Bulk - sample characters math seems wrong? What am I missing?


Rules Discussion


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I'm skimming the 2E rules and I bounced into the equipment section to check out bulk. Bulk Limits are 5+StrMod.

The numbers are scary. But I'm being confused by the sample characters.

Alchemist listing says: 4 Bulk, 6 Light
Items say: Studded Leather 1, Dagger L, Sling L, 20 Bullets, LL, Adventurer's Pack 2, Alchemist's Tools 2, Bandolier -, Basic Crafter's Book L, 2 sets of Caltrops LL, Sheath -
Math says: 5 Bulk, 7 Light

Barbarian listing says: 3 Bulk, 5 Light
Items say: Hide Armor 2 , 4 Javelins LLLL, Adventurer's Pack 2, Grappling Hook L, 2 sheaths --,
Math says: 4 Bulk, 5 Light

Bard listing says: 4 Bulk, 3 Light
Items say: Studded Leather 1, Dagger L, Rapier 1, Sling L, 20 Bullets LL. Adventurer's Pack 2, Bandolier -, Handheld Instrument 1, Sheath -
Math says: 5 Bulk, 4L

Ranger listing says: 3 Bulk, 3 Light
Items say: Leather Armor 1, Dagger L, Longbow 2, 20 Arrows LL, Adventurer's Pack 2, Sheath -
Math says: 5 Bulk, 3 Light. This one is off by TWO!!!

What's going on? When you do the math correctly, the characters who usually don't need strength are right up against their encumbered stat with the bare minimums. Spare weapons? Only daggers. Crossbows or Shortbows? Unlikely. Carrying any amount of loot back to town? Better hope you don't have any encounters.

Any sort of dex-based duel-sword build is looking at bulk 5 just for 2 swords, leather armor, and an adv pack. The classes that usually have average strength can't carry anything (The Rogue would start at 5 Bulk so I hope they're not stealing anything with weight or their escape would be very difficult)

Even the str-based builds would hurt. Plate armor is 4 Bulk which eats up ALL of your required STR modifier. Leaving you with 5 Bulk for your Greatsword (2), Adventurers Pack (2) and Longbow (2) NOPE, TOO HEAVY, BETTER TAKE THE SHORTBOW.

Am I missing rules? Am I terrible at basic math? Help!

Otherwise - possible theories?

1> The Adventurer's Pack is supposed to weigh Bulk 1. Everyone is over by 1 Bulk (the Ranger by 2) and its the one item they all have in common. (The various differences in Light amounts seem to be ammo based with 20ammo weighing the same as 10)

2> Bulk Limit is actually 5+StrMod+Level so you can carry some loot? (still doesn't explain the bad math, but let's people carry their stuff maybe)

3> They really don't want anyone lowering stats below 10. An 8 STR rogue is now functionally useless.

4> Pathfinder 2E is meant to be like Outward the video game - drop your pack before every combat. That's why everyone has bandoliers! I would say they want you to leave the packs on the donkeys outside the dungeon, but that's where your chalk is!

5> Nobody takes encumbrance rules seriously, so even adding a new system nobody bothered to test it or make sure the math was right, and/or they botched it on purpose so that even less people would use it and they could eventually remove it outright.

Please tell me I'm stupid and missing something???

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Skimming is probably the issue.

1 Bulk = 11 Light items.

9 or 10 light items count as 0 bulk.

Hope this helps.


Eltacolibre wrote:

Skimming is probably the issue.

1 Bulk = 11 Light items.

9 or 10 light items count as 0 bulk.

Hope this helps.

I got all that. But it doesn't address anything I listed in my post? The Bulk numbers I listed were the BULK items, I separated the light items. I think you might have skimmed more than I have. Edit: And 1-9 light items = 0 bulk, but 10-19 items = 1 Bulk. Light items turn to Bulk at 10 not 11.

TLDR: The bard they have listed is 4 Bulk + 3 light. But if you check the items individually, its 5 Bulk + 4 light. Your Bulk Limit is 5+StrMod so if the Bard in question has a 10 STR the sample, starting bard is at 5 Bulk, 4 Light. And can only pick up 5 more light items before hitting 6 Bulk and becoming encumbered.


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I think Erik Mona said that Adventure's Pack is just 1 Bulk.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
stevelabny wrote:
Eltacolibre wrote:

Skimming is probably the issue.

1 Bulk = 11 Light items.

9 or 10 light items count as 0 bulk.

Hope this helps.

I got all that. But it doesn't address anything I listed in my post? The Bulk numbers I listed were the BULK items, I separated the light items. I think you might have skimmed more than I have. Edit: And 1-9 light items = 0 bulk, but 10-19 items = 1 Bulk. Light items turn to Bulk at 10 not 11.

