Building Blocks 4: Calculating Weapon Damage #3

Calculating Weapon Damage pt 3: the Damage Modifier and Seeker Bonus

Damage is more than just the base weapon damage.  Every time you hit there are a series of damage modifiers that are added to the weapon damage.  There are several things that can be a part of this number.  They include primarily the weapon enhancement bonus and your strength modifier (for 2 handed weapons it is 1.5*strength modifier and for off hand weapons it is .5*strength) but can also situationally include luck bonuses (ex: the spell prayer), bard songs, enhancements, feats (power attack), and item bonuses.  Basically, anything that gives a + # to damage is included in this number.  Some rare weapons use stats other than strength to determine their damage modifier.  It does not include any + dice from sources such as sneak attack or weapon effects.


This number is one that can situationally change and is also very character dependent.  Because of this we are going to express this damage modifier as a variable.  This will give us some additional insight into calculating a weapon’s damage for comparing purposes.  Just like calculating base weapon damage we are going to calculate this modifier for each of the 20 possible rolls.  Remember that the damage modifier is also multiplied on critical hits.  Let’s start by looking at our baseline: the club.


Weapon 1 2 – 19 20 Sum Avg
Club 0 1[D] 2[D] 20[D] 1[D]


[D] in this chart stands for the total damage modifier.  As I said, expressing this modifier as a variable will give us insight later.  As with weapon damage a weapon with a 20/x2 crit profile simply averages out the damage as if each hit was a normal hit.  Now let’s look at the same 3 weapons we looked at with weapon damage: the rapier, kopesh, and great axe.


Weapon 1 2 – 17 18 19 20 Sum Avg Crit+
Rapier 0 1[D] 2[D] 2[D] 2[D] 22[D] 1.1[D] 0.1[D]
Kopesh 0 1[D] 1[D] 3[D] 3[D] 23[D] 1.15[D] 0.15[D]
Greataxe 0 1[D] 1[D] 1[D] 3[D] 21[D] 1.05[D] 0.05[D]



Notice again that the kopesh increases the average damage more than the other 2 weapons. Let’s look a little closer at the rapier and kopesh.  Do you see that as your damage modifier is higher that the kopesh becomes an increasingly better weapon than the rapier?  It’s not a very large difference when you average it out but by the same token even a small difference becomes increasingly larger the more swings we take.


Now let’s take a look at another type of weapon modifier: the seeker bonus.  This bonus is only applied to the damage bonus on critical hits.  It is a pretty rare magic item boost found on only a few items in the game, most notably the blood stone.  The crit multiplier is applied to this bonus too.  Let’s see what we get when we add this into the 4 weapons we’ve been using.


Weapon 1 2 – 17 18 19 20 Sum Avg Crit+
Club 0 0 0 0 2[S] 2[S] 0.1[S] 0.1[S]
Rapier 0 0 2[S] 2[S] 2[S] 6[S] 0.3[S] 0.3[S]
Kopesh 0 0 0 3[S] 3[S] 6[S] 0.3[S] 0.3[S]
Greataxe 0 0 0 0 3[S] 3[S] 0.15[S] 0.15[S]


This time [S] represents the seeker bonus.  Notice that for this bonus the rapier and kopesh are in fact equally good. With this bonus there will be less variation between weapons because the determining factor is [number of crits]*[crit multiplier].


Let’s finish this section by combining base weapon damage, the damage multiplier, and the seeker bonus.


Weapon Base damage Damage mod Seeker
Club 3.5 [D] 0.1[S]
Rapier 3.85 1.1[D] 0.3[S]
Kopesh 5.175 1.15[D] 0.3[S]
Greataxe 6.825 1.05[D] 0.15[S]

If you have a topic or a build youd like me to look at drop me an email ( or leave a comment.  I am in no way guaranteeing that I will consider, reply to, or let alone read comments in anything resembling a timely manner (sorry, tiem is unfortunately not an infinite resource of mine until I am high enough level to cast time stop).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *