Bulk in the new game


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N N 959 wrote:
Honestly, the game isn't going to lose a thing by ditching item encumbrance concepts.

Be right with you, I'm trying to math out my damage. Hey would "Boat" count as Two Handed? Probably, I'll mark it as such. Oh and I'm wearing X amount of rope/metal/things. So much it spills out into other squares. Can't damage me if they can't actually hit the body.

Silly and hyperbole? Yes. But with no limits well let the game breaking start. Besides my group is going to have to cross a desert soon. At least two are having fun making sure they have everything and can carry it all. Got two camels from an NPC ally.


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N N 959 wrote:

[

2) In five years of PFS, I've never seen a GM even question the weight someone carries. Sure, armor's reduction in base speed is a factor and tracked, and I'm not against that. But adding up every potion flask, tindertwig, bedroll, and pouch, is a horrendous waste of time.

I have 2 questions

1) in those 5 years, hace you seen players dumping Str to 8?

2) if so... Do you think both things are related?


MerlinCross wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I would figure an empty sack has a bulk of "-" so if players really want to play inventory tetris by making sure every sack, bag, pack, quiver, etc is filled to maximum capacity I'm not going to stop them.

Problem is when to actually stop them.

DM; Okay so 50 coins is X bulk.
Player: Hey my bag can hold that.
DM: Okay. Now...
Player 2: Wait mine holds Y bulk. Why is that?
Player 3: Better question. Since a bag is easier to carry, does a bag of coins actually have less Bulk than 50 coins?
Player 4: Hey do different metals of coins have different Bulk? If so what about metal gear?
DM faceplams as the game grinds to halt over Bulk, Weight and Physics

This is when you know it's time to show your players the door and find some that aren't pedants.

I believe the more layman's term is "Wiseguy". But the point I'm trying to make is that with how vague Bulk is, you can easily run into problems over how it works. A proper Blog post or play testing will show how it works.

Besides if we move to hand wave it for part of the stuff, might as well hand wave the whole thing.

I'm just waiting for a mission to Akiton to get hosed because somebody told the Scouting Construct to apply 10 pounds of force to the Stargate, and it thought they meant 10 Bulk of force . . . .


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I would figure an empty sack has a bulk of "-" so if players really want to play inventory tetris by making sure every sack, bag, pack, quiver, etc is filled to maximum capacity I'm not going to stop them.

I think that could lead to problems - I think even an empty, rolled-up sack has enough bulk that carrying 10 of them would be a slight burden. That means a sack is probably bulk L when empty, and can hold up to 1 bulk when full.

A quiver is a hindrance to wear even when empty, so a quiver would have a bulk value whether it was empty or full.

But the earlier point I was making is the key one for me (especially at the table-top): you don't want to have to stop each time the party loots the bodies to look up the weights of everything. If all light weapons are bulk L (say), all 1-handed weapons are bulk 1 and all light armour is bulk 1 and medium armour is bulk 2, and so on then it is very easy to avoid breaking up the gameplay.

(I realise that Starfinder didn't do it this way, and you have some rifles with different bulk from other rifles - but of all the issues I have with Starfinder, this one is way down the list. Hopefully Paizo would do it sensibly this time round!)


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Almarane wrote:
Instead of forcing everyone to use bulk and/or squares, allow them to use whatever unit of measurement they want by simply writing in the rules how much a bulk weights and how long is a square. Then, in official content, list technical informations using bulks and squares.

People keep asking this, without realizing that what they ask for is basically to change the abstract bulk system for a fictional weight unit, and then use weight.

If every bulk is exactly 10 pounds, and always 10 pounds, then we could call it "decapounds" and it would be a weight unit. It is easier just keep using pounds.

The entire point of bulk, is that a 10 feet pole which weights 10 pounds tied to your backpack IS more cumbersome than the 10 pound iron ingot you have inside your backpack. If you are going to give both 1 bulk because they both weight 10 pounds, there is no point using bulk. It is easier to use pounds.

I see, I see...

Then add a "bulk" line in items' descriptions and a pound/kg line systematically. It could be something like "Weight: 1B (10lbs/4.5kg)". Then, boom. It doesn't take so much place in a table that you would need to add a new line, and everyone is happy and can use whatever encumberance rule they want.

Bonus point : L objects could be considered having a weight so low compared to bulky items that you would not have to list their weight, resulting in a line like "Weight: L". Then and only then, you can rule that "ten L objects are calculated as one B object with a weight of 2.2lbs/1kg for encomberance". That way, you can say little objects (like most of non-armor and non-weapon gear and art objects) are all L and weigh nothing compared to the rest of your gear as long as you don't stack too much of them (reducing the problem of having an alchemist with a bazillion of alchemist's fires or the archer with 50 stacks of 20 arrows at all times).

Wandering Wastrel wrote:
But the earlier point I was making is the key one for me (especially at the table-top): you don't want to have to stop each time the party loots the bodies to look up the weights of everything. If all light weapons are bulk L (say), all 1-handed weapons are bulk 1 and all light armour is bulk 1 and medium armour is bulk 2, and so on then it is very easy to avoid breaking up the gameplay.