TLDR: The bard they have listed is 4 Bulk + 3 light. But if you check the items individually, its 5 Bulk + 4 light. Your Bulk Limit is 5+StrMod so if the Bard in question has a 10 STR the sample, starting bard is at 5 Bulk, 4 Light. And can only pick up 5 more light items before hitting 6 Bulk and becoming encumbered.

Ah, you are worried about the looting situation. You can either invest into skill feats to become a "Do you even lift bro?" like Hefty Hauler (need to be trained in athletics).

Be a Dwarf (less penalty for being encumbered with one of their ancestral feat)

Drink potions of Ant Haul or cast the spell Ant Haul (it lasts 8 hours)

Get a lifting Belt (only cost 80 gold) and increase your bulk to 6+your strength modifier.

Get a Bag of Holding (old staple of the genre I know) type I only cost 75 gp and can carry 25 Bulk.

There are probably other work around for someone with low strength but those ones I can think of.


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Dante Doom wrote:
I think Erik Mona said that Adventure's Pack is just 1 Bulk.

Which is the only logical explanation for most of the math. But does anyone have a source for this?

But now it just means the bard can pick up 5 Light items and 1 shortsword before hitting the encumbered penalty. Which still seems too little.


Eltacolibre wrote:


Ah, you are worried about the looting situation.

Not JUST the looting situation. Using the Rogue/Bard as examples - they don't have crossbows or shortbows, they have either a climber's kit or an instrument but not both (imagine if you will a multiclass rogue/bard), other support kits range from Light to Bulk 2. At 10 STR they're significantly rationing their pack space. At 8 STR they better be just using daggers.

And there's always reasons to pick up other items before you even get to looting. Like "quest items". Or when you're high enough level that magic items should be expected, but you can't carry your Horn of Fog or Immovable Rod.

And like I said, even high STR characters - they used to be able to carry multiple weapons. Or to act as packmule for the weak members. Can't really do either of those anymore if they're wearing armor.

Looking into your suggestions they add 1 (lifting belt) 2 (hefty hauler) or 3 (ant haul) to your Bulk capacity before becoming encumbered. I hope they stack. The Dwarven feat only removes half the movement penalty, not the Clumsy condition, and dwarves are already slower so that doesn't really apply. So its BAGS OF HOLDING FOR EVERYONE.

I'm ALL for resource management being part of the game. But the numbers here seem a bit extreme. And the Adventurer's Pack being listed as Bulk 2 was making it even worse.

I think you're going to see this be an issue for anyone who doesn't just ignore it. Even if they're not Monty Hauling grand pianos out of the palace.


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stevelabny wrote:
Dante Doom wrote:
I think Erik Mona said that Adventure's Pack is just 1 Bulk.

Which is the only logical explanation for most of the math. But does anyone have a source for this?

But now it just means the bard can pick up 5 Light items and 1 shortsword before hitting the encumbered penalty. Which still seems too little.

It was said, however don't take his word for it just weigh out the gear. Also ignore ALLLLLLLL of the class kits too, I don't know what went wrong but their costs and weight are all off.

As for bulk, I personally prefer not having stupid amounts of stuff strapped to characters and then some how they fight.

Donkeys, hirelings, carts, bags of holding, spells. :)

A full wizard's kit (which is a lot of stuff btw) is 1 bulk 8 light, yet it is listed as 2 bulk 2 light in the CRB?
It is also worth 3 gold, 6 silver, 3 copper... yet is listed as 1gp 2sp.... and says that 1gp and 2sp from 15gp results in... 11gp 8sp?

Seriously, it is incredibly dumb.

But that kit is what

Staff, Backpack, Bedroll, Writing set, Component Pouch, Two belt pouches, 10 pieces of chalk, flint and steel, TWO WEEKS of rations, 5 torches, 50ft of rope, soap and waterskin.

That is a lot covered by 1.8 bulk (and yes I know the spellbook goes on top of that, but still)

So an adventurer's kit is 6L unless they are counting each torch as L, in which case then it is 1B and it needs to be clearer. And since we have so little consistency in numbers I am not willing to make the assumption that they are meant to be L per torch given how weird things are.


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So, backpacks only give you a convenient space to store up to 4 Bulk and still leave your hands free, right? As opposed to increasing your Bulk capacity by 4?


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
stevelabny wrote:
Dante Doom wrote:
I think Erik Mona said that Adventure's Pack is just 1 Bulk.

Which is the only logical explanation for most of the math. But does anyone have a source for this?

But now it just means the bard can pick up 5 Light items and 1 shortsword before hitting the encumbered penalty. Which still seems too little.

