Encumbrance Revisited

Copyright Allen Maher © 2006

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"To make a more accurate system without making it completely silly. I only changed two things"

Of all the mechanics in HARP that need revisiting, I suspect that encumbrance is high on the list of many people. The two issues most commonly mentioned are the lack of differentiation between races (a 270 lb Gryx versus a 50 lb halfling for example) and the lack of differentiation between weak and strong characters.

To make a more accurate system without making it completely silly. I only changed two things. One the progression rate from light to medium to heavy, and two a racial base for encumbrance rather than the 30lbs for everyone.

Progression

The strength of the individual character really matters little under the current Encumbrance with an Olympic Weight lifter only being able to carry 10 pounds more than the average Joe Blow. By changing the progression formula, which now stands at (Base)xN+St, to (Base+St)xN you come to a very different estimation of encumbrance, where the well-muscled man can carry a fair bit more than the average man.

A comparison of the two methods follows...

Old Progression Light Med Heavy
Normal Man (St 50) 30 60 91+
Olympic Athlete (St 98) 40 70 101+

New Progression Light Med Heavy
Normal Man (St 50) 30 60 91+
Olympic Athlete (St 98) 40 80 121+

While it is not a perfect representation it does give a little better representation than the old method without changing too much.

Racial Bases

Lets face it a 50lb Halfling won't be able to carry as much as a Gryx carrying the 50lb halfling. The base 30 lbs really falls apart quickly even between common races. When you get into more exotic races it makes no sense at all. A few talents were taken into account when creating racial bases, as well average adult racial weight and size.

Beyond the Talents below, the rest of this is presented for academic purposes only. Simply consult the main Player, Mount, or Creature Table and get the Encumbrance Base. Then use the new progression and don't trouble yourself too much with the minutiae.

The Impact of Talents

Some Talents can aid Encumbrance; where they are Blood talents, they are figured into the Racial Numbers in the Tables.

Natural Flight

Creatures that can fly do so by having lighter and more fragile bones and bodies, they just can't carry the same weight as ground creatures.

-50% to the Size Bonus to Racial Encumbrance Base

Dense Musculature

Those who have a dense musculature structure will be able to carry more weight.

+1/3 Size Base to Racial Encumbrance Base

Portage (Lesser) 10 DP

People and creatures that are trained or specially bred for carrying things are slightly more capable than the rest of us.

+25% to Racial Encumbrance Base

Portage (Greater) 25 DP

People and creatures that are trained and/or specially bred for carrying things are more capable than the rest of us. In some people and creatures, this is very well developed.

+50% to Racial Encumbrance Base

Portage (Major) 40 DP

People and creatures that are trained and specially bred for portaging things are much more capable than the rest of us. For a very rare few people and creatures, this is extraordinarily well developed.

+100% to Racial Encumbrance Base

The Effects of Size in General

The general guidelines I used for calculating a Racial Encumbrance Base are as follows:

Size Size Base Size Bonus
Tiny (smaller than 10 lb) 0 50% Weight
Tiny (over 10 lb) 5 25% Weight
Small 15 10% Weight
Medium 15 10% Weight
Large 25 15% Weight
Huge 35 25% Weight

The Effects of Limbs

There is no doubt about it - more supporting limbs means more weight can be carried. Here are the numbers I used to estimate the effects.

Limbs Size Adjustment
0-1 -50%
2 0
4 +50%
6 +100%
8+ +200%

Rounding

So after calculation of the numbers they are rounded to an appropriate degree: nearest 10 lbs or so for Large creatures, nearest pound for small and medium creatures, nearest fraction of a pound for the really tiny ones.

The formula really did work out well, calculating mount capacities extraordinarily well and using the talent adjustments coming up with a really believable set of numbers. Gender is not taken into account in these figures, though one could if one wanted give a slight adjustment for the lower average female weight. I chose to ignore this... and not just because my wife may one day read this.

