Friday, June 5, 2015

ACKS Encumbrance - A question

I've been slowly reading through ACKS.

One thing I've been wondering about is the encumbrance system?

As written, it seems like it's reaching for a simplification of encumbrance but manages to make it pretty complex. Instead of a single unit (coins, gp, pounds, kg), you have a number of "stone" you can carry. But a stone isn't really equal to a specific weight (not even the common measurement, the "stone"). Heavy items are 1 stone. Armor is 1 stone. A bundle of smaller items is 1 item, and 6 items is 1 stone, although it's not quite clear to me what the standard, assumed bundle size is.

So it reads like it would take a lot of actual thinking and tinkering to get your encumbrance worked out.

But I've said, the rules aren't the game, how it plays at the table is the game.

So - for ACKS players and refs:

How does it actually play at the table?

Basically, if you run it as written, how is it to run? If you're changing it, that's fine, but not my question.

I'm curious if this is actually smoother and easier than accounting for everything with a common real-world or common in-game metric of weight.


  1. Y'know, I don't remember how we did it when playing ACKS. I think we just eyeballed it and the GM trusted us.

  2. I've not used the ACKS system RAW, but I have used Delta's system on which it was based. It does involve some fiddling and eyeballing, but the critical difference is that it requires no table lookups, or at worst look-ups on a very small table, which speeds things up considerably in practice.

  3. When I was running ACKS things got eyeballed if they weren't on the equipment list as far as encumbrance was concerned. It does say in the section detailing encumbrance that 1 "item" is anything listed as equipment that isn't armor or a weapon and that a bundle of 6 items counts as weighing 1 stone. So a crowbar is 1 "item", as is 1 week worth of iron rations, or 4 stakes and a mallet. 6 of these "items" makes 1 bundle which weighs 1 stone. It gets a bit trickier also because "heavy" items weigh in at 1 stone as well which I suppose you just have to guess at since weights aren't really listed anywhere except for the herbs you can buy (which, slightly irritatingly, each only count as one "item" thus go for 6 to a bundle for encumbrance purposes).

    Honestly if/when I run ACKS again the encumbrance is one of the things I'm going to house rule. I'll probably pull the rules out of 1st or 2nd edition AD&D. This'll give me the additional bonus of expanding the equipment list which I've always felt was a bit lacking.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...