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D&D General Carrying Capacity of Animals and Creatures

Khel

Villager
Before I begin I would like it to be Known that I realize many Threads have been Written and Posted concerning this Topic, I feel this One may help better than others that being said, 1: I come from the Old School of D&D, I generally play using the 1st & 2nd Editions. 2: When playing this Game I look at it as three things 1: Medieval time period roughly 2: Fantasy with what it must have been like living in the medieval times and Magic. 3: Real Life( why because what would I base most things on due to lost Information from the Medieval Times). 3: I believe that the Game was created the way it was to inspire people to use their minds as well as their imaginations. 4: When in doubt look to the present for an answer. 5: I do not consider my findings here as HOME BREW, can they be looked at that way Yes. But my findings are based on Reality and Math. 6: These findings are here to try and Help with the questions about carrying and pulling. 7: I ask that if by CHANCE someone from WOTC or whom ever wrote the more recent books that may read this to just look and think as players and DM's have on the REALITY of things and possibly say "Hey he's on to something". 8: I realize that Most Players want the fast action of Hack and Slash, but again just how much can your wagon carry THERE are NO STATS. so yes I understand the complexity of giving players enough but generally not enough INFORMATION( what are the dimensions of a Backpack and its Capacity), HINT 2nd Edition Players Handbook, I haven't looked in any later editions as of yet,(really don't think I need to being that I have them ...... But Hey fair is fair). 9: I know that this post will be looked at more of HOME BREW rules an that's fine take it for what you will, just remember when it comes to pulling power I REALLY want to see a Mule that would weigh as much as the new Game Formula works when used against Real Life Formula, but more on that later just keep it in mind. 10: From the Beginning DM's as well as Players have Questioned Information in the Books and made decisions regarding them, DID we call them Home Brew? NO!!! just answers that needed to be answered.
Now onto the Carrying Capacities:
First let me say this, carrying capacity and pulling power is based on animal WEIGHT NOT STRENGTH. Does strength matter I say Yes, but from what has been learned through the ages is that the animals weight affects these abilities, more than likely due to that the strength comes from being the ability to carry their own weight.
Lets start with carrying capacity: the General Rule is 20% of the animals body weight is what it can comfortably carry FOR MOST ANIMALS NOT ALL, the ones that I have found so far that differ would be Camels and Elephants but more about them later. Can animals or creatures carry more? Yes BUT to do so would or could do a few things: #1-Tire the animal quicker for shorter work times. #2- Strain and Hurt the animal. #3-Possibly kill the animal. Generally with #1 and #2 being done before #3, although #3 can an does happen.
By the game standards we as players and DM's have learned that most descriptions of animals don't give a weight for the animal that being said sometime after the 2nd Edition the writers and researchers of future editions came up with a formula to use to get the carrying capacity and pulling power by using the strength of animals. For carrying capacity I will accept the numbers come close enough, example: Draft horse, Strength 18- formula 15 x 2 x 18= 540 lb carrying capacity. Real life where a Draft horse weighs between 1,700-2,600 lbs with 2,600 being the high side-lets use that, REAL LIFE: 2,600 x 20%=520 lbs, so close enough that Game math for carrying capacity works on MOST CASES. So here is where it becomes up to you as players and your DM's on which method to use.
Please note that the game math works better for Draft horses than REAL LIFE.
Camels can carry 1/2 their weight and Elephants can carry 25% x theirs. Lets start with Camels by game formula we get: 15 x 2 x 16= 480 lbs compare to to REAL LIFE 480 lbs divide by 2 = 240 lb for the camel weight a little on the lite side. Being that camels weigh between 880-1,323 lbs it could still work but lets use the the heaviest camel at 1,323 lbs would only carry 661.5 lbs or 662 lbs rounded. If we use the Game formula and tweak it we can get 15 x 2 x 16 x 1.379= 661.92 lbs, 662 lbs rounded as we used the high side for Draft Horse I did the same for the Camel.
Now Elephants 15 x 4(being huge) x 22= 1,320 lbs REALLY on the LITE side. Now I'm using the weights for African Elephants due to them being the heaviest, their weight ranges between 5,000-14,000 lbs. Now we use the heaviest weight an get 14,000 lbs x 25% = 3,500 lbs able to carry. Now lets tweak the Game Formula again: 15 x 4 x 22= 1,320 lbs x 2.6515= 3,499.98 lbs, 3,500 lbs rounded which is now in check with REALITY (besides I would want to know that my elephant can carry 3,500 lbs instead of the 1,320 lbs being its over 2-1/2 times more than the Game formula).
