Size Comparisons

How many sprites fit in an ogre?

On occasion, you may need to determine the size equivalence of various creatures or character races in your campaign. Chimera assigns each creature one of eight size categories, each essentially twice as big as the one before it. While it doesn't provide exact measurements (because who has time for that?), it does give a decent sense of relative stature.

Creature Size

Size is an amalgamation of a creature's height, weight, length, bulk, and mass. Use these guidelines to determine a creature's size:

  • Diminutive (D): Giant insects, Fairies, Smurfs
  • Tiny (T): Sprite, Brownie, Imp, Tom Bosley Gnome
  • Small (S): Halfling, D&D Gnome, Dog, Wolf
  • Medium (M): Human, Orc, Dwarf, Elf
  • Large (L): Ogre, Horse, Centaur, Hill giant, Tiger
  • Giant (G): Frost giant, Hydra, Cyclops, Elephant
  • Huge (H): Dragon, Talos, Roc
  • Colossal (C): Godzilla, Charybdis, Cloverfield beast

You will want to make adjustments for certain creatures in your campaign, but the examples above should give you an idea of how the size scale works.

Size Comparisons

Relative size comparisons are shown below:

Size Diminutive Tiny Small Medium Large Giant Huge Colossal
Diminutive 1 1/2 1/4 1/8 1/16 1/32 1/64 1/128
Tiny 2 1 1/2 1/4 1/8 1/16 1/32 1/64
Small 4 2 1 1/2 1/4 1/8 1/16 1/32
Medium 8 4 2 1 1/2 1/4 1/8 1/16
Large 16 8 4 2 1 1/2 1/4 1/8
Giant 32 16 8 4 2 1 1/2 1/4
Huge 64 32 16 8 4 2 1 1/2
Colossal 128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1

So, an ogre (Size L) would be the size equivalent of 2 humans (Size M), 4 halfings (Size S), 8 imps (Size T), or 16 smurfs (Size D).

Why Is This Helpful?

You can use size comparisons for a variety of game situations. For example:

  • Mounts: let's say a horse can carry 1 Medium rider without penalty; that also means that it can carry 2 halflings without penalty, or 4 imps.
  • Powers: perhaps a spell effects 1 Medium target per level; now you know whether your 4th-level spell-caster can use it on a hill giant (yes, he can).
  • Weight Tolerance: that rickety rope bridge spanning the chasm can only support 3 Medium travellers at a time; so it's strong enough for an elf mounted on a horse, but not a centaur chasing two dwarfs.
  • Armour: if you find a Medium-sized mail shirt, it'll fit humans, dwarves, elves, and orcs. If you find a hill-giant sized mail shirt, you may have enough material to give an armourer so he can make 2 Medium-sized shirts.
  • Weapons: arms are usually assumed to fit Medium-sized wielders, so a two-handed sword could be wielded by a hill giant with one hand; similarly, a broad sword could be wielded by a goblin with 2 hands.
  • Potions: totally optional, but if a potion supplies a single dose to a Medium-sized drinker, that might be 2 doses for a halfling or a half-dose for an ogre.
  • Poisons: as with potions, above; in Chimera, you apply an Attribute check (i.e., saving throw) modifier based on size, so a Medium-sized victim might get +0, while Large could get +1, Giant +2, Huge +4, and Colossal +8 (similarly, Small gets -1, Tiny -2, and Diminutive -4).

Final Words

You'll get the most use of out this if you assign relative sizes to your campaign's fauna, but don't get caught up in the details of math and physics. If you want size to matter in your game, this approach is fast and more than adequate for most applications.

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