Why the Small Race Melee Hate?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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For as long as I have played RPG's, I have always come across people who are almost insulted by the mere thought of a Halfling taking a melee combat role. It's almost as bad as the paladin hate I have seen from so many people. You put a longsword in a Halfling's hands and next thing you know everyone is laughing at him, giving him stupid nicknames, and even kicking him as if to prove to him he can't keep up. Then they get shocked and offended when said Halfling sticks a knife in their knee.

We all know Halflings are astounding rogues, bards, and even spellcasters but those can become so boring. Sure we all know the witty and charismatic Halfling with a heart of gold almost as full as his coin purse. If we look at the Halfling race as a whole, we are missing out on some crucial character opportunities. Halflings are innately lucky and as such they tend to be braver to the point of being considered suicidal at times. Why wouldn't a Halfling take up a longsword, throw on some chainmail, and try to become a knight or sellsword.

One of my favorite characters to DM was my friend Ian made a Goblin Paladin of Iomadae The character, Sir Boogoo Raven-Blade, was such a hilarious clash of race and class that melded into a beautiful character who retired at level 19. Seeing a little ugly Goblin Paladin scavenging in junk piles for scraps of metal and cloth to repair his homemade armor and sword after taking down a few Orc Bloodragers made him truly memorable. His mighty dogslicer, named Scrap, cut down wizards and barbarians, Giants and Kobolds. He never used bows or fire as he thought they were cowardly weapons that made his people weak and as he got higher in level he actually started a small knight school for Goblins who wanted to become more than what their race was expected. He actually became a very respected and reputable warrior/teacher. This is just one example of taking something that shouldn't work and let it go. Was he dealing as much damage as a Human or if he would have chosen a ranged build? No, but this was far better in my mind.

Do any of you have small race warriors who took on the stereotype that they cannot be given a sword or axe without hurting themselves? Who were your favorite PC's or NPC's?


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-2 str and one step lower dmg dice and need to grow 2 sizes to get 10ft reach.
That's the primary reasons.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Because you have to be 1000% optimized to even bother showing up each week and that average dpr of 11 instead of 13 is a bridge too far.

Really, you expect me to roll a d6 for damage? I mean you already can't hit anything if your starting Str is below a 20 right?


I think Paizo has realized how much more interesting small characters can be.

We now have Orang-Pendak, who have +2 STR/WIS, -2 INT, and make for excellent small Monks, Fighters or Slayers.

We also have the Wayang, with +2 DEX/INT, -2 WIS, which make for great melee Investigators or Alchemists.

The first thing that Paizo needed to understand that +2 STR on a small race would only mean that race in particular could hit as lethally with a longsword as would a medium sized race with +0 STR, so it made sense to grant smaller races +STR.

Now that window is open, I'm hoping for alternate racials that remove the STR penalty from Halflings or Gnomes too.

Scarab Sages

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Zautos' wrote:

-2 str and one step lower dmg dice and need to grow 2 sizes to get 10ft reach.

That's the primary reasons.

Weapon finesse and longarm negate those two weakness for the most part. The increase in accuracy and AC oddest the decrease in damage die, especially when the majority of melee damage is from static bonuses instead of weapon die.


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Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
For as long as I have played RPG's, I have always come across people who are almost insulted by the mere thought of a Halfling taking a melee combat role. It's almost as bad as the paladin hate I have seen from so many people. You put a longsword in a Halfling's hands and next thing you know everyone is laughing at him, giving him stupid nicknames, and even kicking him as if to prove to him he can't keep up. Then they get shocked and offended when said Halfling sticks a knife in their knee.

Never let someone else tell you how to play your character. Why are you playing with people who think this is cool?


I once tried to make a small character who was built around rerolling. Recently I found an archetype that works perfectly for it. So I am working on creating a Gnome that I hope to use. Final build should end up with him wielding 2 Vorpal Kamas. He will have Eternal Hope so once a day he can reroll a nat 1 as well as Perfect Strike to try and raise times he gets natural 20.

