Reduce person / enlarge person incongruence on ranged weapons


Rules Questions


Now I haven't played a ranged character in a few years but I noticed something odd.

Reduce person: Melee and projectile weapons deal less damage. Other magical properties are not affected by this spell. Any reduced item that leaves the reduced creature's possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size. This means that thrown weapons deal their normal damage (projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them).

HOWEVER

Enlarge person: All equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly enlarged by the spell. Melee weapons affected by this spell deal more damage (see Table: Tiny and Large Weapon Damage). Other magical properties are not affected by this spell. Any enlarged item that leaves an enlarged creature's possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size. This means that thrown and projectile weapons deal their normal damage. Magical properties of enlarged items are not increased by this spell.

I mean I'm cool either way, but was this ever errated?

Why would, on the one hand, projectile damage be based on the weapon that fired it but on the other it's based on the size of the projectile?

Im sure somebody else has noticed this inconsistency.


Change of projectile size in consideration of the force used to discharge it?

I pull back a mighty big bow and fire a projectile that shrinks down, so it does normal damage of its type (although I'd argue the increased STR should remain!)

Small bow shoots a projectile with LESS force and the projectile GROWS in flight - your 'arrow' just turned into a 'broom handle', thus yeilding a much lighter hit than would otherwise be the case.

Liberty's Edge

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Soltan wrote:

I mean I'm cool either way, but was this ever errated?

Why would, on the one hand, projectile damage be based on the weapon that fired it but on the other it's based on the size of the projectile?

It is inconsistent. It was inconsistent in SRD 3.5, too, but in the reverse. It's the way it is. It is intentional. It isn't an error.

Doesn't mean it makes sense, tho. *shrug*

Sovereign Court

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It's unreasonable.
If something's mass has been changed,It's kinetic energy(the power for make physical damage) has necessarily been changed.no matter Reduce or Enlarge.

Howie23 wrote:


It is inconsistent. It was inconsistent in SRD 3.5, too, but in the reverse. It's the way it is. It is intentional. It isn't an error.

I remember it was consistent in SRD 3.5.This is can't understand why change them in pathfinder.


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It has no requirement to be condistant. PF has no univesal rule about what happens. Just specific rules from spells.


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AtlasYF wrote:

It's unreasonable.

If something's mass has been changed,It's kinetic energy(the power for make physical damage) has necessarily been changed.no matter Reduce or Enlarge.

Howie23 wrote:


It is inconsistent. It was inconsistent in SRD 3.5, too, but in the reverse. It's the way it is. It is intentional. It isn't an error.
I remember it was consistent in SRD 3.5.This is can't understand why change them in pathfinder.

Don't walk down this road. Once you try to justify magic with physics, it gets real silly real quickly.

I once read a thread about this very subject years ago on the alt.rec for D&D. Once physics got invoked, someone showed how the arrow suddenly losing so much mass would convert into enough energy to either blast a catastrophically large amount of the atmosphere into space, or shatter around a quarter of the Earth's crust.

Physics and magic do not mix.


Don't bring physics into this.

The spells were are working as intended. They didn't want archers to get a great bonus by simply reducing their size.

Let see, increase in dex, ac, a bonus to attack, and dosn't lose damage? That's too strong. They wanted to make it less beneficial so they altered the spell to reduce the damage that bows dealt.

Yes, it's not consistent. But it was also intentional.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Scythia wrote:
I once read a thread about this very subject years ago

Perhaps it was this very thread.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Just as the strength of a chain is determined by the weakest link, the power of a ranged attack with different sized elements is determined by the smallest.

Reduced person : Small launcher -> regular ammo = small damage
Enlarged person: Large launcher -> regular ammo = regular damage

Note that you can play some games by carrying around large ammo and dropping it before being enlarged, then picking it up again.


I did the large arrow thing before, slim. I might have picked up that tip here on this board.


These spells are stupid for this reason, being consistent within a universe is important. It’s the same magic, doing the same thing, the rules should be the same. No matter how you look at it, the differences aren’t justified.

Our party houseruled the size of the projectile dictates damage because these spells are stupid.


Sunnysideup wrote:

These spells are stupid for this reason, being consistent within a universe is important. It’s the same magic, doing the same thing, the rules should be the same. No matter how you look at it, the differences aren’t justified.

Our party houseruled the size of the projectile dictates damage because these spells are stupid.

5 year raise dead spell. Well done

Lantern Lodge

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vhok wrote:
Sunnysideup wrote:

These spells are stupid for this reason, being consistent within a universe is important. It’s the same magic, doing the same thing, the rules should be the same. No matter how you look at it, the differences aren’t justified.

Our party houseruled the size of the projectile dictates damage because these spells are stupid.

5 year raise dead spell. Well done

Not Raise Dead (only 1/day per level)... Resurrection!


Sunnysideup wrote:

These spells are stupid for this reason, being consistent within a universe is important. It’s the same magic, doing the same thing, the rules should be the same. No matter how you look at it, the differences aren’t justified.

Our party houseruled the size of the projectile dictates damage because these spells are stupid.

It's justified by balance considerations. Whether one agrees that balance trumps consistency in this instance is a matter of opinion.


blahpers wrote:

It's justified by balance considerations. Whether one agrees that balance trumps consistency in this instance is a matter of opinion.

