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Is encumbrance ignored?


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

My experience with PFS is admittedly mostly limited to watching at this point, but I have noticed that no one seems to enforce encumbrance. Is this a PFS rule I missed or something? I have been observing at a few different shops recently and noticed a pattern. There are tons of medium characters with 7 strength whose clothing + armor + weapons alone should have them encumbered, taking 30-foot moves. This seems to be par for the course at the different locations I have gone to.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to create for my next character since my first turned out to be mostly useless, and I need to know if I should worry about encumbrance. My last human rogue had something like 12 str to avoid taking encumbrance penalties on all his important skills. After all, for my skill monkey 16 dex and no encumbrance is far better than 18 dex and -3 from encumbrance. Of course, I also made the mistake of trying to play a skill monkey in PFS where I discovered there is often not a single meaningful skill check and it's all about combat. Therefore, I want to make sure I get it right with this next character.

The Exchange ***

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It isn't ignored but there is very limited time during a game to check characters.

Are you sure those characters don't have ant haul, a bag of some kind, maybe mithral? There are plenty of ways to not be encumbered.

Quote:
discovered there is often not a single meaningful skill check and it's all about combat

I too wish it was 2013 again.

Scarab Sages ***

Encumberance should be enforced, but like a lot of things, it's often left up to the player to self-enforce. I try to make sure I keep mine up to date, and I definitely have characters that are right on the line. i also tend not to dump STR, though I may leave it at what it is after racial adjustments. I don't think I've ever put it to 7 or lower. A Masterwork backpack is usually one of my early purchases on low strength characters.

As a GM, I'm probably not going to say anything unless it's a clearly questionable situation.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ragoz wrote:

It isn't ignored but there is very limited time during a game to check characters.

Are you sure those characters don't have ant haul, a bag of some kind, maybe mithral? There are plenty of ways to not be encumbered.

Quote:
discovered there is often not a single meaningful skill check and it's all about combat
I too wish it was 2013 again.

Thanks for the Response

It Seemed to be just that no one ever actually checks or cares about encumbrance. None that I saw had heavy load belts or cast ant haul. Some were using dark leaf or mithril. Some even had donkeys or handy haversacks.

Saw one doing tons to reduce weight that was over that i can still remember. Keep in mind max light load for str 7 is 23lbs. He was medium size.

He was carrying dark leaf cloth studded leather (10lb), handy haversack (5lb), Peasant’s outfit (2lb), Rapier (2lb) shortbow (2lb), Instrument (3lb)… at this point he is into medium capacity. He also had 3 quivers of Stone arrows 20each (6.75lb), a belt pouch to hang on that rag belt he is apparently wearing (.5lb), spell component pouch(2lb) and two bandoleers he pulled something from at least once (0 weight themselves… but most items have weight).

Even if he kept either a weapon or his instrument in his sack along with 2 of those quivers of arrows, which he didn’t do, he would be over by a couple pounds.

Side note but the outfits drive me crazy BTW. Everyone not wearing a hot/cold outfit or an expensive outfit for that one trait should be in rags if they are smart apparently? Why have an 8lb explorer outfit when you can explorer just as well with your feet wrapped in cloth. Anyway…

I wasn't trying to tattle on anyone or anything so I mostly stayed quiet about it. When I did ask folks about it afterwards very gently there seemed to be confusion. some seem to think clothing doesn't count or that armor doesn't count, or that backpacks they are wearing don't count, or that it doesn't apply to PFS.

Also had a GM try to check encumbrance once when someone seemed fishy, but he got bogged down in the math and relented to 3 players telling him "it doesn't matter in PFS".


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:

Encumberance should be enforced, but like a lot of things, it's often left up to the player to self-enforce. I try to make sure I keep mine up to date, and I definitely have characters that are right on the line. i also tend not to dump STR, though I may leave it at what it is after racial adjustments. I don't think I've ever put it to 7 or lower. A Masterwork backpack is usually one of my early purchases on low strength characters.

As a GM, I'm probably not going to say anything unless it's a clearly questionable situation.

Yeah, at strength 7 your encumbrance is so low that wearing a masterwork backpack costs your 4 lbs to gain 3.

