D&D 5E Adding proficiency to damage?

DND_Reborn

Legend
Quick thought/ question: do you think adding proficiency bonus to damage would be too much?

Two reasons for this, neither vital though, is 1) your damage modifier (ability + proficiency) would equal your attack modifier in most cases, and 2) I have one player who for the longest time kept wanting to add the PC's proficiency bonus to damage!

Now, preferably this would be a universal change--creatures would get it as well, which could be scary (especially at lower levels), but it could be a PC-only thing (though admittedly I am loathe to do that...).

Finally, I could be nit-picky and make it martials only for weapons, casters only for attack spells or something, but I would like to keep it as simply and clean as possible.

Thoughts?

EDIT: To be clearer since there is some confusion:

The short-way of looking at this is: if you make an attack roll or add you ability modifier to damage (either by default or a feature), you add your proficiency bonus (assuming you ARE proficient in the case of weapons).

Examples:

Potent Cantrips- Yes
Guiding Bolt- Yes
Magic Missile- No
Fireball- No (Note, a feature like the Sorcerer's Elemental Affinity would allow you to add your CHA mod to one target would also allow adding your proficiency bonus to that same target.)
Weapons- Yes, if proficient
 
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South by Southwest

Incorrigible Daydreamer
Oops! I should'a read more carefully!

So this is for all damage-dealing, then? Okay, in that case my first thought is that Agonizing Blast as a buff to Eldritch Blast just got a lot less special, right?
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Quick thought/ question: do you think adding proficiency bonus to damage would be too much?

Two reasons for this, neither vital though, is 1) your damage modifier (ability + proficiency) would equal your attack modifier in most cases, and 2) I have one player who for the longest time kept wanting to add the PC's proficiency bonus to damage!

Now, preferably this would be a universal change--creatures would get it as well, which could be scary (especially at lower levels), but it could be a PC-only thing (though admittedly I am loathe to do that...).
If it's just for the reasons you state above, you could make it player only by giving the monsters more hit points to compensate for the extra damage they're taking. I'd need to spend more time to think about how many you'd need to give them but I think a formula based on their existing HD could be figured out (modulo what I say below, which makes it a bit more difficult). Still might make the low level monsters too scary, but at least it's spread out over extra rounds they survive and not how fast they one-shot the low level characters.

Finally, I could be nit-picky and make it martials only for weapons, casters only for attack spells or something, but I would like to keep it as simply and clean as possible.
Honestly if I were going to do this I probably would only do it for attacks that already get the ability score bonus added to their damage, and then only for weapons that the character is actually proficient in. If the attack does straight up die roll damage with no bonus then it wouldn't get the proficiency bonus either. (ETA - also it would make the two-weapon fighting style a better choice for fighters if you were adding not just your ability score damage to the damage but also your proficiency bonus - might bring it up to some of the other choices).

Spellcaster damage already scales directly with level by using spell slots, the level of the spell, or cantrips that scale with character level. Adding in the proficiency bonus gives another direct scaling with level. Also the rogue's sneak attack damage scales with level directly. Conversely other martial character damage scales with level indirectly through additional attacks, which if you add the proficiency bonus to it would maybe help at higher levels (not sure of the impact at lower levels though). Keeping it to just attacks that get a bonus already keeps it simple and gives the characters who aren't doing their damage by casting spells a nice little extra bonus.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I had a couple new players attempt to do this in 5E and it got me thinking why isn’t this done?. Also, looking through the Star Wars SAGA edition last night, you DO add your “proficiency” modifier to damage rolls.

It’s easy enough to do to weapon attacks, but would it apply to spells? Maybe to cantrips*, but higher level spells, I‘m not so sure - both magic missile and fireball (multi-target spells) get a much greater boost. And what do you do for spells that inflict conditions (such as Charm Person) but don’t deal straight damage. And what about Sleep?

I’m of two minds on it; it would help to make some combats go faster, but you lose some use of low-level baddies (kobolds certainly come to mind) unless you ramp up the numbers because you know they’re going to die in one hit for sure.

Also, would monsters get this?

* I am fine with Agonizing Blast going away so Warlocks can take more interesting abilities. Same for those class features that add a small damage bump to spells as a leveled feature.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
So this is for all damage-dealing, then?
Well, the short-way of looking at this is: if you add you ability to damage (either by default or a feature), you add your proficiency bonus (assuming you ARE proficient in the case of weapons).

Okay, in that case my first thought is that Agonizing Blast as a buff to Eldritch Blast just got a lot less special, right?
Actually, it makes it even better since the invocation allows you to add your Charisma modifier, you would get to add your proficiency bonus.

(FWIW we house-ruled the CHA mod to damage is for one beam only, not all four potentially...).

Other features, such as potent cantrips, would work the same.
 

The main advantage I see is that the to hit and damage bonuses being different is something a large subset of new (and a much smaller subset of not-so-new) players struggle with, so it would streamline an evidently counterintuitive part of the rules.

If it applied to cantrip damage then it complicates rather than simplifies by turning cantrip damage from just a die to die and proficiency. If it applies to spells in general then it creates endless questions of when to apply it to what damage (because while many damage dealing spells are straightforward, plenty involve multiple damages at multiple times etc.) If it did not apply to cantrip damage then the quadratic-ness of sorcerer or wizard progression becomes more pronounced (though I suppose they could just work a crossbow like the mages of old).
 

