Do tiny reach weapons provide reach?


Rules Questions

Sovereign Court

There have been a number of threads on this subject:

Tiny and Reach Weapons
Tiny creatures, AoO, Reach Weapons, and Flanking
Reach weapons and Zero natural reach creatures?
Are small reach weapons still reach weapons?
Tiny creatures on mounts
One hand Glaive... Reach or not?

Unfortunately there hasn't been any official clarification yet on this issue.

Here is the relevant section of the PFSRD:

PFSRD wrote:
Reach Weapons: Glaives, guisarmes, lances, longspears, ranseurs, and whips are reach weapons. A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren't adjacent to him. Most reach weapons double the wielder's natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square. A typical Large character wielding a reach weapon of the appropriate size can attack a creature 15 or 20 feet away, but not adjacent creatures or creatures up to 10 feet away.

The emphasis is mine. The basic issue is that typically a reach weapon doubles the natural reach. Since tiny creatures and below have a natural reach of zero, then 0x2=0. Thus tiny reach weapons do not have reach.

However, the above text puts in "most" which means there are exceptions to this rule.

One exception that could be plausibly argued is that tiny reach weapons would allow the creature to threaten 5' from the square the creature occupies, but does not threaten in the square the tiny wielder occupies.

Rule zero, house rules and common sense can all easily solve this.

However, it would be great to get an official clarification on this. For my particular situation it is because I'm in a co-GMed game where tiny creatures are an option as a player character. The GMs are trying to stick to RAW as much as possible for consistency's sake, but the GMs do see the issue of tiny reach weapons in different perspectives. Getting an official clarification could settle this once and for all.

So, pretty please with icing, sprinkles and a cherry on top...

Does a tiny sized reach weapon allow a tiny creature to threaten adjacent squares, but not in the square the tiny creature occupies?


The only "source" to even address tiny PCs is Monte Cooks unearthed arcana.

Which is regarding the spryte, who threatens a 5 foot square due to two issues,

1. movement rate of 30
2. flight

More than likely they would only threaten the square they occupy....
Ranged weapons are likely the threat to adjacent squares

Sovereign Court

True, there is no RAW source for tiny PCs, but the question goes beyond the issue of tiny sized PCs.

You could have encounters where a party is dealing with tiny sized fey armed with longspears, or a fey cavalier mounted on a dog, kind of like Sir Didymus in the movie Labyrinth.

Also, if you use the young creature template in the Bestiary it will reduce the size of a number of common small humanoids down to tiny size. So overall clearing up this gray area would be a big help.


Or your PC gets reduced to tiny?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Game speak for "DOUBLE" doesn't really mean "twice as much." A creature that's Tiny and has a reach of 0 feet who uses a reach weapon would basically go up to the next stage of reach: 5 feet. Something smaller than Tiny would, at the most, go up to Tiny's level of reach—weapons smaller than those wielded by Tiny creatures, therefore, never have reach.

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:
Game speak for "DOUBLE" doesn't really mean "twice as much." A creature that's Tiny and has a reach of 0 feet who uses a reach weapon would basically go up to the next stage of reach: 5 feet. Something smaller than Tiny would, at the most, go up to Tiny's level of reach—weapons smaller than those wielded by Tiny creatures, therefore, never have reach.

Thanks. That makes sense.

I spent too many hours researching arm spans and measuring out 5'x 5' areas of floor where I'd see the rationale behind the measurements of reach.

After geeking out on that I came to the conclusion that tiny really is the transition point between 0 reach and 5' reach. With a reach weapon, a tiny 2' tall creature could extend themselves out plausibly to threaten someone with a long spear, which would be about 2 to 3 times their height, but when you get to a 1' tall creature (diminutive size) then the weapon length starts to grow to 4 to 5 times their height. At that point they'd need some kind of "super reach" weapon, like a pike, which the rules aren't (rightly so) delving into.

Anyway, very helpful. Tiny lancer cavaliers... TO ARMS!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The only real rationale behind how reach works in the game is that early on, they decided that 5 feet was how big a square in combat would be, because that's the scale at which most miniatures function, and that fractional reaches that aren't measured in 5-foot increments would break the combat system of the game. Which is a good enough reason for me to not have that kind of reach!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As a DM, if I was running a game where a substantial number of PCs or monsters were tiny, I would consider recentering the combat scale.

In other words, large=huge, medium=large, small=medium, tiny=small.

Not perfect due to the inconsistent scaling that exists between medium and small creatures.

I have actually played around with combat scale being dynamic, ie. the smallest size creature in the combat always takes up one square with a threatened area of one square, and anything bigger is scaled up accordingly. It is actually fun, a medium sized PC then actually FEELS like a giant when battling tiny creatures.


calvinNhobbes wrote:

As a DM, if I was running a game where a substantial number of PCs or monsters were tiny, I would consider recentering the combat scale.

In other words, large=huge, medium=large, small=medium, tiny=small.

Not perfect due to the inconsistent scaling that exists between medium and small creatures.

I have actually played around with combat scale being dynamic, ie. the smallest size creature in the combat always takes up one square with a threatened area of one square, and anything bigger is scaled up accordingly. It is actually fun, a medium sized PC then actually FEELS like a giant when battling tiny creatures.

I was actually thinking the same thing...

If ALL the PC's (or a majority of them) are tiny, then why not rescale the game to tiny? The game is essentially about the PC's anyway.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

if all tinies attack a big bad medium, have the tinies use 5 foot squares and use a huge mini for the medium guy... i'm gonna do that in my next game lol

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

oh, and large sized halflings... use ogre minis for halflings! :P

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