Does size matter?


General Discussion


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

After looking up things in the core rules I noticed that there seems to be a massive difference in regards to size (pf1/pf2).

In the past size usually modified your to hit, damage and ac and also stats for characters.

But now it seems (aside from enlarge spell) size does not do anything at all but telling you how much space you occupy?
(aka the races don't have any modifiers and also no combat modifiers,...).

Or did I overlook something there?


Size bonuses no longer exist as part of the consolidation of bonus types. So a small, medium, and large character with a size appropriate weapon will do the same damage. With the same stats and armor they will have the same AC and with the same training in stealth will be equally sneaky. A large creature still has extra reach though.

Effects that change your size (e.g. a giant totem barbarian or the enlarge spell) tell you what additional bonuses and penalties you get for changing size, but there aren't any for being that size by default.


Also, your size effects how much you can carry [page 191]. For a huge creature, one ton is 10 bulk, relatively (2000lb -> 200 bulk -> 10 relative bulk).

Outside of the previously stated examples, it seems like they are going to handle each size-changing mechanic on a case by case basis, instead of establishing a blanket bonus.

Edit: I forgot to mention that your bulk limit changes, too. When your huge, it is equal your small/medium bulk limit times 4.


For the mostpart, No.

There are a very few situations where Size has a mechanical effect, but these tend to be handled on a case-by-case basis and the banning of size-related effects seems likely to be a popular houserule


And I do rather enjoy the removal of size modifiers personally. They just seemed to cause a lot of issues sometimes in PF1, it got to be a pain.


One of the few feats that are affected by size is the Monks Whirling Throw. It gets a +2/-2 bonus/penalty depending on the throwees size.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

They went a little too far with it. They just needed to get hid of the Dmg die reduction and kept everything else, maybe making somethings worse in the process to offset the dmg buff.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

With the way math works in this game, throwing around big number changes to accuracy, AC, and skills really wouldn't be good. It wasn't great in PF1 either, where you either had massive creatures with crap accuracy and AC or else their natural armor scores were just arbitrarily inflated to make up for it, resulting in most size boost spells being a damage boost but a big AC debuff as players don't get the same boosts to compensate.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lightning Raven wrote:
They went a little too far with it. They just needed to get hid of the Dmg die reduction and kept everything else, maybe making somethings worse in the process to offset the dmg buff.

The multiplicative bonus was too much. That is, that each size gave 1.5x bonus, which when taken to extremes caused trivializing levels of damage. The solution is well within hand in this system though. Push upward toward 1d12, then simply add a +2 dmg bonus to the "die." I put quote there because the +2 dmg would be multiplied by runes. Done and done, you've got large size being fun and it won't blow the game open.


Greg.Everham wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
They went a little too far with it. They just needed to get hid of the Dmg die reduction and kept everything else, maybe making somethings worse in the process to offset the dmg buff.
The multiplicative bonus was too much. That is, that each size gave 1.5x bonus, which when taken to extremes caused trivializing levels of damage. The solution is well within hand in this system though. Push upward toward 1d12, then simply add a +2 dmg bonus to the "die." I put quote there because the +2 dmg would be multiplied by runes. Done and done, you've got large size being fun and it won't blow the game open.

I agree. But maybe just bumping one category is not that distinct, having a small bonus on top of it could help create a meaningful difference.


Lightning Raven wrote:
I agree. But maybe just bumping one category is not that distinct, having a small bonus on top of it could help create a meaningful difference.

Having played a halfling bard in mithral full plate wielding a small greatsword, the image of the character is much more fun then the mechanics. Other then needing to min max more then usual, being small didn't add any meaningful benefit on a mechanical level. Large monsters can have their own unique ways of feeling large while the "enlarge person" spell is mostly used for the damage increase and reach increase. Changing your miniature is the biggest difference such spells bring to the game.


I'm on the fence about this. On the one hand, the amount of differences in 1e made playing small character less appealing to many, both because they are easily percieved as weaker ("I'm slower and do less damage? No way!"), or because altering the numbers for changing size is daunting (I have a player that has historically been super polymorph-averse for this reason, she arguably hates even beneficial polymorphing more than confusion)

On the other hand... I've been running SF, which has no hard difference beyond reach, not even carrying capacity (though occasionally an item will say Large creatures can use it easier). I don't like it. I understand that they did this to allow for more options when it comes to player races and who can be what class effectively, but I like some crunch to my flavor, dangit!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Big Lemon wrote:
I'm on the fence about this. On the one hand, the amount of differences in 1e made playing small character less appealing to many, both because they are easily percieved as weaker ("I'm slower and do less damage? No way!"), or because altering the numbers for changing size is daunting (I have a player that has historically been super polymorph-averse for this reason, she arguably hates even beneficial polymorphing more than confusion)

Lol it's kind of funny, my experience on small races has been almost opposite. With how easy it is to get Dex to damage with PF1 splat, a Small Rogue or Halfling is WAY stronger than any Medium option. The Dex boost and Small size both boost your accuracy and AC, and with top Dex the -1 damage is negligible.

Also that insane +4 to Stealth...

But yeah, I suppose they suck pretty hard for any Str build, which is a reason why I like how PF2 handles it. The Str penalty still isn't great, but cancel it with your free boost an despite the tight math you can totally manage with having 1 less Str mod at certain levels.


