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Thread: Small Human?

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    Default Small Human?

    I am planning to have a size small NPC in a human only campaign. Would making the character a size small human be too much of an advantage or detriment to fit within no level adjustment? Would it simply be easier to create a halfling to represent a human who just happens to fit a halfling's qualities?

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    I believe the Strongheart Halfling from the forgotten realms is what you're looking for
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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Considering how the Strongheart Halfling appears to be a normal Halfling with a bonus feat while still holding a +0 LA, it should be safe then to just take a Human's traits and include small size without any problems.

    One more question, just on the side: Ability score adjustments come with size change, right?

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greysect View Post
    Considering how the Strongheart Halfling appears to be a normal Halfling with a bonus feat while still holding a +0 LA, it should be safe then to just take a Human's traits and include small size without any problems.
    They do lose something. It's the save bonuses, as I recall.
    One more question, just on the side: Ability score adjustments come with size change, right?
    Not automatically. Small-size PC-type races almost universally have -2 STR, though.

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/reducePerson.htm

    I'd just play it like an instant "Reduce Person" effect. -2 Str, +2 Dex, +1 to hit and AC. I might also drop the speed to 20', since your tiny little legs won't be able to keep up.

    EDIT: I'd probably also sing a lot of Randy Newman.
    Last edited by LibraryOgre; 2011-02-15 at 06:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greysect View Post
    I am planning to have a size small NPC in a human only campaign. Would making the character a size small human be too much of an advantage or detriment to fit within no level adjustment? Would it simply be easier to create a halfling to represent a human who just happens to fit a halfling's qualities?
    This one's come up a few times before - the best options are a Strongheart Halfling, or a permanently Reduced Human.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/reducePerson.htm

    I'd just play it like an instant "Reduce Person" effect. -2 Str, +2 Dex, +1 to hit and AC. I might also drop the speed to 20', since your tiny little legs won't be able to keep up.

    EDIT: I'd probably also sing a lot of Randy Newman.
    I honestly find the "Short legs so you won't be able to keep up" thing utterly ridiculous. I'm 5'3 with fairly short legs and I can easily out pace someone taller then myself without really giving it any effort despite the longer leg span. Not even an "In general" situation does it really matter. I can understand the logic behind it, but frankly it doesn't really add up. I'm not even a very fit person and I can maintain a good stride that keeps me up or ahead with someone with a far larger leg span then myself.
    Last edited by Innis Cabal; 2011-02-15 at 09:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innis Cabal View Post
    I honestly find the "Short legs so you won't be able to keep up" thing utterly ridiculous. I'm 5'3 with fairly short legs and I can easily out pace someone taller then myself without really giving it any effort despite the longer leg span. Not even an "In general" situation does it really matter. I can understand the logic behind it, but frankly it doesn't really add up. I'm not even a very fit person and I can maintain a good stride that keeps me up or ahead with someone with a far larger leg span then myself.
    A Small creature really doesn't refer to a 5'3'' human...on average, a small humanoid will be half the size of a typical human, so around 3' tall. I doubt many midgets (with medical dwarfism) could keep up in a foot race with a human of average height (assuming both to be of about the same general fitness).

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innis Cabal View Post
    I honestly find the "Short legs so you won't be able to keep up" thing utterly ridiculous. I'm 5'3 with fairly short legs and I can easily out pace someone taller then myself without really giving it any effort despite the longer leg span. Not even an "In general" situation does it really matter. I can understand the logic behind it, but frankly it doesn't really add up. I'm not even a very fit person and I can maintain a good stride that keeps me up or ahead with someone with a far larger leg span then myself.
    How about comparing an adult to a 5 year old child. If you've got younger siblings, remember how irritating it could be to remember to slow down to their walking pace?

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innis Cabal View Post
    I honestly find the "Short legs so you won't be able to keep up" thing utterly ridiculous. I'm 5'3 with fairly short legs and I can easily out pace someone taller then myself without really giving it any effort despite the longer leg span. Not even an "In general" situation does it really matter. I can understand the logic behind it, but frankly it doesn't really add up. I'm not even a very fit person and I can maintain a good stride that keeps me up or ahead with someone with a far larger leg span then myself.
    And I'm 6'5" and frequently outpace shorter people in standard walking situations... and against my niece, who is 3' tall? If I can get up to speed, outpacing her is pretty easy.
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    Default Re: Small Human?

