Enlarge Person and the Shrinking Item Problem


Rules Questions


I want to know when and how equipment worn or carried by an enlarge person'd creature changes size. Here's the relevant line from enlarge person:

All equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly enlarged by the spell... Any enlarged item that leaves an enlarged creature’s possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size.

Does this resizing effect continue for the duration of the spell, or does it only affect items being worn or carried at the time of casting? Either answer yields an unsatisfying result:

1. Items only resize at the time of casting. If you've been enlarged to large size, get disarmed, and then pick up your now medium sized weapon, it remains the wrong size for you.

2. Items continue to resize for the duration of the spell. This means that, if you've been enlarged to medium size, you still can't borrow your medium sized buddy's polearm since the two-handed weapon goes up to large size as soon as you grab it.

I think that 1 makes more intuitive sense, but I tend to favor 2 based on the reasoning in the "all items wielded by the character are enlarged, regardless of when they're picked up" reasoning in this thread:

https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/36741/reduce-enlarge-persons-equipm ent-acquired-while-enlarged

I was hoping for a few additional opinions and analysis though. Any thoughts?


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Alice casts the spell on Bob. Bob is enlarged. All of Bob's stuff is enlarged. If Bob drops his stuff, that stuff is no longer enlarged. If Bob picks up stuff, that stuff does not get enlarged. That way lies madness.

Yes, getting disarmed stinks, but it doesn't usually come up very often, especially since larger creatures tend to be more difficult to disarm.

Sczarni

blahpers wrote:
Alice casts the spell on Bob. Bob is enlarged. All of Bob's stuff is enlarged. If Bob drops his stuff, that stuff is no longer enlarged. If Bob picks up stuff, that stuff does not get enlarged.

^ this.


blahpers wrote:
Alice casts the spell on Bob. Bob is enlarged. All of Bob's stuff is enlarged. If Bob drops his stuff, that stuff is no longer enlarged. If Bob picks up stuff, that stuff does not get enlarged.

Do you have a rules justification for this interpretation? I can't shake the logic of ongoing duration > ongoing effect > all equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly enlarged by the spell.

The real bugger of the "items only resize at the time of casting" interpretation is that permanency + enlarge person has a hidden cost of "you must now purchase new weapons and armor."

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The only rules justification you need is that spells do what they say they do. It tells you that when it's cast, they grow. When dropped, they shrink. For them to grow again, the spell would have to say they do.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
The only rules justification you need is that spells do what they say they do.

That's my point. I'm suggesting that the spell is telling you that the objects grow when they come into your possession and shrink when they leave. "All equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly enlarged by the spell." Since there's a timed duration instead of instantaneous, I believe that effect is ongoing.


Ugh. Threads like this remind me why English sucks.

Enlarge Person wrote:

This spell causes instant growth of a humanoid creature, doubling its height and multiplying its weight by 8. This increase changes the creature’s size category to the next larger one.

...

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: Medium/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.

The creature grows instantly at the start of the spell, as does its equipment. The increased size lasts until (a) the spell runs out or (b) the item leaves the player's possession.

I can see how one might look at "worn or carried" as actions rather than properties and that might lead one to think that the creature is some kind of creature-shaped enlargement field, but that's a fault of the English language--pretty much half the threads here come from similar faults. It's not a common interpretation, though--you're the first person I've met to read it that way. It would cause a lot of problems, though, such as enlarging someone to wield a giant's weapon only to have the weapon size up to match, or to lift a portcullis only for the portcullis (the entire castle?) to enlarge as well.

(edited because I think in stages sometimes)


blahpers wrote:

Ugh. Threads like this remind me why English sucks.

Enlarge Person wrote:

This spell causes instant growth of a humanoid creature, doubling its height and multiplying its weight by 8. This increase changes the creature’s size category to the next larger one.

...

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: Medium/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.

The creature grows instantly at the start of the spell, as does its equipment. The increased size lasts until (a) the spell runs out or (b) the item leaves the player's possession.

I can see how one might look at "worn or carried" as actions rather than properties and that might lead one to think that the creature is some kind of creature-shaped enlargement field, but that's a fault of the English language--pretty much half the threads here come from similar faults. It's not a common interpretation, though--you're the first person I've met to read it that way. It would cause a lot of problems, though, such as enlarging someone to wield a giant's weapon only to have the weapon size up to match, or to lift a portcullis only for the portcullis (the entire castle?) to enlarge as well.

(edited because I think in stages sometimes)

Are you a Paizo employee? I see you on here all the time, and your answers are always well-considered.

Anywho, my reading of this spell is certainly in the minority. It's less intuitive, but does seem to be what the language is saying. That said, I think that the initial "this spell causes instant growth of a humanoid creature" is the best rules justification I've seen for your reading. The word "instant" at least implies that it's a one-time effect, even if the spell's duration says otherwise.

While I don't think that the "creature-shaped enlargement field" is an insurmountable a problem (it's tough to argue that a portcullis counts as equipment), the image of crockery and bedrolls constantly growing and shrinking is pretty weird.