Oh and Gnomes have a nice little feat called Bewildering Koan it lets you keep someone flatfooted if you are first in combat as long as you can speak to them. Atleast I think it can due to the person wouldn't have acted yet if you keep using it.

Also another small race I like is Svirneblin they make great assassins due to their many Stealth bonuses. Oh and don't forget Ratfolk, there swarming racial trait lets you make moving walls of Tower Shields that are protected from up to 2 sides. Even Grippli are great for melee casters who use touch attacks. Their Agile Tongue Let's you make magic touch attacks on anyone within 10 feet.

Did I mention I like playing small races...


I always liked to play Small martials. Halfling favors going for Dex, which works moderately well with fighter (due to static damage bonuses), but not with barbarian. Still you can go for Str, your attack bonus will be the same (-1 from Str, +1 from size) as for a race wit no Str bonus. So you are on a par with dwarf, and 1 point behind most Str races / half-humans / humans. Damage looks worse, but there is the Risky Striker feat to compensate. Martials start off strong anyway, so it's not an issue to sacrifice a bit.

On the plus side, save bonuses and Perception bonus help to survive, and +2 AC (size & Dex) can turn a strong defense into a barely penetrable one. +2 Cha is always nice if you want to do more than just attacking.

Finally (and probably most importantly): Felling a huge beast with a Small PC is more satisfying than achieving this with a half-orc...


Still gotta make that Halfling Overwhelming Soul Elemental Annihilator for size-independent damage dice and Charisma instead of Strength for damage. Dex to hit, still, but you do what you can. (Going Aether, you can even use a small dagger as your sword, telekinetically wielding it a short distance from your hands.) oh, and Power Attack without the Strength requirement.


Sure, small race characters aren't optimal for melee, but you can still do pretty well despite that.

STR: 16 DEX: 12 CON: 15 INT: 10 WIS: 10 CHA: 9

That would be a perfectly acceptable barbarian starting abilities scores for a halfling. Sure, you're a couple points behind a human that bought an 18 in strength (and got up to 20 with racial bonus). But honestly, I build most of my characters with no more than 18 in their stats (after racial bonus) so that my characters are well rounded, and I also have that as a house rule to prevent too hard of optimization.

The above character would be a bit lacking in skills and other departments, but it would be passable as a barbarian.

Honestly, it's the strength penalty more than anything that is the real problem.

I've long considered doing away all racial ability score adjustments and just going with the floating +2 to a stat for all races. I don't think you would be wrong as a GM to do so.


Cthulhu Mythos worshipping "Mad Halfling". My favorite. Trade skill: cooper (barrel maker).

Skreem the Goblin. Took down far more PCs than they ganged up on him with before tag-teaming the poor villain with a ghoul touch via spectral hand and a brutal 'coup de grace' scene. They killed him with much enthusiasm. One of a very few villains with more PC kills than it took PCs to kill him. Good times.


Had a Halfling Paladin in Second Ed. D&D had a blast with him. No one laughed at his abilities. Halflings have in our group never been popular but we liked them well enough. Gnomes have never been my favorite and haven't liked the changes to them in Pathfinder.


Blacksteel wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
For as long as I have played RPG's, I have always come across people who are almost insulted by the mere thought of a Halfling taking a melee combat role. It's almost as bad as the paladin hate I have seen from so many people. You put a longsword in a Halfling's hands and next thing you know everyone is laughing at him, giving him stupid nicknames, and even kicking him as if to prove to him he can't keep up. Then they get shocked and offended when said Halfling sticks a knife in their knee.
Never let someone else tell you how to play your character. Why are you playing with people who think this is cool?

