Bulk is bad.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Tridus wrote:
It's not actually simpler. It's the illusion of simplicity by having smaller numbers.

And yet, however weird it might be, in practice at the table it seems a whole heck of a lot simpler.

Especially when it comes to appropriately modeling an item that hasn't had a weight assigned to it, like say a bronze bust that a player elected to steal in hopes of selling that the adventure writer might have assigned a value to but hasn't attached a weight. I can just say "2 bulk" and that feels right, but if I were to guess at an actual weight I don't even know where to start - other than to Google search relevant details (and probably end up doing math of my own as a result, just so that I can give a "feels right" answer to a player for them to do more math with).

Well bulk its self is between 5-10 pounds. So that Bronze bust would be a fairly small one at about 10-20 lbs.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Especially when it comes to appropriately modeling an item that hasn't had a weight assigned to it, like say a bronze bust

This makes NO sense to me. I want to know the WEIGHT of an item, it's a quick google check away. I just typed in 'bronze bust weight' and in a second found a result of 10 pounds for a 12" one and 60 for a 29" one. In the digital age, there isn't any NEED to "guess at the actual weight": finding actual numbers is super, super easy.

Now if I wanted bulk, EVERY object is a guess as there is an unknowable 'unwieldiness' factor that might mysteriously double and/or half whatever number I'd find. There is no way to find a correct bulk number outside of pathfinder telling you one.

Silver Crusade

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graystone wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
Especially when it comes to appropriately modeling an item that hasn't had a weight assigned to it, like say a bronze bust

This makes NO sense to me. I want to know the WEIGHT of an item, it's a quick google check away. I just typed in 'bronze bust weight' and in a second found a result of 10 pounds for a 12" one and 60 for a 29" one. In the digital age, there isn't any NEED to "guess at the actual weight": finding actual numbers is super, super easy.

Now if I wanted bulk, EVERY object is a guess as there is an unknowable 'unwieldiness' factor that might mysteriously double and/or half whatever number I'd find. There is no way to find a correct bulk number outside of pathfinder telling you one.

But were those busts you googled hollow inside or solid blocks of bronze? Or perhaps the outer layer was bronze, but the inside was of another material? What type of cast was used? Hot-cast and cold-cast bronze sculptures vary greatly by weight.

The adventure says that the PCs find a "golden chest". Depending on whether it's a:

a) solid gold chest
b) iron chest coated with gold paint
b) wooden chest coated with a layer of gold

you'll get three weights that even aren't close. What's the advantage of halting your game to decide whether it's a, b or c and then googling around to establish the weight as opposed to eyeballing it to, say, a) being bulk 4, b) being bulk 3 and c) being bulk 2?


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Gorbacz wrote:
But were those busts you googled hollow inside or solid blocks of bronze? Or perhaps the outer layer was bronze, but the inside was of another material? What type of cast was used? Hot-cast and cold-cast bronze sculptures vary greatly by weight.

If I CARE about those things, I can add them into my search: it's not very hard or time consuming. Are you suggesting a guess at bulk is somehow easier to figure out, because I can't imagine how that's possible.

Gorbacz wrote:
you'll get three weights that even aren't close.

And? You pick whichever one seems right.

Gorbacz wrote:
What's the advantage of halting your game to decide whether it's a, b or c and then googling around to establish the weight as opposed to eyeballing it to, say, a) being bulk 4, b) being bulk 3 and c) being bulk 2?

Why are you stopping the game? If you think someone might drag off the chest, figure out a weight BEFOREHAND... Secondly, you act as if it's a huge time sink. It isn't. Third, it removes guessing: At it's best, there is a 100% swing in bulk estimations JUST from how accurate the measurement is. That means that if you say it's a bulk 10 chest, that might mean 100 lbs or 50 lbs or 75 lbs.

The only way to say 'it's easier to guess bulk' is because there is such a large range in what the actual weight + unknowable unwieldiness factor could be. Anywhere between 50 and 100 lbs is such a huge variance, it borders on useless.


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So... option A, I spend more than 0 time deciding upon and googling relevant details in order to come up with an accurate weight.

Option B, I intuitively assign a bulk value based on what I know of what the game already assigns bulk-wise (i.e. "easy as a sword to carry" or "about as much of a hassle as a heavy suit of armor" or the like).

Assuming that my goal is to limit carrying capacity of fictional characters to something that feels about right - and not to accurately model weight, weight distribution, or the realities of cargo transport (human-hauled or otherwise) - which option seems like a more efficient use of time and effort?

I spend my time planning for games coming up with (hopefully) interesting scenarios and characters for use in play, and my time running the game actually running the game (or socializing with my friends that have come to play) - so even though it is easy, and might not even take that much time, any "lemme go look this up" time is wasted time.


