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Let's say for example the magic items are as follows:

Torvald's Insecurity. Your size is increased by one for as long as you are attuned to this amulet and it is on your person.

Smeek's Sleuthing Stone. Your size is decreased by one for as long as you are attuned to this stone and it is on your person.

Would this be balanced? The opportunity cost of an attunement slot should even it out if the effect was on the more overpowered side.

For clarity, I'm a player, but my DM is amenable to the idea of homebrew items, feats, races, classes, etc. So, I was asking for the sake of understanding how much impact certain abilities would have on a magic item's power to inform any future crafting endeavors, like splitting Enlarge/Reduce into two separate items of permanent effect. I would hope to eventually make a system that helps with the analysis of homebrew magic items, like Detect Balance by Eleazzaar, for future reference.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know why the vote to close, since it wasn't my vote, but you might take a look at other homebrew-review questions and see what sort of detail they provided. For instance, you might specify if you're a DM thinking about adding them to a game, or a player wanting to make a suggestion, or it's just a hypothetical. Also, there's not a lot of definition to the items. You might take a look at other items that change the user's size, or spells, or whatever, and see what sort of detail they include. Hint: enlarge/reduce. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 26 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might also include any other design thoughts you might have had; for instance, why you want the effect to be ongoing, as opposed to a "ring of enlarge", or a "ring of reduce", with a specific number of charges. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 26 at 21:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jack The question was originally posted with no system tag and no system-defining details. I also voted to close, but retracted it when the game was clarified. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 26 at 22:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jack Fair nuf. I'll add the mentioned details for clarity. \$\endgroup\$
    – J Thompson
    Commented Apr 26 at 23:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Of potential relevance, in addition to enlarge/reduce, there are a few magic items that increase size: the Cape of Enlargement and the Potion of Giant Size. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 26 at 23:44

2 Answers 2

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Not overpowered

Torvald's Insecurity

The most common effects of being larger include

  • Ability to bear more load
  • Being able to grapple, shove or overrun larger creatures, or escaping a grapple of a creature two or more categories smaller
  • Moving through another creatures space if you are now two categories larger then them (but so can they through yours)
  • Requiring and controlling more space (unless you started out small) in combat
  • You may not be targeted by a trip attack or pushing maneuver attack and can avoid some other forced movement effects if this makes you larger than Large
  • Probably much bigger weight

Note that the feature of the enlarge spell that you deal +1d4 damage is a feature of the spell. Just being larger by the game rules does not give you more Strength, nor does it allow you to use oversized weapons that deal more damage (the rule for that is a DM facing rule for designing monsters). So the item that makes you larger would give you the list of benefits above. I think this might be exploitable in edge/combo cases, for example with a class or race that allows you to already become large, but overall, the above things seem not overpowered to me if you have to give up an attunement slot for them. After all, you could get these very same benefits from a simple, uncommon potion of growth for several hours.

Smeek's Sleuthing Stone

The same reasoning applies for the item that makes you smaller. In fact, there

  • You can carry less load
  • You have a harder time grappling
  • You again can move through a creatures space if it is 2 categories larger, so more easily, but so can they through your space
  • You need and control less space
  • If you are small or smaller, you have difficulty using heavy weapons
  • You probably are much lighter

Again, there is no mechanical penalty on Strength, or benefit to Dexterity, and there is no direct effect in the rules on damage, movement speed, or even Stealth proficiency or advantage. So this if anything is rather weak, most of these effects are rather detrimental. You would need to add something like granting a bonus to Stealth to the item, if you wanted that. Unless I have a very special build that has other ways to benefit from being tiny, for example, I would not spend an attunement slot on this item if I had other reasonable options.

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Not balanced because they’re both underpowered

There are situational advantages to being larger or smaller but these items aren’t situational - they’re always on unless you take a short rest to unattune (and another to reattune). If you have an hour to prepare, they are slightly worse than one half of a second level spell so, at best, they save someone a preparation slot and a spell slot. Is that worth an attunement slot? If you have one spare, maybe. If you don’t, hell no.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There's no price given so you can't say it's underpowered. If you have nothing in the slot then both of these items could be of some use at low level. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 28 at 2:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LorenPechtel if you could turn them on or off with an action, I’d agree, but you either have to have them attuned or not attuned and that takes an hour. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Apr 28 at 5:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can turn these on/off with an action so long as you're in a party. Hand it to your teammate, it turns off. Take it back, it turns on. And note the second one is even named "sleuthing"--sounds like a recon item, not a combat item. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 28 at 20:12

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