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RebelDave

A Ship Encumbrance Capcity thought...

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Is it me, or does the encumbrance system in this suffer similar issues to other games?

 

 

For example:

 

A YT-1300 has an Enc Capacity of 165.

That’s 41.25 E-11 Blasters, or 41.25 Suits of Laminate Armour

 

Now if you assume they would be packed in crates, and a crate of approx 1 cubic metre (And I am using the 64 Litre, Really Usefull Box, which I sell at work), and assuming 4 Blasters or 1 Suit of Armour per box.

 

That’s only 10 boxes of Blasters, or 40 Boxes of Armour.

 

Now I can see a YT-1300 of stock configuration, could just about manage to fit 40 of those crates, but according to the system, it could only carry 10 crates of blasters (again, assuming 4 per crate), you can only carry ¼ of the same volume of stuff.

 

Even if you factor in weight (E-11s being listed as weighing 4.5 kgs on Wookieepedia, lets round that off to 5), that’s only 200kgs for 40 blasters.

 

Even quadrupling that, its only 800kgs. That HAS to be within the realistic realms of a YT-1300s carrying capacity.

 

 

 

As a few more examples:

16 Dejarik tables (SIXTEEN???)

40 Space Suits!

40 Tool Kits (Granted… how BIG is a tool kit?) According to the rules, it is no less difficult to carry than a Blaster Rifle, so it can’t be a big rolling trolly type one)

 

 

So some of the numbers seem to work, yet some don’t.

 

How would any of your approach this?

 

You may at this point be thinking “Why is this even being asked?”

Well.. its because I have one player who WILL do this math, and he WILL then try and justify carrying MORE stuff, and I’d like to be able to shut him up in one fell swoop with a logical argument that isn’t “Because IM the GM, and I said so” as that typically won’t work!

 

So… thoughts?

 

Cheers

RD

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Containers in this game are bigger on the inside. A large specimen container (Enter the Unknown) takes up 5 Encumbrance but can hold 15 Encumbrance. That's a 3:1 ratio, and this is for a box that has life support and stasis for living beings, so presumably a container just for packing in bulk cargo could have an even more generous ratio.

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In my old d20 game, I spent some time calculating cargo capacities for all the ship sizes and the cargo needs for huge things. [based on the d20 game's size system]. Like how much cargo space an AT-AT has versus how much a starship needs to carry one around. Likewise, the cargo capacity needed for things like Stormtrooper Regiments and TIE Fighter squadrons, etc. 

 

If anyone was interested, I could try and convert it over but seems like most of the people here don't care for house rules. 

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Yeah, the Enc system is based around people first and vehicles second, thinking about things like not only weight, but also shear bulk.

 

See the base Enc of most items is assuming it's loose and being held in your hand, or shoved in a pocket or holster. When it's properly packaged in a shipping container the Enc is supposed to go down fast, because it becomes easier to handle (at the loss of easy access). Imagine trying to physically carry a dozen blaster rifles on your person. Now a dozen rifles in a box.

 

On the bulk front the GM can adjust things the other direction too. Saying something like 1 ton of Lead actually has less Enc then 1 Ton of Packing Peanuts, simply because the packing peanuts take up so much more space.

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That would seem to be the best approach, but they it would throw up an entirely new set of numbers that dont appear in the book.

 

I think this is going to come down to a case by case, practical thinking thing, and I think the best way would be to look at how many 'crates' you could fit in a hold, and then see what you can fit in those crates.

 

Unless someone really wants to draw up loads of tables... but then you start getting to the Curse of Encumbrance, and the inevitable bloat.

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I think this is going to come down to a case by case, practical thinking thing, and I think the best way would be to look at how many 'crates' you could fit in a hold, and then see what you can fit in those crates.

Houserule: Shipping Crate takes 5 Enc and holds 25 Enc with a cost of 50 Credits and rarity 1. Items packed in a shipping crate take a minimum of several minutes to unpack, and likely longer. This is for a basic shipping container. If you need something with climate control (or stasis), go with the specimen containers from Enter the Unknown.

