Rules Index


Chapter 6: Equipment

Carrying and Using Items

Source Core Rulebook pg. 271
A character typically has two hands, allowing them to hold an item in each hand or a single two-handed item using both hands. Drawing or changing how you’re carrying an item usually requires you to use an Interact action (though to drop an item, you use the Release action instead). Table 6–2: Changing Equipment on page 273 lists some ways that you might change the items you’re holding or carrying, and the number of hands you need to do so.

Many ways of using items require you to spend multiple actions. For example, drinking a potion stowed in your belt pouch requires using an Interact action to draw it and then using a second action to drink it as described in its Activate entry (page 532).

Bulk

Source Core Rulebook pg. 271
Carrying especially heavy or unwieldy items can make it more difficult for you to move, as can overloading yourself with too much gear. The Bulk value of an item reflects how difficult the item is to handle, representing its size, weight, and general awkwardness. If you have a high Strength score, you usually don’t need to worry about Bulk unless you’re carrying numerous substantial items.

Bulk Limits

Source Core Rulebook pg. 272
You can carry an amount of Bulk equal to 5 plus your Strength modifier without penalty; if you carry more, you gain the encumbered condition. You can’t hold or carry more Bulk than 10 plus your Strength modifier.

Bulk Values

Source Core Rulebook pg. 272
Items can have a number to indicate their Bulk value, or they can be light (indicated by an L) or negligible (indicated by a —) for the purpose of determining Bulk. For instance, full plate armor is 4 Bulk, a longsword is 1 Bulk, a dagger or scroll is light, and a piece of chalk is negligible. Ten light items count as 1 Bulk, and you round down fractions (so 9 light items count as 0 Bulk, and 11 light items count as 1 Bulk). Items of negligible Bulk don’t count toward Bulk unless you try to carry vast numbers of them, as determined by the GM.

Estimating an Item's Bulk

Source Core Rulebook pg. 272
As a general rule, an item that weighs 5 to 10 pounds is 1 Bulk, an item weighing less than a few ounces is negligible, and anything in between is light. Particularly awkward or unwieldy items might have higher Bulk values. For example, a 10-foot pole isn’t heavy, but its length makes it difficult for you to move while you have one on your person, so its Bulk is 1. Items made for larger or smaller creatures have greater or lesser Bulk, as described on page 295.

Bulk of Coins

Source Core Rulebook pg. 272
Coins are a popular means of exchange due to their portability, but they can still add up. A thousand coins of any denomination or combination of denominations count as 1 Bulk. It’s not usually necessary to determine the Bulk of coins in fractions of 1,000; simply round down fractions of 1,000. In other words, 100 coins don’t count as a light item, and 1,999 coins are 1 Bulk, not 2.

Bulk of Creatures

Source Core Rulebook pg. 272
You might need to know the Bulk of a creature, especially if you need to carry someone off the battlefield. The table that follows lists the typical Bulk of a creature based on its size, but the GM might adjust this number.

Creature Bulk

Size of CreatureBulk
Tiny1
Small3
Medium6
Large12
Huge24
Gargantuan36

Dragging

Source Core Rulebook pg. 272
In some situations, you might drag an object or creature rather than carry it. If you’re dragging something, treat its Bulk as half. Typically, you can drag one thing at a time, you must use both hands to do so, and you drag slowly—roughly 50 feet per minute unless you have some means to speed it up. Use the total Bulk of what you’re dragging, so if you have a sack laden with goods, use the sum of all the Bulk it carries instead of an individual item within.

Wielding Items

Source Core Rulebook pg. 272
Some abilities require you to wield an item, typically a weapon. You’re wielding an item any time you’re holding it in the number of hands needed to use it effectively. When wielding an item, you’re not just carrying it around—you’re ready to use it. Other abilities might require you to merely carry or have an item. These apply as long as you have the item on your person; you don’t have to wield it.

Table 6-2: Changing Equipment

ChangeHandsAction
Draw, stow, or pick up an item 11 or 2Interact
Pass an item to or take an item from a willing creature 21 or 2Interact
Drop an item to the ground1 or 2Release
Detach a shield or item strapped to you1Interact
Change your grip by removing a hand from an item2Release
Change your grip by adding a hand to an item2Interact
Retrieve an item from a backpack 3 or satchel2Interact
1 If you retrieve a two-handed item with only one hand, you still need to change your grip before you can wield or use it.
2 A creature must have a hand free for someone to pass an item to them, and they might then need to change their grip if they receive an item requiring two hands to wield or use.
3 Retrieving an item stowed in your own backpack requires first taking off the backpack with a separate Interact action.