Large Races (DnD Guideline)

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It's completely reasonable that a player might want to play as a Large-sized race such as a giant or troll. No edition of D&D has a Large race in their respective Player's Handbooks, and therefore those books assume that PCs are Medium or Small. What's up with that?

Here are a few considerations:

  • A Large creature threatens more space. On a grid, this is 12 squares instead of 8, or 9 hexes instead of 6.
  • A Large creature might have more reach (and therefore threatening even more space)
  • For ranged attacks a Large creature can measure the distance from any of squares it occupies: so it effectively has an extra square of range.
  • A Large creature can use large weapons. In 3e, a Large greatsword deals 3d6 instead of 2d6 damage. In 5e, it deals 4d6 instead of 2d6!
  • A Large creature is better at tactical blocking: it provides more cover for allies behind it, and foes path around the creature has to divert further.

The detriments are:

  • A Large creature might benefit less from cover (a wall might be three-quarters cover for a Medium creature, but half cover for a Larger creature).
  • Proportionate squeezing into smaller spaces. For example, in 5e, a Large creature can squeeze into a 5 ft. gap; compared to a Medium creature who can squeeze into a 2.5 ft. gap.
  • More likely to be hindered by difficult terrain.
  • Increased food consumption and armor costs.

On the whole, the benefits outweigh the detriments. Here are some suggestions for balancing:

  • Disallow the use of Large weapons.
  • Limit the threatening area.
Balancing in 5e

If you are using Marasmusine's Meter, Large size might be worth 3 points; or 2 points if there are mitigating factors.

While not given a set score by its creator we believe that Large Player Characters (5e Variant Rule) rule would be scored at 1.5 using the Musicus Meter.

See also
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