Scarab Sages

HogarthUndead wrote:

My experience with PFS is admittedly mostly limited to watching at this point, but I have noticed that no one seems to enforce encumbrance. Is this a PFS rule I missed or something? I have been observing at a few different shops recently and noticed a pattern. There are tons of medium characters with 7 strength whose clothing + armor + weapons alone should have them encumbered, taking 30-foot moves. This seems to be par for the course at the different locations I have gone to.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to create for my next character since my first turned out to be mostly useless, and I need to know if I should worry about encumbrance. My last human rogue had something like 12 str to avoid taking encumbrance penalties on all his important skills. After all, for my skill monkey 16 dex and no encumbrance is far better than 18 dex and -3 from encumbrance. Of course, I also made the mistake of trying to play a skill monkey in PFS where I discovered there is often not a single meaningful skill check and it's all about combat. Therefore, I want to make sure I get it right with this next character.

Honor system, mainly. It also comes up when one of the PCs attempts to bring something with them, which common sense suggests can't be brought.

For example, recently, did a scenario with no characters with any knowledge skills or decent perception (3 fighters and 2 sorcerers...). So rather than doing a thorough search, we just brought everything back with us (including the tied up enemies). Determined that my character could push/drag 2,300lbs, and the party included several, Str 18+ characters, so we just dragged everything across town and got the NPCs to determine what was needed from the lot.

I've played similar scenarios where nobody in the party has that kind of strength, so this sort of thing just can't be done.

PS: Regarding the weight of clothing, my understanding is that basic clothing, not armor, equipment, or wonderous items, but normal clothing, does not count against your encumberance (when worn, not when carried). Mainly, it's a rule in place to keep characters clothed...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
PS: Regarding the weight of clothing, my understanding is that basic clothing, not armor, equipment, or wonderous items, but normal clothing, does not count against your encumberance (when worn, not when carried). Mainly, it's a rule in place to keep characters clothed...

Is this raw or just a house rule? I thought RAW was that it counted because nothing says it doesn't.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Different regions focus on different behaviors, both for the better and for the worse.

Encumbrance needs to be tracked. If you search this Forum, you'll see that many posters have created threads just like this one. Their regions, for whatever reason, felt it wasn't important. Some do it to cheat, some don't care about the minutiae of rules enough to try, and some just learn bad behaviors from their peers.

Same for character builds. Some emphasize combat prowess, and some GMs emphasize combat. In reality, having a varied character with one or two focal points is truly best. But if your GM handwaves skill checks (or even combat, as I've encountered before), that will have a direct effect on the characters of that region.

It's not what PFS advocates. It's a local phenomenon.

Sczarni *****

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
HogarthUndead wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
PS: Regarding the weight of clothing, my understanding is that basic clothing, not armor, equipment, or wonderous items, but normal clothing, does not count against your encumberance (when worn, not when carried). Mainly, it's a rule in place to keep characters clothed...
Is this raw or just a house rule? I thought RAW was that it counted because nothing says it doesn't.

Clothing weight does indeed count towards encumbrance.

It didn't in 3.5, and people get it mixed up.

Scarab Sages

HogarthUndead wrote:
My experience with PFS is admittedly mostly limited to watching at this point, but I have noticed that no one seems to enforce encumbrance. Is this a PFS rule I missed or something? I have been observing at a few different shops recently and noticed a pattern. There are tons of medium characters with 7 strength whose clothing + armor + weapons alone should have them encumbered, taking 30-foot moves. This seems to be par for the course at the different locations I have gone to.

As an aside, I ran a Caster for a while with 5 Str. It can be done with a light load (16lbs), but your equipment is certainly limited. You'll start to take advantage of items with no listed weight, like Wands. The main loss is that you can't make melee touch attacks worth beans.

For notes, there is a Trait from the PFS Primer called, "Muscle of the Society," which adds 2 to Str for Carry weight. There is also a feat from that same book and on the same page, called, "Cut Your Losses," which also increases your Str by 2 for the purposes of Carry Weight. Despite them being on the same page of the same book, it's unclear if they are intended to able to be stacked.

