Page 1 of 1

Size Matters

Posted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:41 pm
by Captain_K
For really short or weak PCs (hobbits and gnomes and wee elves) what is the best way to handle larger weapons? Is everything just scaled down aka custom made or made in home lands and if so by how much? How does a 3' tall 80# hobbit use or have a "great" bow, obviously it must be great for him and his kind, so what is that?

I can and have been estimating all that for years, but I was hoping someone might have a simple method or rule of thumb.
Scaling notes: All PC races being average, based on CKG p30, average PC height is just 4' 11", skew that toward human average and it moves toward 5' 8" but if you want lots of elven and dwarven made stuff then it moves to 5' or 4'6" respectively. Racial bias aside: I would assume dwarven products are full weight slightly shorter and elven stuff is lighter weight and only slightly shorter relative to human norms.

Here is what I normally do:
1) Any weapon must affectively scaled in size relative to PC height. Ex.: 3' vs 5'6" makes things roughly half size.
Rule of Thumb: Half size/length, half weight, 2x cost, one die type reduced damage, EV unchanged.
2) Pole arms drop one die type and are shorter. Halberd 20 gp, d8, 7.5#, EV5 (3'6" long)
3) Bows must be "short and light"
4) Swords are scaled back by one dice type and scaled per above. The 2x cost is modifying the grip or hilt for the style or complete custom make, etc.. aka turning a Long sword into a reduced 2H.

I know you weapons smiths will kill me for some of the above, but I'm looking for simple easy to follow "rules" and game implement for my "short" PCs. I also do not want to make playing a Hobbit a downer (no pun intended) because they're always slow, they're always doing half damage, have only shorter missile ranges, and they keep getting swallowed by giant toads..

I'm pretty happy with the above method, I think my core question is damage, is it one die type reduced or half? All house rules appreciated on this topic.

Aside: The average Hobbit is 3' 9" and if they use a dwarven axe (4' 6") that scale would be 83%.. assuming strength being within 5% of average for both.

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:53 pm
by Go0gleplex
Back in the day, this was addressed in part by weapon size classing. So a L type weapon would be unusable by the book. But, a similar weapon could be purchased for the small character with the effect of both scaling it down in size and reducing the weapon damage dice. So a Two handed sword that did 1d10 say, would be reduced to 1d8. Or a weapon that did 2d6 would be reduced to 1d10 or more as the GM felt appropriate. There was actually a whole article or Sage Advice devoted to this subject in Dragon Mag at one point I believe but I don't remember the issue.

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:11 pm
by Captain_K
So it sounds like you concur with the "one dice type reduction" (as does old Dragons) rather than cut it in half, cool thanks, Cap K

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:33 pm
by Arduin
Captain_K wrote:How does a 3' tall 80# hobbit use or have a "great" bow, obviously it must be great for him and his kind, so what is that?
They don't use one. They use short bows. I have always used common sense.

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:46 pm
by Go0gleplex
Arduin wrote:
Captain_K wrote:How does a 3' tall 80# hobbit use or have a "great" bow, obviously it must be great for him and his kind, so what is that?
They don't use one. They use short bows. I have always used common sense.
Yeah. There is that. I don't remember if it was a house rule we used or from the PHB, but there was a height requirement for use of a great bow/long bow that needed to be met by the PC. It was 5 or 6 feet, or something between.

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:54 pm
by Arduin
Go0gleplex wrote:
Arduin wrote:
Captain_K wrote:How does a 3' tall 80# hobbit use or have a "great" bow, obviously it must be great for him and his kind, so what is that?
They don't use one. They use short bows. I have always used common sense.
Yeah. There is that. I don't remember if it was a house rule we used or from the PHB, but there was a height requirement for use of a great bow/long bow that needed to be met by the PC. It was 5 or 6 feet, or something between.
Yes, long bows are about 6' long. ~5' tall would be about the minimum to use one.

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:31 am
by Treebore
Plus its not that they are weaker, they are shorter/smaller, making the bigger, longer, weapons impractical, since their bodies and limbs simply are not long enough to use them.

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:07 pm
by Captain_K
I'm not arguing they do not need to use smaller weapons, I fully get that, I'm looking for simple playable and explainable rules to my PCs on what weapons their small PCs can have, what they weigh, how much they cost, and most importantly, what damage they do..