I was playing with some people I hadn't met before. My usual group are totally accepting of my small characters and they have backed me up when new players have come in and rolled their eyes at my Halfling fighter or Gnome Barbarian. They just find it useless because it isn't fully optimized and they have reduced cool characters to numbers which is what frustrates me the most. My Gnome Barbarian, Obie, wrestled and hogtied a Bugbear with his bare hands. I presented the captive to the party and the response was lukewarm at best. I couldn't understand it.


j b 200 wrote:

Because you have to be 1000% optimized to even bother showing up each week and that average dpr of 11 instead of 13 is a bridge too far.

Really, you expect me to roll a d6 for damage? I mean you already can't hit anything if your starting Str is below a 20 right?

I have never had any problems with damage output past level 3. My Gnome barbarian was actually the hardest hitting member in the group. But besides that, if your character is worth only what he can dish out damage wise then I feel it's not a very interesting character. A small fighter who is creative can easily beat out any number of "Kick Door Fight Orc" human or orc warriors.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Derek Dalton wrote:

Had a Halfling Paladin in Second Ed. D&D had a blast with him. No one laughed at his abilities. Halflings have in our group never been popular but we liked them well enough. Gnomes have never been my favorite and haven't liked the changes to them in Pathfinder.

It hasn't been mentioned yet, but indeed, the ability to ride a medium mount combined with a cha bonus makes halflings and gnomes incredible paladins.


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There are some definite challenges and frustrations that can come with small melee characters (or any martial characters, really). The typical -2 to strength, and lower die size for smaller weapons will be noticed but so will the typical -10 ft movement rate. All three of those factors can frustrate a player who doesn't give them some thought and that's why I make sure players are aware of those limitations when I GM and they are looking at small PCs.

I don't have a problem with small characters in general - heck, I play a halfling paladin in PFS. But even I feel a little frustrated to effectively be -2 on all melee damage, all other things being held equal. And some skill checks will be trouble too with lower strength and, particularly for jumps, lowered movement. Some players really can't handle that bit of frustration, even though it's not exactly a huge issue. They should be advised away from small melee characters.


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I just don't like races that are puny baby men.


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Peter Dinklage demonstrates the awesomeness of 'puny baby men' in Game of Thrones. ;)


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Dinklage/Tyrion gets honorary Medium status for his oversized cojones.


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I think it is likely because a lot of people simply can't bring themselves to accept second best, even when the difference ends up being fairly negligible.

A str based halfling melee character is going to do 2 points (2 or 3 if using two-handed weapons) less damage than a human melee character built the same way. That isn't nothing, but it isn't a significant as people say.

Unless a bad guy winds up in the sweet spot where the extra damage would have mattered (ie 2 or 3 points multiplied by the number of hits you have done, in most cases somewhere between 2 and 9 points usually) then the extra damage doesn't matter at all. You don't get extra points for overkill, so if your hit leaves the for at -1 or -4 it really doesn't make any difference, it only matters when you just fail to bring them down. Even then, the extra damage doesn't matter sometimes, for example, if my halfling brings the last foe down to one hitpoint (ah, if I was only a human he would have been down) but the next player brings him down (without expending valuable resources) then my loss of damage still didn't matter.

So yes, there are certainly times when that difference matters. But it doesn't matter as often as might be expected. At the same time, the halfing built exactly like the fighter will have two better AC and one better on each save. It is quite possible that those two things will matter as much when it comes down to bringing down a foe as the extra damage.


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There's also a bit of an issue of "wasted stats". If you're building a Halfling Fighter to be, basically, the same as a Human Fighter, you're probably:

1.) Wearing Full Plate
2.) Dumping Charisma

So you have a race that gives you +2 Dexterity (absolutely worthless to you with a whopping +1 Dex limit) and +2 Charisma (a stat you care nothing about).

That ON TOP OF:

1.) A Str penalty (-1 damage) [Technically, really, -2 damage since you don't get a Str BONUS either. -3 because of 2-Handing)
2.) a CMD penalty
3.) Lower damage dice (depending on the weapon of choice, anywhere between 1-2 damage less on average, and a lower minimum damage as well in the case of the Greatsword)
4.) Difficulty of gaining Reach
5.) Turtle-like speed (20 feet a move is already frustrating, lowering that to 15 is excruciating)

The Small sized melee build then, generally, suffers the Death of a Thousand Cuts. It's not any one big thing, and it isn't TERRIBLE, but all the tiny little things add up in the back of your head quite quickly until you start wondering why you're bothering. Because there are very few (if any) character concepts you can execute with a Halfling that you can't with a Human...so you're hindering yourself for basically no reason.