    A Small creature really doesn't refer to a 5'3'' human...on average, a small humanoid will be half the size of a typical human, so around 3' tall. I doubt many midgets (with medical dwarfism) could keep up in a foot race with a human of average height (assuming both to be of about the same general fitness).
    Try "little people" or "dwarfs" instead of "midgets". But, yes; they do have much shorter legs and in some cases there are bone issues as well.

    If you're interested in playing somebody with dwarfism, you should probably do some research. Try watching "Little People, Big World"--it's only one family, but it does give you a good picture of everyday life and such. There are lots of different kinds of dwarfism; some only make you shorter, others have lots of health problems associated with them. It's not just one condition, but dozens.

    Dwarfism starts at 4'10" adult, but you probably want somebody shorter than that, because if you're in a pseudo-medieval world, the average person will be shorter anyway. (Unless you're in a world where magic makes food varied and plentiful.) Achondroplasia is the most common type--if you meet a little person there's a good chance that this is the type of dwarfism they have. It basically looks like somebody who has a pretty much normal-size torso, but short arms and legs. There are lots of pictures you can search for if you want an idea of the sort of body type.

    In a world where halflings often live side by side with humans, dwarfism may not actually pose too many challenges, and may not be a disability. If you remember from your sociology class, disability is actually defined by the society you live in, rather than by the individual person; so a society that is made up of a mix of Small and Medium humanoids might integrate a Small-sized human without problems!

    Anyways, I think playing a Small-sized human is a cool idea, and I don't think it's either overpowered or underpowered. No need to do anything other than just the size change, really.

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Quote Originally Posted by Callista View Post
    Try "little people" or "dwarfs" instead of "midgets". But, yes; they do have much shorter legs and in some cases there are bone issues as well.
    I considered that, but it would have made the sentence quite confusing in context, which is why I qualified it with medical dwarfism, the scientific term.

    Midget can be an offensive term, but it is also a perfectly legitimate word by definition. Some people (Hervé Villechaize, aka Tattoo from Fantasy Island, for example), are on record as saying they actually prefer to be called midgets than "little people".

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    In SWSE the rules state that medium player races can be made small with no changes other than size modifiers. Not D&D, but it is similar enough.
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    Default Re: Small Human?

    dandwiki has a trait you could take that gives you small size called midget. I'm taking it with my nezumi.

    Basically, take all the small benifites and penalties. And reduce your speed a little bit.

    as for the 5'3" person who can outwalk people.. Its quite possible that said people being outwalked do not take full advantage of their ability to create longer strides. Like just cause the car can go 80, but the driver forces it go 20.. this doesn't mean the driver of the car who can go up to 60 but goes 40 is in a faster vehicle.

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greysect View Post
    I am planning to have a size small NPC in a human only campaign. Would making the character a size small human be too much of an advantage or detriment to fit within no level adjustment? Would it simply be easier to create a halfling to represent a human who just happens to fit a halfling's qualities?
    Homebrew it!

    If we're talking something like a midget (not a child), you might want to use halfling ability modifiers and leave everything else human's. Bonus feat, skills, whatever.

    If it's a child, I'd consider cutting out the bonus feat depending on age.

    -Str +Dex seems reasonable enough for going small.

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Wait, a halfling isn't basically just a small human in the first place?
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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Small size is an advantage on many classes/builds with the size bonuses (and small races typically won't play anything else). But a 20' speed is plenty to counteract it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    Small size is an advantage on many classes/builds with the size bonuses (and small races typically won't play anything else). But a 20' speed is plenty to counteract it.
    Precisely. For any build where strength or weapon damage is not important, being small has a clear advantage. Compare two Warmages*. One is human, the other is Strongheart Halfling. Since skill points aren't of great advantage to warmages, the Strongheart Halfling (with the bonus feat) is pretty much the obviously better choice... the strength penalty is almost immaterial, since most of your damage comes from spells, and the +2 to Dex and the size bonus to AC and hit means a net +2 to hit and AC. The bonus skill points are a bit more important to a wizard, but high Int means they're less necessary. And as a druid... well, a halfling druid has nothing to be ashamed of compared to a human, especially once shapeshifting kicks in.
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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    Wait, a halfling isn't basically just a small human in the first place?
    Nope. Halflings are proportional, like a human who's just had a Reduce Person spell cast on them--a human with dwarfism usually has short arms and legs. There's proportional dwarfism, which would look more halfling-like, but the majority of the time, a Small-size human would have a head and torso about the size of a Medium-size human's, with short arms and legs.