Now lets move onto Dogs, the 3 I will be using are from the 5e Stats. with the exception of one which I will be using both 5e and AD&D Monster Manual II. **Before starting it needs to be stated that dogs are generally classified into 3 sizes Small 2-24 lbs with 3 different classes Teacup, Toy and Small, Medium 25-59 lbs and Large 60-99 lbs with 2 different classes Large and Extra-Large. Dogs carrying weight is also done by 20-30% of the dogs weight(its normally 20% but due to we are generally talking about Guard or War Dogs with them being trained to carry the weight of some-sort of armor I chose to go with 25% for the normal and 30% for the War Dogs).
As Listed DOG: Small, Strength 11, Game Formula ? WHY ? because they didn't list a number to use if the animal was of small size it just says " Larger creatures can bear more
weight, whereas Tiny creatures can carry less. For
each size category above Medium, double the creature’s
carrying capacity and the amount it can push, drag, or
lift. For a Tiny creature, halve these weights." found on page 176 Players Handbook 5e. So NO SMALL size stated BUT we have 2 to go by the Medium and the Tiny with those we can deduce that Small would fall in between them. Tiny 1/2 of 15= 7.5 lbs or 8 lbs rounded. Medium 15 lbs, now knowing both these numbers we can come up with a difference of 7 divide that by 2 = 3.5 lbs or 4 lbs rounded and in this case I wouldn't round yet. So 8 + 3.5= 11.5 lbs. Now we have a number for Small Creatures, Game Formula 11.5 lbs x 11 strength = 126.5 lbs able to CARRY for a SMALL DOG (really don't think so). Now lets look at REALITY for a small dog its weight on the high side is 24 lbs x 25%= 6 lbs or 24 x 30%= 7.2 lbs being trained as a War Dog/ Guard Dog, now that I see happening. Well now time to tweak the Game Formula 11 strength dived by 2= 5.5 lbs, 6 lbs rounded for normal Dogs, 11 x .6545= 7.1995 lbs, 7.2 lbs rounded for Guard and War Dogs.
As Listed Mastiff: Medium, Strength 13, Game Formula 15 x 13= 195 lbs able to carry( REALLY DON'T THINK SO). Reality Medium size dog weight on High side: 59 lbs x 25%= 14.75 lbs, 15 lbs rounded Normal Mastiff. 59 x 30%= 17.7 lbs, 18 lbs rounded Guard/ War Dog. Game Formula tweak leave the 15 lbs as is for normal Mastiff, and add 3 lbs to the 15 lbs to get the 18 lbs for the Guard/ War Dog.
This next description I will give 2 different Listings
As Listed Cooshee Dog 5e: Medium, Strength 14, and weight 200 lbs, being weight is given I will use both Game and Real Life Formula's. First Game: 15 x 14= 210 lbs carrying capacity. Real Life: 200 x 25%= 50 lbs. In looking at this I would say there is NO WAY my dog at 200 lbs is going to carry 210 lbs for long distances or even have a rider close to that. TWEAK time 14 strength x 3.57( don't think of it as lbs - just times its strength for lbs)= 49.98 lbs, 50 lbs rounded all for a Normal Cooshee Dog. Real Life: 200 x 30%= 60 lbs able to carry as a Guard/ War Dog, so 14 strength x 4.285 it's strength= 59.99 lbs, 60 lbs rounded for the Guard/ War Dog to Carry.
Now the 2nd Listing from Monster Manual II: Medium, No Strength Given, weighs over 168 lbs often reaching 310 lbs. Well no Game Formula here no Strength, so Real Life: 310 x 25%= 77.5 lbs, 78 rounded for normal, 310 x 30%= 93 lbs able to carry for Guard/ War Dog.
I will point out at this time that any Cooshee wearing armor will Negate its ability for stealth attacks unless said armor is silenced in some way or possibly made that way(I'm sure the Elves have figured something out by now) if not-HAVE FUN-.
You will Notice that there is no Listing for Large Dog( I haven't found one with the exception of actual Monsters). That being said it is not uncommon for monsters to be used as beasts of burden or as Guard / War Creatures. I say the next Statement as a Person that has been a DM, So try to use the methods I have used to get the Real Life weight WHY as I have shown YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM IT at least most times. Because I'm not the only DM that can REALIZE that a 200 lb Dog is not going to carry 210 lbs for 6-10 hrs a Day. Drag prey 10-15 feet drop then quick rest sure I will give you that. As well as me as a player saying Hey in real life an Elephant can carry 3,500 lbs why cant mine!!!!!! IF all else Fails look to what's around you, example can an adult dog carry its adult pup it had 5 yrs ago? Please DON'T get me wrong I also take the advantages that a DM will give or the Books, example imagine a Wagon with just the bed of it 18 ft long 12 ft wide and 6 ft deep, GUESS who has a Couple with more on the way........... In fairness I did bring it up to them an they said " it is what it is", and now after finally doing the research how and why he said that made sense. IN REAL LIFE there is a wooden wagon that was built at 16 ft long 4 ft wide by 6 ft deep wooden box, when it was made it weighed 7,800 lbs and could carry 10 tons (20,000 lbs). His statement made so much sense when I found that wagon.
Now onto Pulling Power:
