Human Ethnicity Height and Weight Tables


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Has Paizo published an official table for Golarion's human ethnicities yet, and if so which book(s) contain it?


I don't believe so. Inner Sea Races does contain the occasional comment like "The average height for Garundi is several inches taller than the average for humans overall,..." but there aren't any tables.


Thanks, Gisher. I have the race books (ARG, ISR) as well as the ISWG. I know some of my players were disappointed that Inner Sear Races did not include such charts (since that book should have been the one that had such charts).

I was hoping Paizo might have made a web enhancement by now for ISR that included such charts.

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Amiros Valeri wrote:

Thanks, Gisher. I have the race books (ARG, ISR) as well as the ISWG. I know some of my players were disappointed that Inner Sear Races did not include such charts (since that book should have been the one that had such charts).

I was hoping Paizo might have made a web enhancement by now for ISR that included such charts.

We're usually not interested in any inherent stats for different human ethnicities that could affect gameplay. We do traits and other optional regional mechanics, but I wouldn't expect to see anything hard-coded into different ethnicities.


Yeah I could foresee that going very wrong if not handled exactly correct.

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Larkos wrote:
Yeah I could foresee that going very wrong if not handled exactly correct.

I'm not sure there is a good way to handle it. So, like gender, ethnicity is largely a flavor choice, not a mechanical one.

(And as far as I know, even most regional traits don't actually lock you into an ethnicity, only having been raised in that region or among that ethnicity.)


I wouldn't think that regional or ethnic height tables would be problematic ...

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Removed a baiting post. Snarky commentary about an individual/groups experience/sensitivity surrounding this topic doesn't add anything to the conversation.


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I would probably use the Kitsune stats for a human of Tian ancestry and for any other ethnicity described as short. For taller ethnicities, I would probably change the 2d10 roll to 2d8+4.

Of course, a player might have reasons other than ethnicity to make a character particularly tall or short. Since it makes little to no difference in playing terms where a character falls within the racial range of sizes, a player could either choose the character's height and weight or make up a roll whose results would fall within the normal range to provide some randomness while biasing the results as desired.

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The core rulebook gives the minimum and maximum heights a "standard" representation of a race can be. That does not mean you are limited to them.


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Jessica and Larkos> I am not referring to mechanical games rules that affect gameplay (the height and weight of a PC is trivial). I am referring to random height and weight tables that actually reflect the write-ups of the various human ethnicities in the Campaign Settings books. For example the height given in one of the ethnicities' write-ups is impossible to generate with the random height table from the core rulebook (Mwangi-Bekyar). I am not sure how the miscommunication happened. Playing Chelaxian's advocate: based on your stance there should not be any random height and weight tables for any of the races. The current (and only official) random height table for humans generates heights that are not average for about half of the ethnicities.

Charles> The core rulebook does not take into account the human ethnicities (since the Core rules are not campaign-world specific.

RDM42> I agree that they would not be problematic. If they were that means that any and all such tables (that do exist) are problematic (which they are not).

Chris> I have not checked since my last post so I did not see the baiting post. Thank you for removing it.

I have come up with a way to generate heights (that stay within the standard human range) so that the results weight the non-average height human ethnicities to become closer to the descriptions the ethnicities are given in the books. It is by using the roll-keep mechanic of L5R. For example if a GM wants to make it so that Ulfen males are at least 6 feet tall (which one sourcebook states they start at 6 feet) make the roll 3k2d10 (which makes 53% of Ulfen males be at least 6 feet tall). 4k2d10 would make 70% of Ulfen males be at least 6 feet tall. 5k2d10 would make 81% of them at least 6 feet tall. 6k2d10 would make 88% of them at least 6 feet tall.

Jessica> An official release of a proper human ethnicity height and weight table would be good to have. It would not be problematic as it has nothing to do with mechanical rules (such as traits, which your post suggests that is what you thought this thread was about). If you still believe that a such a table (just for human ethnicities' height and weight) would be problematic, could you kindly explain how the official existing height and weight tables for the other races are not problematic?

*scratches his head and wonders how a simple question got non-related aspects (traits/game mechanic rules) attached to it*

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Because non-humans don't exist in the real world. Our ethnicities skew close enough to real-world peoples that dictating appearance isn't something we're interested in doing.

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I've always found it a little interesting that a Shoanti woman (max height 6'1" by the table) can only barely qualify for the Bred For War race trait (which requires 6'+ height).

I wouldn't quibble over it, if not for the fact that Herolab gets snippy if you don't color within the lines.

That said, the policy itself is probably wise. ^_^


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How commonly used are the height / weight tables? I can't say as I've ever used them.