It was said, however don't take his word for it just weigh out the gear. Also ignore ALLLLLLLL of the class kits too, I don't know what went wrong but their costs and weight are all off.

As for bulk, I personally prefer not having stupid amounts of stuff strapped to characters and then some how they fight.

Donkeys, hirelings, carts, bags of holding, spells. :)

A full wizard's kit (which is a lot of stuff btw) is 1 bulk 8 light, yet it is listed as 2 bulk 2 light in the CRB?
It is also worth 3 gold, 6 silver, 3 copper... yet is listed as 1gp 2sp.... and says that 1gp and 2sp from 15gp results in... 11gp 8sp?

Seriously, it is incredibly dumb.

But that kit is what

Staff, Backpack, Bedroll, Writing set, Component Pouch, Two belt pouches, 10 pieces of chalk, flint and steel, TWO WEEKS of rations, 5 torches, 50ft of rope, soap and waterskin.

That is a lot covered by 1.8 bulk (and yes I know the spellbook goes on top of that, but still)

So an adventurer's kit is 6L unless they are counting each torch as L, in which case then it is 1B and it needs to be clearer. And since we have so little consistency in numbers I am not willing to make the assumption that they are meant to be L per torch given how weird things are.

If they count the waterskin as full, that is 1 bulk just for that. Adding in all the rest I come up with 1.9 bulk for the adventurer's pack, counting each torch separately.

It does seem overly strict on the carrying limit. I was reading another post on how fighters would want to have a couple of different weapons so they can use the special effects that match their opponent. It seems that will not be possible.

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

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Also, after all of the harsh decisions on what you can carry just to equip your character, then you need to realize that you can't carry any treasure out of the dungeon.


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I also noticed they changed how much characters weigh. In the playtest, small characters were 4 Bulk and medium characters were 8 (though the only way you could learn this was by reading the Petrified condition, of all things). And in the final version...

Small characters are 3 and medium characters are 6. Yep, you will only be sixty pounds soaking wet.

Mellack wrote:

If they count the waterskin as full, that is 1 bulk just for that. Adding in all the rest I come up with 1.9 bulk for the adventurer's pack, counting each torch separately.

It does seem overly strict on the carrying limit. I was reading another post on how fighters would want to have a couple of different weapons so they can use the special effects that match their opponent. It seems that will not be possible.

Yes, that is rather bass-ackwards. In P1E, you were rewarded for specializing in one weapon, but you were allowed to carry several. Now, P2E makes it so easy to explore the variety of weapons in a single character, only to make it practically character-suicide to take the system up on its offer.


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Tectorman wrote:
Small characters are 3 and medium characters are 6. Yep, you will only be sixty pounds soaking wet.

LOL since it's 5-10 pounds per bulk, you might only be 30 pounds soaking wet. ;)

PS: something is seriously wrong when I can carry a limp live halfling tossed over my shoulder or an alchemy kit and formula book carefully packed in a backpack and both options 'weigh' the same. :P


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
stevelabny wrote:
Dante Doom wrote:
I think Erik Mona said that Adventure's Pack is just 1 Bulk.

Which is the only logical explanation for most of the math. But does anyone have a source for this?

Mark Seifter confirmed to me at Gen Con that the bulk for the Adventurer's Pack was calculated incorrectly in the gear list, but was correct in the Class Kits. He said that if you add up what's in the pack it comes up to 1 Bulk, but I have not yet confirmed (should take a minute to confirm, but I'm still on my second cup of coffee).

Do we have a 2nd Ed Errata or FAQ forum for these? I haven't found one with a quick search.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
Small characters are 3 and medium characters are 6. Yep, you will only be sixty pounds soaking wet.

LOL since it's 5-10 pounds per bulk, you might only be 30 pounds soaking wet. ;)

PS: something is seriously wrong when I can carry a limp live halfling tossed over my shoulder or an alchemy kit and formula book carefully packed in a backpack and both options 'weigh' the same. :P

It's definitely very wonky. It's like the bulk system is simply intended to prevent characters from carrying 17 different weapons on their belt and 143 useful tools in their backpack.

It's good to have listed bulk values for carrying out your dead or unconscious party members, but those numbers do seem to be way off. I suppose we ought not to forget our buddy's gear while we're at it, though.

This said, I can very much imagine a backpack reducing the bulk value of the stuff it carries slightly, for those who are so inclined to do the math and accounting. But we all know, deep in our hearts, that whatever encumbrance system is used, most tables will still handwave it, as long as nobody really pushes their cheese off the plate.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Personally I am mostly happy with bulk as a simple system, and no one wants to be told it is impossible to carry out their dead or unconscious party members so having an artificially low bulk for that is fine by me, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of realism.