If bulk is really as simple and intuitive as you see, I'm all for it. But as you mentioned, the only actual exemple of the bulk system we have is Starfinder's, and bulk doesn't work like you said there. So Paizo will need to rework their bulk system and post a blog entry about it so both anti-bulks and pro-bulks can have a solid base to argue =) Because right now, your theory is cool, but everything we saw until now points the other way.

gustavo iglesias wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

[

2) In five years of PFS, I've never seen a GM even question the weight someone carries. Sure, armor's reduction in base speed is a factor and tracked, and I'm not against that. But adding up every potion flask, tindertwig, bedroll, and pouch, is a horrendous waste of time.

I have 2 questions

1) in those 5 years, hace you seen players dumping Str to 8?

2) if so... Do you think both things are related?

I regularly dump Str to 8 if I'm not doing a close combat character, and my players tend to do the same when I GM. But I still don't question the weight someone carries, and just roleplay it. I don't think dumping Str is a direct cause to not asking someone how many pounds they can carry. I never ask this because it halts the action everytime your players loot something.

What's worse with the encumberance system is that every official Paizo adventure asks your players to gather all the loot they find and to not let anything behind, without taking encumberance into account, or they would not have enough gold for their level and would not be able to purchase the correct gear to defeat their future foes. Some dungeons can even become un-lootable if you defeat their resident boss in some APs, so if your players say "it's too heavy, we will take it on our way back", they will end up running for their lives and never loot this object. That's another reason I understand why N N 959 thinks any encumberance rule in a game like Pathfinder.


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Almarane wrote:

I regularly dump Str to 8 if I'm not doing a close combat character, and my players tend to do the same when I GM. But I still don't question the weight someone carries, and just roleplay it. I don't think dumping Str is a direct cause to not asking someone how many pounds they can carry. I never ask this because it halts the action everytime your players loot something.

It is not a direct cause, but an incentive.

The ONLY use a caster has for strength, is carrying stuff. If that is handwaved, dumping Str is free.

It is pretty easy to be encumbered with Str 8, just with the weight of cloth, food and coinage. Weak characters suffer a lot in inventory space, but as weight encumbrance is a real PITA, nobody uses it, making dumping str absolutely free points.

That is another reason to use bulk, because bulk IS easier to use than weight.

I also find curious that several of the people who argue against bulk in this thread, don't use weight anyways.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

It is not a direct cause, but an incentive.

The ONLY use a caster has for strength, is carrying stuff. If that is handwaved, dumping Str is free.

It is pretty easy to be encumbered with Str 8, just with the weight of cloth, food and coinage. Weak characters suffer a lot in inventory space, but as weight encumbrance is a real PITA, nobody uses it, making dumping str absolutely free points.

That is another reason to use bulk, because bulk IS easier to use than weight.

I'm currently playing a Sorcerer with STR 7. I make sure I don't exceed my light load by cutting down on what I carry (it helps that I don't wear armor and that I don't need a spell component pouch). The stronger party members can carry the loot (it's a complete reversal compared to my previous character, a Barbarian who was eventually strong carry the whole party and our gear without breaking a sweat).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:


I also find curious that several of the people who argue against bulk in this thread, don't use weight anyways.

This. Saying "I don't use weight and I won't use this new system" isn't an arguement against "I don't use weight but will (or even have been in Starfinder) use Bulk." At best it is purely neutral. If a mechanic change won't effect you either way why even comment, unless you have a proposal for another mechanic you would use that fills the same purpose.


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Khudzlin wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

It is not a direct cause, but an incentive.

The ONLY use a caster has for strength, is carrying stuff. If that is handwaved, dumping Str is free.

It is pretty easy to be encumbered with Str 8, just with the weight of cloth, food and coinage. Weak characters suffer a lot in inventory space, but as weight encumbrance is a real PITA, nobody uses it, making dumping str absolutely free points.

That is another reason to use bulk, because bulk IS easier to use than weight.

I'm currently playing a Sorcerer with STR 7. I make sure I don't exceed my light load by cutting down on what I carry (it helps that I don't wear armor and that I don't need a spell component pouch). The stronger party members can carry the loot (it's a complete reversal compared to my previous character, a Barbarian who was eventually strong carry the whole party and our gear without breaking a sweat).

I have had str 8 characters before, and yes, it can be done. It's just harder, and force you to be careful with what you carry (as I'm sure you are aware).

My point is, if you handwave away encumbrance, then it's much easier, because you don't have to think about which potions you carry and which potions you don't if you don't want to be encumbered.

The barbarian with high strength carrying a two dozen page list of gear is another reason why I like bulk more, to be honest. Just because your barbarian has enough strength to lift a boat with ease, does not mean carrying a boat is not unwieldly, bulky and encumbering.


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Almarane wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
But the earlier point I was making is the key one for me (especially at the table-top): you don't want to have to stop each time the party loots the bodies to look up the weights of everything. If all light weapons are bulk L (say), all 1-handed weapons are bulk 1 and all light armour is bulk 1 and medium armour is bulk 2, and so on then it is very easy to avoid breaking up the gameplay.
If bulk is really as simple and intuitive as you see, I'm all for it. But as you mentioned, the only actual exemple of the bulk system we have is Starfinder's, and bulk doesn't work like you said there. So Paizo will need to rework their bulk system and post a blog entry about it so both anti-bulks and pro-bulks can have a solid base to argue =) Because right now, your theory is cool, but everything we saw until now points the other way.

True, but (IMO) there's a LOT wrong with Starfinder and the way they messed up the bulk system doesn't even make the top 10. If - big if - Paizo haven't learned from that and they implement a similar bulk system in PF2e, then I don't think any of my groups would want to use it.

