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    Default Featherweight/Overweight/Obese (Traits +Feat)

    So, I've been working on-and-off on my Omnomnomicon project for the past few years. One of the things that's tied into several different aspects of the project is the idea of a heavyweight character. Basically, I'm making rules for being fat. I want something that can be applied to a character of any race or class, so I was originally thinking a feat. But then I thought that perhaps, since feats are usually directly positive, I thought maybe it should be a trait, but traits are usually much smaller than this. Later on, Ashtagon came along and made these awesome traits. Thanks!

    Traits:
    Featherweight: You are about 20% lighter than a normal person of your race. This may be a naturally extremely slight build, or it could be a symptom of a sickness, or it could be the result of extreme dieting.

    * You gain a +2 bonus on Escape Artist, Hide, Move Silently, and Tumble checks.
    * You suffer a -2 penalty to resist being bullrushed or tripped when standing on the ground (this works in the same manner as the dwarf racial ability).
    * Subtract 2 from your effective Strength when determining your encumbrance limit.
    * You gain fire resistance 1 against environmental heat effects.

    Overweight: You are about 20% heavier than a normal person of your race, and all the extra weight is fat. This can be a natural predilection toward weight, or the result of poor diet.

    * You suffer a -2 penalty on Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, and Tumble checks.
    * You gain a +2 bonus to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
    * Subtract 2 from your effective Strength when determining your encumbrance limit. This reflects the extra body weight.
    * When running, you only move at x3 speed, even if not wearing heavy armour.
    * You gain cold resistance 1 against environmental cold effects.

    Obese (trait): You are about 50% heavier than a normal person of your race, and all the extra weight is fat.

    * You suffer a -4 penalty on Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, and Tumble checks.
    * You gain a +4 bonus to resist being bullrushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
    * Subtract 4 from your effective Strength when determining your encumbrance limit. This reflects the extra body weight.
    * When running, you only move at x3 speed, even if not wearing heavy armour. Additionally, you can only maintain a running pace for half as long as other characters.
    * You gain cold resistance 3 against environmental cold effects.


    Feats:
    Heavyweight (Feat)

    Prerequisite: Overweight or Obese trait

    Benefit: You gain a size bonus (+2 for overweight, +4 for obese) bonus on all grapple, bull rush, trip, and overrun checks. This replaces with the normal defensive bonus to bullrush and trip checks from the prerequisite trait. In addition, you gain DR 2/piercing or slashing.
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2012-11-26 at 12:22 PM.
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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    Powerful Build covers a lot of the bonuses you want to give them.

    Maybe you could divide it into a trait (Obese) which becomes the prerequisite for the feat (Heavyweight).
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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    Quote Originally Posted by sengmeng View Post
    Powerful Build covers a lot of the bonuses you want to give them.

    Maybe you could divide it into a trait (Obese) which becomes the prerequisite for the feat (Heavyweight).
    Powerful build is very similar to it, but it's not quite the right thing for what I'm looking for. For one, powerful build is purely positive, while overweight comes with a few downsides. Powerful build lets you wield larger weapons, an overweight character wouldn't get that.

    I had vaguely considered the idea of a trait and a feat, but I wasn't sold on it. But it makes sense.

    Do you think +2/-2/light/+1 is balanced as a trait, or is the size bonus strong enough to warrant making the penalties higher?
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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    well, counting as being in light doesn't armor doesn't hurt too many people, though being non-proficient would mean they take a -2 to attack rolls, and you could hardly function as a monk (although an obese monk wouldn't make sense anyway). There's no arcane spell failure chance right?

    If you planned to wear heavier armor anyway, it becomes only positive, unless the -2 is added to your armor's normal penalty, in which case the difference is still negligible.

    If you're an arcane caster, you take a -2 to your attacks unless you're proficient, though the gains to a caster are pretty small as well.

    I also kind of assumed that being overweight would reduce your movement. I think if you made them slow, then the bonuses could be +4 and +2 and keep the armor penalty at -2.
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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    Quote Originally Posted by sengmeng View Post
    and you could hardly function as a monk (although an obese monk wouldn't make sense anyway).
    I'm sorry, what was that?

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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    It might help us elavuate this idea if we knew exactly what you where going for. To me, it seems like a fat (as opposed to just muscular) character would be a drawback, so you could make it as a flaw and then let people have the bonus feat to make up for it.

