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Encumberance


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

I'm curious about people's general practices. How many of you, as players, keep track of your own encumbrance? As GMs, how many of you enforce Encumbrance rules tightly?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In PFS, I track encumbrance religiously. HeroLab is HUGE help in this regard.

In home games, not so much.

*****

As a player, I always stick by the encumbrance rules. Many times, I keep track of what's in my character's backpack, so I can drop it during combat to lessen the penalties.

As a GM, I usually trust my players to keep track of things like this themselves. If something comes up that makes me wonder, I'll ask about it at that point. eg. "I pull this large anvil out of my pack..."

The biggest pain is all that gold - it weighs a LOT! In PFS, I just leave most of my cash back at the lodge. For home games, I convert most of it to gems, etc. Of course, once I can afford a bag of holding, it's a different story.

Shadow Lodge ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Note that you don't have to worry about the weight/bulk etc of all the loot you're finding and bringing home.

That said as a player I make sure all my encumbrance is calculated correctly and as a GM I expect a player to take care of it. Just as I would expect them to track their HP, have their correct saving throw modifiers and remember to level their character every 3 scenarios.

Andoran **** Venture-Captain, Washington—Seattle aka The Great Rinaldo!

Same here - I spent hours fiddling with The Great Rinaldo's gear to get his total weight below his mount's Light Encumbrance threshold for maximum speed (a 20' move halfling really appreciates a 50' move wolf doing the legwork for him!).

Andoran ***

Pirate Rob wrote:
That said as a player I make sure all my encumbrance is calculated correctly and as a GM I expect a player to take care of it. Just as I would expect them to track their HP, have their correct saving throw modifiers and remember to level their character every 3 scenarios.

This sums it up nicely.

Andoran *****

Yup, exactly. I think I've only ever had to ask someone about their encumbrance once. And it was someone that just assumed encumbrance wasn't used in PFS. They had to leave a bunch of stuff at home.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I will remind players to check their encumbrance any time strength loss comes into play... once it lead to a rather epic fight when the paladin had to drop his shield in the middle of a fight.

Shadow Lodge *

My strength 6 halfling oracle barbarian is real fun when she comes out of rage and is now str 4... 5ft movement really sucks... but I always remember it...

Cheliax ***

As a player of a wizard with low strength I track encumbrance closely. As a GM I expect players to do likewise. Though I would only query it if something looked odd.

And its not worth getting into the clothing doesn't count as encumbrance dispute (which Herolab doesn't track).

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Unseelie wrote:
I will remind players to check their encumbrance any time strength loss comes into play... once it lead to a rather epic fight when the paladin had to drop his shield in the middle of a fight.

Unfortunately, temporary Strength damage does not affect encumbrance. (I wish it did. I have a couple of great encounters with Strength-damaging poisons...)

Permanent Strength loss, or the removal of a magical strength belt, does affect encumbrance.

Shadow Lodge *

Ummm... why do you think temporary strength drain or damage doesn't affect the PC?

Andoran *****

Because the rule on ability damage says:

PRD wrote:
For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.
PRD wrote:
Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and your Combat Maneuver Defense.

So if you take 1 strength damage, you don't take any penalties, regardless of whether you are at an odd or even strength score. Unlike 3.0 and 3.5 versions of D&D, you don't recalculate an ability everytime you take damage in it.

You just take the penalties for every 2 points of damage.

Andoran *****

Drain however does modify the ability score.

Shadow Lodge *

And fatigued is a strength penalty... (neither drain nor damage) and therefore encumbrance is affected

Andoran *****

you asked why ability damage wouldn't affect encumbrance. That's the question I answered.

There was no question about ability penalties.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
Unseelie wrote:
I will remind players to check their encumbrance any time strength loss comes into play... once it lead to a rather epic fight when the paladin had to drop his shield in the middle of a fight.

Unfortunately, temporary Strength damage does not affect encumbrance. (I wish it did. I have a couple of great encounters with Strength-damaging poisons...)

Permanent Strength loss, or the removal of a magical strength belt, does affect encumbrance.

Ah, I missed that... I'd house rule it then, because it doesn't make a lot of sense why it wouldn't. It helped that the PC was able to look at his PC quickly and determine that dropping his large metal shield was sufficient.