Let me first say that Pulling Power is just like Carrying Capacity it depends on the WEIGHT NOT STRENGTH of said animals, so there will be more Tweaking of the Game Formula. I also would like to say there are 3 ways to figure pulling power, 1: 2nd Edition Dungeon Masters Guide pg.124 2: 5th Edition Players Handbook pg.155. 3: Real life which will be incorporated into both Formulas. Now the Real Life Formula which there are 2 of but you will see why I will be using just 1. 1: Most people will say that the max a horse should pull is 3x its weight. 2: While others say that the max is 6x their weight BUT these people also stated that they keep their horses at the 3x the weight, so that the horses can work a full day and not be worn out. SO 3x their weight it is. I feel it should be noted here that 2 Horses working together and trained to do so can pull 3x what 1 animal can pull, (example: 1,000 lb horse x 3= 3,000 lbs able to pull add 1 more horse and now its 3,000 x 3= 9,000 lbs for just 2 horses).
Draft Horse 5e: as above we get 540 lbs carrying capacity so by Game Formula 540 x 5= 2,700 lbs able to pull 1 horse add a second horse and we have 2,700+2,700= 5,400 lbs the 2 can pull(in my example above with Real Life 1,000 lb horses they would out pull the game horses). Tweaking Time if we say that most Draft horses can and do at times get as big as 2,700 lbs then the tweak is easy 540 x 5= 2,700 lbs weight x 3= 8,100 lbs able to pull for 1 horse, 8,100 x 3= 24,300 lbs able to pull for 2 horses.
Draft Horse 2e: carrying capacity is stated at 260 lbs so by that editions Game Formula we will get 260 x 3= 780 lbs able to pull(WAY OFF). Tweak Time 260 x 10.384= 2,699.84 lbs, 2,700 lbs rounded. 2,700 x 3= 8,100 lbs able to pull for 1 horse and 8,100 x 3= 24,300 lbs for 2 horses.
** Please Note that the 3 x the second animals pull DOES NOT STACK exponentially( or altogether) for more animals added to the 2. Example: Take the Clydesdale horses and the Beer wagon 8 horses total. 8,100 x 3 x 8 =194,400 lbs or 97.2 TONS, in Real Life with tack and harnesses and full wagon they are only hauling about 4 Tons, the weight of horses with tack and harnesses and full wagon comes to 12 Tons, but they keep the weight down to 2x the horses weight roughly. So 97.2 Tons (WAY OFF). If we look at our above figures for 2 Draft horses I will go from there. 24,300 lbs for 2 horses 24,300 divide by 2,000 lbs per US ton= 12.15 Tons for 2 horses..... so why do they use 8? 1: It's easier on the Horses 2: Horses will last all day hauling the Load 3: Less harm to the Horses 4: Looks way cooler with 8 than 2..... just had to add that.
There is another wagon that was used that hauled 12 Tons, Now whether this was total of horses, tack, harnesses and the wagon with cargo, I'm not sure but it also used 8 Horses to do the job.
I did find a wagon that should be of interest to most of you and I think I can get a better handle on the numbers. Wagon 16' long 4' wide by 6'deep weighed 7,800 lbs before cargo, was built to hold 10 Tons 20,000 lbs. The animals used for pulling this were NOT just pulling 1 but 2 of them as well as a Metal water tanker all at once for a combined weight of roughly 36-1/2 Tons, 73,000 lbs. What animals your asking 18 Mules and 2 Horses known as the "20 Mule Team". The 2 horses were kept near the wagon front to better get the wagon moving from standstill. Now understanding and seeing that I didn't figure Mules carrying or pulling weights, I will here quickly 15 x 2 x 14= 480 Carry(SORRY NOT by REAL LIFE). Tweak Time 480 divide by 2= 210 lbs carry close enough(why 210 divide by 20%= 1,050 lb Mule) ever seen a 2,400 lb Mule yes you have the one that carries 480 lbs but not in Real Life. Now to the true math 2 horses @ 24,300 lbs together, 2 mules @ 210 x 3=630 lbs 1 pulls, 630 x 3= 1,890 lbs together for 2 & lets for now assume they all work together that's 1,890 x 9 = 17,010 lbs add the horses 17,010 + 24,300= 41,310 lbs QUITE SHORT of the 73,000 lbs. BUT I did find where Mules can easily pull a wagon = to their own weight so lets try that. 1,050 lb mule x 18= 18,900 + 24,300= 43,200 CLOSER. Well after approx. 10 min. I came up with roughly what they did : 1,050 lb Mule x 3= 3,150 lbs each mule was expected to pull ROUGHLY, 3,150 x 18= 56,700 lbs being pulled add Horses 56,700 + 24,300= 81,000 lbs able to be pulled. ** PLEASE remember that once its rolling less force is needed to keep it rolling.** Now what would I use for a Formula honestly as a player and DM I would say 2x the carrying weight for 1 mule pulling with the exception that yes you can use 3x but your speed is halved as well as a mandatory 1hr break for rest, food and water. As well I would accept for 2 mules working together the weight pulled is 3x more so: 210 carrying weight divide by 20%= 1050 lb mule x 2= 2,100 lbs pull for 1 mule, 2,100 x 2 = 4,200 lbs for 2 mules... 2,100 x 3= 6,300 lbs for 2 mules working together pulling**. This wagon with Mules and Horses is the ONLY one that had a strong enough Hitch System that could add all animals into the Pulling Power. A chain running straight from the wagon out to the lead Mules, with chains being attached along the way with pivot points for the Mules to be attached to(see picture below).
20 Mule Team.png


