Starting Wealth: Give players "one free kit"


General Discussion


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My players are having hard time to buy equipment, since all kits costs a lot (+/- 50sp).
So why not give everyone a Kit in 1st level? You could choose, craft, medicine, alchemist, climb...
This could help the party in the first levels!


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One of the best parts of 5e is the starting equipment packages for each class. It really helps speed up character creation. Would love to see something like this in PF2.


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I just copied all the gear the pregens had.It's easy to switch-out things if needed.

Shadow Lodge

I will probably house-rule this if it's not officially implemented. We have two characters trained in Medicine but neither could afford a medical kit!


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I made a basic kit for my players but I agree it should be standardized. Just make character creation way easier.


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My players took the better part of the day balancing silver, bulk, and book keeping for their inventories. Clothes and sheathes were kind of standard in the last edition, but now there doesn't seem to be any such language.


Seems like a good idea, yeah. And better than just giving 200 sp instead of 150, since it's locked in as specific gear instead of being extra money to spend on weapons, potions etc. Someone who doesn't want / can't benefit from a skill kit could just get extra outfits or a ~50 sp "basic adventurer's starting package" instead.


Why is starting wealth a flat number? Maybe a lower base and mid based on background? As is now a farm hand turned fighter has as much Silver as a noble who is a wizard. That seem a bit off to anyone els?

The pathfinder 1e trait of noble was great. +900 starting gold(also lots of story hooks).


At the very least I think Alchemists should start with Alchemist's tools. The damn things are 60 sp. That's a pretty big chunk of your starting wealth you have to spend if you want to use one of the class's core features.


How are your players running out of money at the start? I tend to run out of bulk before money. Right now my Druid has a scimitar, hide armor, hand crossbow 40 bolts, climbing kit, backpack, torches, compass, silk rope, rations(5), bedroll, waterskin, sheathe, and chalk. And I still have 50sp and 6cp left.


PsychicPixel wrote:
How are your players running out of money at the start? I tend to run out of bulk before money. Right now my Druid has a scimitar, hide armor, hand crossbow 40 bolts, climbing kit, backpack, torches, compass, silk rope, rations(5), bedroll, waterskin, sheathe, and chalk. And I still have 50sp and 6cp left.

Sure. Now add healer's tools. You now have 6cp left.


Not a healer so I don't need that kit. Even if I did I would still be fine. I mean I don't need the Silk rope since I get a Hemp rope with the climbing kit. So that's 10sp back, I also have ranged cantrips so I don't really need the Hand Crossbow or Bolts so that's 35sp back. So I could really have 95sp and 6cp if I wanted or 45sp and 6cp if I grab that healer kit if I think i'll need it.


Technotrooper wrote:
One of the best parts of 5e is the starting equipment packages for each class. It really helps speed up character creation. Would love to see something like this in PF2.

This could be good. But don't like it enforced... With so many new weapon traits it's important with you wanna attack with an axe, a longsword, a bastard sword... So those that want choose your starting equipment should do with 150sp + 1 kit

PsychicPixel wrote:
How are your players running out of money at the start? I tend to run out of bulk before money. Right now my Druid has a scimitar, hide armor, hand crossbow 40 bolts, climbing kit, backpack, torches, compass, silk rope, rations(5), bedroll, waterskin, sheathe, and chalk. And I still have 50sp and 6cp left.

Some armors, Shields and weapons are expensive... With you include a Kit you are almost halfway to spend all...


PsychicPixel wrote:
How are your players running out of money at the start? I tend to run out of bulk before money. Right now my Druid has a scimitar, hide armor, hand crossbow 40 bolts, climbing kit, backpack, torches, compass, silk rope, rations(5), bedroll, waterskin, sheathe, and chalk. And I still have 50sp and 6cp left.

I've only made an Alchemist so far, so I can't speak towards the purchases of the other classes. But that being said, I can definitely tell you I burned through my initial 150 sp a lot quicker than I thought I would.

