What does 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, and 1d10 mean in Baldur’s Gate 3?

The terms come up a lot.

Image via Larian Studios

There are a lot of common Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) terms in Baldur’s Gate 3. It makes sense because the developers Larian Studios follow the D&D 5.0 handbook to create the various rules and guidelines for how combat, skill checks, characters, and overall gameplay work. Baldur’s Gate, which was initially released in 1998, used the 2nd edition rules of D&D, and Baldur’s Gate 3 continues to follow that tradition with the revised version. You can expect to see various terms not previously used in Larian Studios’ games, such as concentration, rugged terrain, or even 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, and 1d10.

Terms like 1d4 and 1d6 are commonly used whenever talking about a weapon or a spell your character has at their disposal. For example, a short sword has 1d6 slashing damage, but there’s no breakdown for what this means when you hover over the term.

Whenever you see anything that’s using 1d by something, it’s talking about dice. The term ‘1d’ means it’s using one die, so when your character successfully hits another character in combat, behind the scenes, they’re rolling one dice of whatever the next number is. So when your character lands an attack against an enemy, they are rolling one six-sided dice to see how much damage they deal. That means you can expect to see an attack damage a foe for one to six points of damage. The final result usually is higher because your character also adds their proficiency score to their damage die, which you can see on their equipment page, at the bottom.

Almost any attack or spell your characters use in Baldur’s Gate 3 has one of these dice rolls attached to their description. It gives you a better idea of how powerful these attacks will be, and for those who enjoy using spellcasters, you can expect to see some that have 2d4 or 3d4, which means the attack is rolling two four-sided dice or three four-sided dice, respectively. So if you have the option of using an attack that uses 1d10 or one that uses 1d4, you probably want to use the 1d10 because you can potentially roll a four or high. However, there’s a lot of luck in dice rolls, and there’s always a chance you can roll a one.

Make sure to double-check the spell or attack before using it to see how much damage it does to an enemy. Depending on how many die your character rolls, you might be better off using a different choice.