I feel it should be noted that this wagon also used just 20 Mules for the Hauling and kept the 2 horses tied in back trailing the Water Tanker.
Please Remember I know this seems like HOME BREW BUT if Certain People would ADD it to the BOOK's then People Like us wouldn't have so many HOME BREW methods, but for me this isn't HOME BREW its just doing what they (the Authors and Researchers didn't want to do to keep things simple and fast being that I have been doing this since the Beginning of the Game)with as much accuracy as I can Find. To ME Home brew would be changing spell times what they do and things like that. BUT to ME doing what I've done here it's How I FEEL the Game was meant to be played.
This just in as of this long winded writing FOUND Elephant Pulling Power: 1.7 x their weight so for Game Formula it would come to: 15 x 4 x 22= 1,320 lbs x 2.6515= 3,499.98 lbs, 3,500 lbs rounded for carrying capacity. Knowing that said elephant used is 14,000 lbs x 1.7= 23,800 lbs wee simply divide that by the Carrying Capacity and get: 6.8, now we take the carrying capacity of 3,500 x 6.8= 23,800 lbs the Elephant can pull.
In writing this I realize I have touched on other Topics such as Wagon Capacity and Backpack Capacity. These will be in their own posts and HOPEFULLY much SHORTER in LENGTH. This also in, I just looked up Backpack in 5e and found its very vague in its description compared to 2e description found on pg. 78 of the 2e Players Handbook, plus 5e backpack carries less weight (HAVE FUN).
Lastly I want to say that for most of the other animals and creatures I would use the Carrying Capacity x 3 for Pulling(unless it just didn't seem right, then I would figure out what would). I did not find any information regarding the Pulling Power of Camels.
I feel that in the cases where Game overrides Real Life Stats. it should be looked at and Math done to get it closer to the Real Life than the Game gives, as simply and quickly as possible. Or like in the case of the Draft Horse just leave it as is, its close enough.
 
