why are things heaver in second edition then first or other games


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one thing i am having a hard time raping my head around is bulk. it says on page 272 under estimating an items bulk that as a general rule an item that weights 5 to 10 Lbs is 1 bulk. now here is where i say things are heaver in this edition then first or even and other game, a long sword in this edition is 1 bulk so between 5 to 10 lbs. in first PF1 a long sword is only 4 lbs, that is not even one bulk. but a full water skin is L bulk but holds .5 gallon of water so 4lbs. and a great sword is 2 bulk in PF2 so 15 to 20 lbs and in PF1 its only 8 lbs. now these weights have been contestant over several platforms over more then 30 years its been constant. why the change. and full plate gets lighter in PF2 4 bulk (40 lbs) PF1 50 lbs. to me this math makes no sense.


Long items are Bulkier than their weight because they are harder to carry.


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Bulk is not the same as weight.

Bulk includes an "awkwardness" factor. Something that only weighs a few pounds but is long and narrow is more awkward to carry around on your shoulder than a compact cube of the same weight.

So armor might weigh the same as some other item, but because of its shape and size might be more "bulky"

The math makes no sense because its not just adding up weights.


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Nothing is heavier, it's just that weight is no longer the only concern that is measured and abstracted when seeking to answer the question "what can my character carry?"

Item's have their bulk assign based on weight, size, shape, and even how readily available for usage something is assumed to be when put where an adventurer would put it.

That's why you've got a lot of weapons that are 1 bulk despite varying sizes, shapes, and weights because those factors are mitigated by the need to strap the weapon onto a belt in a position that is easy to reach and draw the weapon, so you can't have that belt be cluttered up with other weapons. And also things like armor having different bulk based on whether you are wearing it or packing it along, other items too, and the errata has provided a stipulation that the first 2 points of bulk stored in a backpack don't count against your encumbrance total.

As for why the change: weight based encumbrance has been the norm for 45 years... and encumbrance tracking has widely been entirely ignored. So the Paizo folks have decided to try a new thing and see if it means people will actually use encumbrance tracking rules when they used to not. In some cases (my group, for example) that has worked.

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It's Bulk, don't make eye contact. Just keep walking.

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thenobledrake wrote:
As for why the change: weight based encumbrance has been the norm for 45 years... and encumbrance tracking has widely been entirely ignored. So the Paizo folks have decided to try a new thing and see if it means people will actually use encumbrance tracking rules when they used to not. In some cases (my group, for example) that has worked.

Yeah, the classic weight-based system wasn't working out in practice. Variants of Bulk have been used in a lot of third party products over the years that tried to replace it with a better system. It's not a surprising new innovation by Paizo.


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What do you mean "heavier"? Medium size creatures are only 6 Bulk, making the buggest, burliest hulk of a man you might play in this game 60 pounds at most.

In the meantime, I am IRL 5'9" and weigh three times that. Even turning such a hulking man to stone wouldn't make him as heavy as me.


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Here I thought this was a joke about the size of the new core rules.


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I honestly wish Paizo didn't even given the "general rule" of 1 Bulk = 5 to 10 pounds.
It's not very useful since anything can diverge from it, yet encourages people to think of Bulk as different "unit" of weight.

...Despite the OP's examples including water which is now MUCH "lighter", weeks or even months of water rations now carried with ease,
which I think makes clear the "general rule" isn't a solid rule at all, therefore considering it solid re: swords is ridiculous.
To point out the obvious (or not), swords are long objects so reasonably have higher Bulk ratio than an ingot of same amount of steel.

I really can't understand the confusion myself, clearly a "unit" influenced by size/dimensions and ease of carrying CAN'T be consistently convertible to weight because those factors are irrelevant to actual weight. But I guess some people WANT so hard to convert it to weight unit in order to continue "thinking" in same way, that they ignore those problems so they can have their neat direct weight conversion... only to find that yield other problems for the game, because Bulk ISN'T just another unit of weight that can be consistently converted to pounds or kilograms. How amazing.

