A bunch of comparisons of several damage dealing arrangements done with the Damage Calculator module of Moebius Toolkit.

This page is not yet very complete. It contains some damage comparisons that I’ve done for myself, and the ones done at user request. For now, you can also check the example damage comparisons of the initial Damage Calculator post. It is very through and covers some great classic heated debates (like Monks). Although I would do those differently today, with the gained experience, so take it with a pinch of salt. Also note that at that point, the resistance to damage wasn’t properly calculated, so those cases are not correct.

1. One character comparisons (with different weapons or spells)

1.1. Buffing a mid level Khalid

Should we increase performance with Haste or Strength at low/mid levels?

In this comparison we see Khalid at level 5, without any gear or spell to boost his damage, versus when his Strength is raised to 19 (+3 to hit, +7 to damage) and when he is hasted (increases from 2.5 to 3 attacks per round). The comparison would apply the same to any unkitted Fighter of the same level and base Strength. He would have the Mastery in Long Swords, and would be wielding Varscona +2 (1 extra point of cold damage).

khalid level 5

1.2. Flame Blade

See the Flame Blade spell. It conjures a non-magical sword that deals meager physical damage, but quite respectable fire damage on top. Here it is shown in comparison with other weapons. The comparison is made with a chracter like Branwen in mind, who doesn’t have any bonuses from Strength, and who has a for free Spiritual Hammer special ability (shown in the charts).

branwen level 7

If you increased her Strenght to 18 (e.g. via a potion), this would be the result:

branwen level 7 bonuses

Download comparison file (without bonuses). Download comparison file (with bonuses).

1.3. Kensai using Belm without proficiency for dual wielding or scimitar

This comparisons comes from a question posted on Reddit, asking whether a Kensai specialized in Katanas only would benefit from Belm in the off hand.

The poster did not give too much detail about his character, so the following is assumed: the character is a Kensai at level 9 (+3 to hit and damage) with 19 Strength (+3 to hit, +7 to damage), and has Grand Mastery (5 points) in Katana, but only one point in Two Weapon Style (-2 to hit in the main hand, -6 in the off hand). The calculations to compare are dual wielding two Katana +1 versus changing to Belm in the off-hand, and versus wielding only one Katana +1.

kensai unproficient in scimitars with and without belm

As you can see, even though the character has no proficiency in dual wielding at all, all the dual wielding combinations are superior to using only one weapon.

1.4. Archer vs Drizzt

This comparison was inspired by a player named Seriously Surly, who did a Legacy of Bhaal speedrun of BG1, and as a bonus chapter, showed how to fight Drizzt using an Archer and a Berserker. The first fight was so easy that I had to look at the numbers, as basically it was just a few hits with Arrows of Detonation. Something wasn’t making proper sense.

Drizzt’s numbers are:

  • 98% magic resistance, so the special elemental damage only will affect him 2% of the times. The Damage Calculator was filled so that said elemental damage only happens 2% of the time, but that’s so low that we could even ignore it. The half damage of the save vs spell is not considered as the Damage Calculator doesn’t support it at the moment this was done.

  • 30% resistance to missile damage.

And the late game Archer (at the end of BG1’s XP cap is) would be at level 8, though Seriously Surly had it overleveled by one, so at level 9. That level is Siege of Dragonspear or Black Pits cap, so it’s not that much experience. However, that level allows reaching the 5th proficiency point for reaching Grand Mastery, so take it into account if you care.

The inputs to the calculator are considering:

  • An Elf, for +1 to THAC0 with bows.

  • A level 8 Archer, with +2 to THAC0 and damage from the kit’s bonuses.

  • With maximum proficiency available at that level (High Mastery) in the chosen ranged weapon.

  • Hasted, for reaching 4 attacks per round.

  • With 25 Dexterity, to buff THAC0 by +5.

  • Equipping Helm of Balduran and Legacy of the Masters for a final +2 to hit and damage bonus.

The player on the video shows some other buffs, like drinking Strength potions to increase damage (which is obviously wrong for ranged attacks), but also drinking potions of power and heroism, which I’ve not considered for simplicity.

One thing that I’ve learnt later, is that Arrows of Detonation are designed such that they would never fail. If you equip them, you will see a huge number being subtracted to your THAC0 in the details of the Inventory screen. The game implements that specific bonus as "never fail", in a similar way to what the Critical Strike HLA does, but without doubling damage if the opponent is unprotected to critical hits. We just use the Critical Strike checkbox in the Damage Calculator, and make the enemy protected against critical hits.

archer vs drizzt

Download comparison file (note that the 30% damage reduction of the enemy is not loaded from the file: set it manually).

2. Character versus different character

2.1. Fighter vs Paladin (late BG1 and SoD)

At the experience cap of Baldur’s Gate, both Paladin and Fighter can reach the same level, the 8th. However, Fighters can progress in proficiencies beyond the two initial points, and will end up with four in their preferred weapon (High master). That makes a difference, but it is not easy to notice. However, at the end of Siege of Dragonspear (or at the very early Shadows of Amn), with half a million XP, Fighter can reach Grand Mastery, doing not only more damage per hit, but also doing more attacks per round.

fighter vs paladin late bg1 and sod