Abstract System for Encumbrance

Enhancements, equipment, and other externalities in the e20 System.

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Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:45 am

We don't have the Free Lance sections up, but I wanted to post this idea before I forgot it. My idea is simple all items will be given a number of "encumbrance points" based upon their size, weight, and shape. My rule of thumb right now is that 5 pounds = 1 encumbrance point, but this is subject to modification. For example I feel that any full sized handgun should have an encumbrance rating of 2 even though the vast majority of handguns weigh less than 5 pounds. Some objects are so light that they might only have an encumbrance rating of a 1/2 point or even a 1/4 point. This system deals in fractions but the math is still kept clean enough that even a child could handle it. The idea is that a character will be able to carry number of encumbrance points equal to his STR score before he becomes lightly encumbered. Certain pieces of equipment might allow the character to carry more, for example a backpack might allow a character to carry 4 extra encumbrance points (4 is a completely arbitrary number thrown out for this example), and a rifle sling might lower the encumbrance rating of the rifle by 1 or 2 points.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:51 pm

I think you have the basis of something good here. It reminds me of how the postal service (or UPS or Fedex) charges for packages: you pay by weight, but there is also a price floor based on object size. To put it another way, if you fill a 2-ft cube box with packing peanuts, it will weigh almost nothing, so the cost to the postal service to carry it is determined primarily by the volume, not the weight. Instead of paying for the actual weight, you would pay as if it weighed n lbs per cubic foot.

If I understand you correctly, you're proposing that an object's "encumbrance" score is a composite of it's weight and it's size. Going back to the example of a big box full of styrofoam, it might have 3 points: one for weight, plus two for size, or something along those lines. As an abstraction, I like it. It also makes containers a lot more valuable: containers can provide an encumbrance "discount:" a handgun in a well-made holster encumbers you less than a handgun in your hands; likewise, a large and/or heavy object doesn't encumber you as much in a backpack as it would in your hands. This could be modeled as follows: a holster reduces the encumbrance of a handgun by one step on the standard progression (50% off), or a backpack reduces the encumbrance of any object placed in it by one step on the expanded progression (1/3rd off).

I would prefer to stay away from fractional encumbrances, though. Instead, just multiply everything by some constant so that they're all integers. For example, instead of saying that 1 point is 5 pounds and your capacity is equal to your strength, say that 1 point is 1/2 pound and your capacity is equal to 10x your strength. For objects less than 1/2 pound, handle them in 1/2 lb groups with partial groupings costing full price (e.g. a group of 5 darts has an encumbrance of 1; if you have 12 darts they are worth encumbrance 3 (5,5, & 2). For really small objects, treat them as negligible.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:05 pm

Yes the alternative to using fractions is simply to multiple STR times a constant, but what I like about the fractions is it made it really easy to remember exactly how many encumbrance points worth of stuff a character could carry before they became encumbered. If we wanted to use my system exactly as and only eliminate the fractions it would be STR X 4. This brings up another point though d20 has always been overly lax with encumbrance since it's creation, we all know the players that carry an armory that is sufficient enough to equip a small army in their backpacks. Also the size issue comes up throwing knives weigh next to nothing but carrying two of them takes up about as much room as a small handgun. I'm not saying we make a perfectly realistic system (I don't want to deal with that anymore than anyone else does) but let's at least cut back on the party Rogue carrying a full set of field-plate in his backpack that he found while exploring the dungeon.

But yes you are right my abstract encumbered points are a composite of weight and size. For example a empty 6X6 cardboard box is kind of hard to carry even though it would weigh very little.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby GMSarli » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:14 pm

One alternative to using fractions would be to designate very small items as being worth 1 point for a group of 5 (or fraction thereof); that way you don't have to add fractions, but you get roughly the same effect.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:49 pm

That's good idea Gary. Lucas's idea was good too but by ignoring very small and negligible items we keep the system very clean and streamlined. It's easy to remember that you can carry as many as encumbrance points worth of stuff as your STR score. I don't think we can make an encumbrance any easier or more streamlined than that.

I think we just broke d20 history again by being the first ones to come up with a truly effective and streamlined encumbrance system.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:29 pm

Darthmoe wrote:Yes the alternative to using fractions is simply to multiple STR times a constant, but what I like about the fractions is it made it really easy to remember exactly how many encumbrance points worth of stuff a character could carry before they became encumbered. If we wanted to use my system exactly as and only eliminate the fractions it would be STR X 4.

Remembering that your capacity is 10xSTR is literally just as easy as remembering that your capacity is 1xSTR: in a decimal system, multiplying by ten is trivially easy. You originally suggested capacity of 1xSTR and 5 lb/pt; I just moved the decimal point by making it 10xSTR and 0.5 lb/pt. I'm not sure why you think that 4xSTR would be more similar to your original proposal than 10xSTR.

Darthmoe wrote:This brings up another point though d20 has always been overly lax with encumbrance since it's creation, we all know the players that carry an armory that is sufficient enough to equip a small army in their backpacks.

d20 has never been lax about this, GMs have tended to be lax about it. The question is: why? Why have players tended to ignore the encumbrance rules, and why have GMs tended to allow it? I can think of more than one reason, but the biggest one is that the encumbrance rules are such an encumbrance (yeah, that's right, I just went there). You have to literally keep a running accounting of everything you are carrying and how much it weighs. If you were just carrying weapons, armor, and some ammo then it wouldn't be such a problem; it's all of the other crap that adventurers have to schlep around like torches, rope, tents, etc. Your proposed abstraction doesn't help with this problem at all: people still have to keep a ledger, they just keep it in "made up units" instead of pounds. I still think the abstraction has value and should be adopted, but we have to keep looking for additional changes in order to streamline encumbrance.

I think that a good way to go would be to borrow from the resources system and develop a check to determine whether or not a character is carrying a particular piece of gear. For example, if an adventurer needs a torch, he would make two checks: first, a resources check to see if he owns any more torches, and second a "backpack" check to see if he has any left with him. A failure of the second check would indicate that he didn't pack any, or that he didn't pack enough and ran out, or that he had some in his pack but they were somehow damaged beyond the point of usefulness. This would require even more abstraction: an item's value for this check would have to be a function of weight, volume, and rarity. For example, a sleeping bag might be heavy and bulky, but pretty much anyone planning to spend the night outdoors will have one. Conversely, some specialized tools might be small and light, but most people don't take them camping. Just as buying high-value items reduces your resources, we could include a mechanic by which adding specific items to your pack reduces your chances of "finding" other things in your pack when you need them (e.g. you threw out the rope to make room in your backpack for that snazzy new magic sword you found; this seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned out poorly when you later needed the rope).

Darthmoe wrote:Also the size issue comes up throwing knives weigh next to nothing but carrying two of them takes up about as much room as a small handgun.

I would not consider size to be a significant factor for either throwing knives or handguns: both are made of dense materials, meaning that their encumbrance would be predominantly a function of weight, not size. I think a good rule of thumb would be for metal objects to have encumbrance equal to 1xweight/[encumbrance point value]. For example, if encumbrance points were worth 1/2 lb, a 1-lb metal knife would be worth 1x1/0.5=2. A stone object might have encumbrance of 1.5xweight/[encumbrance point value], while a wood object might use a 2x multiplier.

Darthmoe wrote:I'm not saying we make a perfectly realistic system (I don't want to deal with that anymore than anyone else does) but let's at least cut back on the party Rogue carrying a full set of field-plate in his backpack that he found while exploring the dungeon.

Concur.

GMSarli wrote:One alternative to using fractions would be to designate very small items as being worth 1 point for a group of 5 (or fraction thereof); that way you don't have to add fractions, but you get roughly the same effect.

I think this is a good idea, and I even suggested it:
lucasjung wrote:For objects less than 1/2 pound, handle them in 1/2 lb groups with partial groupings costing full price (e.g. a group of 5 darts has an encumbrance of 1; if you have 12 darts they are worth encumbrance 3 (5,5, & 2). For really small objects, treat them as negligible.

I just want 1 point to be a small enough value that we only have to play this "5 for 1" game for objects that really are small. At 5 lbs/pt, a lot of items would need to be clustered into groups of well more than 5, which starts to become a real issue.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby GMSarli » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:39 pm

lucasjung wrote:
GMSarli wrote:One alternative to using fractions would be to designate very small items as being worth 1 point for a group of 5 (or fraction thereof); that way you don't have to add fractions, but you get roughly the same effect.

I think this is a good idea, and I even suggested it:
lucasjung wrote:For objects less than 1/2 pound, handle them in 1/2 lb groups with partial groupings costing full price (e.g. a group of 5 darts has an encumbrance of 1; if you have 12 darts they are worth encumbrance 3 (5,5, & 2). For really small objects, treat them as negligible.

