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Enlarge Person: Kind of Lame?


Advice


I need help, paizonians. I need help getting over my irrational hatred of this spell. There's just something incredibly grating about somebody growing to twice their size, just like that. I feel like this should be the realm of Shape-shifting magic alone, but I'm hesitant to house-rule it as such, because I don't want to gimp the melee characters at my table. This is fine as a player. I can just avoid it. As a GM however, especially when I was running RotR (with its ridiculously tiny corridors) it really makes me cringe.

My problem is purely one of flavor, or rather, aesthetics. I don't like that wizards can cast such a powerful, flashy and disney-esque spell along side all the much more (for lack of a better word) mundane, or tricky spells that populate the first level spell list, such as animate rope, grease, charm and sleep. The fighter grows to 10 feet tall, his javelins shrinking as he hurls them across the room and grazing his head on the dungeon ceiling. There's just something inherently ridiculous rather than fantastic, here, and it's a part of the game from level one, so there's absolutely no escaping it.

It's a bit of an odd request, but can anybody help me get past this gut reaction? A flavourful, text description of an Enlarge spell? A reflavouring? Even a nod of agreement? Its an important, staple spell and so presumably there's somebody out there who likes it enough.

I'd rather not bring this up with my home group, or disrupt my home game with something so inane. Hopefully there's someone on these boards as batty as I am that can lend me their two cents on the matter.

(And of course to save this thread from being utterly pointless, does anybody else have a spell that they think cheapens their experience? Not so much mechanically (oh god 3.5 polymorph), but flavour wise? What spells just vex you? I wouldn't hesitate to see this turn into a "least favourite spells" thread. Frankly I'd feel a little less embarrassed for starting it that way. :P)


Twigs wrote:


(And of course to save this thread from being utterly pointless, does anybody else have a spell that they think cheapens their experience? Not so much mechanically (oh god 3.5 polymorph), but flavour wise? What spells just vex you? I wouldn't hesitate to see this turn into a "least favourite spells" thread. Frankly I'd feel a little less embarrassed for starting it that way. :P)

Spells I don't really fancy.. The first thing that comes to mind is Hideous Laugther. A fantastic spell, especially at lvl 1 for bards. But somehow enemies rolling on the floor laughing isn't always the best flavour to a dramatic battle on life-and-death.

As I remember it, it originates from some cute story of a little girl who suggested it, but the flavour could so easily be changed to a range of emotions that leave the target unable to do anything, whether joy, despair, laughing or crying.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ever see a really nervous laugh? That's got battle flavor.
Enlarge Person has always come off as very flavorful in games I've played in.
Playstyle is key factor to the flavor of spells.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I guess it doesn't help that every time someone at one of my tables casts Enlarge Person, I make the power up noise from Mario.

If it seems gimmicky now, maybe try it after seeing how horrible grapples can be where a high strength large creature grapples a medium or small player character. After that sort of experience any sort of 'enlarge' spell seems like a necessary lifesaver rather that something comical.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Any spell can come off as comical, if you play it that way.


The spell also takes a full round to cast IIRC. If it is the mechanics just the wizard before his next turn. Don't do it to much though. It will ruin the players' fun.

I don't let fluff bother me. It can always be changed. Magic(strange powers) that changes size and/or really large people has been done in old tales(folklore myths, etc) and in the media for a long time

Honey I shrunk the kids.Comedy
The Incredible Hulk. Super hero
Ant Man.Super hero
Super Mario. Video Game hero.
Paul Bunyan: just born big

PS:I don't like the javelin issue, but I would just houserule that so it does not change size.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My players have only used enlarge person once. Rise of the Runelords, Yeth Hounds, enlarged dwarven fighter overrunning the very squishy elven wizard... Yah, it didn't go so well.

I've just told my players that I try to run spells in a way that makes sense, they agreed, and it's worked out really nicely. Though we can't help but giggle when someone says 'phantasamal killer'. Player ended up killing an Erinyes with it.