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Jessica> The appearances of Golarion human ethnicities have already been dictated by the descriptions that have been given in the Inner Sea World Guide, Inner Sea Races and Dragon Empires Gazetteer. If Paizo's stance had changed since printing the Inner Sea World Guide regarding feeling that they do not want to 'dictate' the appearances of human ethnicities any longer, then why did Inner Sea Races also include such appearance descriptions?

If you were not interested in doing something like that, than why do the ethnicity physical appearances write-ups include ones that specifically point out they are taller or shorter than average humans?

In short: there are already officially released books containing physical descriptions (including specific ethnicity height and weight differences compared to 'average humans' - which there is an official existing height/weight table for). So how is it that making a human ethnicity height and weight table that simply incorporates the already physical height/weight descriptions published in Pathfinder books be a 'bad thing' while the descriptions of the ethnicities in the book are not a 'bad thing'?

Another way to word it: Paizo has decided to give us a great detailed variety of human ethnicities for Golarion, which include descriptions of physical features and how they compare to each other regarding height and weight/build. How is having an offical height/weight table that actually reflects the different heights/weights of the Golarion human ethnicities that Paizo decided to create for the game a bad thing?

Simply put: it is silly to give physical descriptions that include the different average heights of the various human ethnicities then claim that it would be 'wrong' to create a height/weight table to reflect such differences that have already been described in the physical appearance write-ups.

There are disclaimers in the books. Dragon Empires Gazetteer states that the Tian Xia was inspired by various real-world Asian cultures/mythos but also states that Tian Xia is not Asia.

Your reply/stance contradicts with what has already been given to us (the ethnicity descriptions that dictate what each ethnicity looks like - including height differences between the ethnicities).

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Because vague descriptions aren't the same as hard-coding it.

You're not going to get a different answer from me.


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Kalindlara wrote:
I've always found it a little interesting that a Shoanti woman (max height 6'1" by the table) can only barely qualify for the Bred For War race trait (which requires 6'+ height).

I thought that height and weight were pure flavor (like gender). Having them pushed into mechanical territory just seems wrong.

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Khudzlin wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
I've always found it a little interesting that a Shoanti woman (max height 6'1" by the table) can only barely qualify for the Bred For War race trait (which requires 6'+ height).
I thought that height and weight were pure flavor (like gender). Having them pushed into mechanical territory just seems wrong.

Agreed, I always viewed them as averages anyway.


Amiros Valeri wrote:

There are disclaimers in the books. Dragon Empires Gazetteer states that the Tian Xia was inspired by various real-world Asian cultures/mythos but also states that Tian Xia is not Asia.

Which means that the natives of Tian Xia aren't required to be short. If they have a less grain-fed diet they can be considerably taller than their Asian inspirations. That's why the Romans who were grain-fed were towered over by the Germanic barbarians who ate a diet that Atkins would have approved of.


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Including descriptions of the average, minimum and maximum heights of the ethnicities (which are indeed given in the Inner Sea World Guide and Inner Sea Races) is most definitely not 'vague descriptions' regarding their heights. The weight differences can easily be considered vague descriptions, so a Golarion human ethnicity height table need not include the weight aspect. Please provide some clarification to the questions below (which are from the definitely not vague descriptions of Golarion human ethnicities). By doing so you will be providing GMs and players who prefer to have a random height table that better results in averages that make sense for the definitely (not vague) height parameters that have been officially published.

Vague descriptions is not accurate regarding the average height descriptions that are given in the ethnicity physical write-ups.

As determined from the random height and weight table from the core rulebook: The average human male is 5'9" and 175 pounds. The average human female is 5'4" and 140 pounds.

Garundi:
ISWG: "Typical Garundi are rather tall and solidly built."
ISR: "The average height for Garundi is several inches taller than the average human overall"

The above two officially given descriptions tells us that the average Garundi is definitely taller than the 'average' human (as determined by the core rulebook). Can you at least clarify how many inches are meant by the ISR description of 'several inches taller' - or the range that you consider several? What is the minimum height that you consider 'rather tall'?

Mwangi-Bekyar:
ISWG: "The Bekyar are exceedingly tall - many topping 7 feeting tall"
ISR: "Most of the isolationist Bekyars stand a head taller than other Mwangi and have muscular builds."