Additionally, you can either get a "Porter" with Prestige Points which is a non-combat follower that carries 300lbs of gear, or, you could just get an animal for additional carrying capacity.

Scarab Sages

HogarthUndead wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
PS: Regarding the weight of clothing, my understanding is that basic clothing, not armor, equipment, or wonderous items, but normal clothing, does not count against your encumberance (when worn, not when carried). Mainly, it's a rule in place to keep characters clothed...
Is this raw or just a house rule? I thought RAW was that it counted because nothing says it doesn't.

Not sure where I found it, but Nefreet thinks it was 3.5, so I'm second guessing myself now.

I did run a high CHA character that was just nude all the time (nude miniature, too). A fun character, but I made some key mistakes and really need to rebuild that one.

Scarab Sages

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For the record, my characters always track encumberance. I like it because it helps me to role play my character.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Murdock Mudeater wrote:

As an aside, I ran a Caster for a while with 5 Str. It can be done with a light load (16lbs), but your equipment is certainly limited. You'll start to take advantage of items with no listed weight, like Wands. The main loss is that you can't make melee touch attacks worth beans.

Great point, it can be done for sure. It is a lot more doable for caster of course, since you don't necessarily need to carry weapons or armor. Also 5str sounds like you may have been small which is VERY doable since it cuts your armor/weapon weight in half and your clothing/bag weight in quarter.

Liberty's Edge *****

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

As a player, I self-track encumbrance. For my low-STR characters, I'm always very sad about the designer oversight that removed your first set of clothing from encumbrance.

This is one reason I often get a Handy Haversack.

I've got two characters who do in fact cast Ant Haul every day. One (or both?) got a Page of Spell Knowledge to do it. (Both are spontaneous casters.)

As a GM, I am just trusting the players. The one time I pushed back was when somebody brought a STR 5 halfling swashbuckler to the table. (This was online, and I used to ask to see character sheets and chronicle sheets before the game. I should probably still do that.) Clearly, somebody's dumped STR hard, and I wanted to make sure he wasn't forgetting the penalties that come with such a low STR. Well, to the players' surprise, yes, he was encumbered. Even if he went around in armor but no clothes. (A chain shirt is *so* embarassing without pants.) I went back and forth with the player a few times, who clearly expected just to be able to get away with it. Eventually, he said he'd drop his backpack at the start of combat, and I let it go.

** Venture-Agent aka Chess Pwn

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In my experience a lot of time people don't actually know the rules and don't know they don't know the rules.

Like lets say you're new to PFS, but you've never read all the core rulebook, just been in some home games, you don't know about encumbrance but you know about skill checks, how combat works, and statuses. And you watch and play some pregens and encumbrance never comes up, thus you never learn of it. Then he plays for awhile and GM's and eventually moves and starts his own lodge at a different store and raises them all up and now an entire lodge is very likely to not know about or the rules for encumbrance. Then someone like you comes and asks about it, since it's something they don't really know of and have never heard asked about they assume it's a PFS thing to not track it, cause they've never read the PFS rules guide either.

You may thing this is strange and wouldn't happen, But I believe that at my lodge there are only 2 people that attend that have read the entire current PFS guide and have read through the entire core book once, yes the sections that they have never used and don't plan on using. Of course they can't remember it all, but can be aware if something seems like a rule they've read. So we're constantly correcting them on things, and we tell them that they should read the guide and know these things too rather than just assuming stuff, but they haven't. Though they often make comments like, "I should probably sit down and read that sometime."


So this thread made me curious. I often use Hero Lab. Turns out that mistake gets propagated there--the free clothes aren't added to the carry weight.

This got discussed 8 years ago in this thread. Summary? Leaving that out of the PF update to 3.5 was an oversight. (That's not meant as an argument for not counting clothes towards encumbrance--clearly that now is RAW. But it does provide some more context as to why someone might inadvertently overlook that).

Liberty's Edge *****

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Really, there ought to be a serious and difficult test you have to pass to prove Pathfinder knowledge before you're allowed to play one of the more complicated classes or archetypes, such as the Inquisitor, or anything out of Occult Adventures.

Liberty's Edge *****

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
quibblemuch wrote:

So this thread made me curious. I often use Hero Lab. Turns out that mistake gets propagated there--the free clothes aren't added to the carry weight.

