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

That is a REALLLY REALLY cool extension. Gotta get me that one. Is it on the Forge?
Yep :)
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.
Pat of that is certainly the way I run NPCs, they are always willing to flank if allowed and try not to get bottled up where they can just hold everyone back with the Cleric. Plus I always try to pick on different PCs at different times, so everyone feels the stress of danger :)

Edit: Also our encounters I run are much harder than those suggested by the DMG. Such as the party can easily handle 4-5 Deadly encounters per day, and sometimes a couple of certain death ones in a single day. So it's pretty likely that they will be moving about to insure damage is spread around everyone.
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.
I don't remember that one. I'm sure it had to do with a sneak attack that was a critical. Might have also included poison and or a damage vulnerability. We also use Theogeek's Improved Criticals to make sure crits always do at least 1 more damage than a non crit. It's also possible the rogue rolled damage wrong and we just never went back to the stats and cleaned it up.
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. ))
lol He is not lucky at all (good thing he has the Lucky feat!)
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.
Absolutely, and certainly something that should be kept in mind.

There is value in theory crafting, but things often don't play out that way. Especially when the players have other things on their mind, like protecting each other or friendly NPCs, dealing with hazards, looting dead bodies or a thousand other things that come up in diverse play.

I found that I played 4E much more like a combat simulator or MMO. 5E is much more... varied. The goals that I present certainly have combat as a major objective, but they are often dealing with lots of small objectives during a combat. It's been working for us for us.
 
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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.
Its not that weird. Rogue damage through Sneak attack stays very competitive with damage from the Fighter class: 3d6 extra damage is about the same damage as an extra attack will deal when you take into account that the Rogue has a better chance of landing that extra damage through advantage or dual-wielding.

What the Rogue damage is not competitive with is optimised CE/SS or GWM/PAM -leveraging BM fighters. All too often the "common wisdom" is that those are the baseline when it comes to damage dealing, rather than the extremist outliers.
 

ECMO3

Hero
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?
It depends on the table.

We have one player I play with who always plays a brutish strength barbarian-Fighter martial with GWM. When he is playing he is usually the top damage dealer.

The all time top of any player I have seen played was a Halfing Assassin-Paladin named Mazzy.

Players I played personally is probably Leena a Goblin level 1 Rogue/Level 15 Fey Wanderer Ranger. She did not even attack very often but when she did, she did a lot of damage. In part because she had a girdle of giant strength a Dragontooth Dagger that did 1d6 extra acid damage on a hit and she had a 1d6 sneak, 1d6 psychic and 1d8 favored foe. That party was unique because we had no one that was the meat shield. Besides Leena, we had a human evoker, a Kobold Swashbuckler and a Elven Bard/Cleric. Leena could do a lot of damage, but she only had a 10 constitution and she did not have a great AC. We spent a lot of time using positioning to keep enemies off us or come up with ways to steal actions.

I also am playing Zeek a half elf Scout Rogue 7 -Twilight Cleric 2. He has a heavy crossbow with a bunch of bolts with purple worm poison on them as well as a mind venom dagger that does an extra 1d6 psychic and he knows the cantrip Booming Blade from magic initiate. Those things combined make him pretty good at damage either ranged or melee. Probably good enough to be my 2nd best melee damage dealer I have played.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
What the Rogue damage is not competitive with is optimised CE/SS or GWM/PAM -leveraging BM fighters. All too often the "common wisdom" is that those are the baseline when it comes to damage dealing, rather than the extremist outliers.
This stance is not very useful when every gamer worth his salt very quickly zeroes in on those feats.

This doesn't mean my players are roll-playing munchkins. It just means they have correctly identified the competitive fighter paths. When DPR isn't the main concern, you play another class, not a middling fighter build.

So this stance comes across as somewhat ivory-tower wishful thinking...
 

Stalker0

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.
This is the only reponse in this thread really worth looking at, is it provides us true data to work off of. I agree with a few others that posted that human memory is terrible when it comes to this stuff, unless you are recording each and every damage number, most wouldn't have a clue who the highest average DPRer is....but they probably think they know.

I assume the damage dealt here does account for area attacks (ie 20 damage x 8 targets = 160 damage)?

Also the saves failed/passed.... is that the enemy failing saves you invoke, or is that how many saves your pc passed/failed?
 

most times wizard or warlock... but the end all be all was a barbarian (unless you count that the wizard in that game made a simulacrum of the barbarian... then maybe I would say the wizards still)
 

I assume the damage dealt here does account for area attacks (ie 20 damage x 8 targets = 160 damage)?
Yes it does.