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There are really only two options here.  First is use the current encumbrance rules with a liberal amount of hand-waving, because they don't really make much sense, and you just have to kind of wing it.  Do as Ghostofman said and assume packable items can have their encumbrance divided in half or more, and then make a "reasonable" ruling on what can be carried.  It saves a lot of time.

 

Second option is to completely throw away the encumbrance rules, at least for shipping.  This means at minimum you have to assign every object a volume and mass.  Then all your ships need both a max volume and max mass capacity rating.  Your YT-1300 might be able to lift off with 40 tonnes regardless of whether that's lead or feathers, but good luck cramming in 40 tonnes of feathers...

 

The second option is for bean counters.  I know a couple players who live for that, and if they wanted to do the work I'd certainly let them.  But I wouldn't do it myself...that kind of work takes away from developing a story, for minimal benefit.

 

And in the end it's a total waste of time, IMHO.  If the players actually have time to maximize the capacity of their ship, then they found too much stuff, and they are living too safe.  If you keep them moving then they'll never be in a situation where you ever have to calculate this kind of thing, and it becomes moot.

 

If anyone was interested, I could try and convert it over but seems like most of the people here don't care for house rules. 

 

Just speaking for myself, I wouldn't object, but I have yet to see a house rule that has improved anything.

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Yes, the encumbrance rules are a little wonky, especially when you start talking about vehicle cargo capacities and such.

 

The thing to remember, as other people have implied, is that "encumbrance" in this system is a measure of the object's "awkwardness" and the "inconvenience" of carrying it.  It is not a measure of the object's actual size, weight, or volume.

 

This is why, as HappyDaze points out, containers are essentially "bigger on the inside" - the encumbrance of the containers themselves is significantly less than the total encumbrance of the objects they can hold.

 

Note, for instance, that backpacks and utility belts effectively have negative encumbrance.  Although they are still objects with size and weight, carrying them actually increases how much else a character can carry.  The idea, of course, is that these objects are designed to be very easy and convenient to carry while also making other things you put in them easier and more convenient to carry.  In turn, carrying them makes your total load less awkward and, in effect, actually reduces your encumbrance.

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Something that might help is looking at the encumbrance of cases of Spice. A single dose of spice is an incidental, whereas a 100 dose cargo container of Glitterstim is about 5 encumbrance. In that case, because these are already in packaged containers, a YT-1300 with 165 encumbrance could only carry 3300 doses of spice at the maximum. That's a reasonably lucrative cargo, depending on how it's sold, it could fetch anywhere from 165,000 to 330,000 credits. Lesai and Yarrock are much more lucrative...

 

There's another decent guideline that comes out of Suns of Fortune. Corellian whiskey bottles have an encumbrance of 1. A shipping crate of 20 bottles, on the other hand, is 10 encumbrance. So the box effectively halves the basic encumbrance, but it'd be quite awkward for someone to carry around more than one box. Maybe a general guideline is that crates that are carrying something with an established encumbrance value effectively half the value of what's in the box. I think it would also depend upon what's in the box as well. Unassembled weapons, for example, might take up only a third or a quarter of their actual encumbrance value when placed in a crate. I think HappyDaze has it right.

 

Also, further to the YT-1300, the actual cargo weight capacity in wookiepedia has it ranging from 25 to 100 metric tons. The first figure would be the basic, and the latter figure is with external cargo pods that would likely do a number to one's maneuverability.

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First things: if, mid-game, a player ever says something like, "but the rules CLEARLY state..." you can (and should) say, "that's a good point. Let's roll with [the ruling that will produce the most fun] temporarily to keep the game flowing, but let's check out those rules after the game session, and we can make changes for next time." That will give you time to get your question to the boards where hoards of zealous geeks will answer your question. There is an estimated 10% probability that this will only confuse matters further :) But at least you'll have a good sounding board. 

 

 

To the point: I agree with many others on this. I wouldn't say that the encumbrance rules are "wonky," but rather that they are a way of measuring exactly what is stated: encumbrance. Not weight, not volume.  A blaster is 1 encumbrance in my hand, but effectively 0 encumbrance in my belt. 

