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Handwaved encumberance... 
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Mist Elf

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:08 pm
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Post Handwaved encumberance...
I'm curious as to what people mean when they say they handwave encumberance.

For example, I tell my player they can carry three weapons, one suit of armor (worn), two days worth of food, their class gear, and up to 500 coins. Anything beyond that they need to let me know what it is and how they are carrying it. They know that having their excess loot "on my radar" is generally a bad thing. That said I've make it a point not to have their keep raided when they're gone adventuring, so they can feel safe leaving their loot behind.

So, handwaving encumberance, what does that mean in your game?

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Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:05 pm
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Red Cap
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Post Re: Handwaved encumberance...
It means i expect them to carry minimal gear.
once in a while I will look at their sheets and if they are over loaded they have to figure out how to lose some gear.

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Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:01 pm
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Unkbartig
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Post Re: Handwaved encumberance...
For me, I guess it just means that I don't actually calculate things out. I prefer to use common sense, though I'm pretty generous, because I'm more interested in fun adventuring than bookkeeping or realism. So as long as it seems reasonable, I don't worry about it. If the player seems to be trying to take advantage, or breaking the suspension of disbelief, then I'll call them on it.


Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:24 pm
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Handwaved encumberance...
kreider204 wrote:
For me, I guess it just means that I don't actually calculate things out. I prefer to use common sense, though I'm pretty generous, because I'm more interested in fun adventuring than bookkeeping or realism. So as long as it seems reasonable, I don't worry about it. If the player seems to be trying to take advantage, or breaking the suspension of disbelief, then I'll call them on it.

+1

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Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:46 pm
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Red Cap
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Post Re: Handwaved encumberance...
Yep, if they want to grab that solid gold statuette, they better
off-load something else, simple as that most times. Of course, smart
players would break up the statuette, each taking a bit...

Yeah, "handwaving" encumberance done right can lead to better
role-play I think.


Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:26 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Handwaved encumberance...
I have the characters set up their gear with a max of light load initially. After that, they get bogged down by treasure and other things they pick up...though I don't get into all the penalties and such. They get their ass handed to them often enough as it is when I run.*WEG*

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Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:30 pm
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Lore Drake

Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 7:00 am
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Post Re: Handwaved encumberance...
DeadReborn wrote:
kreider204 wrote:
For me, I guess it just means that I don't actually calculate things out. I prefer to use common sense, though I'm pretty generous, because I'm more interested in fun adventuring than bookkeeping or realism. So as long as it seems reasonable, I don't worry about it. If the player seems to be trying to take advantage, or breaking the suspension of disbelief, then I'll call them on it.

+1

+2

Pretty much how we always handled things.


Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:19 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Handwaved encumberance...
It's one of those "I know it when I see it" things with encumbrance violations. If you won't leave a room until every coin, stick of furniture, sack of flour, and rust monster gallstone is looted, you might be pushing it.

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Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:27 pm
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Handwaved encumberance...
anyone seen the encumbrance system in the rpg Stars Without Number? It offered me a new model (maybe it's just new to me, but anyway) that seemed pretty dandy ...

I don't have the rules right in front of me, but IIRC the idea is that a pc has STR/2 slots for readied items; these include armor, weapons, belt pouch, potions, etc. PCs also have a certain number of additional 'slots' for items which are carried but not readied (I forget the formula). I think there is also a scaling penalty to movement based on the percentage of slots you have filled, but I'd have to go check it. I am drawn to this system as more abstract than most systems and seemingly requiring less bookkeeping than those in which you have to calculate either weight or EV or something. The SWN requires only that you worry about the number of items carried. Of course SWN is a space game, in which heavy armor doesn't figure, so I'd probably want to futz with the system a bit (light armor takes 1 'slot', heavy armor 2 or 3 slots, etc).

Back to the OP .... I am currently paying no attention to encumbrance. But my players are newbies and have not yet acquired that crazed look of the experienced dungeoneer, in which everything has its potential use and therefore must be carried. They also have not yet found many extensive hoards.

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Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:55 pm
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Maukling
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Post Re: Handwaved encumberance...
I handwave the encumberance rules from the PHB, but when I run C&C, I use the Str-to-weight carried, borrowed from d20. It's not terribly realistic, but it's simple and works pretty well. I was all set to disregard the encumberance rules, and did for a session or two, but my players were actually the ones that wanted to use the d20 rules.

If you're going to totally handwave the rules, it should be fine - I did most of my 1st and 2nd Ed. AD&D years with no problem. As long as no one tries to carry life-sized statues of gold or an alchemist's labratory around you should be good.

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Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:52 am
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Global Moderator
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Post Re: Handwaved encumberance...
kreider204 wrote:
For me, I guess it just means that I don't actually calculate things out. I prefer to use common sense, though I'm pretty generous, because I'm more interested in fun adventuring than bookkeeping or realism. So as long as it seems reasonable, I don't worry about it. If the player seems to be trying to take advantage, or breaking the suspension of disbelief, then I'll call them on it.

This is pretty much me as well. I don't want to bother to calculate encumberance all the time, so it's easier for me to just let them carry stuff and then I warn them as they start to accumulate too much.

This can really be an issue with Copper Pieces in treasure, where CP have so little value compared to their mass that most players just leave it behind becasue they don't want to be weighed down by it. By "handwaving" I can ignore the fact that they have bags of nearly worthless coins, just keep an accounting of how much cash they have, and keep the adventure going.

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Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:52 pm
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