Edge93 wrote:
Big Lemon wrote:
I'm on the fence about this. On the one hand, the amount of differences in 1e made playing small character less appealing to many, both because they are easily percieved as weaker ("I'm slower and do less damage? No way!"), or because altering the numbers for changing size is daunting (I have a player that has historically been super polymorph-averse for this reason, she arguably hates even beneficial polymorphing more than confusion)

Lol it's kind of funny, my experience on small races has been almost opposite. With how easy it is to get Dex to damage with PF1 splat, a Small Rogue or Halfling is WAY stronger than any Medium option. The Dex boost and Small size both boost your accuracy and AC, and with top Dex the -1 damage is negligible.

Also that insane +4 to Stealth...

But yeah, I suppose they suck pretty hard for any Str build, which is a reason why I like how PF2 handles it. The Str penalty still isn't great, but cancel it with your free boost an despite the tight math you can totally manage with having 1 less Str mod at certain levels.

I, and, if I may be so bold as to suggest the Paizo designers as well, are less concerned with specific build viability and more with broad strokes. They don't want new players opening a book and thinking something they want to play is bad because they haven't mastered the rules yet (and don't, for example, realize that having a higher attack and saving throw bonus than everyone else is more valuable than a few points of extra damage in the long run).


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

I would suggest that simplicity and ease of use are the biggest factors behind the size neutrality in PF2. Using Enlarge Person in PF1 changes a huge portion of the character stats. In fact, that spell is really tedious to use with all these adjustments, unless we rely on HeroLab to do the job for us. PF2 fixes that, and while I might miss the cool buffing aspects, I won't miss the complexity.


We commonly used Reduce Person as a buff, especially on characters that had Dex to damage - and that was decently common as Stealth is a playstyle that is popular around here.

Oddly never a straight rogue, tough. :o


Given the multi dice version of weapon plus that PF2 is using so far, reduced die type from size would really sting. Count me in the camp that's glad they did away with it.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I'm pretty diappointed there's no inherent effect of size. It's bizarre and a sign of poor thought towards mechanics, size bonuses were always straightforward and made sense for what they were.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Starfox wrote:
We commonly used Reduce Person as a buff, especially on characters that had Dex to damage - and that was decently common as Stealth is a playstyle that is popular around here.

My favorite bomber alchemist self-buff.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Something I have been thinking about for PF2 is to bunch together the size categories 2 to 1. Anything Tiny or smaller would be Small. The current Small and Medium would be Medium. The current large and huge would be large, and so on.

Right now, size code in PF2 is only relevant to space/reach, and Small and Medium are identical. So why not lessen the size effects across the range?

I don't expect this to be done for sacred cow reasons, but I think it would work.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
sherlock1701 wrote:
Yeah, I'm pretty diappointed there's no inherent effect of size. It's bizarre and a sign of poor thought towards mechanics, size bonuses were always straightforward and made sense for what they were.

Personally, I hated size bonuses in PF1- they affected so many different things at once (to-hit, accuracy, CMD, CMB, Fly checks, Stealth checks, Climb checks, Swim checks, etc.) that made changing size involve "cracking the rulebook" with alarming frequency.

But since natural creatures will not change size categories, we can just write "what effect being this size has on this thing" into the stat block for the creature, and when something magical does change your size then we can write "what effect that has" into the text of that particular bit of magic. I find this much cleaner and easier.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Yeah, I'm pretty diappointed there's no inherent effect of size. It's bizarre and a sign of poor thought towards mechanics, size bonuses were always straightforward and made sense for what they were.

Personally, I hated size bonuses in PF1- they affected so many different things at once (to-hit, accuracy, CMD, CMB, Fly checks, Stealth checks, Climb checks, Swim checks, etc.) that made changing size involve "cracking the rulebook" with alarming frequency.

But since natural creatures will not change size categories, we can just write "what effect being this size has on this thing" into the stat block for the creature, and when something magical does change your size then we can write "what effect that has" into the text of that particular bit of magic. I find this much cleaner and easier.

I also think it only makes sense for size to have a non-universal effect. Different methods of achieving sizes should have different effects. PF1 did this some but I prefer PF2's handling of it. PF1's difference was mostly just that PC spells for size gave lower ability score boosts and no natural armor to compensate for the negatives to AC.


Indeed, like that Kineticist talent in PF1 "Kinetic Form" which has you surround yourself with a whole bunch of the appropriate element in a vaguely humanoid form. Obviously, this should increase how big you are(this is one of the few ways to become Huge in PF1),since you are now surrounded by literal tons of rock or whatever, but it should not make you stronger (because the rocks aren't you) or decrease your armor class (because, again, the rocks aren't you).

So now we can recreate Kinetic Form by stating only what it does, not what it doesn't do in addition to what it does.


It gives a sense of incompletion. But given how the math works in this edition I think this is a good measure. Besides, it leaves the door open for future character options, like feats/ancestries that have size requirements.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Indeed, like that Kineticist talent in PF1 "Kinetic Form" which has you surround yourself with a whole bunch of the appropriate element in a vaguely humanoid form. Obviously, this should increase how big you are(this is one of the few ways to become Huge in PF1),since you are now surrounded by literal tons of rock or whatever, but it should not make you stronger (because the rocks aren't you) or decrease your armor class (because, again, the rocks aren't you).

So now we can recreate Kinetic Form by stating only what it does, not what it doesn't do in addition to what it does.

Welp. Time to consider designing a homebrew kineticist using the barbarian or monk chassis and the weapon trait patterns.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Does size matter? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion