Attack Damage by Class


For the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons, I’m contemplating a rule that I found in Dungeon World: a character’s damage output, regardless of what weapon that they’re holding, is defined by their Class.

This applies to weapons, both melee and ranged, not to spells or special abilities. For example, a Wizard may only do d6 damage with a sword, but Spell X still does 2d6 damage.

The reason for wanting to implement this? There are a few, actually:

  1. Makes the Fighter more useful.
  2. Promotes a greater diversity in weapon choice. No longer will most characters pick the exact same weapons for mechanical reasons, but more for personal style.
  3. Simplifies the game a bit (I love streamlining things these days).

How does this work? Here’s how:

  • Your damage die is the same as your Hit Die.
  • Weapon range, damage type and special rules or “tags” still apply (e.g. piercing, versatile, reach etc…)
  • If a weapon is large, roll two dice for damage.
  • If a weapon is versatile, your damage roll has “advantage” (you roll two dice but pick the highest result).

Some have criticized this idea because “there’s no reason for anyone to carry any other weapon than a dagger or a small rock”. Not true: damage type, reach and other rules still apply. Also, as the GM, if I feel that the weapon being used is inappropriate or awkward depending on context (hitting a dragon with a butter-knife), then you’ll be at a Disadvantage on your to-hit roll and the target might have resistance. Rulings, not rules, and I only play with friends at my gaming table, so “exploits” are not tolerated anyway.

This has worked splendidly in Dungeon World and I see no issue whatsoever with how it would work with D&D. So far, anyway.

Gotta try this out!