Sorry, my brain must have skipped a groove -- didn't see that the first time. :)
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:56 am

Since you bring it up the issue of adventure equipment here is the easy way to fix that we introduce a new piece of equipment called the “adventure kit” which contains things like a sewing kit, survival knife/knives, ropes, gloves, kerosene, flashlights, matches, fire starting equipment, tents, all weather gear, medical supplies, rations, climbing equipment and all that jazz. The trick is to never specify what’s all in the adventure kit. The adventure kit comes with a certain amount of uses, and any time you need a piece of adventure kit you magically procure the item out of your kit (this is why the adventure kit is such an abstract piece of equipment that its contents are specifically defined). When it comes to adventure kit you basically have two prices one price to put together all the equipment you need, and another price to recharge the adventure kit after you used it. This is nothing new d20 has been doing this kind of thing for years, it’s exactly how medical kits work in most games.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:11 am

I was also thinking in terms of an "adventure kit" (I was going to call it an "adventure pack," but that's just semantics). I had a slightly different execution in mind, though. I'll type it up later when I have a little bit more time.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:38 am

Our ideas are very similar it's just that what you proposed relys on die rolls. I just charge a certain amount of money for piece of equipment that is literally called an adventure kit/pack and for that price you get to pull a certain amount of items out of the kit/pack. Since the PCs would pay good money for this item I would not require a die roll. Random die rolls can led to serious problems. For example Billy Adventurer buys an adventure pack and reasonably assumes he will be able to pull a flashlight out of that pack and therefore he doesn't buy a separate flashlight. The rest of the party do the same. When it comes time to explore the dark cavern everyone botches their resource check to have a flashlight. That causes problems because to a large extent that invalidates the benefits of having this piece of equipment called an adventure pack. I'd rather just have a system where the PCs pay the bill and forget about, until their adventure pack starts to run low on equipment (has only a few uses left) and then they pay more money to replenish their adventure kit.

If the PCs use their adventure pack to pull out a shovel, then they have a shovel for the rest of the adventure. After the adventure is concluded all items that were drawn from the adventure pack are lost, broken, or forgotten about.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:49 pm

I had in mind something more like this:
  • An adventure pack is guaranteed to contain certain common items: a sleeping bag (or bedroll for fantasy/medieval settings), a flashlight (or torch), a utility knife, rope, etc. These things are always available unless you leave them behind or break them.
  • An adventure pack also contains some expendable items: flashlight batteries (or extra torches), matches/kindling, etc. These are not specified in detail; instead, pulling one out depletes a general supply (either by using up points as you propose, or by affecting future dice rolls). This could also include extras of the items listed above: for example, the pack is guaranteed to include a single rope; if you leave it tied across a ravine, you might be able to draw an additional rope from your pool of expendables.
  • An adventure pack also has the possibility of containing some specialized items. Like the expendables, these aren't detailed, and they draw from the same pool as the expendables. The difference is this: expendables are things you would have for sure, it's only a question of how much; specialized items are things that you wouldn't necessarily have with you (but might). These items therefore require an extra check that basically answers the question, "Did I plan ahead by packing one of these?" For example, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to cut through some chains, but heavy-duty bolt-cutters are not standard adventuring equipment, so you could make a check to see if you happened to have brought some along on this particular outing.

The resources section of e20 Lite 0.5 says this:
e20Lite0.5p38 wrote:Depending on the situation, the GM can rule that a certain mundane object is not available; for an object to be obtainable, the character must be in a place where the object logically would be, such as in your home or in the trunk of your vehicle.

Sometimes, "a place where the object logically would be" is subject to debate. Ultimately the GM gets to make this call, and sometimes this is easy: "Of course you have a lug wrench in the trunk of your car." or "No, you did not pack a portable oscilloscope on your camping trip." However, there is a large gray area in the middle where we can help GMs by providing a resolution mechanism to determine what is (or isn't) in the adventure pack.

My proposal (which I'm still working out the details of, and will post later) was inspired by this sentence from the resources section of e20 Lite 0.5:
e20Lite0.5p35 wrote:"...the Gamemaster has the option to give characters separate Resources modifiers to represent very different assets..."

Here's the high-level version of my proposal (I'll provide examples after this list):
  • A base adventure pack weighs a certain amount, includes a certain list of items, and has a fixed price. If a character buys only this basic pack, it includes nothing that is not specifically listed.
  • An adventure pack has a maximum encumbrance capacity (e.g. 50 points, or 100 points). The base pack eats up part of this, and the remainder can be used to hold objects found while adventuring or can be filled up before departure with "additional gear."
  • When preparing to leave on an adventure, the owner of the pack declares how much additional gear he will include in the pack. This additional gear is defined by two numbers: encumbrance and resources. The player can select any encumbrance desired, as long as the total capacity of the pack is not exceeded. The resources can be set to any number up to the character's resource score, and that number is subtracted from the character's resource score.
  • When drawing an item from the additional gear, make a resource check using the resources of the adventure pack (as opposed to the character's resources). If the purchase DC of the item exceeds the pack's resources, they are reduced just as a character's would be. If the check fails, the item is not present in the adventure pack. If the encumbrance of the item exceeds the encumbrance of the additional gear, the check automatically fails.

Examples:
  • Brad and Jane are going backpacking and each is filling up an adventure pack for the trip. Brad likes to be well-prepared, so he fills his pack to capacity (max encumbrance of additional gear) and transfers 4 of his resource points into the pack. Jane likes to pack light, so she only puts 30 encumbrance points and 1 resource point into her additional gear.
  • While they are out backpacking they decide that they need some additional rope (beyond the one automatically included in each of their packs). Brad looks in his bag to see if he remembered to pack an extra rope: his pack's resources are less than the purchase DC of 5, so he has to roll 1d20+4 against a target of 5. He succeeds, and so has the rope, but his pack's resources are reduced by one: (5-4)/2 = 1/2, which rounds up to 1; also the encumbrance value of the additional gear is reduced by the encumbrance value of the rope (about 10 lbs worth).
  • One evening, they become separated and Jane gets lost. She checks her pack to see if she has a signal whistle (purch DC 4). She rolls a 2 on her resources check, and so fails: 2+1<4.
  • Brad makes the same check and automatically succeeds because his pack's resources exceed the purchase DC of the whistle. Jane hears him blowing the whistle and they are re-united.
  • One afternoon they find themselves in an unexpected late-February blizzard. They are fortunate enough to find a cabin to take shelter in, but the door is locked. Brad checks his pack for a crowbar (purchase DC 7). He succeeds on the check, so his pack's resources are further reduced to 2: (7-4)/2 = 3/2, which rounds up to 2; 4-2 = 2. The encumbrance of his additional gear is also reduced correspondingly. He uses the crowbar to pry open the cabin door and they take shelter inside.

I'm also playing some other ideas of how to handle the resources of the pack, because I see some potential problems with doing it exactly this way. I'll post more on that later.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:37 pm

Well we are getting warmer though I do see the problems you are talking about when you have resources and encumbrance points factored into the adventure pack. Maybe an abstract ball park figure is in order if you have x number of resource points in your adventure pack, then your pack weighs y number encumbrance points and so on.

In a way it's kind of cheating because you pack might only weigh 10 encumbrance points using this method and you might use your adventure pack to procure a shovel, and the shovel probably weighs 8 encumbrance points by itself. Still this is critical adventure gear we are talking about, it would be different if PCs were pulling out AR10s with under-slung grenade launchers red dot scopes, but I am more than willing to forgive a shovel. When you think about it considering the time honored traditional for dealing with encumbrance is to ignore it, anything is an improvement.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:27 am

Darthmoe wrote:Well we are getting warmer though I do see the problems you are talking about when you have resources and encumbrance points factored into the adventure pack. Maybe an abstract ball park figure is in order if you have x number of resource points in your adventure pack, then your pack weighs y number encumbrance points and so on.

I had considered this, because it really is the simplest way to handle things. I was just a little bit concerned that people could either abuse it (i.e. pull high-cost items out of their packs) or get screwed by it (i.e. spend a lot of money to fill the pack and then blow it all on a heavy-but-inexpensive item). Also, defining the price per unit of adventuring gear is really hard: I built a spreadsheet and populated it with the kinds of things I thought people might want to pull out of an adventure pack; some things had per-unit prices orders of magnitude higher than others (e.g. a climber's kit or healer's kit vs. rope or a spade). Instead, I've decided to factor price in a different way.

Darthmoe wrote:In a way it's kind of cheating because you pack might only weigh 10 encumbrance points using this method and you might use your adventure pack to procure a shovel, and the shovel probably weighs 8 encumbrance points by itself. Still this is critical adventure gear we are talking about, it would be different if PCs were pulling out AR10s with under-slung grenade launchers red dot scopes, but I am more than willing to forgive a shovel. When you think about it considering the time honored traditional for dealing with encumbrance is to ignore it, anything is an improvement.

A shovel actually isn't unrealistic, as long as it's the right kind of shovel, but I get your point. The simple solution is to put in a reminder that GMs have the final say on whether something could plausibly fit into a pack. Also, I would specifically exclude weapons from the "adventure kit," but would possibly allow ammunition.