Andoran *****

Unseelie wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
Unseelie wrote:
I will remind players to check their encumbrance any time strength loss comes into play... once it lead to a rather epic fight when the paladin had to drop his shield in the middle of a fight.

Unfortunately, temporary Strength damage does not affect encumbrance. (I wish it did. I have a couple of great encounters with Strength-damaging poisons...)

Permanent Strength loss, or the removal of a magical strength belt, does affect encumbrance.

Ah, I missed that... I'd house rule it then, because it doesn't make a lot of sense why it wouldn't. It helped that the PC was able to look at his PC quickly and determine that dropping his large metal shield was sufficient.

I hope you would only house rule this in a home game, and not at a PFS game.

** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

PRD wrote:
For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.

Wouldn't encumbrance limits be considered a statistic? Of course, -1 lb. of carrying capacity isn't much of a penalty, but still...

Grand Lodge ***

As a player, I keep track of my encumbrance, but usually calculate it for combat assuming I've dropped my backpack of non-combat gear, assuming I'm even carrying one (once I can afford it, I'll buy a horse to carry all that unimportant heavy stuff like food).

As a GM, I'm assuming all my players do the same and do so fairly. Auditing each character sheet to enforce endurance rules at the start of each session is as rude as it is time consuming. Maybe when the 10 STR Rogue pulls out the 5th or 6th "backup" longsword or insists he's carrying 20 daggers I might ask to check his math.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

RainyDayNinja wrote:
PRD wrote:
For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.
Wouldn't encumbrance limits be considered a statistic? Of course, -1 lb. of carrying capacity isn't much of a penalty, but still...

Yeah, if my GM wants to be picky and call my carrying capacity a statistic that's affected by my 2 points of STR damage, I'll happily apply the specified -1 penalty to said carrying capacity. :P

**

I never track encumberance. But I do apply common sense to it. My Str 7 sorceror carries very little beyond what he is wearing, while my friends 18 str cavalier can carry a lot more.

As a GM, I tell my players that I won't worry about emcumberance as long as they don't abuse it.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I generally start by tallying up my armor and weapons (the heaviest items) when I make the character and seeing where that leaves me. If I'm nowhere close to crossing into medium load, I stop worrying about it. If I'm close to the line, I tally up the backpack and rope and everything else. If I'm over or within a couple of pounds, I consider just always using medium armor (same ACP and movement reduction). If I'm a little bit under, I just make a note to avoid carry too many "just in case" items with that PC.

I don't know any of my PCs' exact loads, but I can guarantee all of them would stand up to an audit.

Andoran *****

RainyDayNinja wrote:
PRD wrote:
For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.
Wouldn't encumbrance limits be considered a statistic? Of course, -1 lb. of carrying capacity isn't much of a penalty, but still...

If you look further at the PRD or the Core Rule book regarding ability damage (or just the additional PRD quote I did upthread regarding Strength) each ability actually tells you which statistics are affected by ability damage. Encumbrance is not one of them for Strength Damage.

Qadira ****

I always track encumbrance, but then again herolab puts in all the work for me these days.

My first ever GM made us track encumbrance so it's always been something I do. As a GM I'll ignore things like bedroll, waterskin, rations...ect basic adventuring gear that you are likely to drop when a fight starts.

Andoran *****

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Never do it at home. Too much hassle.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Never do it at home. Too much hassle.

That's what SHE said.

Grand Lodge ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

These people talking about always dropping equipment at the start of a fight have clearly played in fewer sewer-based scenarios than me!

Lantern Lodge **

Encumbrance is one reason why I like playing Dwarves.

That said, does anyone actively remembers to factor in Max Dex bonuses due to encumbrance?
(I always remember armor's max dex, but not encumbrance.)

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Secane wrote:
That said, does anyone actively remembers to factor in Max Dex bonuses due to encumbrance?

Yes.

Conveniently, encumbrance's max DEX just happens to be the same as that of the top-notch armor for the same category (i.e., for medium encumbrance it's the same as a breastplate).

Grand Lodge ***

Secane wrote:

Encumbrance is one reason why I like playing Dwarves.