I always thought the best explanation is a trucking or shipping company. While their trucks and ships may have maximum weight capacity, they are just as likely to be limited by another factor, whether it is total volume or single dimension of size, or some difficulty in loading/packing that prevents maximizing weight capacity. So they aren't going to "charge" just by weight, their prices will be some compound of all relevant factors. Bulk amounts to the same thing, just used for player characters.

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Quandary wrote:
I honestly wish Paizo didn't even given the "general rule" of 1 Bulk = 5 to 10 pounds.

Agreed.

That line alone is what makes Bulk such a mess to try and grasp. Bulk works great as a vague abstraction of weight and other measurements but then they needlessly threw out the abstraction and hardcoded the weight, which if you try to apply doesn’t make a lot of sense.


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thenobledrake wrote:
As for why the change: weight based encumbrance has been the norm for 45 years... and encumbrance tracking has widely been entirely ignored. So the Paizo folks have decided to try a new thing and see if it means people will actually use encumbrance tracking rules when they used to not.

Paizo folks themselves don't use the bulk rules - eg see the pregen characters. That maybe the greatest accomplishment of Bulk: even its creator doesn't use it. Maybe they should create a rule there're willing to use themselves instead of something random?


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Gaterie wrote:
Paizo folks themselves don't use the bulk rules - eg see the pregen characters.

Every pregen sheet has a line for bulk. It's the first line in the Equipment section.

The initial sheets only showed total bulk, but the revised sheets show both Worn and Stowed values.


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Arimal wrote:
one thing i am having a hard time raping my head around is bulk.

Don't even try: at it's core in an unknowable 'unwieldiness' factor that is applied in no comprehensible manner. You'll drive yourself mad trying to make sense of an inherently nonsensical rule. They worked very hard to make a system to get people that used weight/encumbrance in the past to stop using any system to measure carry anymore...

Quandary wrote:
I really can't understand the confusion myself

It's actually REALLY simple: you can put to piles of things next to each other that have the same bulk and it's 100% clear they aren't equal. The game is trying to tell me it's as easy to carry a knocked out person as it is 3 bo staffs. Whatever unit it is, it's clearly wrong...

Quandary wrote:
I honestly wish Paizo didn't even given the "general rule" of 1 Bulk = 5 to 10 pounds.

They HAD to as people have to be able to figure out the bulk of unlisted items: that's were confusion comes in as people have to be able to PICTURE what a unit represents. People should be able to imaging how hard it is to lift a 1 bulk bag like they can imagine a 10 pound one. Given an unknown item of 10 bulk, how do you know how much of that bulk is weight? Unwieldiness? Size? Who knows? Can you use 2 people to move it? Is it the same bulk [as unwieldly] if 2 people carry it? Again, who knows.

Rysky wrote:
Bulk works great as a vague abstraction of weight

I'd disagree. If I wanted it "vague", I'd just handwave the whole thing and eyeball it. If I wanted to track things, an actual tangible measurement works best. Bulk is a middleground that satisfies neither desire [tracking minutia or skipping small stuff] for [tracking vague stuff].

Dark Archive

I've seen bulk being easier abstraction to track for most people than weight, at worst bulk just causes funny images in head.

So this is probably wrong, but I get feeling that bulk seems to assume specific ways of carrying stuff(e.g. how would you carry stuff while walking normally and still having hands free to do whatever). Like in case of staffs, it wouldn't assume having all three bundled up in your hands or under armpit and more like having them vertically strapped on your back or something which would be somewhat awkward way to carry them. In case of corpse you probably would rather put it in wagon or something, but if you were to carry it and have hands free, you'd either have to put it over shoulder or piggy back it.