Here's a simpler proposal that I think might work well:
  • A base adventure pack weighs a certain amount, includes a certain list of items, and has a fixed price. If a character buys only this basic pack, it includes nothing that is not specifically listed.
  • An adventure pack has a maximum encumbrance capacity (e.g. 50 points, or 100 points). The base pack eats up part of this, and the remainder can be used to hold objects found while adventuring or can be filled up before departure with "additional gear."
  • When preparing to leave on an adventure, the owner of the pack declares how much additional gear he will include in the pack. This additional gear is added in units of encumbrance, and the player can select any encumbrance desired, as long as the total capacity of the pack is not exceeded.
  • When drawing an item from the additional gear, the character must make an "On-Hand Object" check (e20 Lite 0.5 p. 35) to see if the item is in the additional gear. For these purposes, items are divided into two categories: common adventuring gear and unusual adventuring gear. Common adventuring gear is defined by a list, similar to the list of items included in the standard adventure pack. Everything else is considered unusual. The resources check for common gear is normal, but the player takes a -5 penalty on checks to draw unusual gear from an adventure pack.
  • If the check succeeds, the character gets the item from the pack and the encumbrance of the additional gear is reduced by the encumbrance value of the item drawn. If the item's purchase DC is higher than the character's resources, his resources are reduced normally. If the resources check fails, the desired gear is not in the adventure pack: the encumbrance of the pack and the character's resources are not affected and subsequent checks to draw that item from that pack automatically fail until the pack is replenished.

The list of items included in a standard adventure pack and the list of items considered "common adventuring gear" would have to be setting-specific and would be subject to GM discretion. Preferably, the GM would sort this out before the time for a check comes, so that players can buy specific gear ahead of time if they really expect to need it.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:53 am

I also feel that if a character pays good money for a high end adventure pack it should all be taken for granted that he has common adventure equipment.

As for weapons I would exclude them from the adventure pack except for the obvious exceptions such as knives, bear-spray, flare-guns, and the like. I would exclude ammo in most cases. Of course if the ammo in question is more flares for your flare-gun that is a different story.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:46 am

Darthmoe wrote:I also feel that if a character pays good money for a high end adventure pack it should all be taken for granted that he has common adventure equipment.

I think I might have been a bit unclear in regards to the "additional gear." Under my latest proposal, the additional gear doesn't cost any money at the time it is packed: you just declare how much encumbrance you are dedicating to additional gear, and that's it. The pack has a price/purchase DC, but that only accounts for the bag itself and the gear that is on the "standard" list (tent, bed roll, fire kit, etc.), so there's really no such thing as a "high-end pack" or "low-end pack" (unless we decide to actually make a separate entry for a "deluxe adventure pack," but I'm not a fan of that idea). The cost of the additional gear is represented as part of the "On-Hand Object" resources check to draw items from the adventure pack: if you pull out something really expensive, your resources will be depleted appropriately. This is a little bit unrealistic because it basically means that you don't pay for the stuff in your backpack until you pull it out of your backpack, but I think the resources system is abstract enough to support this particular idiosyncrasy, and it's much simpler than my previous proposal of tracking how much "money" is left in the pack.

In practice, because of the way resource checks work, most common equipment will be guaranteed for most characters: a resource check automatically succeeds if the purchase DC is less than or equal to the character's resource modifier. Most people will have resource modifiers higher than common equipment like ropes, batteries, or lantern oil. In effect, a "high end adventure pack" is one owned by an individual with a high resources score while a "low end adventure pack" is one owned by an individual with a low resources score.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:06 pm

I wanted to step aside for a bit from the "adventure pack" and focus on the main point of this thread: combining volume and mass into a single measure of encumbrance. I've been putting some thought into it, and here are some fundamentals I've chosen to guide my thinking:
  1. Relatively dense objects encumber based almost purely on their weight. For example, a lead brick isn't unwieldy, it's just heavy.
  2. At the other end of the spectrum, objects of low density encumber based almost purely on their unwieldiness. For example, a large block of styrofoam isn't heavy, it's just unwieldy.
  3. For both types of objects (high- and low-density), there is a size threshold where an object contributes disproportionately to your encumbrance because it begins to affect your balance.
  4. Any given object will generally encumber less if it is carried in a suitable container (backpack, hip pouch, holster, etc.) than it would if carried directly in the hands or in a less suitable hangar (e.g. a plain, large sack). Same goes for clothing/armor when properly worn.

At first I considered some kind of weighted function to combine factors 1 and 2, but I think that a much simpler approach would be better:
  • For objects with density >= x, encumbrance = weight.
  • For objects with density < x, encumbrance = x multiplied by volume
This is more or less how postal services and parcel courier services charge: by weight, unless density falls below a particular threshold, at which point they charge as if the object had that threshold density. Also keep in mind that these are not rules meant to be used on a regular basis, but rather to provide GMs with a tool for determining the encumbrance associate with new items (and for us to use when populating the item lists).
The obvious next question is: what threshold density should we use? At first I considered using the same threshold used by postal and courier services, but those thresholds are based on the capacity of their transports (trucks, trains, aircraft, and ships) and the opportunity costs of shipping light-but-bulky items instead of using that same volume to ship denser items; these are not good criteria for determining human encumbrance. My next thought was to use the density of water as the threshold: if it sinks, encumbrance = weight, if it floats, encumbrance is the same as an equal volume of water. That won't work because it sets the threshold density way too high, but I liked the concept of using a baseline substance to set the density threshold. Then it occurred to me that wood objects tend to be right on the edge between objects that "feel light" and objects that "feel heavy." Of course, not all wood is equally dense, so I looked up several types to get an idea: (all densities are listed in lbs/ft^3)
  • Ebony: 69-83
  • Teak: 41-61
  • Cherry: 43-56
  • Oak: 37-56
  • Beech: 32-56
  • Ash: 40-53
  • Mahogany: 31-53
  • Maple: 39-47
  • Walnut: 35-43
  • Birch: 42
  • Yew: 38-42
  • Pine: 22-37
  • Cedar: 23
  • Balsa: 7-9
  • Bamboo (not technically wood, but...): 19-25
For the sake of simplicity, I want most wood objects to have encumbrance based purely on weight, which means putting the encumbrance cutoff slightly lower than the density for most common types of wood. The hardwoods all definitely need to be above the cutoff, so it has to be 30 or less. I'd also like pine to straddle the cutoff, and I don't want cedar to make it (and definitely not balsa!). That puts the cutoff in the neighborhood of 25-30 lb/ft^3. I think 25 would probably be a better cutoff, but 30 is a nice round number and makes the math much easier, so I'll propose that 30 lb/ft^3 be the cutoff. Of course, most GMs, when designing new items, will probably just use the simple rule of thumb: "Is it less dense than a 2x4?"

Going back to my original list of considerations, numbers 3 & 4 are not inherent properties of objects, but rather circumstances. As such, I think they should be handled as circumstantial modifiers to encumbrances:
  • If an object is greater than half the size of the character holding it (either by volume or mass), its encumbrance is treated as 50% higher.
  • If an object is greater than the size of the character holding it (either by volume or mass), its encumbrance is treated as if it were doubled.
  • If an object is worn or carried in an appropriate container, its encumbrance is halved.

(EDITED for grammar.)
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:48 am

Going back to the example of wooden objects would a wooden shield be based purely on weight? You given this a lot more though than I right now most objects have a weight and size, such tiny, small, etc. I was think that if one encumbrance point = 1/2 pound then the size of the object could then be used be used as a multiplier. For example if tiny objects were the baseline then small objects might have a 150% more encumbrance points.

A simpler way of saying this would be taking the objects weight (in 1/2 pound increments) X the objects size mutipiler.

I am throwing out an abstract example here with purely arbitrary numbers but let's say we have a sword that weighs 6 pounds and is considered a small weapon. It's encumbrance by weight is 12 points and if it's size mutipiler (encumbrance by volume) were a 1.5 it would have an encumbrance value of 18 points. I think that's reasonable especially since a scabbard would reduce the encumbrance of carrying the sword by 1/2. T his system will result in some fractions but I say give the PCs the benefit of the doubt and round down all fractions. As you said the only time a GM would need to use this formula is when he or she is creating new objects. This will make it easier on us too because most objects that are common to the d20 system already have an established weight and size increment. All we would need to do is convert the objects weight into encumbrance points, multiple that amount by the size modifier, and bam encumbrance value!
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:14 pm

Darthmoe wrote:A simpler way of saying this would be taking the objects weight (in 1/2 pound increments) X the objects size mutipiler.

My initial gut reaction was that this would be considerably less realistic than my proposal, but after turning it over in my head for a while I think it would actually work just as well, with the added bonus of being much simpler. However, it seriously breaks down for sizes below a certain point. For example, consider a 5 in cube (Diminutive) that weighs one pound in comparison to a 2 in cube (Fine) that weighs the same. I would not consider the larger cube to be significantly more cumbersome than the smaller, but if we use size multipliers then it would have twice the encumbrance. I think that the solution to this would be to just put a floor: objects smaller than tiny use the same 0.5 multiplier as tiny.

