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Table 9-1, "Size and Reach", on page 474 of the Pathfinder 2e Core Rulebook notes that creatures of a given size category have either a "Reach (Tall)" or a "Reach (Long)". The same page says,

"Table 9–1 also lists the typical reach for creatures of each size, for both tall creatures (most bipeds) and long creatures (most quadrupeds)."

However, "most" isn't especially helpful when the Bestiary is full of creatures like a raptor, which would seem to be a long biped, or a gelatinous cube, which is... a cube. Creatures in the Bestiary don't appear to have a corresponding Tall/Long designation, just the primary size category (Medium, Large, etc).

While most Bestiary creatures have a reach value attached to individual attacks, those values only apply to those specific attacks. The existence of Table 9-1 suggests that any creature which increases in size, through magical or other means, would gain some sort of reach, but this isn't confirmed anywhere else we've found.

For example, animal companions start out Small, but through the use of feats can become Medium, then Large. Will the companion gain additional reach as it grows, given the existence of Table 9-1? If so, how is tall/long determined for that creature for the purposes of deciding how much reach it gains? What about a creature under the effect of Enlarge or Wild Shape?

Given the existence of Table 9-1, how do I determine if, and how, a creature's reach should be modified when its size changes?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Should answers offer only and exclusively the official way to determine whether a creature is long or tall if there is one? (I suspect there isn't else you would've found it, but things in RPGs are often hidden in weird places.) Or can answers offer unofficial workarounds that allow a reader determine whether a creature is long or tall? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 26 '19 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan We are primarily interested in any official ruling if one is available, but if the official answer is "there is no official answer", then workarounds are welcome! \$\endgroup\$ – thatgirldm Oct 26 '19 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thatgirldm Is there a specific reason you need this information? Notably, any monsters in the bestiary and similar will explicitly tell you the reach for each of its attacks, so I'm honestly not sure why that section exists in the CRB unless it's purely a GM tool for homebrew monsters. But need for a specific purpose may change my answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Delioth Oct 27 '19 at 16:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Delioth The issue comes up with any creature which increases in size through magical or other means, in particular animal companion features. For example, our group's druid isn't sure whether his raptor animal companion (which starts Small but becomes M then L) will gain additional reach as it grows, given the existence of that Table 9-1 and the raptor being a biped(ish). \$\endgroup\$ – thatgirldm Oct 28 '19 at 0:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Delioth That works well enough. Academically my group is intrigued by the existence of the table on principle, but for practical purposes we just need to know if the druid's Large raptor now has 0, 5, or 10 feet of additional reach. :) \$\endgroup\$ – thatgirldm Oct 29 '19 at 4:39
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The effect in question will tell you.

Spells and effects generally tell you what they do. Take things like Enlarge and the barbarian feat Giant's Stature:

Enlarge
... Its reach increases by 5 feet (or by 10 feet if it started out Tiny) ...

Giant's Stature
... You become Large, increasing your reach by 5 feet ...

Animal Companions growth, however, does not include a clause about increasing reach, but does describe all the changes you get.

Wild Shape functions as the spells behind them, where things like Animal Form say exactly what reach any given attack or form has - Frog's Tongue attack has 15' reach, and heightening (some of) the spells tell you that your attacks have [number] foot reach.

Therefor...

The reason behind table 9-1 is unclear

I cannot find any reference to the table, and effects appear to generally tell you exactly what they do - all enlarging effects I can find explicitly state the reach they grant rather than referring to the table or letting the effects play out more generally (i.e. they say "you become large and increase reach" rather than just stating "you become large" and allowing the reach to be implicit). As best as I can tell, the table exists as a general rule or guideline (e.g. for building creatures, or if the GM wants to homebrew a super-enlarge that turns a target gargantuan).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If this is the case, then what's that table 9-1 for? Your answer doesn't address the key problem here, which is that Table 9-1 implies that an animal companion or other size-changed creature ought to gain reach. Do you mean to say the table should be ignored in these situations despite explicitly saying that's what it should be used for? \$\endgroup\$ – thatgirldm Oct 30 '19 at 2:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thatgirldm I'm honestly not sure what the table's actually there for. It made sense in 1e where reach was pretty inherently tied to size, and it appears to have a similar effect in 2e, except every instance of size change other than animal companions' growth explicitly calls out the new reach. I'll edit my answer after doing a little more digging. \$\endgroup\$ – Delioth Oct 30 '19 at 3:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! If you can't find any explanation for that table, and no one in my group can find one, I think your guess that it's only a guideline for homebrew creatures is probably right. At least now we can be confident that the druid's raptor doesn't have crazy reach. :) \$\endgroup\$ – thatgirldm Oct 30 '19 at 6:18

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