How are attack bonuses calculated on the character sheets?

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
One thing I can't figure out is how the attack bonuses on the premade character sheets in the packet are calculated. From the rules it sounds like the attack bonus should normally be just the appropriate ability score, but on the character sheets the bonus is usually at least +2 beyond that. For instance the rogue has Dex 17 (+3) but his attack bonus with his dagger is +5, and the fighter has Str 16 (+3) but his attack bonus with his greataxe is +6.  Similarly the wizard have Int 17 (+3) and a class feature that gives an additional +2 attack with spells but on the sheet his attack bonuses for Ray of Frost and Shocking Grasp are each +6.

If I had to guess I'd say that every class has an innate attack bonus of +1 to +3 that's not specifically listed on the character sheets but is just added into the final numbers. I didn't see any mention of an innate attack bonus for the classes in the How to Play booklet, though, so I can't be sure. Any confirmation one way or another would be appreciated.


On a related note I noticed the quarterstaff wielding characters appear to be using their Str ability modifier on their attack and damage, but in the equipment list it said quarterstaffs are finesse weapons so both those characters have the option to use their Dex instead (which would be a good idea since their Dex is higher than their Str). So the wizard for instance has a Str 8 (-1) and Dex 13 (+1) but his sheet lists his quarterstaff attack as +1 / 1d8-1 damage, obviously using the Str modifier on both. Clearly he'd be better off using his Dex and doing +3 / 1d8+1 damage.


Obviously not a big issue or anything, just looking to clarify how these bonuses were calculated in case a question comes up, such as a character equipping another sort of weapon.
wow, what? Looking back at it, yeah! I'm confused now. Should I lower the numbers or trust that they are right? I play test this packet tomorrow afternoon. So I'll figure it out by then.
Lots-O-RPG's Played: D&D (Advanced 2nded, 3.0, 3.5, 4thed & Pathfinder), StarWars (RCR & Saga), Scion, Shadowrun (4thed), Call of Cthulhu (Original % & d20), Warhammer, BESM (d20-3.5 compatable), Fudge (Fudge on the fly variant).
There's clearly some math they're not showing us yet. My gues is proficiency bonus. Fighter gets +3 to hit with weapons he's proficient with, everyone else gets +2 to weapons they're proficient with. That's the best I can figure, anyway. It's far too consistant to be a typo.

EDIT: Oh, and clerics seem to get +2 to their spell attack rolls, while the wizard gets a +3 to his.
Could be unlisted prof bonuses and the like? To be honest, I'm confused by it too...
It may also be a base attack bonus dependent on the class. The math is the same, the only question is if you need to be proficient with the weapon you're using to gain the bonus or not. Either way, it looks intentional, and we'll probably understand where it's coming from once they release the character creation rules.
Well, clearly there is an unlisted proficiency bonus, and it is higher for Fighters because that's their schtick.

Also, putting Quarterstaffs in with Finesse Weapons must have been a change made after the characters were generated. Notice that the Pelor Cleric doesn't actually have proficiency with it. That suggests to me that the staff was originally a Basic Weapon.
Well, clearly there is an unlisted proficiency bonus, and it is higher for Fighters because that's their schtick.

Also, putting Quarterstaffs in with Finesse Weapons must have been a change made after the characters were generated. Notice that the Pelor Cleric doesn't actually have proficiency with it. That suggests to me that the staff was originally a Basic Weapon.


Good call, that part was throwing me off, but your explanation makes sense.
Agreed that there is probably an unlisted proficiency bonus (+2 for non-fighters, +3 for fighters).  If you noticed, on page 18 under Improvied Weapons they mention that you don't get an attack bonus when using improvised weapons.  I'm assuming this is referring to the proficiency bonus.

It's actually important they clarify these rules rather soon since obviously characters are going to get new weapons as we run them through the playtest.  It's important to understand how the bonuses are calculated for using these new weapons. 
One thing on the wizard. They seem to get an extra +1 to their attack rolls. Based on the writeup for the wand treasure item, wizards get a +1 bonus to their magic attacks when they have an implement. Since the wizard has a quarterstaff, it would seem that even a non-magical implement is able to give him this bonus. [The cleric does not seem to get this same benefit for having a holy symbol].


So, the attack bonuses seem to be mostly accurate (with the assumption that fighters get a +1 that wasn't mentioned, as part of their 'best at using weapons' schtick.


However, the damage dice for most of the weapons, and the damage bonus for the fighter aren't explained. The fighter's damage is 2 higher than expected (after applying the +2 for their class feature listed on the sheet).     
One thing on the wizard. They seem to get an extra +1 to their attack rolls. Based on the writeup for the wand treasure item, wizards get a +1 bonus to their magic attacks when they have an implement. Since the wizard has a quarterstaff, it would seem that even a non-magical implement is able to give him this bonus. [The cleric does not seem to get this same benefit for having a holy symbol].



Nice catch with the implenent, but it states a +1 to arcane attacks and a +1 to DCs.  If the wizard's staff was an implement, the spell DC would be 14, not 13.  Maybe wizards get a +1 to arcane attacks like how fighters get a +1 to weapon attacks?

However, the damage dice for most of the weapons, and the damage bonus for the fighter aren't explained. The fighter's damage is 2 higher than expected (after applying the +2 for their class feature listed on the sheet).     


True. I noticed his axe did 2d6 instead of 1d12 as well.