    The hardest thing, I think, would be to try and balance it, because people will build around the bonuses and minimize the penalties.

    My preference would be to create a feat with an Obese-flaw as the prerequsite, so it basically represents the character learning to work around their disability and even benefitting from it. That way any character who wants to play the fat-man can do so, and they can pick to either revel in their fatness and play it up, or just have it as an interesting character quirk.


    The armor-equivalent thing is interesting, but I feel it would impact to many different areas. I would rather just list out a few individual penalties that do most of the same things, such as a 5/10 ft. penalty to speed, penalties to certain skill checks, decreased stamina for running, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by sengmeng View Post
    ...although an obese monk wouldn't make sense anyway.
    There's a genre of asian martial-arts movies that makes frequent use of the "fat kung-fu master" quirk. Unfortunately, I can't remember any of them at the moment, though I'll see if I can bring anything up on youtube.

    While I'm sure the realistic potential of an overweight monk is debatable, I know it has precedent as a story-telling mechanic.

    Edit: Found one! viewable here
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-11-05 at 09:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shpadoinkle View Post
    How can that be considered to make sense in any way?

    Anyway, the D&D 3.5e monk is not representative of all the tropes or real-life examples of martial artists. An obese 3.5e monk doesn't make sense, even if real-life monks could be and are obese.
    Last edited by sengmeng; 2012-11-06 at 06:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    I DO like the idea of a flaw/feat combo. A very neat method of dealing with it. Rough draft:

    [Flaw] Overweight:
    Prerequisite: Con 15
    Effect: A character with this feat is fat, at least 30% heavier than the average for his race. A character with this flaw suffers a -2 penalty to balance, climb, escape artist, hide, jump, move silently, and tumble checks. They take a 5-foot penalty to their base land speed. However, they gain a +2 size bonus to grapple, bull rush, trip, and overrun checks. This size bonus stacks with any existing size modifier.

    Heavyweight:
    Prerequisite: Overweight, Str 13
    Benefit: A character with this flaw has trained and hardened their excessive weght, turning flab into a weapon. how to use their weight to their advantage, putting it to use where it can do them the most good. The size bonus to grapple, bull rush, trip, and overrun checks granted by their overweight flaw increases to +4. In addition, they gain DR 2/piercing.
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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    I like that too. Should be a trait, though, since flaws give you only penalties. Just to be clear, it grants +2/+4 to trips AND to opposing trips? It should. Watching sumo wrestlers throw each other makes it clear how much weight can influence that. And it stacks with Powerful Build? I would take "any existing size modifier" to include that. Assuming that I've interpreted the rules correctly, I would say this is pretty balanced and flavorful.
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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    Quote Originally Posted by sengmeng View Post
    I like that too. Should be a trait, though, since flaws give you only penalties. Just to be clear, it grants +2/+4 to trips AND to opposing trips? It should. Watching sumo wrestlers throw each other makes it clear how much weight can influence that. And it stacks with Powerful Build? I would take "any existing size modifier" to include that. Assuming that I've interpreted the rules correctly, I would say this is pretty balanced and flavorful.
    See, that's why I was thinking trait in the first place. But then I double-checked the rules regarding flaws, and all it takes is three -2 penalties to skills in order to count as bad enough for a flaw. This comes with seven, and a 5-foot speed penalty. Hopefully, that's enough to cancel out the size bonus and makes it stay in the flaw range. Though, if necessary, I could up the penalty or the speed penalty.

    Yes, it's all trip checks, so it applies both to aggressive and defensive checks, and it does stack with powerful build. A goliath with heavyweight would be a force to be reckoned with in a wrestling match...
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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    A goliath with heavyweight would be a force to be reckoned with in a wrestling match...
    You mean a seven foot guy who weighs 800 pounds wouldn't be a pushover?

    I guess it all makes sense, then. Is there any other feat that has a flaw as a prerequisite? I'm not saying that that would be bad, just interested to know if this is new territory as far as game mechanics.
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    Default Re: Heavyweight (Feat/Trait?)

    Quote Originally Posted by sengmeng View Post
    You mean a seven foot guy who weighs 800 pounds wouldn't be a pushover?