That said, does anyone actively remembers to factor in Max Dex bonuses due to encumbrance?
(I always remember armor's max dex, but not encumbrance.)

A fellow player was looking over his character sheet (exported from Hero Lab) and couldn't figure out why, in a mithral breastplate, he wasn't getting his full +4 bonus from DEX to his AC. After a quick look, I notified him he was carrying the supplies for a small town on his back. I suggested he put it down while fighting if he wanted to dodge more arrows.

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

Yes - when players start complaining their AC is too low (having a HeroLab printout) then most often it is encumbrance penalties.

I started with a Str. 7 Wizard who had mobility as feat. I took great care to stay below encumbrance until I was able to buy a handy haversack.

I had 1 backpack as well as a sack. In the sack was the less important stuff - like rope, etc. At the start of the game I would look out for a Str 18 fighter and ask friendly - can you carry my sack for me.

As GM - well - most characters are generated on my PC in HeroLab. The only concession I make is that I don't count money. I assume you leave it back home / find a way to carry it with less encumbrance.

No sane adventurer would go into battle carrying 10K of gold.

A few games ago I took a porter as a GM boon for a free vanity. I truly loaded him up with stuff I would otherwise not bother - like a foldable chair, fold-able ladder, large tent, etc. up to his carrying capacity.

Unfortunately he was more a burden as a help. He went to 0 wisdom in the first adventure (caught by an area draining effect) and in the last adventure I left him at a 'safe' place that had in story all inhabitants eliminated in it while the group was adventuring.

Seems I need a sack of holding in addition to my handy haversack or live in less comfort ...

Grand Lodge ****

Benrislove wrote:

... basic adventuring gear that you are likely to drop when a fight starts.

Where is this gear located? In a back pack? In a bag? How big is that bag? Can it hold the volume of all this extra gear you intend to drop when the fight starts? What gear is in this bag that you drop? Oh shoot, did you just drop something you needed or was that actually not in the nebulous bag I just dropped? Do you carry a shield? A weapon? What happens when you have a shield, a bag and a weapon and the fight starts? Do you adjust his movement out of combat? Is that human at the back of the party with the dwarves and gnomes when the battle pops off?

I usually find it less complicated to either keep under the weight limit or just deal with the negatives a medium encumbrance comes with. And as a GM I don't want to have to ask these questions.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

There are some local players who I could definitely believe could answer every one of those questions, and prove them on paper. :/

For myself, though, I'm with you - I either give myself a margin before hitting medium, or just eat it and wear a breastplate. That way I can guarantee the legality of my stats without bothering to calculate the little stuff, because I know I have the "room" for it. My Eldritch Knight has 18 STR and wears mithral armor. I have no idea how much scroll/potion weight he's carrying, but I guarantee he's not encumbered. ;)

Grand Lodge *

My characters calculate it carefully and keeping under the threshold on generation but I may be guilty of sliding over it during play - especially if I am in multiple sessions over tournament play with no real time to re-calculate.

Once I recalculate I make adjustments again.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I track it to the ounce in my home games. Don't play in PFS.

Andoran *****

Jiggy,

FYI: Your Porter should not be affected by anything in combat.

Assume, that you do not have access to anything they are carrying while you are in combat, and that the Porter always stays a safe distance away from you.

They do not have stats, so they cannot be affected by any in game situations.

Qadira ****

Andrew Christian wrote:

Jiggy,

FYI: Your Porter should not be affected by anything in combat.

Assume, that you do not have access to anything they are carrying while you are in combat, and that the Porter always stays a safe distance away from you.

They do not have stats, so they cannot be affected by any in game situations.

Thod was the guy with the Porter, not Jiggy

Andoran *****

ah, right... ok... then read the above as though I'm addressing Thod...

chuckle..

Grand Lodge ****

nosig wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

Jiggy,

FYI: Your Porter should not be affected by anything in combat.

Assume, that you do not have access to anything they are carrying while you are in combat, and that the Porter always stays a safe distance away from you.

They do not have stats, so they cannot be affected by any in game situations.

Thod was the guy with the Porter, not Jiggy

And Thod even knows this from previous discussions. He just likes subjecting innocents to ability drain.