The other advantage of doing it this way is that we can eliminate the rules regarding relative size (double encumbrance for objects bigger than you, etc.) because it's already built-in to the encumbrance system. We can further balance this out by applying a size multiplier to carrying capacity: your carrying capacity is equal to 10 x STR x Size Multiplier.

Darthmoe wrote:This system will result in some fractions but I say give the PCs the benefit of the doubt and round down all fractions.

That's fine, except that objects below 1, don't round to zero; instead, we cluster them into group sizes on the standard progression (e.g. 2 per encumbrance point or 5 per encumbrance point).

Darthmoe wrote:This will make it easier on us too because most objects that are common to the d20 system already have an established weight and size increment.

This is a lot less straightforward than it might initially appear because the size categories listed for weapons are not the sizes of the actual weapons, but the size of creature they are intended for. For example, a Longsword is not a Medium object (I'd call it Small), but in the weapons table its size is listed as "Medium" because it's intended to be a Normal weapon for Medium creatures. In the hands of a Small creature it would be a Heavy weapon and in the hands of a Large creature it would be a Light weapon. We'll have to be careful of this when calculating encumbrance values.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:39 pm

I was thinking that in some older rules somewhere it actually listed the weapons actual size. I know that 3.5 made reference to being able to use tiny weapons and smaller in a grapple combat.

Also I think the absolute lowest an objects size mutipiler should be is X1. So if all objects that were rated as tiny and smaller had a size modifier of X1 then we really wouldn't have the issue fine cube vs. the diminutive cube anymore. At that point it's really only the weight of the object and not the volume that has a lot of significance. Also if we don't use mutipilers below 1 than encumbrance values would never round below a 1. That would automatically eliminate the issue of rounding fractions down to 0. It's a small benefit to be sure but it does save us a little bit of room.

Edit -

If we establish a hard cut off it also saves us work in defining the size of an object. If there is no practical difference between tiny objects and a fine/diminutive object then we don't have to give much consideration if penknife is actually a fine or diminutive object. This would actually make our jobs easier if we could just say that all objects smaller than X are tiny objects and leave it at that. We don't need to give a Chief's Special a smaller size mutipiler than a Colt Python with a six inch barrel. The Chief's Special would already weigh less and therefore would have a smaller encumbrance value.

Also to criteria I would use to distinguish tiny objects from larger objects is that if the object can fit into your pance pocket it's tiny, if not it's larger than tiny. full sized handguns with 4 inch barrels are on the cusp. If it requires a medium sized character two hands to carry or wield (in the case of a weapon) it's probably large. A very rough size table followed by size mutipilers is below

Tiny and smaller = X1
Small X1.25
Medium X1.5
Large X 2
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:32 pm

Darthmoe wrote:Also I think the absolute lowest an objects size mutipiler should be is X1. So if all objects that were rated as tiny and smaller had a size modifier of X1 then we really wouldn't have the issue fine cube vs. the diminutive cube anymore. At that point it's really only the weight of the object and not the volume that has a lot of significance. Also if we don't use mutipilers below 1 than encumbrance values would never round below a 1. That would automatically eliminate the issue of rounding fractions down to 0. It's a small benefit to be sure but it does save us a little bit of room.

...

Also to criteria I would use to distinguish tiny objects from larger objects is that if the object can fit into your pance pocket it's tiny, if not it's larger than tiny. full sized handguns with 4 inch barrels are on the cusp. If it requires a medium sized character two hands to carry or wield (in the case of a weapon) it's probably large. A very rough size table followed by size mutipilers is below

Tiny and smaller = X1
Small X1.25
Medium X1.5
Large X 2


Here's the thing: there is already a table of size multipliers (p. 79 in e20 Lite 0.5). I don't want to confuse things by having a separate table of size multipliers for encumbrance: we should just stick with the existing multipliers. I share your preference for not having multipliers below x1, but x1 is the multiplier for Medium objects, so putting the floor at x1 would mean no difference in encumbrance between a 5 lb object the size of a human being and a 5 lb object the size of a grapefruit. I'm pretty sure we want to be able to make that distinction, which means we'll have to bite the bullet and at least use multipliers down to x0.5 (the multiplier for Tiny objects).
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:37 pm

Well I guess as long as we can cut it off at .5 mutiplier I guess it's not the worse thing in the world.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby jazzencat » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:54 pm

Wildside Gaming System has a similar approach to encumberance. Standard things like clothes aren't considered encumbering at all, but other equipment like backpacks, armour and weapons have encumberance ratings. While this doesn't impact general movement around the city they bring the encumberance rating into play for combat in this way: you use your Fortitude (d20's Constitution) to find your base fatigue rate, and subtract the weight factor from that. This would give you the amount of time you can be in combat before you start taking escalating fatigue penalties to your checks. The way I'm reading the proposal here would support this kind of an application, probably as an optional rule since it doesn't apply to all genres. Food for thought anyway. Thoughts?
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:28 pm

Well in my opinion Constitution would come into play to determine how long a character could be encumbered before he becomes fatigued. The amount of weight that one could actually carry on their pack would still be determined by STR.

Over time one's STR could temporary weaken for being encumbered for too long of a time, and that would naturally increase the fatigue penalties. However that method ability score damage is complicated and so it fell out of fashion with 4.0. A better way would be in the encumbrance made an attack against the character's fortitude defense, and the longer the character remained encumbered the higher the attack bonus the encumbrance would get against the character. On a successful hit the character's encumbrance would be treated as if it were one level higher. This would continue until the character either rested or falls unconscious because of too much strain.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:42 pm

An e20 encounter should last at most one minute, usually much less. For someone who isn't conditioned to fighting that can be a really long time to fight, but it's a safe assumption that adventurers are reasonably well conditioned for maintaining such intense levels of activity for a minute or less. My point is: I don't think that encounters last long enough for fatigue to be a significant factor. The extant encumbrance penalties do a good enough job of modeling the non-fatigue effects of being so encumbered.

Over a longer period of time, I like the idea of encumbrance making "attacks" against characters, but I would instead represent it as saves rather than attacks, with the DC based on the level of encumbrance and increasing over time. Also, I wouldn't increase the effective encumbrance level, but would instead use an existing mechanism: fatigue penalties. If you fail the save DC for encumbrance fatigue, you take an additional fatigue penalty and then your clock is reset (in other words, the DC drops down to the base DC for your level of encumbrance and then starts building up again with time).
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:39 pm

Yeah I was thinking Fort saves too, but I wasn't sure if we were suppose to do that stuff anymore or not. I can see why you would insert encumbrance rules into combat because that's a heck of a lot easier but as Lucas says combat is desinged to be fast paced. The other thing is it won't make a lot of sense if PCs get slammed with additional encumbrance penalties if they only hiked down the trail for five minutes before they got ambushed.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:00 am

Darthmoe wrote:A simpler way of saying this would be taking the objects weight (in 1/2 pound increments) X the objects size mutipiler.

I've continued to think about this, and I've found a big problem that makes me think we should instead go with my (admittedly more complex) minimum density scheme. The best way to explain this problem is with an example:

Imagine you have some wood with density of 30 lb/ft^3. You have two sacks, each containing 90 lbs (3 ft^3) of this wood. These aren't easy-to-carry backpacks, they're just plain burlap sacks, so there's no reduction in encumbrance from being in an easy-to-carry container. One sack contains a single block of wood: 3 ft x 1 ft x 1 ft, which is a small object. The other sack contains twelve blocks of wood: each 1 ft x 6 in x 6 in, which are tiny objects. These sacks each contain identical amounts of wood, and should have identical encumbrance. However, using a multiplication system like this will mean that the sack with twelve pieces will only have 2/3rds the encumbrance of the sack with a single piece (0.5 is 2/3 of 0.75). That really doesn't make any sense. If you take them out of the sack, it gets even worse: imagine you have to carry, in your arms, either the single block or the twelve blocks. The single block would be easier to carry than the twelve because with the twelve you have to figure out a way to stack them up, balance them, and keep a grip on all of them, but using the size multipliers would make the single block more cumbersome than the twelve.

I realize that my proposal is more complex, but I think it's worth it because it produces much more realistic (still not perfect, but better) results, and the extra complexity will only come into play when new items are designed.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:07 pm

I don't to me a sack of wood is a sack of wood. In both cases I would count it as a sack of wood. So the sack with 12 pieces of wood is a small object too.

As for carrying the logs outside of a sack there probably needs to be a mechanic for carrying multiple objects in one hand.

Your system is very cumbersome somewhere between our two systems lies the answer but we need something a lot more streamlined.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:14 pm

Edit in that specific example I wouldn't give the 12 logs credit for being small objects anyway. Small objects are pocket sized or smaller on the scale that I have in mind.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:21 pm

Darthmoe wrote:I don't to me a sack of wood is a sack of wood. In both cases I would count it as a sack of wood. So the sack with 12 pieces of wood is a small object too.

