The bigger they are the harder they fall

February 4, 2022 at 12:58 am

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

– Mark Twain

 

For as simple as it is, combat in the Fantasy Trip has a lot of facets. Movement, facing, weapon choice, talents, and attack choices make each combat unique while still being quick and playable. One area where this breaks down is creature size. The rules for size — from rats to dragons — are scattered throughout the system and are applied without consistency. We have tried here to collect and streamline these rules into a single system that works across all size differences.

To start, we thought we needed to create rough categories for sizes. TFT is pretty specific for very large creatures but loses granularity once things get to one hex or smaller. There are a few mentions of halflings fighting giants or humans stomping on rats, but few details. Here is our breakdown. Weights are very rough approximations, and fractional hexes mean that more than one creature can be in the same hex and still act normally.

 

Size Categories

Size
ExampleWeight Hexes
Tiny Rat 2 lbs. 1/9
SmallMonkey
20 lbs. 1/3
Medium Human
200 lbs.1
GiantGiant
2000 lbs. 3
MonstrousDragon 20000 lbs. 7+

These are only rough approximations and encompass a wide range. Tiny creatures could be anything from oversized spiders to piranha to small cats, while Medium creatures include both halflings and the burliest hobgoblins. When in doubt use the hex size as a determiner or make your best guess. The majority of two-hex creatures would qualify as Medium as their is usually a single ‘front’ hex and a rear hex.

Several aspects of combat are affected by size. Larger creatures are easier to hit and target with missiles, but are hard to engage and might even trample smaller enemies. Many of these are detailed in TFT, but this brings them all together and builds in more consistency. For example, If a 3-hex giant can trample medium creatures then it stands to reason that a medium creature could trample tiny ones. To gauge these modifiers, subtract the difference of your opponents’ size from your own, such as a monstrous enemy facing a medium figure would be 2. Below are key combat modifiers by size.

 

Size Modifiers

Difference DX AttackEngage Trample
-3
-311 x ST
-2 -2 1 1 x ST
-1
-1 1 1/2 x ST
001n/a
112n/a
2 2 4 n/a
3 3 8 n/a

Based on this chart, if a plump halfling PC was attacked by a group of extremely hungry scumbunnies, they are one category smaller (-1). The halfling would hit at -1DX, and the scumbunnies (+1 size) would be +1DX and it would take two scumbunnies to engage it. If the same group of scumbunnies tried to take on a giant at -2 size categories, the giant would be at -2 DX but would be able to trample one for 1/2ST damage. It would also require four of the ‘bunnies to engage the giant.

Note that there are more detailed rules for targeting oversized foes would missile weapons (ITL, p.116) that you can use if you want more detail. Any other specific rules for creatures combating enemies of different sizes should supercede these generalizations.

In HTH combat, you can use the table modifiers for the attack. But when initiating combat, invert the modifier for the enemy’s defense. So if a warrior wishes to wrestle a 7-hex dragon, the drake would get +2 on the initial defense roll to shake off the attacker. The suicidal warrior would still get +2DX to attack the dragon if they succeeded.

In addition, multi-hex creatures that use weapons can strike one hex away as if they were wielding a pole weapon (ITL, p.113). Trampling creatures of any size can target those trampled with regular attacks as well from in the same hex. Creatures less than 1/3 of a hex cannot reach into adjacent hexes to attack and must be in the same hex as their enemy. This does not necessarily mean they are in HTH, but they can attempt to do so if they wish.

This is just a quick overview of how size can affect combat in your Fantasy Trip adventures. Are there aspects we overlooked, or ways you use in your games that might be better? Let us know, we’d like to hear from you.