So I made a goblin alchemist, and here were the initial purchases.
-Dagger: 2 sp
-Studded Leather: 30 sp
-Ordinary Clothing: 1 sp
-Satchel: 1 sp
-Alchemist's Tools: 60 sp
-Cookware: 10 sp
-Bedroll: 0.1 sp
-Waterskin: 0.5 sp
-Rations x5: 2.5 sp

And because I found the Alchemist has problems with bulk, I bought these two things to compensate.
-Riding Dog: 40 sp
-Saddlebags: 2 sp

Total: 149.1 sp

Now obviously a lot of those aren't "necessary" purchases, but even if I ditched all the unnecessary stuff and just got a better weapon spread it'd still drain the funds pretty quickly.

You're right though that in a lot of circumstances Bulk is going to be the key factor, not money. But basically anybody that wants to buy tools or a kit will have to spend a pretty substantial chunk of their starting wealth on it.

I think instead of increasing wealth or offering a kit for free, they should just reduce the price on a lot of the tools and kits. At least for the base versions.


I also had only a few silver left after building a druid. And I ended up still wanting more too because I couldn't afford a healer's kit and companion barding at the same time. Or companion barding and anything for that matter. Maybe 1st-level barding just needs to be cheaper. Companions are fragile as paper in this edition (rest in peace Tomi the raptor).

Back on the topic of class kits, basically whenever I build a new character I just buy whatever their corresponding class kit is as a starting point. Or at least that's what I do in PF1 and other systems. The main thing I like about kits isn't even the money, it's that it makes building a character so much faster and simpler it's not even funny. I feel like for most given PF2 characters, picking out gear is half of character creation.


Wowie wrote:
I also had only a few silver left after building a druid. And I ended up still wanting more too because I couldn't afford a healer's kit and companion barding at the same time. Or companion barding and anything for that matter. Maybe 1st-level barding just needs to be cheaper. Companions are fragile as paper in this edition (rest in peace Tomi the raptor).

The 14 hp the raptor has and the 13 AC puts it about on the level of a Wizard or Sorcerer at first level. So you don't want to throw it deep into enemy lines but it can take a couple of hits so you don't need that barding immediately.

Wowie wrote:
Back on the topic of class kits, basically whenever I build a new character I just buy whatever their corresponding class kit is as a starting point. Or at least that's what I do in PF1 and other systems. The main thing I like about kits isn't even the money, it's that it makes building a character so much faster and simpler it's not even funny. I feel like for most given PF2 characters, picking out gear is half of character creation.

A comprehensive "class" kit would be nice. But their price was really just the price of all the items in it with a small discount.

I understand you all want to start with everything in your possession but the new system is very much designed so that items matter no matter how small they are. Choices matter on what to get and take with you. Gold and Silver matter you most likely won't get to the point of being able to walk into a town and just throw money around for whatever you want.

Shadow Lodge

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PsychicPixel wrote:
Wowie wrote:
Back on the topic of class kits, basically whenever I build a new character I just buy whatever their corresponding class kit is as a starting point. Or at least that's what I do in PF1 and other systems. The main thing I like about kits isn't even the money, it's that it makes building a character so much faster and simpler it's not even funny. I feel like for most given PF2 characters, picking out gear is half of character creation.

A comprehensive "class" kit would be nice. But their price was really just the price of all the items in it with a small discount.

I understand you all want to start with everything in your possession but the new system is very much designed so that items matter no matter how small they are. Choices matter on what to get and take with you. Gold and Silver matter you most likely won't get to the point of being able to walk into a town and just throw money around for whatever you want.

The reasoning behind the class kit is different from the desire for a free tool kit. As the bolded comment from Wowie indicates, it's less about getting a discount on the items and more about having a quick and easy way to pick up miscellaneous gear that is relevant to your character, including basic adventuring stuff as well as possibly writing implements, divine foci, component pouches, or alchemical gear.