    I guess it all makes sense, then. Is there any other feat that has a flaw as a prerequisite? I'm not saying that that would be bad, just interested to know if this is new territory as far as game mechanics.
    I don't think I've ever seen one, but flaws were only really addressed in unearthed arcana, as far as I know.
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    As written now, Overweight is a trait (some positive, some negative), not a flaw. 'Tis the only flaw.

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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by vasharanpaladin View Post
    As written now, Overweight is a trait (some positive, some negative), not a flaw. 'Tis the only flaw.
    Well, technically, perhaps, but it's supposed to be bad enough to still count, despite the positive side of it. I mean, being blind would be a flaw, though you would technically become immune to gaze attacks and visual effects. I could, theoretically, divest the positives from the negatives entirely, but I think that wouldn't be loyal to the actual effects of being heavy.

    If you think it's not yet bad enough to qualify as a flaw, I could make it worse. Up the skill penalty to -3, up the speed penalty to -10.
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Well, I know even less about the rules for traits than I do about the rules for flaws, but this IS homebrew so I don't have any issues with twisting the rules to suit our needs.

    Normally, the point of a flaw is that it gives all penalties, but you get an extra feat the make up for it. If your design gives both bonuses and penalties, I would call it a trait, and I don't really see the problem with still using it as a prerequisite. You just wouldn't get the bonus feat you get from a flaw, and would need to spend one of your normal leveling feats on it.


    Also, I acknowledge that the power level and versatility of feats varies widely, and there are plenty that lacking in both power and interesting effects. IMO, a good feat is one that is both powerful and interesting, and a mediocre feat is at least one of the two. Any feat that is neither is a "bad" feat in my book, and should either be boosted, rewritten, or combined with something else.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-11-10 at 09:28 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Okay, so, it doesn't work as a flaw because it has positive effects, even if the negatives outweigh the positives. It doesn't work as a trait, because traits are much smaller than this, usually only a +1 to one thing and a -1 to another. It doesn't work as a feat because it's got downsides. So, what's left? A template? Something else entirely?

    I like the mechanics of it as a trait, something that any character that can get without affecting their balance. Maybe some sort of super-trait?
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    All I was trying to point out was that flaws normally come with a feat to balance the penalties, so if this was a trait, it wouldn't get that bonus feat.
    I don't have a problem with it being a trait; most of them are overly simplistic and boring IMO anyway.

    What you are trying to do doesn't fit very well in any of the existing formats, so pick the one you like best, and go with it.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-11-10 at 01:23 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Alright, here's a draft of it as a super-trait.

    Overweight:
    You are fat, weighing at least 30% more than the norm for your race.

    Benefit:
    You gain a +2 size bonus to bull rush, grapple, trip, and overrun checks. This bonus stacks with any existing size modifiers.

    Drawback:
    You take a -2 penalty to balance, climb, escape artist, hide, jump, move silently, and tumble checks.

    Roleplaying Ideas:
    A character with this trait may be sensitive about their weight, or they may embrace it, cracking jokes.
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    in combat bonuses for an out of combat mali is always a bad idea for a trait.
    And there is already a fatty feat in the book of vile darkness giving +2 constitution for -2 dexterity.

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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    I like this Must make a class called the Fatass. The fatter they get? The stronger/tougher they get. Think Blob from the X-Men.
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by theDuskling View Post
    in combat bonuses for an out of combat mali is always a bad idea for a trait.
    And there is already a fatty feat in the book of vile darkness giving +2 constitution for -2 dexterity.
    Which does a pretty lame job of describing the actual effects of being fat. According to the vile feat, being obese has no effect on your ability to run, jump or climb. and it's a part of willing deformity, if memory serves, because being fat is obviously evil.

    Your concern about combat bonuses for out-of-combat penalties is something I hadn't considered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimsage Matt View Post
    I like this Must make a class called the Fatass. The fatter they get? The stronger/tougher they get. Think Blob from the X-Men.
    I'm definitely planning to make a heavyweight-based PRC in my Omnomnomicon. Hence why it's so important to get the kinks ironed out before I can keep working.
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2012-11-14 at 03:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Alright, here's a draft of it as a super-trait.

    Overweight:
    You are fat, weighing at least 30% more than the norm for your race.

    Benefit:
    You gain a +2 size bonus to bull rush, grapple, trip, and overrun checks. This bonus stacks with any existing size modifiers.

