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

So as you may know/remember, I run my games on FG and over the past months/year or so we have been using an extension (Mad Nomad's Combat Statistics) that records combat statistics. I thought I would include it so you can see what actual numbers we have. (Oh, and we just leveled to 15.) Classes in order of the list are; Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Fighter8/Wizard7, Cleric, Bard14/Warlock1
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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.
Not built for damage, he's a Firblog Hunter Ranger.
 

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Mort

Legend
Supporter
So as you may know/remember, I run my games on FG and over the past months/year or so we have been using an extension (Mad Nomad's Combat Statistics) that records combat statistics. I thought I would include it so you can see what actual numbers we have. (Oh, and we just leveled to 15.) Classes in order of the list are; Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Fighter8/Wizard7, Cleric, Bard14/Warlock1
View attachment 156094



Not built for damage, he's a Firblog Hunter Ranger.

Thanks for the info.

Though that DM guy is really running away with it - maybe he needs to be nerfed ;)
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
So as you may know/remember, I run my games on FG and over the past months/year or so we have been using an extension (Mad Nomad's Combat Statistics) that records combat statistics. I thought I would include it so you can see what actual numbers we have. (Oh, and we just leveled to 15.) Classes in order of the list are; Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Fighter8/Wizard7, Cleric, Bard14/Warlock1
View attachment 156094



Not built for damage, he's a Firblog Hunter Ranger.
Thanks these are great stats!
Question, is the rogue more melee, ranged or a equal mix of both? Seeing as he took much more damage than the sorcerer, something tells me Its more a melee combattant.
 


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.
Likewise, while it is really hard to track, support character contributions should be thought of as well. If the GWM barbarian only hit because of a Bless spell or Bardic inspiration, that damage is the Cleric or Bard's contribution, not the barbarian's. If the Rogue ka-shanked an enemy with a crit (that made them have to borrow dice from the other players) because the sorceror cast Hold Person on the target, half of that damage is from the sorceror, not the rogue. Likewise extra attacks from Haste, BM maneuver etc.
When you get to try to calculate it, this sort of thing leaves the purview of mere mathematics unfortunately. If the cleric casts cure wounds on the barbarian, preventing them from dropping on the next hit, is all of the rest of the damage that combat the cleric's or the barbarian's? How about defensive buffs? And further down the rabbithole we go. . .
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Likewise, while it is really hard to track, support character contributions should be thought of as well. If the GWM barbarian only hit because of a Bless spell or Bardic inspiration, that damage is the Cleric or Bard's contribution, not the barbarian's. If the Rogue ka-shanked an enemy with a crit (that made them have to borrow dice from the other players) because the sorceror cast Hold Person on the target, half of that damage is from the sorceror, not the rogue. Likewise extra attacks from Haste, BM maneuver etc.
When you get to try to calculate it, this sort of thing leaves the purview of mere mathematics unfortunately. If the cleric casts cure wounds on the barbarian, preventing them from dropping on the next hit, is all of the rest of the damage that combat the cleric's or the barbarian's? How about defensive buffs? And further down the rabbithole we go. . .
Yep. Especially when considering many classes aren't meant to be damage dealers, so comparing them isn't helpful. It's the age old question that's been happening for decades. I hear a lot of "magic users can do other things and do more damage than a fighter, so the game is broken!"

But the context matters. If you only ever have one encounter, then sure. the MU can blow their entire wad in one get go. But the fighter can do it all day long, as many times as it takes. And they can soak up more damage than the MU. MUs might not have the spell available or prepared, or slots there, or any other number of reasons.

The answer to class balance is gonna vary based on personal playstyle of the table. It's gonna be really hard to evaluate things like this on any sort of objective level
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
The character that deals damage the most reliably is the Hexblade warlock, who gets to make multiple attack rolls per round with the Eldritch Blast cantrip, which means he gets multiple chances to deal 1d10+5 damage and multiple chances at a critical hit. He also carries a Wand of Magic Missiles, so he gets to deal damage without even rolling an attack if he needs them. He doesn't deal the most damage, but he always deals at least some damage every round.

