Resizeable magical items

In our group, this was one of the first things we houseruled away when we first started playing D&D...
We just did not like the feeling of it, that an ogres armor would automatically resize to fit a dwarf and the axe of said dwarf would double in size if grasped by the ogre...

But I have seen on this forum that most seem to take one-size-fits-all magical items for granted.

So, I became curious. Is this thing as universially liked as it seems? Any others that do it like us? (magic items do not resize). How do you want it to be in 5E?
In our group, this was one of the first things we houseruled away when we first started playing D&D...
We just did not like the feeling of it, that an ogres armor would automatically resize to fit a dwarf and the axe of said dwarf would double in size if grasped by the ogre...

But I have seen on this forum that most seem to take one-size-fits-all magical items for granted.

So, I became curious. Is this thing as universially liked as it seems? Any others that do it like us? (magic items do not resize). How do you want it to be in 5E?



It was a matter of convenience and is not something I feel any need to see restored to D&D.  I know it was explicitly stated in the AD&D1st books.  At what point did it actually disappear as a formal rule?  I might have to pull out the AD&D2nd books and see if it's still there. By 4E, it required a ritual.

I think it goes back to the days of AD&D when death was quick and the parties spent their lives in dungeons.  When you found some magical armor you weren't even sure you would survive to get back to town and they wanted to make it an immediate reward.  So they made them resize.

I'd rather see this idea go away and require the players to go back to town to have the local smithy resize them - for a moderate fee (probably around what the smith would pay for the next cheapest armor, so that just trading in your old used set of banded would pay to have plate resized, for example).

But then again - I also want the idea of players sitting down during a short rest and toying with their magic items to figure out their powers (as in 4E) to go away.  I want either identify (a wizard ritual) or a need to go pay someone in town if they want to identify their magic - for largely the same reasons.

Carl
I seem to recall self resizing rings an such in norse myth
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
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"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I seem to recall self resizing rings an such in norse myth



Not to mention Tolkien.

But that one also 'un-sized' itself when it fit its needs.

Carl
To be honest I would love it if armour no longer resized automatically.
It gives a minor detail for players to think about when carrying gear around but more importantly, I find immersion comes from the small things.

P.S. Fighters shouldnt have a problem with this... so long as you play a 4e pixie fighter 
To be honest I would love it if armour no longer resized automatically.
It gives a minor detail for players to think about when carrying gear around but more importantly, I find immersion comes from the small things.

P.S. Fighters shouldnt have a problem with this... so long as you play a 4e pixie fighter 



So what was the last edition that armor automatically resized in.
It didn't in 4E, It did in AD&D 1st.  Between those, I don't recall.  I'd guess it changed in 3.x, but I don't recall....



Carl


edit:  Checked.  In AD&D 2nd, magical armor did not automatically resize. 


From the AD&D2nd DMG:  When adding magical armor to the game, be aware of sizing problems:  85% of all armor is (except elven chain mail) is man-sized, 20%     is elf-sized, 10% is dwarf-sized, and but 5% is gnome or halfling sized.
I'm 99% certain it auto resized in 3.x
I don't like every magic item resizing. But some items could have the magical property and their should be a cheap cheap ritual for it. Like 50 sp.

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I'm 99% certain it auto resized in 3.x



SRD indicates it doesn't resize.


When an article of magic clothing or jewelry is discovered, most of the time size shouldn’t be an issue. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they adjust themselves magically to the wearer. Size should not keep characters of various kinds from using magic items.

There may be rare exceptions, especially with racial specific items.


Armor and Weapon Sizes

Armor and weapons that are found at random have a 30% chance of being Small (01-30), a 60% chance of being Medium (31-90), and a 10% chance of being any other size (91-100).




So it says most clothing or jewelry resizes.  But armor is not usually considered 'clothing' for this purpose - and then gives sizes for magic armor which implies armor does not (because if it does - why bother worrying about what size it was).  Might have to actually dig out the books to see whether 3.0 and 3.x differed.

My suspicion is that armor hasn't resized since AD&D1st as a rule - but that DMs allowed it to resize as a convenience.


That probably won't change with 5E.

Carl


We played "auto-sized" this way: If found magical armour was originally made for a human, it could size up, down, or sideways one step to fit a taller/shorter/wider/skinnier human, elf, possibly dwarf, or half-elf. Any more than that would require a smith who was adept at working on magical armour, and he'd charge for the work he did. If the armour was made for, say, a dwarf, it could go human, halfling, or something else not too far off. But halfling armour wouldn't auto-size far enough to fit a tall human.

