Starting out at 5th level, and I am not sure how to calculate attack bonus. The reason I have this question is because with the Martial Arts feat(?) it says that I would use DEX instead of STR for attack and damage rolls, so do I use DEX when calculating my attack bonus? Or do I still use STR for calculating my attack bonus (for an unarmed strike).

Strength is 11, so the STR modifier is 0 whereas Dexterity is 18, so the DEX modifier is 4. Proficiency bonus is 3.

So would my unarmed attack bonus be 3 or 7? Or am I missing something completely?


Your attack bonus is +7.

The Martial Arts feature states:

You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes and monk weapons.

(emphasis mine)

Attack rolls determine if you hit, and damage rolls determine how much damage a hit deals.
The Martial Arts feature applies to both.

It is optional, but there is rarely any reason to choose the lower ability.

attack roll
d20 + ability modifier + proficiency bonus
d20 + 4 + 3

damage roll
damage dice + ability modifier
d6 + 4

Thus, you have a +7 bonus to attack rolls, and a +4 bonus to damage rolls with your unarmed strikes and monk weapons.


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