Does Size Matter?

It jumped out at me while I was fooling around trying to create a Gnome Barbarian that, as of yet, there's really no mention of size in terms of combat effectiveness in the 5e as yet. In looking through the playtest packet - unless I missed alot of things - the only mention of size was in the area of carrying capacity in the discussion of the Strength ability.

Nothing in the Equipment section to differentiate between different sized versions of the same weapon, nothing in the discussions of armour class to suggest that small characters (gnomes and halflings) are harder to hit, no limits or deductions to strength for being 'small'. Correct?

That got me thinking about this subject in general and wondering if it wouldn't be possible to just eliminate the whole concept of character size as separate consideration and just build it into the assignment of attributes/ablities at character creation. It's a process that's sort of already started in the playtest as it stands. 

If we say that a smaller character is harder to hit (not sure that's really true but anyway...) then just up the Dex attribute at character creation. All gnomes would get to increase their starting Dexterity score by +1, Forest Gnomes would get an additional +1, all Halflings should probably get +2 to Dexterity because it's core to the generally accepted concept of the race. At the same time - these small races would lose -2 to Strength or perhaps even more. Or you could just cap the possible Strength of a Halfling or Gnome to '13' at character creation. (it would really depend on how you were generating your ability scores - rolling them up or using the purchase system).

Weapons could be assigned a rating for minimum strength to use. As was stated in 'The Hobbit', 'Sting' was not a short sword - it was a dagger designed for an Elf or Human that served as a sword for a Hobbit. Rather than have  two versions of every weapon - one for Small characters and one for Medium, just settle that dagger functions as a dagger but looks like a short sword when used by a Small creature.

Or more simply,

   You might just say that Small characters are limited to using weapons with the property of 'Light'. The biggest problem I see here is that there are no 'light' missile weapons. Certainly a Small creature should be able to use a sling or short bow - and a dart and javelin should be classed as Light.


Just a thought.   


  
I've always been a fan of using Strength and Dexterity to represent large or small creatures, in much the manner you specify. Unfortunately, 5E has a strict policy that no race may ever have a penalty to anything.

The metagame is not the game.

I'd say size matters...

Nothing in the Equipment section to differentiate between different sized versions of the same weapon, nothing in the discussions of armour class to suggest that small characters (gnomes and halflings) are harder to hit, no limits or deductions to strength for being 'small'. Correct?

The description of plate armor states that each suit of plate must be individually fitted to its owner by a master armorsmith, and further explains that a suit gained from another can be resized to fit a new owner for half the armor’s market price.

The description of the heavy weapon property states that a heavy weapon’s size and bulk make it too large for a small creature to use effectively, and further states that small creatures have disadvantage on all attacks made with heavy weapons.

That got me thinking about this subject in general and wondering if it wouldn't be possible to just eliminate the whole concept of character size as separate consideration and just build it into the assignment of attributes/ablities at character creation. It's a process that's sort of already started in the playtest as it stands.

Character size is important because creatures are able to move through enemy's spaces if they are two size categories larger or smaller than themselves (so small characters can move through spaces occupied by large enemies).

Character size is important because creatures can only use the grapple action to grab and hold a creature that is no more than one size larger than themselves (so small characters cannot grapple large creatures).

Character size is important because creatures can only use the knock down action to knock a creature prone that is no more than one size larger than themselves (so small characters cannot knock down large creatures). 

Weapons could be assigned a rating for minimum strength to use. As was stated in 'The Hobbit', 'Sting' was not a short sword - it was a dagger designed for an Elf or Human that served as a sword for a Hobbit. Rather than have  two versions of every weapon - one for Small characters and one for Medium, just settle that dagger functions as a dagger but looks like a short sword when used by a Small creature.

This is more appropriately handled by the narrative than the hard rules.

Danny

I think they should bring back the universal size modifier (for each size above medium, -1 to AC and -1 to hit; for each size below medium, +1 to AC and +1 to hit). It was really simple and perfectly represented how different sized creatures deal with each other in combat (it's always easier to hit a creature bigger than you, harder to hit a creature smaller than you, and no modifiers to hit a creature the same size as you).
Small: +1 AC, can't weild heavy weapons, must wield versatile weapons with two hands.

Simple.

Leave the abilities alone. I don't like the side effect of gnomes being more agile because they are under 4 foot.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

mrpopstar
First off thanks for the link to this page.  I can't believe I missed it.  I also can't believe i used the same title.  I'll see if I can just delete that thread.

I don't think creatures one size smaller need a boost to dexterity based soley on their size.  I would like to think maybe in some races like a Pixie or something that we could see a boost in Dex and perhaps a penalty to Str because "Tiny" as apposed to Small.  I understand the 5e concept of not dishing out penalties but maybe that could change with sizes greater than +1/-1 from medium.  And again to support Orzel's comment it would still be on a race by race need not tied hard and fast to size catagory.

I was about to agree with the simple +1 AC concept but maybe that should be a race by race thing as well.  One race might get that feature another a +2 Dex (which is better in the end) or as gnomes go neither of these.