Here's the problem with doing it that way: it would require players to re-calculate the encumbrance of objects as they place them into containers. The blocks of wood were just an example to provide an apples-to-apples comparison. Instead, consider a longsword (a "small" object) and several daggers ("diminutive" objects) with total mass equal to the longsword. Setting aside obvious concerns about the blades cutting through the sack, imagine that you have put the sword in one sack and the daggers in the other. Each sack weighs the same, but the total encumbrance of the knives is less than the total encumbrance of the sword. It sounds easy to say, "Once all of the daggers are in the sack they add up to a small object," but then you add tremendous complexity for the player in real-time--the player has to do all of the following:
  • Track the total volume of the daggers to figure out when they collectively cross the threshold from "diminutive" to "tiny" and then to "small."
  • Back-out the weights of the daggers from the encumbrance value of a single dagger (since the table just lists encumbrance, not weight).
  • Add up the weights
  • Calculate a new encumbrance for the aggregate of the daggers in the sack.
I want to avoid all of that. I want a system of encumbrance where the players can just sum the encumbrance values and go. The whole point is to keep it simple for the players by "pre-paying" with a little bit of complexity for the designers/GMs.

Darthmoe wrote:As for carrying the logs outside of a sack there probably needs to be a mechanic for carrying multiple objects in one hand.

Perhaps an encumbrance multiplier based on the number of items you are holding (e.g. 1 item is x1, 2-3 items per hand is x1.5, 4 or more items per hand is x2).

Darthmoe wrote:Edit in that specific example I wouldn't give the 12 logs credit for being small objects anyway. Small objects are pocket sized or smaller on the scale that I have in mind.

We already have a scale defining object sizes on page 79 of e20 Lite 0.5. Objects are defined on the same scale as characters, so a "medium" object is approximately human-sized (ca. 5 feet), a "small" object is approximately half the size of a medium object (ca. 2 feet), a "tiny" object is half the size of a small object (ca. 1 foot), etc. Going in the other direction, a "large" object is about twice the size of a medium object (ca. 10 feet), a "huge" object (such as a car) is about twice the size of a large object (ca. 20 feet), and a gargantuan object (such as a fighter jet) is about twice the size of a huge object (ca. 50 feet). We need to work with this scale because creating a different, incompatible scale will cause a whole lot of unnecessary confusion. A pocket-sized object would be diminutive (ca. 5 inches) or fine (ca. 2 inches).
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:22 pm

Okay well I am going to be honest here. My system has it's flaws and your system is all but incomprehensible so the reality is we simply do not have a valid solution at this point. I know it makes sense to you but that is a lot of extra work for something that somebody is likely to look at and say "screw it I am making up my number off the top of my head". It also takes up a lot of space and the equipment chapter does not have a lot space dedicated to it to begin with. I'd like to have no size modifiers at all unless the objects are bigger than medium sized. It is an exception to the normal rules for size modifiers but we're using size modifiers in way they were not intended to work. This is really about volume and size modifiers are really only concerned about length when you get down to it, and not the width of the circumference. That is where issue is you only have the half the formula factored into the size modifier. By simply saying no object can have a mutipiler of less than X1 we adjust for that incomplete formula. Exceptions to the rules exist in many places of any d20 game and the reality is this is the only instance in which we are actually concerned about the total volume of the object.

An alternative solution is we do away with size modifiers in this formula and replace them with something else. Maybe "volume modifiers" that would be based on size modifiers except they could never go below a modifier of X1. This is basically the same idea as before except renaming the mechanic to volume modifier instead of size modifier gives us the excuse to do away with any mutipiler below X1, and that is what the formula needs to avoid that exact situation. diminutive, fine, tiny, small, and medium sized objects will all have a volume mutipiler of X1, objects larger than medium sized will have a larger mutipiler.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby jazzencat » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:24 pm

lucasjung wrote:An e20 encounter should last at most one minute, usually much less. For someone who isn't conditioned to fighting that can be a really long time to fight, but it's a safe assumption that adventurers are reasonably well conditioned for maintaining such intense levels of activity for a minute or less. My point is: I don't think that encounters last long enough for fatigue to be a significant factor. The extant encumbrance penalties do a good enough job of modeling the non-fatigue effects of being so encumbered.

Over a longer period of time, I like the idea of encumbrance making "attacks" against characters, but I would instead represent it as saves rather than attacks, with the DC based on the level of encumbrance and increasing over time. Also, I wouldn't increase the effective encumbrance level, but would instead use an existing mechanism: fatigue penalties. If you fail the save DC for encumbrance fatigue, you take an additional fatigue penalty and then your clock is reset (in other words, the DC drops down to the base DC for your level of encumbrance and then starts building up again with time).


This is true. I was more looking at the ideas being batted around for encumberance and seeing some interesting ways that it could integrate with encounters and combat. You are correct that it's simpler to assume characters are conditioned for that kind of activity even wearing heavy armour, they're supposed to be heroes. We can sidebar the encumberance/fatigue effects on combat for the gritty settings. I was thinking in the heroic type genres you might have a sequence of combat encounters strung together by having to run as well. Think the Parish Finale in Left 4 Dead 2 or the run back to the wall from a Charr army in Guild Wars Prophecies. Here the encounters are short, since our PCs are necessarily badass, but they're also having to maintain a fast jog between each encounter, so the system ideas being discussed here do actually support that and can even allow the groups to add fatigue effects for the runs-fight-run sequence.

Regarding the set of tiny objects vs the one small object with the same mass and volume, that is an odd mathematical characteristic, what about establishing X tiny = 1 small, Y small = 1 medium. It's a bit rough, and will create some odd breakpoints of its own, but that could be dealt with by simple consensus at the table over how it's handled.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:19 pm

Darthmoe wrote:...size modifiers are really only concerned about length when you get down to it, and not the width of the circumference.

This is not, strictly speaking, true. If you look at the size table on p. 79, it says "Height/Length," and what it really means is "longest dimension." Even more importantly, these are all ballpark numbers: the table doesn't say, "medium objects are 3.5 to 7.5 feet long/high," it says, "medium objects are generally about 5 feet long/high." I'm pretty sure this is deliberate in order to allow some leeway for objects which are long and slender as opposed to objects that are closer to cubic. For example, a longsword has a blade about 3.5 feet long, plus the hilt, which puts it much closer to Medium (5 ft) than to Small (2 ft), but I would still classify a longsword as small because it's other dimensions are so much smaller than it's length.

Thinking about this led me to a solution which I think will work well: encumbrance is purely a function of weight, except that there is a minimum encumbrance score for each size category. Just pulling a number out of my rear, let's say that the minimum encumbrance for small items is 20. When you design a new item, you calculate the encumbrance based on it's weight, and then substitute the minimum encumbrance if necessary. Say you design a small item and calculate its encumbrance as 12; you would instead set its encumbrance to 20, because that's the minimum encumbrance for small items. This is even simpler than using size multipliers, and achieves roughly the same results as my original "minimum density" proposal. It's also additive (i.e. it won't suffer from the "bag of wood" problem).
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:19 am

My gut feeling is that if we want a simple and streamlined and the reality is that given the limited space of the equipment chapter we pretty much need such a mechanic, then we will have no choice but to deal with some inconsistencies. Of course rules can be interrupted in different ways no matter what you do see the United States criminal code for all an example.

So far we have 3 solutions all of which work okay.

I think that establishing minimal encumbrance points for the size of objects would work, but I also think you would have similar problems to what Lucas brought up only though you would have them in reverse. A small cube of foam would have a lot of encumbrance points compared to most other objects of similar weight. It takes up a lot room so it is definitely not encumbrance free but it will probably have more encumbrance it should have.

The idea of having so many items of one object moving the size up to the next size is good, but it does make for some complications. Having 6 daggers does not equal a claymore.

I like my volume modifier idea because simply put this system was not desinged to work with mutipilers of less than 1 and in this case it makes absolutely no sense to have a mutipiler below one. The only reason for them in this instance is for universal mechanics. By sticking to those rules in this instance we're trying to fit a square peg in a round hold, when the the modifiers were never intended to address this kind of issue. Since they were not desinged for this it comes as no surprise that they are lacking in this area. The solution a new and simple mechanic that takes what works well from the size mutipilers, and eliminates the stuff that doesn't work. The only thing volume mutipilers do, and I repeat THE ONLY THING is eliminate all mutipilers below 1 so the system can work as it's intended too. This is exactly the same solution that was used with primary defense and reflex defense. Primary defense is basically reflex defense + armor, but we listed them as separate mechanics to avoid confusion over which bonuses to apply.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:50 pm

Darthmoe wrote:My gut feeling is that if we want a simple and streamlined and the reality is that given the limited space of the equipment chapter we pretty much need such a mechanic, then we will have no choice but to deal with some inconsistencies. Of course rules can be interrupted in different ways no matter what you do see the United States criminal code for all an example.