The character that deals the damage in a single attack is our halfling Champion fighter, with his Flametongue sword and the Lucky feat and a suite of other features that allow him to make multiple attacks per round, and keep rerolling them over and again until he gets numbers that he likes. He can't keep it up for long, though, and he's always begging for a rest after each battle. He doesn't deal damage every round, but when he does, it's usually more than everyone else.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Likewise, while it is really hard to track, support character contributions should be thought of as well. If the GWM barbarian only hit because of a Bless spell or Bardic inspiration, that damage is the Cleric or Bard's contribution, not the barbarian's. If the Rogue ka-shanked an enemy with a crit (that made them have to borrow dice from the other players) because the sorceror cast Hold Person on the target, half of that damage is from the sorceror, not the rogue. Likewise extra attacks from Haste, BM maneuver etc.
When you get to try to calculate it, this sort of thing leaves the purview of mere mathematics unfortunately. If the cleric casts cure wounds on the barbarian, preventing them from dropping on the next hit, is all of the rest of the damage that combat the cleric's or the barbarian's? How about defensive buffs? And further down the rabbithole we go. . .

It's hard to track sure, but you can see it if you look.

Also IF the caster is doing massive amounts of damage, chances are he's not buffing the other party members all that much (only so many spells and actions after all, so IF the caster is doing massive damage AND buffing, there may be an issue).

So an interesting question becomes, do parties with a blaster caster or a support caster tend to fare better? Of course, that's confounded by sometimes having both and further confounded by adjusted encounters from the DM, and many other confounds. But it's an interesting question to investigate.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
It's hard to track sure, but you can see it if you look.

Also IF the caster is doing massive amounts of damage, chances are he's not buffing the other party members all that much (only so many spells and actions after all, so IF the caster is doing massive damage AND buffing, there may be an issue).

So an interesting question becomes, do parties with a blaster caster or a support caster tend to fare better? Of course, that's confounded by sometimes having both and further confounded by adjusted encounters from the DM, and many other confounds. But it's an interesting question to investigate.
Interesting observation: In real life games, my casters I play are more support. In computer RPGs, they are almost always blaster casters. Hmm....
 

Yep. Especially when considering many classes aren't meant to be damage dealers, so comparing them isn't helpful. It's the age old question that's been happening for decades. I hear a lot of "magic users can do other things and do more damage than a fighter, so the game is broken!"

But the context matters. If you only ever have one encounter, then sure. the MU can blow their entire wad in one get go. But the fighter can do it all day long, as many times as it takes. And they can soak up more damage than the MU. MUs might not have the spell available or prepared, or slots there, or any other number of reasons.

The answer to class balance is gonna vary based on personal playstyle of the table. It's gonna be really hard to evaluate things like this on any sort of objective level

It's hard to track sure, but you can see it if you look.

Also IF the caster is doing massive amounts of damage, chances are he's not buffing the other party members all that much (only so many spells and actions after all, so IF the caster is doing massive damage AND buffing, there may be an issue).

So an interesting question becomes, do parties with a blaster caster or a support caster tend to fare better? Of course, that's confounded by sometimes having both and further confounded by adjusted encounters from the DM, and many other confounds. But it's an interesting question to investigate.
Giving support characters credit is not the same issue as the martial/caster divide. The only reason they can be linked is that spells are the best support options, but I included Commander's strike as an example for a reason. Other non-caster support includes Rogue Mastermind help action and Barbarian Wolf Totem giving advantage if a party has a lot of melee character in.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Other non-caster support includes Rogue Mastermind help action and Barbarian Wolf Totem giving advantage if a party has a lot of melee character in.
Advantage is easy. Anyone can give anyone else Advantage on their attacks with the Help action. Sometimes all you have to do is stand in the right spot.
 