I asked this question in the thread I'm deleting.  I'm still curious how people see making larger creatures too. 

Could large creatures gain extra HP . . . oh say equal to their CON bonus without gaining and additional hit die for example?

I see this thread both started and ended 3 weeks ago.  Well lets hope we get a few more ideas here


While posting here.  Sorry about the bold print.  I can't turn it off.  It was only supposed to be around
mrpopstar's name.  I used to post in the REAL Adventures section and never had troubles there Any ideas how to fix this?
As far as 'monsters' go, many of the effects of relative size differences can be represented in the 'Stat Block' for the monster. A large/agile creature might not necessarily be easier to hit, but a large lumbering creature would be easier to hit. Same goes for small... A nimble goblin(small) might present a more difficult target than an average Orc(medium) even if they were both using leather armor and shield.

I was really thinking about Player Characters and how Size might affect their initial Ability scores, hit points and bonuses. Also how that, in turn, might affect combat, weapon choices, etc...

Back in the ancient times of AD&D, there were caps on the maximum and minimum abilities for different races. You didn't get a plus or minus to your ability roll (I don't think we had point buy systems?) but if you rolled an 18 for strength you couldn't choose Halfling as a race. If you rolled 6 for your intelligence you couldn't be an Elf. 

Right now all we have are Halflings and Gnomes as 'Small' player characters. As was stated, WotC has decreed that there will be no negative modifiers based on Character Race.(Why?) So perhaps the best way to address the problem is to 'cap' the minimum and maximum ability scores for the different races. Given the current ability modifiers, I'd probably say that 14 might be the max starting strength for a hobbit or gnome.     
As far as 'monsters' go, many of the effects of relative size differences can be represented in the 'Stat Block' for the monster. A large/agile creature might not necessarily be easier to hit, but a large lumbering creature would be easier to hit. Same goes for small... A nimble goblin(small) might present a more difficult target than an average Orc(medium) even if they were both using leather armor and shield.

I was really thinking about Player Characters and how Size might affect their initial Ability scores, hit points and bonuses. Also how that, in turn, might affect combat, weapon choices, etc...

Back in the ancient times of AD&D, there were caps on the maximum and minimum abilities for different races. You didn't get a plus or minus to your ability roll (I don't think we had point buy systems?) but if you rolled an 18 for strength you couldn't choose Halfling as a race. If you rolled 6 for your intelligence you couldn't be an Elf. 

Right now all we have are Halflings and Gnomes as 'Small' player characters. As was stated, WotC has decreed that there will be no negative modifiers based on Character Race.(Why?) So perhaps the best way to address the problem is to 'cap' the minimum and maximum ability scores for the different races. Given the current ability modifiers, I'd probably say that 14 might be the max starting strength for a hobbit or gnome.     


Whyyyyyyyy......
Why would you make my gnome sword & board Fighter inneffective?
Also, this is the reason they don't have racial penalties: if you only have racial bonuses, it only makes a 1 difference, and you can still be effective without it... if you have penalties and bonuses, it can make a 2 point difference, and races are more pigeonholed into certain classes. In 3e playing a 'bad' race for your class would give you -4 compared to a 'good' race. And that's not counting races where you have a bigger bonus or penalty.
Well, because a Gnome is supposed to be a little pot-bellied guy about 3 and half feet tall. Maybe 4 feet if he eats all his veggies.

  
War... War never ch.... 

I mean, size, size always matters.

I`m former coach and sports academy graduated. If you are bigger, you hit harder because of your mass, lenght of your arm, depending to your arms lenght/your myotatic reflex and many more thing...
War... War never ch.... 

I mean, size, size always matters.

I`m former coach and sports academy graduated. If you are bigger, you hit harder because of your mass, lenght of your arm, depending to your arms lenght/your myotatic reflex and many more thing...

It being a game though means you might not want to stick to closely to RL physics and not to penalize gnome barbarians or half-orc rogues. Mind you, I personally don't feel all that strongly about it either way beyond the fact that whatever the designers pick that they keep it simple and relatively balanced at least in regards to PC abilities (I love the 4e threatening reach rules in as that only specific monsters have it as an ability and not just something that comes with size).

Because Yoda, and Tinker Bell (are  you related to Mighty Mouse?) ya know that word called fantasy.... it shouldnt matter a whole lot.

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
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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."

 

Size should a stats in its own right.

Ability score has always done a poor job to trnaslate sizes difference.

I size categories handled default increase in damage reduction/hit points and value of modifiers within the 1 - 20 ability score range, then all would be easier to design, from monsters to spells involving change of size category.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

I`m former coach and sports academy graduated.

How many gnomes have you coached? What about elves? Any orcs?

Size should a stats in its own right.

The last thing I want is more stats to modify stuff in order to better simulate "reality".

Better off with size categories that provide stacking bonuses based upon relative size. 3e did this right. 4e did weapon size right, with the "versatile" keyword working wonderfully.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

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