This got discussed 8 years ago in this thread. Summary? Leaving that out of the PF update to 3.5 was an oversight. (That's not meant as an argument for not counting clothes towards encumbrance--clearly that now is RAW. But it does provide some more context as to why someone might inadvertently overlook that).

Here's what frustrates me to no end: The developers and designers can't be bothered to issue a bloody FAQ or errata to correct that oversight. Since this issue came up 8 years ago, and has come up repeatedly in the intervening time while the CRB has been reprinted a number of times, I'm pretty sure that if they were going to do it, they would have by now.

For home games, it's trivial. Just rule it. But for PFS, we're stuck with what's written. And so that scholar's outfit you want your wizard to wear is all of a sudden nearly a quarter of everything he's able to carry without bogging himself down.

Scarab Sages

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Ragoz wrote:

Quote:
discovered there is often not a single meaningful skill check and it's all about combat
I too wish it was 2013 again.

Really? There have been several cases where not having a skill caused us to fail a scenario. In some cases trying combat instead of skills can get you in jail with the need to pay 5 prestige to get out.

Skills can be crucial to success of a PFS game. It just depends on which scenario is being run.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I think I only have 2 characters with str dump.

One is a bloatmage with str 8, so he doesn't start taking (additional) penalties till 53 lbs. (and has a masterwork backpack and handy haversack to boot.)

My other is a mesmerist kitsune, and has almost no gear anyway.

But encumberance definitely needs to be tracked.

I recommend riding geckos as pack animals for low levels, as they are cheep, and can follow you most places you can go.


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rknop wrote:
Eventually, he said he'd drop his backpack at the start of combat, and I let it go.

"I'll drop my pants at the start of every combat..."

Liberty's Edge *****

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Oh, and while I'm moaning and groaning about encumbrance things that irk me when I'm playing a gnome sorcerer or some such--

My scholar's outfit weighs ... well, OK, as a gnome, it's not so bad, it's only 1.5lbs. BUT. If I replace the belt with a magic belt, or the shoes with magic shoes, etc., each one of those things adds 1 pound to my load.

Is magic clothing -- you know that stuff that magically resizes for whatever size you are -- really all so bulky and ungainly? Alas, there's no RAW anywhere that says that if your outfit includes an item of clothing that you're replacing with the magic item, you can subtract some of the weight from the outfit you're wearing.

Liberty's Edge *****

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quibblemuch wrote:
rknop wrote:
Eventually, he said he'd drop his backpack at the start of combat, and I let it go.
"I'll drop my pants at the start of every combat..."

Ought to be good for opponents having to make a Will save to avoid mental stun, granting you surprise. :)


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rknop wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
rknop wrote:
Eventually, he said he'd drop his backpack at the start of combat, and I let it go.
"I'll drop my pants at the start of every combat..."
Ought to be good for opponents having to make a Will save to avoid mental stun, granting you surprise. :)

Seems like there should be a feat chain. Drop Trou lets you do it as a move instead of a standard. Improved Drop Trou adds to the DC of the Will save. Greater Drop Trou makes it an immediate action that doesn't provoke...

I'll stop now.

Scarab Sages

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rknop wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
rknop wrote:
Eventually, he said he'd drop his backpack at the start of combat, and I let it go.
"I'll drop my pants at the start of every combat..."
Ought to be good for opponents having to make a Will save to avoid mental stun, granting you surprise. :)

It sounds to me like you're attempting a dirty trick maneuver on yourself. Pantsing to entangle has been done in a game I played in before...

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento aka FLite

rknop wrote:

Oh, and while I'm moaning and groaning about encumbrance things that irk me when I'm playing a gnome sorcerer or some such--

My scholar's outfit weighs ... well, OK, as a gnome, it's not so bad, it's only 1.5lbs. BUT. If I replace the belt with a magic belt, or the shoes with magic shoes, etc., each one of those things adds 1 pound to my load.

Is magic clothing -- you know that stuff that magically resizes for whatever size you are -- really all so bulky and ungainly? Alas, there's no RAW anywhere that says that if your outfit includes an item of clothing that you're replacing with the magic item, you can subtract some of the weight from the outfit you're wearing.

