Enlarge and Reduce Person when considering Bows


Rules Questions

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Lantern Lodge

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So, I read both enlarge person and reduce person and had a question on the following statements:

Enlarge Person wrote:
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.
Reduce Person wrote:
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).

In a nutshell, A Medium Longbow on a enlarged person deals normal damage, 1d8.

Whereas a medium Longbow on a reduced person deals 1d6...

Is that correct?

Second: Note the bolded part in reduced person (emphasis mine), wouldn't that conflict with the ruling form Enlarge person? Wouldn't his bow deal 1d10 damage because projectiles deal damage based on the bow size?

RAW I'm pretty sure it's 1d8 for enlarged and 1d6 for reduced. But was that really the intent?


This has been a problem since PF came out, it's a blatant contradiction and utterly STUPID. I noticed it for Righteous Might first and made a thread nearly 3 years ago about it.

Jason Bulmahn replied to the thread here, saying they would be tweaking it. That never happened. Instead, they put out the Gravity Bow spell, which I assume was their solution to the projectile-screw-job thing. *sigh*

And, for the record, in 3E, projectile damage was explicitly based on the launcher's size, not the ammunition. The text in Reduce and Enlarge were in agreement on this, and thus enlarge made bows do more damage, for example. This is solely a pathfiner created problem/ridiculousness, and...for what reason? What good did it do? Wish I knew...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Enlarge and Reduce have NO effect on ranged weapons, because the missile instantly reverts to normal size on leaving the bow.


I have often wondered about this myself. If you search you'll find a number of threads on this with no clear answer to the discrepancy. My advice: house rule it however you feel makes sense.

Liberty's Edge

LazarX wrote:
Enlarge and Reduce have NO effect on ranged weapons, because the missile instantly reverts to normal size on leaving the bow.

Unfortunately, the text from reduce person would appear to contradict that.

Logically, though, it would make sense if the mechanic with enlarge person and reduce person exactly coincided.


LazarX wrote:
Enlarge and Reduce have NO effect on ranged weapons, because the missile instantly reverts to normal size on leaving the bow.

Except for the fact that weapon damage depends on the size of the projectile weapon, not on the ammunition.

Or it depends on the size of the ammunition, not on the projectile weapon.

Depending on what size changing magic you happen to be under the effect of at any given moment.

...I don't get it. Are people so rapidly blindly "defend teh Paizo!" that they can't even see such a blatantly logical contradiction? Three years, nothing's changed. Neither the spells/rules themselves to be consistent, nor the replies of the paizo defense force to just plain ignore what the problem is to begin with.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Enlarge and Reduce have NO effect on ranged weapons, because the missile instantly reverts to normal size on leaving the bow.

Except for the fact that weapon damage depends on the size of the projectile weapon, not on the ammunition.

Or it depends on the size of the ammunition, not on the projectile weapon.

Depending on what size changing magic you happen to be under the effect of at any given moment.

...I don't get it. Are people so rapidly blindly "defend teh Paizo!" that they can't even see such a blatantly logical contradiction? Three years, nothing's changed. Neither the spells/rules themselves to be consistent, nor the replies of the paizo defense force to just plain ignore what the problem is to begin with.

Did you have a bad experience with a magically reduced bow as a child or something? Seems like you're taking this awfully personally...

Liberty's Edge

MyTThor wrote:
Did you have a bad experience with a magically reduced bow as a child or something? Seems like you're taking this awfully personally...

I think he's upset that Jason Bulmahn promised a clarification on this in January of 2011, and never did it.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I am going to go back into this the next time we reprint and tweak it. I think Reduce Person will probably get the same clause, making it not quite as bad versus ranged weapon users.

Also, I don't think you're response is helpful.


Personally, I houserule that Enlarge and Reduce change your bow and ammunition and it is the simplest solution. Yes, it has the issue of 'what happens to my previously fired ammunition when the spell runs out' but my players do not try to delve that deeply.

In short, the simplest solution here is to treat missile weapons as every other weapon is treated. No reason for exceptions.

Someone will bring up combining my house rule for Enlarge with Gravity Bow. My response? So? As it stands you CAN use a large sized bow while enlarged. That large sized bow can also be affected by gravity bow. The difference? the player must carry a spare bow and waste actions swapping weapons.

