How are attack bonuses calculated?

  • I have a level 2 Oathbreaker paladin with a javelin and a halberd, and I'm not sure how to calculate my attack bonuses. Can anyone explain it to me?

    You can't have a level 2 Oathbreaker paladin since they don't take their oath till level 3.

    The answer that is referred as a duplicate actually doesn't have an accepted answer. Maybe this would be a good chance to have this question with an accepted answer. Also the so called duplicate is about the prepared characters which already have the modifiers added up, so not even a real duplicate...

    I think it is a duplicate of the Q @SevenSidedDie linked to, not the one it is marked as being a duplicate of.

    @Adeptus Unfortunately the top answer to that question is extremely poor and narrow in focus. "You roll your attack roll for the bow with proficiency and Dex modifier, and damage with just Dex." is not an adequate answer to "I have a level 2 Oathbreaker paladin with a javelin and a halberd, and I'm not sure how to calculate my attack bonuses."

    @jgn the 2nd and 3rd answers are very good, though. (Also, the criteria for duplicates isn't "are the answers any good?", it's "is it the same question?")

    @Adeptus I think both the answer and question need to be the same. Here neither are though

  • I was just walking someone through this last night and it is tricky because of how far apart all the relevant rules are. Your proficiency bonus depends on your level, as shown in the chart on PHB p.15 and in your class advancement chart. You add it whenever you use a tool, skill, or weapon you're proficient in (among other things), as explained on PHB p. 12.

    Stat bonus: By default, melee weapons use Strength and ranged weapons use Dexterity (PHB p. 194). However, melee weapons with Finesse (as indicated in the table on PHB p. 149) let you use Dexterity instead if you so choose, as described on PHB p. 147. Also, Thrown weapons use the same attribute you would use if you were using it as a melee weapon - so Strength unless it has the Finesse property, in which case you can choose to use Dexterity instead.

    You'll use Strength for both: the halberd because it's a melee weapon without Finesse, the javelin because it's a Thrown weapon without Finesse. Your attack roll modifier is [your proficiency bonus + STR + any other relevant modifiers]. For a beginning character (Levels 1-4) with a Strength of 16, that'll be +5 total.

    what about 15 str?

    @Thurquir: +2, as shown on page 13. I would honestly advise you to read Chatper 1 carefully before you go any further, it explains a few basics that are assumed to be already under your belt in the rest of the book.

  • What to add to your roll is answered in the Combat chapter, under Attack Rolls: Modifiers to the Roll (PHB, p. 194):

    When a character makes an attack roll, the two most common modifiers to the roll are an ability modifier and the character’s proficiency bonus. [...]

    • Ability Modifier.
      • The ability modifier used for a melee weapon attack is Strength;
      • The ability modifier used for a ranged weapon attack is Dexterity
      • Weapons that have the Finesse or Thrown property break this rule. [...]
    • Proficiency Bonus.
      • You add your proficiency bonus to your attack roll when you attack using a weapon with which you have proficiency [...]

    The above means that your attack roll is d20 + [ability modifier] + [proficiency bonus] + [other bonuses due to spells, magic weapons, etc.]

    The Ability Score table (PHB, p. 13 & 173) lists the modifiers for your ability scores: for instance, an ability of 15 has a modifier (or bonus) of +2.

    The Character Advancement table (PHB, p. 15) lists Proficiency Bonus for each level: for example, at level 2 you have a Proficiency Bonus of +2. (This is also listed in each class's feature table, e.g. Paladin {PHB, p. 83}.)

    The Weapons table (PHB, p. 149) shows which weapons have the Finesse or Thrown properties, and the Weapon Properties section (PHB, p. 146-) describes the effect of those properties.

    Finesse. When making an attack with a finesse weapon, you use your choice of your Strength or Dexterity modifier for the attack and damage rolls. You must use the same modifier for both rolls.
    Thrown. If a weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon to make a ranged attack. If the weapon is a melee weapon, you use the same ability modifier for that attack roll and damage roll that you would use for a melee attack with the weapon. [...]

    A Javelin is a Thrown weapon, and doesn't have the Finesse property; use your Strength modifier.

    A Halberd is a Melee weapon, and doesn't have the Finesse property; use your Strength modifier.

  • The javelin's ATK bonus is probably your proficiency bonus(2) plus your dex modifier. I have a javelin and that's what I came up with when I read this in my essentials rule book. Not Sure.

    Hi again, it's great that you want to contribute, but it would be better if you were sure of the answer before you post it (so that you are sure it is useful to others). Check your books, and cite (and ideally also quote) the relevant rules and explain how it works. Do take the tour to learn more about how this site operates. Hope to see you around!

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM