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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.
15th-Jun-2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Edit #2

Dont try to bring real world physics into a fantasy rule setting.

Some games had systems where damage was set up in tiers, a weapon that can hurt a human could not dent a tank for example. Usually it would take multiples of a lower tier damage to affect a higher tier.

Another option was damage caps, where smaller weapons could not do more than a set amount of damage to larger targets, and at the same time usually had a maximum effect against a smaller target.

The one thing in most of these systems is that you were dealing with vehicles and armor. Since D&D tends to be flesh and blood no matter how big you get (If it bleeds we can kill it!) stick with what works. If you want give the bigger guys more HP's on a case by case or bump up the DR/- ratings. I do this with certain "Boss" monsters, it tends to affect the Archer/Dual Wielders more than the 2H/Barbarians thou but it plays out since the 2H/Barbarians tend to hit less often anyway. Do what you think is right for the situation, and remember, you dont get xp from killing a horsefly.
15th-Jun-2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
You are absolutely right. In another comment, I mentioned something along these lines, but I could probably go through everything in the books with a "realism comb" and make a system that would accurately portray reality, except that it would take several hours to resolve a minute of combat or a simple skill check.
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