Pathfinder Damage Dice Progression Chart D&D 5E

A Damage dice (abbreviated [W]) of a weapon determines the damage of attacks by representing the number of dice rolled along with its type. In the D&D 5e game, a 2d6 means rolling a 6-sided die twice. 

Several weapons have different damage dice, and their strength determines the best combination of damage dice. There is a table in D&D that ranks the different strengths of damage dice in the game to ease the choice of using a weapon when your character becomes enlarged or diminished in size. 

This article will explore the table and rules to determine the Pathfinder Damage Dice steps in detail.  

What Are the Pathfinder Damage Dice Steps in D&D 5E?

In D&D 5e, there is an official table and rules specifying how to raise and reduce manufactured natural weapon damage magnitude when its size or effective size changes. When the damage dealt by a creature’s weapon or unarmed attack changes due to a change in its size (the size of weapon), utilize the following rules to determine the new damage. 

Rules for Size Changes, Effective Size Changes, and Damage Dice Progression:

  • If the size increases by one step, check the initial damage on the chart and increase it by two steps. If the initial size is small or lower (or is deemed small or lower ) or the initial damage is 1d6 or less, increase the damage by one step.
  • If the size increases by one step, check the initial damage on the chart and increase it by two steps. If the initial size is Medium or lower (or is treated as Medium or lower) or its damage is 1d8 or less, decrease the damage by one step.
  • If the exact number of original dice is unavailable on the chart, apply the following rules before adjusting the damage dice: If the damage is several d6, search the following lowest number of d6 on the chart and use that number of d8 as the original damage value ( you may treat 10d6 as 8d8). If the damage is several d8, search the following highest number of d8 on the chart and use that number of d6 as the original damage value ( you may treat 5d8 as 6d6). After receiving the new damage value, adjust it by the number calculated in the above steps. 
  • If the die type is not available in the chart, apply the following rules before adjusting the damage dice: Count 2d4 as 1d8 on the chart, count 3d4 as 2d6 on the chart, and continue for higher numbers of d4, then count 1d12 as 2d6 on the chart and continue the process for higher numbers of d12. 
  • Finally, increase 2d10 to 4d8 and decrease to 2d8, regardless of its initial size, and continue the process for higher numbers of d10. 

Damage Dice Progression Chart

If the Size is on the chartDamage Dice Progression Chart
Original is Medium1
+1 Size Damage: Increase the damage by 2 steps1d2
-1 Size Damage: Decrease the damage by 2 steps1d3
Original Damage is 1d8 or Less: Decrease damage by 1 step1d4
Original is Small1d6
+1 Size Damage: Increase the damage by 1 step1d8
-1 Size Damage: Decrease the damage by 1 step1d10
Special2d6
+1 Size Damage: If the initial damage is 1d6 or less, instead increase the damage by one step2d8
-1 Size Damage: If the Initial damage is 1d8 or lower3d6
If the Size is off the chartDamage Dice Progression Chart
Original is Xd63d8
Find the next lower or d64d6
Use that number of d8 as the original damage value.4d8
Example: 10d6 -> 8d86d6
Original is Xd86d8
Find the next highest number of d88d6
Use that number of d6, Example: 5d8 -> 6d68d8
Original is 2d10 or Xd1012d6
Increase 2d10 to 4d8 and decrease to 2d8, regardless of the initial size, and so on for higher numbers of d10. From Mark Seifter: 4d8 -> 4d10 -> 8d8  and 2d12 = 4d6, 5d12  = 10d6 is correct12d8
Size Not ReferencedCount 2d4 as 1d8 on the chart, and count 2d6 as 3d4 on the chart, and so on for higher numbers of d4. Count 2d6 as 1d12 on the chart, and so on for higher numbers of d12.16d6

So far, we have discussed the damage dice progression. Let us now discuss the damage progression and d2, which is not actually a dice because if d2 appears in PF books, you should look at another dice (CRB), or a coin (DMG). 

What Is the Damage Progression?

There are no effects or abilities that increase damage in steps in Starfinder. Spells that increase your damage for a short period will add a specific number of dice to the damage done rather than progressing your weapon damage on a chart as discussed earlier, such as Supercharge Weapon (+4d6 additional damage). According to the rules for Designing Monsters and NPCs, the progression is not close to the Pathfinder damage dice progression. 

CRLow Attack Bonuses            High Attack BonusesRanged Damage EnergyRanged Damage KineticMelee Damage StandardMelee Damage Three AttacksMelee Damage Four Attacks
1/3+4+11d41d41d6 + Str
1/2+6+31d41d61d6 + Str
1+8+51d4 + 11d6 + 11d6+1+Str
2+10+71d4 + 21d6 + 21d6+2+Str
3+11+81d4 + 31d6 + 31d6+3+Str
4+12+91d4 + 41d6 + 41d6+4+Str
5+14+111d6 + 51d8 + 51d6+5+Str
6+16+131d10 + 62d6 + 61d8+6+Str1d4+6+Str
7+17+142d6 + 72d8 + 72d6+7+Str1d8+7+Str1d6+7+Str
8+19+162d8 + 83d6 + 83d4+8+Str1d10+8+Str1d6+8+Str
9+21+183d6 + 95d4 + 92d10+9+Str2d6+9+Str1d10+9+Str
10+22+192d10 + 104d6 + 102d10+10+Str3d4+10+Str1d10+10+Str

Let us put the CR and the average damage of Pathfinder and Starfinder side-to-side (up to CR 10). Pathfinder has a high number, but its designed monsters do not follow the Pathfinder table, and its known dice combination could not give us the number on average. But, Starfinder’s table has dice values instead of numbers to aim at, which is better for Game Master (GM) to create their own monsters and encounters.