Please focus on my question of "specific rules to help play". My group currently is filled with engineers, they like black and white simple rules and it works best to lay them out. I noted mine above and the crux of my concern is the damage.. reduce by 1 die type or by half.. looking for your house rules, experience, thoughts.. thanks, Capt K

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:26 pm
by Arduin
Captain_K wrote:I'm not arguing they do not need to use smaller weapons, I fully get that, I'm looking for simple playable and explainable rules to my PCs on what weapons their small PCs can have, what they weigh, how much they cost, and most importantly, what damage they do..
There will be no simple rules that are at all accurate. (if they are REALLY engineers they will want accuracy) Easiest to just assume the weapons available are the ones on the tables. Look at the size of the weapon and the size of the PC and rule whether or not they can wield. Damage doesn't change as that is determined by Str.

Or if they insist on "Gnome weapons", have them tell YOU the size of the weapon and match with existing weapon and give it that damage.

Done

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:49 pm
by Go0gleplex
I did some looking around. For weapons that are intended for use by creatures larger than the would be user, there is a -2 penalty to hit with them.

For weapons smaller, the damage dice is lowered, though the weapon may still be a broadsword, it is scaled down for use by the smaller user. (and I'm an engineering tech) There isn't really a major need for detail on this. If they do, have them pull out the physics books and do the calcs for kinetic potential and mass, etc. lol

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:16 am
by serleran
The KISS approach would be to simply have the smaller races use weapons designed for their size, yet function as the human equivalents in damage. Slightly complicating the process is to do some sort of damage modification, o rule they are unusable.

In any event, the major concern is not so much with ranged weapons (in my opinion) but polearms because of the reach. I find it easy to allow them to simply increase effective size for first strike purposes.

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:04 pm
by Sir Ironside
Arduin wrote:
Captain_K wrote:I'm not arguing they do not need to use smaller weapons, I fully get that, I'm looking for simple playable and explainable rules to my PCs on what weapons their small PCs can have, what they weigh, how much they cost, and most importantly, what damage they do..
(if they are REALLY engineers they will want accuracy)
Although I initially thought this was also a counterintuitive idea, the fact is you don't know his group. I could easily see someone that has a job that deals, constantly, with accuracy but not want to have that bleed over to their hobby. They might find that taking a break from their realistic world very appealing and relaxing. You know like a lot of gamers do.

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:44 pm
by Arduin
Sir Ironside wrote:
Arduin wrote:
Captain_K wrote:I'm not arguing they do not need to use smaller weapons, I fully get that, I'm looking for simple playable and explainable rules to my PCs on what weapons their small PCs can have, what they weigh, how much they cost, and most importantly, what damage they do..
(if they are REALLY engineers they will want accuracy)
Although I initially thought this was also a counterintuitive idea, the fact is you don't know his group. I could easily see someone that has a job that deals, constantly, with accuracy but not want to have that bleed over to their hobby. They might find that taking a break from their realistic world very appealing and relaxing. You know like a lot of gamers do.
Absolutely. I thought the same thing. But then, I realized if that were the case, he wouldn't have brought up their profession as it wouldn't play into it...

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:19 pm
by Treebore
The thing is, they still have the same STR range, and also fall into the same mass range, mostly. So the only REAL difference is height and limb length. I would say that causes so little difference in the transference of Kinetic energy as to not be worth the effort to calculate it. Since the ONLY difference will be the arc of their swings will be shorter. So I would say the best KISS is to keep them using short weapons, such as short swords, hammers, etc... and not worry about changing damage for those weapons. If they want to use Long srds, broadswords, and the like, they will have to use them two handed, and still get the same damage.

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:20 pm
by Arduin
Treebore wrote:The thing is, they still have the same STR range, and also fall into the same mass range, mostly. So the only REAL difference is height and limb length. I would say that causes so little difference in the transference of Kinetic energy as to not be worth the effort to calculate it. Since the ONLY difference will be the arc of their swings will be shorter. So I would say the best KISS is to keep them using short weapons, such as short swords, hammers, etc... and not worry about changing damage for those weapons. If they want to use Long srds, broadswords, and the like, they will have to use them two handed, and still get the same damage.
This how I do it. Less bother and more accurate. One of those few and far between type of rules in FRPG's.

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:24 am
by Relaxo
There's a feat for that.

(ducks for cover)

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:49 am
by Go0gleplex
Relaxo wrote:There's a feat for that.

(ducks for cover)
>>GIBBS SMACK!!!<<

Re: Size Matters

Posted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:02 pm
by tylermo
A feat, Bill?? A feat?? Turn in your Castles and Crusades fanboy badge, and get out! ;)