Baze sizes for "long" monsters

Rules Questions

I'm making creature tokens for my campaign and have some questions here.

What happens when a creature is "long"?

1 I used to think a horse would have a 1 per 2 squares rectangular base like they get in war games, but I checked now and it has a 'facing' of two. So is it on a 2x2 square?

And how does that work for dragons?

2 Are they depicted on squares too?

3 If they are, how should a token picture be made to reflect the dragon's actual size while fitting in the square?
- a) horizontally? (that would make a 'huge' dragon only 4,5 meters long)
- b) diagonally (6 meters?)
- c) upright on two legs or coiled?

Braininthejar wrote:

I'm making creature tokens for my campaign and have some questions here.

What happens when a creature is "long"?

1 I used to think a horse would have a 1 per 2 squares rectangular base like they get in war games, but I checked now and it has a 'facing' of two. So is it on a 2x2 square?

And how does that work for dragons?

2 Are they depicted on squares too?

3 If they are, how should a token picture be made to reflect the dragon's actual size while fitting in the square?
- a) horizontally? (that would make a 'huge' dragon only 4,5 meters long)
- b) diagonally (6 meters?)
- c) upright on two legs or coiled?

long and tall monsters was a 3.0 mechanic, it doesnt exist in pathfinder

all creatures take up square shaped spaces on the grid, no more rectangles

all large size creatures take a 2x2 square (4 squares total) regardless if its a snake, horse, ogre, dragon, or anything else.

all huge take up 3x3
etc

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Tall/ long designations certainly do still exist, but only relate to reach, not the space occupied by a creature.

And the second part of my question?

How long is a 'huge' dragon actually?

There is a chart in the core rule book that shows the space and reach of the size categories.

https://www.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?Name=Big%20and%20Little%20Creatures%20in% 20Combat&Category=Combat

A Huge creature (15 ft x 15 ft space) defaults to 16-32 ft tall or long (roughly 5-10 m). That means that a "long" creature like a dragon will frequently be longer than their space on the map. I tend to visualize that as most of the creature's bulk fits into their space, with some limbs extending further, represented by their reach. In a dragon's case, their reach with their bite is even longer, but they are frequently depicted with their head held up, whether to see their surroundings better, keep it out of reach of enemies, or some other reason.

Another thing to consider is that dragons are always growing, so length with vary over the entire range of a size category, depending in the dragon's age. That's probably why the Bestiary doesn't give dimensions for dragons, like it does for some other creatures that come in different sizes (like elementals).

As far as artwork for tokens, I tend not to stress too much over getting the size just right. For a dragon, as long as I can fit enough of the head and body into a square or circle shape to be recognizable as the creature I need, that's good enough for me. I do tend to favor artwork using poses that fit more easily into a square, so that I can avoid both too much negative space and cropping off too many extremities.

Obviously every creature is a perfect cube of flesh as appropriate to their size. e.g. All huge dragons are 15 ft wide by 15 ft long by 15 ft tall.

I would point out that the difference isn't really "long vs. tall" anymore, more just "tall vs. not" as yes a horse is a "long" large creature, but a large Gelatinous cube (despite being an actual "flesh cube" style monster at 10 ft tall, wide, and long) only has 5 ft of reach.

commentary
PF1 decided to simplify the game and go generic where possible, and then be rather specific with spells increasing the cost wizards have to pay to learn an array of effects... so creatures are all "square" now for threatening areas and occupying squares. One presumes they are cubic as RAW is game map centric(two dimensional).

The scale you want is 5ft to 1", then trim bases to 95% or 2.4cm(0.95") (so tokens/figs actually fit adjacent on maps).
"upright" chits/tokens will usually be 4.8cm(1.9") height or about 10ft in scale for Medium sized creatures in many cases (you need blank space to fit into base). Tokens will be 2.4cm(0.95") wide but generally 2cm(0.8") is practical for humanoids.

You can buy upright flat stands from some online gamestores (as they are used to hold playing cards also). Paper tokens should be on 60-110# paper (folded over or triangular fold). Sealed.
Flat tokens - I find 110# paper with 60# printed top the most durable. Glue=spray77 adhesive. Professional high resolution printing on photo paper can be done cheaply at a printer.
The paizo bases are designed to hold heavy stock paperboard (so print on paper and glue to paperboard (you may need 2 layers with 20-24# paper), SEAL & dry, cut out and finish edge). Reseal & dry. Stick with enamel or lacquer as polyurethane yellows with age. Car clear gloss (top coat) enamel is the best.
A third option is foamboard. I made many tokens with black foamboard printing on 60# paper, quite nice. Hobby(x-acto) knife works well with metal ruler. Just remember to cut them tight (0.95") so they fit on the map easily.
A retailer sells plastic disks with magnets (a snap together colored plastic shell), very handy for denoting flying creatures or gangs.

I'll note that some fig collectors really disdain tokens. I think it's a pride thing. As a GM I just point to my ziplock and say "60 creatures sized tiny to colossal, much smaller & portable than your roll-along tool case. The other set of 60 is still in my GM (bank deposit) bag." Other than some books, maps, adventures, etc, I try to keep all my GM stuff in a single bank deposit bag along with spare stuff for new players.

Space and Reach rules

As other have stated for the sake of simplicity the game decided that long occupies the same space as a tall creature but shorter default reach.

As for representing the dragon. It depends on the dragon and how long it is. For example a horse token typically is 2x2 but the actual body is only 2x1, so the body ends up right in the middle. A long dragon that has legs will have a different look than one without legs. Also keep in mind that battle tokens/minis is a snapshot of the creature standing still for combat. So for example, a snake might be longer than 5-ft, but only occupy a 5-ft space while coiled up in combat.

Keep in mind that creatures rarely occupy the full space.

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