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Sundakan wrote:
Dinklage/Tyrion gets honorary Medium status for his oversized cojones.

Kinda a bummer that you'd need to remove his dwarfism to render him an equal, being honest.

Silver Crusade

My wife has a halfling barbarian in PFS. She solo'd a ghoul in her first adventure. When I helped her make the character I realised that I want a halfling too! So many cool abilities to choose from. I think I'm going to make a halfling inquisitor.

In D&D I ran a gnome Eldritch knight for several years, up to level 13. Played him through Expedition to Castle Ravenloft. Still one of my most memorable characters.


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Are we still talking about how halflings do in melee combat?

If we're talking socially, I'd need to a hell of a lot more money, fame, and talent to be Dinklage's equal.

If we're still talking about the topic at hand, I'm pretty sure most would agree that Tyrion isn't exactly a skilled fighter. A scrapper, yes, but hardly a swordsman.


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Sundakan wrote:

There's also a bit of an issue of "wasted stats". If you're building a Halfling Fighter to be, basically, the same as a Human Fighter, you're probably:

1.) Wearing Full Plate
2.) Dumping Charisma

So you have a race that gives you +2 Dexterity (absolutely worthless to you with a whopping +1 Dex limit) and +2 Charisma (a stat you care nothing about).

That ON TOP OF:

1.) A Str penalty (-1 damage) [Technically, really, -2 damage since you don't get a Str BONUS either. -3 because of 2-Handing)
2.) a CMD penalty
3.) Lower damage dice (depending on the weapon of choice, anywhere between 1-2 damage less on average, and a lower minimum damage as well in the case of the Greatsword)
4.) Difficulty of gaining Reach
5.) Turtle-like speed (20 feet a move is already frustrating, lowering that to 15 is excruciating)

The Small sized melee build then, generally, suffers the Death of a Thousand Cuts. It's not any one big thing, and it isn't TERRIBLE, but all the tiny little things add up in the back of your head quite quickly until you start wondering why you're bothering. Because there are very few (if any) character concepts you can execute with a Halfling that you can't with a Human...so you're hindering yourself for basically no reason.

That's part of the race. They have disadvantages. If I wanted to play a min-maxed fighter build then I wouldn't be choosing a Halfling. I'm playing the race and class because I want to make a character who has to overcome certain obstacles and learn to be more creative about how to achieve victory. He doesn't do things as well as other fighters but he has his own advantages. He doesn't move as quickly but its hard argue his proficiency at holding off a hoard of enemies in a narrow tunnel. He doesn't hit as hard but he has enough charisma to utilize some successful intimidate or diplomacy rolls to possibly shift the course of battle. I've never said a Halfling Fighter is as good as a human fighter in terms of a fighter, but they can easily keep up and at times outperform the classical builds because of their adaptability and unique ways of confronting certain situations.


Mechanically, small races in melee are quite sound. STR penalty to hit is compensated by the size bonus, and the loss of damage is minor. Small races have a huge advantage in being able to use Medium mounts.

Maybe they're not actually dirty min-maxers, but the idea of a Halfling using a "non-Roguish" melee fighting style just doesn't appeal to them thematically.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sundakan wrote:

If you're building a Halfling Fighter to be, basically, the same as a Human Fighter, you're probably:

1.) Wearing Full Plate

So you have a race that gives you +2 Dexterity (absolutely worthless to you with a whopping +1 Dex limit)

+1 Dex limit would impact a halfling fighter for probably a maximum of *one* level, 2nd. They can't afford it at first level (maybe not even 2nd), and by 3rd they have armor training. 15 Dex (costing only 3 points for those not rolling stats) would be a perfect spot for a halfling fighter. Also giving them prereqs for TWF if they choose to pick it up later (even if just for Shield slamming).