Last edited:

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Cleon

Adventurer
There's some good information and interesting rulemongering here, but it badly needs reformatting so there's space between paragraphs and maybe some indentation and titles to make it easier to parse.

Something like:

Now onto the Carrying Capacities:
First let me say this, carrying capacity and pulling power is based on animal WEIGHT NOT STRENGTH. Does strength matter I say Yes, but from what has been learned through the ages is that the animals weight affects these abilities, more than likely due to that the strength comes from being the ability to carry their own weight.

Lets start with carrying capacity: the General Rule is 20% of the animals body weight is what it can comfortably carry FOR MOST ANIMALS NOT ALL, the ones that I have found so far that differ would be Camels and Elephants but more about them later. Can animals or creatures carry more? Yes BUT to do so would or could do a few things:

 #1-Tire the animal quicker for shorter work times.
 #2- Strain and Hurt the animal.
 #3-Possibly kill the animal.

Generally with #1 and #2 being done before #3, although #3 can an does happen.

By the game standards we as players and DM's have learned that most descriptions of animals don't give a weight for the animal that being said sometime after the 2nd Edition the writers and researchers of future editions came up with a formula to use to get the carrying capacity and pulling power by using the strength of animals. For carrying capacity I will accept the numbers come close enough, example:

Draft horse, Strength 18- formula 15 x 2 x 18= 540 lb carrying capacity. Real life where a Draft horse weighs between 1,700-2,600 lbs with 2,600 being the high side-lets use that, REAL LIFE: 2,600 x 20%=520 lbs, so close enough that Game math for carrying capacity works on MOST CASES. So here is where it becomes up to you as players and your DM's on which method to use.

Please note that the game math works better for Draft horses than REAL LIFE.

Camels can carry 1/2 their weight and Elephants can carry 25% x theirs. Lets start with Camels by game formula we get: 15 x 2 x 16= 480 lbs compare to to REAL LIFE 480 lbs divide by 2 = 240 lb for the camel weight a little on the lite side. Being that camels weigh between 880-1,323 lbs it could still work but lets use the the heaviest camel at 1,323 lbs would only carry 661.5 lbs or 662 lbs rounded. If we use the Game formula and tweak it we can get 15 x 2 x 16 x 1.379= 661.92 lbs, 662 lbs rounded as we used the high side for Draft Horse I did the same for the Camel.

The above section of text is identical to your post, I just stuck in some empty lines, em-spaces (" ") plus bold and size formatting to make it easier to read.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
I like to measure carrying capacity in Halflings. How heavy is that chest? About three Halflings. Ugh, put it on the mule.
 

5: I do not consider my findings here as HOME BREW, can they be looked at that way Yes. But my findings are based on Reality and Math. 6: These findings are here to try and Help with the questions about carrying and pulling.