However, this is the rules forum and by RAW Enlarge Person does not change the damage for bows while Reduce Person does.

- Gauss

Lantern Lodge

Now thats a good way around a bad wording, carry a second bow when using enlarged person. Thanks Guass! Although I do hope the wording does change to be more logical... without the contradiction.


FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
Now thats a good way around a bad wording, carry a second bow when using enlarged person. Thanks Guass! Although I do hope the wording does change to be more logical... without the contradiction.

If you are carrying the bow it would be enlarged too and not help you.

You would need someone else to carry the bigger bow, or drop it before you enlarge.


That is the general idea Finlander. Free action to drop, have enlarge cast upon you, move action to pick it up. Viola!

- Gauss

Lantern Lodge

Can't I just learn to dance with a bow like those fire dancers with staffs, tossing it up in the air, catching it, and then shooting someone in the face like Legolas while sliding down the stairs on a shield, all the while keeping a straight face? O.o

Lets see... an acrobatics check, a perform:dance check, a move action to slide down the stairs, a standard action to shoot people and a swift action/ free action to perform the short dance manuever?


Get a porter and have him carry your enlarged stuff and have him waste his move action to hand you your stuff.

Because I think the arrows might be a problem too.

Lantern Lodge

Oh... good point Finlander, which brings up a conumdrum:

If I shoot enlarged arrows from a non-enlarged large bow, the arrows shrink to thier normal size. Reduce person cries "It's the damage of the launcher!" Where as enlarge person is in a state of confusion, asking itself whether or not medium sized arrows from a large bow deals the damage of a large bow...

I don't think ammo is a big concern, take for example a short bow vs long bow. They deal different amounts of damage using the same arrows, making the argument that it's the launcher, not the projectile that determines damage...


It says "All equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly [reduced or enlarged] by the spell." - does that only apply when it's cast or for the duration? What about your gold coins, do they appear bigger - does the weight for all these things change? Carry capacity rules say your capacity goes 2x when being large. And you get +2 strength, so you'll actually feel less encumbered.

If it applies for the duration, what happens with a tree log that you pick up? (doubles in size while you wear/carry it?) Rip out a tree, hold it slightly above the ground, it gets twice as tall, now let your friends climb up... what about ladders? If you carry a ladder does it double in size? What about carrying a friend? I guess they're not equipment, but all his stuff is... so would the friend stay medium but all his gear get large? :D

Just curious: how do you know you can pick up a large bow while enlarged without the bow just becoming huge?

Lantern Lodge

I've been.. Necroed!!!

Whose brains shall I digest?

@Julix I believe if you drop something, it reverts to normal size. If you pick it up, it doesn't increase or decrease in size. As long as something stays in your possession it will be larger/smaller.


FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

Oh... good point Finlander, which brings up a conumdrum:

[...] a short bow vs long bow. They deal different amounts of damage using the same arrows, making the argument that it's the launcher, not the projectile that determines damage...

Except both bows would have the same draw length if made for the appropriately sized creature, because short bows bend a lot. If you take a small longbow, you can't pull it all the way back to where you'd pull your normal bow (since the draw length is for small creatures) - but it being a stronger bow than a short bow (somehow, cause crunch says so) it'll do similar damage to you using a short bow your own size (except now you're doing it at a -2 cause it's awkward. :D )

FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
[...] @Julix I believe if you drop something, it reverts to normal size. If you pick it up, it doesn't increase or decrease in size. As long as something stays in your possession it will be larger/smaller.

I got that you believe that, just not why. ;-) Why wouldn't it just go back to normal when you drop it, and be altered again when you pick it up again?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

First, I believe it should stay as it was in 3.5, that is the weapon that fires the projectile is what determines damage. (I do think that the Sling doesn't work in this regard)

In PF, it is changed or remains according to what is detremental to the character firing the bow. (Enlarge the damage returns to normal, reduce it stays the same reduced damage)

There is a melee spell that does the same as Gravity Bow for a weapon so I wouldn't exactly call it a "fix" for the Enlarge Person editing woes.

