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If a medium-sized character picks up an Ogre's greatclub, then has Enlarge cast on them, how much damage does the greatclub do (and does the character have disadvantage with the weapon)? 2d8? 2d8+1d4, with disadvantage? Something else?

Related questions that don't quite answer this:

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also related rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/100607 \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Feb 19 '18 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you enlarging the weapon with the character? Or is the character enlarging and then picking up the weapon? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 19 '18 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ exactly as per asked (picks up the club, then has Enlarge cast on them) \$\endgroup\$ – noneuklid Feb 19 '18 at 20:47
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DM decision, but probably 2d8+1d4+STR damage at disadvantage

Lager weapon means more damage

The Ogre's Greatclub attack does 2d8 + 4 damage according to its statblock.

The rules in the DMG say that:

Big monsters typically wield oversized weapons that deal extra dice of damage on a hit.

A creature has disadvantage on attack rolls with a weapon that is sized for a larger attacker. You can rule that a weapon sized for an attacker two or more sizes larger is too big for the creature to use at all.

So the greatclub the orge is holding is extra big thus accounting for the damage.

A normal greatclub does 1d8 damage, but this oversized greatclub does 2d8 damage.

Enlarging the PC and weapon

Enlarge says:

The target’s weapons also grow to match its new size. While these weapons are enlarged, the target’s attacks with them deal 1d4 extra damage.

When a medium-sized PC carrying a large-sized weapon is enlarged one of two things will happen. The DM will have to decide which one is the interpretation that they prefer since there is some ambiguity here.

  1. Large PC + Large greatclub

    Since enlarge says the "weapons also grow to match its new size" one could interpret this as meaning that since the greatclub was already large that it does not grow at all (since large "matches" the PC's new size). Since the greatclub did not technically grow in size, it does not get the bonus damage from enlarge either. On the other hand, since the PC and weapon size now match, there is no disadvantage.

    An enlarged PC using a large greatclub would do 2d8+STR damage (no disadvantage)

  2. Large PC + Huge greatclub

    One could also argue that this spell was not written with mismatched character/weapon sizes in mind and that the intent of the spell is probably that everything just increases in size proportionately. In this case the character and weapon both increase one size category. Since their size stays mismatched the character will still have disadvantage wielding the huge greatclub.

    An enlarged PC using a huge greatclub might do 2d8+1d4+STR damage (with disadvantage)

Option #1 vs #2: bigger isn't always better

Given that the difference between the two options is a relatively small 1d4 damage, I personally would rule for whichever the players found more fun and apply that consistently.

Both options are pretty close in terms of damage output: option #2 would average to 13+STR (5+5+3) but will have disadvantage and option #1 would average out to 10+STR (5+5) and will not have disadvantage. #1 has the benefits of being more in line with the literal wording of the spell effect as well as not having disadvantage which can reduce damage output. Either way you choose, it shouldn't make a huge difference in terms of power.

Warning for DM

It is worth noting that monster-creation math and PC-creation math is intentionally different/incompatible with each other. As a DM be careful when you give a PC a monster weapon that you are giving them only the weapon part of the damage without any of the bonuses that comes from the monster itself. It is very clear in the ogre example, but may not be so clear with other examples.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "On the other hand, since the PC and weapon size now match, there is no disadvantage." - You are not proficient in Monster Weapons. Large Ogre Great Club is not on the simple or martial weapons list, and no, just because it has club in the name doesn't make it something you're proficient with. So the backdraw here is that even though it would do 2d8 + 1d4 + STR, you're also losing your proficiency bonus to hit with it. This isn't a big deal at low levels, but becomes considerably worse as you go up in levels. Otherwise, great answer! \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Feb 20 '18 at 5:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli Note that the attack is literally called "Greatclub". The rules also support weapons being able to be of different sizes. I see no reason to believe that this is anything other than an oversized Greatclub. As such, proficiency should not change. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 20 '18 at 5:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't disagree and rule as you did in this answer. However our position isn't strictly supported by the rules. Much as I can't don an Ogre's armor just because I happen to be large, their weapons are not designed for me to use and I would not be considered proficient with them without modification. This is only logical. It doesn't matter that I grew bigger, my body is considerably different from an Ogre's so the weapon is not going to handle the same without me doing something to it. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Feb 20 '18 at 5:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli I mean I definitely agree that in real life this would be the way it would work. But 5e's weapon/ proficiency system is not remotely that granular. A DM would be able to houserule that, but it would be definitely outside the rules as stated. I don't think it is unreasonable, just that the rules don't support it at all. In fact, I think the position I advocate in my answer is the only one strictly supported by the rules. It doesn't make sense in real life, but that is D&D for you. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 20 '18 at 5:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli I completely understand where you are coming from. I struggled with this answer at first and expected it to go the other way actually. And regardless, I appreciate your thoughts and input. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 20 '18 at 6:00

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