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Logic
2007-05-10, 10:36 PM
I have never seen this problem addressed, but when I was making a small character, I noticed that her carrying capacity for a Light Load (43 Lbs) was greater than her own body weight (31 lbs). This is after applying the small characters carrying capacity limitation (3/4 of normal) and makes no sense to me.

For those that are curious, her strength was 14.

Has this ever been addressed before?

Jasdoif
2007-05-10, 10:40 PM
Encumbrance is strictly for gear and other equipment. Your body weight never counts against your encumbrance.

Dhavaer
2007-05-10, 10:40 PM
What about it doesn't make sense to you?

JaronK
2007-05-10, 10:40 PM
So? Ants can carry many times their own body weight. The smaller you get, the easier that is.

JaronK

Logic
2007-05-10, 10:41 PM
Encumbrance is strictly for gear and other equipment. Your body weight never counts against your encumbrance.
That is not what I was talking about. I know that your own weight is not calculated for carriynig capacity.

What about it doesn't make sense to you?
Imagine carrying 160 lbs as a light load, and tell me what you think is wrong.

So? Ants can carry many times their own body weight. The smaller you get, the easier that is.

JaronK
Actually, ants can carry much more their weight because their limbs move more on the principle of hydraulics than sinews.

So, a Thri-Keen could conceptually carry more than an elf due to being insectoid rather than humanoid.

Jasdoif
2007-05-10, 10:45 PM
That is not what I was talking about. I know that your own weight is not calculated for carriynig capacity.

Imagine carrying 160 lbs as a light load, and tell me what you think is wrong.OK, I guess I should explain further: Your body weight is a purely descriptive factor. The game doesn't force you to account for it via mechanics, so you can play an unusually thin character as mechanically well as an unusually obese character.

It's especially nice for those of us who have no idea how to visualize a character of a certain weight and height.

JaronK
2007-05-10, 10:45 PM
Imagine carrying 160 lbs as a light load, and tell me what you think is wrong.

Hmm... that you're too big to do that?

Smaller animals can always carry more, preportionately. An elephant certainly can't carry anywhere near its own weight, but a dung beatle can carry more than 100 times its own.

JaronK

Logic
2007-05-10, 10:49 PM
Hmm... that you're too big to do that?

Smaller animals can always carry more, preportionately. An elephant certainly can't carry anywhere near its own weight, but a dung beatle can carry more than 100 times its own.

JaronK

Ok, put a 50 pound pack on your dog, and tell me that carrying capacity changes inversely proportionate to weight as you get smaller.

Or, a 8 pound pack on your cat.

Tell me that they can move as easily as they can with nothing. You argument does not take into account that insects do not have muscles.

Ulzgoroth
2007-05-10, 11:03 PM
Actually, ants can carry much more their weight because their limbs move more on the principle of hydraulics than sinews.
Uh, not really, no. Insects have muscles, not anything resembling a hydraulic power system. And a mouse, despite having an outrageously light build and being much bigger than the ant, can perform feats of relative strength no medium creature could imagine...have you seen them jump? Cube-Square law says being tiny is awesome.

So, a Thri-Keen could conceptually carry more than an elf due to being insectoid rather than humanoid.
No, no! Exoskeleton doesn't increase your lift capability. In fact, it makes heavy-load joints essentially impossible, and more or less entombs you in structural material as you scale up, in the style of a Gothic cathedral.

Jasdoif
2007-05-10, 11:14 PM
To over-generalize, sheer carrying capacity is a matter of weight over area supporting the weight. If you were half as tall, half as wide, and half as long, but retained all weight-to-volume and area-to-volume ratios, you'd have one-eighth the weight over one-fourth the area. Effectively doubling your carrying capacity proportional to your weight.

However, with your weight being one-eighth the original value it ends up that your actual carrying capacity is one quarter its original value. This...would make it difficult to play as a Small or smaller race, to say the least. So, in the spirit of surreality for the sake of playability, smaller characters have a much larger carrying capacity then that.

Smaller creatures tend to have lower Strength scores as well, that might factor in there somewhere too.