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An other option is allow your player buy a kit between several characters... In fact the healler kit is something the "medic" character will use mostly on they parners so... they can share the cost of (if they know each other) or you can give them accest to the purchase on the town where they met (if they do not know before the session)

PD: sorry for my bad english

Liberty's Edge

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I don't think people need to auto-start with one, but writing up a kit or two and having them available on the equipment list makes character creation go so much smoother that it seems like a must. I actually wrote up one of my own, but something official would be much better.


I can agree with making kits like 5e's equipment packs, because the minutiae of gear are always the most annoying part of making a character. As an example, a dungeoneer's pack includes a backpack, a crowbar, a hammer, 10 pitons, 10 torches, a tinderbox, 10 days of rations, a waterskin, and 50 feet of hemp rope.

That said, I'm also extremely skeptical of just doing class-based starting equipment, also because of 5e. Specifically, because of the bard's 3rd bullet point:

5e SRD wrote:


(a) a lute or (b) any other musical instrument

I don't care that there aren't any class features that actually require you to use a musical instrument. If you're forcing every bard to own an instrument and learn to play three of them, you aren't just eliminating the orator bards I love so much, but even dancing and singing bards.

My issues with 5e aside, though, that's still the danger of simplifying starting equipment. You run the risk of funnelling classes into a single playstyle, even more so than already only giving fighters legendary proficiency in heavy armor.


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RazarTuk wrote:
5e SRD wrote:
(a) a lute or (b) any other musical instrument
I don't care that there aren't any class features that actually require you to use a musical instrument. If you're forcing every bard to own an instrument and learn to play three of them, you aren't just eliminating the orator bards I love so much, but even dancing and singing bards.

Start with a grand piano. Sell it.


I am not sure about a free kit for every class. It seems a bit odd and makes the rules more "clunky" in my mind. However I feel like the pricing of the various tools are off.

Most tools cost around 50 sp and expert quality for most tools is approximately 4 times this price. The master quality is 15 times the price of expert. Except a few items that is priced a lot lower than the rest for the mundane item but the expert items cost the same, it just seems weird to me.

I would prefer to have the general mundane tools cost 20-25 sp and expert sticking in the 160-200 range and master at 3000+

So standard tools like artisans, alchemist, healers etc cost 25 (200 expert) and tools that use consumables like disguise kit and thieves tool cost 20 sp (160 expert). I'm not sure how to price climbers kit.


Matthew Downie wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
5e SRD wrote:
(a) a lute or (b) any other musical instrument
I don't care that there aren't any class features that actually require you to use a musical instrument. If you're forcing every bard to own an instrument and learn to play three of them, you aren't just eliminating the orator bards I love so much, but even dancing and singing bards.
Start with a grand piano. Sell it.

Truly, the most onerous restriction is that Summon Instrument can only summon 1-handed instruments. Because once you get up into the 20+ range for Strength, grand pianos become only heavy loads.

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Ultimate Equipment had a nice idea of "class kits" but they contained odd things like an iron pot (heavy, and something I've rarely seen anyone add to their starting gear). There were also weird things like only a bard got a mirror, and clerics had both candles and torches for some reason; some classes got ink and inkpen but nothing to write on (and witches got this but sorcerers didn't), while only bards got a journal. Which I suppose suggests that what I think a starting adventurer should have and you think and what Paizo thinks may be different, and maybe that's why the playtest didn't have any such thing.

Still, it seems like it could be feasible to make a very basic adventuring kit with the stuff most people buy, e.g., backpack, bedroll, rations, waterskin, a hooded lantern plus a few flasks of oil, rope.

You could also make setting specific kits -- like an urban kit which includes prepaid accommodations for a week rather than camping gear, or a jungle kit that includes a hammock and mosquito netting, etc.

