Highest Possible Damage Attack

After researching some build strategies, I saw some offhand comments about builds that can hit for obscene amounts of damage, and I made it a personal quest of mine to determine which build can hit for the most damage (in a single hit).

Neverwinter Nights being a game which you can modify in almost any way, an inquiry like this requires some parameters: Plain 1.69, with HotU, but no Hakpaks, Level 40 PC, with a +5 weapon, with full +12 bonuses to every Ability, against an enemy with no particular Damage Vulnerability, with buffs only from the PC’s spells and special abilities (i.e. not from potions or NPCs).

Since this is a forum topic, there may not be a single right answer because you may want to challenge some of my restrictions, and that is all right here. I asked this question over on Stack Exchange, but they didn’t seem to like it much.

I have calculated 2245 as the maximum possible damage for a hit. But that doesn’t answer the question.

I can achieve this with a Paladin 21, Champion of Torm 14, Weapon Master 5 wielding a Scythe, ending with (STR/DEX/CON/INT/WIS/CHA) 14/13/8/13/14/26, having started at 14/13/8/13/12/16.

You might think like I do every time I see that Class and Ability breakdown, that certainly I could shift some of the Paladin levels to more Champion of Torm levels, but I haven’t found any other build that will reach these heights.

I couldn’t start with a higher Charisma score because I needed 13 in Dexterity and Intelligence for the Weapon Master prerequisite Feats and 13 in Strength for Power Attack. And the game wouldn’t let me start Wisdom at any lower than 11.

And I had to save my Champion of Torm levels until the Character hit a score of 25 in Charisma, because Champion of Torm allows of the selection of Great Smiting as one of its bonus feats, but it only provides a bonus Feat every other level for the first ten levels.

Feats of note:

The Damage breakdown:

So, this can hit for 449*5 = 2245. I couldn’t even fit Extra Smiting or Improved Critical (Scythe) into this build, so if this hit misses, the character better run quickly.

One note: I suppose I could hit for slightly more on an Undead enemy that doesn’t have Critical Hit immunity with Bless Weapon, but not too many Undead creatures can suffer Critical Hits.

You can also add Improved Power Attack.

You can get 3 sonic bonus damage from deafening clang too (paladin spell).

And you might get more damage with more STR oriented build rather than charisma. Keep Divine Might, but take only 14 base char, pump strength instead - that will give you more damage because two-handed weapon and it will be permanent damage too.

And if you go STR, you might be able to take Overwhelming Critical (scythe) which adds 4d6 extra damage at critical hit with scythe+WM.

Either way, this is really nice but DPS is what matters.

I did miss Deafening Clang; I’ve updated the total value.

But, to attain Great Smiting X, the character needs a Charisma value of 25. If you can show me a Strength build which yields a higher damage ceiling, I would gladly cede the argument in your favor. Also, I did not find a way to include Improved Power Attack in the build, but if someone can, I would love to see how.

Of course, this character would not have the most practical use. A Strength build would probably have a higher DPS, though the Charisma build can hit pretty high Defense values with Divine Shield. But, that’s a debate for a different topic.

ah right, didn’t realize that requirement, ok then.

I would also have interest to know which builds can produce the highest damage with some other common restrictions:

  • Critical immune
  • Neutral Alignment
  • Good Alignment

I know the general ideas which help with these aims, but I would want to know the objective build that would produce the highest value of damage on a single hit.

For non-Evil Critical-immune enemies, I could find no higher damage than the following character:

Cleric 20, Fighter 5, Champion of Torm 15 wielding a Greataxe, ending with (STR/DEX/CON/INT/WIS/CHA) 37/8/8/6/16/14, having started at 20/8/8/6/12/14. This character reached max damage at Level 39 (at Cleric 20, Fighter 4, Champion of Torm 15); the class and Attribute point for Level 40 don’t really matter.

I used the Champion of Torm Bonus Feats to select Great Wisdom IV (though I only needed three levels), Epic Weapon Focus (greataxe), and Epic Weapon Specialization (greataxe).

Other Feats of note:

The Damage breakdown:

  • Greataxe: 17 (1D12, with +5 bonus)
  • Strength: 28 (Strength 49, for +19 bonus, but two-handed weapon, so additional +9 bonus)
  • Improved Power Attach: 10
  • Prayer: 1 (Cleric spell)
  • Battletide: 2 (Cleric spell)
  • Divine Favor: 5 (Cleric spell, too bad it doesn’t work with Empower Spell)
  • Darkfire: 16 (1D6+10 Fire Damage from Cleric spell; that it doesn’t increase on a Critical Hit does not matter for this build)
  • Battle Mastery: 5 (Cleric Special Ability from selection of the War Domain)
  • Divine Might: 8 (26 Charisma, from Feat)
  • Divine Wrath: 7 (Champion of Torm Feat)
  • Weapon Specialization: 6 (both Epic and non-Epic versions of the Feat)

On a maximum damage hit, this will cause 105 points of damage.

For a Skeleton (Critical-immune and has 50% Immunity to Slashing and Piercing damage), you could swap the Greataxe for a Heavy Flail, sacrificing two points of damage to bypass the Damage Immunity.