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For us bulk works great. Pre-Starfinder we just ignored encumbrance. In Starfinder, we track it. Being "realistic" isn't as important at our table as being quick-and-easy. We don't spend any time guessing what's L or 1 Bulk or whatever - the DM guesses a number and in the long run, we get encumbered when we carry lots and we're not if we put it down again. Job done, for us.

I think the reason we find it quicker is that it is obviously making no attempt to be "accurate" - it's clearly an abstraction. So it's easy to just guess a value and move on. If some things are assigned a weight 0.6 and other 0.8 the precision creates this mental expectation we need to "get it right" which just slows things down and ends up with a different methodology. (And makes no accounting for the difference in encumbrance between ten kilograms of lead vs ten kilograms of feathers).

Ultimately PF1 encumbrance rules are silly and SF encumbrance rules are silly in a different way - the extra precision of PF1 doesn't lead to extra realism.


graystone wrote:
A potion, a javelin and a light shield are all the same in the bulk system and all seem to fit in a belt pouch. As such, "what I know of what the game already assigns bulk-wise" is very different things with very little relationship with each other are counted the same under the system.

The fitting of all of those objects into a belt pouch I will give you as strange and unintuitive - but that is an issue with the way a belt pouch is described, not with the bulk rules in general.

It makes sense, to me, for each of those items to be rated as the same for purposes of carrying because the potion needs somewhere it can be easily grabbed at and yet is prevented from rattling around as that might result in breakage, you can slip a number of javelins in a quiver and carry them all quite easily, and a light shield can be hung off just about anything when not held in hand. Though I do think the shield could benefit from a rule changing the bulk to 1 if you are talking about "how many shields can I fill this backpack with?" rather than "how much of a hindrance to carrying other things is this one shield in practical application?" like how containers' bulk depends upon using or hauling them.

Quote:
If you admit you're winging it and making up what feels right, why do you need a system? Why not skip it and just say 'you can carry it' or 'you can't carry it'?

If you admit you are aiming at accuracy, why are you satisfied with just using pounds and strength? Why not go all-out and say that body-type, particular focus of muscularity, constitution, arrangement of gear upon the body, and all the other factors that I'm sure exist and can't think of at the moment, all have to be figured in?

My answer is likely similar to yours; because the system is close enough to achieve a result I am pleased with.

Quote:
If you can't be bothered with accuracy, why bother at all?

So I take it that you don't do anything that you can't do absolutely flawlessly, then? No, of course not. That'd be ridiculous.

I'm bothering enough with accuracy to hit the target - you can be displeased that I don't stress about not getting a bull's-eye if you want, but I won't join you.

Quote:
Secondly, there is literally no wasted time. How much time do you think a google search takes? Mine took 0.24 seconds. Is 0.24 seconds a bridge too far? If it takes more than a second or two to skim the result page and get a weight, you're doing it wrong. So if you can't manage 5 seconds of work... Well, I don't know what to say.

Speaking of "doing it wrong", that's not how the word 'literally' works.

As to your 5 seconds for a google search, I will say this: Sit down at a table in your home, and get yourself arranged like you would be while you are running a game. Now hit a stopwatch or some other kind of timer, say "I'll be right back, have to check something" and then walk to another room in your house. Pantomime the following actions if you can't perform them for real: Sit down, shake a mouse, click on your choice of browser, punch in some search terms, hope you get a result that gives a clear answer within the first few results, make sure you aren't going to forget the number as soon as you leave the room, get up, head back to the seat you started this experiment at, and then say the result you searched for, and finally stop your stop watch/timer.

If that's only 5 seconds, it's nice to meet you Barry Allen or whichever speedster you are.

Meanwhile, I can just say "let's call it [insert what feels right to me]" and be as accurate as anything in the book is, and that takes a significantly smaller amount of time. Of course, that's because I get what the bulk rules are trying to do, and am in full acceptance that no system of figuring out how much a character can carry will ever be actually accurate.


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thenobledrake wrote:

So... option A, I spend more than 0 time deciding upon and googling relevant details in order to come up with an accurate weight.

Option B, I intuitively assign a bulk value based on what I know of what the game already assigns bulk-wise (i.e. "easy as a sword to carry" or "about as much of a hassle as a heavy suit of armor" or the like).

Why is that intuitive? If you're just going to base it on something else that seems similar, you could already do that with weight. Pick something that seems similar in the book and use that weight. Done. Now it's no more complicated than guessing bulk except you have better options to compare to than an abstract "this seems like a 2".