By the phrase 'topping' do you mean that 7 feet is the maximum height or that is the minimum height of the many that top 7 feet? If you mean that 7 feet is the maximum height then what is the minimum height that you consider is 'exceedingly tall'? 7 feet tall is not a viable height generated by the table in the Core rulebook. Bekyar as a whole are 'exceedingly tall' - meaning the standard human height range table would be greatly in accurate to use to generate a random height for them. That is the purpose the random height table - for GMs and players (who choose to do so) to be able to roll randomly to determine the height of a PC/NPC.

Mwangi-Mauxi:
ISWG: "These tall, patrician folk"

We now have three different ranges of tall from only Garundi, Bekyar and Mauxi. What is the different height ranges for "tall", "rather tall" and "exceedingly tall". They are obvious different (hence we know compared to average humans we know the average heights in ascending order are standard (core rulebook) human, Mauxi, Garundi, Bekyar.

Mwangi-Zenj:
ISWG: "The Zenj are slightly shorter than average humans, with slender, muscular builds with wiry black hair."
ISR: "The Zeng people of the continental interior and southern savannas are both the most numerous and the most varied in their coiffure and attire; they're the shortest of the Mwangi people and tend toward compact, athletic builds."

So we know from the descriptions for the Mwangi ethnicities that the height average for each is different: in ascending order: Zenj, Bonuwat (which would be standard core rulebook human average), Mauxi, Bekyar.

Shoanti:
ISR: "Shoanti are powerfully built, and often stand more than 6 feet tall as adults."

This one is easy enough to figure out as 6' is not more than 6' and often can easily be viewed as not quite the majority. The word often used as a parameter also tells us 40 to 50% (as that is the definition of often in the 3.5 D&D Monster Manual - as Pathfinder used the 3.5 rules set as the base rules set).

Tians:
Not touching on the weight/build differences, there are only two relevant officially given descriptions regarding Tian heights.

ISWG: "Tians tend to be smaller and slighter than people of Avistan and Garund. Men only infrequently grow as tall as 5 1/2 feet, while women often barely break 5 feet in height."
Dragon Empires Gazetteer: "As with their neighbors, the Tian-Dans and Tian-Dtangs, the Tian-Hwans tend to have thin builds and tan skin - of the three, they also tend to be the shortest."

So the definitely not vague description of Tian tells us the following: males reach 5'6" only infrequently (infrequently is less than often).
Is what was meant that the males only reach a maximum height of 5'6" or a height of 5'6" or taller.
For the females what do you consider barely breaking 5 feet? 1 inch? 2? 3? less than 4? less than 3?

Ulfen:
ISWG: "Most Ulfen are quite tall, with men starting at 6 feet and the women just a few inches shorter."
ISR: "Men and women alike often exceed 6 feet in height."

What do you mean by quite tall. Is 'quite tall' the same height as 'rather tall' (Garundi) or is one taller than the other - and if so which do you consider the taller of the 'quite tall' and 'rather tall'?

Regarding the ISWG description: all male Ulfen start at 6' or that most male Ulfen start at 6 feet? What do you consider a few inches (or which range do you consider a few inches)?

Regarding the ISR description: standard female humans (from the core rulebook) have a maximum height of 6'1". - often (40 to 50%). So based on the description and the standard height range for female humans - about half of Ulfen females are exactly 6'1" with the remaining half being within a range that is either A) only a few inches shorter than 6 feet or B) the rest of the standard range for female humans (4'7" to 6'0").

The average height of the Golarion human ethnicities has already been hard-coded from the physical descriptions that have been officially published in the Inner Sea World Guide, Inner Sea Races and (to a lesser extent) Dragon Empires Gazetteer.

A suggestion for future books if you want to not 'hard-code' average racial/ethnicity heights: Use descriptors such as 'some' or 'many' instead of words like 'average', 'most', 'often' (as these three words 'hard-code').

According the core rulebook, a player (RAW) does not even get to choose the height and weight of their character but is instructed to determine their character's height and weight by using the Random Height and Weight Table. This means by using the standard (and only officially existing) table that many results do not properly align up with about half of the Golarion human ethnicities. Hence the request that an official random height table for the various Golarion human ethnicities is a very reasonable (and logical) request.

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They AREN"T hard coded.

"Often"

"Average"

"Typical"

Just like in real life where every ethnicity has variances the same is true in Pathfinder, you're not going to get any exact measurements on differing ethnicities any more than you're going to get which one usually has a +2 to Strength and which one has a +2 to Intelligence.

Drop it.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Amiros Valeri wrote:

There are disclaimers in the books. Dragon Empires Gazetteer states that the Tian Xia was inspired by various real-world Asian cultures/mythos but also states that Tian Xia is not Asia.