    I hunted down some pictures, if anyone's interested.

    First pic is the Rolloff family from "Little People, Big World". The three people on the left have dwarfism. The woman in the red shirt has achondroplasia, which is the most common kind of dwarfism. You can compare her and her husband and dwaf son to their average-height kids on the right to see the differences. The three little people in this family, and probably their youngest child, would be Small-sized humans.
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    This is Romeo Dev, who's a professional bodybuilder and 2'9" tall. He has primordial dwarfism, and you can see that everything about him is smaller, rather than the short bones you see with the more common types. This is the kind of "smaller" that halflings are, or what you'd get with a Reduce Person spell.
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    There are actually a few humans who would fit into the Tiny size category, at 2 feet or shorter. Pauline Musters, who lived in the late 1890s, reportedly grew to only 1'11" in height, but died at only nineteen years old. I couldn't find a very good picture of her, unfortunately, so this one will have to do:
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    And, just to cover the whole spectrum: A human being over 8 feet tall can be considered Large-sized. There are lots of reasons that could happen, but usually it has something to do with the pituitary gland sending out a lot more growth hormone than it should.
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    Kind of makes the wild variety of sentient races in D&D seem a little less crazy, doesn't it?
    Last edited by Callista; 2011-02-17 at 01:25 PM.

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    Well those are extreme cases, and each of those disorders usually comes with a shortened lifespan in some way. I would think of a person who is simply unusually short without having a corresponding medical condition being a Medium creature with the Sleight Build trait, or a Small creature with the Powerful Build trait. You know, somewhere between Small and Medium in physical description, but noted as simply Small in the statblock.
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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Unusually short humans would still be Medium-sized. Medium goes from 4 to 8 feet, so you have to actually be 3'11" or shorter to be Small-sized; I was assuming pretty much that this would mean dwarfism of one sort or another.

    The pictures were to provide examples of what a Small-sized human might look like, to explain the difference between that and a Halfling.

    Primordial dwarfism usually does come with health issues, and so do many other types of dwarfism. Though, if you happened to roll a low CON (don't know why you'd put a low stat in CON, but I guess you could), then that might make sense.

    Achondroplasia is actually notable for not causing health issues in most cases--they have a normal lifespan and they're as healthy as anybody; they're just short.

    No need to replicate a real-world disorder to have a Small-sized human, after all; you can create your own or just say "dwarf"--which could result in who's-on-first-ing occasionally with Dwarves, but hey, that might be fun.

    ETA:--Oh, I just thought of something else. If you're doing an Egyptian-flavored campaign setting, it might be interesting to research this deity--
    Bes, god of war, childbirth, and the home
    Bes happens to be a dwarf, which is interesting because we've found lots of dwarf mummies (usually achondroplasia) who seemed to have lived pretty normal lives among the Egyptians. This is notable because everybody else during the time the Egyptians were doing all of this would pretty much have either killed dwarf babies outright, or at best relegated them to a life of begging. It's not known whether they had any special status (there's at least one I know of who seems to have been a priest), or whether they really had equality, but the existence of a dwarf god seems to support that Egypt had a unique viewpoint on Small-sized humans.
    Last edited by Callista; 2011-02-17 at 04:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    It may be worth noting that pre-3E halflings weren't quite proprotional to humans - they were much more squat and stocky. It's only from 3E onwards that they've become mini-humans with furry feet (well, they always had the furry feet).

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    Default Re: Small Human?

    Yeah, more like Tolkien hobbits. Which, of course, is what they were to begin with...

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