Not really. Mechanics will stay the same for enemies using the spells, any situation where this change would make or break an encounter, it wouldn’t because those enemies would potentially be using this against you.

Captain Zoom wrote:


5 year raise dead spell. Well done

/bow


Sunnysideup wrote:
Mechanics will stay the same for enemies using the spells, any situation where this change would make or break an encounter, it wouldn’t because those enemies would potentially be using this against you.

I've heard the "It's not unbalanced because the GM can do it back to you" argument before and I've never found it convincing. Let's say I pass a ruling (for the sake of logical consistency) that means "Reduce Person" doubles the damage output of an archer. Sure, the bad guys could in theory use that on the party, but only when there's an archer and an arcane caster working together. Unless the GM is going to rewrite the campaign around this spell, this won't affect the party in more than 5% of battles. Meanwhile, the party could use it to double their damage output in 100% of battles.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Let's say I pass a ruling (for the sake of logical consistency) that means "Reduce Person" doubles the damage output of an archer. Sure, the bad guys could in theory use that on the party, but only when there's an archer and an arcane caster working together. Unless the GM is going to rewrite the campaign around this spell, this won't affect the party in more than 5% of battles. Meanwhile, the party could use it to double their damage output in 100% of battles.

In that setting, every archer ever would carry potions of Reduce Person. Archery would also be far more widespread.


Actually if you are pretending to play at physics, you need to consider conservation of momentum, which all these weight and enlargement spells don't. The reduced missile slows down when it enlarges, this may be counterintuitive for some, but unless we are talking on object that can crush you with it's weight alone, or somehow waits to enlarge after it has penetrated, it will do less damage. Same with heavy weapons and similar things. If you throw out conservation of momentum, then you frankly have no basis for even semi realistic combat at all.

Now if you have an enlarged object shrinking in flight, it goes faster, and does more damage, again possibly counterintuitively, look up discard sabot ammunition if you want the specifics on this, or are just interested in the physics, so the realistic damage edge favors the enlarged archer, not the reduced archer, so for you physics wonks balance remains.

Since rather a lot of your tables will resist physics in favor of partial and psuedo-physics, you are better off just sticking to the rules as written, or go look at one of those overly complex physics based systems, some are actually quite elegant if you like that sort of thing, but I rather expect most of us won't have fun with them, and combat will be about as slow going as your average science seminar. It is rather a matter of pride getting through a fight, but unlikely to inspire a repeat for most.


Daw wrote:

Actually if you are pretending to play at physics, you need to consider conservation of momentum, which all these weight and enlargement spells don't. The reduced missile slows down when it enlarges, this may be counterintuitive for some, but unless we are talking on object that can crush you with it's weight alone, or somehow waits to enlarge after it has penetrated, it will do less damage. Same with heavy weapons and similar things. If you throw out conservation of momentum, then you frankly have no basis for even semi realistic combat at all.

Now if you have an enlarged object shrinking in flight, it goes faster, and does more damage, again possibly counterintuitively, look up discard sabot ammunition if you want the specifics on this, or are just interested in the physics, so the realistic damage edge favors the enlarged archer, not the reduced archer, so for you physics wonks balance remains.

Since rather a lot of your tables will resist physics in favor of partial and psuedo-physics, you are better off just sticking to the rules as written, or go look at one of those overly complex physics based systems, some are actually quite elegant if you like that sort of thing, but I rather expect most of us won't have fun with them, and combat will be about as slow going as your average science seminar. It is rather a matter of pride getting through a fight, but unlikely to inspire a repeat for most.

This is a really long post addressing something no one said.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Sunnysideup wrote:
Mechanics will stay the same for enemies using the spells, any situation where this change would make or break an encounter, it wouldn’t because those enemies would potentially be using this against you.
I've heard the "It's not unbalanced because the GM can do it back to you" argument before and I've never found it convincing. Let's say I pass a ruling (for the sake of logical consistency) that means "Reduce Person" doubles the damage output of an archer. Sure, the bad guys could in theory use that on the party, but only when there's an archer and an arcane caster working together. Unless the GM is going to rewrite the campaign around this spell, this won't affect the party in more than 5% of battles. Meanwhile, the party could use it to double their damage output in 100% of battles.

On top of what the other dude said, the change doesn’t break the game at all. It’s barely a notable amount of damage, by no means game breaking.


Yes someone said something about this. It's in the vein of "let's consider adding real-world physics into the mix". Pathfinder rules regarding size have no real-world basis at all.

But no matter, and back to the batter. I think the rules (listed in Enlarge/Reduce) were made for one reason and one reason only: prevent the players from being Enlarged all the time. Already, meleers are looking for ways to do it thanks to the increased damage. If archers got a damage boost as well, everyone would do it.

And, repeating words from someone else: when an option is so useful that everyone takes it, it's not an option anymore. It's a tax.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

The two spells are absolutely consistent if you look at it from the paradigm of "a weapon that changes size in the middle of an attack does the damage of its smallest size." I'd bet *that*, or something similar, was the thought process when the spells were originally written. (The 3.X/PF enlarge person and reduce person spells bear only a superficial resemblance to the 1e/2e enlarge reversible spell).

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