Think the bust is as much of a hassle as a heavy suit of armor? Full plate weighs what, 50 pounds in PF1? Use 50 pounds. Done. Move on.

The only difference is that if you wanted to use an accurate weight, you could. Now you can't, and a surprisingly wide variety of things all have exactly the same bulk value.


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thenobledrake wrote:

As to your 5 seconds for a google search, I will say this: Sit down at a table in your home, and get yourself arranged like you would be while you are running a game. Now hit a stopwatch or some other kind of timer, say "I'll be right back, have to check something" and then walk to another room in your house. Pantomime the following actions if you can't perform them for real: Sit down, shake a mouse, click on your choice of browser, punch in some search terms, hope you get a result that gives a clear answer within the first few results, make sure you aren't going to forget the number as soon as you leave the room, get up, head back to the seat you started this experiment at, and then say the result you searched for, and finally stop your stop watch/timer.

If that's only 5 seconds, it's nice to meet you Barry Allen or whichever speedster you are.

I've DMed without a computer all of once ever. I am very well practiced in checking something quickly without disrupting the game (or even alerting the players that I am checking something) and I'd imagine I am not at all unique in that respect.


ComaVision wrote:
I've DMed without a computer all of once ever. I am very well practiced in checking something quickly without disrupting the game (or even alerting the players that I am checking something) and I'd imagine I am not at all unique in that respect.

That's a non-argument.

I've not said "no one uses computers when running their game", I've only said that some of us don't, and that the process which doesn't require the additional device, or happenstance personal knowledge on the part of the GM, for as-accurate-as-the-game-allows assigning of difficulty to transport items not already listed in the game material is, as a result, faster.

I mean, would somebody be making the "you can just look it up" argument if they weren't using an extra device that isn't actually part of the game by their own circumstantial convenience? I don't think they would.


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We've spent a lifetime estimating weight. We interact with weight everyday of our lives. Even if its not convenient to look something up, you're pretty good at estimating weight.

Bulk, on the other hand, you would have to actually look up stuff in the rulebook and make a comparison because there is no real-world analog and no other source of bulk values. And, when you did your comparison, you would have to contend with nonsensical entries in the equipment list.

You could pick a bulk-to-weight conversion rate letting you take real-world weights and convert them into bulk, but then why bother with the extra step? Just use weight.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Your inability to take criticism without ultimately resorting to barely concealed disdain for whomever criticized your views ("So if you can't manage 5 seconds of work... Well, I don't know what to say.") will always be your undoing.

Pot, meet kettle...

Secondly, the part you quoted was a factual statement: I can't imagine how it's easier. It literally doesn't compute for me.

Steve Geddes wrote:
Ultimately PF1 encumbrance rules are silly and SF encumbrance rules are silly in a different way - the extra precision of PF1 doesn't lead to extra realism.

I question why you use encumbrance if you find it silly.

thenobledrake wrote:
The fitting of all of those objects into a belt pouch I will give you as strange and unintuitive - but that is an issue with the way a belt pouch is described, not with the bulk rules in general.

It's absolutely an issue with as a L item varies from 0-5 lbs and covers things from inches to feet across. it's so broad that's it's useless in imagining things. In the game introduces a new item, how do you imagine a L item? as small as a potion, as long as a javelin or as heavy as a shield? It's like saying a tunnel is 8' across and you have an item that 5'-10' across and you're trying to figure out if you can take it down the tunnel. It's either really easy or impossible and you have no way to figure it out.

thenobledrake wrote:
If you admit you are aiming at accuracy, why are you satisfied with just using pounds and strength?

You're missing the point. With accuracy I mean I can take a real world item and compare it. If I have a 10 pound item, I can compare it to a 10 pound bag of catfood at the store. That's not something I can do with bulk: I can't go to the store and find a 10 bulk item. Hence, I have no reference point for new items.

thenobledrake wrote:
I'm bothering enough with accuracy to hit the target - you can be displeased that I don't stress about not getting a bull's-eye if you want, but I won't join you.

LOL You are misunderstanding what I'm looking for with accuracy. I'm not looking for the bullseye but trying to be confident that I'll hit the target. Bulk means in item might vary by hundreds of pound with no way to figure it out. 100 L items might be 25 pounds or 500 pounds and that isn't anywhere in the ballpark for even basic accuracy.

thenobledrake wrote:
As to your 5 seconds for a google search, I will say this: Sit down at a table in your home, and get yourself arranged like you would be while you are running a game.

FULL STOP: why aren't you looking this up when you prepare beforehand when you read up on it first? There is NO reason you would have to go out of your way IN GAME.

thenobledrake wrote:
If that's only 5 seconds, it's nice to meet you Barry Allen or whichever speedster you are.