Agreed. We're building a model, and models are, by definition, not perfectly consistent with realtiy. As a colleague of mine is fond of saying, "It's a simulator, not an actualator. If you want an actualator, go get in the actual plane."

Darthmoe wrote:I think that establishing minimal encumbrance points for the size of objects would work, but...A small cube of foam would have a lot of encumbrance points compared to most other objects of similar weight.

That's kind of the point. Imagine you have a four-foot cube of syrofoam: it probably weighs about two pounds, but it's going to be much harder to carry around than a two-pound sack of flour. This works at every level of size: a six-inch cube of syrofoam probably weighs about the same as a golf ball, but is harder to hold in your hand.

Darthmoe wrote:It takes up a lot room so it is definitely not encumbrance free but it will probably have more encumbrance it should have.

To avoid this, all we have to do is set the "minimum encumbrance" for each size category judiciously. If a foam block of a given size has too much encumbrance, then we obviously set the minimum encumbrance for that size too high, so we just set it a little lower. This is not a problem with the equation, it's a problem with the constants. Below a certain size, I would set the minimum encumbrance to zero. I would definitely do this for Fine objects, possibly even Diminutive.

Darthmoe wrote:The idea of having so many items of one object moving the size up to the next size is good, but it does make for some complications. Having 6 daggers does not equal a claymore.

You are correct: 6 daggers do not equal a claymore (it would be more like 20!). But seriously, I get your point here. However, when you start putting objects into a container, those daggers get a lot closer to equalling a claymore. Simply put, if you pack 40 pounds of hockey pucks in one backpack and put 40 pounds of bowling balls in another, the backpack with the hockey pucks shouldn't be any easier to carry. That's why I'm against any system that defines encumbrance in terms of [weight]x[size multiplier], because under such a system a 40 pound sack of small wood blocks will be easier to carry than a sack holding a single 40 pound block of wood. As you said, a 40 pound sack of wood is a 40 pound sack of wood. Any system we come up with should keep that true. Any system that uses size multipliers will fail the "sack of wood" test.

There is, as I think you were trying to point out, a flip-side to this problem: you could conceivably have a 20 pound backpack that's just as hard to carry around as a 40 pound backpack because the items in the lighter backpack have minimum encumbrance that gives them encumbrance equal to the heavier items. This is not ideal, but as we both agree, no model is perfect. I also find this a lot less objectionable than the idea that I can pack two sacks each with the same amount of wood and have one be harder to carry than the other. Most importantly, a system of size multipliers will also experience this problem. If the 40-pound backpack is filled by items with a 1x size multiplier and the 20-pound backpack is filled by item(s) with a 2x size multiplier, they will both have the same encumbrance even though one weighs twice as much as the other.

Darthmoe wrote:I like my volume modifier idea because simply put this system was not desinged to work with mutipilers of less than 1 and in this case it makes absolutely no sense to have a mutipiler below one. The only reason for them in this instance is for universal mechanics. By sticking to those rules in this instance we're trying to fit a square peg in a round hold, when the the modifiers were never intended to address this kind of issue. Since they were not desinged for this it comes as no surprise that they are lacking in this area. The solution a new and simple mechanic that takes what works well from the size mutipilers, and eliminates the stuff that doesn't work. The only thing volume mutipilers do, and I repeat THE ONLY THING is eliminate all mutipilers below 1 so the system can work as it's intended too.

Avoiding fractional multipliers is desireable because it keeps the math simple, but fractional multipliers are not so terrible that we should introduce significant new game mechanics just to avoid them. In this case, especially, the cost of fractional multipliers is very minimal: we're talking about math that is done only occasionally by designers and GMs, not math that is done routinely at the table. In order to avoid that small amount of added complexity, you're talking about adding an entire new mechanic in parralel to, and in contradiction to, an existing mechanic.

All that being said, the main reason I don't want to add an additional set of multipliers is that I don't want to use multipliers at all in determining encumbrance. As I said above, using size multipliers will result in a system that fails the "sack of wood" test.

Comparing two possible solutions ("minimum encumbrance" and "size multiplier") for combining mass and volume into a single "encumbrance" value, here are the advantages and disadvantages as I see them:
  • Simplicity of Calculating Encumbrance:
    Minimum Encumbrance: Encumbrance is calculated by multiplying weight by a constant (e.g. "1 point of encumbrance per 1/2 pound means [encumbrance] = 2x[weight]), with a minimum encumbrance for each size category which applies if the calculated encumbrance for a particular object falls below a certain floor.
    Size Multiplier: Encumbrance is calculated by multiplying weight by a constant and by a size multiplier (e.g. [encumbrancce] = 2x[weight]x[size multiplier]). The size multipliers are not the standard size multipliers already in use, but rather an additional, incompatible set of size multipliers.
    Advantage: Minimum Encumbrance: the math is of pretty much equal complexity, but the new set of size multipliers adds significant complexity to that system.
  • Larger objects are harder to hold than smaller objects of the same weight:
    Minimum Encumbrance: A larger object will have higher encumbrance due to the minimum encumbrance for its size category.
    Size Multiplier: A larger object will have higher encumbrance due to the higher multiplier for its size category.
    Advantage: Tie: both systems model this very well.
  • Heavier objects are harder to hold than lighter objects of the same size:
    Minimum Encumbrance: The only difference in encumbrance between two objects of the same size is due to their respective weights.
    Size Multiplier: The only difference in encumbrance between two objects of the same size is due to their respective weights.
    Advantage: Tie: both objects model this perfectly.
  • Containers holding equal masses of a similar substances are equally hard to carry:
    Minimum Encumbrance: There are some edge cases where this might not be true, but for the most part a forty pound sack of wood is a forty pound sack of wood.
    Size Multiplier: Fails miserably. The difficulty of carrying the container is a function of the size of the pieces of the material inside the container.
    Advantage: Minimum Encumbrance: there is a huge imbalance in this category.
  • A full container holding a heavier load is harder to carry than full container of the same type and size holding a lighter load:
    Minimum Encumbrance: This will often not be true, but usually the difference will be relatively minor. Cases where the difference is significant will occur but will not be especially common. Example of how this would work: two containers each have a capacity of 100 encumbrance points. One contains with 50 pounds of steel pellets (100 encumbrance points worth). The other is filled with a single block of wood that only weighs 25 pounds, but which is so big that its minimum encumbrance is 100. Even though the container full of steel weighs more, both have equal encumbrance.
    Size Multiplier: This will often not be true, but usually the difference will be relatively minor. Cases where the difference is significant will occur but will not be especially common. Using the same example from above (two containers, one with steel pellets and one with a block of wood): the steel pellets have a size multiplier of 1x, so they have total encumbrance of 100. The block of wood is big enough that it has a size multiplier of 2x, so it also has a total encumbrance of 100. Even though the container full of steel weighs more, both have equal encumbrance.
    Advantage: Tie: both systems have significant problems with this.

The total tally is: three ties, two in favor of "minimum encumbrance," (one overwhelmingly so), and zero in favor of "size multiplier." EDIT Huge typo: Overall, using minimum encumbrance will be simpler and more realistic.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:16 pm

I think you might over estimate the value of a 40 pound sack of small logs being the same as a 4 pound sack of one big log. The smaller logs might pack easier even if there is more of them, and that allow them to be carried easier. There are certain ways of packing things that will make them easier to carry than others.

Also the use of size modifiers are volume modifiers and you over exaggerate the complexity of the system too. In most cases volume modifiers are compatible with size modifiers except they eliminate size modifiers. I'm not the one arguing against fractions, but you clearly did so but not.

But the real point is that both systems have problems in significant areas so that means we have not found the solution yet.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:23 pm

I've been thinking about the idea of setting [Carrying Capacity] = [constant]xSTR (my preferred constant would be 10x), and about the proper ratio of weight-to-encumbrance.

First of all, going to a system where carrying capacity is a multiple of Strength is a huge departure from previous d20 games. In previous games, carrying capacity increased exponentially with Strength. As an example, last night I pulled d20 Modern off the shelf, and found that Carrying Capacity doubles every for every 5-point increase in Strength:
  • Strength 8 => Maximum Load: 75 lbs
  • Strength 13 => Maximum Load: 150 lbs
  • Strength 18 => Maximum Load: 300 lbs
  • Strength 23 => Maximum Load: 600 lbs
By making this change, we would be going from an exponential progression to a geometric progression. It will be much flatter. I personally think that this is a desireable change, but I want to make sure that everyone has thought it through in full before we commit to it. The biggest fallout will be that machines capable of lifting or moving extraordinary weights (e.g. shipyard cranes or caterpillar tractors) will have crazy Strength scores with many digits.

The other thing I've been thinking about is: how much should characters with a given strength be able to carry?

The rules say that you can lift up to your carrying capacity over your head, and up to twice that off the ground. This actually corresponds reasonably well to the real world: lifting something over your head is basically a "clean and jerk," while lifting something off of the ground is a deadlift. Most people can deadlift slightly less than twice the amount they can clean and jerk. But that still doesn't tell us what the ratio of Strength of carrying capacity should be.

