[RPG] This can’t be right? 61 damage in one blow as a 3rd-level paladin?


I'm running a Curse of Strahd campaign and one of my players just hit level 3.
He told me he could do a blow causing 61 damage.

That just didn't feel right.

This is how you could do it assuming his blow would hit.
Using a longsword: 1d10 (longsword) + 2d8 (divine smite) + 2d10+3 (poison strike – Oath of Treachery) + 2d6 (thundrous smite)

Best Answer

Sure, once per day, if they roll max on everything

This works. But there are some caveats:

  • They can only do this once per day at level 3, because they do not have enough spellslots to do the combo more than once.
  • They need to set up, because they can't apply poison strike and thundrous smite in the same round.
  • You are unlikely to roll the maximum on all your dice. This theoretical approach of 'if I roll max damage and hit x targets' could lead to a question along the lines of "My level 5 wizard says he can do 1000+ damage with a single fireball, this can't be right?"
  • You are essentially smearing out your damage over two turns. You're using one turn to set up the poison strike, and then attacking on the next, using two spell slots in the process. You'd likely do more damage if you spread the damage out over multiple turns. The "all eggs in one basket" strategy is more vulnerable to things like 'Shield' or 'Uncanny Dodge'.

If your adventuring day consists of exactly one enemy, this is a great idea. If it does not, they had better hope that the rest of the enemies they face are having an off-day because they've just blown basically everything they had on a single strike.

D&D 5e allows for a lot of crazy broken stuff if you allow your characters to rest after every encounter, because it allows certain classes to just blow their entire load of spells and abilities on a single encounter and then rest. But the adventuring day should have more encounters than just one, or the balance system breaks down, the DM manual does a pretty good job at explaining this principle.

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