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I'm playing a wild magic sorcerer and I've rolled the size-changing effect (grow or shrink 1d10 inches) a few times. I'm 9'3" now, and starting to wonder about my size category.

Does growing beyond 10 feet, if caused by the wild-magic sorcerer random table, cause a Medium character to become a Large creature, with all the advantages and the drawbacks?

Can a character be 10 feet tall and still be considered a Medium creature?

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You can grow to be Large sized.

First, let's dismiss concerns about your girth: recall that the 10' x 10' square that your creature "occupies" in the horizontal plane is a matter of space you influence, not that you occupy. (PHB p.191, "Space") So you don't have to be a 10' cube to have a 2"-square mini.

The tallest playable race are Goliaths (EEPC, p.10), Medium humanoids standing 7-8 feet tall.

But then we look to the archetypal Large humanoid, the Ogre, and that stands 9-10 feet tall (MM pp.7, "Size" and 237, "Ogre").

So, at 9'3"... You're Large now.

As for advantages and disadvantages, you've got all the features of a Large creature

  • you have to squeeze (PHB p.192) to move down a 5' hallway,
  • you can be mounted--if willing--by Medium creatures (PHB p.198), or even being treated as terrain by a Small or Tiny creature (DMB p.271, if your GM wants to use that option).
  • your reach doesn't get larger--the Ogre still has a 5' reach--but you sorta-do have a larger reach that's being modeled by your Large size's 10'x10' footprint
  • you might be able to argue for increased damage: see, for comparison, the enlarge spell's damage effect or the way an ogre's greatclub does 2d8 damage instead of the 1d8 listed in the PHB's "Weapons" list.

A census of Large monsters:

There are approximately 133 Large creatures described in the Monster Manual. Only the following say anything about their size other than being listed as Large creatures:

  • Planetar: "they tower over humanoids" (p. 17)
  • Barlgura: "standing just under 8' tall" (p. 52)
  • Horned devil: "stands as tall as an ogre" (p. 69)
  • Ogre: "stands between nine and ten feet tall" (p. 237)
  • Shambling mound: "looms up half again as tall as a human" (p. 270)

So there's not a lot to go on: nine-footers are certainly large, but some up-to-eight-footers (Goliaths) are Medium, some just-under-eight-footers (Barlgura) are Large. If there's a line, it's somewhere between 8'0" and 9'0".

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  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you nitsua60 i will see if i can persuade my DM, and if i can use my oni figure, but is there a set number at which a creature switches from medium to large, you said 9-10ft for ogres but is there a "smaller" large monster. just in case i lose some height in my next session or a future point. \$\endgroup\$ – wild sorcerer orc Jul 12 '16 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ As you can see, the barlgura is the smallest described Large creature. It's certainly possible, though, with 128 large creatures not described other than that classification, that something comes in under that bar. Present this to your GM and your hopes/intentions and see what they say. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jul 12 '16 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ now to recalculate your weight... \$\endgroup\$ – Doug Jul 12 '16 at 21:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ To be fair about the Barlgura, it's 8 feet tall, but like 10 feet wide. It's a red, demon silverback gorilla. It's less a creature and more more of a hungry 3 man tent with giant fists and angry face. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Jul 13 '16 at 0:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli absolutely--I think the entry mentions it weighing in at 800+ pounds. I've met an NFL lineman IRL and thought "wow, that man is LARGE;" the Barlgura would toss him around like a puppy with a chew-toy. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jul 13 '16 at 1:15
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I don't have access to the Wild Magic table right now, but unless it specifically says you increase your size category, RAW it appears like you do not. As evidence, this is an excerpt from the spell entry for Enlarge/Reduce:

Enlarge

The target’s size doubles in all dimensions, and its weight is multiplied by eight. This growth increases its size by one category— from Medium to Large, for example.

This seems to show that increasing your size category happens independently from your height. Along those lines, we can look at the shortest playable character in the SRD rules, the dwarf. Dwarves can be as short as 4 feet. If someone were to case Enlarge on them, they would become 8 feet tall, which would keep the creature within 'Medium' size according to the 5e SRD:

Size

Characters of most races are Medium, a size category including creatures that are roughly 4 to 8 feet tall.

However, Enlarge also says they increase in size category, regardless of what actual height they end up with. So we can deduce that the material height of a creature does not affect the creature's size category, but in actuality the size category appears to be a trait of its own.

Putting all this together, the rules seem to show that unless the table specifically states that your size increases (like the Enlarge/Reduce spell), your height by itself does not change your size category, and you would still be considered the same size as before (just twice as tall).

As with everything in 5e, your DM can override this if they desire.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ that was my DM's initial argument, but i intend to be playing this character for a while because he is so much fun (plus i have seen my DM writing a long campaign). but if grow ridiculously tall 20ft+ (i seem to grow at least once a week) will i always be a medium creature. \$\endgroup\$ – wild sorcerer orc Jul 12 '16 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wildsorcererorc The rules themselves don't specifically call out what happens when your height changes, so we have to look at other rules to find an answer. According to the rules I stated above, you could grow to be 1,000,000 feet tall, and as long as the entry doesn't specifically state that your size category increases, then you stay size medium. Again, your DM is more than welcome to change the rules as they see fit, and in general the 5e rules are pretty unhelpful/nonsensical so your DM is probably already doing a lot of that anyways. \$\endgroup\$ – Percival Jul 12 '16 at 19:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ You've chosen two implicated rules to quote, but have ignored the chart of creature size categories and typical measurements. Why? \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jul 12 '16 at 20:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ is there such a table? \$\endgroup\$ – wild sorcerer orc Jul 12 '16 at 20:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wildsorcererorc Look in the Monster Manual. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 12 '16 at 23:29
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This is another of those situations where RAW and common sense can be at odds. The RAW does not appear to specifically call out a change in size category. Common sense suggests that if you are large enough to affect a certain area of space, then your size category should represent that.

On page 248 of the DMG is a chart comparing typical sizes of creatures. It would suggest that at 10 feet, a creature is probably "large". This link is for 3.5e, but the "Height or Length" column is relatively applicable to both versions. However, despite the table, there is no specific, precise marker between size categories.

All that said, if your DM bumps you up to large, you should both probably not worry about a couple of inches either way. In-character, once your character becomes accustomed to fighting as a large creature, they would grow accustomed to the style and continue to fight that way. A few inches more or less wouldn't effectively change that. It would become a reasonable concern after losing a foot or two.

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