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Size in Starfinder rules


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So... does size actually, you know, mean anything in Starfinder?

I mean, yes, technically, it means something - it means roughly 2-4 ft. in height or length, 8-60 lbs., 5 ft. space, 5 ft. natural reach (long or tall).

But that's really nothing.

That size category could well be reorganized as: rough 2-8 ft. in height or length, 8-500 lbs., and 5 ft. space, 5 ft. natural reach (long or tall).

There are really no game rule differences between these two entries and one takes less ink/effort to print.

(A similar argument can be made for fine/diminutive/tiny, but at least they have differing space requirements.)

We know, now, from this post that weapon sizes mean nothing.

So: anything?

It seems like there might be zero mechanical difference between sizes, but I'd be curious if this was confirmed anywhere.

That could lead to really funny stealth weirdness, akin to the old jokes about the Tarrasque's disguise modifier...

EDIT: Ugh, posting before I completed it. Sorry, I'm sick.

To be clear, I'm not saying that it should have all the various modifiers found in the Pathfinder game - Starfinder seems to have gone to great lengths to streamline things, after all. Rather, I'm curious if I'm just missing something.

For the record, I've tried to scan the Tactical Rules section (especially around 255-256), the Races chapter, and the Pathfinder Legacy chapter, but I can't find anything in those, leading me to conclude that there is none - it just feels weird coming off of Pathfinder, so I am attempting to clarify if I'm missing something or it is an intentional change. :D


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I found six or seven differences between Small and Medium creatures:

  • the amount of air available in a null-space chamber
  • part of the effects of a gravitational singularity spell
  • deep bogs
  • wind effects
  • moving in zero-G
  • Str check to break objects
  • amount of food and air needed for survival

The first and the last overlap.

Is that enough for them to be different size categories? That's probably up to an individual's taste/opinion.

Liberty's Edge

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So far all Small creatures have 2 HP less than Medium ones and have Str penalties.

Those could be violated later, of course, but they're true so far.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

So far all Small creatures have 2 HP less than Medium ones and have Str penalties.

Those could be violated later, of course, but they're true so far.

Gnomes have 4 HP.

Liberty's Edge

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RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

So far all Small creatures have 2 HP less than Medium ones and have Str penalties.

Those could be violated later, of course, but they're true so far.

Gnomes have 4 HP.

Indeed. And every other Race with a Con Bonus has 6. Making them 2 HP less than normal for a race with their stat distribution. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Distant Scholar wrote:

I found six or seven differences between Small and Medium creatures:

  • the amount of air available in a null-space chamber
  • part of the effects of a gravitational singularity spell
  • deep bogs
  • wind effects
  • moving in zero-G
  • Str check to break objects
  • amount of food and air needed for survival

The first and the last overlap.

Is that enough for them to be different size categories? That's probably up to an individual's taste/opinion.

This is actually really useful! Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The hp thing is also a really useful observation, but until it's in print, it feels like the exact kind of rule that would likely be eventually lost in the shuffle of various publications.

Still: thank you!

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

So far all Small creatures have 2 HP less than Medium ones and have Str penalties.

Those could be violated later, of course, but they're true so far.

Gnomes have 4 HP.
Indeed. And every other Race with a Con Bonus has 6. Making them 2 HP less than normal for a race with their stat distribution. :)

Stat distribution doesn't seem to have much to do with HP, especially when you consider the races from First Contact. For example the Contemplative is a medium creature that only had 2 HP. They do have a Con penalty, but so do Elves and Damaya Lashunta which are both Medium with 4HP. Not to mention that Humans and Half Elves both have the option of getting +2 Con but remain at 4 HP. Likewise Half Orcs have the option of whatever they want for their +2 yet always have 6HP. Clearly their are trends but they are definitely not hard and fast rules. See also Goblins which are small but do not have a strength penalty.


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Hmm yeah i'm curious about this too I figure we will have to find out more in alien archive surely there will be a few large or larger creatures in it. Kind of wish we would of gotten an enlarge spell.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Hmm yeah i'm curious about this too I figure we will have to find out more in alien archive surely there will be a few large or larger creatures in it. Kind of wish we would of gotten an enlarge spell.

There is also one Large playable creature in First Contact. The Haan, which is a big floaty bug. It has only 4 HP, a strength and dex bonus and an int penalty. I kind of agree on the enlarge spell, but the main advantage of it(higher damage dice) doesn't exist in Starfinder.


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RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Hmm yeah i'm curious about this too I figure we will have to find out more in alien archive surely there will be a few large or larger creatures in it. Kind of wish we would of gotten an enlarge spell.
There is also one Large playable creature in First Contact. The Haan, which is a big floaty bug. It has only 4 HP, a strength and dex bonus and an int penalty. I kind of agree on the enlarge spell, but the main advantage of it(higher damage dice) doesn't exist in Starfinder.