 

To expound further on this, the question for characters is, "what would it take to load up a character so that they couldn't do things very effectively?" The answer is, for example, "8 encumbrance." You could load up that guy's arms and pockets and trouser waistbands with about 8 blaster pistols before he starts to get "loaded down." 

 

The question for vehicles is, "what would it take to fill up the cargo space of this freighter, so much so that either a) it would have trouble taking off due to weight or b) you couldn't really fit anything else in due to capacity issues due volume?"  The answer is "165 encumbrance." 

 

Not just kilograms, but the rather the combined effect of the weight, size, and storage means of the object in question. 

 

In any case, RD, you are missing a chunk of the rules which encourage GM hand-waving. Look over the rules for Encumbrance again. They will, in essence, tell you that a crate full of blasters is less encumbrance that all those blasters loose. The game encourages GM interpretation and involvement in the rulings made (that is, "hand-waving"). Not because the rules are wonky, but because the devs felt it best to give you a guideline for cargo capacity + the reasons for it, and then allow you to make your best judgement call for the situation at hand. 

 

 

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I'd think that both the crates for blasters and armor would be relatively flat, compared to a cube crate. Blasters (assuming four per crate) would be racked together; armor components can be placed on the same relative plain, with the helmet offering the tallest item in the group.

 

However, that's kind of off-point. I prefer to roll with the Encumbrance as listed and follow the rules in the book, and handwave any objections. It's not that RAW is necessarily better, but it's definitely easier to keep track of than multiplying house rules.

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The main point that I feel is being missed by the OP is (and that I probably obfuscated with my wall of text), well-stored items in a crate are less encumbrance than the sum of their total encumbrance while loose. That is RAW; it's just that the RAW don't go into detail as to what every possible combination of crated products (and size of shipments) might be. 

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The main point that I feel is being missed by the OP is (and that I probably obfuscated with my wall of text), well-stored items in a crate are less encumbrance than the sum of their total encumbrance while loose. That is RAW; it's just that the RAW don't go into detail as to what every possible combination of crated products (and size of shipments) might be. 

 

Just for the sake of it, you wouldn't happen to have a page number for reference, would you?

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pg 152.

 

The book doesn't outright say "Stuff in crates is X times less enc." Instead just discussing items "stored in an effective manner" with the net result being they come up at 1/2 the Enc  compared to a non-effective manner. I think the actual discussion of crates comes from an O66 episode.

 

Something the book does say outright  on pg. 152 (paragraph 1) is that tracking the weight of every stimpack isn't fun and you really don't need to sweat Enc unless it's an important part of the story.

 

So, unless the EXACT Enc of your cargo hold is a vital part of your story, might be better to just handwave it and get back to blasting stormtroopers.

 

If you like I'm sure Kickstarter will let you make a bid for "Loadmaster! THE cargo managing RPG of the century!" I'm sure it would go well with "Jetway Pilot" the video game, "Duct Tape:Nigerian 727 Ground Crew, the board game" or my personal favorite "Водка является причиной, the epic real time simulator of post cold war lost luggage investigation."

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I think this is going to come down to a case by case, practical thinking thing, and I think the best way would be to look at how many 'crates' you could fit in a hold, and then see what you can fit in those crates.

 

That's probably the easiest solution. Take the ship's encumbrance value and divide it by 10. That's the number of crates that a ship can carry. Each crate can hold between 10 and 50 encumbrance points of stuff with most things being around 20 to 30 / crate. It's probably best just to treat the crate as it's own entity; a crate of guns, a crate of food, etc. I'd just roll on the "What are we smuggling today?" chart. 

 

Valuable items, like spice, will be in half sized crates like the ones in TCW's "The Gungan General". 

 

It's sometimes asked how much cargo room vehicles take. I'd put swoops at 2 crates, landspeeders at 4 for two-seaters and 6 for four-seaters. Anything bigger might have to be disassembled first. 

Edited by Hedgehobbit

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