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Just for reference when packing:
Sacks/chests can hold 1 orc or 2 halflings with room to spare.
Backpacks can hold a halfling with 10 weeks of food.
a Bandolier can hold 8 bucklers or javelins...


graystone wrote:

Just for reference when packing:

Sacks/chests can hold 1 orc or 2 halflings with room to spare.
Backpacks can hold a halfling with 10 weeks of food.
a Bandolier can hold 8 bucklers or javelins...

Also you can pack a bandolier so effectively that you draw a whole tool kit taking all of the slots so quickly that it doesn't take an action.

But if you want to pull just 1 vial out of the same bandolier it's much slower and requires a whole action.

Makes you wonder about it's design...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's easy to criticize the absurd elements in the system.

A discerning table would rule that a bandolier can only hold light items that appear to be able to fit there, like potions, alchemical bombs, daggers, wands, scrollcases and similar shaped items.

If the CRB had been more exacting in item descriptions, this sort of proof ad absurdium wouldn't be necessary. But it would've been an even longer and heftier tome.


shroudb wrote:
graystone wrote:

Just for reference when packing:

Sacks/chests can hold 1 orc or 2 halflings with room to spare.
Backpacks can hold a halfling with 10 weeks of food.
a Bandolier can hold 8 bucklers or javelins...

Also you can pack a bandolier so effectively that you draw a whole tool kit taking all of the slots so quickly that it doesn't take an action.

But if you want to pull just 1 vial out of the same bandolier it's much slower and requires a whole action.

Makes you wonder about it's design...

I'm more impressed that a 2 bulk kit fits into an item that can only hold 8 L...

Wheldrake wrote:
It's easy to criticize the absurd elements in the system.

When they are this absurd, yes it is. ;)

Wheldrake wrote:
A discerning table would rule that a bandolier can only hold light items that appear to be able to fit there, like potions, alchemical bombs, daggers, wands, scrollcases and similar shaped items.

They ALREADY threw that off the table when they allowed tool sets in them. For instance, artisan tools are "tools to create items from raw materials with the Craft skill." That's saws, hatchets, picks, hammers, portable anvils, frying pans, waffle makers, pots, ect... Individual tools themselves range from 1 L to 1 bulk and they ALL fit in that bandolier.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Mark said the adventurer's pack is just one bulk, and is listed that way in the premade kits, but is incorrectly listed as 2 in the table on Know direction about 2-3 weeks ago.


graystone wrote:
They ALREADY threw that off the table when they allowed tool sets in them. For instance, artisan tools are "tools to create items from raw materials with the Craft skill." That's saws, hatchets, picks, hammers, portable anvils, frying pans, waffle makers, pots, ect... Individual tools themselves range from 1 L to 1 bulk and they ALL fit in that bandolier.

The description for bandolier doesn't say ALL tools can be stored there. No one expects you to be able to store an anvil or a garden hoe.

"Full set of tools, such as healer's tools" most likely means just that. Tools that are similar to healer's tools in size and utility. Thieves tools and Alchemist's tools would both be appropriate as they are made of small items. Even the Alchemist tools which contain bulkier items specifies that you keep "many [not all] of the components handy...[in] bandoliers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As to never being able to walk out with loot... Why is everyone worried about encumbrance? Just drop items before or at the start of combat. Your expected to drop your backpack or bag of loot (except the most valuable you could keep on you) during trouble, until you can get to a pack animal. The reality of pack animals has always eluded a lot of pathfinder/D&D groups. But, when you can lift 900 pounds with your belt of giant strength fighter, its easy to see why. Or worse your druid who turns into a bear and now gets bear buffs along with quadruped carry amounts.

Not to mention, realistically until you have magic means, you can make multiple trips. A throne made of gold will just be a pain to move and you should not be able to get away with it without all party members being encumbered or worse just to move it.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The ShadowShackleton wrote:
Personally I am mostly happy with bulk as a simple system, and no one wants to be told it is impossible to carry out their dead or unconscious party members so having an artificially low bulk for that is fine by me, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of realism.

This is exactly why the bulk of a creature was made so low. In Starfinder, where there's a similar bulk system but no such rules for creature bulk, a large Trox with 18 Strength will sometimes be unable to carry their medium comrade.

It also needs to be remembered that Bulk does not only refer to the weight of an item, but is rather an abstraction that represents how difficult something is to carry. It's meant to take into account other factors such as size and awkwardness, not just an object's weight.

During the playtest I was firmly in favor of sticking to PF1's weight tables (and I still am, though I think I'm in the minority), but at least PF2 has fixed some of Starfinder's most glaring issues with the system.

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