Pathfinder damage dice progression chart & calculations explained.

pathfinder damage dice

Pathfinder damage dice – Dice have been a part of many dice games and other activities from the Renaissance era, from backgammon to craps. For example, the game of pathfinder damage dice is primarily accepted as having been invented in ancient Egypt. In games where players roll multiple dice, the total value of one or more particular ones may be counted or added to a player’s score to determine which player goes first. A typical die has six faces labeled with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 – the “1” being at the top with pips on its side indicating (typically) numbers for “2” through “6”. 

There’s a new official table of Pathfinder damage dice progression with rules to adjust weapons damage across the entire scale. The damage dice progression is very detailed in the advanced rules, having four types of damage dice and 12 different weapons die, which only covers part of the range. The intent is that the DM will have a table of damage dice to be rolled when an attack is successful. It serves as an additional randomizer, similar to critical hits and fumbles. Let’s discuss everything you should know about the pathfinder damage dice. 


The point is to add randomization in combat and take a lot of the guesswork out of the process. The variant damage dice progression is just that, a variant. It’s not official, and you don’t have to use it if you don’t like it. The progression of damaged dice follows the same pattern as the standard die: d4-d12. The PRD originally contained several conflicting charts for handling dice increases (and decreases) due to size changes. 

This chart is intended to consolidate those charts into a single document. Essentially, it is intended as a guide to assist with die progression rules and adjustments. The chart also contains all the adjustment changes made for specific weapons across the APG’s Orth. The intent of the below-mentioned portion is not an exhaustive breakdown of how each weapon behaves when using different damage dice sizes and what consequences that has on the power of an attack – other sources exist for that sort of detail. 

Instead, pathfinder damage dice intend to provide a straightforward, accessible guide for using multiple damages die sizes on weapons to set both the damage dice size and the result of an attack. Each weapon in the table below corresponds to an ability score on Table: Armor Class Modifiers for Armor. The Ability column contains a d4 (1), d8 (2), d12 (3), and a d20 (4) corresponding to the specific weapon die size and its respective amount of damage.

What does this chart replace? What does it not replace?

This chart is used in place of the following:

Damage Adjustments for Multiple Damage Dice Adjustments for Size Changes for Weapons Using Multiple Damage Dice for Weapon Size

This chart is a guide. It is not the authoritative source for handling any given situation and can be used in conjunction with one or more of the above-referenced charts. Each entry contains various permutations of the same damage dice size and notes whether there are any special effects in addition to die size that make that damage exceptionally powerful.

  This chart does not replace the following:

Damage adjusted by Strength 

Adjustments to Range Increment 

Adjustments to Maneuverability:

These charts are intended as a guideline and do not consider how people constructed the weapon. For example, some weapons can be made unusually large or small, resulting in additional penalties or bonuses. 

What is the rationale behind this chart?

 There are many possible and fun ways to construct weapons using various dice, provided that they adhere to a few basic rules and that there is no confusion over what they do. It is the job of the DM to create a game world, layout dangers and obstacles for his players, and ask them questions like “Why isn’t your two-handed axe doing more damage?” 

There are several reasons for this chart. First, in some cases, there is a difference between how things work on paper and in play because of their materials. For example, steel weapons are much heavier than their steel counterparts. In this case, it is assumed that the weapon’s weight has changed the die size. Likewise, where there is a concise range for a weapon (such as with the short bow), its damage will be less than it would be if there were a more extended range.

Size Increase Stacking

Weapons with a size increase bonus and a damage increase bonus of the same bonus add to the damage dice of their respective size. For example, a 1d6+1 longsword gains an additional 1d6. When using two or more size increases for multiple dice, add them to determine the final die size. Weapons that can reduce the ammunition required will stack with the damage reduction, resulting in a larger die. For example, a light crossbow only requires one bolt per attack instead of two. A d10 light crossbow reduces this to one d8 light crossbow bolt per attack, thus absorbing +1 damage from all attacks.

The portion mentioned above explains everything about the pathfinder damage dice.