Borderlands/Size Modifier

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This page is listing of the various rules relating to Size Modifier, with page references. See original sources for details.

It is based on this SJGames Forums post by forum user munin.

Key of page reference abbreviations (All refer to 4e sources)
B Basic Set
BIO Biotech
DF Dungeon Fantasy
F Fantasy
HT High Tech
LT Low Tech
LTC Low Tech Companion
P Powers
S Space
UT Ultra Tech


Higher SM

Intrinsic Effects

Positive

  1. Buy ST, Arm ST, Lifting ST, Striking ST at reduced cost (absolute SM +1 or more, B15, B16, B40, B66, B89)
  2. Immune to Constriction Attack (relative SM +1 or more, B43)
  3. Easier to intimidate others, harder to be intimidated by others (relative SM +1 or more, B202)
  4. Easier to pin others, harder to be pinned by others (relative SM +1 or more, B370)
  5. Can squeeze torso (relative SM +1 or more, B371)
  6. Increased reach (absolute SM +1 or more, B402). Always mark reach from the figures edge, not center. (Pyramid 77 p4) This applies to unarmed attacks as well as armed, although Py77p4 suggests that bites stay at reach C for most creatures (measure reach from figure center for Horizontal creatures, keep it at fixed C for upright).
A leveled 0 point feature Long Neck would adjust this, making the neck +1 SM per level - but making it easier to hit! (Houseruled trait) Long Neck improves lines of sight by offering the potential elevation of the head. (Pyramid 77 p6)
  1. Easier to hit when you grapple (relative SM +1 or more, B402)
  2. Can trample/overrun (relative SM +2 or more, B404, B432)
  3. Can slam smaller characters for free (relative SM +3 or more, Pyramid 77 p6)
  4. Can shove smaller characters for free when turning (relative SM +3 or more, Pyramid 77 p6)
  5. Longer poison delay (absolute SM +1 or more, B438)
  6. Eat less frequently (absolute SM +1 or more, BIO63)
  7. "Realistic" larger creatures eat proportionately less amounts of food compared to mass (absolute SM +1 or more, BIO63, S149)
  8. Larger weapons do more damage (absolute SM +1 or more, DF1:27, LTC2:20)
  9. More vertical reach for lifting friends up, or for reaching things on high shelves, ledges to pull yourself up onto, dangling ropes or chandeliers, and high hit locations on taller characters. (DF2: 7, DF2: 8)
  10. Increased effective elevation for combat (pp B 402-403 and Pyramid 77 pp4-5). Note that Reach helps mitigate vertical differences.
  11. Can step over small obstacles, spending only +1 movement (relative SM difference 3 or more)(B352) No roll is required to Evade at this height difference. (Pyramid 77 p6) You pay only once per yard of movement, not once per occupied front hex. An elephant is a boxy figure roughly 3 hexes across. A line of soldiers 1 person deep, one in each hex in front of the elephant, requires only one extra movement to step over/wade through, as it represents only one yard of forward movement for the elephant. (Pyramid 77 p6)
  12. Attack can count as attacking an area or a Big Swing, offsetting relative SM penalty, and possibly dealing Large-Area Injury (relative SM +2 or more, relative SM +7 or more for Large-Area Injury, B400, Pyramid 77 p7)

Negative

  1. Easier to be hit (absolute SM +1 or more in ranged combat, relative SM +1 or more in melee, B19)
  2. Easier to be noticed (absolute SM +1 or more, B19) by Vision (absolute SM +1 or more, B358) or Vibration Sense (absolute SM +1 or more, B96)
  3. Vulnerable to Parasitic Possession (relative SM +1 or more, B76)
  4. Harder to be camouflaged (absolute SM +1 or more, B183)
  5. More damage from extreme pressure (absolute SM +2 or more, B435)
  6. Eat more food overall (absolute SM +1 or more, BIO62-63)
  7. Require more space and life support (absolute SM +1 or more, BIO63)
  8. Larger equipment costs more and weighs more (absolute SM +1 or more, BIO63, DF1:28, HT10, P50, UT16, LT8, LTC2:20)
  9. Harder to fit under low hanging ceilings and doorways without crouching or crawling, or through narrower cracks/holes (or even doors) without an Escape roll (absolute SM +1 or more, No page reference, GM's common sense note).