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"Weight" never made sense as the thing which limits what you can carry anyway. A strength 25 PF1 character (so a 12th level character who started with an 18 and has a +4 belt) has a max heavy load of 800 lbs- which means they can carry three 225 lb banquet tables. To get down to a medium load- put down one table, and if you are only carrying one banquet table you're down to a light load.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Paizo folks themselves don't use the bulk rules - eg see the pregen characters.
Every pregen sheet has a line for bulk. It's the first line in the Equipment section.

Yes, I can as well write "4B 7L no encumbrance" or some other random value on my character sheet. But this is not the rule. The rule is to sum up the bulk value given in the equipment chapter, not to chose some lower than the encumbrance threshold - and yet some pregen like Fumbus use the former rule instead of the official rule.

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I find it works better if you just think of it as inventory slots rather than encumberance.


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Gaterie wrote:
The rule is to sum up the bulk value given in the equipment chapter, not to chose some lower than the encumbrance threshold - and yet some pregen like Fumbus use the former rule instead of the official rule.

Have you actually looked at the revised pregen sheets?

They corrected a lot of errors.

It wasn't that they weren't using the rules. It was that there were mistakes on the sheets. Mistakes on a lot more things than just bulk. Mistakes that have been corrected.

Paizo uses the bulk rules on every single pregen. To say that "even its creator doesn't use it" is simply wrong. They've used it on every pregen since PF2 was released.

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Gaterie wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Paizo folks themselves don't use the bulk rules - eg see the pregen characters.
Every pregen sheet has a line for bulk. It's the first line in the Equipment section.

Yes, I can as well write "4B 7L no encumbrance" or some other random value on my character sheet. But this is not the rule. The rule is to sum up the bulk value given in the equipment chapter, not to chose some lower than the encumbrance threshold - and yet some pregen like Fumbus use the former rule instead of the official rule.

Check the errata for the Core Rulebook, they fixed some of the discrepancies.

Edit: ninjaed by CrystalSeas


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Rysky wrote:
I find it works better if you just think of it as inventory slots rather than encumberance.

Agreed, I think that should work for most people, and demonstrates abstract mechanics actually pose no problem at all when approached as such.

graystone wrote:
It's actually REALLY simple: you can put to piles of things next to each other that have the same bulk and it's 100% clear they aren't equal. The game is trying to tell me it's as easy to carry a knocked out person as it is 3 bo staffs.

So what? You can put two piles of things next to each other with the same weight, yet they can have other characteristics important to ease of carrying.

A weight based system tells you two objects are equally easy to carry simply because they have identical weight, when that clearly isn't realistic in the end.
In a game full of abstact mechanics, why is it problematic to use another abstract unit focused on player character functionality?

Quote:
Quandary wrote:
I honestly wish Paizo didn't even given the "general rule" of 1 Bulk = 5 to 10 pounds.
They HAD to as people have to be able to figure out the bulk of unlisted items: that's were confusion comes in as people have to be able to PICTURE what a unit represents. People should be able to imaging how hard it is to lift a 1 bulk bag like they can imagine a 10 pound one.
They don't have to, they can just have examples of range of objects as reference. Why isn't this a problem for video games with "inventory units"?
Quote:

Given an unknown item of 10 bulk, how do you know how much of that bulk is weight? Unwieldiness? Size? Who knows?

Can you use 2 people to move it? Is it the same bulk [as unwieldly] if 2 people carry it? Again, who knows.

You don't need to know it's weight, it told you all that matters re: how your abstract character mechanics will interact with it: it's bulk.

If it has conditionally variable bulk, it will explicitly state that, otherwise it has the same Bulk ease of carrying.
A weight based system is no more clarifying of those range of factors, in fact it's less clarifying.
You're just fixated on this one factor despite lacking inherent relation to other abstract game mechanics, because it feels "concrete".
But this "concreteness" isn't actually relevant to game mechanics, or even real world carryability/impact from "encumbrance".
You scream that it doesn't conform to "realistic" units, despite a pound-based mechanic being no more "realistic".

