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When I roll the die on my turn to attack and roll 15 does that mean I do 15 damage? It confuses me because I see most people's characters only have around 10 hit points which would mean majority of the time they will just die.

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No, rolling a 15 is not 15 damage.

An attack and its damage in D&D is (since at least 3rd edition!) handled in two steps:

  1. Roll 1d20 + Attack Bonus (depends on your edition, class and stats) + situation modifiers (including penalties)
    • If you roll the targets Armor Class (AC) or higher, goto 2, otherwise goto 3
  2. Check your weapon's damage: roll that die, possibly add stat modifiers.
  3. That was your action. Check if you got another, otherwise you are finished.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this would be improved with some pointers to the relevant rules: OP indicates they're using the Starter Set, and all of this is covered in that book's second chapter, which runs all of 4 pp. if I'm recalling correctly. (AFB 'til tomorrow.) \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Dec 7 '16 at 16:02

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