I think at this point, you could also just say every character starts with any class items they need. You shouldn't have to buy holy symbols and whatnot a la carte if it's required for your class to function (they did this in 1e but it was inconsistent--i.e., alchemists and wizards started with their books, but a cleric still had to buy their holy symbol). A bard can be said to start with one common item associated with any one of their trained performance skill equal to or less than so many sp.

So then you could start with all required class items, a basic adventurer's kit, and a flat 50 sp or whatever to fill out your gear to accommodate specific skills and quirks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DeathQuaker wrote:

There were also weird things like only a bard got a mirror...

Have you ever met a bard? That makes perfect sense. :-)

I think equipment kits would be a great idea, though I wouldn't want them to be mandatory/automatic. Maybe instead of class-based ones, they could be theme-based depending on what they're useful for (e.g., wilderness survival kit, note-taking kit, climbing kit, fancy grooming kit)? There were some of these in PF1, but a lot of them were so expensive that they never saw use because no one could afford them at 1st level.

EDIT: Just realized DeathQuaker already mentioned setting-specific kits, so yeah, +1 to that.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

*takes Meraki's reply too seriously*

I play bards all the time, some are more fastidious than others. And as to that, when I play a fastidious character, I add a grooming kit (also from Ultimate Equipment, and has a small mirror as part of it) to their list, not a large mirror.

The large mirror is dungeoneering equipment: it's intended to peer around corners, reflect gaze attacks, etc. Rangers and rogues and other adventurers should have them. Or it at least should be more consistently in someone's gear, or not.

Some of the very expensive kits in UE were such because they included magic items. I think if they do equipment packages (and perhaps that's a better word for them, whereas "kits" should be more like the aforementioned grooming kit or mess kit or a toolset), the packages should exclude magic items. Especially since using magic items seems more far complicated in the new edition (though I understand they are addressing that).


DeathQuaker wrote:
The large mirror is dungeoneering equipment: it's intended to peer around corners, reflect gaze attacks, etc. Rangers and rogues and other adventurers should have them. Or it at least should be more consistently in someone's gear, or not.

One minor nitpick, the Rogue Kit does in fact have a mirror. It (as well as the Caltrops and Grappling Hook) is a large part of why I don't use the Rogue's kit ^.^; Also I'm not sure I'd call it a large mirror, it's just a hand mirror.

EDIT: Oh, and I also don't use the Rogue's Kit because while it does have the random stuff, for whatever reason it does not have the signature Rogue item: Thieves' Tools. If you're having a kit for a class, at least have the primary tools to use that class's main thing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DeathQuaker wrote:

*takes Meraki's reply too seriously*

I play bards all the time, some are more fastidious than others. And as to that, when I play a fastidious character, I add a grooming kit (also from Ultimate Equipment, and has a small mirror as part of it) to their list, not a large mirror.

The large mirror is dungeoneering equipment: it's intended to peer around corners, reflect gaze attacks, etc. Rangers and rogues and other adventurers should have them. Or it at least should be more consistently in someone's gear, or not.

Some of the very expensive kits in UE were such because they included magic items. I think if they do equipment packages (and perhaps that's a better word for them, whereas "kits" should be more like the aforementioned grooming kit or mess kit or a toolset), the packages should exclude magic items. Especially since using magic items seems more far complicated in the new edition (though I understand they are addressing that).

Huh, I always pictured it as a hand mirror. Which I guess you could also use for peering around corners, though it might not be quite as effective for reflecting gaze attacks.

In one of my games, we had a bard who was such a dandy that he had a grooming kit, additional hand mirror, fine cologne, and a portable bathtub. :-)

Yeah, if they do that, it'd be best to leave magic items out to keep the prices feasible for 1st level charactesr.


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I don't get the problem.

We're brand new adventurers. Just starting out. Spending a lifetime of savings on whatever we can afford. It makes sense that maybe we can't have it everything we want on day 1.