Andoran *****

sveden wrote:
nosig wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

Jiggy,

FYI: Your Porter should not be affected by anything in combat.

Assume, that you do not have access to anything they are carrying while you are in combat, and that the Porter always stays a safe distance away from you.

They do not have stats, so they cannot be affected by any in game situations.

Thod was the guy with the Porter, not Jiggy
And Thod even knows this from previous discussions. He just likes subjecting innocents to ability drain.

Isn't that an evil act? ;p

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Who doesn't?

Silver Crusade

I don't track encumbrance in my home games. I had to tell the players who use hero lab to turn off encumbrance.

With certain characters (monks for example) I might give it a spot check.

I can understand tracking it in PFS but considering time constraints I would probably only do it in cases where somebody is obviously carrying way more than their character can handle.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

Recently had a humorous incident where it was vital to know what a character's encumbrance was: a wizard with a Str of 1 (after being exhausted), carrying nothing but a haversack.

:P

**

In my home games, I use herolabs for the group, so it gets tracked pretty strictly. In PFS, I don't have time to double check everyone's numbers. I eyeball it and ask for specific numbers if something looks fishy (Like a ton of weight on a 7 str character).

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I find it is important to know the weight of what you are transporting. In my games you can be a couple of lbs over an encumbrance level and still not suffer the drawbacks as the healing kit could be half depleted, some of the rations eaten and so on, but it should not be a free pass to play a str 6 halfling that carry 300 lbs of gear around.

Qadira ****

In a game resently, I had another player (who was busy "playing by himself") state he was going to fly over and scoop up my Dwarf Heavy armor Cleric and fly him to the top of a building to look into a darkened skylight.
Several of us got a laugh out of it.
"Sorry guy, I don't think so. My Dwarf is in full plate, with a tower shield and full kit, and he casts Ant Haul on himself every morning just so he can move around. No way are you lifting him..."
(if he'd ASKED my PC, being a Travel Domain cleric, he could have flown himself up there... or Dim Doored, or Dim Hop...)

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

Andrew

The Porter didn't die in a combat - he died in the flavor text

Mantis Prey:

I left him at the look-out with a high (?) level half-orc ranger working for Grandmaster Torch. The flavor text kills the half-orc as the master assasin takes out the hide-out.
In the GMs view - that kills the porter as well. The assasin wouldn't leave someone behind who could tell what happened.

In regard to 'the porter has no stats'.

You are right. But situations that clearly will cause overkill will also eliminate the porter in my view.

Example - a bridge over a gorge that collapses while you pass it with the porter directly behind you.

An empowered fireball that is doing 50+ points of damage and the porter in the radius.

The porter is not 300 pound of magic carrying capacity. For this I can use a floating disk (only that it won't go down stairs). I strongly feel that it had consequences if I command the porter into a place that is dangerous. He is pretty squishy.

Yes - in a fight he should be trying to get out of the way, shouldn't be targeted directly. But I wouldn't regard him immune to area affects.

So I have taken the porter of my sheet now.

Andoran *** Venture-Lieutenant, Canada—Montreal aka Ryan. Costello

I ballparked my homegame Str 10 time thief’s encumbrance for a while. There’s a running gag in my game whenever something looks heavy or grossed, she bats her eyelashes and one of the party dwarves, so I don’t have much gear. It wasn’t until I decided to rewrite my character onto a clean character sheet that I saw just how little equipment 33 pounds is, especially when you’re wearing a 25 pound chain shirt. Next session I’m going to have to run a shopping trip of buying and selling equipment by my GM to cut my encumbrance down below a light load. I thought I found the solution in the masterwork backpack, but it is a 4 pound item that increases the effective Strength of the wearer by 1 with regards to carrying capacity. That bump gains me 5 extra pounds, or a net gain of 1.

I am in a party of dwarves and have no abilities that stop functioning if I was carrying a medium load. It’s the principal of the matter, I want my 30 speed.

Cheliax ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Walter Sheppard wrote:

Recently had a humorous incident where it was vital to know what a character's encumbrance was: a wizard with a Str of 1 (after being exhausted), carrying nothing but a haversack.

:P

I'm pretty sure it was stated up-thread that penalties like that don't actually reduce carrying capacity.

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