Me'You recognize this as an Erinyes. The embodiment of hell's fury.'

A'Crap. I can't hit flying stuff.'
B'Well, only spell that might work is this killer illusion. Will save, Fort save, spell resistance. Probably won't work.'
A'Dying here. Do something!'
B'Ok. I cast Phantasamal Killer.*Rolls and beats SR*'

Me'*rolls two very low numbers* Can you pull up the spell description? Thanks. *Scans the spell* Hmm. So... the living embodiment of hell's fury lets out a scream of terror and... falls to the ground dead.'

B'It worked?'
A'We scared it to death?'
Me'Yes.'

Much laughter ensued. Spell works great for most things, I love the nod to the Lensmen series, but occasionally you get things like this.

Biggest peeve though, is spells and the size of the caster. I get why, but a 3' halfing, 6'human, and 12' giant all having a 3' sword of flame seems... silly. Except for the halfling, then is it full of ridiculous awesome.

Get's worse the further you get from M. Tiny sized fey with scorching ray. Can we say anime?


KestlerGunner wrote:

I guess it doesn't help that every time someone at one of my tables casts Enlarge Person, I make the power up noise from Mario.

If it seems gimmicky now, maybe try it after seeing how horrible grapples can be where a high strength large creature grapples a medium or small player character. After that sort of experience any sort of 'enlarge' spell seems like a necessary lifesaver rather that something comical.

Heh, you aren't alone on that. :P

I do like that particular scenario, though. Thanks.

Lloyd Jackson wrote:
I've just told my players that I try to run spells in a way that makes sense, they agreed, and it's worked out really nicely.

When you put it like that I don't feel quite as neurotic. :D


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Unnatural Lust is one spell that is hard to get players to take seriously. Unless you use it on their PC, then watch them get real steamed.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Unnatural Lust is one spell that is hard to get players to take seriously. Unless you use it on their PC, then watch them get real steamed.

Oof, yeah, I'm really not a fan of that. The worst part is it doesn't have a "humanoid" requirement.

Thankfully a certain group of ogres have put my party off of that kind of thing. :P


Twigs wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Unnatural Lust is one spell that is hard to get players to take seriously. Unless you use it on their PC, then watch them get real steamed.

Oof, yeah, I'm really not a fan of that. The worst part is it doesn't have a "humanoid" requirement.

Thankfully a certain group of ogres have put my party off of that kind of thing. :P

I kind of like... But then again, I've only used it in a Goblin campaign, so there seriousness wasn't a priority.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yeah, running into a group of ogres is like a scene from Deliverance.
Only more horrible, and um, giant.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KestlerGunner wrote:

I guess it doesn't help that every time someone at one of my tables casts Enlarge Person, I make the power up noise from Mario.

If it seems gimmicky now, maybe try it after seeing how horrible grapples can be where a high strength large creature grapples a medium or small player character. After that sort of experience any sort of 'enlarge' spell seems like a necessary lifesaver rather that something comical.

In 3.5, my gm did once give me a bag of mushrooms I found when I was breaking open bricks in a castle. They were like potions of enlarge person.

Cheliax

Lloyd Jackson wrote:

My players have only used enlarge person once. Rise of the Runelords, Yeth Hounds, enlarged dwarven fighter overrunning the very squishy elven wizard... Yah, it didn't go so well.

I've just told my players that I try to run spells in a way that makes sense, they agreed, and it's worked out really nicely. Though we can't help but giggle when someone says 'phantasamal killer'. Player ended up killing an Erinyes with it.

Me'You recognize this as an Erinyes. The embodiment of hell's fury.'

A'Crap. I can't hit flying stuff.'
B'Well, only spell that might work is this killer illusion. Will save, Fort save, spell resistance. Probably won't work.'
A'Dying here. Do something!'
B'Ok. I cast Phantasamal Killer.*Rolls and beats SR*'

Me'*rolls two very low numbers* Can you pull up the spell description? Thanks. *Scans the spell* Hmm. So... the living embodiment of hell's fury lets out a scream of terror and... falls to the ground dead.'