Ambiguous

  1. Increases the size of a Jumper Tunnel (absolute SM +1 or more, B64) or Permeation Tunnel (absolute SM +1 or more, B75)
  2. Costlier to be affected with Regular spells (absolute SM +1 or more, B239)
  3. More likely to block line of sight (absolute SM +1 or more, B389)

Optional But Suggested

In addition, higher SM can be justification for some traits, but you'd have to actually pay for the traits themselves:

Positive

  1. "Realistic" larger creatures have higher ST (BIO64)
  2. "Realistic" larger creatures have longer lifespans (S159)
  3. "Realistic" larger creatures might more easily see low wavelengths (S162)
  4. Option: SM added to HT-based resistance against Afflictions, automatic if final modified HT is 21 or higher. (Pyramid 77 p8)
  5. Add SM Difference to ignore or escape bolas, lariats, nets, etc designed for smaller users. (Pyramid 77 p8)
  6. Not frightened by charging mounted warriors same size or smaller than you (Pyramid 77 p8)
  7. Gets a bonus against Fright Checks caused by smaller creatures (Pyramid 77 p8)

Negative

  1. "Realistic" larger creatures might have a penalty to their sense of touch (S162)

Ambiguous

  1. "Realistic" larger creatures have higher weight (FEATURE, BIO64)

Lower SM

Intrinsic Effects

Positive

  1. Harder to be hit (B19)
  2. Harder to be noticed (B19) by Vision (B358) or Vibration Sense (B96)
  3. Immune to Parasitic Possession (relative SM +0 or less, B76)
  4. Undetectable by Radar (SM -1 or less, B81)
  5. Simpler to grapple a prone, kneeling, or sitting opponent (relative SM -2 or less, B370)
  6. Eat less food (BIO62-63)
  7. Require less space and life support (BIO62)
  8. Smaller equipment costs less and weighs less (DF3:8, HT10, UT16, LT8, LTC2:20)
  9. Attacks require Vision roll to notice (OPTIONAL, relative SM -10 or less, P76)
  10. Easier to target armor chinks (OPTIONAL, P76)
  11. Easier to get inside armor/body (OPTIONAL, relative SM -13/19 or less, P76)
  12. Easier to fit under low hanging ceilings without crouching or crawling, or through narrower cracks/holes without an Escape roll (No page reference, GM's common sense note).

Negative

  1. Vulnerable to Constriction Attack (relative SM +0 or less, B43)
  2. Harder to intimidate, easier to be intimidated (B202)
  3. Harder to pin, easier to be pinned (B370)
  4. Shorter poison delay (B438)
  5. Eat more frequently (BIO63)
  6. Smaller armor provides less DR, smaller weapons do less damage and have less Reach (DF3:8, LTC2:20)
  7. Impossible to target out-of-reach hit locations (OPTIONAL, P76)
  8. "Realistic" smaller creatures eat proportionately greater amounts of food† (S149)
  9. Less vertical reach for lifting friends up, or for reaching things on high shelves, ledges to pull yourself up onto, dangling ropes or chandeliers, and high hit locations on taller characters. (DF2: 7, DF2: 8)

Ambiguous

  1. Reduces the size of a Jumper Tunnel (B64) or Permeation Tunnel (B75)
  2. Less likely to block line of sight (B389)

Optional But Suggested

In addition, lower SM can be justification for some traits, but you'd have to actually pay for the traits themselves:

Positive

  1. "Realistic" smaller creatures can purchase lifting ST to carry heavier proportional loads, offsetting some of the ST penalty listed under suggested negatives below (F51)
  2. "Realistic" smaller creatures might have a bonus to their sense of touch (S162)
  3. Smaller creatures can take the Parasitic limitation on Possession and still effect more targets - your victims must have higher SMs than you. (B76)

Negative

  1. "Realistic" smaller creatures have lower ST overall (BIO63)
  2. "Realistic" smaller creatures have lower IQ (BIO63)
  3. "Realistic" smaller creatures have shorter lifespans (S159)
  4. "Realistic" smaller creatures have lower weight (FEATURE, BIO63)