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It kinda reminds me of how HP is abstract system, but people don't really care about how realistic it is that you can get hit 100 times by by sword and survive if strength 10 character keeps rolling 1 on d8.

Or how you die instantly if you are beheaded or your heart is stabbed, but you can somehow survive coup de grace in 1e if you are really lucky :p

But yeah, lbs always bothered me especially when it came to stuff like figuring out "How DO you carry super heavy water clock treasure item" in otherwords players starting to argue with gm that mechanics say they can do so without being encumbered while gm is like that makes no sense because of how strangely shaped the item is(that is real example from one ap :P).

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Because it’s easier and more accustomed to interact with “if i pick this up how heavy is it” than “how many times can i get stabbed before i die?”

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The words "pound" and "realistic" should never be used in the same sentence. Same for mile, Fahrenheit and foot. Wayward colonies and their silly ideas...


I'm not a huge fan of bulk really. It seems just as abstract as previous editions just going by weight and not taking into account size and shape. That said eh It's fine for general purposes you just have to not take it to seriously. It's not to hard to use regular weight if you want just use the same weight as pf1 had.

(and yes darn colonizers but we've had that thread many a time before already.)


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Play Death Stranding (aka Norman Reedus & His Amazing Foetus) and you will instantly understand bulk.

It is probably the only thing you will actually gain understanding of from playing that game though.

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Everyone has had to move house or help a friend move house. Remember that light, but big couch with no real handholds? And that small crate of heavy books but with good handholds?

That's why bulk isn't just about weight.


Quandary wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I find it works better if you just think of it as inventory slots rather than encumberance.
Agreed, I think that should work for most people, and demonstrates abstract mechanics actually pose no problem at all when approached as such.
graystone wrote:
It's actually REALLY simple: you can put to piles of things next to each other that have the same bulk and it's 100% clear they aren't equal. The game is trying to tell me it's as easy to carry a knocked out person as it is 3 bo staffs.

So what? You can put two piles of things next to each other with the same weight, yet they can have other characteristics important to ease of carrying.

A weight based system tells you two objects are equally easy to carry simply because they have identical weight, when that clearly isn't realistic in the end.
In a game full of abstact mechanics, why is it problematic to use another abstract unit focused on player character functionality?

Let's see... Why is it harder to use an abstract unit that makes no sense than a number we can easily evaluate?

I guess we'll never get an answer to thsi question.

Anyway, bulk is so easy, it's not the kind of stuff that will be errated soon because the designers (the people who created this unit) had it wrong.

Oh, wait...

CrystalSeas wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
The rule is to sum up the bulk value given in the equipment chapter, not to chose some lower than the encumbrance threshold - and yet some pregen like Fumbus use the former rule instead of the official rule.

Have you actually looked at the revised pregen sheets?

They corrected a lot of errors.

It wasn't that they weren't using the rules. It was that there were mistakes on the sheets. Mistakes on a lot more things than just bulk. Mistakes that have been corrected.

Paizo uses the bulk rules on every single pregen. To say that "even its creator doesn't use it" is simply wrong. They've used it on every pregen since PF2 was released.

Rysky wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Paizo folks themselves don't use the bulk rules - eg see the pregen characters.
Every pregen sheet has a line for bulk. It's the first line in the Equipment section.

Yes, I can as well write "4B 7L no encumbrance" or some other random value on my character sheet. But this is not the rule. The rule is to sum up the bulk value given in the equipment chapter, not to chose some lower than the encumbrance threshold - and yet some pregen like Fumbus use the former rule instead of the official rule.

Check the errata for the Core Rulebook, they fixed some of the discrepancies.

Edit: ninjaed by CrystalSeas

???

... Seriously guys... It is to much to ask for a tiny bit of consistency? According to CrystalSeas, "there were mistakes on the sheets", and according to Rysky, there's an errata in the CRB changing the bulk values of items.

