A little help with Strength checks please - Page 4
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by robus View Post
    Heres the thing. If the action should succeed (giant picking up a horse) then why are we even checking the rules? Theyre for handling uncertainty. If there is none, then why are we checking the rules?

    This is where we can get silly but we shouldnt. Uncertainty is when things of roughly equal power go up against each other and the outcome is unknown. So hill giant strength is compared to the strength of similar creatures for resolving uncertainty, not for creatures in wildly different power brackets.

    Or would DMs here allow an arm wrestling contest between a halfling and a hill giant to be resolved by dice?

    Lets get a grip on things! (so to speak...)
    Using ability scores to adjudicate opposed roles is not always simple when there is a significant size Yes, it might be difficult for the giant to grab that pesky halfling but once the giant has a good grasp getting out of that grip should be about as easy as breaking free from hardened concrete. There are exceptions to every rule of course.

    I'm not overly concerned about the rules when it comes to carrying things, if I think the kraken can lift the ship out of the water and toss it aside like a toy it happens. Sometimes the rules need to be set aside for the fiction.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by robus View Post
    I think its a mistake to assume that a larger creature would have advantage, simply because the smaller creature is has the potential to be more nimble. The larger creature probably already has a significant bonus to their strength, simply by being large.
    But this is a STR check. Opposed. Agility can be used to escape a grapple or dodge, but in a STR v STR matchup agility will not play a factor. Even the strongest human(STR 20) is going to lose a tug of war contest to the average draft horse(STR 18) every single time and by a mile. I think it's absurd to not provide a benefit due to the size difference, and this game usually employs the Advantage/Disadvantage system to represent such things. It already has corollaries in regards to carrying capacity, and since the stat is capped at 30 that makes sense. I'm all for using a simplified game mechanic to handle things in game, but at some point your basically ignoring basic physics just because that's how it was written in a book and now I feel like I'm watching a Michael Bay movie.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClaytonCross View Post
    That said, watching SUMO its not uncommon for the smaller opponent to get under a larger one lifting them to reduce footing and gaining the ability to push large opponents around. So I don't see a need to add that advantage myself and I certainly wouldn't give the smaller opponent disadvantage.
    The size difference between a "large" sumo wrestler and a "small" one is not the same as the size difference between a size M and size L creature. They are going to be around 300lbs plus or minus 100 or so. Think the difference between a horse and a human, 200lbs vs 1000lbs+. Even the biggest weight difference match ever doesn't provide a comparable metaphor. If the contest is purely STR obviously advantage should apply, and even if it's STR vs DEX anything a fast little guy is trying to accomplish with speed vs an opponent is going to be much more difficult vs. one 8 times the mass. Size does matter, and in such contests in DND it's sorta absurd to not factor that in. Otherwise watching my barehanded Level 5 STR18 Dex 10 halfling brute with Athletics proficiency(+7 to the roll) bitch slap a Rhino(+5 for STR, not proficient in Athletics) around the sumo mat would seem more than a little absurd.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwarok View Post
    But this is a STR check. Opposed. Agility can be used to escape a grapple or dodge, but in a STR v STR matchup agility will not play a factor. Even the strongest human(STR 20) is going to lose a tug of war contest to the average draft horse(STR 18) every single time and by a mile. I think it's absurd to not provide a benefit due to the size difference, and this game usually employs the Advantage/Disadvantage system to represent such things. It already has corollaries in regards to carrying capacity, and since the stat is capped at 30 that makes sense. I'm all for using a simplified game mechanic to handle things in game, but at some point your basically ignoring basic physics just because that's how it was written in a book and now I feel like I'm watching a Michael Bay movie.
    I agree with you, if the match up does not make sense (i.e. the outcome is not uncertain), then there should be no contest, one side will win. Always. I wasn't thinking of straight STR vs. STR when I answered I was thinking of strength vs. agility, and there strength doesn't not always (or mostly) mean success.

    Again this comes back to the DM. First is there any uncertainty in the outcome? And just because the dice could make it uncertain doesn't mean they automatically come in to play. So to come around back around (and actually reverse myself a bit - but not really because I was thinking of STR vs DEX... ):

    Medium vs Medium STR contest: Uncertain roll the dice
    Medium vs Large STR contest: Less uncertain so give the aggressor either advantage (or disadvantage) depending on who is the larger
    Medum vs Huge STR contest: No contest the result is certain
    Medium vs Gargantuan STR contest: Are you kidding??