8: I realize that Most Players want the fast action of Hack and Slash, but again just how much can your wagon carry THERE are NO STATS. so yes I understand the complexity of giving players enough but generally not enough INFORMATION( what are the dimensions of a Backpack and its Capacity), HINT 2nd Edition Players Handbook, I haven't looked in any later editions as of yet,(really don't think I need to being that I have them ...... But Hey fair is fair).

Now onto the Carrying Capacities:

First let me say this, carrying capacity and pulling power is based on animal WEIGHT NOT STRENGTH. Does strength matter I say Yes, but from what has been learned through the ages is that the animals weight affects these abilities, more than likely due to that the strength comes from being the ability to carry their own weight.

Lets start with carrying capacity: the General Rule is 20% of the animals body weight is what it can comfortably carry FOR MOST ANIMALS NOT ALL, the ones that I have found so far that differ would be Camels and Elephants but more about them later. Can animals or creatures carry more? Yes BUT to do so would or could do a few things: #1-Tire the animal quicker for shorter work times. #2- Strain and Hurt the animal. #3-Possibly kill the animal. Generally with #1 and #2 being done before #3, although #3 can an does happen.

By the game standards we as players and DM's have learned that most descriptions of animals don't give a weight for the animal that being said sometime after the 2nd Edition the writers and researchers of future editions came up with a formula to use to get the carrying capacity and pulling power by using the strength of animals. For carrying capacity I will accept the numbers come close enough, example:

Draft horse, Strength 18- formula 15 x 2 x 18= 540 lb carrying capacity. Real life where a Draft horse weighs between 1,700-2,600 lbs with 2,600 being the high side-lets use that, REAL LIFE: 2,600 x 20%=520 lbs, so close enough that Game math for carrying capacity works on MOST CASES.

So here is where it becomes up to you as players and your DM's on which method to use.

Please note that the game math works better for Draft horses than REAL LIFE.

Camels can carry 1/2 their weight and Elephants can carry 25% x theirs.

Lets start with Camels by game formula we get: 15 x 2 x 16= 480 lbs compare to to REAL LIFE 480 lbs divide by 2 = 240 lb for the camel weight a little on the lite side. Being that camels weigh between 880-1,323 lbs it could still work but lets use the the heaviest camel at 1,323 lbs would only carry 661.5 lbs or 662 lbs rounded. If we use the Game formula and tweak it we can get 15 x 2 x 16 x 1.379= 661.92 lbs, 662 lbs rounded as we used the high side for Draft Horse I did the same for the Camel.

Now Elephants 15 x 4(being huge) x 22= 1,320 lbs REALLY on the LITE side. Now I'm using the weights for African Elephants due to them being the heaviest, their weight ranges between 5,000-14,000 lbs. Now we use the heaviest weight an get 14,000 lbs x 25% = 3,500 lbs able to carry. Now lets tweak the Game Formula again: 15 x 4 x 22= 1,320 lbs x 2.6515= 3,499.98 lbs, 3,500 lbs rounded which is now in check with REALITY (besides I would want to know that my elephant can carry 3,500 lbs instead of the 1,320 lbs being its over 2-1/2 times more than the Game formula).

Now lets move onto Dogs, the 3 I will be using are from the 5e Stats. with the exception of one which I will be using both 5e and AD&D Monster Manual II. **Before starting it needs to be stated that dogs are generally classified into 3 sizes Small 2-24 lbs with 3 different classes Teacup, Toy and Small, Medium 25-59 lbs and Large 60-99 lbs with 2 different classes Large and Extra-Large. Dogs carrying weight is also done by 20-30% of the dogs weight(its normally 20% but due to we are generally talking about Guard or War Dogs with them being trained to carry the weight of some-sort of armor I chose to go with 25% for the normal and 30% for the War Dogs).

As Listed DOG: Small, Strength 11, Game Formula ? WHY ? because they didn't list a number to use if the animal was of small size it just says "Larger creatures can bear more weight, whereas Tiny creatures can carry less. For each size category above Medium, double the creature’s
carrying capacity and the amount it can push, drag, or lift. For a Tiny creature, halve these weights." found on page 176 Players Handbook 5e.