    Drawback:
    You take a -2 penalty to balance, climb, escape artist, hide, jump, move silently, and tumble checks.

    Roleplaying Ideas:
    A character with this trait may be sensitive about their weight, or they may embrace it, cracking jokes.
    I think this trait, while somewhat appropriate for the reason it's being designed, has, as theDuskling pointed out, an incorrect balance of benefits to drawbacks. For instance, tripping is fine where it is, but I fail to see how extra girth helps you hold people to you for grappling, since if you're overweight but still weak in the arms(I.E. Low strength), you still ain't gonna grapple nothing. I'm uncertain if being overweight should, or should not help bull rushes or overrunning, but since I have no experience with those mechanics, I will not question them for now.

    And the drawbacks I get, save for two-Why is being overweight something which reduces your balance? If anything, being overweight should increase it, since it's hard to make something heavy move when it doesn't want to(Law of Inertia and all that jazz.), though I could see it averaging out to neutral still. As for the other...why is being overweight reducing tumble? Clowns can be plenty overweight, and they still tumble with the best of them. (Yeah, I know in DnD the mechanics support your typical high-Dex beanpoles being better at it, but nothing inherently suggests being overweight should screw up your acrobatics.)

    These are, of course, just my opinions, and Dr. ScrambledBrains advises these opinions be taken with a grain of salt.
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by ScrambledBrains View Post
    I think this trait, while somewhat appropriate for the reason it's being designed, has, as theDuskling pointed out, an incorrect balance of benefits to drawbacks. For instance, tripping is fine where it is, but I fail to see how extra girth helps you hold people to you for grappling, since if you're overweight but still weak in the arms(I.E. Low strength), you still ain't gonna grapple nothing. I'm uncertain if being overweight should, or should not help bull rushes or overrunning, but since I have no experience with those mechanics, I will not question them for now.

    And the drawbacks I get, save for two-Why is being overweight something which reduces your balance? If anything, being overweight should increase it, since it's hard to make something heavy move when it doesn't want to(Law of Inertia and all that jazz.), though I could see it averaging out to neutral still. As for the other...why is being overweight reducing tumble? Clowns can be plenty overweight, and they still tumble with the best of them. (Yeah, I know in DnD the mechanics support your typical high-Dex beanpoles being better at it, but nothing inherently suggests being overweight should screw up your acrobatics.)

    These are, of course, just my opinions, and Dr. ScrambledBrains advises these opinions be taken with a grain of salt.
    I shall respond to each point in turn. As for why weight helps you with grappling, it's not as much an advantage in holding, but it gives you more weight to use to move the opponent, push them to the ground, establish a pin, and most other uses of grapple. It seems like it would be unnecessarily complicated to make it only count for SOME grapple checks. As for bull rushes and overruns, it's a matter of weight and leverage to push an opponent against their will. That's why linebackers all have to be so huge.

    As for balance. Mostly balance is used to avoid falling over when you don't have a solid footing, or to cross a narrow surface. In either case, having more weight, which often shifts and wobbles around without your input, would certainly make it harder to do either of those things. On tumble, it's just harder to move your body exactly the way you want to when it weighs more. If a fat roll shifts the wrong way, it just spoils the flow you come to depend on. It's not much of a difference, but tumbling for practical purposes needs a lot of precision.
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    I shall respond to each point in turn. As for why weight helps you with grappling, it's not as much an advantage in holding, but it gives you more weight to use to move the opponent, push them to the ground, establish a pin, and most other uses of grapple. It seems like it would be unnecessarily complicated to make it only count for SOME grapple checks. As for bull rushes and overruns, it's a matter of weight and leverage to push an opponent against their will. That's why linebackers all have to be so huge.

    As for balance. Mostly balance is used to avoid falling over when you don't have a solid footing, or to cross a narrow surface. In either case, having more weight, which often shifts and wobbles around without your input, would certainly make it harder to do either of those things. On tumble, it's just harder to move your body exactly the way you want to when it weighs more. If a fat roll shifts the wrong way, it just spoils the flow you come to depend on. It's not much of a difference, but tumbling for practical purposes needs a lot of precision.
    Fair enough, on all counts. But...that leaves it back at square one, doesn't it, which means it still needs a revision of some sort...
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by ScrambledBrains View Post
    Fair enough, on all counts. But...that leaves it back at square one, doesn't it, which means it still needs a revision of some sort...
    Indeed it does...