To figure out that relationship, I came at it from two directions. First, a man in decent shape (daily exercise consisting of a mix of strength training and aerobics, but not pursuing any kind of competetive aspirations) is what I would consider Strength 12; we'll call him "Average Joe," or "Joe" for short. Second, I would model a world-record powerlifter as someone who starts out with maximum Strength (18) and adds to his Strength every time he gets to boost an ability (levels 5, 9, 13, and 17): Strength 22. We'll call him "Biff." Joe should be able to deadlift 300-400 pounds (depends on how much he weighs), while Biff should be able to deadlift about 1,000 pounds. Since the deadlift is 2x[carrying capacity], that means that Joe has a carrying capacity of 150-200 pounds while Biff has a carrying capacity of 500 pounds. I have just created what is called an "over-constrained" problem, because I have one equation (ratio of Strength to carrying capacity) with two incompatible inputs (Joe's Strength and carrying capacity, and Biff's Strength and carrying capacity). That's OK: we'll just pick a number that's in the right ballpark for both. If we go with Biff's stats, the ratio should be about 23 pounds of carrying capacity for every point of Strength. If we go with Joe's stats, the ratio should be 12-17 pounds of carrying capacity for every point of Strength. I'd want to use numbers from the standard progression, so the ratio would be either 10 or 20. Since this is an heroic adventure game, I think that the higher number works better: carrying capacity should be 20 pounds per point of Strength.

EDIT: In the following paragraph, I got my numerator and denominator reversed. This error carried through the rest of this post. It's now been corrected.
Now we have to translate that into units of Encumbrance instead of units of weight. Although encumbrance is an abstract measure of both mass and volume, this conversion will be a lot easier if we peg encumbrance to a particular weight. At 20 pounds of carrying capacity per point of Strength and 10 points of Encumbrance capacity per point of Strength, we get a ratio of 1 point of Encumbrance for every 2 pounds.

Next on my agenda: containers that reduce encumbrance. I'm talking about things like backpacks or holsters, things that properly connect the weight to your body in such a way that it's not as cumbersome. Actually, this concept extends beyond containers: properly equipped clothing and armor fall under the same category. We'll need a term for this. I think "worn" will work as well as anything: clothing, armor, jewelry, and containers are considered "worn" when they are designed to distribute the load on the body in a less-cumbersome way, and have been properly donned (e.g. if you put on your armor hastily, it doesn't count as "worn" for purposes of determining encumbrance). In general, you should be able to carry about 50% more in this manner than you otherwise would. That means that the encumbrance of a worn item is reduced by 1/3rd (i.e. a full backpack with total encumbrance of 15 only counts as having encumbrance of 10 when properly equipped).

Finally, a sanity check, to make sure this whole system works properly at the low end as well. In the real world, if Joe went backpacking he should be able to haul a 40 pound pack indefinitely, but anything beyond that will start to seriously degrade his speed and endurance. In game terms, I would consider this the line between "Medium Load" and "Light Load." A 40 pound pack would have encumbrance of 13 (40/2=20, 20*2/3=13). Joe's carrying capacity is 120, which means his Light load limit is 12. Not exact, but close enough. It also leads to a good capacity for backpacks: a standard frame backpack (the big kind you take backpacking) should have a capacity of 15 encumbrance points, with the bag itself having encumbrance of 6, for a total of 21 for a full bag. Properly worn, it a full frame pack would have encumbrance of 14. That means that if Joe were to fill it up to the limit he would exceed his Medium load, but he could fill it most of the way without doing so. A bookbag would have a capacity of 9 encumbrance points, with the bag itself having encumbrance of 3, for a total of 12 for a full bag. A properly worn full book bag would have encumbrance of 9, which would only exceed the Light load of a weak character.
Last edited by lucasjung on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:37 pm

Darthmoe wrote:I think you might over estimate the value of a 40 pound sack of small logs being the same as a 4 pound sack of one big log. The smaller logs might pack easier even if there is more of them, and that allow them to be carried easier. There are certain ways of packing things that will make them easier to carry than others.

There's a limit to this. In my experience, the single large object is easier to carry unless you pack the smaller objects just right, in which case they are equally easy to carry. Packing technique matters, but the best that you can do with the smaller objects is make them not-harder to carry than the single large object. Really, though, the differences are minimal in most cases. If it's all in a backpack properly strapped to your back, and assuming that the objects are all of roughly equal density (which would be the case with logs, or any collection of similar objects), it really doesn't matter if they're big or small because your'e not interacting with individual objects, you're interacting with the backpack. If you're holding them in a burlap sack then the packing job might matter more, but I would still consider the difference minimal, and would also expect that any difference would favor the single large log.

Darthmoe wrote:Also the use of size modifiers are volume modifiers and you over exaggerate the complexity of the system too. In most cases volume modifiers are compatible with size modifiers except they eliminate size modifiers. I'm not the one arguing against fractions, but you clearly did so but not.

I dislike fractions, and seek to avoid them where practical, but adding a second set of multipliers to the size table is unnecessarily complex and confusing: "Wait, which multiplier do I use in this case?"

Darthmoe wrote:But the real point is that both systems have problems in significant areas so that means we have not found the solution yet.

The only significant problem with my "minimum encumbrance" proposal is that in some circumstances, a container filled with large light objects will be just as hard to carry as a container filled with a greater mass of smaller objects. This should not happen. Unfortunately, it is not specific to my proposal: this will be a problem with any encumbrance system that combines mass and volume into a single abstract number. In other words, the only way to get rid of this problem is to ditch the idea of abstract Encumbrance and instead use a dual-Encumbrance system which tracks both mass and volume separately, which I'm completely against because it would add complexity when the whole point was to make things simpler. To put it another way, my proposal eliminates all of the significant problems that can be eliminated.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:47 pm

Okay I concede your point on minimal encumbrance. As for the idea with craines and lifting machines having 3 digit STR scores and higher I do not see a problem with that except in Post-Modern / Future games. There we will have an issue with the machines like the powered exoskeleton loader that Ripley was operating at the beginning of Aliens and of course used to defeat the Queen. In order to lift the kind of weights one would expect such a piece of equipment like that to lift it would have to have an insanely high STR score, which means such a piece of equipment would have a bash attack of death. Assuming it would have an STR score of 200 (what it would need to lift a 1,000 pounds) that thing is going to have a + hit and damage bonus of +100 excluding all other bonuses the operator might have. We need to address this issue with feats, specialized mechanical equipment, traits and whatever else that allow a creature/machine to carry more weight without having to jack up it's STR score through the roof.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:38 pm

I made a pretty big math error in my post on carrying capacity. It's been corrected (see my EDIT). The punchline is: 1 point of Encumbrance is 2 pounds, not 1/2 pound. That goes a long way towards solving this problem. Another thing that will help is Size Multipliers: Carrying Capacity = 10xSTRx[Size Multiplier].

So looking at Ripley's loader, I would guess that it can pick up one ton with no problem, more with some straining. That means it's carrying capacity is 2,000 pounds, which translates to 1,000 encumbrance points. It looks Large to me, so it would have a size multiplier of 1.5. Rearranging the above formula, we get STR = [Carrying Capacity/(10x[Size Multiplier) = 1,000/(10x1.5)= 1,000/15 = 67. That's still way too high for a human to tangle with (+28 STR bonus to melee attacks!), so I think your idea about using Feats might work. Something along these lines:
Lifting Machine:
Prerequisite: Can only be taken by vehicles, robots, or other mechanically-powered characters.
Effect: When determining carrying capacity, treat your size as if it were two categories higher. When determining melee damage, treat your size as if it were one category higher.

Using this feat, Ripley's loader would only need STR of 20.

The other alternative would be to stick with the exponential scale for lifting capacity. There are machines that can lift orders of magnitude more than humans, and that's what exponential scales (or logarithmic, if you look at them from the other direction) are good for.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:15 pm

I'd rather balance encumbrance for a human and not powered exoskeletons. Most games won't even have such equipment, so it if feats will correct the issue without serious problems than that is what we should do.

Besides this is the only instance we have been to conclude that encumbrance system we have devised would really cause game breaking issue.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby GMRob » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:33 am

Just wanted to throw something out there really quick: why bother making it a feat? Why not just add it to the vehicle's statblock as a special trait?
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:50 am

In that case it would be a trait; beasts of burden, and heavy equipment might have the same trait. We can call it the "work horse" trait.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:12 pm

I've been thinking about my most recent proposal for carrying capacity:

Carrying Capacity = 10xSTRx[Size Multiplier]
One unit of Encumbrance = ca. 2 lbs.

It's got some advantages, but it's also got some flaws,

Pros:
  • Figuring carrying capacity is dead simple.
  • Results in reasonably accurate carrying capacities for humans.
Cons:
  • Resolution is too low: objects can only be differentiated in 2-lb increments; I believe that 1/2 lb increments would be much better.
  • Does not scale well for creatures weaker than humans. For example, if you had a cat as a familiar and gave it Str 1, it would have carrying capacity of 20x1x0.5 = 10, which is 20 lbs. It should be more like 1 lb.
  • Requires vehicles and heavy-lifting equipment to have ridiculously high strengths, or we have to introduce new mechanics to compensate.

