The article thus provides a series of tables for generating more plausible vital statistics to replace those in the Dungeon Masters Guide. For what it is, the system is pretty easy to use: the tables are clear and the variables aren't difficult to keep track of. But, ultimately, I find myself wondering why anyone would care about such a system. Mr Inniss notes that giants in D&D show no signs of appropriate adaptation to their height and (presumed) weight, meaning they're not very plausible as typically presented. Having said that, he then dismisses the concern by saying
Fortunately, their world is a magical one. They are probably supported by some permanent variant of the levitate spell, with bone-strengthening magic thrown in for good measure. Interestingly, the larger giants (storm and cloud giants), like the equally huge titans, have true levitation powers perhaps a natural extension of the talents of their lesser brethren.It's, in my opinion, a perfectly valid solution to this "problem" of the height and weight of giants, but, if one can accept this when dealing with giants, why is the weight of dwarves an issue? Once you admit that the world is magical and therefore exempt from inconvenient physical laws that would get in the way of fantasy, where does on draw the line? Mr Inniss anticipated this line of thought and attempted to counter it.
Since this is after all a fantasy game, it might be argued that it doesn't matter how much dwarves are defined as weighing. However, it is just such realistic-looking details as a character's height and weight that make for a more willing suspension of disbelief during a game session. Otherwise, why bother with such statistics in the first place? Plausibility, or "realism" as it is sometimes called, is definitely a factor in the enjoyment of even a fantasy game; the more so where the game makes a relatively close approach to reality.I'm far from convinced by Mr Inniss's rejoinder, but, leaving that aside, when was the last time that a character's precise weight mattered in a game? I can't recall its ever mattering in any games that I've run. Height is a little more useful, though, even there, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I ever allowed or disallowed a character action based on height. For me, knowing that a dwarf weighs 152 or merely 52 pounds is about as vital as knowing whether he has brown hair or red.
But that's just me.