One of our DMs also had a shop called OSFA. Miniature magic (and very expensive) items of all kinds were on display. If a PC bought something it would magically change to the exact correct size of the purchaser. Of course, if someone "forgot" to pay for it, it would immediately resume its miniature size as soon as the person walked out the door. Hope he hadn't already put it on! Wink

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Hmm... Looks like 3.0 was back to armor resizing.   Not as simple as I thought.




When an article of magic clothing, jewlery or armor is discovered, most of the time size shouldn't be an issue.  ... As a rule, size should not keep overweight characters, characters of various genders, or characters of various kinds from using magic items.  Players shouldn't be penalized for choosing a halfling character or deciding that their character is especially tall.


Carl
I don't think it should be automatic. I also don't think it should be difficult.

You want the players to be appropriately rewarded without causing them to go "Huh. That's kinda dumb."


As wiith anything else, there is a balance to be walked between versimillitude (not "realism" which is an irrelevant concept in a FRPG) and not-being-a-dickitude.
It should be on the "general magic level" toggle.  If wizards get at-will spells, then there's enough magic in the setting to let armor spontaneously re-size.  If wizards are stuck with a couple of spells per day, then there's not enough magic in the setting for at-will size-change on armor.

The metagame is not the game.

Are DM's still rolling for random treasure? I just kind of assumed that more recently DM's were making sure there was always something party appropriate. Maybe not rewarding them all at the same time but over the course of a session.

I don't like everything automatically sizing. If you do that you'll never see a party all squeeze into a suit of giant armor and waddle around the dungeon.
I don't think magical items need to resize as a general rule. I can see Seerow's point, but it's only a point if magical items are important to the core -- which we know that they aren't intended to be. The game won't assume that fighters use magical items any moreso than any other class, magic-using or otherwise. I see no harm in Resizing being one of those properties the DM rolls for when creating an item.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
Are DM's still rolling for random treasure? I just kind of assumed that more recently DM's were making sure there was always something party appropriate. Maybe not rewarding them all at the same time but over the course of a session.

I do and I don't. I do carefully place certain items as the story or the character progression suggests, but for the "kleenex magic," as we call wands, potions, scrolls, and the like, I'll roll randomly. I do reserve the right to throw out any roll I don't like, though. ;)

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

In our group, this was one of the first things we houseruled away when we first started playing D&D...
We just did not like the feeling of it, that an ogres armor would automatically resize to fit a dwarf and the axe of said dwarf would double in size if grasped by the ogre...

But I have seen on this forum that most seem to take one-size-fits-all magical items for granted.

So, I became curious. Is this thing as universially liked as it seems? Any others that do it like us? (magic items do not resize). How do you want it to be in 5E?



They groups that I have played with since in 2e and beyond have done it this way.  Magic items resize within the size category that the item is.  Medium sized chain mail will fit a thin elf, a tall human, and a dwarf, but will not shrink to fit a halfling.  My groups in 1e days resized magic items freely.
I see, "it's magic" is a fine explanation for anything until it comes to giving Fighters toys, then it's too outlandish and needs to be gotten rid of. give me a break.



An interesting and inaccurate take on the issue.

Carl



How is it innaccurate?



Because fighters have nothing to do with it, and magic CAN be unlimited, but doesn't have to be.

    

I just say that part of the basic enchantment that makes magical armor protect better is an enchantment ot make it suit the wearer's body perfectly. Maybe part of the +1 (or whatever) is not just "tougher material" rather it's "better fitting."
In our group, this was one of the first things we houseruled away when we first started playing D&D...
We just did not like the feeling of it, that an ogres armor would automatically resize to fit a dwarf and the axe of said dwarf would double in size if grasped by the ogre...

But I have seen on this forum that most seem to take one-size-fits-all magical items for granted.

So, I became curious. Is this thing as universially liked as it seems? Any others that do it like us? (magic items do not resize). How do you want it to be in 5E?



They groups that I have played with since in 2e and beyond have done it this way.  Magic items resize within the size category that the item is.  Medium sized chain mail will fit a thin elf, a tall human, and a dwarf, but will not shrink to fit a halfling.  My groups in 1e days resized magic items freely.



How are you handling non-magical plate in 5N (where it costs more than a magic item in 4E)?