The weight issue is midicated by the fact that the character gains STR as he is enlarged.


Gauss wrote:

That is the general idea Finlander. Free action to drop, have enlarge cast upon you, move action to pick it up. Viola!

- Gauss

Except that Enlarge person is not a standard action spell :)

Free action to drop bow.

Cast enlarge person.

Curse as on the other persons turn he picks up your bow and runs away :)

Lantern Lodge

The work around is to have large arrow on your mount. Wand of gravity bow, potion of enlarge person and voila, 3d6 damage per arrow.
It is insidious!


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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

I don't get why this is so hard to understand / people get so bent out of shape over this.


You dont need to carry a second large bow with you. Just carry a set of large arrows.

Keeping them in an extra dimensional space should suffice i would assume to leave them their normal size?


My question was do things you pick up while under the spell change size?


SlimGauge wrote:

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

I don't get why this is so hard to understand / people get so bent out of shape over this.

I hadn't thought of it in those terms just from reading the texts of the spells but that does seem to make a lot of sense.


Julix wrote:
My question was do things you pick up while under the spell change size?

No, it only affects your items when the spell is cast.


I think that Enlarge/Reduce person DOESN'T AFFECT the damage of the bow. Because there is the "Gravity Bow" spell that allows exactly that.

An usual trick for buff is to Reduce the archer: Extra DEX, and no penalty to Damage (Unless using composite longbow) and for Debuff is Enlarging him: Penalty to hit, and no extra damage.


Ughbash, Enlarge Person being a full round spell does not change my statement.

Hell, if you want to take matters into your own hands, free action to drop, swift action to get out your potion from the springloaded wrist sheathe, standard action to drink potion of Enlarge Person, move action to pick arrows up.


I don't know why this is so confusing and traumatizing for some of you.

If you have a projectile weapon (or really anything) on you when enlarged or reduced you change. Once it leaves your possession ("omgz but what does wielding meanz!" it reverts to normal size. This makes sense in terms of balance and continuity as you (and thus your possessions) are the target affected.


Souhiro wrote:

I think that Enlarge/Reduce person DOESN'T AFFECT the damage of the bow. Because there is the "Gravity Bow" spell that allows exactly that.

An usual trick for buff is to Reduce the archer: Extra DEX, and no penalty to Damage (Unless using composite longbow) and for Debuff is Enlarging him: Penalty to hit, and no extra damage.

Except, that's not how the rules work in Pathfinder, currently. Look back at the OP, he quoted Reduce Person. It DOES in fact affect damage aside from the strength change (which could also lead to an attack penalty if you now have insufficient str for the composite bow; and does in fact affect the damage output of non-composite bows as well if it drops you to a negative Str), it alters the weapon damage dice.

But Enlarge does not. That's the whole issue, it contradicts. One spell says damage is based on launcher size, another says it's based on ammunition size. It's a logical fail. If size changes didn't affect projectile weapon damage dice at all, Reduce Person wouldn't reduce it.


MattR1986 wrote:

I don't know why this is so confusing and traumatizing for some of you.

If you have a projectile weapon (or really anything) on you when enlarged or reduced you change. Once it leaves your possession ("omgz but what does wielding meanz!" it reverts to normal size. This makes sense in terms of balance and continuity as you (and thus your possessions) are the target affected.

Seriously?

FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
Enlarge Person wrote:
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.
Reduce Person wrote:
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).

It doesn't matter whether ammunition is still affected or if it's not after it leaves you. What matters is the answer to a very simple question:

"What determines projectile weapon damage, the size of the launcher or the size of the ammunition?"
Each spell answers that very simple question in the exact opposite way.


...

...what?

Using your own quotes and not even looking at the PRD

StreamOfTheSky wrote:
MattR1986 wrote:
Stuff

Stuff

FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:
Enlarge Person wrote:
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.
Reduce Person wrote:
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).

Stuff

They say nearly the exact same thing. It's just poorly worded and probably should have said (projectiles deal damage based on the original size of the weapon that fired them). It's a slight miswording that given the whole context isn't really a tough nut to crack.


The issue seems to be there is no general rule but those specific to the two spells. I assume people take issue with the fact that they are not consistant with eachother.


