D&D 5E Small races overly disadvantaged?

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.

I used to think like you, then I met Mr Manny.

Manny was an old school player, he was playing D&D when I was learning to read. He had an unhealthy opsesion with playing little characters with big weapons. His dream character (that he never got to play) was in 3.5 a kobold with a Clossal+ sized full blade. We used to laugh when he played 4'5 human fighters with monky grip and titan blood and go for the magic gloves that let him use gargantuan melee weapons. But it was what he liked.

It wasn't until we played this game about anthropomorphic animal pirates that we realized it wasn't even damage he was after. One of the things was weapon damage was not connected to fluff, so he played a hafling sized mongoose man that had a ship cannon and an axe the size of two of him as weapons, both did d6 damage and was happy.

if someone wants to play a character who does just what you suggest "Though by this logic my human warrior should have no issue hauling around a sword the size table because hey why not" why not?
 

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Meatboy

First Post
I used to think like you, then I met Mr Manny.

Manny was an old school player, he was playing D&D when I was learning to read. He had an unhealthy opsesion with playing little characters with big weapons. His dream character (that he never got to play) was in 3.5 a kobold with a Clossal+ sized full blade. We used to laugh when he played 4'5 human fighters with monky grip and titan blood and go for the magic gloves that let him use gargantuan melee weapons. But it was what he liked.

It wasn't until we played this game about anthropomorphic animal pirates that we realized it wasn't even damage he was after. One of the things was weapon damage was not connected to fluff, so he played a hafling sized mongoose man that had a ship cannon and an axe the size of two of him as weapons, both did d6 damage and was happy.

if someone wants to play a character who does just what you suggest "Though by this logic my human warrior should have no issue hauling around a sword the size table because hey why not" why not?

And that is totally cool. Its just not for me. I like the rules to at least have some bearing on what I can and can't do and I like the rules to follow a pattern which I can extrapolate from. Forex: weapons small/med/large -> damage 1d6/1d8/1d10. Nice simple progression and if I want to make something bigger than large or small than small I can probably come up with something that fits the scheme. If however the game gives me; weapon small/med/large -> damage 1d6/1d6/1d6 I really hope the game gives me some reason why it is this way.
 

n00bdragon

First Post
And that is totally cool. Its just not for me. I like the rules to at least have some bearing on what I can and can't do and I like the rules to follow a pattern which I can extrapolate from. Forex: weapons small/med/large -> damage 1d6/1d8/1d10. Nice simple progression and if I want to make something bigger than large or small than small I can probably come up with something that fits the scheme. If however the game gives me; weapon small/med/large -> damage 1d6/1d6/1d6 I really hope the game gives me some reason why it is this way.

Yeah, and we can understand that desire. It's cool that you want to play someone whose sword follows whatever passes for physics in your mind. But other people don't necessarily want to do that. Some people want to play Cloud Strife and the only reason they can't is because of some arbitrary ruling that only explicitly "magical" characters can spit in the face of reality. Take a moment to try and see things from the perspective of those people. Does allowing the buster sword in your game really interfere with you having fun? Try picking up a video game or watching an anime or just about anything not doubly entrenched in the "Tolkien-esque fantasy" tradition and you'll see people waving around objects only vaguely resembling a bladed weapon shooting lasers/power waves out the end, flying through the air, or doing that really cool thing where you cut something so fast it doesn't even know it's been bisected/gibbed until three dramatic seconds later when you already have your weapon sheathed. Maybe you can start to see why there's an awful lot of people who'd like to do that in a roleplaying game... So why can't the game have any way of accommodating those people? Or is D&D 5e not as big a tent as it was originally advertised? And no, it's not as simple as just adding some "optional" rule or "module". That just ghettoizes the option, relegating it to a 2nd class rule not worthy of being integrated into the main game fully.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
Maybe you can start to see why there's an awful lot of people who'd like to do that in a roleplaying game... So why can't the game have any way of accommodating those people? Or is D&D 5e not as big a tent as it was originally advertised? And no, it's not as simple as just adding some "optional" rule or "module". That just ghettoizes the option, relegating it to a 2nd class rule not worthy of being integrated into the main game fully.

I guess the question is, if you want that (when D&D has never really done it), then do you really want D&D? Or do you want something else that directly supports that like Hero or Mutants and Masterminds? Why do you want D&D to change to do something it has never really done save by DM fiat and house rule (which people have always been pretty willing to do - for D&D and pretty much any other RPG)? Why shouldn't D&D have a base line reality and just encourage specific groups to deviate from that baseline… like it has done for most of its history?

