Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The the How to play document says

Weapon Attacks. If you’re attacking with a melee weapon, apply your Strength modifier to the damage, and if you’re attacking with a ranged weapon, apply your Dexterity modifier.

Certain weapons and special abilities allow you to apply a different modifier. For example, a finesse weapon is a melee weapon that lets you attack with your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier.

I noticed that it specifically does not say anything about damage modifier when using finesse. only attack. And in 3.5 it was spelled out that finesse replaces STR with DEX for attack bonus, but not for the damage bonus on the attack.

But I could not find any more specific reference with regard to D&D Next. Therefore:

Does an attack with a finesse weapon apply the DEX or the STR modifier as bonus damage? Assuming 12 STR, 16 DEX, and a 1d6 finesse weapon: Is the damage 1d6+1 or 1d6+3?

share|improve this question
Note that as this is a testing document, you need to report rules that are unclear like this to WotC. That's the point of the playtest. We may be able to help, but we are not a substitute for asking the developers to clarify playtest rules. –  SevenSidedDie Sep 23 '13 at 18:36
To be fair I think they scattered a lot of rules around in packets other than "How to Play" –  Joshua Aslan Smith Sep 23 '13 at 18:40
@JoshuaAslanSmith Yeah. Normally I wouldn't say anything, except that the quoted text is particularly ambiguous. If another rule somewhere else explains it, they should either not mention it again at all, or they should be very clear when they do so as to not introduce confusion. Even the non-Finesse bit above about ranged weapons doesn't make it clear whether it's a hit or damage bonus or both, and that sounds like a primary rule. –  SevenSidedDie Sep 23 '13 at 18:42
@sevensideddie I completely agree, basically they glossed through a lot of stuff in the main "How to Play" which I think is bad form, and then you're shuffling through multiple PDFs looking for the appropriate rule. –  Joshua Aslan Smith Sep 23 '13 at 18:51
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 9 down vote accepted


Finesse. When making an attack with a finesse weapon, you can use your choice of your Strength or Dexterity modifier with your attack and damage rolls. - Equipment Rules, P. 4

Any attack made with a weapon that has the finesse keyword lets you use either STR for attack and damage modifiers or DEX for attack and damage modifiers.

share|improve this answer
Since much was made of the location of the ambiguous rule, could you tell us where the clear ruling was found? –  gomad Sep 23 '13 at 19:30
Equipment packet meant the pdf labeled equipment, have edited it to say equipment rules and added the page number where the quote can be found. –  Joshua Aslan Smith Sep 24 '13 at 1:29
Excellent! Thanks very much! –  gomad Sep 24 '13 at 7:18
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.