D&D 5E Which characters are the DPR (damage per round) leaders at your table(s)?

Ironicly the 2 of 3 highest DPR characters we have had over the year both were heavy multi classed.

1) a barbarian with a great axe... nothing special just in that game it was awesome he was a half orc as well helping with crit damage

2) a ranger monk (I know I am shocked too) who was a dex based shortsword fighter who would fight multi foes. He didn't have a lot of single target but against groups he was making like a billion attacks (base attack, then either flurry or off hand, then attack an adjacent target...then his second attack

3) another ranger multi. A gloom stalker (I think that is the name of subclass) Assassin owlkin who could move in, make a bunch of attacks (including a free extra one from gloom stalk, an off hand, a main hand, and a 2nd) in first round, all count as crits if he could get surprise (and hey with his stealth and quick thinking he did about 1/3 of the time) and one of these got SA damage added)
 

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That has not been my experience. I've found martials, especially well optimized martials, can and do out damage casters, even with AoE counted in.
for damage the only caster I have seen keep up is one in melee (a hexblade) the spellcaster just do EVERYTHING other then damage better, and even falling behind they are not behind AVERAGE martial damage.

I have found you can optimize anyone for damage, but the melee characters optimize for it best... the same can not be said for movement, exploration, discovery, info gathering, roleplay, battle field control, and damage mitigation (although AC as the specific form of Damage mitigation is also in favor of martial)

My problem I often site as "Casters rule and Martials Drool" comes from the fact that Casters just have 100x more options
 

Well, I was sort of proven wrong. It took more than 5 replies before someone challenged the very premise of the thread. But it still occurred on the first page. I'll call that a draw.

Having tracked some numbers in a couple campaigns: at low levels things are very wonky, but beyond those early levels casters creep up (especially when days are short...and they're usually short) and the mechanics don't so much reverse that trend as slow it down.
 

I don't generally run modules, so I often build encounters with my players in mind. If one of them is playing a big AOE blaster, then I am more inclined to include some minions specifically for them to blow up big piles of minions! If there are more martials than casters, I lean towards a smaller number of memorable brutes. It's not something that happens every battle, but it does flavor my encounter design.

So, it can be a self fulfilling prophecy. These biases absolutely skew my numbers.

I do find SS to be a pretty beefy percentage of martial damage, even in games run by other DMs.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
In my GREYHAWK campaign, among a party consisting of a Human Valor Bard, Human Battlemaster Fighter, Gnome Arcane Rogue and Human Transmuter Wizard, the Rogue is the heavy hitter. When the Wizard deals an area of effect damage, it matches it but in the long run the Rogue remains ahead of everyone over the course of an adventuring day.
 

Oofta

Legend
Well, I was sort of proven wrong. It took more than 5 replies before someone challenged the very premise of the thread. But it still occurred on the first page. I'll call that a draw.

Having tracked some numbers in a couple campaigns: at low levels things are very wonky, but beyond those early levels casters creep up (especially when days are short...and they're usually short) and the mechanics don't so much reverse that trend as slow it down.
The response also included an answer to the OP's question. Threads almost always go off track now and then. On the other hand, I was counting how many posts there would be before someone whined about the fact that I included something other than the answer to the question without adding anything to the thread, so thanks for that!
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
It varies. I think in past campaigns (each going to level 12 except for HotDQ which went to 15), it was:

group 1: Gloomstalker ranger (with shadow sorcerer, eldritch knight, assassin, moon druid)
group 2: tempest cleric (this was my PC in HotdQ). had a barbarian, warlock/fighter, rogue, and sorcerer
group 3: rogue swashbucker (with barbarian/druid, monk, necromancer wizard, beastmaster ranger)
group 4, current group level 9: rune knight (me). Other party members are shadow monk, fire druid, bard/rogue, warlock. In this last group, the higher levels we go, the more my RK separates himself as the heavy hitter.

Keep in mind we don't do a lot of short or long rests, for various in-game reasons, so I will admit that spells in our games tend to be more cautiously applied. We are pretty close to 3-4 encounters before short rest, and 6-8 between long rests.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
It varies. I think in past campaigns (each going to level 12 except for HotDQ which went to 15), it was:

group 1: Gloomstalker ranger (with shadow sorcerer, eldritch knight, assassin, moon druid)
group 2: tempest cleric (this was my PC in HotdQ). had a barbarian, warlock/fighter, rogue, and sorcerer
group 3: rogue swashbucker (with barbarian/druid, monk, necromancer wizard, beastmaster ranger)
group 4, current group level 9: rune knight (me). Other party members are shadow monk, fire druid, bard/rogue, warlock. In this last group, the higher levels we go, the more my RK separates himself as the heavy hitter.

Keep in mind we don't do a lot of short or long rests, for various in-game reasons, so I will admit that spells in our games tend to be more cautiously applied. We are pretty close to 3-4 encounters before short rest, and 6-8 between long rests.

Yes, I think this is a huge factor. The more the party is allowed to dictate the pace of play (eg. being able to rest when they want etc.) the more likely it is that casters will dominate combat (as oppose to reserving big spells for "clutch" situations).
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Yes, I think this is a huge factor. The more the party is allowed to dictate the pace of play (eg. being able to rest when they want etc.) the more likely it is that casters will dominate combat (as oppose to reserving big spells for "clutch" situations).
Also, I was counting indirect damage the PC is responsible for. If we count all available spells and caster abilities, we need to do the same for the other classes as well. Therefore, When I once per short rest redirect damage using the cloud rune, that counts. Not only in preventing damage from an ally, but inflicting it to an enemy. So when that gnome mindflayer made an attack roll inflicting 58 points of damage to the monk, and I redirected it to their buddy mind flayer, that should count towards my overall damage output. IMO anyway.
 