Advantage is easy. Anyone can give anyone else Advantage on their attacks with the Help action. Sometimes all you have to do is stand in the right spot.
I keep on seeing people say that, but I have yet to actually experience it. Help is an action, so prevents the character doing much else that round. (We houseruled it into taking the place of an Attack.)
Outside of the Flanking variant rule or Owl Familiar cheese, I'm not sure where all this common advantage is coming from.
 

In another thread @Hussar observed that in his experience in 5e, casters' (specifically casters that can put out big AoE such as wizards and sorcerers) overall damage output is higher than martials' overall damage output and that that's just a given.

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.

At your tables (DMing, playing - whatever), what have you noticed? Which classes tend to lead in overall damage output?

This is NOT a question on "effectiveness" or about how classes can contribute in different ways. This is a narrow question on which classes, at the tables you play at, lead in damage output.

Please provide some context for the group. A group that has a bard as the primary caster is going to be very different than a group that has an evoker or blaster sorcerer. And a group that has a sword and board fighter focused on defense is going to be very different from a group that has a crossbow expert/sharpshooter combo!

Thoughts?

Wow. I think a lot about mechanics and love doing the arithmetic to understand the value of various character options, but I couldn't possibly tell you who does the highest DPR. I don't even pay attention to how much damage people are doing, let alone tracking it enough detail to answer that.

I could tell you which players are the most effective, however.
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I keep on seeing people say that, but I have yet to actually experience it. Help is an action, so prevents the character doing much else that round. (We houseruled it into taking the place of an Attack.)
Outside of the Flanking variant rule or Owl Familiar cheese, I'm not sure where all this common advantage is coming from.
My point was if you absolutely must have Advantage on an attack roll, it's easy to get. It isn't something you're going to be able to do every time, but it's there when you need it.

Trying to rig the game so that you are always getting Advantage, on every attack roll of every battle for your entire career, however, is a completely different story. I'd file that under the same category as Owl Familiar cheese. It's probably the only thing that annoys me more than being interrupted mid-sentence with a squawk of "guidance!" or "darkvision!"
 

If you are interested in 5e statistics I encourage visiting www.critrolestats.com. It is has lots of spreadsheets and such of obsessively collected information on things like "damage dealt". I do think you need at least a passing familiarity with the various Critical Role PC characters and the relevant play styles to make much sense of it.

My impression skimming over it is that the damage dealt is fairly comparable for martials (including Rogues) and the more damage focused spellcasters. Utility oriented characters mostly lag behind (though not always as far as you'd think). I will confess that when actually watching the livestreams the spellcasters don't make as much of a damage impression on me as the collected stats seem to indicate. My hypothosis to explain this incongruency would be that many of the times where AoEs and such are most effective led to the shortest, least memorable encounters.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
If you are interested in 5e statistics I encourage visiting www.critrolestats.com. It is has lots of spreadsheets and such of obsessively collected information on things like "damage dealt". I do think you need at least a passing familiarity with the various Critical Role PC characters and the relevant play styles to make much sense of it.

My impression skimming over it is that the damage dealt is fairly comparable for martials (including Rogues) and the more damage focused spellcasters. Utility oriented characters mostly lag behind (though not always as far as you'd think). I will confess that when actually watching the livestreams the spellcasters don't make as much of a damage impression on me as the collected stats seem to indicate. My hypothosis to explain this incongruency would be that many of the times where AoEs and such are most effective led to the shortest, least memorable encounters.

I'm actually very familiar with that site. It is, as you say, quite detailed.

But the reason for this thread is because, in another thread, another poster made the assertion (funnily enough shortly after I posted to the same link you just did) that tracking "your own game" was the best way to really see that casters out-damage martials. So I wanted to get examples of people's actual games along with some context.
 

Hussar

Legend
So as you may know/remember, I run my games on FG and over the past months/year or so we have been using an extension (Mad Nomad's Combat Statistics) that records combat statistics. I thought I would include it so you can see what actual numbers we have. (Oh, and we just leveled to 15.) Classes in order of the list are; Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Fighter8/Wizard7, Cleric, Bard14/Warlock1
View attachment 156094



Not built for damage, he's a Firblog Hunter Ranger.
That is a REALLLY REALLY cool extension. Gotta get me that one. Is it on the Forge?