As for a blog entry, something like "we've learned from our mistake and all items of the same category (light weapon, 1-handed melee weapon, light armour) will have the same bulk" would be good enough for me.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
The ONLY use a caster has for strength, is carrying stuff. If that is handwaved, dumping Str is free.

My strength 7 sorcerer spent low levels leading a horse called Handy Haversack. The only reason he did that was because of encumbrance and yet it was memorable and added to the game. At higher level he bought an actual handy haversack and routinely relied on other people in the party to cart around the treasure.


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I track encumbrance for my characters until they get magic to fix that.
I am not a fan of how bulk works in Starfinder.
I would much prefer they kept the use of weight in PF2.
It is not a dealbreaker - It seems a relatively minor thing to adapt to.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
[2) In five years of PFS, I've never seen a GM even question the weight someone carries. Sure, armor's reduction in base speed is a factor and tracked, and I'm not against that. But adding up every potion flask, tindertwig, bedroll, and pouch, is a horrendous waste of time.
in those 5 years, hace you seen players dumping Str to 8?

Why do we want an encumbrance system in the first place?

Reason 1. To disincentivize strength dumping.

I’m all for disincentivizing stat dumping (or, more accurately, making the decision to dump a stat a real decision, with real pros and cons, instead of a no-brainer). But tracking encumbrance doesn’t really do that. Once the players hit level 5 or so they get bags of holding, and encumbrance issues go away. So dumping strength just results in a minor inconvenience for the first couple levels.

Reason 2. To answer basic carrying questions.

Without any encumbrance constraints, players could all manner of silly things, like carrying one of each item in the equipment list, carrying away a dragon’s horde in one's pockets, carry their wounded Storm Giant ally to safety, and so on. But for the most part these are low-level restrictions, since these kinds of limitations quickly disappear once bags of holding come into play. And the carrying questions which do still arise (Can I carry the wounded paladin to safety? How much of the dragon's horde can I put in my bag of holding?) only seem to require some rough constraints.

Reason 3. It's fun to track encumbrance.

Some of the posts above gave this as a reason. Although I don't have any hard data on this, I suspect that most players don't have fun tracking encumbrance. But I admit that is is pure speculation on my part. Hopefully the playtest will give Paizo some data on this.

_____

Putting reason 3 aside, this suggests that encumbrance doesn't play much of a role past the lower levels. And the encumbrance system only needs to provide enough detail to allow a DM to figure out, in broad strokes, how much of a dragon's hoard the players can take with them, or if the player with Flight is strong enough to carry another player over a chasm, etc.

Taken together, this leads me to think that a coarse-grained encumbrance system (whether it uses weight or bulk) is the way to go.


I don't get it. If 1 arrow is L, so 10 arrows are 1 bulk, and a quiver with 20 arrow is also 1 bulk, then is an empty quiver worth -1 bulk?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dekalinder wrote:
I don't get it. If 1 arrow is L, so 10 arrows are 1 bulk, and a quiver with 20 arrow is also 1 bulk, then is an empty quiver worth -1 bulk?

Yes. It is a lot easier to carry 20 arrows in a quiver than it is to carry 20 loose arrows.


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Even with Handy haversacks, carrying capacity matters. Take a swashbuckler. Chain Shirt, Rapier, Buckler, Handy Haversack. That's it. Weight load: 37 lbs. You have to have a strength of 11, or you are now in medium load. Two more pounds (say a dagger and a torch), you now need strength 12.

Being in medium load, your max AC to dex is now +3 and you move 20' instead of 30'. That can easily be the difference between life and death.

You can invest in mithril armor to make your gear lighter, but that's the point. Carrying capacity makes it a meaningful decision. At low levels, you can (and really should) invest in a pack animal for your party. With the encumbrance rules, you understand why it is important.

I'm not completely opposed to bulk, but it does need to make sense and provide those meaningful decisions. Hopefully it will do both.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
My strength 7 sorcerer spent low levels leading a horse called Handy Haversack. The only reason he did that was because of encumbrance and yet it was memorable and added to the game. At higher level he bought an actual handy haversack and routinely relied on other people in the party to cart around the treasure.

Got a horse as well, as a gift from an NPC (a rich and generous one, since he gave one to each party member). I certainly plan to rely on the other party member to lug around the treasure, though a haversack will certainly come in handy.


Malk_Content wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:
I don't get it. If 1 arrow is L, so 10 arrows are 1 bulk, and a quiver with 20 arrow is also 1 bulk, then is an empty quiver worth -1 bulk?
Yes. It is a lot easier to carry 20 arrows in a quiver than it is to carry 20 loose arrows.

So I can carry 200 quiver with 10 arrow each for 0 bulk?

Also, can I carry a 500 bulk house on my shoulder with 7 in strenght as long as I have 500 empty quivers to lighten the load?


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A full quiver of arrows has a certain bulk (say 1), a half-full quiver of arrows has the same bulk, a quiver with one arrow in it has the same bulk.

A loose arrow has a bulk of, say, L, so 10 of them is one bulk. If you're carrying 20 of them that's 2 bulk so you're better off putting them in a quiver, which is a more efficient way to carry them (also arrow heads are sharp, and you don't want those just bouncing around in your pack).