Are you at least aware you're making contradictory statements?

If the sheets use errated bulk values, then their computation aren't wrong. If they made mistakes when computing bulk, then the answer isn't in the CRB errata. It can't be both. At least one of you two is wrong, and yet it's very clear Rysky thinks his statement is confirmed by CrystalSeas. It's quite amazing how little sense you're able to make.

Bulk is so easy, there aren't two people giving the same explanation or using the same values.


Ascalaphus wrote:

Everyone has had to move house or help a friend move house. Remember that light, but big couch with no real handholds? And that small crate of heavy books but with good handholds?

That's why bulk isn't just about weight.

One of the convenient thing about gnomes and halflings are their handhold - this is why they are easier to carry than their armor.


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Gaterie wrote:

... Seriously guys... It is to much to ask for a tiny bit of consistency? According to CrystalSeas, "there were mistakes on the sheets", and according to Rysky, there's an errata in the CRB changing the bulk values of items.

Are you at least aware you're making contradictory statements?

The statements aren't contradictory.

There were errors on the sheets, some of them because errata hadn't been applied and some of them that were just a detail getting recorded incorrectly.

There are also some pieces of errata which affect the bulk of items, including one that makes some of the bulk you can store in a backpack not count toward your bulk limit, which happens to affect all those pregens since they have items in their backpacks.

Dislike the game, rail against it whenever you want... but maybe check your facts when doing so?


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Gaterie wrote:
It can't be both.

Of course it can. Rysky and I can both be correct.

There were errors on the pregen sheets. There were errors in the CRB. Both things happened. Both things got corrections.

And the corrections made to the CRB were reflected in the corrected pregen sheets. The unrelated errors on the pregen sheets were also corrected.


thenobledrake wrote:
Gaterie wrote:

... Seriously guys... It is to much to ask for a tiny bit of consistency? According to CrystalSeas, "there were mistakes on the sheets", and according to Rysky, there's an errata in the CRB changing the bulk values of items.

Are you at least aware you're making contradictory statements?

The statements aren't contradictory.

There were errors on the sheets, some of them because errata hadn't been applied and some of them that were just a detail getting recorded incorrectly.

There are also some pieces of errata which affect the bulk of items, including one that makes some of the bulk you can store in a backpack not count toward your bulk limit, which happens to affect all those pregens since they have items in their backpacks.

Dislike the game, rail against it whenever you want... but maybe check your facts when doing so?

Wait; there were two layers of errors in the bulks values of the pregens?

"oh, I don't understand why people don't understand the abstraction of bulk, this is so simple! Designers themselves are so confused, they make mistakes over mistakes, but hey..."

Quote:
Dislike the game, rail against it whenever you want... but maybe check your facts when doing so?

Wow, you got me.

Wait, aren't you one of the guy who was pretending everything was perfect about bulk? I can't understand: why is there an errata if everything was already perfect? could it be... You were wrong the whole time, while I was right the whole time?

... no, of course you'll never admit you were wrong. You will continue to argue in bad faith - eg pretending this errata was totally dispensable because a lot of game make dispensable errata 3 month after release. or something like this. I don't really care, I already your opinion is worth nothing - and I already know the kind of cognitive dissonance the useless fanboys like you are capable of - like arguing everything's perfect before there's an errata, and arguing the game didn't work before the errata the day after.

Anyway, you want some fact checking? I'm the first guy who actually checked the pregen and saw the errors. One post I did at the time. Yes, it was before the release, since it was already a problem in the playtest - alchemist were unplayable with the bulk rules. At that time, useless fanboys like you were too busy pretending everything was perfect to check anything.

I've re-done the computation after the release. And again, the pregen didn't use the bulk rules and the bulk rules were unusable (especially for alchemists), and again, useless fanboys like you were too busy pretending everything was OK to check anything. And this time, I wasn't the only one to check - I guess some people were actually playing the game and actually seeing in play a level 1 alchemist was literaly unplayable (while useless fanboys like you were to busy pretending everything's OK).