Do you ignore fit issues within a size category or do you require them to get it resized?  Can your dwarves wear plate armor sized for a human?  Or a hobgoblin?

Carl
I prefer armor that does not resize on its own.


Keep in mind, however, this doesn't mean that I'm never going to let the halfling fighter get magic plate mail.  (Though I will mock him mercilessly for playing a halfling fighter.)  I just won't let the halfling fighter and the human fighter share the same suit of magic plate mail.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
Armor resize is a convenience that i think should be in the core rules.

Perhaps a module could handle more complex rules such as the AD&D 2nd edition Complete Fighter's Handbook armor fitting rules. Such rule makes that a human-sized armor is not even guaranteed that it will fit a human (65%). Much less an elven armor (50%), a dwarven armor (40%) or a halfling one (20%). 


In our group, this was one of the first things we houseruled away when we first started playing D&D...
We just did not like the feeling of it, that an ogres armor would automatically resize to fit a dwarf and the axe of said dwarf would double in size if grasped by the ogre...

But I have seen on this forum that most seem to take one-size-fits-all magical items for granted.

So, I became curious. Is this thing as universially liked as it seems? Any others that do it like us? (magic items do not resize). How do you want it to be in 5E?



They groups that I have played with since in 2e and beyond have done it this way.  Magic items resize within the size category that the item is.  Medium sized chain mail will fit a thin elf, a tall human, and a dwarf, but will not shrink to fit a halfling.  My groups in 1e days resized magic items freely.



How are you handling non-magical plate in 5N (where it costs more than a magic item in 4E)?

Do you ignore fit issues within a size category or do you require them to get it resized?  Can your dwarves wear plate armor sized for a human?  Or a hobgoblin?

Carl



Non-magic armor does not resize to refit other races of the same size category.  So dwarven plate will simply not fit a human.  That of course is with the understanding that if a human PC had in his background that he was short, wide and muscular, he would probably fit into it.  Within the same race I don't even bother checking.  I'm not going to make a 6'1" human resize plate that came off of a 5'8" human.  I'll just handwave that minor issue away.  For armor found on hobgobline, etc.  I'll look at the build of the creature and make a determination.
In our group, this was one of the first things we houseruled away when we first started playing D&D...
We just did not like the feeling of it, that an ogres armor would automatically resize to fit a dwarf and the axe of said dwarf would double in size if grasped by the ogre...

But I have seen on this forum that most seem to take one-size-fits-all magical items for granted.

So, I became curious. Is this thing as universially liked as it seems? Any others that do it like us? (magic items do not resize). How do you want it to be in 5E?



They groups that I have played with since in 2e and beyond have done it this way.  Magic items resize within the size category that the item is.  Medium sized chain mail will fit a thin elf, a tall human, and a dwarf, but will not shrink to fit a halfling.  My groups in 1e days resized magic items freely.



How are you handling non-magical plate in 5N (where it costs more than a magic item in 4E)?

Do you ignore fit issues within a size category or do you require them to get it resized?  Can your dwarves wear plate armor sized for a human?  Or a hobgoblin?

Carl



Non-magic armor does not resize to refit other races of the same size category.  So dwarven plate will simply not fit a human.  That of course is with the understanding that if a human PC had in his background that he was short, wide and muscular, he would probably fit into it.  Within the same race I don't even bother checking.  I'm not going to make a 6'1" human resize plate that came off of a 5'8" human.  I'll just handwave that minor issue away.  For armor found on hobgobline, etc.  I'll look at the build of the creature and make a determination.



Just checking.  I did the same for the non-magical plate.

For the magical plate in the Caves it didn't matter since it ended up going to a human anyway.    If it had mattered, I probably would have made them resize it - but if the same situation had first come up 300 miles from civilzation out in the wilderness, I probably would have let it resize out of convenience - and then felt obligated to stick with whichever approach I used first.

Not very consistent, I know - but that's how I suspect my mind would have worked.

If they are going to put a rule into the books at all, I would probably recommend they do exactly as you described for magical armors - except that I would want it worded as "Most armors..." to make it clear that there can always be exceptions.

Carl

This is a simple one for me, non-magical armor doesn't resize but then, I don't have specific armors for specific species. An elf, dwarf, and Human are all medium sized. Ergo, they can all wear medium-sized armor without having to resize the stuff. A halfing, however, would probably have to make adjustments by a Check (perhaps an Artisan gets a bonus) or pay 1/5 the price of the non-magical armor. But magical armor, I just let it automatically resize for convenience for the PCs. It's less micro-management I have to deal with and less worrying about carrying capacity.


