Wednesday, February 22, 2017

PCs of Burden

On the road again
So after writing up a version of The Angry GM's travel rules last week, I have been thinking about encumbrance. See, Angry says you can use encumbrance rules, particularly the variant rules, if you want to. but i hate the idea of keeping track of weights for every dang thing I'm carrying. And If I don't want to do it, I guarantee my players won't.

So, based on some ideas I've seen elsewhere, I put together my own version of encumbrance rules. I haven't started using it yet, but I think it will be easier than dealing with individual item weights, and can actually encourage players to think about their travel situation. Do they need horses and carts? How much does a bag of holding help, really?

I'm pretty excited about it.

Encumbrance Rules
Max out strength for great potential. Gnome barbarians forever!
Your size and your strength score determine how many slots you can use to carry items. If you aren't wearing a backpack, your slots are halved, since you only have so much space on your belt, hands, and pouches.
  • Tiny: 1 slot for every 4 points of strength
  • Small: 1 slot for every 2 points of strength
  • Medium: 1 slot per 1 point of strength
  • Large: 2 slots for every 1 point of strength
  • Huge: 4 slots for every 1 point of strength
  • Gargantuan: 8-16 slots for every 1 point of strength
Your first two slots automatically go towards anything marked as a “free” slot. This includes your basic armor and weapons, as well as things you would normally wear or carry without much trouble. If you really need those last two slots, you'll have to give up your basic fighting gear and gold.

A creature with no slots (such as a tiny creature with a strength of 2) can only carry a single small item. Note that this assumes medium-sized items. Pixies and sprites, for example, can carry their clothing and equipment because it is appropriately sized.

If a character tries to push or drag an object, they can do so if it weighs less than double their remaining slots, or about 30lbs per slot. Lifting an object requires an equal amount of slots, or about 15lbs per slot.

Using Slots:

Gold, Gems, and Art objects:
Everyone gets 1 free slot for coins and gems, up to 10,000 GP in value. After that, coins and gems require 1 slot per 10kGP in value. As you'll see, this can be broken down into partial slots if needed.

Most art objects act as a small item, taking up 1/5th a slot.  Large or heavy objects (paintings, tapestries, idols, jugs, etc) take up 1 slot, and extremely large or heavy objects (thrones, idols, chariots, etc) can take up to 10 slots. Really big items (that golden statue of the Evil Overlord) can weigh anywhere from 60 to over 1000 slots.

Everyone gets 1 free slot for armor, which can also be used for clothing if armor is not being worn. Scale mail, Half plate, and all heavy armors take up an extra slot. They also take up 2 slots when carried, whereas all other armors take up a single slot. Padded armor or normal clothing counts as a small item, taking up 1/5th of a slot.

Everyone gets 3 free weapon slots, which include ammunition as long as it is in a quiver, pouch, or case. Any extra weapons take up one slot each.

Some weapons are small and can be carried more easily. In a single slot, you can carry 2 daggers, 2 handaxes, 4 javelins, or 10 darts. Also, slings and blowguns are small enough to be carried without using a slot.

A dwarf who knows his way through mountains, valleys, and the turtleneck section of Kohl's
Adventuring Gear:
Most of the items on the adventuring gear table (PHB pg. 150) counts as a small item, taking up 1/5th of a slot.

You can carry a backpack, up to 10 rings, a pair of boots, a hat, up to 10 amulets/necklaces, and any pocket-sized trinkets (from the trinket table, PHB pg. 160) without using a slot. Additionally, some objects are small enough that a group of them counts as a small item. You can use 1/5th of a slot to carry 5 candles, 3 hand bells, 3 books, 30 pieces of chalk, 2 flasks, vials, or bottles of any liquid, 10 pitons or iron spikes, 3 days of rations, 10 sheets of parchment or spell scrolls, 2 scroll cases, or 10 torches.

Also, some items can come in a set and be stored as a single small object.
  • Ink + Ink Pen + Sealing Wax
  • Lock + Key Ring
  • Whistle + String
  • Soap + mirror
  • Censer + Incense
Component pouches, holy symbols, and most arcane or druidic focuses don't use a slot. Wands or staffs used as a focus count as a weapon. Spellbooks count as normal books, so a wizard can keep two of his other favorite books with him as a small item.

Some heavy items take up an entire slot: barrels, bedrolls, buckets, chests, ladders, 10ft poles, 50ft of rope, sledgehammers, shovels, hunting traps, portable rams, and tents. However, if you are wearing a backpack, you can reduce the weight of these items to 2 small items by strapping them to the outside of the pack.
Whatever you do, don't judge your players for picking up stupid, meaningless things
Tools and Trade Goods
A set of tools or an instrument takes up 1/2 a slot. A gaming set counts as a small item. Any trade goods can be carried using a single slot for 15lbs of material. This is generally true of miscellaneous loot such as dragon scales or wolf hides that the players pick up.