CRPathfinder Average Damage(High)Pathfinder Average Damage(Low)Statfinder Average Damage (Energy)Statfinder Average Damage (Kinetic)Statfinder Average Damage( Melee)
1753.54.54.5
21074.55.55.5
31395.56.56.5
416126.57.57.5
520158.59.58.5
6251811.51310.5
73022141614
835261718.515.5
9403019.521.520
104533212421

Another thing to keep in mind is that Starfinder monsters deal less damage than Pathfinder’s monsters because of no Str Bonus in the formula. If you check Ability Score modifiers on the Starfinder’s table, you will notice that combatants will start with an Str Bonus of +4 at CR1 and go up to +8 at CR 10. 

Weapons’ Progression based on their Item Level

Weapons do not give a static boost to their damage but add a few stacks of dice to which the character can then apply their bonuses.

The advancement is different for each weapon category, with small weapons being slightly weaker than longarms and melee weapons, while sniper and heavy weapons are mighty. Kinetic damage from a spear is more robust than Energy damage. So, small arms deal 1d4 of Fire damage, while other small weapons will deal 1d6 Piercing damage. 

To exemplify, look at the average damage of small arms and heavy weapons when they level up. 

Small arms: 1d4 -> 1d6 -> 1d8 -> 2d4 -> 2d6 -> 3d4 -> 2d8 -> 3d6 / 4d4 -> 5d4 / 4d6 -> 3d12 -> 8d4 / 4d8 -> 5d8 / 6d6 > 4d12 -> 9d6 -> 5d12

Heavy weapons: 1d8 -> 1d10 -> 1d12 / 2d6 -> 2d8 -> 2d10 -> 3d8 -> 2d12 4d6 -> -> 3d10 -> 4d8 -> 6d6 -> 4d12 -> 6d10 / 5d12 -> 7d8 -> 8d8 -> 9d6 (*) -> 8d10 -> 7d12 -> 9d12 -> 10d10

(*) indicates that a railgun with 9d6 will have an average of 31.5 when every other weapon is way past the value.

What Is Sop Destructive Blast Damage Dice Steps?

Spheres of Power (SoP) is an alternative or expanded magic system for Pathfinder in D&D. It gives the caster access to an unlimited ray attack that can be extended in many ways by different talents. Talents change the damage the blast can deal either by increasing or decreasing the dice’s size. 

The Spheres of Power (SoP) Destructive Blast Damage Dice Steps are:

Greater Blast does not increase the damage die step: It says, “the damage of your destructive blast increases by one die.” It does not mean “one die step.” The talent provides you an extra damage die. So, if your blast does 3d6, the talent will increase the damage to 4d6. 

1d12 is the maximum damage die: The text “(1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12)” appears numerous times in the magic table, implying a range of 1d4 to 1d12 that the destructive blast can deal damage.

The damage die step after 1d12 is 2d8: A 1d12 counts as 2d6 on the damage die step chart. The step after 2d6 is 2d8. If your Game Master (GM) understands the text to mean that your destructive blast can go beyond the range specified by magic rules, it will deal 2d8 per damage die.  

FAQs

Do Weapons Damage Themselves?

No, As per Rules as Written (RAW), weapons do not break themselves. 

The damage explicitly done to objects via sundering or striking the weapons may destroy them. The Damaging Objects rules are the sum of how you can do it; if it’s not there, it’s not there for a reason.

Weapons break down after every hit, and every level 3 hit cause 15+ points of damage and will always burst a lance, spear, or halberd. A weapon becomes “broken” at half-hit points, incurring a penalty, and gets destroyed when its Hit points (Hp) become 0. 

If you’re going to use a weapon damage rule, make it more realistic by doing 1d6 damage to it on a natural 1. (or maybe a number equivalent to the hardness of the thing being struck).

Are There Rules About Massive Weapons and Critical Threats?

No, there are no rules regarding big weapons and critical threats if their damage is immense. Since the weapon’s damage is more significant, it will score a critical hit, and its resulting damage will also be higher. 

For example, a Medium estoc deals 2d4 points of damage (average of 5) and possesses a critical range of 18 to 20. A critical hit deals 4d4 damage (average of 10). If you increase the weapon size to Gargantuan, it deals 2d8 points of damage (1d10 is large, 2d6 is huge, etc) (average is 9), and on critical hits, it deals 4d8 points of damage (average is 18). 

The weapon’s average damage is approximately double that of its Medium variant when the result of the weapon exceeds normal. A great ax is usually as large as a medium-sized creature’s chest, but when you score a critical hit, the “devastating” attack gets reflected on the higher critical multiplier (x3). So, the damage that could deal 1d12 (average 6) will now deal 3d12 (average 18).