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Tiny creatures have a number rules exceptions, in addition to their size modifier, space and reach, and encumbrance. I think they get to add their dexterity modifier to some things rather than their strength modifier and get only half benefit from armour.

When creating a tiny (or smaller) monster, or considering allowing tiny or smaller player characters, knowing all of these special cases is quite important.

What special rules apply to tiny or smaller creatures?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I find the scope reasonable, it's the disparity of finding all the information that makes it a task. Great question, apparently. I had no idea how many rules and where they all were before this. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Mar 2 '17 at 14:46
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Here's the Creature Size table for reference.

The important takeaways from Tiny in that table:

  • Fly +4
  • Stealth +8
  • +2 AC (but half armor AC, thank you @Umbranus)
  • -2 CMB and CMD
  • No natural reach (must share spaces to perform melee attacks)

There's also a FAQ related to Tiny (and smaller) creatures' skill checks:

Any creature of Tiny or smaller size should use its Dex modifier instead of its Str modifier for Climb and Swim checks. This will be added to Bestiary 4 as a new Universal Monster Rule.

From Combat

Tiny, Diminutive, and Fine Creatures

Very small creatures take up less than 1 square of space. This means that more than one such creature can fit into a single square. A Tiny creature typically occupies a space only 2-1/2 feet across, so four can fit into a single square. (...) Creatures that take up less than 1 square of space typically have a natural reach of 0 feet, meaning they can’t reach into adjacent squares. They must enter an opponent’s square to attack in melee. This provokes an attack of opportunity from the opponent. You can attack into your own square if you need to, so you can attack such creatures normally. Since they have no natural reach, they do not threaten the squares around them. You can move past them without provoking attacks of opportunity. They also can’t flank an enemy.

This thread has some specific questions about attacks of opportunity:

  1. Does a creature using a reach weapon threaten the sqaure(s) it is occupying?

    No, a creature loses the ability to attack in their natural reach when wielding a Reach weapon. (My own answer. Reach specifically disallows attacking within what would be your melee range)

  2. Does a creature with natural weapons, that uses a manufactured weapon, treat its natural attacks as primary or secondary nat. weapons on attacks of opportunity the round after it used the manufactured weapon on its turn to attack?

    A primary natural attack used with no manufactured weapon in that attack instance is a primary attack (My own answer, I believe the posters misread the question)

  3. How are attacks of creatures with a reach of 0 feet normally resolved? I know it has to enter the square of the creature it wants to attack, but as far as i understand it, it cannot actually share the same space unless the other creature is also tiny or smaller. It has to use an action to move into the square, then another to attack, then it doesnt have an action to leave the square again. Is it staying or does it get a free action to move out and if so can it go to any adjecent square or must it move back to the square it came from?

    ...creature moves into enemy square - this provokes ... for entering the occupied square. If done without a 5' step, Acrobatics, or some other extenuating circumstance anyone standing directly around the occupied square w/5' reach or 10' away from the occupied square w/10' reach also provokes since the 0' reach creature moved through a threatened square. Anyway, once it's in there, if it's still alive the creature makes its attack. If the creature remains in said square it may later make full attacks; otherwise leaving that square is just entering the square in reverse for provoking.

  4. Is it possible to 5-foot step into another creatures square and if so, does it trigger an attack of opportunity?

    A 5-foot-step prevents the AoO for leaving a threatened space, but entering another creature's space will still provoke an AoO regardless. (This is because, in Pathfinder, specific trumps general. Moving into a space involved a more specific rule than movement provoking or not)

  5. How do reach weapons work on tiny creatures?

    Yes they threaten 5', so if you're worried give your sprites longspears. Source

  6. Can a tiny creature enter an opponents square on a charge?

    A 0' reach creature can Charge into an occupied square; provoking still applies. (Charging does not prevent attacks of opportunity, and Tiny creatures' ability to enter squares is more specific than the Charge line about occupied squares)

Related about Cover.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ On a side note, playing a size fine sparrow is such fun. ^^ \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Mar 2 '17 at 20:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko till someone grapples you with an effective +16 \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Mar 2 '17 at 20:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ You may want to mention dex to CMB (as mentioned by Umbranus in their answer). \$\endgroup\$ – Thanuir Mar 3 '17 at 4:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ The thread you linked does not seem particularly credible; the claims are not proven with sources and there is no FAQ/designer commentary there. I don't think it adds much to the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Thanuir Mar 3 '17 at 4:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso They have to hit a minimum AC 24 (at first level, more if higher level) first, hide, disguise, and bluff checks second, and then deal with psionics third before that'll ever happen. =P Otherwise, excellent point. \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Mar 3 '17 at 18:47
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The armor for unusual creatures table shows that armor for tiny or smaller creatures offers only half the usual bonus.

Tiny or smaller*

*Divide armor bonus by 2.

Then the following quotes have some other specials:

Tiny characters take up a space of 2-1/2 feet by 2-1/2 feet, so up to four of these characters can fit into a single square. Tiny races typically have a natural reach of 0 feet, meaning they can't reach into adjacent squares. They must enter an opponent's square to attack it in melee. This provokes an attack of opportunity from the opponent. Since they have no natural reach, they do not threaten the squares around them. Other creatures can move through those squares without provoking attacks of opportunity. Tiny creatures typically cannot flank an enemy.

