I'm new to D&D. I am playing a Level 4 Half-Elf Bard. I don't understand how modifiers work or how they change as I level up, or how they affect other character details.

I've picked new spells and I've chosen a new cantrip. At Level 4, I could increase an ability score. I increased my Charisma from 17 to 18, so now I have a +4 modifier. I can see that my Bard spells rely on Charisma: how do my Spell Save DC (currently 13) and Spell Attack Bonus (currently +5) change as a result of the increase in Charisma?

Since I am a new player, I would appreciate detailed answers that spend time on the basics.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can I ask what version of the rules you're using? Players Handbook (hardcover), Starter Set rules (from the boxed set), Player's Basic Rules (free .pdf download), System Reference Document (also free .pdf download)? If you can put that in, I'll edit page-references into revoltorb's correct answer. "Teach you to fish," as it were. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Mar 31 '17 at 2:03

Your spell save DC is calculated using the formula 8 + Proficiency Bonus + Spellcasting Modifier. So for you this means 8 + 2 + 4 = 14

Similarly, your spellcasting attack modifier is Proficiency Bonus + Spellcasting Modifier which is 2 + 4 = 6.

Your attack and save DCs changes whenever your charisma modifier and/or proficiency bonus changes. For example, when you reach 5th level, your proficiency bonus will increase to +3, making your DC 15 and your attack modified 7.


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