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwarok View Post
    The size difference between a "large" sumo wrestler and a "small" one is not the same as the size difference between a size M and size L creature. They are going to be around 300lbs plus or minus 100 or so. Think the difference between a horse and a human, 200lbs vs 1000lbs+. Even the biggest weight difference match ever doesn't provide a comparable metaphor. If the contest is purely STR obviously advantage should apply, and even if it's STR vs DEX anything a fast little guy is trying to accomplish with speed vs an opponent is going to be much more difficult vs. one 8 times the mass. Size does matter, and in such contests in DND it's sorta absurd to not factor that in. Otherwise watching my barehanded Level 5 STR18 Dex 10 halfling brute with Athletics proficiency(+7 to the roll) bitch slap a Rhino(+5 for STR, not proficient in Athletics) around the sumo mat would seem more than a little absurd.
    I don't disagree with that but I would also say I have been tripped walking a Dotson with a leash. When something gets under you and wraps around your legs it can be hard to deal with and will prevent you having good footing.

    The Halfling for example might to blind a pinch a front leg on a Rhino forcing it fall to one side and roll if we assume that proficiency means they know how. Being under the rhinos head they don't get to use the horn to defend and since the halfling is using their strength push and twist the rhinos knee joint in motion when they try to use that leg and it fails their own weight is what causes them to fall or be off balance in a bind.... HOWEVER.... this does highlight 2 valid point that your hitting on but did not out right say. 1. Proficiency is a generic stat and its treating the Rhino the same as a person and being good at disabling rhino does not necessarily men you have any proficiency at rhino wrangling. Unfortunately their is not a good way to do deal with how someone deals with using proficiency against a creature which they have never seen giving disadvantage might be the easiest way to do that. 2. If you grapple a rhino successfully or unsuccessfully it might fall on you or roll out of your grip... either way even if the halfling succeeds it could get badly hurt in the process. Again, not really a great simple way to handle this consistently. Its generally not good to punish players for trying interesting things or adding failure to failure... at most a static, "if you attempt to grapple a creature any size larger than yours roll 1d10 -5 and take the remaining damage." just to recognize that fact but not make it game changing.

  6. #36
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    "Realism" is probably the weakest of arguments when advocating for or arguing against a particular ruling in D&D in my view. Because it's a game based on make-believe sword and sorcery, "consistency" is a much stronger argument and, to that extent, that is where the rules help the most, since we can refer to them in many circumstances, and why the DM is well-advised to be as fair and consistent as possible when making rulings. No amount of sumo wrestlers or rhinos or giants picking up horses is going to make some of these arguments more compelling.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwarok View Post
    But this is a STR check. Opposed. Agility can be used to escape a grapple or dodge, but in a STR v STR matchup agility will not play a factor. Even the strongest human(STR 20) is going to lose a tug of war contest to the average draft horse(STR 18) every single time and by a mile. I think it's absurd to not provide a benefit due to the size difference, and this game usually employs the Advantage/Disadvantage system to represent such things. It already has corollaries in regards to carrying capacity, and since the stat is capped at 30 that makes sense. I'm all for using a simplified game mechanic to handle things in game, but at some point your basically ignoring basic physics just because that's how it was written in a book and now I feel like I'm watching a Michael Bay movie.
    I agree with you about 90% here. If your a 20 Str Human vs an 18 STR draft horse you will lose in tug of war.... but if your not worried about hurting the horse and want to bring it to the ground you could full body check its front legs in a "shove action" because its mass is held up on the hind legs it mass is divided at least in half but perhaps more as it can hold its body with its back legs as you knock it front legs our from under it. It certainly could go down. You could also jump feet first on its hooves and pull its front knees even just a few inches forward and squeeze together. Its going to shift its weight back as much as it can trying to rear up and escape but it could work the same way a bolo works on pretty much anything with legs. I wouldn't recommend ether because the horse could fall on you and that would be a bad day. I also would not say its as easy as doing it to person but then again a person can just stand still and punch you if you grapple their legs (which you can do in D&D) but leg checks work solidly on people you see it all the time in American Football. Your just not likely to get hurt by its self doing this to a person. I mean if your a 3 ft 80 lbs halfling and you knock over a 6foot 260lbs fighter in 80lbs of armor and wearing a 90 lb pack on their back... you still might get pretty hurt if they fell on you.

