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Author Topic: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?  (Read 655 times)

Chris24601

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What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« on: May 11, 2022, 09:39:40 AM »
What it says on the tin.

I recently had a discussion about my high fantasy system’s encumbrance rules and wanted to see what sort of preferences other people have.

hedgehobbit

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2022, 10:59:22 AM »
I'd say that Runequest had the most usable. Items have a simple, one digit weight and you can pick up stuff equal to your Strength while you can carry stuff equal to the average of your Strength and Constitution.

I use a similar system, but instead of encumbrance making people move more slowly, I make them get tired faster. Normally, you can fight a number of rounds equal to your Con before getting tired. If encumbered, it is half that. Tired just means a -2 on all rolls involving physical activity. The end result of this in play is that characters will rotate in and out of the front line which means that more players get involved in the combat.

I made this change cause I found that not only were multiple movement rates annoying to track, but they had too much effect outside of combat (when character are supposed to be moving cautiously anyway) and too little effect in combat when movement doesn't happen much outside of the first couple rounds.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2022, 11:05:05 AM by hedgehobbit »

Steven Mitchell

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2022, 11:32:46 AM »
Prefer a hybrid of slot-based, only tracking big items, and some general GM hand-waving (i.e. not used).

Specifically, I want the encumbrance system to broadly get characters in the ball park of "reasonable" as simply as possible, while providing a framework for GM adjudication for the outliers. 

With that in mind, I make the default range and expectations somewhat generous, to encourage players to stay safely there.  That's the carrot.  Then the stick is that hitting "encumbered" is brutal, and only to be done when really necessary (e.g. haul unconscious party members around, or pull that heavy treasure out of the dungeon).  Then then "lack of carrot" is being lightly encumbered is mainly about overland travel and/or fleeing, not tactical, every adventure play.  Bottom line is that everyone sits safely in the middle and it doesn't impinge on regular play, but running out of arrows or food is still a mild concern, that can turn serious quick in some circumstances, without me having to make an ad hoc ruling on resources every time that happens.

So go in to the adventure medium encumbered.  Come out medium encumbered.  Since the base rules assume that, no mods to tactical movement rates or getting tired on anything else.  If it all turns pear-shaped, start slinging bodies on back and hope it works out or drop gear and flee like crazy, and then get out of that state as soon as possible.

rytrasmi

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2022, 11:44:48 AM »
When I GM, I trust the players to be realistic when it comes to encumbrance for everyday moving about. I don't spend much time discussing how they move back and forth between points A and B to transport a household's worth of gear from A to B. If it matters (like you can only go from A to B once, or there's a risk of ambush), then we discuss what they take and how. If something ends up mattering and it wasn't clear if it was carried, packed on the mule that just fell into the chasm, or in some pile somewhere, we decide what makes sense and there may be a roll. Hand-wavey? Yes, but also streamlined.
 
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Mishihari

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2022, 11:51:37 AM »
I picked bulk based; hopefully that means what I thought it did.  Basically everything has some type of encumbrance point rather than actual weight, based on difficulty to carry, which can include many factors.  Keep the numbers low enough that the arithmatic is not a burden, and ignore the really small stuff.

I want to be able to do survival treks in a game, and encumbrance is critical for making that interesting.

FingerRod

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2022, 11:57:45 AM »
I was your one (so far) who picked coin based. It is btb in 0e and not difficult. I probably take more of an IRS approach—players are expected to keep track of it, and I audit when it might make sense.

But I also really like LotFP’s system, which would probably fall under the slot based/bulk entry.

rgalex

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2022, 12:51:14 PM »
Personally, I like the slot/bulk style encumbrance rules a lot of games are using these days.  The rest of my group though, they prefer to not bother with any encumbrance rules at all.  It makes it easier for the Cleric to carry the rest of the party that way.  ;D

Rob Necronomicon

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2022, 01:40:27 PM »
The slot-based one is the easiest.

Generally, though, I don't use encumbrance rules. But I don't let the characters take the piss.
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David Johansen

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2022, 07:39:29 PM »
In my games you're either Stripped, Normal, or Burdened.  Stripped is nothing more than light clothing, sneakers, and a one handed weapon.  Burdened is heavy armour and a shield or backpack.

I use fairly detailed encumbrance in GURPS because it's an important balancing factor in combat.
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Pat

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Neoplatonist1

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2022, 10:37:50 PM »
I don't recall tracking encumbrance at all for the past campaign I've ran. The PCs had character sheets written up with the objects they carried, but none of this translated into action or skill penalties because they'd presumably drop bulky things before getting into a fight or other risky venture.

When I do track encumbrance and apply penalties, however, I do so at the resolution of 0.1 lbs.

Ratman_tf

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2022, 12:29:38 AM »
Bulk, and only enforced if/when encumbrance comes up as a potential issue. "You're carrying how much again?"
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Shawn Driscoll

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2022, 01:25:46 AM »
What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
The TPS system.

migo

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2022, 03:39:35 AM »
In my games you're either Stripped, Normal, or Burdened.  Stripped is nothing more than light clothing, sneakers, and a one handed weapon.  Burdened is heavy armour and a shield or backpack.

I use fairly detailed encumbrance in GURPS because it's an important balancing factor in combat.

Balance is one of the reasons to consider it. For instance in D&D if you don't use encumbrance, any Strength score between 8 and 15 is essentially the same, and you can easily use Strength as a dump stat. This is the same if you don't use Henchmen and NPC Reaction rolls where Charisma becomes a dump stat. So it's important to see if encumbrance is just an add-on or if it's tightly integrated into the system.

If it's the latter, you need to consider using a different system if you really don't want to track it.

Omega

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Re: What Encumbrance system do you prefer?
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2022, 06:12:01 PM »
I liked BX's system which had a flat carrying weight for everyone. But AD&D's system was a bit more realistic and so given a choice I usually port some or all of that over to BX. Star Frontiers had a simple and clean system as well. As did Dragon Storm where every item had a listed carrying capacity cost.