There's no doubt that the Podcast I posted with my daughter and I is a far more interesting thing than anything I have to say today, and I do urge the reader to go and listen to it - all the same, however, I am still wrestling with problems associated with the enlarge spell.
Something that has been eternally overlooked in early versions of D&D (and possibly later ones as well, how the hell would I know?) is that all humans and demi-humans within a certain height and weight cause the same amount of damage with the weapons they're using.
Take orcs, for instance: my old Monster Manual lists them at 6+ feet tall, yet their long swords are presumed to do the same amount of damage as an elven female that's 4 and a half feet tall and is probably a third in weight. If I were to use the weapons' damage table I put up on my last post and apply it to elves, half-elves, gnomes or halflings, an "enlarged" halfling that was still smaller than an ordinary human could be causing 50% more damage per hit.
This would suggest, then, that any weapons' damage adjustments that were made should not be based upon the character's comparative change, but upon a ratio that was then applied to a fixed number: say, 175 lbs., the average weight given for an average human male in the original Dungeon Master's Guide (which I'm guessing presumed that humans in a fantasy medieval setting would be a bit starved).
Well, we all know why that won't go over well.
It means that a halfling or elven character will suffer greatly in the amount of damage they can cause. It means that not only will humans gain a key advantage over demi-humans, but that humans who happen to get lucky and roll characters of massive size and breadth will have an even greater advantage. I have a half-orc fighter in my campaign, Hig, that is 260 lbs - if we judge weapon damages on weight, then Hig's weight must give him considerable advantage over the 60 pound halfling thief in my world. Can these two characters really do the same amount of damage with a short sword?
I have brought this question up in front of my players and the general consensus is there will be absolutely no adjustments made to weapon damage based on character weight. The emphasis is THEIRS. I'm quite certain I would face an insurrection were I to try to bring in a rule reflecting the reality on this principle . . . yet of course these same players would happily embrace any enlarging spell framework that would allow their weapons to do more damage.
What to do, what to do?
I've heard all the alternative arguments, so if my readers could please refrain from advancing hand-waving points regarding "large people move slower," "smaller surfaces offer greater impact per square inch" or "elves have greater skill with a blade" and so on. Such arguments are exercises in lampshade hanging, have no relevancy where it comes to numbers and are necessarily based on prejudices regarding the weapons skills of races other than humans (none of which I buy into, as I am not a DM who thinks highly of such nonsense). I'm only interested in rules that can be absolutely applied to all contingencies. If elves are so amazing with blades, why is it they don't hit more often or possess more proficiencies? Are they amazing with every weapon? Because, after all, the weight problem applies to everything from a club to a pole arm. If I hit you with something bigger that I am able to swing in the same amount of time (a round) with the same chance of hitting you, then I'm sorry, mass applies and you, my friend, will take more damage. If you are 40 pounds and you're swinging a mace at a cat, and I am 250 pounds and swinging the same mace at the same cat, and we both roll the same die and hit it with the same number, then the squished, splashy aspect of the hapless cat is going to be less enchanting when I'm done.
Here is one of those significant times when I have to argue that "simulation" deserves a good kick in the balls. Yet it would be desireable to have some sort of scale that could be applied to creatures that were really big, say 300 lbs. and up. And it would be nice if this wasn't based on some fuzzy scale like, "everything between 50 and 300 lbs. causes damage A and everything between 301 and 550 lbs. causes damage B." I like the sort of nuance that says a difference between 221 lbs. and 243 lbs. matters.
For the moment, I don't have a solution. I'm going to think about it. If anyone wants to offer a mathematical solution (please, no fuzzy solutions), I am certainly going to listen.
Exemptions for characters only? All other halflings in the world can only do 1d4 damage with a "long sword" to scale?
I'd consider it.