Nobody likes managing their exact weight when playing D&D. The new Warhammer Fantasy RPG has switched to a more abstract system of encumbrance with smaller numbers. Here’s how to convert D&D/Pathfinder to the same scale:

Basics

A point of encumbrance is roughly equivalent to 3-5 pounds (for Medium equipment). If the item is particularly bulky, that number should be closer to 3. If it’s compact or otherwise easy to carry, it should be closer to 5.

Each character has an encumbrance threshold equal to Strength plus Str Mod (if positive). When equal or less than that threshold, the character is Lightly encumbered. Up to 2x the threshold is a Medium load, and up to 3x the threshold is a Heavy load.

Characters treat gear sized for them normally and multiply or divide by 2 for each category changed (e.g., a Medium Longsword is 1 encumbrance for a Medium character, 2 for a Small character, 4 for a Tiny character, and less than 1 for a Large character). Quadrupeds have a +50% threshold.

Gear Equivalencies

Weapons

  • Light weapons have negligible encumbrance (though they add up if stored, see below).
  • One-handed weapons have 1 encumbrance.
  • Two-handed weapons have 2 encumbrance.
  • Particularly bulky weapons (like hammers and axes) have +1 encumbrance.

Armor and Shields

An armor or shield’s encumbrance is equal to (non-magic) AC bonus plus Armor Check Penalty (e.g., a Chain Shirt has +4 AC and -2 ACP, so has encumbrance 6). Add +1 for spikes or other adornments.

Gear in Containers

Other gear is rated primarily by the containers in which it is stored. The player and GM should agree on how full they think various storage items are, and assign encumbrance accordingly. For example, a knapsack is 0/3/5 encumbrance, depending on whether it is mostly empty, partially filled, or completely full.

Container Empty/Partial/Full Max Weight (Medium Sized)
Small Pouch 0/1/2 5-10 lbs.
Knapsack/Large Pouch 0/3/5 15-25 lbs.
Large Pack 1/6/10 30-50 lbs.
Small Chest 5/10/15 100 lbs.
Quiver/Case 0/1/2 20 arrows/bolts
Bandoleer 0/1/2 10 daggers

Other Gear

If the item does not fit in a container, assign it an ad hoc encumbrance amount equal to half its weight in pounds (because, presumably, if it can’t fit in a container it’s being carried awkwardly and uncomfortably). This is meant to reflect carrying the item for an extended period: it shouldn’t be used to determine the character’s ability to manhandle things short distances.

If the player specifies a number of items that could fit in containers but are attached to various belts or pieces of clothing, feel free to assign extra encumbrance as appropriate.

The character’s worn clothing is not encumbering unless it is especially bulky, in which case add up to +2.

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