Just checking.  I did the same for the non-magical plate.

For the magical plate in the Caves it didn't matter since it ended up going to a human anyway.    If it had mattered, I probably would have made them resize it - but if the same situation had first come up 300 miles from civilzation out in the wilderness, I probably would have let it resize out of convenience - and then felt obligated to stick with whichever approach I used first.

Not very consistent, I know - but that's how I suspect my mind would have worked.



I wouldn't have let it resize.  I'm not willing to just toss away how I do things for convenience.  However, I would probably have changed the size/creature so that it was found in a size that would fit the person it would likely be going to.  The result would be the same as you, but the distinction is important to me. 

If they are going to put a rule into the books at all, I would probably recommend they do exactly as you described for magical armors - except that I would want it worded as "Most armors..." to make it clear that there can always be exceptions.




Agreed.


For the magical plate in the Caves it didn't matter since it ended up going to a human anyway.    If it had mattered, I probably would have made them resize it - but if the same situation had first come up 300 miles from civilzation out in the wilderness, I probably would have let it resize out of convenience - and then felt obligated to stick with whichever approach I used first.

Not very consistent, I know - but that's how I suspect my mind would have worked.



I wouldn't have let it resize.  I'm not willing to just toss away how I do things for convenience.  However, I would probably have changed the size/creature so that it was found in a size that would fit the person it would likely be going to.  The result would be the same as you, but the distinction is important to me. 



Me too.  I'd probably end up wishing I'd planned that far ahead....

Of course - it's all hypothetical.  And if it happened in the other order (I'd already set the precedent of having to resize the magical armor) then the precedent would hold.  I might, however, try to find a way to arrange for them to be able to get it resized without being too obvious about it.  Maybe they discover a small dwarven mining camp in the hills nearby....

At present - having not yet set a precedent with magical armor I can go either way.  On the other hand, I'm not likely to hand out any more plate.  I already wish they didn't have the plate they do have (unfortunately as soon as they saw the Grey Ooze they all started moving away - one of them explaining "I don't fght oozes" - leaving it up to the Necromancer's skeleton and the warlock to take care of it.

And I was hoping I could damage their armor a bit.  /evil laugh/

Carl
How are you handling non-magical plate in 5N (where it costs more than a magic item in 4E)?

Do you ignore fit issues within a size category or do you require them to get it resized?  Can your dwarves wear plate armor sized for a human?  Or a hobgoblin?

Depends on the size of the plate and who can use it -- it's costly because it's a lot of work (well, so are magic items, but that's for a different discussion). Armourers (I know three or four personally) CAN resize non-magic plate if the change isn't too drastic. E.G., they can make the curvature of the breastplate or the vambraces smaller or larger to fit a bit more or less musculature, and they can re-strap to make it fit pretty well. And that might even work for skinny human to stocky elf, but not for anything much more drastic than that. A armourer takes numerous measurements of the client to build the armour from. It's even more fussy than a well-tailored suit. If the client gains even 3 inches in the waist, the pants and vest will need to be changed, and anything more than that and they'll have to be redone.

Same for half-plate, by the way, since it's some plate over chain. The chain is quite flexible, but the plate parts will need expert attention.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

It seems that people are handling this in many different ways. That is interesting.
Thanks for the replies.

In our group we say that armor is not automatically resizeable. I do alow some adjustments to be made by PCs with appropriate skills and or spells and by hired armourers.

I do sometimes allow monsters to drop objects that are not 100% determined. Like in a recent session there were guardians of a temple that wore decorative armors, some of which was magical. I judged that if a player wanted to use said armor it could be used either as a platemail or as a chainmail, depending on what parts of the armor-set that was taken and used. Adjustment was needed in either case.


@seerow
I see, "it's magic" is a fine explanation for anything until it comes to giving Fighters toys, then it's too outlandish and needs to be gotten rid of. give me a break.


Do you really not see the huge double standard there?


If you want to be that nitpicky, point out where I said you specifically said anything, much less you said anything in this thread. I said that they are the reasons I am frequently given on this forum. Though the OP is by and far one of the worst offenders.


You feel that it wanting fighter abilities to be limited to what is relatively realistically possible and at the same time wanting magical items to not automatically change size suggests some double standard in some fighter vs. wizards war?

You don't think there might be another possibility? Like...   that both of those opinions go in the same direction, against a more gritty and realistic game?

