Rules Index | GM Screen | Player's Guide

Chapter 9: Playing the Game / General Rules / Damage

Step 1: Roll the Damage Dice and Apply Modifiers, Bonuses, and Penalties

Source Core Rulebook pg. 450 3.0
Your weapon, unarmed attack, spell, or sometimes even a magic item determines what type of dice you roll for damage, and how many. For instance, if you’re using a normal longsword, you’ll roll 1d8. If you’re casting a 3rd-level fireball spell, you’ll roll 6d6. Sometimes, especially in the case of weapons, you’ll apply modifiers, bonuses, and penalties to the damage.

When you use melee weapons, unarmed attacks, and thrown ranged weapons, the most common modifier you’ll add to damage is your Strength ability modifier. Weapons with the propulsive trait sometimes add half your Strength modifier. You typically do not add an ability modifier to spell damage, damage from most ranged weapons, or damage from alchemical bombs and similar items.

As with checks, you might add circumstance, status, or item bonuses to your damage rolls, but if you have multiple bonuses of the same type, you add only the highest bonus of that type. Again like checks, you may also apply circumstance, status, item, and untyped penalties to the damage roll, and again you apply only the greatest penalty of a specific type but apply all untyped penalties together.

Use the formulas below.

Melee damage roll = damage die of weapon or unarmed attack + Strength modifier + bonuses + penalties

Ranged damage roll = damage die of weapon + Strength modifier for thrown weapons + bonuses + penalties

Spell (and similar effects) damage roll = damage die of the effect + bonuses + penalties

If the combined penalties on an attack would reduce the damage to 0 or below, you still deal 1 damage. Once your damage die is rolled, and you’ve applied any modifiers, bonuses, and penalties, move on to Step 2. Though sometimes there are special considerations, described below.

Increasing Damage

Source Core Rulebook pg. 451 3.0
In some cases, you increase the number of dice you roll when making weapon damage rolls. Magic weapons etched with the striking rune can add one or more weapon damage dice to your damage roll. These extra dice are the same die size as the weapon’s damage die. At certain levels, most characters gain the ability to deal extra damage from the weapon specialization class feature.

Persistent Damage

Source Core Rulebook pg. 451 3.0
Persistent damage is a condition that causes damage to recur beyond the original effect. Like normal damage, it can be doubled or halved based on the results of an attack roll or saving throw. Unlike with normal damage, when you are subject to persistent damage, you don't take it right away. Instead, you take the specified damage at the end of your turns, after which you attempt a DC 15 flat check to see if you recover from the persistent damage. See the Conditions Appendix on pages 618–623 for the complete rules regarding the persistent damage condition.

Doubling and Halving Damage

Source Core Rulebook pg. 451 3.0
Sometimes you’ll need to halve or double an amount of damage, such as when the outcome of your Strike is a critical hit, or when you succeed at a basic Reflex save against a spell. When this happens, you roll the damage normally, adding all the normal modifiers, bonuses, and penalties. Then you double or halve the amount as appropriate (rounding down if you halved it). The GM might allow you to roll the dice twice and double the modifiers, bonuses, and penalties instead of doubling the entire result, but this usually works best for single-target attacks or spells at low levels when you have a small number of damage dice to roll. Benefits you gain specifically from a critical hit, like the flaming weapon rune’s persistent fire damage or the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, aren’t doubled.