Player Races

Race Ave.
Weight
Racial
Strength
Talents Racial Encumbrance base Light Medium Heavy
Aesyr 400 10 90 100 200 301
Arali 150 30 30 60 91
Drogosi 130 3 28 31 62 94
Dwarven 180 2 Dense Musculature 38 40 80 121
Elven 120 27 27 54 82
Gnome 70 22 22 44 67
Gryphon 250 5 Flight
Quadruped
34 39 78 118
Gryx 250 4 Dense Musculature 45 49 98 148
Halfling 50 -2 20 18 36 55
Human 180 33 33 66 100
Kalibari 200 4 35 39 78 118
Ketauri 220 37 37 74 112
Malbung 200 2 Dense Musculature 40 42 84 127
Merak 210 2 36 38 76 115
Nagazi 250 3 40 43 86 130
Phrenali 95 25 25 50 76
Rhona 70 22 22 44 67
Sithi 140 29 29 58 88
Volar 95 Flight 20 20 40 61
Vsori 150 30 30 60 91

Mounts

Race Ave.
Weight
Racial

Strength

Talent Enc. Base Light Medium Heavy
Horse Heavy 1300 2 Quadruped 300 302 604 907
Horse Light 800 2 Quadruped 200 202 404 607
Horse Medium 900 2 Quadruped 250 252 504 757
Pony Mature 500 1 Quadruped 100 101 202 304
Riding Dog 100 Quadruped 50 50 100 151
Stionoir Areya 700 3 Quadruped
Portage (Greater)
200 303 606 910
Stionoir Aumo 950 3 Quadruped 250 253 506 760
Stionoir Okin 800 3 Quadruped 200 203 406 610
Stionoir Vatoh 300 3 Quadruped 100 103 206 310
War Horse Greater 1100 4 Quadruped
Portage (lesser)
280 354 708 1063
War Horse Light 950 3 Quadruped
Portage
(lesser)
240 303 606 910

Monsters

Race Ave.
Weight
Racial

Strength

Talent Enc. Base Light Medium Heavy
Ant, Giant 80 3 Six Legs 31 34 68 103
Ape, Giant 500 5 100 105 210 316
Beetle, Giant 80 4 Six Legs 31 35 70 106
Cat, Large 200 2 Quadruped 45 47 94 142
Centaur* 800 4 Quadruped 200 204 408 613
Demon, Class I 180 4 33 37 74 112
Demon, Class II 210 5 36 41 82 124
Demon, Class III 250 7 40 47 94 142
Demon, Class IV 400 9 85 94 188 283
Demon, Class V 600 10 115 125 250 376
Demon, Class VI 1000 12 175 187 374 562
Dragon, Adult 10000 40 Flight
Quadruped
1500 1540 3080 4621
Gargoyle* 600 0 Flight
Quadruped
115 115 230 346
Giant, Greater 4000 20 1035 1055 2110 3166
Giant, Lesser 1000 15 175 190 380 571
Goblin* 120 1 27 28 56 85
Golem, Iron 5000 10 775 785 1570 2356
Griffin* 250 5 Flight
Quadruped
40 45 90 136
Hippogriff 300 10 Flight
Quadruped
Portage G.
105 115 230 346
Hobgoblin* 200 2 35 37 74 112
Hydra 2000 30 Quadruped 800 830 1660 2491
Kobold* 60 0 21 21 42 64
Lizardmen* 190 3 34 37 74 112
Ogre 600 6 120 126 252 379
Orc* 250 3 40 43 86 130
Rat, Giant 100 0 Quadruped 30 30 60 91
Sabertooth Tiger 200 4 Quadruped 70 74 148 223
Scorpion, Giant 80 6 Eight Legs 31 37 74 112
Spider, Greater 250 6 Eight Legs 100 106 212 319
Spider, Giant 100 10 Eight Legs 55 65 130 196
Spider, Lesser 80 3 Eight Legs 31 34 68 103
Troll, Greater 800 12 150 162 324 487
Troll, Lesser 550 8 110 118 236 355
Undead, Class I** 150 2 30 32 64 97
Undead, Class II** 180 3 33 36 72 109
Undead, Class III** 200 4 35 39 78 118
Undead, Class IV** 200 5 35 40 80 121
Undead, Class V** 200 6 35 41 82 124
Wasp, Giant 60 -1 Flight
Six Legs
21 20 40 61
Werewolf 250 1 Quadruped 50 51 102 154
Wolf 100 0 Quadruped 30 30 60 91
Wyvern 5000 30 Flight
Quadruped
800 830 1660 2491

* Player races with GM approval ** Corporeal entities only