D&D 5E Small races overly disadvantaged?

SatanasOz

Explorer
Thank you all - glad for all your thoughs on this. I hope this comes up in the internal math / balancing discussions and gets somewhat rectified before the releas.

For my current game though, I'd have to see. I like the simulationist touch of having negative consequences from being small, but I also want it some counterbalance from the gamist perspective. Else, this feels to much like the "wrong" choice to make and locks Gnomes and Halflings out of another archtype.

Maybe a weapon specialisation like the halflings, or I drop the "heavy" category for large weapons. *muse*
 

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MJS

First Post
Thank you all - glad for all your thoughs on this. I hope this comes up in the internal math / balancing discussions and gets somewhat rectified before the releas.

For my current game though, I'd have to see. I like the simulationist touch of having negative consequences from being small, but I also want it some counterbalance from the gamist perspective. Else, this feels to much like the "wrong" choice to make and locks Gnomes and Halflings out of another archtype.

Maybe a weapon specialisation like the halflings, or I drop the "heavy" category for large weapons. *muse*

I think the heavy crossbow is the answer here. The longbow is out - their arms are too short - but the heavy crossbow, if they can crank it, and lift it, they should be able to use.

You might also allow some gnomish innovation, if thats how they're portrayed in your campaign - a Gnomish bow, larger than a short bow, smaller than a longbow, engineered especially for their size -

just kick the rules in the ass wherever needed
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
I think the heavy crossbow is the answer here. The longbow is out - their arms are too short - but the heavy crossbow, if they can crank it, and lift it, they should be able to use.

You might also allow some gnomish innovation, if thats how they're portrayed in your campaign - a Gnomish bow, larger than a short bow, smaller than a longbow, engineered especially for their size -

just kick the rules in the ass wherever needed


For me, I'd rather my small characters just had the mildly reduced damage, rather than invent race-specific balancing superweapons (and so even with this available, I would not use it).
 

Meatboy

First Post
I personally don't think small races should get any advantage, at least in terms of physical combat. Being small is not advantageous in real life and barring magic probably isn't good in game either. Weight classes in combative sports exist for reason and that is not to protect heavy weights from their smaller counerparts.

if they need some kind of balancing factor I'd say give them other advantages. In 3e a knife flinging rogue/fighter halfling is pretty deadly.
 

frankthedm

First Post
I personally don't think small races should get any advantage, at least in terms of physical combat. Being small is not advantageous in real life and barring magic probably isn't good in game either. Weight classes in combative sports exist for reason and that is not to protect heavy weights from their smaller counerparts.
Agreed on the most part. Mismatch size classes in RL an and broken bones get delightfully more common. Unlike an actual combat though sports have rules on what you can't do. Like a boxer short enough to speed bag an opponent's testicles is not permitted to actually DO that!
 

Meatboy

First Post
[MENTION=1164]frankthedm[/MENTION]
agreed but if there was such a size disparity that testicle speed bagging was acceptable the larger opponent could probably kick the smaller one over or toss them with impunity.
 

n00bdragon

First Post
That and, you know, this is a game about elves and goblins and wizards and ****. Reality left the building a while ago. You might not think it's "realistic" for a short character to be viable in combat so just don't play one. Why tell everyone who DOES want to play a halfling fighter to stop having fun?
 

Meatboy

First Post
That and, you know, this is a game about elves and goblins and wizards and ****. Reality left the building a while ago. You might not think it's "realistic" for a short character to be viable in combat so just don't play one. Why tell everyone who DOES want to play a halfling fighter to stop having fun?

True there is magic in dnd. Unfortunately the base assumptions are that outside of magical happenings the world works a lot like ours. Though by this logic my human warrior should have no issue hauling around a sword the size table because hey why not.
 

SatanasOz

Explorer
To try and calm this before we drift to far down the realism vs. fantasy well.

@ meatboy: No one is arguing that point. Realistically, small chars should be worse off. But so should elves, for example. In game / in world explanation has to follow game table premise. The premise in this case is that all player races are roughly the same if they were to face off. That is not because it is realistic (elves are made up) but stems from the underlying design decision to provide meaningful choice to players. Take, for example goblins vs. orcs. Ones are weaker than your average player race, the others are stronger. They don't have to be the same, because they don't influence player choice.

I guess, the "racial weapon" might be a little too straightforward as a fix. I like the idea of trade-offs for players: Yes, smaller chars do less damage, but therefore you get ... (dmg bump on racial weapons for halflings, for example). What I don't like is for a character concept that is quite feasable (gnomish crossbowmen) to be straight out worse that their human equivalent.
 

Meatboy

First Post
@SatanasOZ

I hear ya. I wouldn't want to derail this further. I really want balance between my races as much as my classes. I just don't feel that small races should be on the same level when it comes to combat, at least out of the gate. A couple of feats or equivalent powers should allow them to "catch up" to larger races. Generally I'd rather have smaller races be decent in other areas.
 
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