But lets say I forgot and have to look it up. I walk into the other room, shake the mouse to get the computer out of sleep mode, click on the browser that reduced to the bottom of the screen and type in the search and skim the results without clicking on any. Yep 5 seconds.

thenobledrake wrote:
Meanwhile, I can just say "let's call it [insert what feels right to me]" and be as accurate as anything in the book is

#1 I can do the same with pounds if I don't care about accuracy so not seeing what bulk brings to the table as far as guessing and #2 If the game doesn't care about accuracy I question it's worth. Why have the system that varies so much?


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On accuracy, I'd like to clarify. When I talk about it, I'm more concerned with an agreed upon measurement than a down to the ounce weight on things. Assuming that someone has a good idea of what 5 bulk is, how does the game ensure that every other player has the same idea of what it means? IMO, players are more likely to understand what 10 pounds [4.5 kg] means than 5 bulk.


graystone wrote:
In the digital age, there isn't any NEED to "guess at the actual weight": finding actual numbers is super, super easy.

If you play in a setting with access to the internet. Our local gamestore doesn't so if I want to do a quick google, it either has to be in prep work (where I can easily miss a piece of treasure) or hope my phone carrier decide that I'm allowed to use my data here. I imagine there are people who have it much worse, where they can't do the search at all. Even in the digital age, there are reasons finding actual numbers isn't super, super easy for some groups.


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graystone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Ultimately PF1 encumbrance rules are silly and SF encumbrance rules are silly in a different way - the extra precision of PF1 doesn't lead to extra realism.
I question why you use encumbrance if you find it silly.

When I DM I don’t use encumbrance, I just ask people not to carry too much stuff around and to consider their strength.

However, sometimes the DM wants an objective limit on how much gear we can lug around.


graystone wrote:
FULL STOP: why aren't you looking this up when you prepare beforehand when you read up on it first? There is NO reason you would have to go out of your way IN GAME

Because, as a human being, I do occasionally forget to check every piece of treasure in the game to see how much it would weigh in real life. And occasionally I miss a piece of treasure when preparing a game only to see it sneak up in the preprinted adventure mid-session and surprise me. And occasionally I'll assume an item has an established weight but be wrong.


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I still don't get how it's easier to come up with a number with k frame of reference ( bulk) vs. One with a clear frame of reference (weight)
If you just Intuit a number anyway, what is the difference between 1poind/kg and one bulk ?


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DerNils wrote:

I still don't get how it's easier to come up with a number with k frame of reference ( bulk) vs. One with a clear frame of reference (weight)

If you just Intuit a number anyway, what is the difference between 1poind/kg and one bulk ?

For us it’s the faux precision of using weight. Mentally, it creates the idea one should be precise and (for our DMs, anyway) when judging weight they’ll go to the CRB and look through the various items to ensure it’s in line with other examples. In the case of bulk, it’s obviously just an abstraction and is terribly imprecise so they don’t feel any pressure to “get it right” and will cheerfully pick a value.

At the end of the day, the only thing that matters to us is if you slow down as you carry lots of stuff. The nuts and bolts of how that’s calculated really has no impact on play. Consequently, if bulk is faster (because the DM takes less care) it’s superior, since all that’s lost is something that doesn’t come up at the table.


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Just out of curiosity how would people feel about effectively multiplying the current bulk system by 10 and eliminating L bulk entirely.

Bulk capacity becomes (5 + str mod)*10
L bulk becomes a number from 1-9
1 bulk becomes a number from 10-19

And so on,that would at least eliminate odd cases where an empty vial has no weight and a filled vial weighs the same as padded armor, a javelin, a handcrossbow, or a light steel shield. You lose the general vague category numbers but you end up with things having more realistic relative weights.

As an added bonus a belt pouch would now hold 4 bulk rather then 4 L bulk which might hold like 4 filled potions but not 4 lught steel shields.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters to us is if you slow down as you carry lots of stuff. The nuts and bolts of how that’s calculated really has no impact on play. Consequently, if bulk is faster (because the DM takes less care) it’s superior, since all that’s lost is something that doesn’t come up at the table.

Unless you cheerfully pick a number that's high, and now someone has a movement speed of 10 due to encumbrance. That's not fun, and they'll then argue that this item should really be a 2 instead of a 3 so they're not moving at the speed of molasses uphill on a glacier, and you're now arguing completely abstract numbers with them that have no basis to use for comparisons.

This is not better.


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Tridus wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters to us is if you slow down as you carry lots of stuff. The nuts and bolts of how that’s calculated really has no impact on play. Consequently, if bulk is faster (because the DM takes less care) it’s superior, since all that’s lost is something that doesn’t come up at the table.

