View Full Version : Help! Problems with 3.5 (I'm having some)

Ivan Ooze
2009-06-22, 05:02 PM
So, I'm new to D&D, having only played a little of 4e and nothing else, but I wanted to play 3.5, mainly because it's what one of my friends plays. I don't have the sourcebooks for a few reasons, two of which are that I can't find them anywhere and I don't want to shell out the money for them presently, so I've been using the SRD at d20srd.org to learn the game. Unfortunately, I'm having some problems, as either not everything is explained or I can't find the relevant pages. So, maybe someone can help me out.

My first question is about damage rolls. The way I have figured them out on the SRD is that your character will only do his/her weapon's damage all the way through level twenty. This doesn't seem right to me, but I can't find anything that says otherwise in the SRD. Am I correct? Am I missing something?

Next I have a question about BAB. The SRD lists the BABs for each class in their relevant pages, and partway through the table it begins to list multiple BABs, e.g.:


What is the second number in such BABs used for?

If anyone can enlighten me on these subjects, it would be most appreciated!

Ivan Ooze

2009-06-22, 05:04 PM
You may take a full-round action to make additional attacks "Full Attack Action".

+6/+1 means one attack with at +6 (before other mods) and another at +1. Each /+X is another attack at the indicated bonus. Otherwise they function just as your standard attacks.

EDIT: Yes, you generally add your Strength modifier (16 = +3 damage). Or 1.5 your modifier if wielding 2-handed (Two-Handed Weapon, or One-Handed Weapon Held in two hands). 18[+4] = +6 to damage.

There are other abilties/feats, power attack sneak etc... that can up damage.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-06-22, 05:04 PM
There's also the part where strength bonus is added to damage. And damage from Power Attack.

The second number means that during a full round action, you get a second attack at a lower attack bonus.

2009-06-22, 05:05 PM
A split BAB means you have a second attack on full round actions. So at level 6 you can attack twice, once at BAB 6 and once at BAB 1. This only applies to full round actions though - move and attack is still just one attack at your highest bonus.

Damage does not go up with class levels. AC doesn't go up much either. You will gain magic weapons though. You'll also probably use power attack or combat expertise. Without getting bonus damage from leveling, you'll still be doing a lot more damage than when you start.

2009-06-22, 05:06 PM
First, welcome to 3.5! It's complicated, but fun.

Second, about damage rolls, here, have a quotation from the Damage page of the d20 SRD:


When your attack succeeds, you deal damage. The type of weapon used determines the amount of damage you deal. Effects that modify weapon damage apply to unarmed strikes and the natural physical attack forms of creatures.

Damage reduces a targetís current hit points.

Minimum Damage

If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of damage.

Strength Bonus

When you hit with a melee or thrown weapon, including a sling, add your Strength modifier to the damage result. A Strength penalty, but not a bonus, applies on attacks made with a bow that is not a composite bow.

Off-Hand Weapon

When you deal damage with a weapon in your off hand, you add only Ĺ your Strength bonus.

Wielding a Weapon Two-Handed

When you deal damage with a weapon that you are wielding two-handed, you add 1Ĺ times your Strength bonus. However, you donít get this higher Strength bonus when using a light weapon with two hands.

Multiplying Damage

Sometimes you multiply damage by some factor, such as on a critical hit. Roll the damage (with all modifiers) multiple times and total the results. Note: When you multiply damage more than once, each multiplier works off the original, unmultiplied damage.

Exception: Extra damage dice over and above a weaponís normal damage are never multiplied.

Ability Damage

Certain creatures and magical effects can cause temporary ability damage (a reduction to an ability score).
Super-important bit in bold.

Second, that extra number in the BAB table is used for iterative attacks. If you have that number, you can make a second attack in a round in which you do nothing BUT attack. This extra attack is made with that number as the BAB for calculations.

2009-06-22, 05:14 PM
Generally, if you want to raise your damage, you use the Power Attack feat for melee. You can sacrifice points of BAB to deal that much more damage. Thus, a Fighter 20 can take his +20/+15/+10/+5, or he can put up to 20 points of that into damage.
You wanna know if it gets better? Well, hell yeah, it gets better! If you are wielding a weapon with two hands, that bonus is doubled. So Power Attacking for 5 gives you 10 bonus points of damage for a two-hander.

Another in-core way of raising damage is a Rogue's Sneak Attack, which applies when you flank your opponent, or when you sneak up on them unawares. The Rogue deals 1d6/2 class levels of bonus damage dice, up to 10d6 at 20th level. On every attack they make in the round. This is when iterative attacks really come in handy, as well as Two Weapon Fighting.

2009-06-22, 05:24 PM
Damage: You do weapon damage plus your strength modifier, which goes up as you get magic items. Or 1.5 times your strength modifier for two-handed weapons, or 0.5 times your strength mod for off-hand weapons. You also get magic weapons which go up in damage, and more attacks at higher levels as you may have noticed. Some classes get bonus damage from certain abilities or feats or strength bonuses or etc. As for power attack (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87339), it's not so uber unless you use lots of non-SRD books to optimize it because the misses from a lower attack bonus really hurt your overall damage.

BAB: The additional numbers are for your extra attacks during the full attack action. Starting at level 6 you get a 2nd attack during a full attack. You would do well to read the whole "Combat" section carefully and take notes to see all the actions you can do in combat. You can also use the cheat sheets in my sig ("Normal Rules").

You can also get extra attacks from the haste spell or the two-weapon fighting feat. However for reasons including the strength mod mentioned above (1 + 0.5 = 1.5), the cost of getting two magic weapons vs. one, and the -2 penalty to hit, two weapon fighting doesn't increase your damage by itself. You need other sources of additional damage or use non-damaging attacks (again, see "Combat" section).

You'd do well to start with a barbarian, fighter or paladin as a new player. As you may have guessed strength is the most important stat for such classes in melee, or dexterity for range. Constitution is the 2nd most important for just about every class (for HP). The caster classes are wizards, sorcerers, clerics and druids. The skillful classes are rogues, bards, rangers and monks. Some of these also have varying levels of martial combat ability to them; simple for divine casters and complicated for skillful classes. Casters and especially skillful classes are more complicated and should be attempted later after reading the rules carefully to be effective.

2009-06-22, 06:00 PM
There are many ways to increase your damage. Although you are pretty much stuck with the weapon's damage dice (assuming you never change your weapon), you could do any of the following:

1. Buff yourself or ask your cleric/wizard/bard/druid to buff you. Increases in your Strength will increase your damage.

2. As has been mentioned, you get more attacks per round if you take a full-round attack once you reach level 6. More attacks (assuming they hit)=more damage.

3. Power Attack.

4. There are a bunch of feats that add damage, though many of them are quite subpar. Getting Weapon Specialization and GW Spec later on gives you a total of +4 damage. Go you! However, that +4 damage won't mean much against a Great Wyrm Red Dragon with over 700 HP. As far as damage increasing feats go, Power Attack is the only one that scales properly with level---and even moreso if you have a two-handed weapon like a greatsword.

5. Take levels in Martial Adept classes from Tome of Battle. They learn special techniques that give special effects to your attacks, many of which give extra damage.

6. Your weapon can be enhanced with magical properties. Apart from doing extra elemental damage (like flaming or shock), there's others that allow you to threaten critical hits more (keen) or others that add special effects: wounding or brutal surge, for example.