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A friend in our campaign is playing a spellcasting Tiny character. Tiny size means, among other things, a very low Strength score and very little carrying capacity. An obvious choice of magic item for spellcasters is a staff, but staves seem to be designed for Medium characters and thus are way too big to be carried by a Tiny creature.

Should our friend give up on the idea to use a staff, or is it possible to make smaller versions of them ?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As is this question invites very opinion based answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Umbranus Nov 18 '16 at 12:05
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Questions like that come up very often. And while I can understand the reason they are being asked the problems I see are the following:

If magic items, be it staffs, handy haversacks, etc. are reduced in size and weight without changing anything else about them, then why should a medium sized spellcaster with a low strength use the medium sized version instead of the small or tiny sized one?

In addition having a smaller size has certain benefits and certain drawbacks. If everything is made available to them in their size the GM removes the (or part of the) drawbacks, making those options stronger as a whole.

In the same way a player who wants to play a dwarven wizard could complain that he can't use the benefits of his slow and steady and thus wants his dwarf to be able to ignore the slow speed. If a GM allows a tiny PC to get everything in tiny size he should allow the dwarf wizard to not be slow, as well.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You actually have a good point here : I was really wondering if being tiny could have any kind of drawback for a spellcaster. Drawbacks from being tiny are kind of obvious for other aspects of adventuring (low weapon damage, nonexistent reach, cannot flank, highly susceptible to combat maneuvers...) but until now, it looked like being a wizard or sorcerer pretty much negated every of them and benefited from what made this size advantageous (bonuses on attack rolls, AC and Fly and Stealth checks). I guess I can suggest my friend to get some runestones of power. \$\endgroup\$ – user26561 Nov 18 '16 at 12:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @FlashRebel This answer is explicitly wrong; inability to find appropriately-sized items is not an intended drawback of being a different size. The rules explicitly state that magic items are intended to be usable by people of any size. The parallels drawn to dwarves are nonsense, and overall the answer just seems unnecessarily “judge-y.” \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 18 '16 at 17:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Whether it's an intended drawback or not is immaterial: the truth is that most stuff is scaled for Medium creatures and allowing a craftsman to make littler stuff--like an ultra-portable Fine mirrors of life trapping or whatever--has some fairly serious game ramifications that should be addressed. Absent other rules, that Umbranus opts to address the issue by saying, essentially, "Tough luck, small fry, create it at Medium size anyway," is reasonable. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 18 '16 at 17:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan one interpretation of the "magic items resize" rule is that the item changes to whatever size you are, and you get no choice in the matter (there's nothing in the rule that says otherwise). That is obviously an interpretation that requires a GM call, but it's a simple way to fix the problem. \$\endgroup\$ – WeirdFrog Nov 18 '16 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WeirdFrog You're absolutely right that the DM can make a house rule saying that all magic items resize to their possessor, but that doesn't change how the game actually works. This answer presents the way the game works and offers an opinion as to why it does that's totally valid. (By the way, I already upvoted your answer.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 18 '16 at 20:07
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With the exception of weapons, armor, and race-restricted items, the size of a magic item should not prevent its use by a character. (Emphasis mine)

Size and Magic Items

When an article of magic clothing or jewelry is discovered, most of the time size shouldn't be an issue. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they adjust themselves magically to the wearer. Size should not keep characters of various kinds from using magic items.

There may be rare exceptions, especially with race-specific items.

Armor and Weapon Sizes: Armor and weapons that are found at random have a 30% chance of being small (01–30), a 60% chance of being Medium (31–90), and a 10% chance of being any other size (91–100).

It explicitly states that jewelry and clothing resizes or is resizeable, and implies at the end that most magic items should be usable regardless of size. That said, magic staves don't function any differently if they are larger or smaller, so there's no reason they wouldn't resize to fit their wielder.

As a side note, some GMs rule that magic weapons and/or armor found also resizes to fit the wearer. As long as the rule isn't exploited (and it's a houserule, the GM can draw the line where ever they want), it saves characters a lot of time and resources they would otherwise be using to sell the armor that's perfect for them but doesn't fit.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem is : staves aren't clothing or jewelery and can in fact be used as melee weapons. Then according to the RAW, they don't rescale at the player's will. \$\endgroup\$ – user26561 Nov 19 '16 at 23:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FlashRebel staves are a magic item in a separate category from magic weapons. Yes, some of them can be used as weapons, but so can some clothing, and that explicitly resizes. It says that size should not keep characters from using magic items, staves are not designed to be weapons, they are designed to channel magical power, and that should not be denied to tiny characters, as the text says. \$\endgroup\$ – WeirdFrog Nov 21 '16 at 19:14

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