log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Large Reach

I know having Reach, and likewise being Large, was hugely unbalancing in D&D 3e.

Remind me again why?

Would the same problems of Reach still be true now in D&D 5e?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

aco175

Hero
I recall 3e having an attack of opportunity when a creature left the square within reach. So, if I could reach 10ft or 2 squares I would get an attack before the enemy got close enough to attack me at 5ft away. Now if I could reach 15ft (3squares) I used to have 2 attacks. I would think 5e simplified things with only 'reach' and not break it down more.
 

Only with PAM, and even then it's still a single attack unless you are Cobalt Soul monk. So not really a problem. "More damage" is rarely ever a problem unless it's dramatically more than another player who is also trying to deal damage (and they feel bad about it).
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I recall 3e having an attack of opportunity when a creature left the square within reach. So, if I could reach 10ft or 2 squares I would get an attack before the enemy got close enough to attack me at 5ft away. Now if I could reach 15ft (3squares) I used to have 2 attacks. I would think 5e simplified things with only 'reach' and not break it down more.
The AOO issue was the biggest problem in 3.5. Melee fighters couldn't get close to large creatures without getting smacked around unless they could tumble.
 


So, can D&D 5e simply make a Large player-character species, ... and it is balanced?

In Dark Sun, the Half-Giant is between 12 to 16 feet tall, and over 1600 pounds.

There is no way around it. This is a Large character. At least.

So, fine in 5e?
 

FreeTheSlaves

Explorer
Large by itself already has plenty of advantage; you block a larger area and threaten 12 spaces around you. Equip a large long spear and bam, you're now threatening 22 spaces.

Bit of a mixed bag though, a mob can get lots of attacks on you because of your big frontage, and they're free to run riot once within your enormous reach. Pair up with a medium ally to overlap space that threaten OA.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I never considered reach the problem - something with a lot of reach should be dangerous to approach.

There were, however, serious problems with how stats, well - Strength really, modified with size in 3e. Each step up from Medium, when designing monsters, was +8 for Strength. That made them grappling gods when it came to grabbing a PC and hampering them. It also meant that, in at least some cases, there was a widening gulf in effectiveness between melee and ranged attacks - which made giants kind of weird. Up close, they packed a nasty punch, but one of their big threats from 1e/2e was throwing big rocks so that they were a threat at range too. That wasn't really true in 3e because their Dex stayed flat or got worse based on size (compared to someone smaller) while their Str skyrocketed - kind of unbalancing their traditional role in the D&D adventuring universe.
 


So, can D&D 5e simply make a Large player-character species, ... and it is balanced?

In Dark Sun, the Half-Giant is between 12 to 16 feet tall, and over 1600 pounds.

There is no way around it. This is a Large character. At least.

So, fine in 5e?
If you have to do this, i'd give them Large sized space but use the MM "Centaur rule" which gives them regular sized weapons and reach. That'll keep it balanced.
 

If you have to do this, i'd give them Large sized space but use the MM "Centaur rule" which gives them regular sized weapons and reach. That'll keep it balanced.
The Centaur has human-length arms and horse-length back-kick, and obviously lacks extra reach.

But Large human-shaped creature probably does have extra reach. At least with a Large longsword or spear one probably does.
 

Does extra reach matter in 5e?

A character only has one reaction per turn. Thus there is only one opportunity attack, regardless whether the target is near or far.

Moreover, a target can only suffer an opportunity attack if EXITING reach. So a creature who engages to attack the Large character cannot suffer an opportunity attack from the Large character. Only a target that is trying to flee can. And even then, if two or more are trying to flee reach, only one of them can be hit.

Is there something that I am missing?

As far as I can tell, Large Reach is balanced in 5e.
 


There are other large creatures that do not have more than 5 ft reach. Ogres are one example.
That is probably meant to suggest the clumsiness of the Ogre?

Hitting hard but missing often is something that D&D mechanics doesnt actualize well because Strength includes both attack and damage.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I didn't do an extensive search, but the only large size monster I found that had reach was the Oni, and they use a Glaive.

Looks like a creature has to be huge before they get it? Maybe?
 

I didn't do an extensive search, but the only large size monster I found that had reach was the Oni, and they use a Glaive.

Looks like a creature has to be huge before they get it? Maybe?
So seems like a Large player character might have extra reach if using a Large spear, for example?

... That seems fine?



Or maybe it just doesnt matter until Huge, and that seems fine too.
 
Last edited:

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
So seems like a Large player character might have extra reach if using a Large spear, for example?

... That seems fine?



Or maybe it just doesnt matter until Huge, and that seems fine too.
At a certain point I'd just use a glaive and call it a "big spear that's too clumsy to throw".
 

At a certain point I'd just use a glaive and call it a "big spear that's too clumsy to throw".
That is probably the kind of "lance" that is in weapons table: a long spear.

But the name always makes me think of the other kind of "lance", the one that the mounted armored knights sport with.



Can a Large character use a two-handed weapon one-handed? As if versatile?
 

jgsugden

Legend
There are two issues: Large. Reach.

In 5E, they have been reluctant to give PCs a large size. The large size makes dungeon navigation difficult, nd is actually a liability from the point of PCs being gang tackled (which is more impactful in 5E due to bounded accuracy). You can get a large size with a few techniques (includig the enlarge spell, wildshape, polymorph spell), but no creature, including the centaur, have a basic large size.

Reach is less of an issue. Bugbears have reach on their turn, they have reach weapons, etc...

When you combine the factors to create large reach (which I saw a lot with an Eldritch Knight that used the enlarge spell), you do not actually get that much benefit absent the polearm master feat and a polearm. There are wildshape/polymorph forms that are large (or huge) and have reach, but are not unbalancing, for example.

All in all, large reach is fine so long as it is not permanent. If it is, it may make the creature a bit hard to maneuver and a bit vulnerable to crowd damage.
 

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top