Weird weapon weights - has this been updated? - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    As I recall, weights of items in 1e took their bulkiness into account as well. So something could be "heavy" if it was bulky and difficult to move.
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  2. #12
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    Yes, 1e didn't actually give weights, they gave 'encumbrance values' in coins (tenth of a pound) that represented the difficulty of carrying the item. A lot of bulky or irregularly shaped items got a higher value because they were assumed to be harder to carry, not that they actually weighed X amount. I think at some point they got turned into weights without anyone looking at whether the items were heavy or just bulky, and I think polearms suffered from this a lot since they were not a compact shape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OverlordOcelot View Post
    I think at some point they got turned into weights without anyone looking at whether the items were heavy or just bulky...
    I don't have the books to hand, but I think it was in the 2nd Ed books that encumbrance started being listed in pounds. I also think the 2nd Ed book included a note that the values weren't just weights but included bulk, but that promptly got ignored (probably due to people skim-reading the books, at best).

    (I remember BECMI using 'coins' for encumbrance, which I remember thinking was a silly measure. But it turns out I was wrong about that - if you're going to rate bulk as well as pure weight, it's better not to use a real measure of weight for your system.)

  4. #14
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    1e used coins as well.

    But really, back in the 1970s, there really wasn't a lot of data about weapons. Remember, this sort of thing was extremely niche. You couldn't order swords over the internet, or watch videos on youtube. The SCA had just been founded a few years earlier, so it wasn't easy to find events.

    Armor and weapons and stuff were only in museums, and you couldn't touch them. And not many museums, not a lot has survived (especially armor)

    Also didn't help that EGG wasn't an academic and thus didn't have access to journals and such, but simply learned about arms and armor from very old books. The one cited in the 1e DMG was from 1909!

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    Quote Originally Posted by delericho View Post
    if you're going to rate bulk as well as pure weight, it's better not to use a real measure of weight for your system.)
    Pennyweight is a real unit of measure though. One pennyweight is 24 grains, and there are 20 pennyweights to a Troy ounce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
    Pennyweight is a real unit of measure though. One pennyweight is 24 grains, and there are 20 pennyweights to a Troy ounce.
    Yes, but neither 1st Ed nor BECMI used 'pennyweight'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trancejeremy View Post
    1e used coins as well.

    But really, back in the 1970s, there really wasn't a lot of data about weapons. Remember, this sort of thing was extremely niche. You couldn't order swords over the internet, or watch videos on youtube. The SCA had just been founded a few years earlier, so it wasn't easy to find events.

    Armor and weapons and stuff were only in museums, and you couldn't touch them. And not many museums, not a lot has survived (especially armor)

    Also didn't help that EGG wasn't an academic and thus didn't have access to journals and such, but simply learned about arms and armor from very old books. The one cited in the 1e DMG was from 1909!
    There was certainly was accurate information about weapons & armor in the 70s. It just took more effort to find it than Googling it at 4:48AM.
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverlordOcelot View Post
    Yes, 1e didn't actually give weights, they gave 'encumbrance values' in coins (tenth of a pound) that represented the difficulty of carrying the item. A lot of bulky or irregularly shaped items got a higher value because they were assumed to be harder to carry, not that they actually weighed X amount. I think at some point they got turned into weights without anyone looking at whether the items were heavy or just bulky, and I think polearms suffered from this a lot since they were not a compact shape.
    While the weights seem to be in the ballpark, I could see adding a restriction for bulk if you don't want your PCs looking like this guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Grover View Post
    Just checking in, but I noticed many of the weapon weights are unrealistic, often roughly half of their actual weight or less. A greatsword weighing only 6 pounds? Seriously?

    Does anyone know if these have ever been updated to be more realistic?
    General rule of thumb is 1 foot = 1 pound of weight. Look up Oakshotte he did lot of research on swords.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by delericho View Post
    I don't have the books to hand, but I think it was in the 2nd Ed books that encumbrance started being listed in pounds. I also think the 2nd Ed book included a note that the values weren't just weights but included bulk, but that promptly got ignored (probably due to people skim-reading the books, at best).
    Yes, 2 switched to pounds, and gave us 7 pound battle axes and 10 pound morning stars.

    (I remember BECMI using 'coins' for encumbrance, which I remember thinking was a silly measure. But it turns out I was wrong about that - if you're going to rate bulk as well as pure weight, it's better not to use a real measure of weight for your system.)
    Except they went on to define a coin as 1/10 of a pound, which ties them right back to a real measure of weight. Whether this was later BECMI or AD&D that did the 10 coins = 1 pound I don't remember, but they definitely ditched the 'entirely fictional unit of bulk' rather quickly (before 1980). If they had used something that they didn't give a direct conversion to pounds it might have avoided the tragedy of adventurer's breaking their wrists trying to use 15 pound 2-handed swords and 10 pound bastard swords!

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