I have no idea whether or not this is true in D&D 5e; it was in 3.5 and Pathfinder, but it is not mentioned in the 5e Player's Handbook. For example, in 3.5 and Pathfinder, a halfling's longsword would do 1d6 whereas a human's would do 1d8.

Any mention of this in 5e?



Weapon sizes are addressed in the Creating a Monster section of the DMG. On p 278 it says:

Big monsters typically wield oversized weapons that deal extra dice of damage on a hit. Double the weapon dice if the creature is Large, triple the weapon dice if the creature is Huge, quadruple the weapon dice if it's Gargantuan.

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.

While this is different from the "Heavy" notation used in the PHB it is not inconsistent if we assume that "Heavy" weapons are sized for Medium and the others are for Small.

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    \$\begingroup\$ May want to mention that monster-creation math and PC creation math is deliberately different/incompatible. You could still argue that it makes sense to use these rules as a guideline, what with the parallel between the two-size disadvantage and Heavy, but I see this drawing downvotes without mentioning that. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 8 '15 at 0:33


There are no weapon size differences in 5e.

Weapon damage is determined by the weapon itself and unless otherwise noted those are listed in the PHB/Players Basic weapons section in chapter 5 (p46 of Players Basic).

The only difference is that certain weapons (noted with the "heavy" property) are used by halflings/gnomes with disadvantage.


5E has done away with the whole "small long sword" nonsense, when it's basically just a short sword in all aspects. So instead it uses logic. "Heavy" weapons are generally large weapons that are the same size or larger as a medium creature would be, so it would be twice the size or larger than the average small creature, and thus they would have trouble wielding it.

In the old versions they had the world adapt to smaller creatures by giving them a whole set of "small" weapons. But logic dictates that it would make a lot more sense that small creatures would adapt to the world, using the smallest of a regular set of weapons like a medium creature would use medium sized weapons. Which means a Halfling would wield a short sword the way a human would wield a long sword, or a long sword the way a human would wield a great sword.

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    \$\begingroup\$ 5e did away with it in the PHB because its not on the players to adjudicate if a creature drops a weapon they can use that it has. These size differences are explicitly mentioned in the DMG pg 278 as well as guidelines for damage. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20 '18 at 5:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ -1; even in 3.5, a small-sized longsword was not a shortsword - they dealt different types of damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Mar 29 '19 at 12:27

As noted with the enlarge/reduce spell, it'd affect it in a minor sense, however the creatures really do get affected by size.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. You should expand your answer to explain what you mean, and support it by citing evidence or experience. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 30 '19 at 19:05

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