Content of the article: "I calculated the average damage output of four classic character options accounting for AC over all 20 levels."
Here's a link to my results.
Hi D&Dnext; I, like many of you, love numbers. So when I saw a thread earlier talking about monks and discussion as to what the worst martial class was, I was interested. In particular, there was a debate as to whether or not a rogue could outdamage a fighter. I imagine that most people here know that a fighter with Great Weapon Master can outdamage a rogue at any level assuming all attacks hit, but that isn't realistic. So I calculated how much damage four different types of warriors could do in a sample adventure. The 'adventure' has two fights per short rest, each lasting three rounds, for a total of six rounds of combat per short rest.
The characters consist of two fighters; one with a shield and one with a two handed weapon, and two rogues; one with a bow and one with two melee weapons. For simplicity's sake I made the fighters champions and the rogues thieves. Changing the subclasses could significantly increase the fighters' damage, but would have minimal effect on the rogues. Everyone started with a 16 in their primary stat and no feats. ASIs went to increasing the primary stat first, followed by feats. No one has any magic items. If magic items were distributed, if would help the fighters more as they have more attacks.
The target of the characters' attacks have AC determined by the Dungeon Master Guide's recommendations for creating your own monsters, with the target AC being equal to the advised AC for a monster with challenge rating equal to character level. This part isn't realistic, but the enemy cannot impose conditions on the characters.
It came as a shock to me, but taking the Sharpshooter feat hurts the ranged rogue. They have advantage on attack rolls once they get cunning action, so the -5 penalty lowered their it chance from 87.75% to 64%, enough that the +10 damage didn't make up for the average damage lost after level 4.
The damage dip at level 10 comes from the AC, not any decrease in gross damage output. At level 9 they have a 70% chance of hitting, while every other level has a 65% chance of hitting. The duel wielding rogue takes the duel wielder feat at level 10, so their net damage still goes up.
In this situation, the rogues do better in Tier 1, while the fighter with the two-handed weapon out-preforms everyone else once they hit level 5. Overall though it is surprisingly balanced. Of course this doesn't account for two large variables that put fighters even more over the top: magic items and better subclasses. I hope you found this interesting; if people want I could do one with different fighter subclasses.
- Fighter V.S. other martials – Sticc Hitt R’ Us
- Fighter Vs. Wizard: Single Target Damage
- The Piercer feat in the new UA synergizes really well with higher level Barbarians and Half-Orc Martial characters, and potentially provides a good reason for said characters to use a pike.
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