Remember that past a certain level people are going to be keeping their stuff in extradimensional spaces and before then pack animals suffice. A handy haversack will hold a certain amount of bulk, and can't accommodate any items above a certain amount of bulk (so you can't fit a boat in there). Items in the haversack don't contribute to your bulk limit, but the pack itself has bulk.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

A full quiver of arrows has a certain bulk (say 1), a half-full quiver of arrows has the same bulk, a quiver with one arrow in it has the same bulk.

A loose arrow has a bulk of, say, L, so 10 of them is one bulk. If you're carrying 20 of them that's 2 bulk so you're better off putting them in a quiver, which is a more efficient way to carry them (also arrow heads are sharp, and you don't want those just bouncing around in your pack).

Remember that past a certain level people are going to be keeping their stuff in extradimensional spaces and before then pack animals suffice. A handy haversack will hold a certain amount of bulk, and can't accommodate any items above a certain amount of bulk (so you can't fit a boat in there). Items in the haversack don't contribute to your bulk limit, but the pack itself has bulk.

I can bundle the 20 arrow with strings, in witch case that take less space of a quiver and are even easier to carry in a sack. But with bulk, carring 20 bundled arrows in a sack is somehow more bulky than carring an extra quiver on shoulder with said 20 arrow.

Unless "bundle of arrows" becomes a different item with different bulk value. Whitch at this point you should have multiple of to indicate the various bulks for, say, 20, 30, 40, 50 ecc arrows.

Now we can move the golapost for the rest of the year by making hundreds of corner cases or contrieved justifications, but I think at this point my argument should be clear: bulk is way less clear cut and easy to asses than just a damn straight number you tally on your sheet. Any argument that "bulk is easier to track" hold no credibility.


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Malk_Content wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


I also find curious that several of the people who argue against bulk in this thread, don't use weight anyways.

This. Saying "I don't use weight and I won't use this new system" isn't an arguement against "I don't use weight but will (or even have been in Starfinder) use Bulk." At best it is purely neutral. If a mechanic change won't effect you either way why even comment, unless you have a proposal for another mechanic you would use that fills the same purpose.

Because what happens if Bulk replaces Weight in all things? I rarely use Encumbrance unless plot or setting kicks in(Skull and Shackles? Oh you better believe I'm keeping track of that.) But due to me handwaving weight away for the most part, you're right. Bulk won't affect my characters.

Just how the characters interact with the world.

I want to grapple and throw a Goblin? That's what 3 Bulk? Does he have more bulk if he has some kind of Metal armor? Let's kick in this door; is it wood or metal? Does that effect it's Bulk score? We just found the treasure room of a tomb, let's start dragging stuff out. And then get confused about the Bulk of objects and start asking the DM if we carry it "This way" can we get the treasure out.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

On Arrows, sure you can do that and as a GM I'd say doing so will reduce the Bulk in a similar way as a quiver, with the exception they can't be used without unbundling them first, and when unbundled they are awkward to use without a quiver. Just as GMs make those sorts of adjudications all the time. In terms of measuring bulk by amounts of discrete small items Starfinder already does this with physical ammo, basically it isn't worth counting individual bullets.

In terms of Bulk mattering for grappling/throwing. It won't. Just like weight didn't matter in PF1E. The grappling/general CMD rules only cared about creature size, not their specific weights. I don't see why PF2E would make any changes in that regard.

In terms of kicking in doors, that'll likely won't care about Bulk either. PF1E doesn't care about it, it just sets a DC based on the material and craftsmanship. Or breaking it has hardness and hp based on the object. Weight does factor in, unlikely bulk would.

In terms of unwieldy loot, I don't see any differences between how I would do it in PF1E either. If they want to loot a bed, they can have fun working out how to carry a Bulk 16 item.


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Malk_Content wrote:

In terms of Bulk mattering for grappling/throwing. It won't. Just like weight didn't matter in PF1E. The grappling/general CMD rules only cared about creature size, not their specific weights. I don't see why PF2E would make any changes in that regard.

In terms of kicking in doors, that'll likely won't care about Bulk either. PF1E doesn't care about it, it just sets a DC based on the material and craftsmanship. Or breaking it has hardness and hp based on the object. Weight does factor in, unlikely bulk would.

In terms of unwieldy loot, I don't see any differences between how I would do it in PF1E either. If they want to loot a bed, they can have fun working out how to carry a Bulk 16 item.

So my 5 Strength can lift up an Orc in fullplate? That doesn't make sense in either system.

I can easily see an argument for Bulk for doors. Heavier door = harder to break down/kick down. What's it's Bulk DM? Wait, I can lift Bulk X but I can't break down a stupid rotten door?

I just gave out 6 sliver plates and goblets as loot. Let's low ball it and say that's maybe 24 pounds and I dunno 12 Bulk. But here's the thing. In a bag, 24 pounds is still 24 pounds. A bag of treasure is easier to carry than the items by themselves, so DM that Bulk should be lower right? Oh sure player, but you're carrying the chest of loot wrong so that's 2 more Bulk worth to carry that.

Hey DM that 16 Bulk Bed? We took saws to it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

In terms of Bulk mattering for grappling/throwing. It won't. Just like weight didn't matter in PF1E. The grappling/general CMD rules only cared about creature size, not their specific weights. I don't see why PF2E would make any changes in that regard.

In terms of kicking in doors, that'll likely won't care about Bulk either. PF1E doesn't care about it, it just sets a DC based on the material and craftsmanship. Or breaking it has hardness and hp based on the object. Weight does factor in, unlikely bulk would.