Which means that the natives of Tian Xia aren't required to be short. If they have a less grain-fed diet they can be considerably taller than their Asian inspirations. That's why the Romans who were grain-fed were towered over by the Germanic barbarians who ate a diet that Atkins would have approved of.

You seem to be missing the point. We have been given official physical descriptions regarding the Golarion ethnicities - which about half of them includes descriptions that gives us facts regarding their average height not being the same as the default human average. You are basing your envisioning of Tians without taking into account what has been officially printed about their appearance. What requires the majority of Tians to be short is THE official given physical descriptions of Tians from the Inner Sea World Guide. It is kind of pointless to include such descriptions (which serve the purpose of us - the players - to better envision the world of Golarion) if then we are informed that such non-vague descriptions are 'vague'.

I am referring to tables that actually take into account what Paizo has decided the Golarion human ethnicities look like - which includes significant differences in the average height for about half the ethnicities compared to the average height for the remaining human ethnicities (which by default fall into range provided by the random height/weight table from the core rulebook).

Specifically regarding the Tians - from the officially published books:

"Tians tend to be smaller and slighter than people of Avistan and Garund. Men only infrequently grow as tall as 5 1/2 feet, while women often barely break 5 feet in height."

By the officially give physical descriptions the majority of Tians are indeed shorter than the other Golarion human ethnicities (with the Mwangi-Zenj being an exception).

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"Tend to"

Again, that's the thing about averages. They're averages.


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I'm with Rysky - Hard-coded would be a table.

As it's written now, you have ethnic tendencies, but no-one is required to follow them. Want to play a short Ulfen? Go for it. A tall Tien? Sure. But the lack of actual rules means that while the ethnic descriptions describe the ethnic averages, they do not describe a mechanical restriction upon "your PC".

So play a tall Tien who everyone at home thought was magical. Play a short Beykar known affectionately to his family and friends as "Runt", even though he's 6' 8".


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Rysky wrote:
you're not going to get any exact measurements on differing ethnicities any more than you're going to get which one usually has a +2 to Strength and which one has a +2 to Intelligence.

That's a false equivalency. Ability modifiers are mechanical, but height and weight are pure flavor (or should be), and you agreed on that earlier.


Khudzlin wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
I've always found it a little interesting that a Shoanti woman (max height 6'1" by the table) can only barely qualify for the Bred For War race trait (which requires 6'+ height).
I thought that height and weight were pure flavor (like gender). Having them pushed into mechanical territory just seems wrong.

Height of an individual is not mechanical territory. If it was they were not have random height and weight tables for the different races (including humans). Remember that just like the standard (core rulebook) random heights/weight table - such a table need not be used if the GM/group/player does not want to. It would provide a resource (like the existing core rulebook table is) that actually takes into account the different human ethnicity height averages.

It is flavor. But since the Golarion human ethnicities' physical descriptions include specific (non-vague) details about the average height for some of the ethnicities, than it would make sense to have a random height weight table that incorporates them into it.

By taking the stance that having such a thing is mechanical than it is also taking the stance that there is a mechanical difference between male humans and female humans in the game (since females are 5 inches shorter and 35 pounds lighter). Height is flavor, just like gender. There should not be an issue with this. If there is then there should not been differences in average/minimum/maximum heights of the various Golarion human ethnicities - of which there definitely are (Garundi, Mwangi, Shoanti, Tians and Ulfens.

With what has been officially printed about the different heights of the Golarion human ethnicities, the following lists them in descending height order.

Taller than average human ethnicities:

Mwangi-Bekyar (exceedingly tall, many topping 7 feet)
Ulfen (most are quite tall, with men starting at 6 feet and the women just a few inches shorter)
Garundi (are rather tall and solidly built)
Shoanti (are powerfully built and often stand more than 6 feet as adults)
Mwangi-Mauxi (these tall, patrician folk)

Average height human ethnicities:

Chelaxian, Keleshite, Kellid, Mwangi-Bonuwat, Taldan, Varisian, Vudrani

Shorter than average human ethnicities:

Tian (Tians tend to be smaller and slighter than people of Avistan and Garund)
Mwangi-Zeng (The Zenj are slightly shorter than average humans).


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Well now we're going around in circles.

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Khudzlin wrote:
Rysky wrote:
you're not going to get any exact measurements on differing ethnicities any more than you're going to get which one usually has a +2 to Strength and which one has a +2 to Intelligence.
That's a false equivalency. Ability modifiers are mechanical, but height and weight are pure flavor (or should be), and you agreed on that earlier.

Yes, I do view them as flavor, but getting exacts for every ethnicity would be pushing them into mechanical territory, which leads to the other ugly situation.