Here's an update (I don't think I've reset the data since the earlier screen shot):
1658858261637.png
 
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Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Paladin. Then about 5 blank spaces. Then a pretty close tie between the rest of the classes except sorcerer/wizard/bard who are at the bottom of the pile.

Spirit guardians is like an ongoing relentless fireball. I don't know how a wizard could match it in damage.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Yeah, I've done this. The characters whose players think they're doing the most damage are often not the ones who actually are. The least surprising thing was, yes, Warlocks really do a ton of damage if they just keep casting EB+AB with Hex, it just annihilates monsters. Rogues on the other hand, even played well, just don't seem to actually do that great damage-wise. Of course both the Rogues I've tracked are melee Rogues. There's no issue with DMs being difficult about them getting Sneak Attack, but there is an issue with them having to manuever to stay alive at times and/or getting CC'd or messed with more than other classes. The Samurai Fighter thinks he's Mr Megadamage because his burst is very high, but he's rarely top damage dealer in his group (fairly short adventuring days do factor in there).
I'd say the ranged rogue had the most steady damage in my game. They very rarely missed, almost always got sneak attack, but with only one attack a round rarely overshadowed the GWM paladin who on a crit/smite would just delete opponents.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Paladin. Then about 5 blank spaces. Then a pretty close tie between the rest of the classes except sorcerer/wizard/bard who are at the bottom of the pile.
Yes, Paladins can really pile on damage.

I've found 2 things work well to mitigate (though this will heavily depend on both the campaign and the players(s) so your mileage may vary) 1. Give them less opportunity to Nova and 2. Give them more opportunities to use spells for things other than smiting

Spirit guardians is like an ongoing relentless fireball. I don't know how a wizard could match it in damage.

My players have not had amazing success with this spell. Cleric tends to get hit hard and lose concentration, or the baddies aren't grouped right for it etc. But yea, under the right circumstances, the spell is huge.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Haven't played in a while, but (in previous campaigns) paladin and warlock seemed to be the big damage dealers.

One of my early 5E characters was a bow-using fighter (battle master) with archery style. I may be misremembering, but I recall doing a lot of damage. Being able to stack on sharpshooter damage for multiple attacks was pretty good. Though, in hindsight, maybe it wasn't as good as I remember. The main thing was being able to hit hard from far away.

For me personally, Intypically find DPR to be a poor use for spell slots most of the time. Being able to warp reality and inflict crippling status effects can end a fight without chopping through hit points.
 

Spirit guardians is like an ongoing relentless fireball. I don't know how a wizard could match it in damage.
This can be mitigated pretty significantly by the DM. It all depends upon the terrain and NPC tactics. I certainly don't run my NPCs into a ongoing AOE unless their is good tactical reason to do so. Heck, often times they will run away rather than run into certain death.
 

This stance is not very useful when every gamer worth his salt very quickly zeroes in on those feats.

This doesn't mean my players are roll-playing munchkins. It just means they have correctly identified the competitive fighter paths. When DPR isn't the main concern, you play another class, not a middling fighter build.

So this stance comes across as somewhat ivory-tower wishful thinking...
Oh my. :hmm:
I knew your players were unpleasant. But to spark a response like this over the thought of playing a class in a less-than-hyperoptimised manner?

Tell me, how do they feel about . . . Monks? :heh:
 

I'd say the ranged rogue had the most steady damage in my game. They very rarely missed, almost always got sneak attack, but with only one attack a round rarely overshadowed the GWM paladin who on a crit/smite would just delete opponents.
I mean, that may be true in your game, but either you had no Warlock or a Warlock who was either incompetent or not building for DPS, if so, because DPS difference between a very mildly optimised Warlock (like basic, obvious choices) and even a well-optimised ranged Rogue is significantly in the favour of the Warlock. GWM Paladins are flashy but have limited staying power and are very RNG-reliant if crit-fishing.
 

I just realized that in two campaigns with different players and dms, the answer is “mine.” In one it’s a fighter, in the other it’s a wizard.

My rune knight fighter is actually anout tied with the paladin, and the ranger, rogue, and eldritch knight are all played sub-optimally, so the only lesson I really learned is that Heavy Armor Master is really good.

The wizard was not a real damage powerhouse until we got to high enough levels that spamming disintegrate was an opition.

In the other 5e game we all optimize, but the weapon-usersusually out-damage spell-focused characters although the later can have huge impact when the right spell lands.
 