So NO SMALL size stated BUT we have 2 to go by the Medium and the Tiny with those we can deduce that Small would fall in between them. Tiny 1/2 of 15= 7.5 lbs or 8 lbs rounded. Medium 15 lbs, now knowing both these numbers we can come up with a difference of 7 divide that by 2 = 3.5 lbs or 4 lbs rounded and in this case I wouldn't round yet. So 8 + 3.5= 11.5 lbs. Now we have a number for Small Creatures, Game Formula 11.5 lbs x 11 strength = 126.5 lbs able to CARRY for a SMALL DOG (really don't think so). Now lets look at REALITY for a small dog its weight on the high side is 24 lbs x 25%= 6 lbs or 24 x 30%= 7.2 lbs being trained as a War Dog/ Guard Dog, now that I see happening. Well now time to tweak the Game Formula 11 strength dived by 2= 5.5 lbs, 6 lbs rounded for normal Dogs, 11 x .6545= 7.1995 lbs, 7.2 lbs rounded for Guard and War Dogs.

As Listed Mastiff: Medium, Strength 13, Game Formula 15 x 13= 195 lbs able to carry( REALLY DON'T THINK SO). Reality Medium size dog weight on High side: 59 lbs x 25%= 14.75 lbs, 15 lbs rounded Normal Mastiff. 59 x 30%= 17.7 lbs, 18 lbs rounded Guard/ War Dog. Game Formula tweak leave the 15 lbs as is for normal Mastiff, and add 3 lbs to the 15 lbs to get the 18 lbs for the Guard/ War Dog.

This next description I will give 2 different Listings

As Listed Cooshee Dog 5e: Medium, Strength 14, and weight 200 lbs, being weight is given I will use both Game and Real Life Formula's. First Game: 15 x 14= 210 lbs carrying capacity. Real Life: 200 x 25%= 50 lbs. In looking at this I would say there is NO WAY my dog at 200 lbs is going to carry 210 lbs for long distances or even have a rider close to that. TWEAK time 14 strength x 3.57( don't think of it as lbs - just times its strength for lbs)= 49.98 lbs, 50 lbs rounded all for a Normal Cooshee Dog. Real Life: 200 x 30%= 60 lbs able to carry as a Guard/ War Dog, so 14 strength x 4.285 it's strength= 59.99 lbs, 60 lbs rounded for the Guard/ War Dog to Carry.

Now the 2nd Listing from Monster Manual II: Medium, No Strength Given, weighs over 168 lbs often reaching 310 lbs. Well no Game Formula here no Strength, so Real Life: 310 x 25%= 77.5 lbs, 78 rounded for normal, 310 x 30%= 93 lbs able to carry for Guard/ War Dog.

I will point out at this time that any Cooshee wearing armor will Negate its ability for stealth attacks unless said armor is silenced in some way or possibly made that way(I'm sure the Elves have figured something out by now) if not-HAVE FUN-.

You will Notice that there is no Listing for Large Dog( I haven't found one with the exception of actual Monsters). That being said it is not uncommon for monsters to be used as beasts of burden or as Guard / War Creatures. I say the next Statement as a Person that has been a DM, So try to use the methods I have used to get the Real Life weight WHY as I have shown YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM IT at least most times. Because I'm not the only DM that can REALIZE that a 200 lb Dog is not going to carry 210 lbs for 6-10 hrs a Day. Drag prey 10-15 feet drop then quick rest sure I will give you that.

As well as me as a player saying Hey in real life an Elephant can carry 3,500 lbs why cant mine!!!!!! IF all else Fails look to what's around you, example can an adult dog carry its adult pup it had 5 yrs ago? Please DON'T get me wrong I also take the advantages that a DM will give or the Books, example imagine a Wagon with just the bed of it 18 ft long 12 ft wide and 6 ft deep, GUESS who has a Couple with more on the way........... In fairness I did bring it up to them an they said " it is what it is", and now after finally doing the research how and why he said that made sense.