Huh?

The main advantage was IMO always the extra reach, and sometimes the size bonus for performing maneuvers. The damage bonus was an ancillary bonus but wasn't the main reason I ever used it.


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Actually two large races are in First Contact. Sarcesians are large as well.

Liberty's Edge

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RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
Stat distribution doesn't seem to have much to do with HP, especially when you consider the races from First Contact. For example the Contemplative is a medium creature that only had 2 HP. They do have a Con penalty, but so do Elves and Damaya Lashunta which are both Medium with 4HP.

Stat stuff does seem to have to do with things. Only small and Con penalty races have low HP, for example. It's just that a single factor is not the only way to get to particular things like low HP or high HP.

RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
Not to mention that Humans and Half Elves both have the option of getting +2 Con but remain at 4 HP. Likewise Half Orcs have the option of whatever they want for their +2 yet always have 6HP.

A floating +2 isn't exactly the same as a straight-up Con bonus, and I never said that a Con bonus was the only way to get extra HP, just that it always resulted in it, which is true so far.

RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
Clearly their are trends but they are definitely not hard and fast rules.

Hard to say. Small Creature having less HP is a hard and fast rule so far, for example. As is Con bonus races having bonus HP. Whether that will continue to be true is another question entirely.

RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
See also Goblins which are small but do not have a strength penalty.

This is true, and something I forgot earlier.

RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
There is also one Large playable creature in First Contact. The Haan, which is a big floaty bug. It has only 4 HP, a strength and dex bonus and an int penalty. I kind of agree on the enlarge spell, but the main advantage of it(higher damage dice) doesn't exist in Starfinder.

Sarcesians are actually also Large, have 4 HP, and get a Str penalty.

Large creatures do still get Reach, so that's a thing.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:


RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
Clearly their are trends but they are definitely not hard and fast rules.

Hard to say. Small Creature having less HP is a hard and fast rule so far, for example. As is Con bonus races having bonus HP. Whether that will continue to be true is another question entirely.

RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
There is also one Large playable creature in First Contact. The Haan, which is a big floaty bug. It has only 4 HP, a strength and dex bonus and an int penalty. I kind of agree on the enlarge spell, but the main advantage of it(higher damage dice) doesn't exist in Starfinder.

Sarcesians are actually also Large, have 4 HP, and get a Str penalty.

Large creatures do still get Reach, so that's a thing.

I think it's a bit of a stretch to say much about anything for race design is a hard and fast rule at this point with so few examples.

I did forget Sarcesians though. There clearly is some advantage to Large and larger creatures, but at this point the only rules interaction of a creature being Small is that Ysoki Moxie doesn't work on them, which is a bit of a shame to me. Presumably they're easier to carry but with how abstract the bulk system is weight doesn't really seem to matter unless the GM wants it to. I suppose they could fit into smaller areas too but again that seems more of a GM discretion thing.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Small characters do benefit from squeeze rules when compared to medium ones.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Actually, wait, nevermind. If a small creature can squeeze through a square, then so can a medium creature. This blanket erasure of small-medium size differences is a mistake, if you ask me.


Tarpeius wrote:
Actually, wait, nevermind. If a small creature can squeeze through a square, then so can a medium creature. This blanket erasure of small-medium size differences is a mistake, if you ask me.

Really? It's great if you ask me because it removes an unnecessary layer of complexity from the game.


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I don't know though If I'm 30 ft tall and 130 tons I feel I deserve some sort of bonus on grapple checks versus the 2 ounce fairy.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Claxon wrote:
Tarpeius wrote:
Actually, wait, nevermind. If a small creature can squeeze through a square, then so can a medium creature. This blanket erasure of small-medium size differences is a mistake, if you ask me.
Really? It's great if you ask me because it removes an unnecessary layer of complexity from the game.

Why have the small/medium distinction at all then?


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I don't know though If I'm 30 ft tall and 130 tons I feel I deserve some sort of bonus on grapple checks versus the 2 ounce fairy.

PC characters don't need those rules because they can't be those sizes.

And NPC characters have different rules altogether for how they work.

Things work just fine as they are.

RagnaRockNRoll wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Tarpeius wrote:
Actually, wait, nevermind. If a small creature can squeeze through a square, then so can a medium creature. This blanket erasure of small-medium size differences is a mistake, if you ask me.
Really? It's great if you ask me because it removes an unnecessary layer of complexity from the game.
Why have the small/medium distinction at all then?

There a few small distinctions where it does make a difference. But you're right, they should have gotten rid of those too and consolidated the sizes of creatures.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It just feels absurd that the smallest small creature is as easy to hit as the largest medium creature, or that a 3-foot hobbit has as much trouble squeezing through a hobbit door as an 8-foot vesk.