In terms of unwieldy loot, I don't see any differences between how I would do it in PF1E either. If they want to loot a bed, they can have fun working out how to carry a Bulk 16 item.

So my 5 Strength can lift up an Orc in fullplate? That doesn't make sense in either system.

I can easily see an argument for Bulk for doors. Heavier door = harder to break down/kick down. What's it's Bulk DM? Wait, I can lift Bulk X but I can't break down a stupid rotten door?

I just gave out 6 sliver plates and goblets as loot. Let's low ball it and say that's maybe 24 pounds and I dunno 12 Bulk. But here's the thing. In a bag, 24 pounds is still 24 pounds. A bag of treasure is easier to carry than the items by themselves, so DM that Bulk should be lower right? Oh sure player, but you're carrying the chest of loot wrong so that's 2 more Bulk worth to carry that.

Hey DM that 16 Bulk Bed? We took saws to it.

Your 5 strength character probably won't lift an Orc in fullplate, on account of the fact his athletics is going to be pretty terrible (athletics being the skill used to grapple now.) But yeah it could happen through a good roll. So you've identified an area that Bulk doesn't make total sense, its also an area where weight doesn't make total sense (as you stated) so it can't really be used as a point against Bulk vs Weight.

If they include Bulk for doors sure it could cause problems. I don't see why they would. My entire point was weight wasn't a factor before, why would it be now? The DC table for breaking down doors gives no mention to weight at all. Starfinder (which uses Bulk) also doesn't include bulk in its break stuff table.

If they handle putting things in bags like they do in SF the problem is already solved. A well adjusted backpack can store x bulk, doesn't count its own bulk and improves your total bulk capacity by y. So you've already got a backpack with 1 bulk in it, it can take 3 and increases your carrying capacity by 3. You can plonk 2 bulk of that loot in your bag, your bag is full. Shoulda bought a horse with you guys.

So you've ruined your loot? Fine. You now have two 8 bulk halves of a bed.

I'm not sure what you are getting at with the nitpicking. None of this stuff is a problem.


Malk_Content wrote:
So you've ruined your loot? Fine. You now have two 8 bulk halves of a bed.

Make Whole [or whatever the new equivalent spell is].


I feel like Bulk makes more sense to me since it combines weight and volume into one thing and both are potentially reasons it's difficult to carry something.

Like you can easily carry a 100 kilograms of feathers with a high enough strength, but that pile of feathers is going to be around 40 m^3, which is gonna take a big sack that may be difficult to fit through doorways.

(I am assuming the density of feathers is around 0.0025 g/cm^3, though compressibility is a big factor here that's hard to account for.)

But you know if the PCs discover that the BBEG is masquerading as the magnate of a pillow factory, they're going to want to carry out as many sacks of valuable goose down as they can.


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Malk_Content wrote:

Your 5 strength character probably won't lift an Orc in fullplate, on account of the fact his athletics is going to be pretty terrible (athletics being the skill used to grapple now.) But yeah it could happen through a good roll. So you've identified an area that Bulk doesn't make total sense, its also an area where weight doesn't make total sense (as you stated) so it can't really be used as a point against Bulk vs Weight.

If they include Bulk for doors sure it could cause problems. I don't see why they would. My entire point was weight wasn't a factor before, why would it be now? The DC table for breaking down doors gives no mention to weight at all. Starfinder (which uses Bulk) also doesn't include bulk in its break stuff table.

If they handle putting things in bags like they do in SF the problem is already solved. A well adjusted backpack can store x bulk, doesn't count its own bulk and improves your total bulk capacity by y. So you've already got a backpack with 1 bulk in it, it can take 3 and increases your carrying capacity by 3. You can plonk 2 bulk of that loot in your bag, your bag is full. Shoulda bought a horse with you guys.

So you've ruined your loot? Fine. You now have two 8 bulk halves of a bed.

I'm not sure what you are getting at with the nitpicking. None of this stuff is a problem.

I don't lift up the Orc, I lift up the Fullplate. It's Bulk I can do it DM, just let me.

I find that weird that Bulk isn't included. How big something is should effect or translate into differculty to break.

Difference between Bulk in and out of a bag though? You didn't address that. Besides what would a horse do besides making me have to play tetris with the backpacks anyway? Wait I see, I can carry the horse while it carries all the Bulk because that's not carrying that's Grappling. Thank you DM.

Make Whole. Let's destroy all the stuff to make it less Bulky and carry it, make whole and then sell. And we'll carry the Horse cause that's grappling. Genius! We have broken the system!

See this is the point of nitpicking. The fact I CAN do it, and do so rather bloody easily with Bulk. And if I can do this, I'm pretty sure other people can, AND actually WILL, rules lawyer their way around Bulk. Or Min/Max.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like Bulk makes more sense to me since it combines weight and volume into one thing and both are potentially reasons it's difficult to carry something.

I like the idea of reflecting volume/handiness. I don't like the fact that bulk offers no objective way to figure out that modifier though. If it's weight, I can look of an unlisted item on the internet and come up with a reasonable total. Bulk doesn't allow for that so it requires some degree of 'handwavum'. Honestly if I'm going to have to fudge things, I'm inclined to drop the whole thing: it's literally pulling numbers out of thin air.


MerlinCross wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Honestly, the game isn't going to lose a thing by ditching item encumbrance concepts.
Silly and hyperbole? Yes. But with no limits well let the game breaking start. Besides my group is going to have to cross a desert soon. At least two are having fun making sure they have everything and can carry it all. Got two camels from an NPC ally.