Logic
2007-05-10, 11:14 PM
Uh, not really, no. Insects have muscles, not anything resembling a hydraulic power system. And a mouse, despite having an outrageously light build and being much bigger than the ant, can perform feats of relative strength no medium creature could imagine...have you seen them jump? Cube-Square law says being tiny is awesome.

No, no! Exoskeleton doesn't increase your lift capability. In fact, it makes heavy-load joints essentially impossible, and more or less entombs you in structural material as you scale up, in the style of a Gothic cathedral.

Jumping is not the same as carrying.

And muscles have to be attached to something (they are not attached to the exoskelton), have the ability to expand and contract (one set to expand and move the limb in one direction while the other contracts, and when moving the limb in the opposite range of motion, the set that had expanded now contracts, and the set that had contracted now expands. Insects do not move on this principle.)

Dhavaer
2007-05-10, 11:17 PM
Strength doesn't increase with size as quickly as weight, though. And a Str 14 halfling is pretty damn buff in any case.

Ulzgoroth
2007-05-10, 11:20 PM
Jumping is not the same as carrying.
No, but it is the same as (briefly) putting out a force many, many times your body weight. Not entirely unrelated.

And muscles have to be attached to something (they are not attached to the exoskelton), have the ability to expand and contract (one set to expand and move the limb in one direction while the other contracts, and when moving the limb in the opposite range of motion, the set that had expanded now contracts, and the set that had contracted now expands. Insects do not move on this principle.)
Insect muscles are, in fact, attached to the exoskeleton, and do in fact contract in much the same way as other muscles. I would very much like to know (a) where you get any information to the contrary and (b) how you imagine them to function.

The muscles, of course, are inside the exoskeleton, but the principles are exactly as you describe.

Logic
2007-05-10, 11:39 PM
No, but it is the same as (briefly) putting out a force many, many times your body weight. Not entirely unrelated.

Insect muscles are, in fact, attached to the exoskeleton, and do in fact contract in much the same way as other muscles. I would very much like to know (a) where you get any information to the contrary and (b) how you imagine them to function.

The muscles, of course, are inside the exoskeleton, but the principles are exactly as you describe.

My information is only word of mouth, but it was always what I was taught in school. If I am in error, I apologise.

As you described the jump of a mouse, it could be best be described using game terms only as a lift over head.

I still have not seen someone able to counter my examples of the cat and dog, which under the RAW would be able to carry more than I suspect would be possible.

Small Dog: Str 13; Average weight 50 pounds, light load 50 lbs; max load 150.

Tiny Cat: Str 3, Average weight 7 pounds, light load 7.5 lbs; max load 22.5.

Lemur
2007-05-10, 11:40 PM
Them's the rules. Don't overthink them, and definitely don't go on a realism kick about "this totally wouldn't work in real life" with them. Carrying capacity and item weight is probably better thought of as being constructed in terms of game balance, instead of realism.

And, as Dhavaer points out, a halfling with a 14 strength is really strong for his size. He's the equivalent of a human with 16 strength. That's a pretty badass ability score, typically only achieved by really serious athletes and bodybuilders.

Finally, if it's really bugging you, just make your halfling weigh more. Halflings and Gnomes used to weigh more anyway- Halflings used to average around 60 lbs, and Gnomes around 80.

Stephen_E
2007-05-11, 01:56 AM
I still have not seen someone able to counter my examples of the cat and dog, which under the RAW would be able to carry more than I suspect would be possible.

Small Dog: Str 13; Average weight 50 pounds, light load 50 lbs; max load 150.

Tiny Cat: Str 3, Average weight 7 pounds, light load 7.5 lbs; max load 22.5.

Canines aren't built like horses for load carrying, and Felines even less so. That said, if you put the weight on their shoulders thye can carry quite a lot for short periods.
So sticking with the standard weight/size rules.
Small Dog, Str 13, wt 50lbs, max Light load = 37.5 lbs. Max load 112.5lbs.
Tiny Cat, active house cat weights vary from 3-4lbs upto 30+lbs. My cats have all weighed in around 12-13lbs. Str 3, Max lt load = 5lbs. Max load 15lbs.
Human, wt 160lbs, Str 11, max lt load 38lbs. Max load 115lbs.