No, I didn't check the new new pregen. Partly because I'm not paid for that. Partly because there's so few ad about the errata, it's hard as hell to find (googling "Pathfinder 2 errata" leads to ENworld, reddit, and other forums; the only link to a site related to paizo is a thread on this messageboard asking why it's so hard to find an errata). I won't try to argue the goal of the errata isn't to point error in the CRB - it's not made for actual players, it's just ammo for a few fanboys who know how to find it so they can answer some criticism.

Anyway, even if I didn't check the new pregen with the new errated rules, I'm quite confident about one fact: you didn't check anything either. You didn't check anything before the errata, you didn't check anything after, and actually you have no idea if the pregen are working as advertised - you simply repeat what you've heard. You're still too busy doing your useless fanboy stuff to actually check anything. You're too busy pretending the rules are simple and intuitive even though it's now an admitted fact the designers themselves made several layers of errors to make any useful contribution to anything.

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Flagged for personal insult/abusive.


...so while I was just driving home from dropping the lady of the house off, I was thinking about the various rules for limiting what a character can haul around with them that I've read in various games over the years.

Does anybody else remember the little table of container volume capacities that showed up in AD&D and through to 3.5? I'm not sure if it was also in PF1, but that little table used to always leave me wondering why the authors bothered to include it since they didn't provide the necessary details to interact with those figures for the vast majority of items.

Like, I could figure out how many magical crystal balls I could fill a backpack with, but not how much food and cooking implements.

Contributor

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Gorbacz wrote:
The words "pound" and "realistic" should never be used in the same sentence. Same for mile, Fahrenheit and foot. Wayward colonies and their silly ideas...

BRITAIN: "Lol Wayward colonies and their silly ideas."

USA: "YOU MADE ME THIS WAY DAD!" *continues indulging in sanity-destroying units of measurement anyway*


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Tectorman wrote:

What do you mean "heavier"? Medium size creatures are only 6 Bulk, making the buggest, burliest hulk of a man you might play in this game 60 pounds at most.

In the meantime, I am IRL 5'9" and weigh three times that. Even turning such a hulking man to stone wouldn't make him as heavy as me.

I think there might be a gaming purpose behind Bulk as applied to creatures. The game presumably wants to encourage PCs to haul unconscious allies out of combat, so the Bulk of a creature is less than the Bulk of equipment of similar weight might be. Realism is not a factor here.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
The words "pound" and "realistic" should never be used in the same sentence. Same for mile, Fahrenheit and foot. Wayward colonies and their silly ideas...

BRITAIN: "Lol Wayward colonies and their silly ideas."

USA: "YOU MADE ME THIS WAY DAD!" *continues indulging in sanity-destroying units of measurement anyway*

No doubt that bag is really filled with unjustly collected taxes meant for Europe.

In all seriousness, I really like bulk, personally. It doesn't have to make perfect sense, just enough sense. It's easy to use and explain to players, and stops the tedious inventory tracking of PF1 while never getting so ridiculous as to be a non-element. It also eliminates some difficult math problems for incompetent idiots like myself.

(Seriously, Paizo I am not about to calculate the volume of the items I want to put in my backpack vs my backpack. I am flattered you believe me to be capable of that but I want you to know that your faith was beyond misplaced. You may as well pray to Baba Yaga for spells.)

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This thread increasingly feels like a living throwback to the circa 2010 days when some folks genuinely believed that the more you insult people and the more you paint yourself as the biggest smartypants in the room (bonus points for the use of phrases "<something> fallacy", "ivory tower game design" and "you're no longer part of this conversation, dismissed") the higher are the chances that developers will send you a personalized letter thanking you for your insightful contributions and offering you credits in the next book.

I thought that the long line of forum gravestones would have taught any newcomers that there's only one way this ends but alas, it is indeed human to try and step into the same river twice.


