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So, this is a bit of a nitpicky thing to be discussing, but I wanted some input before I give the final verdict in my game.

A very rotund halfling player in my campaign recently recieved the "Wings of Flying" - which for our visualization purposes was described as being hawk-like in shape, coloration and plumage.

Now here's the crux. The wings will change shape to fit it's wearer proportionally - but our halfling player expressed a strong desire to have these wings take on a tiny, almost cherub-like appearance. Do I go along with this?

I'm usually all for rolling with player ideas, but for an item that's already this powerful, I'm a bit more hesitant to flex the rules, even if it's seemingly "only cosmetic". I don't give a crap about the physics of it all - it can be explained with magic. I'm moreso concerned with what if the wings themselves were targeted by an offensive spell or similar scenarios - accidentally overpowering these wings just by having them made smaller so suddenly a bunch of new exploitable possibilities and scenarios "just makes sense".

What are the consequences, or pros and cons, in modifying the size of the Wings of Flying? Had any previous experiences with resized items like this?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is it actually important that the player is rotund? \$\endgroup\$ – Zaibis Jul 31 '17 at 9:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zaibis oops, messed up my sentence structure there. The halfling character is rotund, not the player. Still not immediately relevant but I thought it'd paint a better picture of how the wings would fit on said character. \$\endgroup\$ – Bikupan Aug 1 '17 at 10:02
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Variations in wingspan will not affect its game mechanics

Magic items only do exactly what they say they do, and nothing more. If we look at the text of Wings of Flying, it does not change the size of the creature wearing it--a medium creature stays a medium creature.

Because non-homebrewed D&D 5e doesn't have location targeting rules, having bigger or smaller wings does not affect how a creature can be targeted, because targeting is either on a creature-by-creature single-target basis, or defined by squares and distance.

For example, you can look at the picture of the Succubus/Incubus on MM 285: they clearly have massive wings that are wider than their bodies, but they're still medium, which is the same size class as a dwarf.

This means that you, as the GM, can make the wings super tiny or super big without changing the existing balance of the item. If you do feel like the item is unbalanced, you could also decide that it does indeed make the player a bigger target.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough! I think I might get too bogged down in semantics sometimes as I generally accept a lot of homebrew ideas from players if their mechanics makes sense. \$\endgroup\$ – Bikupan Jul 31 '17 at 2:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ The only problem I see is that with tiny wings you can’t argue against using them to fly through very narrow tunnels, forests or doors. With a wingspan of e.g. 10 ft you could easily argue that you can’t fly through a normal door. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Jul 31 '17 at 6:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @michael please note the part of the answer that covers the magic item not altering your size. It doesn't matter what size you make them, you remain the creature size you are. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 31 '17 at 14:37

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