I think the starting gold is good enough for every class to get basic gear and start adventuring. If that means cutting back to lighter, cheaper armor or weapons for the first day, then so be it.

When I got my driver's licence, I wanted my first car to be a BMW 750i. But I scaled that back a bit for a used Hyundai excel. That's what most of us have to do on the first day. We can get better stuff later in life when we have more money. Now I'm driving a 2018 Lexus so I guess everything went more or less according to plan.

I'm sure your characters will have better gear. Even before they reach level 2.

Liberty's Edge

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DM_Blake wrote:

I don't get the problem.

We're brand new adventurers. Just starting out. Spending a lifetime of savings on whatever we can afford. It makes sense that maybe we can't have it everything we want on day 1.

The issue with not having kits is not 'not having everything'. You can easily afford the basics by the current rules.

The issue is time and quality of life. Having to buy every little thing individually is time consuming, and often mind-numbingly boring. It can easily take half an hour or more to go through and get all the little stuff you want, and that's not a fun process for most people either.

Having readily available kits reduce that amount to time to maybe a minute.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Shinigami02 wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
The large mirror is dungeoneering equipment: it's intended to peer around corners, reflect gaze attacks, etc. Rangers and rogues and other adventurers should have them. Or it at least should be more consistently in someone's gear, or not.
One minor nitpick, the Rogue Kit does in fact have a mirror.

My bad!

Quote:


It (as well as the Caltrops and Grappling Hook) is a large part of why I don't use the Rogue's kit ^.^;

Yeah, some of that is conditional to character type.

Also I'm not sure I'd call it a large mirror, it's just a hand mirror.

Nitpicking back...

Ultimate Equipment, emphasis mine wrote:


This hand-held mirror is about a foot across.

It maybe hand-held, but a 1-foot mirror is pretty damn big for a hand mirror. (No it isn't a floor length mirror, but that's not what I meant. I meant it's bigger than the mirror that, say, comes in the grooming kit.) :)

Quote:
EDIT: Oh, and I also don't use the Rogue's Kit because while it does have the random stuff, for whatever reason it does not have the signature Rogue item: Thieves' Tools. If you're having a kit for a class, at least have the primary tools to use that class's main thing.

Yeh, the kit designs are odd. And also why I think classes should just start with the gear they're absolutely required/expected to have without having to remember to buy it.


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I like the idea of pre-selected bundles of equipment at a slight price discount being options and being able to select a few smaller bundles over all or nothing. Note this also helps determine NPC gear.

UE had the right idea with class kits giving some basic items, but the execution was terrible.

1: Some kits are strictly worse than others. They blatantly cost or weighing more than others with the same or more contents.
2: Lost of weight is devoted to items the party really shouldn't need 4 of (why does everyone need their own heavy pot?)
3: It's nothing more than the bare basics

Something like...

Fighter starts with 175 GP so he picks the following

Martial Kit 57 GP: Contains scalemail, cold iron dagger, and a Light Mace (actual price=59 GP). Primary weapon is separate because that's subject to customization.

Traveler's kit 8 GP: Contains a week of trail rations, a mess kit, a water skin, a bedroll with blanket, a waterproof poncho (.5), a backpack , Flint and Steel, 7 torches and soap (actual cost 8 gp, 8 silver and 8 copper). Give a note a traveler should purchase a tent based on their group size.

Ruin Delver Kit 4GP: Contains chalk in a variety of colors, a shovel, 50 feet of rope, 5 pitons (these aren't their own items in PF for some reason) and a light hammer (actual cost is 4 GP and some change. I don't think I've seen an ancient ruin where the PCs were expected to clear paths without high level magic and only a handful where the PCs secure a rope to go down an edge, but the point stands)

Add a Lucerne Hammer (15 GP), short bow (30GP) and 40 normal arrows (2 gp). Split a large tent with the group (7.5GP each for 4). Fighter has 51.5 GP remaining. He buys a waterproof hooded lantern (12GP) and 7 things of lantern oil (.7). Then seeing he as a lot of gold leftover, decides to upgrade the Martial Kit to Martial Kit + (75 GP: "As martial kit but the light mace is alchemical silver"). He now has 20.8 and adds a change of clothes (5 GP) and splits splits a donkey+pack saddle (3.25 each), giving him and has 12 GP 5 SP and 5 copper.