Probably, I mean, for a basic +2 magic stat belt, you are talking about 2000gp of runic decorations, crystals, etc...

Scarab Sages

HogarthUndead wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:

As an aside, I ran a Caster for a while with 5 Str. It can be done with a light load (16lbs), but your equipment is certainly limited. You'll start to take advantage of items with no listed weight, like Wands. The main loss is that you can't make melee touch attacks worth beans.

Great point, it can be done for sure. It is a lot more doable for caster of course, since you don't necessarily need to carry weapons or armor. Also 5str sounds like you may have been small which is VERY doable since it cuts your armor/weapon weight in half and your clothing/bag weight in quarter.

Undine can also have Str 5, they're medium.

Str 5 seems like it would impair melee, but you could work around it. I've debated running a character that relies on critical hits to hit things in combat. There's a feat, Disposable Weapon, which allows a you to break a fragile weapon to auto-confirm a critical hit. So with an Obsidian Kukri, for example, you could rely on the crit range to hit things and break your weapons in order to confirm critical hits. With enough attacks (paired weapons, plus maybe another source of bonus swings, like ninja ki), you could actually make a character is reliant on critical hitting their opponents.

Another interesting option is the Guided Hand feat, which allows Wis to attack with the Favored Weapon of your deity.

****

I do indeed track encumbrance. I have a halfling sylvan blood sorceror with a pteranodon animal companion, and I have to blow a spell slot (or sometimes two) on ant haul to make the companion rideable. My dwarves I worry less about because of the slow and steady ability, but almost every character I have has a handy haversack. A few also have Pathfinder pouches.

***

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Murdock Mudeater wrote:

Str 5 seems like it would impair melee, but you could work around it. I've debated running a character that relies on critical hits to hit things in combat. There's a feat, Disposable Weapon, which allows a you to break a fragile weapon to auto-confirm a critical hit. So with an Obsidian Kukri, for example, you could rely on the crit range to hit things and break your weapons in order to confirm critical hits. With enough attacks (paired weapons, plus maybe another source of bonus swings, like ninja ki), you could actually make a character is reliant on critical hitting their opponents.

Another interesting option is the Guided Hand feat, which allows Wis to attack with the Favored Weapon of your deity.

That's an interesting thought. The biggest downside I see to that is that even if something is in the crit range, if it isn't a nat 20, it isn't an auto-hit. So if say you roll a nat 19, but because of your dumped strength, low bab, whatever, if 19 + you mod doesn't count as a hit, you can't roll to confirm because you missed (or use the disposable feat).

***

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
HogarthUndead wrote:
My experience with PFS is admittedly mostly limited to watching at this point, but I have noticed that no one seems to enforce encumbrance. Is this a PFS rule I missed or something? I have been observing at a few different shops recently and noticed a pattern. There are tons of medium characters with 7 strength whose clothing + armor + weapons alone should have them encumbered, taking 30-foot moves. This seems to be par for the course at the different locations I have gone to.

I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but dwarves are medium sized and start with a racial trait (unless they dumped it for an alternate trait) that makes it so they never go slower then their base speed due to armor or encumbrance (slow and steady trait). You could have a dwarf cleric who dumped strength and took the 'Travel domain'. You now have a dwarf with a base speed of 30 that has a racial trait that says they never go slower than their base speed of 30 feet regardless of armor or encumbrance.

Or completely ignoring the dwarf thing, a human cleric that dumped strength and took and the travel domain will have a base speed of 40 but drop to 30 due to encumbrance.

Scarab Sages

B.O.B.Johnson wrote:
That's an interesting thought. The biggest downside I see to that is that even if something is in the crit range, if it isn't a nat 20, it isn't an auto-hit. So if say you roll a nat 19, but because of your dumped strength, low bab, whatever, if 19 + you mod doesn't count as a hit, you can't roll to confirm because you missed (or use the disposable feat).

Ah, yeah, I guess I overlooked that (or forgot). Hmmm...well, doesn't really work, then. Darn, I liked that idea.