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Chemlak wrote:

I'm with Rysky - Hard-coded would be a table.

As it's written now, you have ethnic tendencies, but no-one is required to follow them. Want to play a short Ulfen? Go for it. A tall Tien? Sure. But the lack of actual rules means that while the ethnic descriptions describe the ethnic averages, they do not describe a mechanical restriction upon "your PC".

So play a tall Tien who everyone at home thought was magical. Play a short Beykar known affectionately to his family and friends as "Runt", even though he's 6' 8".

The racial height/weight tables are already guidelines rather than strict rules, because height/weight is flavor, not mechanical (the Bred for War trait notwithstanding). Having tables you could refer to for random generation wouldn't prevent you from playing a tall Tian or short Bekyar, but it would give you a clearer reference point.


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Rysky wrote:
but getting exacts for every ethnicity would be pushing them into mechanical territory, which leads to the other ugly situation.

How would it push it into mechanical territory, when height and weight have negligible* impact on the game?

*Weight might come into play when dragging or carrying another creature, but ethnic differences aren't likely to change much about who can drag or carry whom.

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Khudzlin wrote:
Rysky wrote:
but getting exacts for every ethnicity would be pushing them into mechanical territory, which leads to the other ugly situation.

How would it push it into mechanical territory, when height and weight have negligible* impact on the game?

*Weight might come into play when dragging or carrying another creature, but ethnic differences aren't likely to change much about who can drag or carry whom.

Sit down and think on the ramifications of "okay, this ethnicity is the lightest, while this one is the tallest."


Chemlak wrote:

I'm with Rysky - Hard-coded would be a table.

As it's written now, you have ethnic tendencies, but no-one is required to follow them. Want to play a short Ulfen? Go for it. A tall Tien? Sure. But the lack of actual rules means that while the ethnic descriptions describe the ethnic averages, they do not describe a mechanical restriction upon "your PC".

So play a tall Tien who everyone at home thought was magical. Play a short Beykar known affectionately to his family and friends as "Runt", even though he's 6' 8".

Core rulebook, page 170: table 7-3: Random height and weight table.

The core rulebook states you are wrong about hard-coded table not existing.

Core rulebook, page 169, third paragraph, "To determine a character's height, roll the modifier dice on Table 7-3 and add the result, in inches, to the base height for your character's race and gender.

As for the people who are currently under the false assumption that the height/weight of a character does not have a mechanical aspect to it.

Example of how it is hard-coded (which by the way I STRESS is NOT the point of the reasonable request for a random height table to incorporate the averages of the ethnicities who have DIFFERENT average heights than the 'average human").

Player 1 is playing a 6'10" half orc that weighs 318 pounds and is wearing full plate (50 pounds). Player 2 is playing a Halfling with a Strength score of 5. The halfling's drag limit capacity is 187.5 pounds. The half-orc gets dropped (from ranged attacks). The half-orc and Halfling are 20 feet from a door that they can close and have total cover and concealment. The Halfling goes to drag the his half-orc ally into the building but cannot get him to safety because he is simply too heavy for the Halfling to drag. That is a mechanical effect based on what some incorrectly assume is 'flavor text'.

Your examples of a short Ulfen and a tall Tien is why I decided to go with a weighted system that still makes any ethnicity capable of generating a height that is within the standard height range from the table from the core rulebook. My table adjustments weights it so the average result gives an average result for each specific ethnicity. The only aspect it does not incorporate is the 'hard-code' that has been giving to us in the physical descriptions of the human ethnicities that are not within the possible range of the core rulebook table. It is impossible to generate a typical (average) Bekyar with the table (though I incorporated a mechanic to allow heights that are not normally viable in the standard table - which requires either two 1's on the 2d10 roll (for the ethnicities that the descriptions state are shorter than average humans) or two 10's on the 2d10 roll (for the ethnicities that descriptions are taller than average humans). It also removes the 'hard-coded' max height for Tians that their ethnicity physical description write-up gives them.

An official table would be nice to have though. For those who do not want to use it - simply do not use it. Just like some players already decide not to use the table from the core rulebook. That does not mean that the table is not hard-coded (which by the official rules it is - there is no mention regarding a player having the option to choose the PC's height (like there is regarding age of the PC).


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I agree that it's a pain to have to adjust the height table on our own, without an official standard to create consistency between tables. And that we need to to implement the wonderful flavor of Golarion. But I think it's going to be easier to slide the base up and down than to try to settle on fancy die rolls. So, for one example:

"Tians tend to be smaller and slighter than people of Avistan and Garund. Men only infrequently grow as tall as 5 1/2 feet, while women often barely break 5 feet in height." If you subtract 9" from the base provided of 4' 10" for human men & 4' 5" for human women, and then add the standard 2d10 inches, you get a range of 4' 3" to 5' 9" for Tian men, and 3' 10" to 5' 4" for Tian women. Tian men would average 5' & Tian women 4' 7".

