strength dnd 5e

Strength represents a character’s physical power and prowess in DnD 5e. Your Strength modifier can be used as the attack roll and damage modifier for all melee weapons.

A Strength check can be used for any attempt to lift, push, pull, or break something – basically, if you’re applying brute force, you’re using Strength.

Strength also determines how much you can lift, drag, and carry.

Carrying Capacity

You can carry a number of pounds equal to your Strength SCORE (not modifier) times 15. So, with a Strength score of 20, you can carry 300 pounds.

In most cases, you don’t have to worry about carrying capacity or encumbrance in DnD 5e, unless you’re trying to do something ridiculous.

Push, Drag, or Lift

You can push a weight in pounds equal to twice your carry capacity (which is 30 times your Strength score).

While you’re pushing something that’s over your carrying capacity, your speed drops to 5 feet.

These numbers (carrying capacity + push weight) double if you become a Large creature and get cut in half if you become Tiny.

Player’s Handbook, pg. 175-6

Shoving and Grappling

Strength (Athletics) is used for shove and grapple checks. When you attempt to shove or grapple a creature, you make a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (their choice). If you beat the target’s check, you shove or grapple them.

Armor Requirements

Some heavy armor has a Strength score requirement, listed in the table below:

Name Armor Class (AC) Strength
Chain Mail 16 Str 13
Splint 17 Str 15
Plate 18 Str 15

Athletics Checks

Athletics covers situations that require some skill as well as raw muscle – stuff like climbing a cliff, making an impressive jump, or swimming in difficult conditions.

Here are a few situations when a Strength (Athletics) check might come up:

  • Escaping/avoiding being Grappled

  • Grappling a creature

  • Swimming, jumping, climbing, etc.

  • Maneuvering over hazardous terrain

  • Playing sports

  • Catching a falling object

  • Holding onto narrow handholds in difficult conditions

  • Holding on against resistance

  • Stopping a heavy object’s momentum

  • Forcing open a stuck or barred door

  • Holding a door closed against besiegers

  • Pushing through a narrow tunnel

  • Breaking free of bonds

Examples of Strength

  • Athletics. With a thunderous din, Gromm’s fist slammed Thrain’s hand onto the table. The crowd erupted into cheers, and the victorious half-orc rose from his seat, a triumphant grin on his face. The Iron Fist had once again proven that when it came to raw strength, he had no equal.

  • Raw strength. For hours, Kaldar labored against the unyielding stone. Sweat poured down his furrowed brow, and his muscles strained with each successive effort. As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm glow over the mountain range, Kaldar’s perseverance paid off. With a deafening crack, the boulder shifted, dislodging from its stubborn position.

  • Strength saving throw. Malgrim, the dark mage, unleashed a surge of dark magic, seeking to bind Seraphina in ethereal chains. The air crackled with malevolent energy as otherworldly shackles manifested, attempting to ensnare the valiant paladin. Seraphina, however, drew upon her indomitable strength and righteous spirit.

    As the ethereal chains closed in, Seraphina’s muscles strained against the magical force. With a surge of determination, she let out a resounding battle cry, channeling divine energy through her veins. Seraphina’s entire being became a conduit for divine strength, and with a mighty heave, she shattered the ethereal chains that sought to bind her.

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