Tarpeius wrote:
It just feels absurd that the smallest small creature is as easy to hit as the largest medium creature, or that a 3-foot hobbit has as much trouble squeezing through a hobbit door as an 8-foot vesk.

Remember, right now the only rules we have are for creature sizes small, medium, and large and it works fine that way.

For NPCs they can adjust the numbers as they see fit, and are going to use something similar to Unchained Monster creation rules. So you can make it harder to hit or better at grappling.

There is no need for most size related rules, as players cannot really change their size (as far as I can tell using the existing rules).


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One place size can matter is using looted weapons/armor. You may need your friendly mechanic to adjust them so you can use them if your size or body style are wildly different than the original owner.


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Claxon wrote:
Tarpeius wrote:
Actually, wait, nevermind. If a small creature can squeeze through a square, then so can a medium creature. This blanket erasure of small-medium size differences is a mistake, if you ask me.
Really? It's great if you ask me because it removes an unnecessary layer of complexity from the game.

If you really think that, why are you playing these kinds of games? Why not just roleplay in something without defined rules if you think logically distinguishing different sizes of creatures is stupid? There are plenty out there.

Claxon wrote:

Remember, right now the only rules we have are for creature sizes small, medium, and large and it works fine that way.

For NPCs they can adjust the numbers as they see fit, and are going to use something similar to Unchained Monster creation rules. So you can make it harder to hit or better at grappling.

There is no need for most size related rules, as players cannot really change their size (as far as I can tell using the existing rules).

Incorrect. The Flight Frame Powered Armour is Huge size, and no Powered Armour is smaller than Medium, meaning that Ysoki, Halflings, and Gnomes cannot remain Small size in Powered Armour.


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Bloodrealm wrote:
If you really think that, why are you playing these kinds of games? Why not just roleplay in something without defined rules if you think logically distinguishing different sizes of creatures is stupid? There are plenty out there.

Could don't you be a bit less hostile? There is no one right way to play the game. Just because I'm glad they removed a bygone product of D&D doesn't mean I don't want a game with good rules. It just means that I think some things add to the overall quality of the game and some things don't. Having different rules for different sizes of PCs doesn't really do much for the overall quality of the game.

Quote:
Claxon wrote:

Remember, right now the only rules we have are for creature sizes small, medium, and large and it works fine that way.

For NPCs they can adjust the numbers as they see fit, and are going to use something similar to Unchained Monster creation rules. So you can make it harder to hit or better at grappling.

There is no need for most size related rules, as players cannot really change their size (as far as I can tell using the existing rules).

Incorrect. The Flight Frame Powered Armour is Huge size, and no Powered Armour is smaller than Medium, meaning that Ysoki, Halflings, and Gnomes cannot remain Small size in Powered Armour.

Last time I checked Powered Armor isn't creatures. Also, I'm not sure what point your trying to make about Ysoki in Power Armor. They haven't changed their size, they're simply using power armor.


Well just as long as we get some sort of rules for mosnters of differing sizes. Like if theirs dragons I feel we will need them. dragons go form small to colossal after all.


Additional note. I wonder how big a dragon has to get to start using the space ship rules.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Additional note. I wonder how big a dragon has to get to start using the space ship rules.

Pretty damn big. The largest size category for monster in PF can be the same size as the 2nd smallest Starship size in SF.


So your saying its possible.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
So your saying its possible.

Yeah I would just start measuring them in SS scales. Gargantuan converts to Tiny, Colossal to Small. I'd imagine bigger things can exist, they just weren't encountered in PF due to being to large to be terrestrial in origin.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It seems there's no upper limit for colossal creatures. The aspidochelone at 500 feet and 100,000 tons would be as long as a large ship and over 100x the weight of the smallest colossal ship (8,000 tons).

But now that I compare ship tonnages, Starfinder starships do seem suspiciously tiny. A WW2-era heavy cruiser is ~700 feet long (large) and displaces ~8,000 tons (colossal). Star Trek's USS Voyager is supposed to be 1131 feet long (huge) and weigh 771,617 tons (!?).


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Maybe voyager is made of materials with a higher mass?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Maybe voyager is made of materials with a higher mass?

If Voyager (344 m long, 130 m tall, 63 m wide) were a cuboid of 700,000,000 kg, its density would be ~248 kg/m^3--or a little under a quarter that of water. So let's say the Voyager takes up a quarter the space of its cuboid, making it about as dense as water. A mid-weight huge (810 US tons, or 734,820 kg) Starfinder ship of the same dimensions would be ~0.26 kg/m^3 as a cuboid and ~1 kg/m^3 as the shape of Voyager. That's a little lighter than air at sea level.


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So most likely they didn't do much research on ship weight.

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