I”m building my character, a Half-Elf Ranger, and I”m a little confused about how to work out the attack bonus and the damage bonus.
You are watching: Do you add proficiency bonus to damage 5e
So, please tell me if I”ve got this right:
I”m proficient with a longbow. That means my attack roll is 1d20 + prof bonus + Dex modifier.The damage roll however is 1d8 + Dex modifier.
I”m just a little confused about working out the numbers (without even going into spells and when to roll for attack, etc.)
Yes, you”re understanding it correctly.
You roll your attack roll for the bow with proficiency and Dex modifier (PHB p. 194), and damage with just Dex (PHB p. 196).
All of the information presented below is gathered and derived from the stated rules found in Chapter 9: Combat, of the Player”s Handbook for 5th Edition D&D, starting with page 189. Any additional rules (or effects, like from spells) cite their origin.
There are four parts that get added together:
Your Ability ModifierFor most Melee weapons, this is Strength; for most Ranged weapons, this is Dexterity; for attack-roll spells, this is your Spellcasting Ability (typically Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma)The notable exception to this rule is the Finesse property, which when found on a weapon explicitly allows you to choose between Dexterity or Strength when you choose to make the attack, and use the same modifier for the Damage roll as well. In the core game, this property only appears on Melee Weapons.Also, thrown weapons typically count as melee weapons, even if they may be used at range; check the weapon”s statblock for possible exceptions to this rule.Another notable exception is special class features or spells that allow alternative ability modifiers. For example, a Druid casting Shillelagh
Buffs/Other EffectsThe spell Bless
So for example, a level 5 Fighter wielding a +1 Rapier (has the Finesse property), with a Strength Score of 16 and a Dexterity of 18, would have the following bonus for their Attack Roll:
Ability Modifier: +3 if they use Strength, or +4 if they use DexterityProficiency: Fighters gain proficiency in Rapiers, so +3 for a Level 5 characterMagic Weapon: Weapon is a +1 Rapier, so +1.Total: +7 with Strength; +8 with DexterityDamage BonusYour Ability ModifierSame as above: Strength for melee, Dexterity for Ranged, Strength or Dexterity for weapons that have the Finesse property (though it must be the same ability that was used to make the attack roll), Intelligence/Wisdom/Charisma for features that allow this modifier to be replaced by a different stat.Spells do NOT gain this damage bonus unless the character has a specific feature that allows their spells to benefit, like the Evocation Wizard
So using the Fighter example from above, assuming they took the Dueling Fighting Style (which confers a +2 bonus to Damage rolls when a character is not wielding more than one weapon and only wields that weapon in one hand), their Damage Bonus would be:
Ability Modifier: +3 if they use Strength, or +4 if they use DexterityMagic Weapon: +1Buffs/Other Effects: The Dueling Fighting Style adds +2 to damage rolls for one-handed weapons if the character is not wielding another weapon, so +2Total: +6 for Strength; +7 for Dexterity
Note that for damage, Proficiency was explicitly not added. Proficiency is generally not added to damage rolls unless some feature expressly says it should.
Additionally, it is important to remember that with Finesse weapons, the fighter has the choice of which modifier to use, but they have to use the same modifier for both attack and defense. So they could not, for example, choose to use Strength for the Attack roll and Dexterity for the Damage roll.
A few other ExamplesLevel 5 Wizard casting Fire Bolt, Intelligence 18Attack Roll: 1d20 + 4 (Intelligence) + 3 (Proficiency) == 1d20 + 7Damage Roll: 2d10 (Firebolt)Level 10 Evocation Wizard casting Fire Bolt, Intelligence 20Attack Roll: 1d20 + 5 (Intelligence) + 4 (Proficiency) == 1d20 + 9Damage Roll: 2d10 (Firebolt) + 5 (Intelligence, Empowered Evocation