That double-stacks with the size bonus to AC. Halfling fighters may do two less damage per hit, but they get hit 10-50% less often (depending on if the opponent needs a 2 or a 17 to hit them).


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Anton Wine-Maul wrote:


That's part of the race. They have disadvantages. If I wanted to play a min-maxed fighter build then I wouldn't be choosing a Halfling.

I cannot possibly roll my eyes hard enough. The question you asked was "Why don't people like to play Small sized melee types?".

I pointed out several mechanical reasons, in addition to Small size almost never being a thematic necessity.

Nobody is asking you to min-max. Nobody is asking you to stop playing your Halfling. Nobody (or at least I didn't) is even saying it's a BAD CHOICE, just that it's sub-optimal enough in enough tiny ways to make it undesirable to anyone who doesn't want to do it for purely thematic reasons.

This ubiquitous hostile narrative of "Anyone who doesn't like doing the thing I like is a dirty min-maxing game ruiner" is tiresome and frankly stupid.

Take the answer given, or leave it. Arguing "But but but it has these OTHER mechanical advantages that are sometimes useful" is both needlessly argumentative, and reeeeeally hypocritical when you're looking down on people for NOT choosing one because of different mechanical advantages.

A lot of people aren't a fan of this race for this particular party role. Get over it.

Majuba wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

If you're building a Halfling Fighter to be, basically, the same as a Human Fighter, you're probably:

1.) Wearing Full Plate

So you have a race that gives you +2 Dexterity (absolutely worthless to you with a whopping +1 Dex limit)

+1 Dex limit would impact a halfling fighter for probably a maximum of *one* level, 2nd. They can't afford it at first level (maybe not even 2nd), and by 3rd they have armor training. 15 Dex (costing only 3 points for those not rolling stats) would be a perfect spot for a halfling fighter. Also giving them prereqs for TWF if they choose to pick it up later (even if just for Shield slamming).

That double-stacks with the size bonus to AC. Halfling fighters may do two less damage per hit, but they get hit 10-50% less often (depending on if the opponent needs a 2 or a 17 to hit them).

Fair point. I usually disregard Armor Training, since on the rare occasion I do play a Fighter, it' always one that trades in that ability (I really like Mutation Warriors and Sensates).

The rest isn't super relevant/contradictory to what I said. I was pointing out reasons why people might NOT want to play a Halfling Fighter, potential upsides are a different discussion.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sundakan wrote:
I cannot possibly roll my eyes hard enough. The question you asked was "Why don't people like to play Small sized melee types?"

See... he didn't. He asked why people put down the players/characters that play/are small-sized melee types.


Sundakan wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:


That's part of the race. They have disadvantages. If I wanted to play a min-maxed fighter build then I wouldn't be choosing a Halfling.

I cannot possibly roll my eyes hard enough. The question you asked was "Why don't people like to play Small sized melee types?".

I pointed out several mechanical reasons, in addition to Small size almost never being a thematic necessity.

Nobody is asking you to min-max. Nobody is asking you to stop playing your Halfling. Nobody (or at least I didn't) is even saying it's a BAD CHOICE, just that it's sub-optimal enough in enough tiny ways to make it undesirable to anyone who doesn't want to do it for purely thematic reasons.

This ubiquitous hostile narrative of "Anyone who doesn't like doing the thing I like is a dirty min-maxing game ruiner" is tiresome and frankly stupid.

Take the answer given, or leave it. Arguing "But but but it has these OTHER mechanical advantages that are sometimes useful" is both needlessly argumentative, and reeeeeally hypocritical when you're looking down on people for NOT choosing one because of different mechanical advantages.

A lot of people aren't a fan of this race for this particular party role. Get over it.