I suppose you could do the same, and just rely on single strike bonuses to attack (like True Strike), and then rely on Disposible Weapon to confirm resulting critical hits. Not nearly as impressive or useful.

Scarab Sages

HogarthUndead wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:

As an aside, I ran a Caster for a while with 5 Str. It can be done with a light load (16lbs), but your equipment is certainly limited. You'll start to take advantage of items with no listed weight, like Wands. The main loss is that you can't make melee touch attacks worth beans.

Great point, it can be done for sure. It is a lot more doable for caster of course, since you don't necessarily need to carry weapons or armor. Also 5str sounds like you may have been small which is VERY doable since it cuts your armor/weapon weight in half and your clothing/bag weight in quarter.

Oh, don't forget. If you run a small character with Str 5, a Light load is 12lbs, not 16lbs (small characters have 3/4th of the carry capacity of a medium character).

Sovereign Court *** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I vaguely recall there being a rule in the PFS Guide saying "don't bother tracking weight for loot found during the adventure", but I can't find it. May have gotten lost in the attempts to slim down the S8 guide.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Lau Bannenberg wrote:

I vaguely recall there being a rule in the PFS Guide saying "don't bother tracking weight for loot found during the adventure", but I can't find it. May have gotten lost in the attempts to slim down the S8 guide.

It was more like don't worry about bags, boxes, and muscle for loot, assume you brought enough, unless the weight of an item is called out in the scenario.

Also, don't forget there is the porter vanity, which gets you an extra 300 lbs carry capacity, IIRC

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jared Thaler wrote:


It was more like don't worry about bags, boxes, and muscle for loot, assume you brought enough, unless the weight of an item is called out in the scenario.

Also, don't forget there is the porter vanity, which gets you an extra 300 lbs carry capacity, IIRC

Can you have more than one porter?

Grand Lodge ***

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Jared Thaler wrote:
Also, don't forget there is the porter vanity, which gets you an extra 300 lbs carry capacity, IIRC
Can you have more than one porter?

If you have sufficient Charisma, I don't see anything stopping you.

Liberty's Edge

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Starglim wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Jared Thaler wrote:
Also, don't forget there is the porter vanity, which gets you an extra 300 lbs carry capacity, IIRC
Can you have more than one porter?
If you have sufficient Charisma, I don't see anything stopping you.

*cackles maniacally*

Oh, nothing to see here, nothing to see, move along!

Shadow Lodge ****

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You're getting 4 porters for a planquin aren't you?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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We have an undine monk with two porters and a cauldron filled with water that he travels in.

Scarab Sages *

I enforce encumbrance in regards to the gear that characters own, but not with what they find during the scenario. Especially when it comes to class abilities, feats, etc that require the character to not be encumbered. It's come into play many times where Strength damage (and drain) comes into play.

I've also had a number of times where a low to mid level NPC caster has used Ray of Enfeeblment to completely shut down a much higher level Swashbuckler. In one case the caster rolled a 20 on the attack roll, total Strenght penalty brought the character to Strength 1. The players level 11 Swashbuckler was out for the rest of the fight after the enemies first action.

Sovereign Court ****

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As a member of a large family of kitsune, we've learned to stock up on potions of ant haul in case you get strength drained, or you don't want to look like an uncultured clod getting encumbered swinging on a chandelier to rescue the innocents.

Sovereign Court *** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Craig Logan 597 wrote:
I've also had a number of times where a low to mid level NPC caster has used Ray of Enfeeblment to completely shut down a much higher level Swashbuckler. In one case the caster rolled a 20 on the attack roll, total Strenght penalty brought the character to Strength 1. The players level 11 Swashbuckler was out for the rest of the fight after the enemies first action.

That doesn't work actually. Ray of Enfeeblement doesn't deal strength damage, it applies a penalty. There is no mechanism for it to cause a bigger penalty on a critical hit.

Now here's something that really blew my mind when I first read it: strength penalties (and damage) don't reduce your encumbrance limit.

Ability Score Damage, Penalty, and Drain

Diseases, poisons, spells, and other abilities can all deal damage directly to your ability scores. This damage does not actually reduce an ability, but it does apply a penalty to the skills and statistics that are based on that ability.