Couple issues with relying on bulk as a limiting factor for gear:

A) Nobody actually tracks that during play, it's a massive fiddly pain in the ass in video games where it's tracked automatically and it's only worse in pen and paper RPG's where you have to manually calculate whether you ahve enough room to carry that treasure you just found.

B) Carts and pack animals exist. A lot of adventuring gear like tents, pots and pans, battering rams, shovels, et cetera can be assumed to be stored on the cart until they're needed.

C) Bags of Holding and other magical means of carrying s#%! exist. Which is like a cart, except you can also dig it out in the middle of a dungeon without much issue, even in the event you got a GM anal enough to track that total.

All reasons that make STR still extremely unattractive.

So when discusisng kits, I think all they need to do in regards to bulk is specify where those items should be stored. If there's a big black iron pot, so long it's specified that it's going to be kept with the cart when exploring a dungeon then it shouldn't matter.

For that matter, carts and animals should be a standard kit option too. Maybe a concept of a "party kit" that includes stuff the entire party would be using, stuff like carts and pack animals or pots or other things the party would reasonably want to share the expenses of. That's a very good candidate for something to just be given for free RAW to the party collectively, so no further player coordination is needed for it.

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Removed a post. The mocking nature of the comment was not a productive contribution to the thread.


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Meh.

I'd just add a sentence, "you have all the mundane/non-magical/non-alchemical adventuring gear you can carry".

Then use the word-count allocated to candles, rope, canvas bags, sticks, blankets, shoes, and other random stuff instead for things a commoner won't have ready access to.

Counting arrows or sticks of beef jerky has always been the least interesting part of the game for me, personally.


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Helmic wrote:

Couple issues with relying on bulk as a limiting factor for gear:

A) Nobody actually tracks that during play, it's a massive fiddly pain in the ass in video games where it's tracked automatically and it's only worse in pen and paper RPG's where you have to manually calculate whether you ahve enough room to carry that treasure you just found.

I'm not going to try and turn this into a Bulk thread, but Bulk is more than easy enough to track by eye. Unless you're trying to fit every last item into the L section, in the vast majority of cases you should be able to glance at a list and tell generally where you are on Bulk. (Exception for when you're carrying around 9 separate L bulk items and keep trying to push weight to the limit.)

It's really not that hard to look at items of Bulk 2, 1, 1, 1, and < 10 items of L bulk and figure out you're somewhere between 5 and 6.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Anguish wrote:

Meh.

I'd just add a sentence, "you have all the mundane/non-magical/non-alchemical adventuring gear you can carry".

Then use the word-count allocated to candles, rope, canvas bags, sticks, blankets, shoes, and other random stuff instead for things a commoner won't have ready access to.

Counting arrows or sticks of beef jerky has always been the least interesting part of the game for me, personally.

This. It's supposed to be a fun dungeon crawler with some theatrics, not Medieval Archeologists Inventory Simulator.

5e handles mundane equipment and starting gear very well and I see no reason for clinging on to the "does the 3sp change of clothes include a change of socks or do I need to buy them separately" paradigm of 3.5/PF1.

Liberty's Edge

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I honestly feel that purchasable kits being readily available give the best of both worlds, allowing people who enjoy micromanaging their inventory to do so and those who do not to, well, not. A simple 'Adventurer's Kit' and a note that most characters should grab one mostly solves this problem on its own.


