I was (re)reading the Swords & Wizardry Whitebox rules and noticed that Whitebox breaks out movement based on the total weight a character is carrying, regardless of their actual Strength ability score. It looks something like this:
- 1-75 lbs = Move 12
- 76-100 lbs = Move 9
- 101-150 lbs = Move 6
- 151-300 lbs = Move 3
The chart in the book is much cleaner than my crude replication, but it gets the point across. Looking at the chart got me thinking about abstract inventory/encumbrance systems again. Instead of using pounds/weight for each tier, use abstract inventory slots instead, broken down into 5 slots per tier. A character can carry one item per slot, or 150 coins per slot. Further, characters are restricted to carrying a single “heavy” item, such as a suit of plate mail, small treasure chest, a marble bust, or a rolled up tapestry or rug. Really heavy items require two or more people to carry, and they count towards their limit of one heavy item (i.e. if you’re already carrying one heavy item, you can’t also help carry a really heavy treasure chest).
But, the best way to get my point across, I thought, would be to incorporate it into a character sheet. And so, that’s what I’ve done, modeled off of an old OD&D character sheet I found posted at the OD&D forums. And here it is:
So, starting at the top of the equipment section, as you fill in gear, you can just cross reference to see your current movement rate (and chance to drown, should you fall into water). It’s not perfect, of course. For one, it’s not as forgiving as the Whitebox chart it’s based on. Also, as you consume items, inventory slots will become empty in the middle of the chart, which can end up making tracking things a little more complicated (or else you’ll have to do a lot of erasing and writing things back into the upper slots); a little judicious forethought can minimize these problems (i.e. permanent items are recorded towards the top of the chart; consumable items recorded towards the bottom).
Let me know what you think. Cheers.