(If we're basing our "smaller and slighter" on RL, I can tell you that I've seen a picture of two Asian-Indian women coming up only to the shoulders of a blonde, Scandinavian-American friend studying abroad. It didn't look extraordinary, until I did a double-take and remembered: my friend was only 5 feet tall!)

OTOH, the average for the ranges I came up with is barely at the "human minimum." If you're playing PFS & rolled below average, you may have to round up to the minimum allowed for. (I don't know.) If you're in a home game -- all the more so if you're GMing & coming up w/ NPCs -- you don't need Paizo's permission to create "deviant" heights.

And it's clear that we're not going to get it.


Khudzlin wrote:
Chemlak wrote:

I'm with Rysky - Hard-coded would be a table.

As it's written now, you have ethnic tendencies, but no-one is required to follow them. Want to play a short Ulfen? Go for it. A tall Tien? Sure. But the lack of actual rules means that while the ethnic descriptions describe the ethnic averages, they do not describe a mechanical restriction upon "your PC".

So play a tall Tien who everyone at home thought was magical. Play a short Beykar known affectionately to his family and friends as "Runt", even though he's 6' 8".

The racial height/weight tables are already guidelines rather than strict rules, because height/weight is flavor, not mechanical (the Bred for War trait notwithstanding). Having tables you could refer to for random generation wouldn't prevent you from playing a tall Tian or short Bekyar, but it would give you a clearer reference point.

Thank you, Khudzlin. That is why a request for such a table is not unreasonable (and why some players were expectantly disappointed when the book that detailed the human ethnicities in greater detail lacked such a table).


Rysky wrote:
Sit down and think on the ramifications of "okay, this ethnicity is the lightest, while this one is the tallest."

Actually, they already said that, though vaguely, as Amiros pointed out. Also, we already have that kind of data to compares races (PF sense), like Elves are taller and lighter than half-elves, who are taller and lighter than humans; half-orcs range between then in height, but are heavier than humans; etc.

Remember that we're talking about fictional ethnicities in a fictional world, and consider that racist a&+%%+#s already made parallels between real-world "races" (don't get me started on how f%%#ed up and meaningless that word is) and fictional races decades ago.


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... so now it's some sort of 'ism' to aknowledge that some groups tend to be taller or shorter than others within certain statistical ranges?


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An official answer (or as close as it's going to get) was given:

Jessica Price wrote:
We're usually not interested in any inherent stats for different human ethnicities that could affect gameplay. We do traits and other optional regional mechanics, but I wouldn't expect to see anything hard-coded into different ethnicities.

Insisting that we need a variant table with height/weight for the various human ethnic group is not going to change that. And then, what's next? A similar table for the various elves subspecies? Another one for the various half-elves subspecies (and would it be dependant on their elves, human or both parantage)?

It's taking it to the extreme, I admit, but that could really start getting down the rabbit hole.

The simplest solution is for you, the OP, to make your own tables to use for those variants. I've done similar thing in the past with variant Age tables for demihumans.


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It seems the 'no, there should not be such a table' side is by two different types of people opposed to such a thing.

The first ones are the ones who incorrectly think such a thing would be a 'mechanical rules set'. Again refer to table 7-3 in the core rulebook. That is as much a 'mechanical rules set' as a table that incorporates the various Golarion human ethnicities would be. If you treat table 7-3 as optional, then do the same should such a table be officially given to us. That problem is SOLVED.

The other seems to be from people who are thinking doing such a thing would offend members of our real-world ethnicities. Doing such a thing would not do it any more than the physical descriptions you have come up and published for them. If that has been an issue in the past then why would the books that came later (like Inner Sea Races) still include descriptions that could be viewed as offending members of real-world ethnicities. We players, know that Golarion used some real-world stuff as inspiration. We also know that Golarion is NOT Earth. We also know that the human ethnicities of Golarion are NOT the ethnicities of Earth (even if real-world ethnicities and cultures might have been part of the inspiration for them). As latter books, like Inner Sea Races, continue to include physical descriptions that deviate from average humans (core rulebook) it can be deduced that Paizo does not think that it is an issue to do so. Logical Deduction: they should not think having such a table to incorporate their FAKE (aka not real-world) human ethnicities is an issue. Problem solved.