B'It worked?'
A'We scared it to death?'
Me'Yes.'

We have always used the description "The horrible demon sees his ex-wife running at him" for phantasmal killer :) Enlarge Person has a lot of little stat changes to keep track of too. I guess I am lucky that the group I am DM'ing for hasn't tried to use that spell yet. I figured after 8+ years and many adventure paths that they would want to try it at least once. *shrug*


My group tends to use Wendy's terminology:

"My character is going to biggy size."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@Hojas, Maybe ex-husband for the erinyes? Since he didn't get to fight in the main battle while enlarged, haven't had much experience with how fiddly the stat changes are.

Word on the board is your players and mine have been doing it wrong. Not using a must have spell? This is madness! ^_^

Supersize Me!


Our sorc (Infernal BL, lots of social skills, alternate bloodline power) uses Enlarge on me a lot (half-orc rogue) for my stabby skills and intimidate checks. Really nice, until I run into a 5'wide hallway...then...it gets uncomfortable...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hate teleportation spells with a passion. Also any insta kill spells seem pretty unfun to me.


Enlarge person takes a full round to cast, so the effects don't even crop up until the following round. That's about how much time it takes for the Hulk to change when he doesn't resist it. It takes even less time for a werewolf to change shape, I think.

So yeah. I don't imagine it's "just like that." I imagine it's a slightly painful process that takes that whole round to complete.

As far as spells I don't like: I'm going to go with Detect Law/Chaos. Detect Good/Evil I can see, because if I wanted to bother, I could flavor it easily. The deities of the respective alignment would probably have some sort of "presence" about them, even if that character in particular didn't worship, because they're always after yer soul ya know. At least having some sort of outsider-y energy-presence floating around someone of their desired alignment makes some sense to me.

Law/Chaos I don't see. Maybe I just can't wrap my head around the whole battle between order and disarray, because it seems silly. They coexist in nature (nature referring not just to terrestrial life). I don't know how to put it concisely; I could rant about it, but that would be dumb.


Any insta-win spell really bothers me. On the DM's side it can really mess up a cool, fun, and well-planned encounter. On the player's side you feel a need to take it so that you're optimized/helping the party most/whatever, but you don't WANT to take it both because it really takes away the fun from everyone, and can really mess up a cool, fun, and well-planned encounter. That goes double if it's a spellcaster in the group that's not you. You want them to shine and have fun and not tell them what spells to take, but you also want the rest of the group (including yourself) to have fun. Grgh.

I know it's not totally on-topic, but same goes for some combat maneuvers, especially grappling. If everyone in the party is good at combat, but then the Monk steps up, grabs the BBEG, and ties him up in a round and a half, then it's really lame.


DoctorYesNinja wrote:

Any insta-win spell really bothers me. On the DM's side it can really mess up a cool, fun, and well-planned encounter. On the player's side you feel a need to take it so that you're optimized/helping the party most/whatever, but you don't WANT to take it both because it really takes away the fun from everyone, and can really mess up a cool, fun, and well-planned encounter. That goes double if it's a spellcaster in the group that's not you. You want them to shine and have fun and not tell them what spells to take, but you also want the rest of the group (including yourself) to have fun. Grgh.

I know it's not totally on-topic, but same goes for some combat maneuvers, especially grappling. If everyone in the party is good at combat, but then the Monk steps up, grabs the BBEG, and ties him up in a round and a half, then it's really lame.

This pretty much explains my view on SoD effects. As a GM, I hate them for the reason you explained. As a player, I hate them because it tends to cheapen the victory for myself (and gets rather boring after a while), and it really sucks when the GM uses them on a player (and a lot of higher CR monsters tend to just have them; and in the same way that it's un-optimal for a player to not use them, it'd be stupid for the monster not to, as well).