South by Southwest

Incorrigible Daydreamer
Actually, it makes it even better since the invocation allows you to add your Charisma modifier, you would get to add your proficiency bonus.
Oh, yeah--I don't dispute that at all. My point was only that the big advantage I always saw in Eldritch Blast at early levels was that it guaranteed no 1s or 2s on damage; under your proposed idea, that'd go to all damage-dealing spells. EB would still stand as the most powerful, though, certainly--it'd be a cannon.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
The main advantage I see is that the to hit and damage bonuses being different is something a large subset of new (and a much smaller subset of not-so-new) players struggle with, so it would streamline an evidently counterintuitive part of the rules.
Yeah, I see it happening with about 60% of new players... Most "get it" after a session or two, but I've had a couple who still do it after more than a year of playing.

If it applied to cantrip damage then it complicates rather than simplifies by turning cantrip damage from just a die to die and proficiency. If it applies to spells in general then it creates endless questions of when to apply it to what damage (because while many damage dealing spells are straightforward, plenty involve multiple damages at multiple times etc.) If it did not apply to cantrip damage then the quadratic-ness of sorcerer or wizard progression becomes more pronounced (though I suppose they could just work a crossbow like the mages of old).
It only applies to cantrip or spell damage if you are already adding your ability modifier to damage somehow, such as Agonizing Blast, Potent Cantrips, spell attack spells such as Guiding Bolt.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Oh, yeah--I don't dispute that at all. My point was only that the big advantage I always saw in Eldritch Blast at early levels was that it guaranteed no 1s or 2s on damage; under your proposed idea, that'd go to all damage-dealing spells. EB would still stand as the most powerful, though, certainly--it'd be a cannon.
Oh, gotcha!

Yeah, but no different than a martial using a heavy crossbow (d10 + DEX mod, would gain proficiency bonus as well...). 🤷‍♂️

I'm not arguing it wouldn't be great, but you gain it at level 2 and it is obviously a focus for your PC. Since we nerfed it to only ONE beam even at higher levels, I think it should be ok.
 

South by Southwest

Incorrigible Daydreamer
Yeah, about the only potential worry I see is this, and it runs on the assumption this bonus applies to monsters and NPCs as well as PCs: all else held equal, PC death becomes more common now. I think that'd be fine, but I acknowledge some players dislike it.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Yeah, about the only potential worry I see is this, and it runs on the assumption this bonus applies to monsters and NPCs as well as PCs: all else held equal, PC death becomes more common now. I think that'd be fine, but I acknowledge some players dislike it.
I am not a fan of having PC only rules as I mentioned in the OP, but the idea of an orc average 11 damage instead of 9 is just terrifying IMO for 1st level PCs! They could already one-hit many 1st-level PCs and with this idea even more so. YIKES! :eek:

We'll see. Hopefully I'll get more feedback on it during the week. 🤷‍♂️

Thanks for your input.
 


I always found it weird that Proficiency adds to everything else, showing your character getting better and better, and yet, the very same thing doesn't apply to actually causing damage. I mean yeah, it helps ya hit things better via the Attack Roll, but still.

One of the Virtues (AKA: Feats) from Adventures in Middle Earth 5E actually legit adds your Proficiency Score to your AC if your Sword and Board (Swordmaster). And then there is another Virtue called Fell-Handed and that "raises the damage of all your successful melee attacks by half your proficiency bonus, rounded up." There is also a ranged version of Fell-Handed for ranged attacks called Dour-Handed.
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
I always found it weird that Proficiency adds to everything else, showing your character getting better and better, and yet, the very same thing doesn't apply to actually causing damage. I mean yeah, it helps ya hit things better via the Attack Roll, but still.
Yeah, it is a bit odd... :cautious:

One of the Virtues (AKA: Feats) from Adventures in Middle Earth 5E actually legit adds your Proficiency Score to your AC if your Sword and Board (Swordmaster). And then there is another Virtue called Fell-Handed and that "raises the damage of all your successful melee attacks by half your proficiency bonus, rounded up." There is also a ranged version of Fell-Handed for ranged attacks called Dour-Handed.
I KNEW I liked that game for some reason (well, I haven't played it yet but I have the main book...).

FWIW, a LONG time ago we had a house-rule you added half-proficiency to AC IIRC--- frankly, it has been a while and we change house-rules like our pants LOL! (which is often, in case you were wondering. ;) )
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
My main concern is that it benefits some classes/builds more than others. At 5th level a monk gets a +9-12 extra damage a round, while a rogue gets +3, and most wizards get +0.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
My main concern is that it benefits some classes/builds more than others. At 5th level a monk gets a +9-12 extra damage a round, while a rogue gets +3, and most wizards get +0.
Wizards would get the same +3 as rogues. Classes with more attacks (such as monks) would get more chances for improved damage, but IME most players think their damage is suboptimal anyway.

I would consider making it a once per turn thing, but then it is still confusing (if not more so). The biggest point would be so that for attacks (whether weapon or spell), the attack modifier and damage modifier would be equal--to eliminate confusion.
 


Horwath

Hero
Would do it via fighting styles:
3 categories:
one handed melee weapons(unarmed included),
twohanded melee weapons,
ranged weapons

ranged and one handed weapons get prof bonus to damage,
2Handed weapons get 2×prof bonus to damage
 

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