I think this gets at part of the issues involved in the split market and WotC's current endeavor to deliver a game that respects the core of common D&Disms. You've got some players pushing for change within the core of the game to support the way they want to play, while other players see some of those changes as doing away with D&D's essential character which has an impact on the way they want to play. And I guess I'm more in the latter group. If you have to change D&D to make it palatable to you, why is it D&D you're pursuing? Why not something else?

Ultimately, I do think a lot of this conflict comes down to identity - I want to be a D&D player because I've been one most of my life and have enjoyed being one. But if D&D is so different, then it doesn't match my identification any more. Meanwhile, since you seem to want D&D to change in your imagining, it seems that you too want to identify as a D&D player, strongly enough that you'd rather push to change the core of D&D than find an alternative game or accept support for your imagining in an optional module. I think the differences in identity probably have more to do with some form of game play style - accepting what the game is and adjusting to it vs accepting what your primary game preference is and adjusting the game to it.
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
Yeah, and we can understand that desire. It's cool that you want to play someone whose sword follows whatever passes for physics in your mind. But other people don't necessarily want to do that. Some people want to play Cloud Strife and the only reason they can't is because of some arbitrary ruling that only explicitly "magical" characters can spit in the face of reality. Take a moment to try and see things from the perspective of those people. Does allowing the buster sword in your game really interfere with you having fun? Try picking up a video game or watching an anime or just about anything not doubly entrenched in the "Tolkien-esque fantasy" tradition and you'll see people waving around objects only vaguely resembling a bladed weapon shooting lasers/power waves out the end, flying through the air, or doing that really cool thing where you cut something so fast it doesn't even know it's been bisected/gibbed until three dramatic seconds later when you already have your weapon sheathed. Maybe you can start to see why there's an awful lot of people who'd like to do that in a roleplaying game... So why can't the game have any way of accommodating those people? Or is D&D 5e not as big a tent as it was originally advertised? And no, it's not as simple as just adding some "optional" rule or "module". That just ghettoizes the option, relegating it to a 2nd class rule not worthy of being integrated into the main game fully.

Actually it's called houseruling. It happened all the time back in the day. Yeah, sometimes it sucked and you got hit with the nerf bat. Other times it was just what you wanted. It's not "one size fits all". It's "some assembly required".
 

Meatboy

First Post
[MENTION=6689371]n00bdragon[/MENTION]

Even traditionally Dnd has accommodated such gonzo, over the top play styles. Which have been the high levels, I'd say 15 and up into the epics. I have even argued in the past that many class get hosed and can't viably hold their own at those levels.

Dnd has not however given us the rules to explore such characters from level one. I don't think it should either. It's a game about zero to hero. There are many systems better suited to creating and playing such characters. I think this is only marginally related to the OP's question.
 

SatanasOz

Explorer
... I think this is only marginally related to the OP's question.

:) - well spotted sir. I see the point of measuring from the corners, but ATM I am more looking for guidance on a more mundane issue: How to have a small ranged fighter that is not strictly worse?

Reading up on another thread though, I have to revise my earlier comment a bit about older editions. 3e had it the other way around in some situations. A small caster would be mechanically better (getting the ac bonus, but not being hampered by weapon choice / str).
 



Meatboy

First Post
:) - well spotted sir. I see the point of measuring from the corners, but ATM I am more looking for guidance on a more mundane issue: How to have a small ranged fighter that is not strictly worse?

Reading up on another thread though, I have to revise my earlier comment a bit about older editions. 3e had it the other way around in some situations. A small caster would be mechanically better (getting the ac bonus, but not being hampered by weapon choice / str).

Its a tough question, in 3e, I'd say use a light crossbow as I'm fairly certain even small races can use that. Or if you consider dwarves as small use them as they have no sized based weapon restrictions and are just generally awesome.
Halfling with throwing weapons and rapid shot/two weapon fighting/quick draw can be pretty fun. Still not sure if it's legal but they can put out quite a few attacks per round maybe not super optimal but probably viable in standard groups.

for 4e "fighter" is a much looser term. I stopped playing before I saw a viable ranged weapons fighter. I doubt a halfling ranger would be drastically inferior to medium sized characters.
 

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