I'm not advocating for zero weight/lifting limits. Nor am I sugggesting that people can't be encumbered or to abandon rules that govern carrying more than you can. I am advocating that Paizo drop encumbrance when it comes to carrying mundane adventuring items and hard fix the number of weapons you can carry. Obviously a player can't carry an elephant. Obviously carrying a dead party member is going to slow you down and make it hard to avoid getting hit. But tracking how many sacks you have and how/what you can fit in each, adds nothing to the game.

PFS doesn't even track the weight of coins.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

[

2) In five years of PFS, I've never seen a GM even question the weight someone carries. Sure, armor's reduction in base speed is a factor and tracked, and I'm not against that. But adding up every potion flask, tindertwig, bedroll, and pouch, is a horrendous waste of time.

I have 2 questions

1) in those 5 years, hace you seen players dumping Str to 8?

2) if so... Do you think both things are related?

No, you're way off base. IME as player and GM, people who dump STR are most likely to adhere to their weigh limits because they are most aware of what their STR limitations are.

In PFS, just like in homebrew, people spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out every last pound on their 1st level characters. So no, I don't see people dumping stats based on the belief that they're getting away with stuff. It's more likely the people who don't dump stats who are going to ignore the restriction.

@Paizo - be brave. Recognize how item encumbrance just isn't adding anything to the game. Yes, have a clause to stop people from carrying a donkey, but please recognize how the game is actually played.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Everyone I know at PFS scene or my player group prefers bulk <_< Nobody likes tracking 1.5 lb from minor items

This is what spread sheets are for. It can be fun to see how much non-magical gear you can take.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If a spreadsheet is required for inventory, that's not a good rule.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
If a spreadsheet is required for inventory, that's not a good rule.

It already does in essence. column #1 item name, column #2 cost, column #3 weight/bulk... You can call it by another game, but it's been a spreadsheet all this time...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
graystone wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
If a spreadsheet is required for inventory, that's not a good rule.
It already does in essence. column #1 item name, column #2 cost, column #3 weight/bulk... You can call it by another game, but it's been a spreadsheet all this time...

Don't be deliberately obtuse, I was talking about electronic spreadsheets.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
graystone wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
If a spreadsheet is required for inventory, that's not a good rule.
It already does in essence. column #1 item name, column #2 cost, column #3 weight/bulk... You can call it by another game, but it's been a spreadsheet all this time...
Don't be deliberately obtuse, I was talking about electronic spreadsheets.

I don't recall Tursic specifying electronic. I honestly took both your post and his as a spreadsheet: full stop. If you meant using an electronic/digital tool it'd help in the future if you said that.

Myself, I do JUST what I said: I type it out in note/word pad at the bottom of my character and that section looks/acts as a spreadsheet.


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I use electronic spreadsheets for character sheets since it lets me macro conditions or buffs.

I still don't like using weight-based encumbrance. Particularly since one has to look up the weight for things, since they run the gamut, whereas if Starfinder is any indication the vast majority of things will be bulk 1 or L.

Plus, since bulk is more abstracted, it's easier to come up with a plausible bulk for that gold and jewel encrusted statue head from the artwork the PCs just decapitated than to give its weight.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I use electronic spreadsheets for character sheets since it lets me macro conditions or buffs.

If I had excel I'd think about it. I've never warmed up with any of the 'knock-off''s of excel or any other spreadsheet program I've tried and I'm too cheap to PAY for that kind of program.

The Exchange

I like the idea of bulk, especially since there are 20+ strength goblins & halflings that are bound to show up in the game. Some things are just too darn big and bulky with poor areas to grip and use leverage. Since giving penalties is so frowned up nowadays its better to have a bulk mechanic to keep absurdly strong little people from overrunning logic


I have used paper spread sheets and excel spread sheets. Already had the excel form going to school to be an accountant.


Porridge wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
[2) In five years of PFS, I've never seen a GM even question the weight someone carries. Sure, armor's reduction in base speed is a factor and tracked, and I'm not against that. But adding up every potion flask, tindertwig, bedroll, and pouch, is a horrendous waste of time.
in those 5 years, hace you seen players dumping Str to 8?

Why do we want an encumbrance system in the first place?

Reason 1. To disincentivize strength dumping.

I’m all for disincentivizing stat dumping (or, more accurately, making the decision to dump a stat a real decision, with real pros and cons, instead of a no-brainer). But tracking encumbrance doesn’t really do that. Once the players hit level 5 or so they get bags of holding, and encumbrance issues go away. So dumping strength just results in a minor inconvenience for the first couple levels.

A 7 Str char can carry 23lb. A Bag of Holding II weights 25, and you still need to carry the weight of your clothes, wands, rods, potions, and other stuff you need to have at hand because you cannot afford to start looking into a bag of holding in a combat round. A bag of holding II also carry 500lb and 70 cubic feet, so it is not infinite.


N N 959 wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

[

2) In five years of PFS, I've never seen a GM even question the weight someone carries. Sure, armor's reduction in base speed is a factor and tracked, and I'm not against that. But adding up every potion flask, tindertwig, bedroll, and pouch, is a horrendous waste of time.

I have 2 questions

1) in those 5 years, hace you seen players dumping Str to 8?

2) if so... Do you think both things are related?