Putting words in people's mouths so you can insult them. This is becoming funny.


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MadMars wrote:
I am not about to calculate the volume of the items I want to put in my backpack vs my backpack.

Ooh, then you're gonna hate my hyper-realistic RPG called How Much Can You Carry. We take into account the weight and volume of every object, plus its location in a backpack, to calculate the amount of torque it exerts on your shoulders and lower back. Everyone is required to keep a detailed sheet of what order everything was put in, to prevent people cheating by only taking 6 seconds to remove an item from the bottom of the backpack.

Each collapsable item like flasks has its hardness and hit points tracked separately, and each round you have to roll a jostling check to see if items had shifted around and crushed other items based on the weight of items around it in the backpack.


I mean, the saving grace of bulk is that the part of it that doesn't make sense is easy enough to handwave away as it generally lies outside of the "expected heroic story" where characters carry things they think they will need, and not 70 bucklers in order to prove a point.

The game rules are not meant to be a universal simulation of the reality of the diagesis, such a system would be extremely cumbersome if not impossible, they're designed to streamline the sorts of situations the game is likely to produce. It's entirely possible for natives of Golarion to walk exactly 7 feet, even though the game rules only allow for increments of 5, after all.

Specifically, you never actually need to calculate the bulk of that sofa the PCs are hauling up the stairs- it's enough to say that carrying the sofa makes you encumbered until you put down the sofa.


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I think a better option than Bulk would have been to list out weights and volumes for each item, and impose limits on both instead of only weight. They sort of did this previously with e.g. bags of holding.

That way, everything would still be in logical, easy to use units, and the need to have something other than weight represented could have been met.

Bulk as a system is unusable for me and the games I run since it's excessively abstract for very large objects and the values for big creatures are nonsensical.


Almost all containers had some volume value. Any weight limit was usually on magic equipment along with its volume limit (Ex: Handy Haversack).

The problem was that you had to make up the volume of everything not explicitly described.

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sherlock1701 wrote:
That way, everything would still be in logical, easy to use units, and the need to have something other than weight represented could have been met.

That wasn't the design need though, it was "simplify so more people would actually use it".

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I can pretty much guarantee that if a game asked me to track volume AND weight I'd never use that system with even greater ferocity than I discard weight alone when measured in some abstract illogical rollerocaster of silly units. Pounds are bad, cubic feet are borderline ridiculous.


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People talking about the bulk to weight ratio, it is clearly for quick estimations rather than a hard world building rule -laughs- (hence the estimated bulk heading). There for GMs to have some guidance for coming up with answers on the fly (which is inherrently less intuitive, as sherlock points out in the quote below).

Me, I have been using both styles of equipment tracking for years between various systems and rule options.

I like running games with abstractions as in my experience players are either not reliable enough at tracking smaller details or just don't want to. Abstracted systems generally fare better and I loath hand waving encumberance.

As a player. I generally rather detailed encumberance and item tracking (including item damage/wear and in depth travel logistics). But only if the GM is enforcing it, which generally runs into issues from why I like running abstract.

3.X style equipment tracking (and weight values for that matter) always bothered me anyway, like a half measure. Not realistic enough to make me happy, granular enough to not be used by many.

sherlock1701 wrote:

I think a better option than Bulk would have been to list out weights and volumes for each item, and impose limits on both instead of only weight. They sort of did this previously with e.g. bags of holding.

That way, everything would still be in logical, easy to use units, and the need to have something other than weight represented could have been met.

Bulk as a system is unusable for me and the games I run since it's excessively abstract for very large objects and the values for big creatures are nonsensical.

I get it, and I would even be happy for it to exist as a future variant rule. But that hits the same wall paizo hit with the old system, too fiddly for most groups and will get handwaved. There was never a world where a system that made it more complex to track would end up in this game baseline.


