Bulk and Backpacks, Bandoliers, Belt Pouches, and other "Bags"


Rules Questions


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One poster speculated that the following items were supposed to have more interaction with the Bulk system:

Backpack, L, holds 4B
Bandolier, -, holds 8L or one set of tools
Belt Pouch, -, holds 4L
Quiver, conspicuously missing from CRB(!)
Sack, L, holds 2B or 8B
Satchel, -, holds 2B
Saddle Bags, -, holds 3B on mount
Scroll Case, -, holds scrolls and maps
Sheath, -, holds one weapon
Vial, -, holds one ounce of liquid (L?)
Waterskin, L, holds B

I speculate that for gamers that want to track where they store their equipment, these items are for being explicit about that placement.

What do you think?


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Well considering they don't give you any carry weight increases.

They're really just for tracking placement for loss or damage I assume.


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

Containers have been a standard item on equipment lists since 1974. Remember that the first edition of D&D suggested using the game "Outdoor Survival" to track wilderness expeditions, so any camping gear like backpacks, rope, tents and so on have been with RPGs since their inception.

Naturally, when I start listing equipment for a character, I preface each section with a container. So I'll write, for example:
- bandolier w/6 daggers
- belt pouch w/writing set & 6 vials
- backpack: (followed by a list of everything I could spend money on)

There is some room for arguing that bulk should decrease slightly when you group items together in a container. Without resorting to bags of holding and such, perhaps an ordinary backpack could reduce the carried bulk of items inside by 10%. I suspect our pals at Paizo didn't want to bother with such minutiae since the entire purpose of the bulk system was to get away from niggling book-keeping details. It's nice that you can just ignore "L" items as long as you don't have too many of them.


I think it is really mostly for the old question "What do you have on you right now"? Like, do you really have your backpack on at the formal dinner, or you escape and run leaving everything but your backpack behind, etc.

Sovereign Court

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Hmm, prefacing groups of equipment with their container is a nifty idea actually. That also enables a playstyle where you might carry an encumbering amount of weight during exploration but drop a pack at the start of combat.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

A bandolier allows you to retrieve the item as part of the action to use it, so there's that.

Exo-Guardians

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rainzax wrote:
I speculate that for gamers that want to track where they store their equipment, these items are for being explicit about that placement.

I think this is exactly it. I'm one of those players and I appreciate having backpacks, belt pouches, waterskins, etc. in the game. I like tracking what gear is in what container, even though my GM and fellow players generally prefer to handwave that sort of thing.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
OffRoadSP wrote:
A bandolier allows you to retrieve the item as part of the action to use it, so there's that.

I think this is only true for a dedicated toolset. All other items retrieved would require an Interact action.


The thing I don't like about the bandolier is that technically my alto sax doesn't fit on it.

And my goblin bard wants to play Careless Whisper in combat.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Another consideration is that things stored in a backpack require a separate action to take the pack off, then another action to grab the item (then either you drop the pack or spend your last action putting it back on). I’d hoped that a benefit of a handy haversack would be you can just reach in while it’s strapped and the item you want just goes into your hand, but I haven’t found my favorite item in the book quite yet


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

Use a satchel that hangs at your side. It only carries 2 bulk, but that's up to 20 (or 29) light items. Then you shouldn't need extra actions to remove it from your back.

Many of the characters I've been creating have 2 bandoliers, one for daggers and the other for a healing kit or thieves tools. AFAICT the CRB doesn't say you can't wear more than two of them, but that's the rule I'll be using.

If one day there is a handy haversack, it ought to be a satchel rather than a backpack.


Wheldrake wrote:
If one day there is a handy haversack, it ought to be a satchel rather than a backpack.

You can always pick up a Knapsack of Halflingkind and pretend it's a handy haversack. ;)

EDIT: myself, I want it to be a backpack. I like all my stuff being strapped to me so when the inevitable shipwreck scenario happens and you lose easily removable items [like satchels], I'll have my backpack. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Is it just me or does the distinction between readied and stowed items have no practical impact on the game? Stowed ones require an Interact action to get, but I assume something like a potion on a bandolier doesn't count as stowed (this isn't clear in the CRB). Nothing says you can't have multiple bandoliers and belt pouches, so I don't see how their capacity is relevant. Even ignoring these containers, obviously a rogue has a dagger in her boot, the archer has a quiver, the cleric has a holy symbol around their neck, the bard keeps their instrument handy, etc.

Why not just assume PCs keep everything they might need in combat handy, and it's only making use of it or tossing it etc that requires an action? As a GM, anything else seems pedantic, even as someone who loves tactics and crunch.


viemexis wrote:
quiver

Quiver? What's that? I don't see this quiver thing anywhere in the book...

Actually it shows up once in the item description of Ghost ammunition: Somehow "it reappears in the last quiver or other container it was taken from" though nowhere else does the book mentions the item. :P


Just use the Sheath item as a quiver, or say it includes the option. The flavor matches.


james014Aura wrote:
Just use the Sheath item as a quiver, or say it includes the option. The flavor matches.

LOL Clearly, my arrows magically stick to me back like magnets and no longer need mundane containers like a quiver. Too bad you can't put ammo in a bandolier [only holds light Bulk items or tool sets and ammo is 1/10th L].


viemexis wrote:
I assume something like a potion on a bandolier doesn't count as stowed

There is no reason to assume this, only tools are called out as being able to be taken out as a part of the action to use them. If it was different then everything would be called out and bandoliers would make most quickdraw feats meaningless for light weapons and bomber alchemists.

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