No, you're way off base. IME as player and GM, people who dump STR are most likely to adhere to their weigh limits because they are most aware of what their STR limitations are.

In my experience, your experience is pretty anecdotal. Both in real life and online, most people I know who dump Str (or stats, for that matter) want the freebie points above anything else, and often, like the guy I asked, dump Str in games where encumbrance is not used. Specially coinage encumbrance.

So there is that. Your experience and mine are not the same, nor universal. And at least a few guys in the thread also confirm mine.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

Your 5 strength character probably won't lift an Orc in fullplate, on account of the fact his athletics is going to be pretty terrible (athletics being the skill used to grapple now.) But yeah it could happen through a good roll. So you've identified an area that Bulk doesn't make total sense, its also an area where weight doesn't make total sense (as you stated) so it can't really be used as a point against Bulk vs Weight.

If they include Bulk for doors sure it could cause problems. I don't see why they would. My entire point was weight wasn't a factor before, why would it be now? The DC table for breaking down doors gives no mention to weight at all. Starfinder (which uses Bulk) also doesn't include bulk in its break stuff table.

If they handle putting things in bags like they do in SF the problem is already solved. A well adjusted backpack can store x bulk, doesn't count its own bulk and improves your total bulk capacity by y. So you've already got a backpack with 1 bulk in it, it can take 3 and increases your carrying capacity by 3. You can plonk 2 bulk of that loot in your bag, your bag is full. Shoulda bought a horse with you guys.

So you've ruined your loot? Fine. You now have two 8 bulk halves of a bed.

I'm not sure what you are getting at with the nitpicking. None of this stuff is a problem.

I don't lift up the Orc, I lift up the Fullplate. It's Bulk I can do it DM, just let me.

I find that weird that Bulk isn't included. How big something is should effect or translate into differculty to break.

Difference between Bulk in and out of a bag though? You didn't address that. Besides what would a horse do besides making me have to play tetris with the backpacks anyway? Wait I see, I can carry the horse while it carries all the Bulk because that's not carrying that's Grappling. Thank you DM.

Make Whole. Let's destroy all the stuff to make it less Bulky and carry it, make whole and then sell. And we'll carry the Horse cause that's grappling. Genius!...

The item is attended, you can't just pick it up. Well done you are being silly again.

Maybe Bulk should be included, and if it is I can't see it being a problem. DC based on Bulk could be an easy multiplier. Thats a 5 Bulk wooden door, well 5x3 = 15 there you go have a DC. Oh later we are trying to kick down the 10 bulk steel door, 10 x 3 = 30 ooh much harder. A very simple solution if they go with it. I find it unlikely that they will, because just like in PF1 they didn't care about weight more than material/quality/thickness

Bulk in a bag uses its special allocation of free bulk. Thats it. This bag lets you carry 3 bulk for only 1 bulk so long as it is properly fitted. Done. And with the horse you are being silly again, the kind of silly that happens in games already where everybody laughs the first time someone brings it up and thats it. The horse can carry x bulk so you can use it to cart things around. You can try to bullrush the horse as an effective means of transport if you want, I guess.

And why isn't that a totally appropriate use of that spell? Seems reasonable to me, apart from when you decide to be deliberately stupid about the horse again. Nobody laughs this time and the GM takes you aside and asks if you can stop derailing the game.


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Hey Malk_Content. You another Word poster? I swear your name sounds familiar (with a greenish avatar?)

Anyway. Man I wish your experience was universal in how the issues your bringing up will be handled. In my experience what happens is people point to the book and say "see! Says it right there! What do you mean I can't trip an ooze? I want combat advantage. Your not following the rules anymore and my character isn't even overpowered." These people didn't care about what made sense. It was RAW all the way (this is life in organised play). Other people either didn't care and just didn't do the stupid stuff while the people who did care moved onto a game that made more sense.

And if you think the unreasonable people are the exception, you would be wrong. People online beat the drums of "Don't say no. Find a way to make it work" and many people actually thought that was a good way to play the game.

What the rules allow matter. Saying "just use common sense" is great for the extreme corner case. These aren't corner cases for bulk.

Bulk is IMO a poor solution to a simple problem. Not everyone likes encumbrance. Bulk is just encjmbrance with slightly less math. It isn't going to make the game more fun. At best it will quieten the grumbling a bit. People who dislike encjmbrance will still dislike it. People who dislike the obfustication bulk introduces will dislike bulk. This is a lose lose proposition with a small minority who dislike encjmbrance but love bulk. And I expect the feedback will reflect that.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I just don't think everything can be regulated into L or B. There will be some things that will be - unless there is a hundredths measure, one that tallies to L just as L tallies to B. (Ten - is L, ten L is B) Certainly, there would need to be an improvement or refinement from the current Starfinder Bulk system.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I've used Malk_Content for awhile, could have seen it on any forum.

I'm not really advocating for common sense. Just pointing out that those things are likely already covered by the rules. I mean if those are the worst edge cases they are already solved.

I do agree that if Bulk doesn't go down well in live testing, it shouldn't be included. My personal experience is that Bulk sees use but I could be the minority. Just don't think trying to present ridiculous circumstances, that aren't even an issue, to show it as a bad system is a good idea.


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I don't like the bulk rules though I was never a fan of the old encumbrance rules as well.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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I prefer bulk to tracking weight in lbs, even if it takes a little getting used to.