Majuba wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

If you're building a Halfling Fighter to be, basically, the same as a Human Fighter, you're probably:

1.) Wearing Full Plate

So you have a race that gives you +2 Dexterity (absolutely worthless to you with a whopping +1 Dex limit)

+1 Dex limit would impact a halfling fighter for probably a maximum of *one* level, 2nd. They can't afford it at first level (maybe not even 2nd), and by 3rd they have armor training. 15 Dex (costing only 3 points for those not rolling stats) would be a perfect spot for a halfling fighter. Also giving them prereqs for TWF if they choose to pick it up later (even if just for Shield slamming).

That double-stacks with the size bonus to AC. Halfling fighters may do two less damage per hit, but they

...

I don't have a problem with people not liking Halfings or not liking the mechanics behind utilizing small sized melee classes, I have a problem with people giving the eye rolling every time I show up with one and give shit about it with every round of combat. This is not restricted to a single group, it has happened constantly. This thread also wasn't about why people don't mechanically like small fighters it's why we get crap for it every time. It's not your character so quit being self righteous in your own way by looking down ours.


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Majuba wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
I cannot possibly roll my eyes hard enough. The question you asked was "Why don't people like to play Small sized melee types?"
See... he didn't. He asked why people put down the players/characters that play/are small-sized melee types.

That's one facet of a larger discussion, yes. That bit has the simpler answer, and it's broadly applicable.

Q: Why do people make fun of other people for their chosen playstyle?
A: Because people are a!#~#*%s.

You read between the lines at statements like this:

Quote:
why wouldn't a Halfling take up a longsword, throw on some chainmail, and try to become a knight or sellsword.
Quote:
taking something that shouldn't work and let it go. Was he dealing as much damage as a Human or if he would have chosen a ranged build? No, but this was far better in my mind.

And it's pretty clear that from the start this was a discussion of why Small races aren't popular to play as Fighters or other melee sorts. Which is, regardless, a more interesting discussion to have than "Why do people make fun of me for playing Small characters", which as we've established is "Because people are a##~#*#s".


Sundakan wrote:
Majuba wrote:
Sundakan wrote:
I cannot possibly roll my eyes hard enough. The question you asked was "Why don't people like to play Small sized melee types?"
See... he didn't. He asked why people put down the players/characters that play/are small-sized melee types.

That's one facet of a larger discussion, yes. That bit has the simpler answer, and it's broadly applicable.

Q: Why do people make fun of other people for their chosen playstyle?
A: Because people are a$@$*+$s.

You read between the lines at statements like this:

Quote:
why wouldn't a Halfling take up a longsword, throw on some chainmail, and try to become a knight or sellsword.
Quote:
taking something that shouldn't work and let it go. Was he dealing as much damage as a Human or if he would have chosen a ranged build? No, but this was far better in my mind.

And it's pretty clear that from the start this was a discussion of why Small races aren't popular to play as Fighters or other melee sorts. Which is, regardless, a more interesting discussion to have than "Why do people make fun of me for playing Small characters", which as we've established is "Because people are a%~#+@~s".

I wish you guys would quit using the same excuses. You list your math and when the aspect of character building instead of class building is brought up you just fallback on people as being a#*@@*#s. I want to know why be a#!&@$@s in the first place? Are they afraid of being shown up by someone who doesn't care about making the best build and proving number crunching is not the reason this game was made? Do you feel that if you have every statically advantage then it permits you to avoid playing smart and instead stride in without a care in the world and hack your way to a hollow 20th level? Choose to play that way but keep it to yourselves.


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"Roleplay vs Rollplay", thread's officially over.


Athaleon wrote:
"Roleplay vs Rollplay", thread's officially over.

For you


Anton Wine-Maul wrote:


I wish you guys would quit using the same excuses. You list your math and when the aspect of character building instead of class building is brought up you just fallback on people as being a~+#@++s. I want to know why be a@%*&~%s in the first place? Are they afraid of being shown up by someone who doesn't care about making the best build and proving number crunching is not the reason this game was made? Do you feel that if you have every statically advantage then it permits you to avoid playing smart and instead stride in without a care in the world and hack your way to a hollow 20th level? Choose to play that way but keep it to yourselves.