And, wow, your Rogue is really running away with things. But your fighter, cleric and bard are getting absolutely caned for damage. Talk about punching bags. Yeeesh.

But I have to ask. How did that rogue do 174 points of damage in a single hit? Holy crap. I'm not questioning the number, I'm just in freaking AWE.

And I absolutely love that your bard fails like twice as many saving throws as everyone else. :D I can just hear that at the table. I've got a warlock player in my game that we really should introduce to each other. Maybe combined, their terrible luck will balance out. :D ((Today, on 6 attacks he dealt, 1, 2, 9, 10, 2, and 1 point of damage. :D Now that's some serious swing. ))
 
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Hussar

Legend
Likewise, while it is really hard to track, support character contributions should be thought of as well. If the GWM barbarian only hit because of a Bless spell or Bardic inspiration, that damage is the Cleric or Bard's contribution, not the barbarian's. If the Rogue ka-shanked an enemy with a crit (that made them have to borrow dice from the other players) because the sorceror cast Hold Person on the target, half of that damage is from the sorceror, not the rogue. Likewise extra attacks from Haste, BM maneuver etc.
When you get to try to calculate it, this sort of thing leaves the purview of mere mathematics unfortunately. If the cleric casts cure wounds on the barbarian, preventing them from dropping on the next hit, is all of the rest of the damage that combat the cleric's or the barbarian's? How about defensive buffs? And further down the rabbithole we go. . .
Oh, absolutely. Tracking the damage isn't really going to get you to a solid conclusion. It's data, but, it's not nearly the full picture.

The point I was making though about tracking the damage, is that it's often very surprising to see when you do it. According to lots of people, the fighter types should be at the top of the list, for example. Yet, look at @Lordentrail's list, the sorcerer is in the number 2 slot. Sure, the rogue is in #1, but, again, according to "common wisdom" the rogue shouldn't even be in the running.

There's obviously a ton of variables that contribute to all of this. Looking at total damage is a good start, but, it's certainly not the end of things.
 

Our current active campaign is 4th level and contains: storm cleric, fiend warlock, hunter ranger, flame druid, and rune wizard (Midgard). Overall DRP probably goes to the flame druid, but everyone's pretty well built for good dpr.

Discontinued 18th level campaign had the evoker wizard as highest DPR once we left Avernus. In Avernus, magic resistance made him less effective than the paladin's smites.
 

My groups tend to use some variation on the gritty recharge rules*, so it is definitely the at-will damage characters, particularly fighters. As much as I dislike that they are such obvious good options, Halberd-PAM-GWM and Hand Crossbow-SS-XBE are far and away great choices**, especially since the cleric is hesitant to use a L3 slot for Spirit Guardians, but putting up a Bless usually seems like a reasonable investment . I think Ranged wins out, simply because str-based characters suffer more when not able to fight in melee than dex-builds do when forced to fight in melee.
*which, I will again point out, if your major complaints about 5e are that it is default-set to easy mode or that casters get too much with too few consequences, I will point out that these are right there in a core rulebook.
**as is staff/spear&shield-PAM, but that's to retain some AC, not to maximize DPR


Different players have tried different things like Gloomstalker-Assassin or blind fighting style and Fog Cloud or melee Bladesinger Wizard, and the results may well be fun, but the overall damage always runs into issues where the combo doesn't go off for massive payoff, or the fragile PC has to worry about survival rather than maximizing attacks (a reason why I don't find that warlocks keep pace with fighters purely on DPR, although often the spellcasting and invocations on the side still make they perhaps more enjoyable to play for most).

All in all, I think people have the right of it -- applied playtest (where available) provides more accurate results, spellcasters have lots of options but likely don't do the most damage (unless you have a 5 minute workday), and it's all going to vary a lot by level.
 

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