to see what your party is doing before I implemented any drastic changes. How many rounds is your combat actually taking. What is your party make up/opponents. Melee classes really do damage well, admittedly the Pathfinder Power Attack takes a big chunk out there DPS but they still can put out a substantial amount.

Adding .5 BAB is pretty huge. It would be a huge buff to those Two Weapon Fighters and Archers. And I can see some really ugly things with Master Throwers with 10+ attacks per round.

Also this change will make your bad guys far more lethal if they ever get a full attack off. Dragons have 5 swings, Grells have 10, etc.


Exactly. I mean a battle all night, doesn't exactly define what happened during the combat or how many rounds it took. I mean was this like 20 rounds against something for their level?

Honestly as a DM, I find it hard to make my monsters last long enough. Like utter good luck knixing a Pit Fiend in the second round of combat. That was just annoying, especially since it was the big bad to the campaign and it was 18th-level party going against him.

Dark Archive

We were 6lv , 2rog/ftrs, 1wiz, 2 bards, 1 ftr. Were were fighting 10 of the 5th level fighters on 117 of the dmg. The wizard kept missing acid spatter even with the bard song.

The issue is also about character growth and the characters improving along with accuracy and effectiveness. 1/2 of the bass attack starts off small and grows slowly.


Why was the wizard just using acid splatter? The biggest problem with the situation you describe as I see it is that the wizard was not practicing battlefield control like he should. He should have had at least one such spell prepared that would have made the battle a lot easier. I can think of many examples: stinking cloud, web, or even fireball just to soften them up.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Roleplaying Game / Alpha Playtest Feedback / Alpha Release 1 / Combat & Magic / More Damage for All!!!! All Messageboards
Recent threads in Combat & Magic