Do You Add Proficiency To Damage 5e: Understanding Proficiency & Damage Bonus

Do You Add Proficiency To Damage 5e

When it comes to 5e D&D, proficiency is a huge factor in determining how effective your character will be at attacking or defending. 

While it’s easy to get excited about the damage bonus you’re getting from your +1 longsword, proficiency is a little more complicated than that. 

The key to understanding proficiency is knowing what proficiencies are used and when they apply. 

It is essentially a trade-off between doing more or less damage with the same weapon. This guide will go over the basics of proficiency, why it’s essential, and how you can determine if your character has proficiency in any given skill. 

Do You Add Proficiency To Damage 5e?

Proficiency is not added to damage 5e except when you have a class feature or a feature from a different source.

In this instance, you can add it to the roll when you initiate an attack roll. However, if your proficiency bonus is higher than your ability modifier, you can’t add it.

What Is Proficiency Bonus In DND 5e?

Proficiency Bonus is a special bonus that a player receives when choosing to use a weapon that has specific proficiency. It replaces the average skill bonus based on the character’s level and can be used with its die.

This bonus is added to the roll made while using that weapon. The proficiency bonus is based on proficiency with that particular weapon. In other words, it increases as the character’s proficiency with a specific weapon increases.

Proficiency Bonus is calculated as follows:

  • Weapon Proficiency Bonus = 2+(total level-1)/4) rounded down 
  •  or 1+( total level/4) rounded up

How Much Is A Proficiency Bonus DND?

The proficiency bonus starts at +2 and gradually rises every four levels until it reaches a maximum of +6.

The proficiency gradually increases as you gain more levels in skill; it is based on your character level and the skill’s base ability score modifier.

A proficiency bonus is always added to a d20 roll, and if the result of the final roll plus the proficiency bonus equals or exceeds the target number, then the check succeeds.

For example, if you’re proficient in Stealth checks and your character tries to sneak past a guard, you would add your character’s proficiency bonus to your roll. If your roll came out to 25, you would have succeeded with flying colors because 25+5=30.

Why Do You Add To Damage Rolls 5e?

Most players understand that the more damage you do to a target, the harder it will be to resist adverse status effects and reduce damage. Some spells have a static damage bonus, but most increase damage with level.

They need to roll more damage dice to compete with fighters as they get higher levels.

The problem is that the extra damage dies at higher levels is heavily outweighed by their proficiency bonus, which increases the odds of rolling a 20. When you get past about level 15, this effect becomes very noticeable.

Subtract the defender’s AC from the attacker’s attack roll before adding bonuses or penalties. This is most important when attacking a target with a higher defense than your attack bonus.

Whenever a spell or other effect causes damage to more than one target simultaneously, you can roll the damage only once for all of them.

The Ranger class in 5e is for those who prefer to fight from a distance, using a variety of weapon types. The core ability of the rangers is to add a d6 to all damage rolls.

Proficiency, Versatility, and D&D 5e

The Versatility of D&D 5e leads to interesting debates among players. Some players think it’s too versatile, while others like the flexibility it gives them. 

Regardless of your stance, Versatility is an excellent tool for enhancing your roleplaying experience. 

Understanding how versatility works will give you more fantastic options when deciding how to build your character, which will, in turn, improve your experience playing D&D 5e.

How To Roll Stats In D&D 5E

One of the most frustrating things in any RPG is generating character stats. You’re excited to play, but you also don’t want to spend an hour rolling dice and writing down numbers on a sheet of paper only to have everyone see that your Fighter’s Dexterity is a miserable 9.

In the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, a player rolls dice to determine his character’s attributes; it’s your choice to roll stats for a character. 

  • The most common way is to roll 4d6 and drop the lowest die. Then arrange them in order. This is done six times.
  • First, you need to decide what you want your stats to be. You can follow the standard recommendations (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) or do something a bit different. It’s your character, so you get to choose!
  • These dice are rolled, and the numbers are added up. For example, if you rolled 1, 5, and 6, your total would be 12.

What Do You Add To Damage Rolls 5e?

Well, it depends on the weapon. When we look at the math behind 5e’s weapons, none of them are sharp enough to cut through anything but thin cloth or paper. The thinness of metal is only ½ inch wide.

When you attack a target, you also add damage. The following rules determine the order in which you add modifiers to a damage roll. If more than one modifier applies, add them all in the order listed below, starting with the biggest.

  • This damage combines the weapon damage and other modifiers, such as your Strength modifier.
  • Your character might have other modifiers to the damage roll, such as those from the Sneak Attack feature of a rogue.
  • Finesse: Weapons with the finesse property are light and versatile, allowing you to use the Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on attack rolls. The fighter uses his ability to sense weakness and gain an advantage to give himself a +2 to hit with this weapon.

Exceptions To Adding Proficiency

But what if you want to apply your proficiency bonus to damage rolls? This can be an essential question if you’re a spellcaster or any character who uses weapons as part of their character.

Proficiency is not added to damage rolls except when you have a class feature or a feature from a different source.

You can therefore add it to the roll whenever you start to attack. However, if your proficiency bonus is higher than your ability modifier, you can’t add it.

For example, if you have proficiency in the longsword and a +3-ability modifier (Strength), you can add +3 to the roll; but if your ability score was instead a +2 (Strength), you could only add +2 to the roll.

If you have a character with Strength 16 (+3 modifier) who gained proficiency in the longsword, they will get to add the +3 to their rolls.

According to the official D&D 5e rules, it’s possible to add your proficiency whenever you try something related to your expertise. 

What kinds of things count as expertise? “Skills you’re proficient in—linguist, for example—and skills that come from class features like the rogue’s Expertise or the barbarian’s Intimidating Presence.”

Is There A Difference Between Attack Rolls And Attack Bonus For Spells?

It’s not entirely clear from the rules as written whether there is a difference between an attack roll and a spell attack bonus for spells. 

The regulations for attack rolls state that an attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent when it’s your turn in a  given round.

The spell attack bonus, whenever you cast a spell requiring that you initiate an attack roll, you do so use your spellcasting ability modifier + the spellcasting ability modifier of the spellcasting focus you’re using, seem to be identical. 

The general rule is if the attack roll will have a noticeable effect on the spell’s outcome, use the attack roll. If not, use the attack bonus. 

Attack rolls are used when a critical success or failure could alter the result of a spell or when you need to roll a die to determine how much damage is dealt. Attack bonuses are used when the spell is meant to deal damage, and that’s all.

For example, let’s say you’re casting burning hands. You might be able to deal more or less damage depending on whether a critical success or failure occurs.


The proficiency bonus is meant to represent training and experience. However, even if a character is proficient with their weaponry, they cannot add that bonus to their attack rolls.

This article has covered proficiency, how it works, and how to calculate your proficiency bonus for each attack you make. 

We hope this guide has helped clear any confusion you may have had regarding this key 5e mechanic.