When a character hits a monster, or vice versa, damage is suffered by the
victim. The amount of damage depends on the weapon or method of attack. In Table 44 of the Player's Handbook, all weapons are rated for the amount of damage they inflict to Small,
Medium, and Large targets. This is given as a die range (1d8, 2d6, etc.)
Each time a hit is scored, the appropriate dice are rolled and the
result--damage--is subtracted from the current hit points of the target. An orc that
attacks with a sword, for example, causes damage according to the information given
for the type of sword it uses. A troll that bites once and rends with one of
its clawed hands causes 2d6 points of damage with its bite and 1d4 + 4 points
with its claw. The DM gets this information from the Monstrous Manual.
Sometimes damage is listed as a die range along with a bonus of +1 or more.
The troll's claw attack, above, is a good example. This bonus may be due to high
Strength, magical weapons, or the sheer ferocity of the creature's attack. The
bonus is added to whatever number comes up on the die roll, assuring that some
minimum amount of damage is inflicted. Likewise, penalties also can be applied,
but no successful attack can result in less than 1 point of damage.
Sometimes an attack has both a die roll and a damage multiplier. The number
rolled on the dice is boosted by the multiplier to determine how much damage is
inflicted. This occurs mainly in backstabbing attempts. In cases where damage is
multiplied, only the base damage caused by the weapon is multiplied. Bonuses
due to Strength or magic are not multiplied. Bonuses due to Strength or magic
are not multiplied; they are added after the rolled damage is multiplied.
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