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Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I mean, that may be true in your game, but either you had no Warlock or a Warlock who was either incompetent or not building for DPS, if so, because DPS difference between a very mildly optimised Warlock (like basic, obvious choices) and even a well-optimised ranged Rogue is significantly in the favour of the Warlock. GWM Paladins are flashy but have limited staying power and are very RNG-reliant if crit-fishing.
I'm the only person who played a full warlock, and didn't use EB at all.

Edit: But you might be mistaking what I was saying . I think the ranged rogue is very steady (in that they rarely deviate up or down from the same general damage range) moreso than most other classes because 99% of the time they use the same single attack each round. They don't compete for DPS king.
 
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Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Yes, Paladins can really pile on damage.

I've found 2 things work well to mitigate (though this will heavily depend on both the campaign and the players(s) so your mileage may vary) 1. Give them less opportunity to Nova and 2. Give them more opportunities to use spells for things other than smiting



My players have not had amazing success with this spell. Cleric tends to get hit hard and lose concentration, or the baddies aren't grouped right for it etc. But yea, under the right circumstances, the spell is huge.
The true issue with paladins is that they get to wait to see what they rolled in order to decide if they want to smite. I don't have a problem with this idea so they don't lose a charge on a miss, but the (I believe) unintended consequences is they can wait until they crit to get double value from all the smite dice.

A better rule would be to either have them declare ahead of time they will use X level smite if they hit...OR...say that you do not double smite dice on a critical hit and let them decide after the roll as normal.

I think this would bring them in line with the rest of the pack, and you would see more actual spellcasting rather than just lots of smites.

As far as mitigation....I feel like stacking encounter against a character be sure they are the proud nail feels very unfair. Some of the slowest healing wounds in my playgroups through time have been characters or items lost to obvious "I'm taking your toy away" battles. Whether it's the jetpack a StarWars bounty hunter lost or an army of acrobats using 15' poles to spring around and stab the character with 10' reach and auras in 4e, it's always a recipe for hard feelings when it tips your hand to too obvious.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
This can be mitigated pretty significantly by the DM. It all depends upon the terrain and NPC tactics. I certainly don't run my NPCs into a ongoing AOE unless their is good tactical reason to do so. Heck, often times they will run away rather than run into certain death.
Depends on the bad guys for sure. Undead hoards are generally too stupid to think that tactically (undead hordes being the best use case because of number of targets and radiant damage) but also cornered animals, held or stuck opponents, or dungeon style tight space encounters all get weedwhacked.

Consider: Web+Entangle+SpiritGuardians=near instant win.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
The true issue with paladins is that they get to wait to see what they rolled in order to decide if they want to smite. I don't have a problem with this idea so they don't lose a charge on a miss, but the (I believe) unintended consequences is they can wait until they crit to get double value from all the smite dice.

A better rule would be to either have them declare ahead of time they will use X level smite if they hit...OR...say that you do not double smite dice on a critical hit and let them decide after the roll as normal.

I think this would bring them in line with the rest of the pack, and you would see more actual spellcasting rather than just lots of smites.

As far as mitigation....I feel like stacking encounter against a character be sure they are the proud nail feels very unfair. Some of the slowest healing wounds in my playgroups through time have been characters or items lost to obvious "I'm taking your toy away" battles. Whether it's the jetpack a StarWars bounty hunter lost or an army of acrobats using 15' poles to spring around and stab the character with 10' reach and auras in 4e, it's always a recipe for hard feelings when it tips your hand to too obvious.

I will say this. When I actually kept track of PC damage, the Paladin seemed to be doing more because they could do so much focused on one hit.

BUT, when actually looked at over average, the fighter (and often rogue) more than kept up.

In fact, an optimized fighter can trounce a paladin on DPR over any decent length of time (assuming, again, the paladin isn't allowed to nova all the time).
 

kigmatzomat

Explorer
Our group is cleric-healing 10, warlock 10, fighter-champion 10, paladin 10, monk-kensai 9/rogue1 and a bard 10.

The champion is a consistent high dpr because of crits. Paladin is a bit burst-y with smites but seems to average out the same. The monk has solid dpr but is a bit brittle so at times has to retreat, losing rounds of damage.

The casters hit higher peak dpr with AoE but are generally more conservative with spell usage. The cleric saves quite a few slots for healing. The warlock could be the highest damage dealer but our GM likes "surprise backups arrive" so the warlock. The bard (me) doesn't do a ton of damage but I focus on nerfing/juggling enemies and/or boosting allies.
 

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