    Okay, so, CLEARLY, what I have still doesn't work in any given format. We're going to have to change what I have to make it work. Remove bonuses and make it a flaw? Decrease the penalties, make it a feat? Reduce both sides of it and try to make it work as a trait?
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    My take on it would be to make a series of traits...

    Special rule: With two months of game time, you may move up or down one step along the "obesity axis". And even that fast is fairly cinematic. If you want really cinematic nonsense feel free to allow one shift along that axis every level up instead.

    Anorexic (trait): You are about 30% lighter than a normal person of your race. This is not a healthy look, despite what your sycophants might be telling you.

    * You gain a +2 penalty on Escape Artist and Tumble checks.
    * You suffer a -2 penalty to resist being bullrushed or tripped when standing on the ground (this works in the same manner as the dwarf racial ability).
    * Subtract 2 from your effective Strength when determining your encumbrance limit.
    * You gain fire resistance 1 against environmental heat effects.

    Fat (trait): You are about 30% heavier than a normal person of your race, and all the extra weight is fat.

    * You suffer a -2 penalty on Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, and Tumble checks.
    * You gain a +2 bonus to resist being bullrushed or tripped when standing on the ground (this works in the same manner as the dwarf racial ability).
    * Subtract 2 from your effective Strength when determining your encumbrance limit. This reflects the extra body weight.
    * When running, you only move at x3 speed, even if not wearing heavy armour.
    * You gain cold resistance 1 against environmental cold effects.

    Obese (trait): You are about 60% heavier than a normal person of your race, and all the extra weight is fat.

    * You suffer a -4 penalty on Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, and Tumble checks.
    * You gain a +4 bonus to resist being bullrushed or tripped when standing on the ground (this works in the same manner as the dwarf racial ability).
    * Subtract 4 from your effective Strength when determining your encumbrance limit. This reflects the extra body weight.
    * When running, you only move at x3 speed, even if not wearing heavy armour. Additionally, you can only maintain a running pace for half as long as other characters.
    * You gain cold resistance 3 against environmental cold effects.

    I don't think the Balance penalty is justified. Ditto for grapples; that's a trope associated with sumo, not overweight people in general.

    Heavyweight (Feat)

    Prerequisite: Fat or Obese trait

    Benefit: You gain a +4 bonus on grapple, bull rush, trip, and overrun checks (whether making or resisting the combat manoeuvre). This stacks with the normal defensive bonus to bullrush and trip checks from the prerequisite trait. In addition, you gain DR 2/piercing or slashing.

    Thinspiration (Feat)

    (nb. This is a real condition. If you or someone you know is anorexic, seek professional help. This feat is purely for entertainment purposes, and should not be taken as medical advice, nor should it be implied that anorexia actually offers any tangible benefit).

    Prerequisite: Anorexic trait.

    Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on Will saves, and a +1 dodge bonus to Armour Class. In addition, you gain a +4 bonus on Fortitude saves to resist ingested poisons, due to a strong vomit reflex.
    Last edited by Ashtagon; 2012-11-25 at 03:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    For the flaw you should remove the bonus to grapple. In a sense it should be the opposite of Powerful Build, that is to say, you count as medium or large, whichever is least advantageous.

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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    My take on it would be to make a series of traits...

    Special rule: With two months of game time, you may move up or down one step along the "obesity axis". And even that fast is fairly cinematic. If you want really cinematic nonsense feel free to allow one shift along that axis every level up instead.
    ...You are thoroughly awesome. These work awesomely, and they look a lot more balanced than the crap I was throwing at the proverbial wall. I may tweak one or two things, but I'm stealing these pretty much wholesale. Credit given where it is due, of course.
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    I would like to ask you to remove the anorexic trait/feat; it kinda hits close to home.

    Not that I really expect you to, but just throwing it out there.
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    Default Re: Overweight/Heavyweight (Flaw/Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I would like to ask you to remove the anorexic trait/feat; it kinda hits close to home.

    Not that I really expect you to, but just throwing it out there.
    I suppose the anorexia feat could be seen as insensitive. Very well, it shall be removed. Does the featherweight trait bother you as well?
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