Then there are the Pathfinder players who desire a table that much better reflects and incorporates the differences between the various human ethnicities of Golarion. Without such an official table given to us the problem is NOT SOLVED.

Why is it 'okay' to tell us specific Golarion human ethnicities are (on average) taller or shorter than humans of other ethnicities, but than take a stance that it is 'not okay' to make a table that does? This question is the crux of the whole discussion. The two stances are contradictory and a person should not have both stances.

Scarab Sages

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Hey Chris, I think it is time to close this thread.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Amiros Valeri wrote:
The two stances are contradictory and a person should not have both stances.

People can take contradictory stances. There is nothing to stop them from doing that.

Your rule that they "should not" do something doesn't apply to the rest of us. Many of us are perfectly capable of holding two contradictory opinions, and don't have a problem when other people do.

The word "should" is frequently a flag that points out that the rest of the sentence is fantasy, and not how the real world works.


Rysky wrote:
Khudzlin wrote:
Rysky wrote:
but getting exacts for every ethnicity would be pushing them into mechanical territory, which leads to the other ugly situation.

How would it push it into mechanical territory, when height and weight have negligible* impact on the game?

*Weight might come into play when dragging or carrying another creature, but ethnic differences aren't likely to change much about who can drag or carry whom.

Sit down and think on the ramifications of "okay, this ethnicity is the lightest, while this one is the tallest."

What have the ramifications been for Paizo saying "okay, this race is the longest-lived and among the smartest, while this one is among the shortest and weakest."

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Khudzlin wrote:
Rysky wrote:
but getting exacts for every ethnicity would be pushing them into mechanical territory, which leads to the other ugly situation.

How would it push it into mechanical territory, when height and weight have negligible* impact on the game?

*Weight might come into play when dragging or carrying another creature, but ethnic differences aren't likely to change much about who can drag or carry whom.

Sit down and think on the ramifications of "okay, this ethnicity is the lightest, while this one is the tallest."
What have the ramifications been for Paizo saying "okay, this race is the longest-lived and among the smartest, while this one is among the shortest and weakest."

In gaming terms those are races, but in real life those would be different species, not different races.


CrystalSeas wrote:
Amiros Valeri wrote:
The two stances are contradictory and a person should not have both stances.

People can take contradictory stances. There is nothing to stop them from doing that.

Your rule that they "should not" do something doesn't apply to the rest of us. Many of us are perfectly capable of holding two contradictory opinions, and don't have a problem when other people do.

The word "should" is frequently a flag that points out that the rest of the sentence is fantasy, and not how the real world works.

Opinions and stances are not automatically the same thing.

While someone is capable of appreciating two opposing stances, the person can only act on one of them at a given time.

An example: Voting Day. You cannot take an effective stance (aside abstaining) of 'all candidates should get my vote' that has any actual effect. You can only choose one to support (by the singular vote you are allowed).

Back to the subject matter: a person has three choices: abstain from 'casting an effective vote', want an official ethnicity height table or does not want an official ethnicity height table.

Your example of the word 'should' is inaccurate. Scientists use the word 'should' because if what should have happened did not happen, there must be another variable they have to identify that affected the normal results. Quality control in food processing factories are a real-world example of this in practice.

By the way, is not 'my rule'.


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Amiros Valeri wrote:
The other seems to be from people who are thinking doing such a thing would offend members of our real-world ethnicities. Doing such a thing would not do it any more than the physical descriptions you have come up and published for them. If that has been an issue in the past then why would the books that came later (like Inner Sea Races) still include descriptions that could be viewed as offending members of real-world ethnicities. We players, know that Golarion used some real-world stuff as inspiration. We also know that Golarion is NOT Earth. We also know that the human ethnicities of Golarion are NOT the ethnicities of Earth (even if real-world ethnicities might have been part of the inspiration for them). As latter books, like Inner Sea Races, continue to include physical descriptions that deviate from average humans (core rulebook) it can be deduced that Paizo does not think that it is an issue to do so. Logical Deduction: they should not think having such a table to incorporate their FAKE (aka not real-world) human ethnicities is an issue. Problem solved.

So players shouldn't get offended simply because it's just a game and not really equivalent to real-world ethnicities?

That sounds like mighty fine privilege talk there.