ME wrote:
This ubiquitous hostile narrative of "Anyone who doesn't like doing the thing I like is a dirty min-maxing game ruiner" is tiresome and frankly stupid.

*Beats head against wall*

At least it's less repetitive than hearing this same dreck over and over.


Sundakan wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:


I wish you guys would quit using the same excuses. You list your math and when the aspect of character building instead of class building is brought up you just fallback on people as being a~+#@++s. I want to know why be a@%*&~%s in the first place? Are they afraid of being shown up by someone who doesn't care about making the best build and proving number crunching is not the reason this game was made? Do you feel that if you have every statically advantage then it permits you to avoid playing smart and instead stride in without a care in the world and hack your way to a hollow 20th level? Choose to play that way but keep it to yourselves.

ME wrote:
This ubiquitous hostile narrative of "Anyone who doesn't like doing the thing I like is a dirty min-maxing game ruiner" is tiresome and frankly stupid.

*Beats head against wall*

At least it's less repetitive than hearing this same dreck over and over.

Then leave.


Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
"Roleplay vs Rollplay", thread's officially over.
For you

Bane?


Athaleon wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
"Roleplay vs Rollplay", thread's officially over.
For you
Bane?

You caught me!


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I thought this thread was supposed to be about the small characters you broke the mold with. Not an argument of why you should or shouldn't play small martial characters.


Artifix wrote:
I thought this thread was supposed to be about the small characters you broke the mold with. Not an argument of why you should or shouldn't play small martial characters.

I'd love to hear about those characters


My dex-to-damage Magus casts reduce person all the time. +2 to hit, damage is a wash, +2 AC. What's not to love?


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Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
"Roleplay vs Rollplay", thread's officially over.
For you
Bane?
You caught me!

Was getting caught part of your plan?

Spoiler:

The Big Guy presents himself as a Small Guy advocate... I'm on to you!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I've played small melee before and loved it. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something you want to do purely because it's not an "acceptable" use of that character/class/race. If you want to do it, and it's within the rules, then you play exactly what you want to play.
Big John Lonnigan
Xôc Xôc
The Herald of Death


Athaleon wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
"Roleplay vs Rollplay", thread's officially over.
For you
Bane?
You caught me!

Was getting caught part of your plan?

** spoiler omitted **

I rolled a 1


Played a gnome Paladin for a while.

The ability to ride medium mounts is quite a boon. Quite a few of them can fly.


Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
j b 200 wrote:

Because you have to be 1000% optimized to even bother showing up each week and that average dpr of 11 instead of 13 is a bridge too far.

Really, you expect me to roll a d6 for damage? I mean you already can't hit anything if your starting Str is below a 20 right?

I have never had any problems with damage output past level 3. My Gnome barbarian was actually the hardest hitting member in the group. But besides that, if your character is worth only what he can dish out damage wise then I feel it's not a very interesting character. A small fighter who is creative can easily beat out any number of "Kick Door Fight Orc" human or orc warriors.

Are you the guy that shows up to practically ever new game with a small race character?


jeremiah dodson 812 wrote:
Anton Wine-Maul wrote:
j b 200 wrote:

Because you have to be 1000% optimized to even bother showing up each week and that average dpr of 11 instead of 13 is a bridge too far.

Really, you expect me to roll a d6 for damage? I mean you already can't hit anything if your starting Str is below a 20 right?

I have never had any problems with damage output past level 3. My Gnome barbarian was actually the hardest hitting member in the group. But besides that, if your character is worth only what he can dish out damage wise then I feel it's not a very interesting character. A small fighter who is creative can easily beat out any number of "Kick Door Fight Orc" human or orc warriors.
Are you the guy that shows up to practically ever new game with a small race character?

Not every game. My current character is a Human Occultist. Halflings were just my main race for a long time.