I'd have to say that I think the Cat and Dog would be no more encumbered than the human under those loads (none of them would be unencumbered the way DnD lt load rules leave you, but that's another issue).

My cat who has a crippled back leg, and turns 18 (calander years) this Sept, can pull himself (12+lbs) up a vertical surface by his front paws/claws. Note that at his age I'm pretty sure he's in the venerable age category, so that puts his Str somewhere around -3. (to be fair he won't normally do this, and it's a basically at most a 2 shot effort. Small leap, sink claws in vertical surface claws can penetrate, pull body up, re-attach claws over edge of vertical surface one at a time, pull body over edge. He gets limited assistance from one back paw).

The DnD rules aren't perfect, but within the limits of the size categories used (i.e. they get more skewed as you get closer to switching a size category) they're reasonable, albeit consistiently somewhat generous.

Stephen

TheOOB
2007-05-11, 02:04 AM
You could always do what I do, give halflings another foot and about 50 more pounds, hafling and gnome size is just silly how it is.

brian c
2007-05-11, 02:12 AM
Strength doesn't increase with size as quickly as weight, though. And a Str 14 halfling is pretty damn buff in any case.

This is true; with 14 strength, that represents a lot of muscle mass. She should really weigh more than 31 pounds. That's about average for a halfling, and 14 Strength is well above that. If you had a Human Barbarian with 14 strength, you wouldn't write that he weighs 130 pounds would you? I'd say the character's weight should be closer to 40-45 pounds, so carrying = body weight if that makes you feel any better.

Jack Mann
2007-05-11, 02:39 AM
A bit off-topic, but insects and other arthropods do use hydraulics to supplement their muscles. It's especially pronounced in spiders. This is why their legs curl up when they die. They use muscles to retract their legs, and hydraulics (using blood pressure) to extend them. When they die, there's no blood pressure, so their muscles gradually retract them.

Townopolis
2007-05-11, 02:58 AM
I'm with the person who said you should probably just increase your halfling's size. Buff people (ones with 13-15 STR) are usually pretty big.

People with 16-18 STR are really big, go check out "Met/RX World's Stronges Man" or whatever it's called if you want to get an idea of the body type and size of someone with that kind of strength.

Stephen_E
2007-05-11, 07:06 AM
One of the weaknesses of the DnD weight system is that it is based on everyone been average build, with no obeseity or anorexia, and makes no account of the fact that muscle is heavy. Thus the BMI system, poor as it is anyway, completely falls down with people who do heavy muscle-building exercise. They ussually to read as overweight or even obese.

What you should do is multiply a characters weight by 5% per permanent Str pt over 11 (before racial mods). Thus your Str 14 Hafling would have their wt modified by 5x5%=25%.

There is also probably problems with the Ht/Wt figures. I haven't done a close look at the current DnD tables, but a common mistake made is to take a base Ht/Wt, commonly a 6' human, and scale it up and down, with a modifier for different races. Sounds good, but the truth is that a 5' human isn't a scale model of a 6' human. The shorter a human gets the heavier they are in proportion to their height, and visa versa. The proportions of the human body change with height. Also you should never use children for calculating Ht/Wt. When humans hit puberty their weight-to-height ration leaps. I don't know why, but sometime back I was skeptical about a Ht/Wt chart published in the Dragon and did quite a lot of research in various medical journals and health research reports and one thing I ran across when cross matching data was that there was a vast gulf between the weight of a "x" height adult, and a "x" height child. I eventually tracked down the change occuring in the early teens (common puberty time). Undoubtedly there is research somewhere saying why, but since it didn't directly affect what I was looking at I never bothered (there was only so many hours I was willing to put into libarary research).

Stephen

Jayabalard
2007-05-11, 07:52 AM
the piece that your missing is that 14 strength is a fairly substantial strength score for a full grown human adult... if a small character has a 14, they have a (proportionally) abnormally high strength.

Sure, it's not very realistic, but D&D doesn't really do realism all that well; it generally goes for simplicity and "balance" over realism. This is just one of the many instances where the rules go for simplicity over realism.