I think we should give some serious consideration to a lookup table based on an exponential scale. The nice thing about exponential scales is that you can set the base and/or coefficients to give you the results you want in certain ranges. If we set a relationship where every Str increase of 20 points results in tenfold increase in carrying capacity, we'll have numbers that work well over the range of human strengths, but which also scales better for things that are order of magnitude stronger than humans. At the low end of the scale, I would break this relationship and go instead with a standard progression, so that we can better model very weak creatures.

The following table assumes that each point of encumbrance is roughly equivalent to half a pound:
  • STR 1: 5
  • STR 2: 10
  • STR 3: 20
  • STR 4: 50
  • STR 5: 100
  • STR 6: 200
  • STR 7: 220
  • STR 8: 250
  • STR 9: 280
  • STR 10: 320
  • STR 11: 360
  • STR 12: 400
  • STR 13: 450
  • STR 14: 500
  • STR 15: 560
  • STR 16: 630
  • STR 17: 710
  • STR 18: 800
  • STR 19: 900
  • STR 20: 1000
  • STR 21: 1100
  • STR 22: 1200
  • STR 23: 1400
  • STR 24: 1600
  • STR 25: 1800
  • STR 26: 2000
  • STR 27: 2200
  • STR 28: 2500
  • STR 29: 2800
For Str scores above 29, you find the carrying capacity by subtracting 20, looking up the carrying capacity for the reduced number, and then multiplying that by 10. If you have to subtract 20 twice, you multiply by 100, etc. For example, to find the carrying capacity for Str 78 you subtract 20 three times to get 18, which has a carrying capacity of 800; then you multiply by 10 three times, which gets you 800,000.
All carrying capacities are multiplied by size multipliers.

The advantages
Pros:
  • Resolution is good.
  • Results in reasonably accurate carrying capacities for humans.
  • Scales well for things with Str lower than humans.
  • Scales well for things with Str higher than humans.
Cons:
  • Figuring carrying capacity requires a table lookup.

To go back to the example of Ripley's loader, under this system one ton would be 4,000 encumbrance points. To have a carrying capacity of 4,000, the loader would need Str of 29 (2800x1.5=4200).

In my mind, the biggest differences between the two ways of doing things is that the first system (STRx10) makes it super-easy to figure out carrying capacity while the second system (lookup table) gives better resolution (1/2 lb. vs. 2 lb.) and scales much better for Strengths above and below the normal human range.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:17 pm

Just saying we could go STR X40 to use 1/2 pound increments. Requiring new mechanics to compensate for the STR scores is literally as simple as introducing the traits (extremely simple, and easily done).

Also the table look up is a pretty big con. I can tell you right now I'd simply skip over the whole chapter and go right back to ignoring encumbrance, most of the other gamers I know would too. Nobody cares about this crap except the writers who are getting paid to write it. The mathematics of the existing tables was never really the problem it's that frankly nobody bothers to give a dang about encumbrance because the rules are too complex. If we got to a exponential scale we may as well completely eliminate the whole system of abstract encumbrance because all we would do is make the system even more complex. We'd are adding a goofy volume mechanic that really doesn't work to begin with, opening up the window for even more logical flaws than the current system has, and for no added benefit. If we go to the table idea than might as well implement a real volume system that is not an abstraction.

The whole point of this thread was to point that the encumbrance system is convoluted mess that it is uniformly ignored by almost every gaming group since the history of D&D. It makes some concessions for reality but as it is the rules are so complex that they are more easily ignored than looked out, because let's face encumbrance is near the bottom of everyone's priority anyway. The system doesn't have to be realistic in the slightest bit all it has to do is an establish a reasonable limit to how much guns, weapons, ammo, and equipment a character can carry and that's really the only thing that matters when it comes to encumbrance.

I stand by original principal because I honestly feel that a simple and streamlined encumbrance system will deliver a much more satisfying playing experience than a perfect system for encumbrance and this is coming from a GM who is a total realism nut. I even went so fare to implement rules for bleeding damage, tetanus infections in one of my games.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:37 pm

I wanted to present the other option to see how people feel about it, but it sounds like you've got your mind made up at this point.

I think that going to STRx40 in order to get the 1/2 lb increments is a good idea. If you think that makes the math too cumbersome, we could do a compromise of STRx20 with 1 lb increments because it's very easy for most people: double STR and tack a zero onto the end.

In addition to traits for heavy-lifters, we'll also need traits for weak-lifters because the scale bottoms out at 20 lbs, which has a light load of 4 lbs.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:41 pm

lucasjung wrote:I wanted to present the other option to see how people feel about it, but it sounds like you've got your mind made up at this point.

I think that going to STRx40 in order to get the 1/2 lb increments is a good idea. If you think that makes the math too cumbersome, we could do a compromise of STRx20 with 1 lb increments because it's very easy for most people: double STR and tack a zero onto the end.

In addition to traits for heavy-lifters, we'll also need traits for weak-lifters because the scale bottoms out at 20 lbs, which has a light load of 4 lbs.


I was about to the same thing about STRX20.

Also I hope I did not come on too strong, but yeah I think if you go with this system you inevitably be making some concessions against reality. We can engineer some of those system out, but not all.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:03 am

OK, sounds like we're settled on Carrying Capacity = 20xSTRx[Size Multiplier], with each point of encumbrance roughly equivalent to one pound.

I came up with some ideas for minimum encumbrance values by guesstimating minimum volumes for each size catogory, multiplying by 25 lb/ft^3, and then rounding to a number on the standard progression. The results are presented in the table below. A fraction 1/n means: "n objects of this size, taken together, will take up one unit of encumbrance."

Proposed table of minimum encumbrance values:
  • Fine: 0
  • Diminutive: 0
  • Tiny: 1/2
  • Small: 5
  • Medium: 50
  • Large: 500
  • Huge: 5,000
  • Gargantuan: 50,000
  • Colossal: 500,000
For every step past Colossal, multiply by 10.

Here's an alternate proposal that places more emphasis on the unwieldiness of objects with lots of volume:
  • Fine: 0
  • Diminutive: 0
  • Tiny: 1/5
  • Small: 3
  • Medium: 50
  • Large: 750
  • Huge: 10,000
  • Gargantuan: 200,000
  • Colossal: 5,000,000
For every step past Colossal, advance four steps on the standard progression.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:42 am

I think I am more of fan of the 2nd table because I think that the biggest issue with encumbrance by far is that PC have the ability to carry near unlimited weapons and ammo, and I feel that the second table addresses that issue better. There are other ways of addressing this issue for example in one of my games the PCs had 3 weapons for firearms which included the long arm slot, sidearm slot, and back up / concealed firearm slot. You could trade a a higher slot to carry a lower class of weapon, for example if you wanted to carry two pistols, you can put one of sidearms into your longarm slot, but you could not use your sidearm slot to carry a second longarm. If you carried more than the allowed weapon slots you got a reduction on your XP awards for being "heavily armed". That being said I'd rather do encumbrance because there are occasions where characters would legitimately carry more than what I allowed. For example the sheriff deputy in the Walking Dead had a duffel bag full of shotguns, pistols, and at least one scoped bolt action rifle.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby lucasjung » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:10 pm

The second table could actually allow characters to carry more weapons. While the bigger items on the second table have higher minimum encumbrances, the smaller items have lower minimum encumbrances when compared to the first table: the whole progression is more steep, with only Medium objects left the same.

Don't forget that the sizes listed on the weapons table aren't object sizes: A "Medium" weapon isn't a Medium object, it's a weapon intended for Medium characters. Most "Medium" weapons are actually Small (rifles, shotguns, swords) or Tiny (handguns, knives) objects.

Actually, now that I think about it, neither of these tables is very likely to affect how much people can carry in the way of weapons: most weapons are heavy enough that they will be above the minimum encumbrance anyway.

In my mind, the main restriction on how many weapons you can carry is having enough places to stow them. You can hold one, maybe two, in your hands. For the rest, you need holsters/scabbards/slings/etc. There are only so many places on your body where you can put such things. People could conceivably stuff a bag full of weapons (such as the deputy you mentioned in Walking Dead), but then they won't have much encumbrance left over to carry anything else.
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Re: Abstract System for Encumbrance

Postby Darthmoe » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:05 pm

Yeah the weapon slots would be

2 hips
2 shoulders
1 back
2 ankles (fine weapons only)
2 legs
1 or 2 waste line

That's a lot of places to carry guns but some areas like the back compete with other storage containers and a weapon on the back could also count as a shoulder slot. Most likely you should probably not have more than one swung longarm at a time.

The other problem with packing a weapon other than having it holstered / swung is it takes much longer to draw.
Darthmoe
 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:50 pm

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