Cyouni wrote:
Helmic wrote:

Couple issues with relying on bulk as a limiting factor for gear:

A) Nobody actually tracks that during play, it's a massive fiddly pain in the ass in video games where it's tracked automatically and it's only worse in pen and paper RPG's where you have to manually calculate whether you ahve enough room to carry that treasure you just found.

I'm not going to try and turn this into a Bulk thread, but Bulk is more than easy enough to track by eye. Unless you're trying to fit every last item into the L section, in the vast majority of cases you should be able to glance at a list and tell generally where you are on Bulk. (Exception for when you're carrying around 9 separate L bulk items and keep trying to push weight to the limit.)

It's really not that hard to look at items of Bulk 2, 1, 1, 1, and < 10 items of L bulk and figure out you're somewhere between 5 and 6.

The issue isn't determining a number for the Bulk of a particular item. It's constantly dropping and picking up stuff because you're at your carry limit. L items are literally just 0.1 Bulk, and that's how it's tracked in several VTT's. The whole thing is just Encumbrance with smaller numbers, and so it runs into the same problems that make people ignore Encumbrance; namely the little inventory shuffle you have to do when your inventory changes for whatever reason, like when trying to haul a bunch of loot back home. It slows the game down, its role is to basically say "no you can't have that", and without a VTT no one is really going to bother writing down and erasing lines on a sheet for its sake alone.

I'd go as far as to guess that Bulk/Encumbrance is the #1 thing houseruled or just completely ignored at tables, and so it should be almost a complete nonfactor in item balance. It's far easier to just handwave it away as "everything fits in your bag of holding" or similar and just not be a dick about it, much like how Quantum Arrows are infinite until you try to build a house out of them, at which point you only have 20.


Helmic wrote:
I'd go as far as to guess that Bulk/Encumbrance is the #1 thing houseruled or just completely ignored at tables, and so it should be almost a complete nonfactor in item balance. It's far easier to just handwave it away as "everything fits in your bag of holding" or similar and just not be a dick about it, much like how Quantum Arrows are infinite until you try to build a house out of them, at which point you only have 20.

Single best legendary talent in Spheres of Might- Ceaseless Arrows. As long as you have at least 10 of some type of non-magical arrow (and aren't in an antimagic field, since it's Su), you somehow never seem to run out...

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I've rarely--not never--been in a case where I had so much encumbrance I had to drop stuff and pick it up again and keep track, even in games where tracking encumbrance is a thing. The one situation where that was the case, I was playing a low Str archeologist who carried buckets of expedition of gear and was always trying to find porters to carry her stuff, and it just became part of her roleplay/schtick, which made it fun. Pathfinder and other systems usually make it fairly easy to carry what you need (unless playing a very extreme build), and by the time you have so much gear you couldn't feasibly carry it all, usually a bag of holding or handy haversack has come into play (indeed as a GM I usually make sure one has shown up by the time the party is level 3 or 4, and most modules and adventure paths I've read also have them show up in treasure hoards by this time). Heck, for the lowest levels, in 1st ed, masterwork backpacks make a huge difference, a potion of ant haul is only 50 gp, and muleback cords cost only 1,000 gp, something a 1st level party may have even just after one lucrative adventure. So I'd have to say based on my experience, the "have to keep dropping stuff and picking it up" is less a system issue and more of a specific player foible. Such a player might need some guidance from their fellow players and GMs about how to better manage such things (until magical solutions become available).

I fully admit and acknowledge I am the person who exists on the side of actually enjoying inventory management. Moreover, I find there is a point to it mechanically (like making sure some genius in my party isn't packing an elephant in his backpack because "the rules don't say I can't"--which I wish could say was hyberbole, but...). But by the same token, we've rarely tracked stuff like food eaten or every tenth of an ounce of gear carried. The only exceptions I can think of specifically related to food are very specific cases where the party is in a difficult survival situation, which normally is short lived, or a brief section of a longer adventure (and even then, you're usually ticking off days' worth of rations, not anything more complicated than that).

