Combat Statistics

This section summarizes the statistics that determine success in combat, then details how to use them.

Attack Roll

An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round. When you make an attack roll, you roll a d20 and add your attack bonus. (Other modifiers may also apply to this roll.) If your result equals or beats the target's Armor Class, you hit and deal damage.

Automatic Misses and Hits: A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss. A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also a threat—a possible critical hit (see the attack action).

Attack Bonus

Your attack bonus with a melee weapon is the following:

Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + size modifier

With a ranged weapon, your attack bonus is the following:

Base attack bonus + Dexterity modifier + size modifier + range penalty

Defense

Defense represents how hard it is for opponents to land a solid, damaging blow on you. It's the attack roll result that an opponent needs to achieve to hit you. Your Defense is equal to the following:

10 + Dexterity modifier + other modifiers

Note that armor limits your Dexterity bonus, so if you're wearing armor, you might not be able to apply your whole Dexterity bonus to your Defense.

Sometimes you can't use your Dexterity bonus (if you have one). If you can't react to a blow, you can't use your Dexterity bonus to Defense. If you don't have a Dexterity bonus, your Defense does not change.

Touch Attacks: Some attacks only require the aggressor need to touch a foe for an attack to take full effect. In these cases, the attacker makes a touch attack roll (either ranged or melee). When you are the target of a touch attack, you may not add any deflection bonuses to your Defense.

Damage

If your attack succeeds, you deal damage. The type of weapon used determines the amount of damage you deal.

Damage reduces a target's current hit points.

Minimum Damage: If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of nonlethal damage.

Strength Bonus: When you hit with a melee or thrown weapon, including a sling, add your Strength modifier to the damage result. A Strength penalty, but not a bonus, applies on damage rolls made with a bow that is not a composite bow.

Off-Hand Weapon: When you deal damage with a weapon in your off hand, you add only 1/2 your Strength bonus. If you have a Strength penalty, the entire penalty applies.

Wielding a Weapon Two-Handed: When you deal damage with a weapon that you are wielding two-handed, you add 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus (Strength penalties are not multiplied). You don't get this higher Strength bonus, however, when using a light weapon with two hands.

Ability Damage: Certain creatures and magical effects can cause temporary or permanent ability damage (a reduction to an ability score).

Hit Points

When your hit point total reaches 0, you're dying. When it gets to -10, you're dead.

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