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Old 05-07-2010, 09:02 AM   #1
TheManeuver
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Default Size Modifiers

Potentially an unnecessary question/comment (not really sure which), but something came up in a recent game that I was GMing causing me to take a closer look at the Size Modifier rules in GURPS Characters (4th Ed), and I'm curious to see what other people think of this.

From GURPS Characters p19:
Quote:
Most humans - and humanoids, robots, etc. that can pass for human - have SM 0...
This, of course, we all know. When creating a human or human-sized character, the Size Modifier is 0, so we don't even have to take it into account. But later on in that section we get:
Quote:
If a creatures longest dimension falls between two entries on the table, base its SM on the higher value.
This quote is in reference to the Size Modifier Table on page 19. If we refer to the table, we find that the value for SM 0 is 6', while SM +1 is 9'.

Going by this, a 6'1" human, who, while taller than average, isn't exceptionally tall for the species, would be SM +1.

Now, I haven't found a rule confirming this, but an assumed rule of thumb (or at least the one I've had going in) is that, excepting the case of Dwarfism or Gigantism, all adults of the same race (not counting exotic races and such which may incur different GM made rules ... let's just use humans as our example) share the same Size Modifier. So in our case, humans with Gigantism are over 7' with SM +1, as explained on page 20 of GURPS Characters.

I've considered the possibility that a character's SM could be intended to be the average for said character's race, but the idea of a 6'3" human being SM 0 and a 6'2" member of a race whose average height is 6'5" being SM +1 doesn't really gel with me.

Anyway, I guess my question is: do you think that a human with height falling between 6'1" and 6'11" be considered SM +1 but without the Gigantism trait? And why/why not? If anyone can point me in the direction of a ruling that would better clarify this that would be great.

If not, I guess at the very least this kind of thing would be GM's call whether a 6'1" human should be SM 0 or +1. I know I'd likely rule SM 0 in this case, being so close to the 6' cut off.

What does everyone else think? Am I reading into this too much? I surely think so!
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:26 AM   #2
Dragondog
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Default Re: Size Modifiers

Depending on how you read the chart, you could say that anything up to 6.5', rounded to 6', is SM 0. Or that anything higher than 6.0' is SM +1. But however you read it, it is possible to be a SM +1 human without Gigantism.

As a GM, I would likely let the player decide if his 6.0'-6.5' character was SM 0 or SM +1.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:40 AM   #3
TheManeuver
 
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Default Re: Size Modifiers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragondog View Post
Depending on how you read the chart, you could say that anything up to 6.5', rounded to 6', is SM 0. Or that anything higher than 6.0' is SM +1. But however you read it, it is possible to be a SM +1 human without Gigantism.

As a GM, I would likely let the player decide if his 6.0'-6.5' character was SM 0 or SM +1.
Hmmm, and I guess in that range the character's build could be considered to influence SM, with thinner characters being SM 0 and bulkier (be it muscle or fat) characters at SM +1.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Size Modifiers

Wondered that myself.
From the similar Spaceships conundrums I'd conclude you have to be 7' for SM+1 or very "heavily built" if shorter (ST>14 for SM+1). Might go as far as >6'6" (6.5 rounds to 6).
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:07 AM   #5
Dragondog
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Default Re: Size Modifiers

I was considering size < 7' as SM 0 too. But as they don't confine themselves to whole feet, I feel more comfortable rounding from 6.5'.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:26 AM   #6
Nymdok
 
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Default Re: Size Modifiers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragondog View Post
Depending on how you read the chart, you could say that anything up to 6.5', rounded to 6', is SM 0.
Thats how I read it. so 6'6" in my game is still SM 0.

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Old 05-07-2010, 12:10 PM   #7
PK
 
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Default Re: Size Modifiers

The fact is, SM is just a little bit fuzzy. Technically, a skinny 6'6" guy could be SM 0 while a 5'11" guy built like a refrigerator might be SM +1. So it's perfectly reasonable to go either way, here!

However, leaving the above aside, there's a concept known as false precision that you have to take into consideration here. A layman's phrasing of it might be: You don't round off your answer to inches if your yardstick only shows feet. So, since the examples for SM 0 and up are all given in whole feet, it's not really worth worrying about anything less than a foot. Up to 6-foot-and-something is SM 0, up to 7-foot-or-more is SM +1.

And if you want to round 6'7" up to 7' and still call it SM +1, feel free, but really I'd only recommend doing that if there's some reason to treat this person as significantly larger than a normal human. The granularity of the GURPS system means that things jump from one value to another instead of being a perfectly smooth transition. So make sure that you have a valid reason for that jump -- I'd be pretty annoyed at my GM if I build a 6'2" character and s/he ruled that everyone now had +1 to hit me, but not to hit my 5'11" partner.
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:16 PM   #8
TheManeuver
 
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Default Re: Size Modifiers

Ok, thanks for the input. I'll keep this in mind for future games.

As I suspected, it would come down to GM's ruling whether someone a few inches over 6' would qualify for SM 0 or 1, taking body type into consideration, etc.

For me, I guess I'll let anything up to 6'5-6" be SM 0 unless justified otherwise.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:12 AM   #9
Darsken
 
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Default Re: Size Modifiers

Before anyone attacks me for thread necromancy: It's better than starting a new thread!

I wanted to add a note to help other GMS: I am 6'6". Trust me, it's SM +1. I walk a lot faster than most people, I get hit (by doors) a lot more often, and clothes are more expensive / harder to find. For all intents and purposes, I would make a 6'6" a SM +1, if the average height is ~6' or less.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:23 AM   #10
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Size Modifiers

The way that I would wind up doing it, is to have the size modifier table be the average value for each level. So as an zero winds up from about 7 feet down to 5'3".
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