Dave Justus wrote:

I think it is likely because a lot of people simply can't bring themselves to accept second best, even when the difference ends up being fairly negligible.

A str based halfling melee character is going to do 2 points (2 or 3 if using two-handed weapons) less damage than a human melee character built the same way. That isn't nothing, but it isn't a significant as people say.

Unless a bad guy winds up in the sweet spot where the extra damage would have mattered (ie 2 or 3 points multiplied by the number of hits you have done, in most cases somewhere between 2 and 9 points usually) then the extra damage doesn't matter at all. You don't get extra points for overkill, so if your hit leaves the for at -1 or -4 it really doesn't make any difference, it only matters when you just fail to bring them down. Even then, the extra damage doesn't matter sometimes, for example, if my halfling brings the last foe down to one hitpoint (ah, if I was only a human he would have been down) but the next player brings him down (without expending valuable resources) then my loss of damage still didn't matter.

So yes, there are certainly times when that difference matters. But it doesn't matter as often as might be expected. At the same time, the halfing built exactly like the fighter will have two better AC and one better on each save. It is quite possible that those two things will matter as much when it comes down to bringing
down a foe as the extra damage.

I think some of the issue comes from basic build mechanics, especially if you use a point buy character creation. You have to over pay for your main stats and get bonuses where they really don't help as much numerically. The BIGGEST reason I see for the small race melee hate is that Pathfinder so obviously is built towards and preferential of two handed STR builds, and small races taking a hit to STR AND a hit to damage dice is just one hit to many for ALOT of people and ALOT of builds.


Flavor over function. Always!

Play a concept, not a set of mechanics that pump out X damage/round. That's super lame, especially for the GM when you one-shot every enemy...and especially for the other players who rolled a lower initiative...and especially for yourself whom you're cheating out of any creative play.

Besides, in high levels it doesn't make that much difference anyway. Kinda the same way a d8 weapon is comparable to a 2d6 weapon once you add on 10 levels of feats and class abilities.

That being said, it doesn't get much more flavorful than the Feral Gnasher barbarian arch for Goblins: A wild, lockjaw, ankle-biting horror that latches on to you and then proceeds to beat you with a club (or whatever is laying around with Impromptu Armament/Catch Off-Guard). lol! I haven't had a chance to build and play one yet, but it's next on my list. Small races are awesome and can be terrifying martial characters!


Dave Justus wrote:

I think it is likely because a lot of people simply can't bring themselves to accept second best, even when the difference ends up being fairly negligible.

A str based halfling melee character is going to do 2 points (2 or 3 if using two-handed weapons) less damage than a human melee character built the same way. That isn't nothing, but it isn't a significant as people say.

Unless a bad guy winds up in the sweet spot where the extra damage would have mattered (ie 2 or 3 points multiplied by the number of hits you have done, in most cases somewhere between 2 and 9 points usually) then the extra damage doesn't matter at all. You don't get extra points for overkill, so if your hit leaves the for at -1 or -4 it really doesn't make any difference, it only matters when you just fail to bring them down. Even then, the extra damage doesn't matter sometimes, for example, if my halfling brings the last foe down to one hitpoint (ah, if I was only a human he would have been down) but the next player brings him down (without expending valuable resources) then my loss of damage still didn't matter.

So yes, there are certainly times when that difference matters. But it doesn't matter as often as might be expected. At the same time, the halfing built exactly like the fighter will have two better AC and one better on each save. It is quite possible that those two things will matter as much when it comes down to bringing
down a foe as the extra damage.
(QUOTE )
I think some of the issue comes from basic build mechanics, especially if you use a point buy character creation. You have to over pay for your main stats and get bonuses where they really don't help as much numerically. The BIGGEST reason I see for the small race melee hate is that Pathfinder so obviously is built towards and preferential of two handed STR builds, and small races taking a hit to STR AND a hit to damage dice is just one hit to many for ALOT of people and ALOT of builds.

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