Unless you cheerfully pick a number that's high, and now someone has a movement speed of 10 due to encumbrance. That's not fun, and they'll then argue that this item should really be a 2 instead of a 3 so they're not moving at the speed of molasses uphill on a glacier, and you're now arguing completely abstract numbers with them that have no basis to use for comparisons.

This is not better.

Sure some tables may do that, but that doesn’t happen at our table so it’s better for us.

(I’m just explaining, not trying to persuade you. For me any encumbrance rules are a waste of design space - I just prefer DM fiat).


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Tridus wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
At the end of the day, the only thing that matters to us is if you slow down as you carry lots of stuff. The nuts and bolts of how that’s calculated really has no impact on play. Consequently, if bulk is faster (because the DM takes less care) it’s superior, since all that’s lost is something that doesn’t come up at the table.

Unless you cheerfully pick a number that's high, and now someone has a movement speed of 10 due to encumbrance. That's not fun, and they'll then argue that this item should really be a 2 instead of a 3 so they're not moving at the speed of molasses uphill on a glacier, and you're now arguing completely abstract numbers with them that have no basis to use for comparisons.

This is not better.

It seems a lot more likely, on balance, that a player will argue that an item should be treated as 2 units of vagueness instead of 3 units of vagueness than it does a player would argue that the number of pounds/kilograms assigned an item is incorrect.

And in the case of an argument coming up, it seems a lot more likely that a player who isn't only arguing to get what they want, sense be damned, will accept a GM's statements explaining why they picked the number of units of vagueness they did than it does a player would accept a GM's repeated "it weighs this many pounds" without collecting some outside-sourced evidence, like some thesis paper on O-Yoroi armor during the 10th century that covers the actual weights or the relevant equivalent.

I mean, I've seen people argue about the weights of D&D weapons before (20 pound sword?! You're joking, right?), and I can't imagine those same people complaining about a two-handed weapon taking up more vague-encumbrance-slots than a one-handed weapon.


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GreatCowGuru wrote:
...an empty vial has no weight and a filled vial weighs the same as padded armor, a javelin, a handcrossbow, or a light steel shield.

That's a "I've not completely grasped what bulk represents" issue, as the game does not in fact state anything even close to those items weighing the same.

Here's what the game does say: "The Bulk value of an item reflects how difficult an item is to handle, representing both weight and the size of the item."

Emphasis mine.


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As it appears others have touched upon earlier, Bulk as written is way too restrictive. Carrying Capacity in 1e was actually realistic (and, IMO, not hard to use) My groups always enforced it, and tracking it was easy, except for the quantity of items. Now, with bulk? My character that used to be able to carry a reasonable amount of stuff in their backpack is suddenly unable to handle much more than the absolute essentials. Bulk as written has ripped most of the player's ability for flavor out of it. Gone is the time when I could reasonably, after buying the essentials, stock up on background items, like some art tools for a Shelynite or the like.

On a personal note, having so many things have the same weight value damages my immersion and makes no sense.


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thenobledrake wrote:
GreatCowGuru wrote:
...an empty vial has no weight and a filled vial weighs the same as padded armor, a javelin, a handcrossbow, or a light steel shield.

That's a "I've not completely grasped what bulk represents" issue, as the game does not in fact state anything even close to those items weighing the same.

Here's what the game does say: "The Bulk value of an item reflects how difficult an item is to handle, representing both weight and the size of the item."

Emphasis mine.

Thats actually exacty what the system insinuates by making all of those items have an identical bulk value, which isn't a real value but a nebulous amount less then 1 full bulk.

That being said lets look at two examples here then shall we. An empty vial weighs absolutely nothing even if you have 10 of them unless the GM decides otherwise, 10 filled vials automatically counts as 1 bulk. Lets compare that to your points of emphasis the filled vial is no more difficult to handle, is the same exact dimensions as the empty vial, the only difference is weight which jumps from nonexistent to .1 only it's 0 till you reach 10.

Second example filled vial versus padded armor. The vial is smaller the padded armor, more easily handled, so the weight would be the only point at which it could be bulkier then the padded armor. The question is, does a small glass vial holding 1 ounce of liquid weigh more then padded armor does to justify them being the same bulk. My personal answer absolutely not, but due to everything less then 1 bulk being categorized as light bulk they functionally fall into the same height, weight, ease of carrying range and that simply feels wrong.

All of that would generally be summed up as the point of my original post which is to say how do people feel about expanding bulk ranges and dealing with slightly larger numbers so there can be some actual specificityand differentation among the bulk of objects.


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thenobledrake wrote:

Here's what the game does say: "The Bulk value of an item reflects how difficult an item is to handle, representing both weight and the size of the item."