Yeah, whenever it comes to resolving scenarios that have come up during play, I find that Bulk - even if I have to do a bit of look-up in the book to get an approximation - answers the needed questions a lot more rapidly than other systems I've read previously.

For specific example: The party has, as a party frequently does, found a room in a dungeon heavily laden with treasures. The question is simple: How much of the treasure can the party pack out in one trip with the containers they currently possess?

With bulk, I can find the relevant information in the rule book. Each full 1,000 coins is 1 bulk, and a sack can hold 2 bulk and still be worn on the body.

With the old weight-based system, I can find the weight of coins and how much weight a character can carry... and the volume of a sack. So I have to look up or invent the volume of a coin, which I don't remember being present in the rule book, and then divide the volume of the sack by the volume of the coin to determine how many will fit, then multiply by the weight of the coins and add the weight of the sack to finally have the thing I need to compare to the character's "carry stuff" rating.


I guarantee if the designers used kilo-gerbils per meter per hour as unit no errors would ever occur at any level.
Societies who use that unit have much less need for editors. Actually only professors of editing have jobs teaching editing science.
Some think their trade is useless. But if their society collapsed and all knowledge was lost of the kilo-gerbil per meter per hour,
the ancient art of editing would once again become critical to finding and correcting the unending chain of regrettable errors.

Gorbacz wrote:
I can pretty much guarantee that if a game asked me to track volume AND weight I'd never use that system with even greater ferocity than I discard weight alone when measured in some abstract illogical rollerocaster of silly units. Pounds are bad, cubic feet are borderline ridiculous.

Please... Cubic inches. 1728 per cubic foot. Thank you very much.


David knott 242 wrote:

I think there might be a gaming purpose behind Bulk as applied to creatures. The game presumably wants to encourage PCs to haul unconscious allies out of combat, so the Bulk of a creature is less than the Bulk of equipment of similar weight might be. Realism is not a factor here.

Absolutely, and I believe the same applies for food and water, the latter especially is particularly heavy per volume and carrying more than 2 days supply is a significant burden in reality. Making them so light even a relatively weak character can carry a week's supply obviously services a perceived game need or convenience. Anyways, enough of this subject...


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Quandary wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

I think there might be a gaming purpose behind Bulk as applied to creatures. The game presumably wants to encourage PCs to haul unconscious allies out of combat, so the Bulk of a creature is less than the Bulk of equipment of similar weight might be. Realism is not a factor here.

Absolutely, and I believe the same applies for food and water, the latter especially is particularly heavy per volume and carrying more than 2 days supply is a significant burden in reality. Making them so light even a relatively weak character can carry a week's supply obviously services a perceived game need or convenience. Anyways, enough of this subject...

I get why they did it, but I am likely to change rations to L per day. Rations for a week sound like an easy thing to track until people start splitting up ration use with subsistence rolls and trips to town.

Talking about weird unnecessary niggles... I am somewhat excited to see them errata torches/candles and stipulate how long they last for officially. :)


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
you never actually need to calculate the bulk of that sofa the PCs are hauling up the stairs- it's enough to say that carrying the sofa makes you encumbered until you put down the sofa.

How Much Can You Carry Society Scenario #1-01

Fed up with the constant death and destruction caused by artifacts at the Blakros Museum, the Absalom City Council has ordered the museum condemned and its owners evicted. Pursuant to ACC Code 2.7.18(e), the council must solicit competitive bids for the hauling and disposal of Non-Qualified Mixed-Magic Artifacts. Can the PCs estimate the aggregate Bulk of the NQMMAs in 10 business days or less?

Primary success criterion: NQMMA bid cost ratio of less than 1.5 gp per standard human workhour using floating disk, or less than 2.5 gp per standard human workhour without floating disk.

Secondary success criteria: one or more of the following:

- NQMMA bulk estimation error does not exceed 20% of values listed in Table 1.

- No more than 10% inclusion of Qualified Mixed Magic Artifacts in bid.

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