The response also included an answer to the OP's question. Threads almost always go off track now and then. On the other hand, I was counting how many posts there would be before someone whined about the fact that I included something other than the answer to the question without adding anything to the thread, so thanks for that!
You get crapped on for "white room theorizing" or people telling you you're a dirty filthy optimizer without telling you you're a dirty filthy optimizer one too many times, and it starts to get under one's skin.

Consider how you might feel if someone asked about what people look for when playing old systems and the 15th post was someone giving an answer, but appending at the end, "Of course, the real motive is usually nostalgia alone."
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Also, I was counting indirect damage the PC is responsible for. If we count all available spells and caster abilities, we need to do the same for the other classes as well. Therefore, When I once per short rest redirect damage using the cloud rune, that counts. Not only in preventing damage from an ally, but inflicting it to an enemy. So when that gnome mindflayer made an attack roll inflicting 58 points of damage to the monk, and I redirected it to their buddy mind flayer, that should count towards my overall damage output. IMO anyway.

I certainly think it counts: an ability you used caused the enemy to take damage, therefore counts as your damage - keeps it simple.

Certainly interesting to have an ability that gets stronger the stronger an enemy attack is!
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
1) Wizard, 2) Rogue

I keep waiting for the Paladin to dish out the most damage but nobody in our campaigns seems to play them as damage focused in all these years so what yah gonna do? I guess that means I should play one soon :)
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
You get crapped on for "white room theorizing" or people telling you you're a dirty filthy optimizer without telling you you're a dirty filthy optimizer one too many times, and it starts to get under one's skin.

Consider how you might feel if someone asked about what people look for when playing old systems and the 15th post was someone giving an answer, but appending at the end, "Of course, the real motive is usually nostalgia alone."
You're a dirty filthy optimizer ER!
Well no. Really you're a pretty clean and spotless optimizer ER.
I bet you smell nice too.
 

Lidgar

Legend
Currently it is the swashbuckling rogue. It’s very rare when she does not get a sneak attack on her turn. That may change once the party hits 5th level, when both casters and Fighter types get a significant bump.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
In one game I am running the rogue is the damage per round lead, with the barbarian not far behind them. The warlock/sorcerer is moderate in terms of damage, the bard the furthest behind. Early Tier 2.

In another I am running, the archer ranger was the damage leader by a good amount. The rogue and paladin were the next, followed by the cleric, then followed by moon druid and wizard and lastly by bard. (I mention "was" because the ranger and wizard players bought a house out of state and were replaced by the rogue and the cleric.) High tier 2.

In a game I play, the rogue is the damage leader, followed by the cleric and paladin followed by the wizard. However we just had a barbarian join us and only one combat so far who is also way up in the damage - need more time to see if it was just good rolling or what we should expect on a recurring basis.

A caster who can do more than just do damage shouldn't be able to do as much as characters who can only do damage. If they do as much damage plus can do more, that's imbalanced compared to damage-only classes. Yes, using a limited resource can provide a single action damage more than a repeatable at-will, but that doesn't mean that over the course of an adventuring day they keep up.

However, many DMs bias towards casters by doing things such as running too few encounters per day. Casters that don't use up all of their slots, or just use up their slots and have little need for cantrips are getting an advantage from the DM.
 

Oofta

Legend
You get crapped on for "white room theorizing" or people telling you you're a dirty filthy optimizer without telling you you're a dirty filthy optimizer one too many times, and it starts to get under one's skin.

Consider how you might feel if someone asked about what people look for when playing old systems and the 15th post was someone giving an answer, but appending at the end, "Of course, the real motive is usually nostalgia alone."
Have you contributed anything other than crapping on my posts in this thread? Was I telling anyone they were wrong? No? I included an off-topic comment that I felt was relevant. It was in addition to other thoughts and experience on DPR. Looks to me like you're just looking for an excuse to nag.

In any case, I'm done having this particular conversation. Bye-bye!
 

Have you contributed anything other than crapping on my posts in this thread? Was I telling anyone they were wrong? No? I included an off-topic comment that I felt was relevant. It was in addition to other thoughts and experience on DPR. Looks to me like you're just looking for an excuse to nag.

In any case, I'm done having this particular conversation. Bye-bye!
Why, yes, I did. I specifically mentioned what tracking I had done in two previous campaigns I'd done (to be clear, as a player; I haven't run 5e and don't really feel inclined to). One was near the tail end of the public playtest, so the tracking was an overt effort to do that very playtesting. The other was a few years later, on a lark. I also mentioned what patterns I observed in those cases. Despite the release, I didn't notice many changes between the late public playtest and the official release.
 

Also, I was counting indirect damage the PC is responsible for. If we count all available spells and caster abilities, we need to do the same for the other classes as well. Therefore, When I once per short rest redirect damage using the cloud rune, that counts. Not only in preventing damage from an ally, but inflicting it to an enemy. So when that gnome mindflayer made an attack roll inflicting 58 points of damage to the monk, and I redirected it to their buddy mind flayer, that should count towards my overall damage output. IMO anyway.
You are quite right on that good sir! Damage is damage, whatever the source. And the sweetest of damage is the one the enemy do to its allies. If your own allies are spared in the process, I would even count that as healing too! A double win!
 

85% of combats its the party rogue. Next most is probably the sorcerer, sometimes someone else. But never the ranger.

Party is 14th level. Composition; rogue, fighter/wizard, cleric, bard, sorcerer, ranger
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
85% of combats its the party rogue. Next most is probably the sorcerer, sometimes someone else. But never the ranger.

Party is 14th level. Composition; rogue, fighter/wizard, cleric, bard, sorcerer, ranger

What type of ranger, If I may ask. I've seen gloomstalker rangers really stack on the damage, but not much experience with the other subclasses.
 

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