The Alexandrian

This simplified method for handling encumbrance will be used in Legends & Labyrinths, but it can also be easily dropped into any 3rd Edition game. (The rules for encumbrance by armor and the effects of encumbrance can be found in the core rulebooks.) The design is indebted to Delta’s D&D Hotspot and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. I’ll be posting full design notes in a few days.

Encumbrance, measured in stones carried, determines the load a character is currently carrying. Loads are either light, medium, or heavy and a character with Strength 10 follows an encumbrance rule of 10-5-3:  At 3 stones they are carrying a medium load, at 5 stones they are carrying a heavy load, and their maximum load is 10 stones.

Cloak and BackpackCharacters with lower to higher Strength scores adjust this rule by 2-1-½ per point of Strength. Partial stones can be rounded up. The minimum possible rule, regardless of Strength score, is 2-1-½. (For example, a character with Strength 8 would have an encumbrance rule of 6-3-2. A character with Strength 18 would have an encumbrance rule of 26-13-7.) These adjustments are summarized for convenience on the table at the end of this post.

Lifting and Pulling: The character can lift and carry the amount indicated on the table above their head. They can lift twice this amount and stagger around with it (moving only 5 feet per round as a full action and losing their Dexterity bonus to AC). They can generally drag or pull five times this amount along the ground (favorable conditions can double this; bad circumstances can reduce the amount to one-half or less at the DM’s discretion).

Tremendous Strength: For scores higher than 29, find the Strength score between 20 and 29 with the same final digit and multiply the listed lift score by 4 for every ten points the creature’s strength is above that score. (For example, a creature with Strength 38 would be able to lift 1,200 x 4 = 4,800 lbs.)

Adjusting for Size: The encumbrance rule for a creature is doubled for each size category above Medium and reduced by ½ for each size category below Medium (to a minimum of 1-½-¼). The encumbrance of armor, however, is also adjusted by the same factor (to a minimum of a half stone).

Quadrupeds: Quadrupeds can carry heavier loads, equal to 150% of a biped.

WEIGHT BY STONE

To determine the number of stones carried by a character, simply consult the table below.

ItemWeight in Stones
Heavy Armor5 stones
Medium Armor3 stones
Light Armor1 stone
Shield1 stone
Weapon1 stone
Weapon, lightMisc. Equipment
AmmunitionMisc. Equipment
Miscellaneous Equipment1 stone per 5 bundles
Stowed Weapons1 bundle
Heavy Items1 or more stones
Light Clothing / Worn Items0 stones
500 coins or gems1 stone

Miscellaneous Equipment: Up to twenty items of the same type (scrolls, arrows, potions, rope) can be bundled together for the purposes of encumbrance. Items of different types aren’t bundled when determining encumbrance.

Stowed Weapons: Stowed weapons have been compactly stored in a way which makes them more difficult to draw (but easier to carry). Stowed weapons must be retrieved before they can be used, but they only count as 1 stone per 5 weapons.

Heavy Items: Anything weighing more than roughly 10 pounds can’t be effectively bundled. Estimate a weight in stones (about 10-20 pounds to the stone). When in doubt, call it a stone.

Clothing / Worn Items: Worn items don’t count for encumbrance, unless the individual items would qualify as heavy items.

CONTAINERS

Weapons are assumed to be in sheaths, armor is worn, and you might have a wineskin or two strapped to your belt. But since there’s a limit to how much you can hold in your hands, everything else you’re carrying needs a place to live. As a rule of thumb, containers can carry:

ContainerCapacity
Belt, Pouch1/2 stone
Sack, Small1 stone
Sack, Large2 stones
Backpack3 stones
Backpack, Large5 stones

Empty containers count as miscellaneous equipment. Containers being used to carry items don’t count towards encumbrance.

Larger sacks (often referred to as “loot sacks”) are also possible, but these cannot generally be stored on the body. They must be carried in both hands.

CREATURE WEIGHT BY SIZE

Your own weight does not count against your encumbrance, but these figures are important for mounts. (They’ll also come in handy if you need to carry a corpse or prisoner.)

Creature SizeWeight in Stones
Diminutve or smallerMisc. Equipment
Tiny1 stone
Small2 stones
Medium12 stones
Large100 stones
Huge800 stones
Gargantuan6,400 stones
Colossal50,000 stones

These figures are meant to serve as a useful rule of thumb, being roughly accurate for creatures similar in build and type to humans (i.e. fleshy humanoids). There will, however, be significant variance within each size category. Even typical animals of Huge size, for example, can easily range anywhere from 400 stones to 3,000 stones. Creatures of unusual material can obviously shatter these assumptions entirely (ranging from light-as-air ether cloud fairies to impossibly dense neutronium golems).

ENCUMBRANCE RULES

Strength
Light Load
Medium Load
Heavy Load
Lift
1
1/2
1
2
10 lb.
2
1/2
1
2
20 lb.
3
1/2
1
2
30 lb.
4
1/2
1
2
40 lb.
5
1
1
2
50 lb.
6
1
1
2
60 lb.
7
2
2
4
70 lb.
8
2
3
6
80 lb.
9
3
4
8
90 lb.
10
3
5
10
100 lb.
11
4
6
12
115 lb.
12
4
7
14
130 lb.
13
5
8
16
150 lb.
14
5
9
18
175 lb.
15
6
10
20
200 lb.
16
6
11
22
230 lb.
17
7
12
24
260 lb.
18
7
13
26
300 lb.
19
8
14
28
350 lb.
20
8
15
30
400 lb.
21
9
16
32
460 lb.
22
9
17
34
520 lb.
23
10
18
36
600 lb.
24
10
19
38
700 lb.
25
11
20
40
800 lb.
26
11
21
42
920 lb.
27
12
22
44
1,040 lb.
28
12
23
46
1,200 lb.
29
13
24
48
1,400 lb.

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5 Responses to “Encumbrance by Stone – Legends & Labyrinths”

  1. Confanity says:

    I rather like the LotFP encumbrance rules as well. I’ve been seriously considering stoning my own campaign. Are there going to be playtest reports or -based comments coming out on this?

    Edits:
    Bottom chart needs fixing… especially Str 6 (2-1-2) and 7 (missing an element). On that note, I have to ask why you first discuss carrying capacities from Heavy to Light (“10-5-3” etc.) but then present it the other way around in the chart.

    Finally, the apparently copy-pasted rule on “tremendous strength” is still in lbs. Are you just going to translate that to stones?

  2. Justin Alexander says:

    Chart should be fixed. The tremendous strength guidelines should only be applied to the lift column. The stone values should be increased using the 2-1-1/2 guideline.

  3. nobodez says:

    Um, Justin, your chart is mess up. the 10 strength line is 10-5-4, not the standard 10-5-3.

    I see the problem, 8 str is 6-3-3 (should be 6-3-2), and the chart skewed from there.

  4. Justin Alexander says:

    Blasted farkle dings… WordPress tables are going to be the death of me.

    Thanks nobodez. The chart should now be corrected.

  5. Gamosopher says:

    Pretty good, but I must confess I prefer Stars Without Number’s system. Simply put : you can have Strenght/2 readied items, Strenght stowed item (retrieving a stowed item is an action); pretty much everything count as one item, but super small stuff just does not count unless in great number (like coins), some small things can be bundled (countning as only one item; unbundling is an action) and big stuff count as more (i.e. 1-h weapon is 1, 2-h is 2); you’re lightly encumbered up to +2 readied and +4 stowed item, highly up to twice those numbers. Simple and efficient.

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