When to roll a 1d4 for damage.

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Hi I'm a newb to D&D and for the last couple of days I've been reading throught the red box dm's book and in the section entiteled Attacks it mentions about how when you use a melle basic attack and you hit the damage is 1[W]+Strenght modifier. So I have two questions, 1. Does every character class, like a rogue or wizard use their strenght modifier for a melle basic attack or would they use something like their dexterity? 2. In the players handbook in the red box there is a section which describes attacking an it tells you to write down in the attack bonus section of your character sheet (if your playing rogue) +7 attack bonus, dagger, damage= 1d4+4. Im just wondering when would you use this as most of the rogues powers, including melle basic attack, either replace the dice you roll to something like 1d6 or replace the modifier to something like strength. Do you ever actually roll an attack which deals 1d4+4 damage? Any advice would be helpful.

 Everyone uses Strength for their Melee Basic Attacks and Dexterity for their Ranged Basic Attacks. Although each class uses their primary ability for their class powers, MBAs and RBAs are not class powers. They're powers that evryone has regardless of their character class.

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1. Does every character class, like a rogue or wizard use their strenght modifier for a melle basic attack or would they use something like their dexterity?



Out-of-the-box, everybody uses Strength.  Melee Basic Attack is a specific power that you can find in the core rulebooks that everybody can use, but of course only characters with high strength can use it effectively.  There are feats, specifically the Melee Training feats, which allow you to key your melee basic off other stats.
Ranged Basic Attack is pretty much the same but with ranged weapons and always uses Dexterity, however to my knowledge there is no widely-available feat to change that.

There are also powers that some classes have that replace basic attacks.  You can use them anytime you'd normally make a basic attack, but they're tailored to those classes so they use that class's main stat.

2. In the players handbook in the red box there is a section which describes attacking an it tells you to write down in the attack bonus section of your character sheet (if your playing rogue) +7 attack bonus, dagger, damage= 1d4+4. Im just wondering when would you use this as most of the rogues powers, including melle basic attack, either replace the dice you roll to something like 1d6 or replace the modifier to something like strength. Do you ever actually roll an attack which deals 1d4+4 damage? Any advice would be helpful.



You will roll the d4 whenever you are holding a dagger (daggers do 1d4 base damage) and make an attack that does damage including [W], which means weapon damage.  1[W] means 1d4, 2[W] means 2d4.

In the example in the player's handbook, on page 10 you do intially do 1d4 + 4 damage.
The Bump and Run and Defensive Strike powers on pages 11 and 12 also do 1d4 + 4.

The cards for some reason specify 1d6, though, you're right.  And that's weird, because at the end of the player's book you're still holding a dagger, and all of those powers should be 1[W] damage - at least, I know Deft Strike is.  In the game proper, they'd do the appropriate damage for the weapon you're holding, 1d4 for a dagger or 1d6 for a short sword for instance.

It's not the first mistake I've run across in the Red Box player's book.

Ranged Basic Attack is pretty much the same but with ranged weapons and always uses Dexterity, however to my knowledge there is no widely-available feat to change that.




  If you are using a weapon with the Heavy Thrown property for a ranged attack then you always use Strength instead of Dexterity for both attack and damage. 
   However, the feat Precision Throw (Martial Power 2) lets you use Dex for heavy thrown weapons instead of Str.

  Some Style feats may let you use Strength instead of Dex for ranged attacks on certain associated powers.

The feat Serene Archery (from Dragon magazine) lets you use Wisdom instead of Dex for ranged basic attacks with a bow with which you are proficient.  Requires that you worship Sehanine.



..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />  If you are using a weapon with the Heavy Thrown property for a ranged attack then you always use Strength instead of Dexterity for both attack and damage. 
   However, the feat Precision Throw (Martial Power 2) lets you use Dex for heavy thrown weapons instead of Str.

  Some Style feats may let you use Strength instead of Dex for ranged attacks on certain associated powers.

The feat Serene Archery (from Dragon magazine) lets you use Wisdom instead of Dex for ranged basic attacks with a bow with which you are proficient.  Requires that you worship Sehanine.



And as is usual, somebody knows the exceptions I hadn't seen.  Cheers!
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />  If you are using a weapon with the Heavy Thrown property for a ranged attack then you always use Strength instead of Dexterity for both attack and damage. 
   However, the feat Precision Throw (Martial Power 2) lets you use Dex for heavy thrown weapons instead of Str.

  Some Style feats may let you use Strength instead of Dex for ranged attacks on certain associated powers.

The feat Serene Archery (from Dragon magazine) lets you use Wisdom instead of Dex for ranged basic attacks with a bow with which you are proficient.  Requires that you worship Sehanine.



And as is usual, somebody knows the exceptions I hadn't seen.  Cheers!

Mostly I've just figured out the tricks for searching the online compendium without (usually) getting too many false positives.
Regarding the question in the 2nd very similar thread you started.  I don't have the Red Box for reference but I'll answer best I can.

Hi I've started reading the DM's book in the new 4e Red box and there is something I cant get my head around. It states that a rogue who uses a melee basic attack does 1d4+ Strength Modifier damage. On top of this on all of the rogues power cards, eg Deft Strike, Bump and Run ect... it states that if a rogue hits with that power they do 1d6+ Dex. Modifier damage. This is contrast, however, to the playersbook in the red box in which a scenario is presented where the rogue jumps off a cart sneaks up to a goblin and attacks doing 1d4+ Dex. Modifier damage.
   So what Im wondering is when would a rogue ever attack something  and do 1d4+4 (Dex. Modifier) damage? Is there some sort of basic attack I dont know of that does this or is there a misprint on the rogues power cards? I just cant figure it out.


  The 1d6 appears to be an error on the power cards.  The 1d6 would be accurate if the Rogue is wielding a Short Sword instead of a Dagger.  With a Dagger being wielded, they should all be 1d4, anywhere where the power shows a [W].


On a side note, what happens if one of my players  says to me in a combat encounter "I approach the goblin and stab it with my dagger"? Do I take it that the character is making a Melee basic attack?, do I tell the character they have to use one of their powers or do I just let the character roll and take it that the character does 1d4+4 damage?



They should be clear what power they are using to attack, whether it is "Melee Basic Attack", "Ranged Basic Attack", "Deft Strike" or something else.  If they are making a Melee Basic attack, that's fine, but note that unless the Rogue has Melee Training (Dexterity) as a feat, a Melee Basic Attack will use Strength instead of Dexterity for the attack and damage roll.

   Deft Strike on the other hand will use Dexterity for the attack roll and do 1d4+4 damage because the power card says it uses dexterity, whether you're using it for a melee attack or a ranged attack.
  In general a Rogue would be using Deft Strike for most attacks.  A Melee Basic Attack or Ranged Basic Attack would mostly be used when either:
A) They make an oppurtunity attack
B) an Ally (such as a Warlord) grants them the ability to make a free basic attack.
C) At the end of a Charge action.

  It's also important that they state what power they are using for the action because of extra effects. For example, Deft Strike has the extra effect :
"Effect: Before the attack, you can move up to 2 squares."
That 2 squares of movement is part of the same standard action as Deft Strike.

 So in their turn a rogue can:
1) Take a minor action to do something
2) Take a move action to move up to their speed (or other move actions)
3) And use Deft Strike to move an additional 2 squares and make an attack.






Thanks for the answer, I created the other thread because I felt I hadn't worded this one well enough for people to understand what question I was asking, but thanks for all the help, I think I finally understand when you would roll 1d4, and Im starting to realise the limitations and problems with the red box.