Equipment Packs:
The packs should be divided up into their components and counted separately.
  • Burglar's Pack: 3 slots and 2 small items
  • Diplomat's Pack: 3 slots
  • Dungeoneer's Pack: 2 slots and 2 small items
  • Entertainer's Pack: 1 slot and 4 small items
  • Explorer's Pack: 2 slots
  • Priest's Pack: 1 slot and 2 small items
  • Scholar's Pack: 1 slot
Magic Items:
Armor/weapons: as normal
Potions/scrolls: as small items, 10 potions/scrolls take up 1/5th slot
Rings: no slot
Rods/staffs/wands: as weapons
Wondrous Items: as art object/adventuring gear equivalent
You can't tell, but that little backpack can hold 1000 slots
Creatures (weight):
Meaning, yes, you might have to have a slot open if you want your imp familiar to sit on your shoulder.
Tiny: 1 small item - 2 slots
Small: 3-7 slots
Medium: 8-12 slots
Large: 13-20 slots
Huge: 21-40 slots
Gargantuan: 41-1000 slots

Getting more Slots
His charming personality imposes quite a few slots of stress on his teammates
Now, it might seem like even a small haul from a dungeon would be beyond a party of adventurers to carry. And I agree. But how much should a person really be able to hold while they are still capable of walking and fighting? Fortunately, this is a game where gold can get you everything you ever wanted. Including the ability to carry more! But wearing multiple backpacks won't help you. Rather, you need something to help you spread out the weight burden.

Camel: 32 slots (large)
Donkey/mule: 14 slots (medium)
Elephant: 176 slots (huge)
Draft Horse: 36 slots (large)
Riding horse: 32 slots (large)
Mastiff: 6 slots (medium)
Pony: 7 slots (medium)
Warhorse: 36 slots (large)
Animal-specific items:
Barding: uses up half available slots
Bit and bridle: none
Saddle: 1 slot (2 for a huge creature's saddle)

Remember that animals require food! A medium animal eats as much as a character, whereas large animals eat twice as much and huge animals eat eight times as much. So some of what your horse will carry might be its own food.

Untrained: 5 slots
Skilled: 10 slots

Alternate title: "The Hireling's Fate"
For this, I'm using the idea that a slot equals 15 pounds of material, and that the average "passenger" weighs around 12.5 slots.
Carriage: requires 20 slots to pull, provides 50 slots
Cart: requires 5 slots to pull, provides 20 slots
Chariot: requires 5 slots to pull, provides 10 slots
Sled: requires 40 slots to pull (20 in sand/snow), provides 30 slots
Wagon: requires 30 slots to pull, provides 100 slots

Ships: (DMG pg. 119)
Airship: requires 10 skilled crew, provides 155 slots 130 slots and 20 passengers
Galley: requires 80 skilled crew, provides 20,000 slots but no room for passengers
Keelboat: requires 1 skilled crew, provides 150 slots or 75 slots and 6 passengers
Longship: requires 40 skilled crew, provides 3,500 slots or 1,500 slots and 150 passengers
Rowboat: requires 1 skilled crew, provides 40 slots or 3 passengers
Sailing Ship: requires 20 skilled crew, provides 13,500 slots or 13,250 slots and 20 passengers
Warship: requires 60 skilled crew, provides 27,500 slots or 26,750 slots and 60 passengers

Magic Items:
Apparatus of Kwalish: 30 slots or 5 slots and 2 medium passengers, weighs 10 slots
Bag of Holding: 30 slots, must be able to fit through opening, weighs 1 slot
Daern’s Instant Fortress: 1,000 slots when expanded, 0 when collapsed, counts as a small item
Heward’s Handy Haversack: 1 slot per side, 5 slots in main, counts as backpack
Immovable Rod: holds 535 slots before failing
Portable Hole: 80 slots, counts as a small item
Quiver of Ehlonna: 10 slots, limited as described by items, doesn't use up a slot

Leomund’s Secret Chest: 5 slots, tiny chest is a small item
Leomund’s Tiny Hut: 10 slots per person not inside (max 90)
Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion: 1500 slots (apart from furnishings)
Rope Trick: 10 slots per person not inside (max 80)

Mundane Items:
These are really for storage only, carrying them still requires full slots for contents
Barrel: 1-5 slots
Chest: 3-7 slots

Of course, I don't expect the players to keep track of all this junk on their character sheet. That would be even more insane. Instead, I designed a small sheet, much like the spellbook sheets, that they can add to their character sheets and use separately.

In all its glory
I'll put this up on my Google Drive, you can access it here. I also included a sample of the Bag of Holding and some hirelings!

Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment