I have a level 1 fighter who can do a ridiculous amount of damage and easily fight monsters with CR of two or three. I am completely new to pathfinder so I feel that I might be calculating some damage wrong.

I have a strength of 20 giving me a modifier of +5

A great sword thats 2d6+7 (two handed so i get 1-1/2 str mod)

And the power attack feat so I get +3 damage on my first attack when I use the feat

So I do 2d6+10 damage if I crit and roll well I can do a massive 44 damage level one. My concern is that that seems ridiculous when compared to my friends. Am I calculating it wrong at all.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What is your bonus to hit? I'm guessing +5 (+1 BAB, +5 Str, -1 Power Attack) \$\endgroup\$
    – diego
    Apr 10, 2015 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related, possibly a duplicate: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/29255/… \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Apr 10, 2015 at 18:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jim Notaro If you think the level 1 fighter is OP, it's a good thing you haven't looked at later levels...or barbarians. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    May 22, 2018 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


The fighter is one of the weakest classes in the game, but 1st is a relatively good time to be one

Pathfinder, to an extent, implements linear warriors, quadratic wizards.1 That means that low levels are better for mundane characters, and high levels are better for magical characters. So your potency will not last. After all, right now you have 20 Strength. That’s pretty good. It will slowly grow, over the next 20 levels, to between 30 and 36. That means you already have more than half of all the Strength you will ever have.

Meanwhile, spellcasters are getting a whole new level of spells every two levels, and are getting dramatically more spell slots. Each new level of spell is close to an entirely separate playing field from the previous: their spells get exponentially better as they level up. Very, very quickly, spells are going to surpass anything you can do without them.

Meanwhile, even at 1st, the fighter struggles to deal with anything that cannot be solved by chopping it with his or her greatsword. Fighting and killing things is a big part of Pathfinder, no doubt, so it’s a solid enough specialty, but there is a lot more to do than just kill things, and fighter levels don’t really give you any advantages in those regards. Even just killing things will get more and more difficult, as your enemies start to turn invisible, fly, teleport, blind you, trap you, and so on, and all you get is a bit better at swinging that sword.

If every foe you ever meet, fights you on your terms, you will be very effective. Anything you can use “stab with greatsword” to solve, you’ll solve pretty handily. But if your foes don’t literally just walk up to you and give you what you want, you are going to find it very difficult to force them to. That will require tactics and teamwork, and unfortunately, even with those things, it can be a struggle to maintain effectiveness as a fighter.

So I would strongly recommend not worrying about your power right now. There’s a good chance it won’t last, and you should enjoy it while you can. In fact, if you want to worry about things, I recommend trying to figure out how you are going to deal with all the challenges you will eventually face who are not going to be so accommodating.

  1. The idea that warriors start out stronger than magic-types, but grow linearly, while wizards grow quadratically, that is, faster-than-linearly, so at some point magic outpaces mundane and from then on continues to get more and more powerful relative to the mundanes. If we’re being honest, though, in Pathfinder, wizards can be more powerful than warriors even at 1st, and grow exponentially rather than quadratically.

It doesn't look like you are calculating anything wrong from what you've said. The thing you are doing wrong is assuming that a critical hit with max damage is anything close to likely, it should only happen about a quarter of a percent of the time (.28%). On average you are going to be doing around 10 or 11 damage per round.

Let's look at a few monsters and see how you should fair against them on average, one each of CR 1, 2 and 3 we have

Gnoll CR 1
AC: 15
HP: 11

Worg CR 2
AC: 14
HP: 26

Ankheg CR 3
AC: 16
HP: 28

Assuming a +5 to hit bonus (+1 BAB, +5 Str, -1 Power Attack) and Great Sword (19-20 x2 crit, 2d6 + 7 (1.5 Str) + 3 (Power Attack) damage). You should be hitting about 50-60% of the time for 10 or 11 damage per swing (about 20 damage per hit, hitting every other turn). (You can see the exact chances of each roll here)

Without knowing what your friends are playing there is no way of saying if this is ridiculous compared to them, but it is not overpowered. And as KRyan says even if you are stronger than your friends now any spellcasters among them should start being more powerful than you fairly quickly, so take the time to shine while you can.


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