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I'm trying to do the maths on the statistics for an ape companion for the UA revised ranger beastmaster. However, I'm a little confused with its +5 to both attacks. Is that based on Strength + Prof? I thought the ranged rock attack should be based on Dexterity but that also seems to have a +5 even with a Dexterity modifier of +2.

I am planning to add +2 to strength; how will that affect the modifier to attacks?

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Thrown weapons (like a rock) are a special case of ranged attacks - if the weapon thrown is considered a melee weapon, you use the ability modifier you would have normally used in a melee attack, rather than automatically using dexterity - so, usually your strength modifier, unless fighting with a Finesse weapon. From the weapon properties in the basic rules:

Thrown. If a weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon to make a ranged attack. If the weapon is a melee weapon, you use the same ability modifier for that attack roll and damage roll that you would use for a melee attack with the weapon. For example, if you throw a handaxe, you use your Strength, but if you throw a dagger, you can use either your Strength or your Dexterity, since the dagger has the finesse property.

It looks like the attack modifier for the ape's rock throw has been calculated as if it was a melee weapon being thrown, rather than an intrinsically ranged weapon, so the attack uses the strength modifier. Improving the ape's strength should benefit both attack modes.

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Generally, thrown weapons use STR bonus; Aimed weapons use DEX bonus. The +5 for thrown rocks is Strength modifier + Proficiency.

Ability Modifier: The ability modifier used for a melee weapon attack is Strength, and the ability modifier used for a ranged weapon attack is Dexterity. Weapons that have the Finesse or Thrown property break this rule. (PHB 194)

Ability modifiers increase on even scores. So,if you add +2 to it's strength, the strength modifier will go up +1. 18 strength is +4.

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