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I'm new to pathfinder and I was looking at my friend's character sheet and it could deal 1d8+3 damage. Where did the +3 come from?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think it's unclear what this querent is asking, despite the fact that it is unclear what the answer is. Those are two different things. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Feb 1 '17 at 7:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Without looking at the whole character sheet, precise answer is impossible. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Feb 1 '17 at 8:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot sure, but I think it's reasonable as a new player not to realize that and to expect this question to have a single, clear and obvious answer. It doesn't and I think a good answer should address that that's the case and why (like I tried to), but I think this question is still a good fit for the site... \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Feb 2 '17 at 1:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Based on the policy here I think this should be reopened. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Feb 2 '17 at 2:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd vote to reopen this if you edit in what's doing this damage. My presumption is it's one of the many 1d8 weapons, but it may be a spell or something. Other information, such as the character's class, may be useful as well. Did you ask the player where this number comes from? Lastly, welcome to the site! \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon Feb 2 '17 at 4:06
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There are a LOT of things that '+3' could be. One of the things about rules heavy systems is that primary stats (like damage) need to incorporate modifiers from a massive number of disparate sources in order to make all of the various rule subsystems non-trivial, in order to allow players to benefit from interacting with those rule subsystems. That means that the damage dealt by a weapon is going to be modified by everything from whether or not you're underwater to how much you hate goblins, in addition to more obvious things like what weapon you're using and how strong you are. Now, you mentioned that this particular formula was on a character sheet. Normally, when I make a character sheet, I put down as damage all the things I expect to normally be affecting my damage when I attack, and then the things that only affect it sometimes we remember to add in when the attack actually happens. Assuming that's what your friend is doing, the '+3' comes from their 'normal' bonuses and penalties to weapon damage. Below is a list of some of the more common ones:

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    \$\begingroup\$ While this answer is correct, I feel the focus is wrong, and the wording makes it seem like an attack against rule heavy systems. And yes, it could be all those things, but without more details it's quite likely it's simply the ability modifier. Maybe a first section focusing on this most likely explanation before the expanded/details part would improve this answer... \$\endgroup\$ – Mala Feb 1 '17 at 7:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mala Sorry, I really don't see how this is an attack on rules-heavy systems, probably because this is something I like about rules-heavy systems. Could you point out how it sounds bad so I can fix it? Separately, I am unsure why it just being an unmodified attribute modifier is likely. I figured since they are new players the odds that they thought it worthwhile to invest in weapon damage are not too bad... I mean, +3 is pretty low but having 16-17 in a non-primary stat seems weird. I figured 14-15 with a 2 hand bonus is most likely. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Feb 1 '17 at 9:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ +3 is an expected attribute bonus for a non-optimized low-level melee attacker. System mastery is not something generally expected from new players. I am not sure why you would contest that lacking more information and given the lack if familiarity with the system of the asker, an attribute bonus might be an obvious answer. Yes, it might be traits or always-on-or-usually-on-buff-spells, but putting all these possible effects without consideration of likelyhood and detail/complexity next to each other is of detriment to the answer. Simple things first, then an in depth explanation of details... \$\endgroup\$ – Mala Feb 1 '17 at 9:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mala Ok, thanks. I still disagree that an unmodified stat mod is particularly likely, so I'm gonna leave that as is. I really don't want the answer to read like an attack on Pathfinder, though, so if you (or someone) could help me see how it looks that way that would be helpful. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Feb 1 '17 at 9:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ In trying to fix the errors in the edit to this question, I decided I think it's best not to address the most likely sources of the +3 in this answer. This answer isn't about speculating as to what the source of the bonus actually is, this answer is about making the querent aware that we don't know what the +3 is and why. Speculation would occur as a result of the fact that there's not enough information and would be based off my or someone else's groundless assumptions about the querent's friend. For example, we don't even know that the friend is a new player. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Feb 2 '17 at 1:29

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