MattR1986, the problem is that how Reduce Person and Enlarge Person treat projectile weapons is inconsistent.
Reduce Person treats projectile weapon damage as your current (reduced) size.
Enlarge Person treats projectile weapon damage as your original size.

The contradiction has bothered people for years. Groups respond to this in one of three ways:
1) Houserule that damage is based on original size for both spells.
2) Houserule that damage is based on current size for both spells.
3) Accept that the two spells logically contradict each other and run them as written.

My group chooses option 2.


Again, look at the fact they're parallel (opposite) spells of the same function and use the same wording. Why would one let you take advantage of melee and increased damage and the other screw you out of the +1 to hit (IIRC). There are times when the game puts things in parenthesis to clarify what they do so people know. Sometimes they do it slightly different for the same thing.

If it was intended that projectile weapons do different damage then you'd have to trump up the first part to complete laziness of copy and pasting and changing one word without giving thought to what you just put proceeding that.


MattR1986, as I said, this has been a known issue for years now. Many people have discussed this and even requested a fix for it.

I do not know what they "intended" but I do know what is written.
Enlarge Person clearly states that projectile weapons do normal size damage.
Reduce Person clearly states that projectile weapon damage is based on the size of the weapon.

From this we get the following contradiction:
Enlarge Person does not change projectile damage from normal.
Reduce Person does change projectile damage from normal.

If you can show where it states otherwise please do, but stating the intent (which none of us are in a position to know) is not helpful in this situation.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

OK>>>>

from the beginning. When you enlarge/reduce, the weapons you use change one step of damage. When you use melee weapons, this is awesome for enlarged fighters.

The problem, one that I ran into while making an eventual Arcane Archer, is that Enlarge Person has bows and Crossbows revert to the normal damage instead. This is because, in my mind, the editor of the copy and paste rules for a lot of the things used for PF in the Core Rulebook omitted the phrase that was then left in the counterpart Reduce Person.

That phrase is " (projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them) " which is after the same explanation that is still in the Enlarge Person spell.

Was this a rule in 3.5 elsewhere from the spell descripts? Is this rule within the pages of PF anywhere other than Reduce Person? (I assume the answer is no on that one)

For me, it is something to live with for now. I hope this is changed and made consistant (one way or the other) in PF ver2.


I've already said its poorly worded and misworded. The contradiction is really this:

Reduce Person:

Statement 1: Any reduced item that leaves the reduced creature's possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size.

Statement 2: This means that thrown weapons deal their normal damage (projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them).

If you were to go completely RAW then these two things conflict. What do you do when two things conflict by RAW? I don't recall there being a RAW way of deciding that. That means you have to go to RAI.

The fact that it has statement 1 then immediately proceeds it with "This means that" would mean its meant to reinforce the first statement. The fact that the second part of the second sentence is in parenthesis and doesn't say but/except means it is trying to clarify the first part. Why they used different wordage is unknown, but they do it at times and in their attempt to overexplain the situation to make it more clear and impossible to be misinterpreted they worded it poorly to make it confusing to people.

When do you ever say something like "Dogs and cats both are fast. This means that dogs get places fast (cats take a long time to get places). Conflicting and the parenthesis doesn't use a "but", "although", "however" or anything.


thaX wrote:

That phrase is " (projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them) " which is after the same explanation that is still in the Enlarge Person spell.

Was this a rule in 3.5 elsewhere from the spell descripts? Is this rule within the pages of PF anywhere other than Reduce Person? (I assume the answer is no on that one)

For me, it is something to live with for now. I hope this is changed and made consistant (one way or the other) in PF ver2.

In 3E, projectile weapons did damage based on the size of the weapon launching the ammo. Both Enlarge Person and [url=http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/reducePerson.htmReduce Person[/url] included the text in parentheses that Paizo left in Reduce Person but removed from Enlarge Person. The weapon tables likewise listed damage by size (Medium; Small) on the bow/crossbow/sling line, not the arrow/bolt/bullet line of the table. It was pretty consistent. Consistency is awesome.

