Large And In Charge
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Basic Information

A mighty man was Eldred,
A bulk for casks to fill,
His face a dreaming furnace,
His body a walking hill.

Tall Eldred broke the sea of spears
As a tall ship breaks the sea.
His face like a sanguine sunset,
His shoulder a Wessex down,
His hand like a windy hammer-stroke;
Men could not count the crests he broke,
So fast the crests went down.

(from) The Ballad of the White Horse G. K. Chesterton

Large and In Charge is the characterization trope that describes how it's not uncommon for boss figures to be very large. They may be 7 feet tall, big-boned, or obese. They are likely to be very strong as a result, and size combined with authority is likely to make them confident and tough.

Depending on the game, the leader may be an inhuman species (like an ogre or dragon) that is much larger than humans.

Related tropes:
adipose rex
authority equals asskicking
The Dragon
evil is bigger
Mr Big



Game and Story Use

  • While RPGs don't have camera work or shot framing, it's still not uncommon for someone large to be in charge. This is a natural outgrowth of the level system in D&D and similar games, where there's something of an in-universe logical need for leaders to be individually powerful (see authority equals asskicking).
    • While there are plenty of small but potent creatures and character types, having something huge (possibly big enough to fill more than one 5x5 "space") clearly marks it as the impressive BBEG the PCs need to focus their attention on to win the battle.
  • Can be subverted by having a small boss and a big enforcer as a distraction or red herring.
  • Skinny GMs take note: some of us players are, shall we say, "gamer sized". Overweight people put up with a lot of crap in their daily life. Fat jokes, fat shaming, technology being built to fit people with a slimmer frame, etc. A little thing like representation, the inclusion of a larger-sized competent good-guy leader or mentor could be very well received at your table. The opposite tactic, of making all larger characters disgusting or comedic, may undermine the long-term health of your campaign/play group. That's my unsolicited advice.
  • This is a very common trope in orcs and equivalent species which in some settings vary in size immensely, with the dominant males being far larger than human size whilst those at the bottom of the pecking order are little bigger than goblins. Cause and effect may, of course, be an issue, but it would not be unreasonable to posit a positive feedback loop - an lucky break early on gets access to better food, so the orc pup grows bigger, more dominant and can secure better food etc. until it either dies in battle or becomes too big to grow any further.
    • See, for example, the manga/anime Goblin Slayer where your default goblin is a dog sized critter, but has the potential to grow into something apparently 10-15' in height and powerfully proportioned.
    • Of course, if your goblin/orc grows "to the size of its tank" (so to speak), then orc breeding might be a sport amongst BBEGs - picking likely orcs and growing them as big as possible with copious amounts of meat based food and regular fights to build size and muscle.
      • Maybe not even BBEG - perhaps a moderately decadent state long ago outlawed human gladiators, in favour of orc-fighting and nobles and syndics alike gather at the arena to compare and then conflict their prize orcs…
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