That being said, I have no problems with people who like them. I just change how they work in my game to be less of an automatic I-win button.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

We call the Enlarge spell 'Overwhelming Presence". it's basically the same spell but explained as the recipient, rather than growing, just having a more dominant command of the battlefield. A small buff as potential size drawbacks re actually fitting into certain spaces dont apply, but we like it this way as a more 'martial' buff


Decimus Octavious wrote:

My group tends to use Wendy's terminology:

"My character is going to biggy size."

My male characters refer to it as, "unnatural male enhancement."

Sadly I have nothing nearly as punny for my female martial characters to refer to it as.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Decimus Octavious wrote:

My group tends to use Wendy's terminology:

"My character is going to biggy size."

My male characters refer to it as, "unnatural male enhancement."

Sadly I have nothing nearly as punny for my female martial characters to refer to it as.

Body augmentation?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Any spell can come off as comical, if you play it that way.

Quite so, I heard someone try using Shocking Grasp as a defib... Didn't work


Marthian wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Any spell can come off as comical, if you play it that way.
Quite so, I heard someone try using Shocking Grasp as a defib... Didn't work

We've joked about using wands of shocking grasp for that purpose. Then again, we've also joked that the verbal component of enlarge person is 'Inuk-chuk!', so go figure.

Shadow Lodge

HaraldKlak wrote:

The first thing that comes to mind is Hideous Laugther. A fantastic spell, especially at lvl 1 for bards. But somehow enemies rolling on the floor laughing isn't always the best flavour to a dramatic battle on life-and-death.

I've always thought of it as similar to Joker gas. Insane grins and giggling all while having a look of abject terror on their faces.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DoctorYesNinja wrote:

StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Decimus Octavious wrote:


My group tends to use Wendy's terminology:

"My character is going to biggy size."

My male characters refer to it as, "unnatural male enhancement."

Sadly I have nothing nearly as punny for my female martial characters to refer to it as.

Body augmentation?

Female Conquest Augmentation?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lathiira wrote:
Marthian wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Any spell can come off as comical, if you play it that way.
Quite so, I heard someone try using Shocking Grasp as a defib... Didn't work
We've joked about using wands of shocking grasp for that purpose. Then again, we've also joked that the verbal component of enlarge person is 'Inuk-chuk!', so go figure.

My bard used a combination of dancing lights and ghost sound (for the uhn tiss sound) to replicate a rave in the desert in our offtime today.

Also I totally wanted to play a character who said Inuk-chuk whenever enlarge person happened, so thank you for putting my dreams out there.


Sah wrote:
Lathiira wrote:
Marthian wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Any spell can come off as comical, if you play it that way.
Quite so, I heard someone try using Shocking Grasp as a defib... Didn't work
We've joked about using wands of shocking grasp for that purpose. Then again, we've also joked that the verbal component of enlarge person is 'Inuk-chuk!', so go figure.

My bard used a combination of dancing lights and ghost sound (for the uhn tiss sound) to replicate a rave in the desert in our offtime today.

Also I totally wanted to play a character who said Inuk-chuk whenever enlarge person happened, so thank you for putting my dreams out there.

That would be Apache Chief.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Brox RedGloves wrote:
Sah wrote:
Lathiira wrote:
Marthian wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Any spell can come off as comical, if you play it that way.
Quite so, I heard someone try using Shocking Grasp as a defib... Didn't work
We've joked about using wands of shocking grasp for that purpose. Then again, we've also joked that the verbal component of enlarge person is 'Inuk-chuk!', so go figure.

My bard used a combination of dancing lights and ghost sound (for the uhn tiss sound) to replicate a rave in the desert in our offtime today.

Also I totally wanted to play a character who said Inuk-chuk whenever enlarge person happened, so thank you for putting my dreams out there.

That would be Apache Chief.

I am aware, thats why I commented on Lathiira's post about it.


Female monk: Let grow the breasts of your doom! Now she stuns you with her mighty breasts. Also leads to renaming Amulet of Mighty Fists to...you guessed it: Amulet of Mighty Breasts. Stunning Fist to Stunning Breast. Etc etc.

- Gauss

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