D&D 5E The Fate of the Smol


Just remove the heavy tag or the 'screw small characters' rule for heavy. Everyone who would get mad at that over ~my verisimilitude~ meaning halflings should such and fail at using weapons are already mad at the ASI changes, so there's no additional danger in making other improvements.
I've started to think that small and medium will just get merged in 5.5e/6e, and become mechanically the same.

Which will be a shame.
Both points of view--verisimilitude vs. player freedom--are valid, but WotC needs to pick one. The half-measures they are currently using are kludgy. Small and medium creatures are dramatically more similar than small and tiny creatures or medium and large creatures. No PC creatures can be large so Centaur PCs are medium, even though centaur monsters and horses are large. Goliaths are "little giants" as of MotM. What?

If PC size doesn't matter, that's fine, D&D is full of abstractions. If it matters, make it matter.

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At this point I'm wondering if they should even keep halflings as a playable race...

Honestly I'm not sure DnD races can really mean all that much in a race/class/background paradigm, since they don't have carved-out design space to fill. They only modify how your class or background plays out - and to do that fairly, they need to do it evenly. That means no major impacts.

It could work if different races had different classes / class levels / could affect how much class power you had... but that gets into fiddly and/or bloated territory real quick.

On the other hand, if the rules are such that halfling barbarians are always bad at being barbarians... I can live with that. They still have 12 classes to choose from.


Both points of view--verisimilitude vs. player freedom--are valid, but WotC needs to pick one.
Punt verisimilitude into low Earth orbit whenever it comes into opposition with player agency or fantasy worldbuilding.

The way verisimilitude is used in D&D contexts is basically to strip all fantasy out of the world except magic and empower the wizard.

But "realism" and "fun" are two very different things. One person might have their verisimilitude challenged by smallfolk kicking ass (I personally enjoy it when they do). Another might have their sense of fair play challenged when a character has a disadvantage for no reason other "well it wouldn't make sense otherwise" in their fantasy make-believe game where people can slay dragons with nothing more than 4' of steel.

Personally, I'd like to see a sidebar in the PHB talking about this, and presenting an OPTIONAL rule you can employ if you'd like to see Small characters less disadvantaged. That should appease everyone's sense of fun, I think.
Ultimately, each table needs to make their own decisions.

Personally, I would have no trouble with this kind of sidebar. I have an issue with Hervé Villechaize and Andre the Giant being able to dead lift the same amount without magic. Hussar and his table have no problem with that. That's fine. I believe that it is easier to have rules that key into realism more and then have guidelines to adjust as necessary. I think that would serve the majority of the players.

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
I thought when being attacked by ogres, trolls, ogre magi, giants, and/or titans, small creatures subtract 4 from their opponents' "to hit" dice rolls because of their small size and combat ability against these much bigger creatures. But I may be out of date.

James Gasik

Falling Dawizard
Dwarves and Gnomes had that ability in 2e. In 3e, the ability was reworded to be a +4 Dodge bonus to AC against creatures of the Giant type. The ability was lost in 4e, and hasn't been back since.


So long as you have a 20-point swing from the d20 and only like a 6-point swing from STR mods ranging from -1 to +5... any kind of rule that affects Strength scores based upon race size is going to be purely for show. You're never going to get any sort of true verisimilitude from those rules.
What is "true" verisimilitude? Verisimilitude is simply the appearance of realism without necessarily being realistic which is generally what I'm looking for in a game like D&D.

Who says a halfling can't be modeled more on Bullroarer Took than the stereotypical burglar?
Nobody. Model them on whoever you like. Ultimately we're just talking about preferences here and it's not like any one of us is objectively correct. I'm generally not a fan of high strength halflings but even I think they'll work just fine for some settings.
The will be one race, "Adventurer", where you choose one strong ability, one medium ability, and four average abilities. You also have three talents, proficiency, or whatever. Possibly some having a cost of two "slots" like darkvision.
Seriously, at this point they might as well.

The average Adventurer is an amorphous blob of gray protoplasm with indistinct features, abilities, and even culture. What is perhaps most amazing about these splotches is that they appear to have the same physical abilities regardless of mass or weight. A twenty-five kilogram globule (that's fifty-five Freedom Units to our American friends) can move just as quickly, lift just as much weight, and be just as nimble as a one hundred and forty kilogram (three hundred and eight Freedom Units) glob.


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