Folks of various ethnicities like getting some representation in the Golarion universe, I know I do. Sure it's an in-game ethnicity, but I get to play a character of ethnic background that resembles what I get to envision is a heroic character that goes on adventures, instead of what others have defined as an acceptable list of appearances. (I'm not even gonna get started on Lord of the Ring or some sword and sorcery vision of minority ethnic backgrounds)

What I don't need is a table telling me of what upper limit or lower limit my human race character should have on height/weight when compared to a different ethnicity. I'm gonna decide that for myself and I'd find any such table distasteful. It's one thing for different fantasy races having age and height/weight charts, one gets to see how the races compare to humans which is useful for those who've never been exposed to such race examples in other media.

The "if such a table exists, one can ignore it like the current CRB Table 7-3" is BS as that table is still referred to when overgeneralized assumptions are made such as that the tallest dwarves are always gonna be shorter than the shortest humans of comparative genders.
You want a table, keep using Table 7-3 then and just increase or decrease if you find the numbers not to your liking of fitting in with the taller or shorter description. The numbers are a range for the Human race, the ethnicity descriptions are for those wanting to adjust accordingly from that table.


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But .. there are humans both taller and shorter than that table, doesn't that mean that table is some sort of 'ist'? And he modifiers of for aging. isn't that's ageist? Not all old people are weaker and not all young people are less wise.


Protoman wrote:

Folks of various ethnicities like getting some representation in the Golarion universe, I know I do. Sure it's an in-game ethnicity, but I get to play a character of ethnic background that resembles what I get to envision is a heroic character that goes on adventures, instead of what others have defined as an acceptable list of appearances.

What I don't need is a table telling me of what upper limit or lower limit my human race character should have on height/weight when compared to a different ethnicity. I'm gonna decide that for myself and I'd find any such table distasteful. It's one thing for different fantasy races...

To clarify I am not asking for a table that gives different minimum and maximum heights than the ones from Table 7-3 (with the exemption of Bekyar who are given a height that is not within that range). I am referring that a table that weights the random roll to make it so the average result falls in the height (height range) that the various physical descriptions of the Golarion human ethnicities give us about them.

You state that you find any such table distasteful (because it would limit what the minimum, maximum and average heights for the ethnicity is). Yet, the physical descriptions of the ethnicities that already officially exist dictate some aspects of their height compared to the rest of Golarion humanity. Based on your comment some people might find those write-ups distasteful. If that is the case, then I will agree that having an official table might not be a good thing overall. It also brings up one of the things I pointed out earlier, that if that is the case why have latter published Pathfinder books continued to include those aspects in the physical descriptions. The reason for those descriptions is so we can better envision the world of Golarion - not to offend anyone in the real world.

By the write-ups of Tians the tallest a male can attain is 5'6". That has the same potential of offending someone as a table that generates a range for Tien males that makes 5'6" the highest they can roll.

The way I personally prefer is a weighted table that allows any ethnicity to generate a height that is the same for all ethnicities but makes it so the average height rolled for each ethnicity falls within (and lines up with) the physical descriptions that have been given to us for each of the ethnicities.

For players who would like a table that incorporates the physical descriptions from the ethnicity write-ups, below is an example of how to use Table 7-3 to do so.

For example, using Table 7-3 makes 28% of human males 6' or taller.

If you roll 3d10 and keep the highest, that would make 53% of human males 6' or taller. roll 4, keep 2 would make 70% of males at least 6' tall. It does not prevent the possibility of rolling the minimum height for an Ulfen character, but does weight the random roll to better line up with the height for Ulfen humans.

Want to also simulate the exceedingly tall Bekyars? If you are rolling more than 2d10, you may add (for ethnicities that have taller average heights) or subtract (for ethnicities that have shorter average heights) 1 of the dice dropped to the height generated. This means the standard average ethnicities (Chelaxian, Keleshite, Kellid, Bonuwat, Taldan, Varisian, Vudrani) would fall within the normal ranges for Table 7-3, and make it so the ethnicities that have taller average heights can generate a height score of up to 7'4" (for males) and 6'11" (for females), and also make it that the shortest heights generated for the shorter on average ethnicities can be as short as 4'2" (for males) and 3'9" (for females).


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Rysky wrote:

They AREN"T hard coded.

"Often"

"Average"

"Typical"

Just like in real life where every ethnicity has variances the same is true in Pathfinder, you're not going to get any exact measurements on differing ethnicities any more than you're going to get which one usually has a +2 to Strength and which one has a +2 to Intelligence.

Drop it.

Commanding someone to do something is not good etiquette. Some could view that as a form of harassing (as you are attempting to get someone to do something simply by 'demanding' they do so). You have no authority over me, just as I do not have any over you.

I asked a question, then presented my side of the debate and nearly everyone that posted did so in a respectable way, regardless of which side they favor.

Thank you to everyone who did contribute to the topic in a respectful way.

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