So forgive me, but I feel like the folks in this thread complaining about stuff like "tracking every piece of beef jerky" or asking if they need to buy socks (something that has never happened in any game in any system I have played, ever, not even the most persnickety of systems or with the most anal of GMs) either are describing inventory tracking hyperbolically and thus are not contributing to the thread in a constructive or realistic or helpful manner, or they play with really annoying GMs and are conflating bad GMing with system flaws.

This is not to say inventory or encumbrance tracking can't be annoying, but I don't find it unwieldy, I find the bulk system to vastly improve it over PF1's weight system, and I agree with other posters in this thread that it indeed can be improved further by creating pre-purchasable packets of lightweight gear so everyone doesn't have to buy starting gear completely a la cart.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sure, I'm all for socks, woolen socks, winter socks and fishnet socks all being options for those who are fans of choosing the best outfit until spells and magic items make the issue moot.

I just hope that the character creation chapter doesn't kick the player off to the Equipment chapter with 150 sp and a decision paralysis.


DeathQuaker wrote:

I've rarely--not never--been in a case where I had so much encumbrance I had to drop stuff and pick it up again and keep track, even in games where tracking encumbrance is a thing. The one situation where that was the case, I was playing a low Str archeologist who carried buckets of expedition of gear and was always trying to find porters to carry her stuff, and it just became part of her roleplay/schtick, which made it fun. Pathfinder and other systems usually make it fairly easy to carry what you need (unless playing a very extreme build), and by the time you have so much gear you couldn't feasibly carry it all, usually a bag of holding or handy haversack has come into play (indeed as a GM I usually make sure one has shown up by the time the party is level 3 or 4, and most modules and adventure paths I've read also have them show up in treasure hoards by this time). Heck, for the lowest levels, in 1st ed, masterwork backpacks make a huge difference, a potion of ant haul is only 50 gp, and muleback cords cost only 1,000 gp, something a 1st level party may have even just after one lucrative adventure. So I'd have to say based on my experience, the "have to keep dropping stuff and picking it up" is less a system issue and more of a specific player foible. Such a player might need some guidance from their fellow players and GMs about how to better manage such things (until magical solutions become available).

I fully admit and acknowledge I am the person who exists on the side of actually enjoying inventory management. Moreover, I find there is a point to it mechanically (like making sure some genius in my party isn't packing an elephant in his backpack because "the rules don't say I can't"--which I wish could say was hyberbole, but...). But by the same token, we've rarely tracked stuff like food eaten or every tenth of an ounce of gear carried. The only exceptions I can think of specifically related to food are very specific cases where the party is in a difficult survival situation, which...

I mean, that may be your experience, but it's a constant issue in mine and it lead to the decision to just ignore it, which is a story heard from most people I've played RPG's with. And, to be frank, if you're never reaching the limit then you're basically ignoring Encumbrance/Bulk anyways. A rule is only relevant if it actually comes up, and when Bulk/Encumbrance comes up it's a fiddly piece of s&!%. Bulk is less fiddly, sure, it's easier to sub items out when they more neatly fit into round numbers for most items, but you're still measuring the benefit of bringing gear like battering rams versus how much they weigh and whether you'll end up needing to make multiple trips. And then the problem disappears entirely once magic comes into play and it never comes up again.

Which just furthers my point, there's no middle ground where encumbrance mechanics are both relevant and not a pain in the ass, at least not without being in a very different genre where characters don't pick up a significant amount of items or with wildly different mechanics where it's expected to only be able to bring back one or two things per character.

Hell, I think even 5e just by default says to ignore encumbrance unless you really want to track weight for some reason. Clearly it's been enough of an issue for enough groups that WotC felt that making that rule explicitly optional was the best move.


Eh never ever used Encum, until Bulk in SF and PF2 which was simple enough to remove the downside of fiddliness.

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