3.5 Enlarge Person wrote:
All equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly enlarged by the spell. Melee and projectile weapons affected by this spell deal more 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 weapons deal their normal damage, and projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them. Magical properties of enlarged items are not increased by this spell.
3.5 Reduce Person wrote:
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).


They both say the same thing which contradicts itself. projectile weapons instantly return to normal size but deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them (smaller). The projectiles return to normal size but deal damage as a smaller weapon? What sense does that make?


Simple solution? Carry an Efficient Quiver and store 18 large sized arrow in the javelin sized compartment. They're the right size and shape, after all. Since they're safely stored in a nondimensional space, shouldn't be affected by your size changing magic. Pop your enlarge potion, and start plinking folks with actual large sized arrows out of your large size bow. That'll do large sized damage.


This is very much left open to interpretation by your DM. I would rule that enlarge person increases the damage. There are no rules stating what damage a medium sized arrow does. Arrows do the damage of the weapon that fires them. This is why there are different damages for different bows using the same arrows.

Arrows don't have a damage dice, so they have to use the damage dice of the weapon that fired them. That being said gravity bow would have to be completely reworded to work properly.


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SlimGauge wrote:

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

I don't get why this is so hard to understand / people get so bent out of shape over this.

Quoting this because it seems to have been missed by many posters.

The spells aren't contradictory. There isn't a mistype or mistake. It is perfectly understandable when broken down this way. That this functions differently than previous versions of D&D is of no moment.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sure you can look at it this way...

But it really lacks consistency. Why tell us very specifically that ranged attacks deal the damage of the weapon, and then for enlarge person tell us differently? Sure, you can say "always take the worse effect", but this is the only rule that goes like that? Except the obvious greater conditions apply (such as frightened vs shaken)?


FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

Sure you can look at it this way...

But it really lacks consistency. Why tell us very specifically that ranged attacks deal the damage of the weapon, and then for enlarge person tell us differently?

Specific trumps general, I'd assume. It happens all over the place.

Lantern Lodge

It's just very inconsistent, hence the confusion.


Gauss wrote:

Ughbash, Enlarge Person being a full round spell does not change my statement.

Hell, if you want to take matters into your own hands, free action to drop, swift action to get out your potion from the springloaded wrist sheathe, standard action to drink potion of Enlarge Person, move action to pick arrows up.

I actually prefer prehensile tail and swift drinker for that :)

Enlarge yourself and attack (ideally with two handed reach weapon) in the same round.

I was pointing out with the actions you were using, you would have to pick up the bow on the next round as a move action so you would not get a full attack on the second round.


fretgod99 wrote:
SlimGauge wrote:

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

I don't get why this is so hard to understand / people get so bent out of shape over this.

Quoting this because it seems to have been missed by many posters.

The spells aren't contradictory. There isn't a mistype or mistake. It is perfectly understandable when broken down this way. That this functions differently than previous versions of D&D is of no moment.

But it doesn't work like that. If I'm under the effect of reduce person and I and my bow become small, yet I use tiny arrows, I'll still deal damage on my small sized bow.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Rikkan wrote:
If I'm under the effect of reduce person and I and my bow become small, yet I use tiny arrows, I'll still deal damage on my small sized bow.

I'm not certain you CAN use tiny arrows in anything other than a tiny bow.

Even if you could use tiny crossbow bolts in a ballista, I don't think you're going to do more than tiny crossbow bolt damage.

If you could get full damage from tiny ammunition, everyone would be saving weight by not hauling around full sized ammo.

The statement "This means that thrown weapons deal their normal damage (projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them)." from the Reduce Person spell is not a general statement. The statement is referring only to the case of ammunition that enlarges after firing and not to any other case such as ammunition that diminishes after firing.


Rikkan wrote:


But it doesn't work like that. If I'm under the effect of reduce person and I and my bow become small, yet I use tiny arrows, I'll still deal damage on my small sized bow.

How are you firing tiny arrows from a small size bow? What combination of effects is producing such a result?

SlimGuage's explanation makes a lot of sense to me. The way I see it is that a small bow is only going to impart so much force to its projectile therefore the bow limits the damage with reduce person. But a regular sized arrow can only do so much damage on impact and thus limits the damage of the large sized bow with enlarge person.

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