How to adjust combat stats if Size is not normal?

Hi All,

My problem is that the combat system is somehow broken when you try to use the combat rules between opponents with non-normal sizes.

Following the RAW you are worse in combat as you have bigger size.

Ex: Magus A uses a spell Giant Form. His Size changes from 0 to +4. With the change his Strenght changes by +8, his Quickness by -4 and his Wound Range changes to 1-9, etc
He is in close combat with a Faerie fighter (Size 0) and Magus A can penetrate the faerie's MR with his Giant Form spell.

My problem is when you calculate the Init, Attack and Defense for Magus A you will see the changes of:

  • minus 4 for Initiative
  • zero for Attack
  • minus 4 for Defense
  • plus 8 for Damage

That means:
A, you are a giant but you cannot hit the comparatively smaller target easier - you use your significantly bigger weapon in vain;
B, you are significantly slower than you enemy;
C, you are easier to be hit by your enemy which exactly negates your higher Wound Range;
D, although you have a higher Damage potency you can't really benefit from that because it is as hard to hit your small target as it was before your size change.
E, As a consequence of the thing above you will get no real benefit from your Giant Form in a combat situation (except from the moral damage you cause, but that is not a thing for faeries for example :smiley: )

I see this part of the system faulty, because increasing your size actually makes you worse in combat. And that is not how it should be working.

Any idea or HR to fix this?

A. Well, it's not harder for you to hit, either. You just hit much stronger; I wouldn't call that in vain.

B. In terms of initiative, yes, which is odd since initiative seems to take reach into account as well. Movement Rates work differently, though are related to Quickness; it's unclear, but horses are faster for their Quickness despite having larger Size.

C. Not exactly. You can be hit more easily, yes. This does not exactly negate the change to the Wound Levels, though. This is a misunderstanding of how they work. You are more likely to take a Light Wound because the Attack Advantage makes hitting more likely and because the threshold to reach Light Wound doesn't increase. You are equally likely to take a Medium Wound since the threshold rises the same amount as Attack Advantage has increased. You are less likely to take anything worse than a Medium Wound because higher thresholds rise multiple times what the Attack Advantage has increased.

D. This doesn't make sense. If you are equally likely to hit, then how do you not benefit from having more Strength? Now, I would argue +2 Str per +1 Size is too little as shown by what can be lifted, and a bigger bonus would make hitting even stronger.

E. I would say it's somewhat balanced. You're more likely to take piles of paper cuts and less likely to die. Against someone with a big Soak or large Size, you may be more likely to cause greater Wounds. But your strength is wasted on insects. This also ignores that it is much harder to hurt them with spells overall. Sometimes you need more magnitudes of size to even affect them; with auto-hitting stuff Qui is irrelevant so the increased Wound Levels are only helpful; with aimed stuff you are more likely to get hit, but there is no Attack Advantage so overkill on hitting doesn't help.

HR's. If I were to try to fix it, the simplest way I can think of is to increase the Str bonus and remove or reduce the Qui penalty per +1 size. Probably the best Str increase would be something like giving a bonus equal to the Size's cost on the Ability chart. For example, +6 Size would give +21 Str. The Qui penalty, if still desired, could be - Size/2.


Another modification you might also consider:

  • truly heavy and massive weapon cannot be well parried, so unless the defender succeed by more than 6, it still takes partial damage as the strength of blow is not fully deflected. Reduce damage by 10. A very skilled fighter might still go toes-to-toes with a giant, but an average fighter would only be able to deflect a few blows before running for his life.

Up to you to decide with your troupe what is the threshold to consider a weapon "truly massive": 3 sizes difference ? like -1 vs +2, more ?

There is a precedent with a spell in Hermetic Project projecting a large blob of lava: unless the target manages to exceed by 6 more his defense roll, the target is partially hit and takes partial damage (I am not entirely sure about the wording so apologises for inaccuracy).

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Yup. The Evasion option (LoM p.125) goes into that:

The storyguide might rule that Defense is completely ineffective against certain attacks, such as the touch of an insubstantial spirit or the tree-sized club of a giant.