Encumbrance

Encumbrance rules determine how much a character’s armor and equipment slow him or her down. Encumbrance comes in two parts: encumbrance by armor and encumbrance by total weight.

Encumbrance by Armor: A character’s armor defines his or her maximum Dexterity bonus to AC, armor check penalty, speed, and running speed (see Armor, though). Unless your character is weak or carrying a lot of gear, that’s all you need to know. The extra gear a character carries won’t slow him or her down any more than the armor already does. Since armor is designed to be as nonrestrictive as possible, it only weighs 3/4 as much as normal when worn for encumbrance purposes.

If a character is weak or carrying a lot of gear, however, then you’ll need to calculate encumbrance by weight. Doing so is most important when the character is trying to carry some heavy object.

Encumbrance by Weight: Load is how much gear the character or creature is carrying; this includes the armor’s weight (see above). “No load” means the character or creature is carrying so little that it doesn’t adversely affect its ability to move – basic clothing, for example. Some items may not weigh much, but could be large and/or awkward to carry – their relative weight can be doubled or even tripled to account for the extra encumbrance factor.

Table 1: Carrying Capacity

Load
None Light Medium Heavy
1 0-1 lb. 2-3 lb. 4–6 lb. 7–10 lb.
2 0-2 lb. 3-6 lb. 7–13 lb. 14–20 lb.
3 0-3 lb. 4-10 lb. 11–20 lb. 21–30 lb.
4 0-4 lb. 5-13 lb. 14–26 lb. 27–40 lb.
5 0-5 lb. 6-16 lb. 17–33 lb. 34–50 lb.
6 0-6 lb. 7-20 lb. 21–40 lb. 41–60 lb.
7 0-7 lb. 8-23 lb. 24–46 lb. 47–70 lb.
8 0-8 lb. 9-26 lb. 27–53 lb. 54–80 lb.
9 0-10 lb. 11-30 lb. 31–60 lb. 61–90 lb.
10 0-11 lb. 12-33 lb. 34–66 lb. 67–100 lb.
11 0-12 lb. 13-38 lb. 39–76 lb. 77–115 lb.
12 0-14 lb. 15-43 lb. 44–86 lb. 87–130 lb.
13 0-16 lb. 17-50 lb. 51–100 lb. 101–150 lb.
14 0-19 lb. 20-58 lb. 59–116 lb. 117–175 lb.
15 0-22 lb. 23-66 lb. 67–133 lb. 134–200 lb.
16 0-25 lb. 26-76 lb. 77–153 lb. 154–230 lb.
17 0-28 lb. 29-86 lb. 87–173 lb. 174–260 lb.
18 0-33 lb. 34-100 lb. 101–200 lb. 201–300 lb.
19 0-38 lb. 39-116 lb. 117–233 lb. 234–350 lb.
20 0-44 lb. 45-133 lb. 134–266 lb. 267–400 lb.
21 0-51 lb. 52-153 lb. 154–306 lb. 307–460 lb.
22 0-57 lb. 58-173 lb. 174–346 lb. 347–520 lb.
23 0-65 lb. 66-200 lb. 201–400 lb. 401–600 lb.
24 0-77 lb. 78-233 lb. 234–466 lb. 467–700 lb.
25 0-88 lb. 89-266 lb. 267–533 lb. 534–800 lb.
26 0-102 lb. 103-306 lb. 307–613 lb. 614–920 lb.
27 0-115 lb. 116-346 lb. 347–693 lb. 694–1,040 lb.
28 0-133 lb. 134-400 lb. 401–800 lb. 801–1,200 lb.
29 0-155 lb. 156-466 lb. 467–923 lb. 924–1,400 lb.
+10 x4 x4 x4 x4

Lifting and Dragging: A character can lift as much as his maximum load over his head. He can lift as much as double his maximum load off the ground, but he can only stagger around with it. While overloaded in this way, he loses any Dexterity bonus to AC and can move only 5 feet per round (as a full-round action).

A character can generally push or drag along the ground as much as five times his maximum load. Favorable conditions (smooth surfaces, ice, etc.) can double these numbers, and bad circumstances (rough terrain) can reduce them to one-half or less.

Bigger and Smaller Creatures: The figures on Table 1 are for Medium bipedal creatures. Larger or smaller bipeds can carry more or less weight depending on its size category, as noted on the table below.

Quadrupeds can carry heavier loads than characters. Instead of the multipliers given above, multiply the value corresponding to the creature’s Strength score from Table 1 by the appropriate modifier in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Bipedal and Quadrupedal Creature Carrying Capacity

Fine Dim. Tiny Small Medium Large Huge Garg. Col.
Biped x1/8 x1/4 x1/2 x3/4 x1 x2 x4 x8 x16
Quadruped x1/4 x1/2 x3/4 x1 x1.5 x3 x6 x12 x24

Tremendous Strength: For Strength scores not shown on Table 3, find the Strength score between 20 and 29 that has the same number in the "ones" digit as the creature’s Strength score does. Multiply the number by 4 if the creature’s Strength is 30 to 40, x16 for 40 to 50, x64 for 50 to 60, etc.


Encumbrance for Other Base Speeds: Table 3 provides reduced speed figures for all base speeds from 20 feet to 100 feet.

Table 3: Encumbrance Penalties by Base Speed
Speed
Check
Penalty
(20 ft.) (30 ft.) (40 ft.) (50 ft.) (60 ft.) (70 ft.) (80 ft.) (90 ft.) (100 ft.)
Light -1 20 ft. 30 ft. 40 ft. 50 ft. 60 ft. 70 ft. 80 ft. 90 ft. 100 ft.
Medium -3 15 ft. 20 ft. 25 ft. 35 ft. 40 ft. 45 ft. 50 ft. 60 ft. 65 ft.
Heavy -61 10 ft. 15 ft. 15 ft. 25 ft. 25 ft. 30 ft. 35 ft. 40 ft. 45 ft.

1 The character also suffers a -3 penalty to attack rolls and Ride checks and a -9 penalty to Swim checks.



A variant system defining objects' encumbrance by size and weight.
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