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D&D 3E
Query about optional rule 
15th-Jun-2007 09:47 am
hot raam
I just wanted to get some input on an idea. Anyway, here goes:

Creatures and characters of size Small or smaller would take a Damage Increase penalty, sort of like the opposite of Damage Reduction. It seems like sound reasoning to me that a smaller creature would be more injured than a larger creature for the same blow. To compensate for this, though, they would get an even bigger size adjustment to AC. Likewise, Large or larger creatures would receive damage reduction, but a larger penalty to AC.

It might break down something like this:
Size | Damage Increase or Reduction | AC bonus or penalty
Fine | DI 8/- | +16 (instead of +8)
Diminutive | DI 4/- | +8 (instead of +4)
Tiny | DI 2/- | +4 (instead of +2)
Small | DI 1/- | +2 (instead of +1)
Medium | 0 | 0
Large | DR 1/- | -2 (instead of -1)
Huge | DR 2/- | -4 (instead of -2)
Gargantuan | DR 4/- | -8 (instead of -4)
Colossal | DR 8/- | -16 (instead of -8)

It should be noted that the DI and DR would effect weapons and targeted spells, but probably shouldn't affect area of effect spells.

It would drastically change the way parties handle very large creatures, suddenly the fighters would not be able to hurt the dragon so much and it would be up to casters to deal a lot of the damage.

It's just a thought. On the whole, I think it would make things a bit more realistic, but on the other hand, it might bog combat down even further. Tell me what you think, please.

Edit: I had the table spaced for clarity, but the editor won't keep it. Sorry if it's hard to read.

Edit #2: A lot of people are pointing out that there is a Con modifier to account for differences in size. I am actually aware of that. I'm not asking whether this is a balanced way of dealing with size modifiers, but rather a more realistic way. Although, I'd love to read suggestions on ways to make it more balanced.

Let me give a couple of examples that I gave below:
If you were to swat a (fine) horsefly sitting on a (large) horse, a blow that would flatten the fly would hardly be felt by the horse. Not because the horse has so many hitpoints that it won't miss the few lost from your blow, but because the horse was genuinely unhurt. In the one instance that I know of someone accidentally stepping on a cat, the cat died. Con modifiers adjust hp based on size but there are many situations that would injure a smaller creature, but not a larger one.
Comments 
15th-Jun-2007 04:02 pm (UTC)
Er, No.

No way. No how.

This doesn't even make that much sense. 1 hp of damage is 1 hp of damage. Small creatures usually have smaller CON scores to represent having fewer HP due to body mass.

This rule means if someone accidentally steps on a cat (Tiny, DI/2) I automatically knock it unconscious (1d3 +2).

And it means there's no way anyone would want to play a small creature (you mean, i'm taking more damage for every hit? Sure, i get hit 5% less often, but that hardly makes up for it.)
15th-Jun-2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
I can certainly understand not liking the idea based on character balance. I agree it would make smaller creatures weaker and larger creatures tougher.

However, even if unbalancing it is more realistic. If you were to swat a (fine) horsefly sitting on a (large) horse, a blow that would flatten the fly would hardly be felt by the horse. Not because the horse has so many hitpoints that it won't miss the few lost from your blow, but because the horse was genuinely unhurt.

In the one instance that I know of someone accidentally stepping on a cat, the cat died.

I'm not arguing with your opinion, though, and I appreciate your response. I just think increasing and decreasing the Con doesn't accurately reflect size differences.
15th-Jun-2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
See, that's entirely covered by the Hit Point (and armor class) concept.

HP isn't actual damage; we're not using a Vitality/Wound system. HP are abstract. Doing 1 HP of damage to a horse, who has 30HP isn't terribly significant. And that assumes slapping the horse gets through the horses natural armor.

Doing 1 HP to a fly, who has 1 HP to start with, it fatal. However, a strong breeze doesn't kill a fly, even though with your system, it should take 8 HP of damage just for existing.


15th-Jun-2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
Except for taking 8hp of damage for existing (which is not what the system implies) you make good points.

I guess it comes down to whether you want a cumbersome, but realistic system vs. a smoother, but more abstract system. Probably every aspect of the game could be made more realistic, but more complex.

Thanks for your input.
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