What ultimately sways my opinion in the direction of your interpretation is a throw-away line in Meet the Villains Antipaladin, 4th paragraph:

http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5linl?Meet-the-VillainsUrgraz

"Urgraz acquired an oversized crossbow from an especially well-equipped cave giant that he could only fire by putting it down and then using his innate enlarge person ability."

That's fluff rather than crunch, but it means that somebody at Paizo has at least thought about this stuff. Consider me converted.


I'm with the crowd on this. The keyword for me is "similarly", meaning the target's equipment is enlarged in a proportion similar to the body being enlarged. Then the description explains, once the spell has started, what happens to those items if they are parted from the target - they become what they really are, size wise. All objects not on the target when the spell was cast are not affected by the casting, all items on the target when the spell is cast, become normal sized again when they leave the target's possession.

So, yes, over time as you shed objects - if you become permanently Enlarged you will have to acquire actual items for your size, and should your Enlargement be dispelled, the items will retain their true size as you return to yours.


One could research a greater enlarge person spell that affected things you pick up, or even made it optional per-item, or let you spend a standard action to put everything on your person retroactively under the spell. 3rd level, maybe?


Or just pick up your dropped stuff and cast Enlarge person again (it doesn't stack with itself, so no issues).

Dark Archive

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If you're afraid to be disarmed on a regular basis while enlarged, it might be worthwhile to invest in the Resizing enhancement for your favorite weapon. Maybe also a weapon cord in case of Greater Disarm.


Nah, not a Paizo employee. I just really like Pathfinder. : )

I gotta say, though, a malicious spell (or item (cursed item?)) working the way you describe sounds pretty fun. Stuff keeps resizing so that you can't effectively use it. Bwahahaha!


DRD1812 wrote:
"Urgraz acquired an oversized crossbow from an especially well-equipped cave giant that he could only fire by putting it down and then using his innate enlarge person ability."

Now that's just brilliant design!


I don't think anything in the rules or spell definitively answer the question.

Objects that leave your possession will continue to shrink. This speaks to an ongoing spell effect.

One can argue that "instantly" refers to the speed of resizing, not to something happening a single moment of time.

That said, conservative readings are usually best to avoid table variation problems.


heres a monkeywrench in your craw, what if you are disarmed, but you have a weapon cord? the object is tied to you, and therefor technically has not left your equiptment etc, as it is tied to the rope conencting it to you? Could this not get around your issue?


I would argue that having a rope around a dropped weapon doesn't keep it from being a dropped weapon. It just makes it easier to pick up.

Q: "But what about rope-based weapons?"
A: "You're overthinking it. The catgirls are getting nervous."

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally, I would allow the weapon cord to prevent resizing. It's still in your possession, in the same way that back-up shortsword in your scabbard is.


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On second thought: The rules do say "worn or carried", so as long as your wrist is at least two feet off the ground you're still carrying the thing. I reverse my stance.


Need an enchanted mithril chain weapon cord.

My Dwarven phalanx soldier with a tower shield and a glaive discovered in the middle of a fight that he could not actually drink that potion of enlarge person without ending up with a very small shield or a very small glaive. (This is important because I made an enlarged mini and it it really cool.)

The weapon cord would work (maybe?) but this dwarf isn't going to just tie off a 1 silver piece of rope to his adamantite glaive, it must a chain of the finest craftsmanship. Hmmm, any recommendations on what kind of masterwork tool it could be skinned as? [PFS]


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If you want it to work as a weapon cord in PFS, you'll need to pick up a weapon cord. They aren't real big on skinning, well, anything in my experience. More's the pity.


Yep, masterwork tools are the only things that get any slack. But I can't imagine a way around this one.


DM Livgin wrote:
My Dwarven phalanx soldier with a tower shield and a glaive discovered in the middle of a fight that he could not actually drink that potion of enlarge person without ending up with a very small shield or a very small glaive. (This is important because I made an enlarged mini and it it really cool.)

Balance your weapon on one foot and lean it against your shoulder.


Knight who says Meh wrote:
DM Livgin wrote:
My Dwarven phalanx soldier with a tower shield and a glaive discovered in the middle of a fight that he could not actually drink that potion of enlarge person without ending up with a very small shield or a very small glaive. (This is important because I made an enlarged mini and it it really cool.)
Balance your weapon on one foot and lean it against your shoulder.

That careful balancing act may take longer that sheathing the weapon, but noted.

Scarab Sages

blahpers wrote:

I would argue that having a rope around a dropped weapon doesn't keep it from being a dropped weapon. It just makes it easier to pick up.

I know you changed your mind but with this I can see hilarity ensue via one of two outcomes:

The weapon cord also shrinks, cutting off circulation.

The weapon shrinks but the cord doesn't, and so the weapon slips through the now much larger knot and falls to the ground.


Tim Emrick wrote:
DRD1812 wrote:
"Urgraz acquired an oversized crossbow from an especially well-equipped cave giant that he could only fire by putting it down and then using his innate enlarge person ability."
Now that's just brilliant design!

I'ma just leave this here.

http://archivesofnethys.com/MagicWondrousDisplay.aspx?FinalName=Iron Lord's Transforming Slivers

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