Emphasis mine.

Yes, the game says a sack of 20 potions is as difficult to carry as a sack of 20 javelins or shields... Oh, I think I've completely grasped the rules, I just don't agree with it.

Paradozen wrote:
graystone wrote:
FULL STOP: why aren't you looking this up when you prepare beforehand when you read up on it first? There is NO reason you would have to go out of your way IN GAME
Because, as a human being, I do occasionally forget to check every piece of treasure in the game to see how much it would weigh in real life. And occasionally I miss a piece of treasure when preparing a game only to see it sneak up in the preprinted adventure mid-session and surprise me. And occasionally I'll assume an item has an established weight but be wrong.

This doesn't sound like a thing that would happen with enough frequency that it would be a big boon one way or the other. You basically saying On the off chance i forget something it might be easier...

thenobledrake wrote:
I mean, I've seen people argue about the weights of D&D weapons before (20 pound sword?! You're joking, right?), and I can't imagine those same people complaining about a two-handed weapon taking up more vague-encumbrance-slots than a one-handed weapon.

I'm sure you can have complaints with either system. My concern is that everyone isn't on the same page with a "vague-encumbrance-slots".

As an example: ask players to convert a a cart that in PF1 could carry 100 pounds. Ons might have it carry 10 B, one might say 15B and another might say 20B and the rule say any of them could be right. Then turn around and see how many L items they think would fit in that cart. First ask how many potions they think would fit in it. Next ask how many shields. Next how many javelins. Do you really think anyone is going to think the potions and shields take up the same space in a cart? There is a dissonance in how different in size, shape and volume things of the same category can be.


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It’s definitely a function of how much detail you want. Personally, I’d much rather they introduce gradations of wounds rather than encumbrance. The abstract nature of hit points is way, way more immersion breaking to me than bulk.

The situation of carrying twenty shields doesn’t come up much when we play, so all that matters is the overall effect (which seems roughly right most of the time in aggregate).

I always find the situation of high level PCs dying is much harder to grasp: I’m fine...I’m fine...I’m fine...I’m unconscious and dying. It still bugs me after years of playing.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

It’s definitely a function of how much detail you want. Personally, I’d much rather they introduce gradations of wounds rather than encumbrance. The abstract nature of hit points is way, way more immersion breaking to me than bulk.

The situation of carrying twenty shields doesn’t come up much when we play, so all that matters is the overall effect (which seems roughly right most of the time in aggregate).

I always find the situation of high level PCs dying is much harder to grasp: I’m fine...I’m fine...I’m fine...I’m unconscious and dying. It still bugs me after years of playing.

Well I wouldn't be opposed to seeing a wound system over hp it was certainly something in Dark Heresy and the other 40k rpg line that kept death and dying a very real and immediate possibility even at high levels. I think something thats less gritty than that but more threatening than the current death and dying rules and hp would hit a good balance, though it might just be one of those things people would consider breaking from tradition.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
The situation of carrying twenty shields doesn’t come up much when we play,

I can't say I agree on this. It's not uncommon for me to go back from a part of an adventure with a stack of enemy weapons, armor and shields. Secondly, Alchemist can start at level 1 making 8 potions at the start of the day and making more with quick alchemy, so it's not hard to imagine having large multiples of L items that are NOWHERE close in size, shape, volume or weight somehow taking up the exact same space...

Steve Geddes wrote:
It’s definitely a function of how much detail you want.

Personally I'd rather drop encumbrance all together. If we're going to keep it though, I just want it to make sense and be in a form everyone can agree on and imagine in the same way. For instance, I have no way to know if a 12 bulk item/PC will set off a 100 pound pressure plate and there isn't an ingame way to figure it out: I'd rather have things involving weight not be based on an innate 100% DM fiat variance. It just bugs me on a primal/base level.

Steve Geddes wrote:
The abstract nature of hit points is way, way more immersion breaking to me than bulk.

*shrug* I can't say this has ever been an issue for me. I'm fine with fantasy creatures reacting differently to damage [but in a consistent way]. It's not like the effect can randomly vary 100%.


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graystone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
The situation of carrying twenty shields doesn’t come up much when we play,
I can't say I agree on this..

A bold claim. I’m pretty sure you’ve never been there. :p

My point is not to argue that one method is superior. It was to explain to DerNils why it’s quicker at our table. The precision and attempt at simulation by using weight instead of bulk is a detriment in our case.

This is purely a matter of preference, there isn’t a correct answer because we all want different things out of an encumbrance system.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
A bold claim. I’m pretty sure you’ve never been there. :p

I'm looking at the 'we' from MY perspective with the quote, not talking about your game: IE, I can't say "the situation of carrying twenty shields doesn’t come up much when we play". My intent wasn't to talk about your game experience, but mine.