    ...I could see not being proficient in body checking horse legs even though you are proficient in athletics. Its not like its something people do daily (partly because if you break its legs it no good to you). This could easily apply to pretty much any monster in D&D.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    "Realism" is probably the weakest of arguments when advocating for or arguing against a particular ruling in D&D in my view. Because it's a game based on make-believe sword and sorcery, "consistency" is a much stronger argument and, to that extent, that is where the rules help the most, since we can refer to them in many circumstances, and why the DM is well-advised to be as fair and consistent as possible when making rulings. No amount of sumo wrestlers or rhinos or giants picking up horses is going to make some of these arguments more compelling.
    People keep saying that but I completely to disagree. Players need to be able to wrap their head around what they are doing in that world. Its not like we through out physics in worlds of magic, we do create exceptions around them like and anti-gravity spell etc. however the worlds are 99% based on the world we know. We simply focus on the 1% of magic because what is different about the world has to be explained. Unless the smaller creature has some 1% magic allowing it saying "its magic world what ever" is a cop out and defeats the need for the 1% magic. The principle about having magic in a world is that it defies what we know when used in a world where what we know still applies.

    The argument of a GM that a larger creature has more mass, longer reach, better leverage, and/or better footing/traction from a human roughly the same size as them is really a product of trying to understand the world for how its the same not how its different. It is easier for some people to imagine a dragon that is not real breathing fire than a player or GM having a 1000lbs dragon being tossed by 60lb Gnome who in the world of D&D does not have super strength but a below average 8. It part of the GMs job to control these conflicts in D&D to make a more immersive experience for them and their players. Even Wizards of the coast recognizes this in having a rule that says you can't grapple a creature more than one size larger than you.

    If the GM gives larger size category opponents advantage on smaller then a medium human PC human can have advantage vs a goblin. If they GM is consistent with that then its fair. So your not really providing an argument for or against it with this "argument".
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClaytonCross View Post
    People keep saying that but I completely to disagree. Players need to be able to wrap their head around what they are doing in that world. Its not like we through out physics in worlds of magic, we do create exceptions around them like and anti-gravity spell etc. however the worlds are 99% based on the world we know. We simply focus on the 1% of magic because what is different about the world has to be explained. Unless the smaller creature has some 1% magic allowing it saying "its magic world what ever" is a cop out and defeats the need for the 1% magic. The principle about having magic in a world is that it defies what we know when used in a world where what we know still applies.

    The argument of a GM that a larger creature has more mass, longer reach, better leverage, and/or better footing/traction from a human roughly the same size as them is really a product of trying to understand the world for how its the same not how its different. It is easier for some people to imagine a dragon that is not real breathing fire than a player or GM having a 1000lbs dragon being tossed by 60lb Gnome who in the world of D&D does not have super strength but a below average 8. It part of the GMs job to control these conflicts in D&D to make a more immersive experience for them and their players. Even Wizards of the coast recognizes this in having a rule that says you can't grapple a creature more than one size larger than you.

    If the GM gives larger size category opponents advantage on smaller then a medium human PC human can have advantage vs a goblin. If they GM is consistent with that then its fair. So your not really providing an argument for or against it with this "argument".
    My assertion is that arguments for a ruling in the game based on realism are not very good ones. They might work at your table with your players, if you have to justify a ruling (which you shouldn't have to do if you're being consistent). It will rarely if ever work in forum discussions.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Gwarok View Post
    Otherwise watching my barehanded Level 5 STR18 Dex 10 halfling brute with Athletics proficiency(+7 to the roll) bitch slap a Rhino(+5 for STR, not proficient in Athletics) around the sumo mat would seem more than a little absurd.
    True, but that's not going to happen in D&D 5E. You can only grapple or shove a foe if the foe is no more than one size larger than you.

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