Bulk and Encumbrance

An item's bulk reflects how difficult it is to handle, representing its size and weight. Every creature and object has a bulk rating:

  • 0 Bulk: These items burden you only when carried in vast quantities (as determined by the GM). Examples include brushes, candles, gems, sewing pins, pocket knives, sticks of chalk, and pieces of gold. Ordinary clothes -- including belts, shoes, hats, rings, and other articles -- have 0 bulk when worn.

  • ⅒ Bulk: These items are portable, but they add up quickly. Examples include slings, daggers, garrotes, torches, wands, scrolls, rations (1 pound), mess kits, tool sets, bags of caltrops, vials of poison, flasks of oil, firebombs, and pieces of ammunition.

  • 1 Bulk: These items have a modest degree of heft. Examples include bundles, basic weapons (other than daggers), missile weapons (other than slings), specialty weapons (other than garrotes), lanterns, bedrolls, full waterskins (1 gallon), and 50-foot coils of rope. A typical bag of treasure (about 100 gold) has 1 bulk.

  • 2 Bulk: These items are rather big and heavy. Examples include great weapons, suits of armor, camping tents, and casks of ale.

  • 3 or More Bulk: These items are awkward to lug around. Examples include wagon wheels, marble statues, and pieces of furniture.

Rules Tip: A typical adventuring pack has 3⅕ bulk.

Determining the Bulk of a Creature: A Tiny, Medium, Large, Huge, or Gargantuan creature's bulk equals four times the number of squares that make up its "footprint" on a battlemap (or the number of squares on one face of its space; see Creature Size and Space). A Small creature has a bulk of 3.

Carrying Capacity (and Other Limits): The maximum bulk that you can carry equals 4 plus the number of faces on your Strength die. This is called your carrying capacity. The maximum bulk that you can push, drag, or lift equals twice your carrying capacity.

Size and Strength: Larger creatures can bear more weight, whereas Tiny creatures can bear less. For each size category above Medium, double the creature's carrying capacity and the amount it can push, drag, or lift. For a Tiny creature, halve these values.

Encumbrance: When pushing or dragging bulk in excess of your carrying capacity, or when pushing, dragging, or carrying a creature or unwieldy object (such as a body) that isn't Tiny or at least two sizes smaller than you, each square of movement costs 1 extra square.

This rule is true even if your movement is encumbered for multiple reasons at once: the increased cost doesn't combine with itself, nor does it combine with the increased cost for dragging or carrying a creature that you have grabbed. A mount ignores the size of one rider for the purpose of encumbrance.

Land Vehicle Capacity: A cart can carry up to 8 bulk. A wagon can carry up to 16 bulk. A carriage can carry up to 24 bulk.