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. If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious until the damage is less than your ability score. The only exception to this is your Constitution score. If the damage to your Constitution is equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you die. Unless otherwise noted, damage to your ability scores is healed at the rate of 1 per day to each ability score that has been damaged. Ability damage can be healed through the use of spells, such as lesser restoration.

Some spells and abilities cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. While in effect, these penalties function just like ability damage, but they cannot cause you to fall unconscious or die. In essence, penalties cannot decrease your ability score to less than 1.

Strength: 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.

The effects of damage to an ability, and strength in particular, are completely spelled out. And there's nothing there about carrying capacity.

Shadow Lodge ****

1) he skills and statistics that are based on that ability.

Carrying capacity is a statistic.

2)

Temporary Ability Score Increases vs. Permanent Ability Score Increases: Why do temporary bonuses only apply to some things?:

Temporary ability bonuses should apply to anything relating to that ability score, just as permanent ability score bonuses do. The section in the glossary was very tight on space and it was not possible to list every single ability score-related game effect that an ability score bones would affect.

The purpose of the temporary ability score ruling is to make it so you don't have to rebuild your character every time you get a bull's strength or similar spell; it just summarizes the most common game effects relative to that ability score.

For example, most of the time when you get bull's strength, you're using it for combat, so the glossary mentions Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, Strength-based weapon damage rolls, CMB, and CMD. It doesn't call out melee attack rolls that use Dex instead of Str (such as when using Weapon Finesse) or situations where your applied Str bonus should be halved or multiplied (such as whith off-hand or two-handed weapons). You're usually not using the spell for a 1 min./level increase in your carrying capacity, so that isn't mentioned there, but the bonus should still apply to that, as well as to Strength checks to break down doors.

Think of it in the same way that a simple template has "quick rules" and "rebuild rules;" they're supposed to create monsters which are roughly equivalent in terms of stats, but the quick rules are a short cut that misses some details compared to using the rebuild rules. Likewise, the temporary ability score rule is intended as a short cut to speed up gameplay, not as the most precise way of applying the bonus.

A temporary ability score bonus should affect all of the same stats and rolls that a permanent ability score bonus does.
posted October 2013 | back to top

While its talking about bonuses and not penalties, it makes it pretty clear that a temporary change is supposed to work just like a permanent one. The stuff that was called out was just the important stuff, you usually try to weaken Groman so he stops hitting you in the face quite so hard, not so he has to put down your baby grand piano.

Sczarni *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I laugh and cry every time I see that FAQ come up.

Before it was released, people argued that "if it's not listed it doesn't happen". And obviously others dissented.

Now people point out that it only mentions bonuses, not penalties, and the same ratio of people dissent.

Human behavior is fascinating.

Shadow Lodge ****

ALthough, most of the iconics SHOULD be encumbered, as they were designed with the clothing optional rule from 3.5 that got lost in pathfinder.

Silver Crusade ****

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I've always been disappointed that the whole "your basic clothing doesn't count toward encumbrance" rule got missed in the transition. Ah well.

I track my own encumbrance, but I know some people who I suspect do not.

You can totally make 7-strength characters work, but it's not easy and not every build can manage it in my experience. Full casters do better than others and Iomedae forbid you try to wear any sort of substantial armor...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm pretty sure that the reason it's not emphasized is to keep the PFS gameplay 'relatively clean' and 'clothed'. Just like the rule about being able to launder/clean 'attuned' items...

ie, so folks can't go "Well, I gotta go FREE because I can't wear clothes they're too heavy!" which would be kind of off-putting at the very least and outright disgusting depending on how *far* a given player was going to take it.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Once you get into medium armor, is there really any point in *not* being medium encumbrance? I mean 20 foot move, and -3 ACP? Okay. That's what I have already.

Silver Crusade ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.
quibblemuch wrote:
rknop wrote:
Eventually, he said he'd drop his backpack at the start of combat, and I let it go.
"I'll drop my pants at the start of every combat..."

So are you trying to fascinate enemies or demoralize them?

The Exchange ****

Its always fun to walk into a party wearing only the sleeves of many garments and then seeing who notices... usually we wind up stabbing them in the after dinner party.

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