Steve Geddes wrote:
It was to explain to DerNils why it’s quicker at our table.

I understand what you were doing. I just haven't seen an explanation/reason that I can understand that that seems any easier or quicker in Bulk: if anything it seems to take MORE time and effort of you ever need to have an exact weight, like a pressure plate trap.

Steve Geddes wrote:
This is purely a matter of preference, there isn’t a correct answer because we all want different things out of an encumbrance system.

I can understand a preference, I really can. It's the 'quicker', 'easier' and other statements about bulk that I don't get.


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graystone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
This is purely a matter of preference, there isn’t a correct answer because we all want different things out of an encumbrance system.
I can understand a preference, I really can. It's the 'quicker', 'easier' and other statements about bulk that I don't get.

Here’s my answer

Again illustrative, not persuasive. The precision of weight leads our DMs to try and “get it right” whereas faced with the abstract bulk system they don’t think there is a right answer so they’re more comfortable plucking a value out of thin air and moving on.

In my case, I’m a fan of hand waving encumbrance when I run games. The bulk system is kind of a compromise for those players who feel they should track encumbrance and my DM fiat style.


Steve Geddes: I respect what you're saying but i think we might be at a place where we have to agree to disagree. IMO, it's wanting to do two opposing things at the same time with different goals. I'm happy it works for you but for the life of me I can't understand why. Iy just doesn't compute: I want to track encumbrance but don't care if I'm off by 100%... It hurts my brain thinking about it.


graystone wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

Here's what the game does say: "The Bulk value of an item reflects how difficult an item is to handle, representing both weight and the size of the item."

Emphasis mine.

Yes, the game says a sack of 20 potions is as difficult to carry as a sack of 20 javelins or shields... Oh, I think I've completely grasped the rules, I just don't agree with it.

I believe you have misread some part of my post that you quoted to reply with this statement, or the post which I quoted and was responding to.

The other person I was responding to said, to paraphrase "the game says a potion weighs as much as a light shield or a javelin", which is not true.

You have said, to paraphrase "the game says a potion affects a character's ability to character other things the same as a light shield or a javelin does", which is true, and is what I was pointing out to the other person.

I acknowledge your concerns regarding the vagueness of bulk resulting in one hypothetical table assigning one bulk value to some item, and another hypothetical table assigning a different bulk value to that same item. However, I find that concern to not be one I share because, not being a participant in any kind of organized league play, what happens at other tables than my own is entirely outside of my or my players' concern. Then, in the case of people who are participants in some kind of organized league play, where the issue of the same experience occurring across multiple tables is important, I find it more logical that the concern be that bulk values are assigned by the league rather than by individual DMs - so the "we can use bulk because someone might rule differently" concern isn't relevant.

As for you not liking the ranges of weight and unwieldiness each level of bulk represents, I think that's just down to preference. I could no more convince you it'll be fine for you to use the system than I could convince you to enjoy the taste of a particular flavor of ice cream.


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graystone wrote:
Steve Geddes: I respect what you're saying but i think we might be at a place where we have to agree to disagree. IMO, it's wanting to do two opposing things at the same time with different goals. I'm happy it works for you but for the life of me I can't understand why. Iy just doesn't compute: I want to track encumbrance but don't care if I'm off by 100%... It hurts my brain thinking about it.

I think we’ve been at that point from the beginning. This is all about preference, there isn’t any persuading to do, in my opinion, just understanding.

To me, using bulk is no harder to understand thanusing hit points: “I want to track wounds but don’t care if it’s totally unlike how getting wounded works”.

It isn’t contradictory, it’s valuing quick-and-easy over realism when choosing a subsystem (for our DMs at least who spend less time pondering bulk than they do weight).


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I strongly prefer abstract measurements in a fantasy setting. I would prefer we'd do away with "feet" to be honest, just use squares for tactical stuff and let people reckon with whatever units they prefer when the grid doesn't matter.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

I like the bulk system. I find it very easy to use, and easier to "eyeball" about what a given character build might be able to carry. Of the many things I would change or reorganize in the playtest rules it is not one of them, nor would want it to be considered a priority in terms of rules that need changing.

I recognize others feel differently. Just throwing the feedback out there for the devs as they see various views.


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DeathQuaker wrote:

I like the bulk system. I find it very easy to use, and easier to "eyeball" about what a given character build might be able to carry. Of the many things I would change or reorganize in the playtest rules it is not one of them, nor would want it to be considered a priority in terms of rules that need changing.

I recognize others feel differently. Just throwing the feedback out there for the devs as they see various views.