And

Very Small Creature: A Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creature can move into or through an occupied square. The creature provokes attacks of opportunity when doing so.

This is something a small or larger creature can not do.

Creatures that are size Tiny or smaller use their Dexterity modifier in place of their Strength modifier to determine their CMB.

The table wind effects shows the size of creatures that need to make a check or that are blown away. This starts earlier for tiny or smaller size so it might fit in this answer or not.

As per a FAQ (thanks to Ifusaso)

Any creature of Tiny or smaller size should use its Dex modifier instead of its Str modifier for Climb and Swim checks. This will be added to Bestiary 4 as a new Universal Monster Rule.

This is everything I could find so far.

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There's a LOT.

Offensively:

Tiny races gain... a +2 size bonus on attack rolls

and

Tiny characters take up a space of 2-1/2 feet by 2-1/2 feet, so up to four of these characters can fit into a single square. Tiny races typically have a natural reach of 0 feet, meaning they can't reach into adjacent squares. They must enter an opponent's square to attack it in melee. This provokes an attack of opportunity from the opponent. Since they have no natural reach, they do not threaten the squares around them. Other creatures can move through those squares without provoking attacks of opportunity. Tiny creatures typically cannot flank an enemy.

CMB:

Creatures that are size Tiny or smaller use their Dexterity modifier in place of their Strength modifier to determine their CMB. The special size modifier for a creature’s Combat Maneuver Bonus is as follows:

Fine –8, Diminutive –4, Tiny –2

Tiny manufactured weapons also deal less damage than their medium counterparts, according to Table: Tiny and Large Weapon Damage. Some Tiny weapons even deal '--' damage. Tiny creatures usually receive no bonus from using reach weapons, as they double the user's natural reach (in this case 0 feet most of the time).

Tiny and Smaller weapons are priceless and weightless-- the prices listed in the CRB are for medium weapons and no rules are given for the calculation of weapons smaller than small or larger than large. Generally people just use the armor rules for this too, but that 1/2 off magic items multiplier is a bit severe. YMMV.

Defensively:

The armor for unusual creatures table shows that armor for tiny or smaller creatures offers only half the usual bonus.

Tiny or smaller*

*Divide armor bonus by 2.

but they also receive a +2 size modifier to AC:

You receive a bonus or penalty to your AC based on your size...

Tiny +2

The table wind effects shows the size of creatures that need to make a check or that are blown away. This starts earlier for tiny or smaller sized creatures.

CMD:

The special size modifier for a creature’s Combat Maneuver Defense is as follows:

Fine –8, Diminutive –4, Tiny –2

Armor for tiny creatures (including magical armor) is cheaper and lighter than that of larger creatures. The price of such armors is modified by:

Tiny or smaller humanoid cost ×1/2 weight ×1/10

Tiny or smaller nonhumanoid cost ×1 weight ×1/10

The rules are unclear as to whether or not and if so how fast you starve, suffocate, or dehydrate:

Nonlethal damage from thirst or starvation cannot be recovered until the character gets food or water, as needed.

but 'as needed' is only defined for medium and small creatures.

Suffocation is fine as long as it's not slow suffocation in a sealed 10'X10'X10' chamber which has its own special rules that neglect to mention the air consumption rate of tiny creatures.

The tracks of tiny creatures are harder to detect and the survival DC to follow them is modified by the table entry:

Tiny +2

Other:

Very Small Creature: A Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creature can move into or through an occupied square. The creature provokes attacks of opportunity when doing so.

Fly checks:

Size: A creature larger or smaller than Medium takes a size bonus or penalty on Fly checks depending on its size category:

Fine +8

Diminutive +6

Tiny +4

Stealth checks:

Size: Creatures gain a bonus or penalty on Stealth checks based on their size: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8

Carrying capacity:

A smaller creature can carry less weight depending on its size category, as follows: Small ×3/4, Tiny ×1/2, Diminutive ×1/4, Fine ×1/8.

Quadrupeds can carry heavier loads than bipeds can. Multiply the values corresponding to the creature’s Strength score from Table: Carrying Capacity by the appropriate modifier, as follows: Fine ×1/4, Diminutive ×1/2, Tiny ×3/4,

Certain items of equipment, like waterskins, do not exist in sizes designed for Tiny creatures. Most non-combat items don't have specified alterations based on price, which means the 'medium' version is sort of the only one available unless you can get something out of your DM. You do start with one set of clothes of your choice for free, however.

Some magic items, such as Death's Head Coffers and Featherleaf Barding, provide additional potential benefits to tiny creatures.

Tiny animals get to use Dex instead of Str for Climb and Swim.

Small(sic) animals like these use Dexterity to modify Climb and Swim checks.

The above quote refers to familiars, which are usually tiny animals, not small ones.

Magic in general, and any other subsystems using fixed measurements regardless of size, is much more potent from the perspective of Tiny creatures.

Additional rule systems, such as those for mass combat and race creation, also reference creature size and make special rules and accommodations for tiny creatures. Depending on what additional rule systems you play with, there may be even more changes.

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