You seem to react very hard to my posts for some reason I dont understand..  but still it seems like you don't really read them.
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There should be a mundane and magical solution to the problem. The only question is whether the mundane resizing of magical armor would destroy it. With magic there are the issues of resizing and permanency. There may be a reason to craft magical armor that resizes itself, but that would apply to special cases, or very powerful magic. It would easy to create a spell that temporarily resizes any object, and using rituals or crafting to make it permanent. There could even be a specialty to explain master smiths, that are not a spell casting class. But overall, I used automatic resizing in my early days of playing D&D, but more recently I do not allow it.
What about allowing someone to wear armor that doesn't fit but give them; an attack penalty if it is too small, and a stealth penalty if it is too big, that way they have the option of getting some use out of it until they can resize it? It still stretches the imagination but it could be a compromise.
What about allowing someone to wear armor that doesn't fit but give them; an attack penalty if it is too small, and a stealth penalty if it is too big, that way they have the option of getting some use out of it until they can resize it? It still stretches the imagination but it could be a compromise.



If I were to do this, I'd just use disadvantage or give the enemies advantage on attacks.  Quicker and easier.


Carl
I've generally always just considered self-resizing armor to be one of the acceptable breaks from reality that you just kind of put up with for convenience. I mean, even among humans it's not like clothing is one-size-fits-all, and while armor and clothing have some differences, I'm pretty sure that if you put me in armor made for a typical adult male, I'd not only look silly, but wouldn't be able to move around in it. Similarly, if you gave a huge guy armor made for me, he couldn't even get it on, even though we're both humans of the same size category. Rings need to be sized pretty precisely or they're difficult to get on or won't stay on. Anyone who's worn wrong-size gloves knows that that's annoying, and I wouldn't want to wear, much less adventure in, shoes that didn't fit, even if they were only a few sizes off. Once you're assuming that items tend to just fit, I figure you might as well just go all the way with it.

I don't really love the visual of self-resizing items, but I'd rather just roll with them than build "treasure usually isn't useful until you take it to the shop" into the game as an assumption. (Not that that can't be something awesome from time to time; "you found this, but it's broken" is basically the same idea and seems pretty common.)
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Unless an item is somehow specifically made for a particular person, or perhaps species (ie Elven Chain or somesuch), then it should resize itself for whoever is using it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I would use creature size as the measurment to determine who can wear different size equipment, as it should apply to anything that is worn. Where wearing different size clothing would be more forgiving, while the same may not apply for ring size. But regardless, even if they had some general guidance on being able to move one size up with equipment, would be a good start. Even as an optional rule in the DM guide.
It wouldn't make sense for Armor to be the only thing that doesn't resize. If we want to put that into the rules, then let's just go for it that nearly all magic items that are worn don't fit adventurers that find them, that way we are consistent with all worn items.
Unless an item is somehow specifically made for a particular person, or perhaps species (ie Elven Chain or somesuch), then it should resize itself for whoever is using it.



Why?  Why should your opinion be how the rest of us do things?
This reminds me of my classic gaming days. 

DM: "You slay the owlbear, and in the pile of bones in the cave you find a magic weapon and armor..."

Us: "hooray!"

DM: *rolls dice* "...+1 dwarf-sized splint mail and a +1 fouchard-fork." 

Us: "Boo! None of us are dwarves, and nobody uses whatever forks!"

If magic armor isn't resizeable, then magic items should be common and fungible. Otherwise you are stuck with characters who have a large collection of items they can't use, or they make character choices based on expected items... I always wanted to play a fighter who used a trident but never did, because I knew I'd never find a magic one. I just stuck to longswords.

This reminds me of my classic gaming days. 

DM: "You slay the owlbear, and in the pile of bones in the cave you find a magic weapon and armor..."

Us: "hooray!"

DM: *rolls dice* "...+1 dwarf-sized splint mail and a +1 fouchard-fork." 

Us: "Boo! None of us are dwarves, and nobody uses whatever forks!"

If magic armor isn't resizeable, then magic items should be common and fungible. Otherwise you are stuck with characters who have a large collection of items they can't use, or they make character choices based on expected items... I always wanted to play a fighter who used a trident but never did, because I knew I'd never find a magic one. I just stuck to longswords.




This assumes that the DM uses 100% random methods for placing magic items.  If the DM uses other methods, the above issue is no longer an issue. 
Transferable enchantment & spontaneous enchantment
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

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