It's the first Diablo game's inventory system, of course its easy to use. It seems more like a sidebar rule than something that should get top billing. If you just want something easy, restrict players to 5 items they aren't currently using and call it good.

Grand Lodge

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I don't know if Bulk is bad, but it is certainly abstract. I prefer pounds because it's relatable.

-Skeld


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I don't mind bulk as a concept, I just don't like the scaling of it. And there's no easy way to fix it to allow people to carry as much as they did in PF1. Because even if you doubled or tripled the amount of bulk you could carry as a high str character, because of the way it works, you still wouldn't be able to carry as much as you used to.

The only way I could see it working is maybe that idea that items inside containers no longer apply to bulk, or at least had their bulk reduced. Because then high str characters could conceivably carry out the 10 longswords and 20 clubs, if they had they had the containers for it all. While low str characters would still probably be limited to just 10 or so more items than their armor, weapons, and whatever kit/spellbook they might need.

Silver Crusade

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Skeld wrote:

I don't know if Bulk is bad, but it is certainly abstract. I prefer pounds because it's relatable.

-Skeld

For you.

Grand Lodge

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Gorbacz wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I don't know if Bulk is bad, but it is certainly abstract. I prefer pounds because it's relatable.

-Skeld

For you.

Well, yeah, I did say, "I prefer," which implies it's my opinion. We're still able to express opinions (even dissenting ones) on the new edition, right?

-Skeld

Silver Crusade

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Skeld wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I don't know if Bulk is bad, but it is certainly abstract. I prefer pounds because it's relatable.

-Skeld

For you.

Well, yeah, I did say, "I prefer." What was the point of your comment?

-Skeld

That the "pounds are relatable" argument is lost on anybody who doesn't use them. I'm kind of fed up with Americano-centrism of D&D/PF (although I fully understand where it comes from), so any opportunity to ditch a measurement that's completely alien and adopt something abstract is the next best thing short of adopting kilograms and grams.

Now if only Paizo would ditch Fahrenehit and use some abstract temperature bands...

Grand Lodge

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Gorbacz wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I don't know if Bulk is bad, but it is certainly abstract. I prefer pounds because it's relatable.

-Skeld

For you.

Well, yeah, I did say, "I prefer." What was the point of your comment?

-Skeld

That the "pounds are relatable" argument is lost on anybody who doesn't use them. I'm kind of fed up with Americano-centrism of D&D/PF (although I fully understand where it comes from), so any opportunity to ditch a measurement that's completely alien and adopt something abstract is the next best thing short of adopting kilograms and grams.

Now if only Paizo would ditch Fahrenehit and use some abstract temperature bands...

That's a valid point. This works much better when you explain your point of view, rather than just make a snarky one-liner.

-Skeld

Silver Crusade

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Skeld wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I don't know if Bulk is bad, but it is certainly abstract. I prefer pounds because it's relatable.

-Skeld

For you.

Well, yeah, I did say, "I prefer." What was the point of your comment?

-Skeld

That the "pounds are relatable" argument is lost on anybody who doesn't use them. I'm kind of fed up with Americano-centrism of D&D/PF (although I fully understand where it comes from), so any opportunity to ditch a measurement that's completely alien and adopt something abstract is the next best thing short of adopting kilograms and grams.

Now if only Paizo would ditch Fahrenehit and use some abstract temperature bands...

That's a valid point. This works much better when you explain your point of view, rather than just make a snarky one-liner.

-Skeld

But snarky one-liners are the core of my existence...


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Well, thanks to this thread, I now know that if my shield gets broken I can now pull another light shield from the four stored in my belt pouch and continue fighting.

Good to know.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Now if only Paizo would ditch Fahrenehit and use some abstract temperature bands...

All game temperatures will now be in Kelvin. Better dress warm if it gets below 265!


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Gorbacz wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I don't know if Bulk is bad, but it is certainly abstract. I prefer pounds because it's relatable.

-Skeld

For you.

Well, yeah, I did say, "I prefer." What was the point of your comment?

-Skeld

That the "pounds are relatable" argument is lost on anybody who doesn't use them. I'm kind of fed up with Americano-centrism of D&D/PF (although I fully understand where it comes from), so any opportunity to ditch a measurement that's completely alien and adopt something abstract is the next best thing short of adopting kilograms and grams.

Now if only Paizo would ditch Fahrenehit and use some abstract temperature bands...

I don't know I'm croatian, we use metric, but 1kg=2lb has certainly been in use in our games. Even distances are not that problematic (1m=3ft for approximating), although temperatures are crap.

I'm in no to bulk camp, just to be on the record here. And we tracked most of encumbrance.

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