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Encumbrance and MOV


dieselpunk

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In the Bgb, there's a discussion about how encumbrance can affect movement (p. 180), but there don't seem to be any actual rules about it. The closest thing seems to be penalties on dodge. There's also mention of how much encumbrance someone could lift. But strangely no mention of then how carrying bulky or heavy things could slow you down. Am I missing something?

Edited by dieselpunk
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No, I cannot find them either. Perhaps they were not moved across from other systems when BRP was revised.

Edited by soltakss

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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Magic World (which is printed after BRP and partly derived from it) mentions a -1 or -2 MOV penalty for being heavily burdened which is set by the GM. In chases, burdened characters in pursuit, or pursued, by less burdened characters with the same MOV, have to make CONx3 rolls to keep up, keep away.

I don't have access to my copy of BRP close at hand, so I can't compare, but maybe that will give you a workable solution?

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15 hours ago, Nick J. said:

Magic World (which is printed after BRP and partly derived from it) mentions a -1 or -2 MOV penalty for being heavily burdened which is set by the GM. In chases, burdened characters in pursuit, or pursued, by less burdened characters with the same MOV, have to make CONx3 rolls to keep up, keep away.

I don't have access to my copy of BRP close at hand, so I can't compare, but maybe that will give you a workable solution?

The GM is advised to penalise MOV for things like carrying a heavy load / wearing cumbersome armour in Elric! which was published 1993 and from which both influenced the BRP BGB and forms the basis of Magic World. The same advice to GM's is paraphrased on page 180-181 of the BGB:

"The gamemaster can also lower your characters MOV attribute based on circumstances such as being overburdened, fatigued, cautious movement, etc."

Sadly, I don't think there is any more detail than that, not even the specific figures for penalties seen in Elric! / MW.

The Outpost 19 fatigue rues are part of my arsenal of house rules I use for more rule detailed games where I want to emphasise physical limitations - I really never cared for the RQ3 encumbrance / fatigue points system, hence came up with my own system.

cheers,

Nick

Edited by NickMiddleton
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Thanks for the replies.

The encumbrance rules seem like a big omission from BGB since it also effectively makes the Fatigue Point system only half implemented as well. It's also harder to come up with some rule because there's no real benchmark for how STR maps to lifting capacity except for some muddy translation to real world weights through SIZ or by comparing it to relatively few equipment examples.

Anyway, I took a look at the above and also took a look at how GURPS 4e handles this. I like the basis on strength as shown above so I'll go with something like the Outpost 19 rules as a basis.

Most of the time I just ignore details like this, but I was considering making an adventure where survival and hauling stuff became a factor and became interested in this topic. 

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So far, given the way my game has been running (as well as experience from how most RPGs run, including MMOs), fatigue doesn't really matter for the most part.  The party simply "takes five (minutes)" and *boom* most of the penalties/effects are gone.  The only one I've seen approach it fairly well that I can remember is HERO, which uses a Long Term Endurance mechanic, which measures your level of effort for your load in terms of your REC stat and slowly burns your END stat during sustained efforts. 

Even then, applicability is spotty (mainly when the party is trying to drag out a dragon's hoard ;) ).  In my current game, the party (squad) is about to seriously have to sneak around a contested city carrying extra expendable supplies and some extra weapons, which will start eating up fatigue in some manner.  Conrad's chart above looks like a good place to start on that and will require some extra accounting, but worthwhile IMO.

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8 hours ago, soltakss said:

Most people don't really care about Encumbrance, to be honest. Or, if they do care, they have their own preferred way of doing it.

You're probably right.

But that doesn't mean it's not a bit sloppy to have gone through the work of talking about it in a dedicated Optional Rule panel, mention it in relation to Fatigue Points, and have included Enc values with the weapons tables only to drop the ball on what it all means. If the BGB authors subscribed to the sentiment that no one would/should bother with Encumbrance then why not just do what CoC7 did and not have any mention of it at all?

As someone new to running BRP it's also not easy for me to find a preferred way based on digging around old BRP-based games. Thankfully I have you folks. :)

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I came up with a fatigue system like Nick's, which I used for Mentalism spells (you can keep casting them until you fail a roll and move to a higher Fatigue level). I think I was using the 'there's only easy, normal and difficult skill tests' school of thought to avoid the +/- bitty skill rolls, so there's not so many fatigue levels as in Nick's Outpost 19 system. I forgot about MOV though (but it would be easy to add). I must have got those figures from somewhere -- I thought it was the BGB but if it's not there I agree it's an omission. I usually don't really bother about encumbrance either. However I did have a dragon's hoard once which required a lot of logistics -- and guards, and politics -- to shift :)

