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Encumbrance and Equipment

June 19, 2011

Guh! The clean-up which I said would take two weeks has gone ridiculously slow. I’m now a month in and have 3 chapters done…

My last roadblock was on Weapons, Armor, and Equipment of all things. I really got sidetracked on the ‘Encumbrance Value’ of these items. Normally, I could care less about the weight of items and how much an individual is carrying; however, I was reading the system  proposed in Lamentations of the Flame Princess (a retro-clone) which is very abstract, not very realistic, but perfect for my type of game. It’s fast and simple. Of course, I heavily tweaked and had to mesh with Movement rules, which has to mesh with the new Area rules…this took a lot longer than I expected. In a nutshell, only certain items have an encumbrance value, items like armor, two handed weapons, etc. Smaller items (certain one handed weapons, light armor, flasks, etc.) don’t initially have an encumbrance value but 5 such items equals 1 encumbrance point. Small items (daggers, rings, jewelry, etc) are never counted (within reason of course). Everyone has a minimum Encumbrance Rating of 1, where I diverge from LotFP is that I allow characters to add their Strength bonus, so someone with a Strength bonus of +3 has an ER of 4. For every point you are above your ER you subtract from your Dexterity attribute AND their movement is slowed. The net effect of all of this is that a character who is strong will not be penalized in Dexterity or movement for, say, wearing plate armor. This is actually fairly realistic, armor was not nearly as restrictive as portrayed in many rpgs and movies. Knights could do handstands or climb in full plate without any trouble. The real problem with armor is that it was hot and could be fatiguing, issue that are handled quite nicely (IMHO) by armor aspects.

Next on the itinerary, Aspects. This shouldn’t take me anytime at all except I want to also develop Aspect rules for adventuring parties which I haven’t written yet.

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