Adding things either way in my head isn't easy for me personally (I am not very good at doing arithmetic in my head, though I do my best). But what tips over bulk for me as better than weight is that your max normal bulk carried = Str. Which for me is so much better than checking the encumbrance tables.

So 1 B = 1 Str, and 1 L = .1 B. I can handle that, and again, I'm terrible at visualizing numbers/quantities/sums.

Another reason I prefer bulk is it helps a lot with consistent expressions of weight and reduces the chances of confusing typographical errors or item paste transfers, which has happened with weight and much more easily happens with weight as a numerical expression, than bulk.

Take the blanket. Not a major adventuring item, but a lot of people put one in their equipment list, and beyond helping to keep the PC warm at night if needed, creative people may do stuff with it (like use it to help smother or fire, or make a makeshift stretcher, or hide from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal should they be an unhoopy frood who doesn't know where their towel is).

In the Core Rulebook, we have a "blanket, winter" that costs 5 sp and weighs 3 lbs. (We don't have just a blanket, or a blanket, summer, however.)

In the Advanced Player's Guide we get our blanket (sans comma-anything) and it costs 2 sp and weighs 1 lb.

BUT then in Ultimate Equipment, we have our blanket (sans comma-anything) but listed with the "blanket, winter" stats from the CRB (e.g., 5 sp/3 lbs). Clearly someone when combining equipment lists wasn't looking at all the lists and this now creates an inconsistency (that to my knowledge has never been resolved).

So what the heck does a blanket weigh? In the encumbrance system, the difference between 1 and 3 pounds can be really important (and I can see some GMs forcing people to take the higher weight item even if they wanted the thing in the APG). In the new system, this is a resolved: likely, a blanket -- winter, summer, safety, or Martha Stewart Living Brand -- weighs L. It's a lot easier to track and not mistype in a compilation later.

Or if blankets are boring (don't tell Linus), how about a weight issue that can majorly affect a class feature?

In the Advanced Player's Guide, an alchemist's kit costs 25 gp and weighs 5 lbs. This is what an alchemist needs to create extracts, mutagens, and bombs, like a wizard needs his spellbook.

However, in Ultimate Equipment, the alchemy crafting kit, which is meant to be the same item in the APG but changed because "alchemist's kit" now referred to a package that was basic gear for the alchemist class, is said to weigh 50 lbs.! This is very likely a typo (as it would mean all alchemists would have to have a minimum Str of 13 just to be able to be unencumbered), but a dick GM could make someone use the Ultimate Equipment version since that's supposed to be the "catch all" book for where you get your equipment from.

Leaving aside that what an alchemist needs in 2e may be entirely different, I hope the example communicates the idea game designers should want the most foolproof way possible to describe class-feature related items.

It's easy to mistype numbers--and (speaking as a pro editor in the public health field who would get into serious trouble if she failed to catch a bad numerical typo as it could cause important statistics to be misprinted) it can be hard to catch said typos if you as editor haven't been made aware of what the numbers really should be. If the bulk of a certain class's class feature stuff-making kit is "L" or "B" this is more likely to be transferred over correctly, or at least if it says "L0" it's easier to tell they meant to type "L," than it is 5 versus 50. So in that the bulk system is vastly preferable.

Grain of salt: I also really liked the Wealth system in d20 Modern, which I know is controversial. But just as that system eliminated having to deal with different times of currencies/credit/liquid versus invested assets (which otherwise would have been a problem in that game's setting), I like how the abstractification of Bulk gives a generic sense of encumbrance without requiring people who, say, are used to the metric system have to adjust to the Imperial system which may, for them, be just as abstract and random as Bulk. May as well make the abstractification universal.

By the same token, I know some folks really struggle just with the idea of "abstract"--it is much harder to picture "bulk" than it is "weight." It's perhaps easier to glance at an equipment list showing weight and get a quick sense of how much someone really is carrying. I also know it's very hard to change from something you've come to expect. But I figure if one can get used to hit points and AC (which are far more abstract), I hope one can probably get used to Bulk in time (if the system is indeed kept). If not hopefully perhaps a conversion system could be offered in character generators.

As a final comment, I do track encumbrance, most games I play do. I do know some players are less reliable about it than others. I had one player who was weirdly obsessed with it (he had a low Str character) and was always trying to add and re-add what he had and I think Bulk might have kept him from getting so wrapped up in it and focusing on other stuff he needed to focus on. (Like having his attack bonus calculated wrong.)

As others have said if it pans out poorly in playtest then I hope Paizo pays attention, but let's see how it tests.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I refuse to track encumbrance without computer assistance (HeroLab) for PF1E, hard stop. Even then, I have to fiddle with it for things like "what's stored in my room back at the inn or similar?" There are odd artifacts that come up with encumbrance, as well, like magic items having singular weight values, regardless of size. I've known a particular 5 strength gnome kineticist who had difficulty staying at light encumbrance and still getting a belt, Pathfinder Pouch, and cloak on.

Bulk is just easier. I don't mind tracking that on paper. The numbers correspond directly to something on my character without a chart to convert and reducing items to only 3 categories of bulk (null, Light, and #) makes life easy.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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My big issue with bulk is needing to figure out the bulk of anything the pcs might want to carry or lift. If they want to lift a random table or statue how much bulk is that? I'm better estimating weight since I've done it my whOle life. Also most monster entries list the creatures weight, which is important if the pcs want to lift one, with muscle or magic. Will they now lis bulk instead?

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