Fatigue levels:

Psychically drained: Mentalism skill rolls Difficult
Tired: All skill rolls Difficult (equiv. CONx3 rounds of physical exertion)
Spent: Stamina roll required for any activity; skills at one quarter normal (equiv. CONx4 rounds of physical exertion)
Exhausted: Difficult Stamina roll for any activity; skills max = POW x 1 (equiv. CONx10 rounds of physical exertion)

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  • 1 year later...
On 4/29/2018 at 12:29 PM, dieselpunk said:

The encumbrance rules seem like a big omission from BGB since it also effectively makes the Fatigue Point system only half implemented as well. It's also harder to come up with some rule because there's no real benchmark for how STR maps to lifting capacity except for some muddy translation to real world weights through SIZ or by comparing it to relatively few equipment examples.

Anyway, I took a look at the above and also took a look at how GURPS 4e handles this. I like the basis on strength as shown above so I'll go with something like the Outpost 19 rules as a basis.

Most of the time I just ignore details like this, but I was considering making an adventure where survival and hauling stuff became a factor and became interested in this topic. 

 

Maybe poor form of me to revive this topic, especially since I was the last poster. However one idea from lifted from other RPGs which makes Encumbrance more palatable is: use number of items carried as a measure of encumbrance.

each Item carried is worth 1 ENC with the following exceptions:

  • 2H weapons are worth 2 items
  • 100 negligible weight items are worth 1 item (if in a suitable container)
  • 4 normal items in a suitable container (like a backpack) are worth 1 item
  • the backpack also counts as an item in the above example it would count as 2 items (one for the container, one for the contents)
  • carrying a body or bulky thing counts as SIZ items

Then use a system like the great Outpost 19 one above,  same effects but simpler (as in fewer stages of encumbrance):

STR/2 items: Light encumbrance

STR items: Moderate encumbrance

STRx2 items: Heavy encumbrance

STRx3 items: Maximum encumbrance

It's a lot easier to ask a player if they are carrying more than 5 items than it is to keep track of every single kilo. As with hit points or sanity, there's no particular benefit for a player to rigorously track their weight, so they don't. And it's also usually one more detail for the GM to monitor, hence these things get ignored a lot during play.

Armour

The Armour table on p. 259 of the Big Gold Book lists a 'burden' level for each type of armour: None, Light, Moderate or Cumbersome (ie Heavy). You could say that wearing those types automatically gives you that level of Encumbrance as a minimum, even if you are not carrying many items.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/30/2020 at 3:53 AM, Questbird said:

each Item carried is worth 1 ENC with the following exceptions:

  • 2H weapons are worth 2 items
  • 100 negligible weight items are worth 1 item (if in a suitable container)
  • 4 normal items in a suitable container (like a backpack) are worth 1 item
  • the backpack also counts as an item in the above example it would count as 2 items (one for the container, one for the contents)
  • carrying a body or bulky thing counts as SIZ items

I like this!

Would you mind giving its pedigree in a bit more detail for an encumbrance fan who figures “things" might just be the way to go but is seriously disappointed with how it is implemented in RQ G. Oh, and as a bit of a thread necromancer myself, do not apologize. From a search perspective it makes a lot of sense to revive rather than reboot. Thanks in advance whether you care to expound a little more or not.

Cheers 

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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I, too, like Questbird's guidelines.  They're simple but place generalized realistic limits on carrying capacity.  Usually I prefer not to mess with encumbrance as a GM.  On the other hand, you don't want a PC to run around with a fully stocked refrigerator on his back even in a superhero game.

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18 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I like this!

Would you mind giving its pedigree in a bit more detail for an encumbrance fan who figures “things" might just be the way to go but is seriously disappointed with how it is implemented in RQ G. Oh, and as a bit of a thread necromancer myself, do not apologize. From a search perspective it makes a lot of sense to revive rather than reboot. Thanks in advance whether you care to expound a little more or not.

Cheers 

 
 

The most recent place I read about this idea was in a science-fiction role playing game called Shadows Over Sol. The idea of using numbers of items instead of absolute weights struck me as a great balance between realism and record-keeping. Shadows Over Sol also had the idea of a container which can hold X items of a particular type (like a backpack or ammunition case). A similar idea was used in gamebooks like Lone Wolf and Fabled Lands. Lone Wolf books had 'backpack items' (max 8 ) plus a weapon, plus so-called 'Special Items', various plot-related things which were the rort of the game because they effectively weighed nothing. Fabled Lands also had a limit of 12 items, though you could stash items in boats and houses you could buy. In that one (and in most RPGs I think) cash was the fudge; you could carry as many Shards as you could find.

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