IN REAL LIFE there is a wooden wagon that was built at 16 ft long 4 ft wide by 6 ft deep wooden box, when it was made it weighed 7,800 lbs and could carry 10 tons (20,000 lbs). His statement made so much sense when I found that wagon.

Now onto Pulling Power:
Let me first say that Pulling Power is just like Carrying Capacity it depends on the WEIGHT NOT STRENGTH of said animals, so there will be more Tweaking of the Game Formula. I also would like to say there are 3 ways to figure pulling power, 1: 2nd Edition Dungeon Masters Guide pg.124 2: 5th Edition Players Handbook pg.155. 3: Real life which will be incorporated into both Formulas. Now the Real Life Formula which there are 2 of but you will see why I will be using just 1. 1: Most people will say that the max a horse should pull is 3x its weight. 2: While others say that the max is 6x their weight BUT these people also stated that they keep their horses at the 3x the weight, so that the horses can work a full day and not be worn out. SO 3x their weight it is. I feel it should be noted here that 2 Horses working together and trained to do so can pull 3x what 1 animal can pull, (example: 1,000 lb horse x 3= 3,000 lbs able to pull add 1 more horse and now its 3,000 x 3= 9,000 lbs for just 2 horses).

Draft Horse 5e: as above we get 540 lbs carrying capacity so by Game Formula 540 x 5= 2,700 lbs able to pull 1 horse add a second horse and we have 2,700+2,700= 5,400 lbs the 2 can pull(in my example above with Real Life 1,000 lb horses they would out pull the game horses). Tweaking Time if we say that most Draft horses can and do at times get as big as 2,700 lbs then the tweak is easy 540 x 5= 2,700 lbs weight x 3= 8,100 lbs able to pull for 1 horse, 8,100 x 3= 24,300 lbs able to pull for 2 horses.

Draft Horse 2e: carrying capacity is stated at 260 lbs so by that editions Game Formula we will get 260 x 3= 780 lbs able to pull(WAY OFF). Tweak Time 260 x 10.384= 2,699.84 lbs, 2,700 lbs rounded. 2,700 x 3= 8,100 lbs able to pull for 1 horse and 8,100 x 3= 24,300 lbs for 2 horses.

** Please Note that the 3 x the second animals pull DOES NOT STACK exponentially( or altogether) for more animals added to the 2. Example: Take the Clydesdale horses and the Beer wagon 8 horses total. 8,100 x 3 x 8 =194,400 lbs or 97.2 TONS, in Real Life with tack and harnesses and full wagon they are only hauling about 4 Tons, the weight of horses with tack and harnesses and full wagon comes to 12 Tons, but they keep the weight down to 2x the horses weight roughly. So 97.2 Tons (WAY OFF). If we look at our above figures for 2 Draft horses I will go from there. 24,300 lbs for 2 horses 24,300 divide by 2,000 lbs per US ton= 12.15 Tons for 2 horses..... so why do they use 8? 1: It's easier on the Horses 2: Horses will last all day hauling the Load 3: Less harm to the Horses 4: Looks way cooler with 8 than 2..... just had to add that.

There is another wagon that was used that hauled 12 Tons, Now whether this was total of horses, tack, harnesses and the wagon with cargo, I'm not sure but it also used 8 Horses to do the job.

I did find a wagon that should be of interest to most of you and I think I can get a better handle on the numbers. Wagon 16' long 4' wide by 6'deep weighed 7,800 lbs before cargo, was built to hold 10 Tons 20,000 lbs. The animals used for pulling this were NOT just pulling 1 but 2 of them as well as a Metal water tanker all at once for a combined weight of roughly 36-1/2 Tons, 73,000 lbs. What animals your asking 18 Mules and 2 Horses known as the "20 Mule Team". The 2 horses were kept near the wagon front to better get the wagon moving from standstill. Now understanding and seeing that I didn't figure Mules carrying or pulling weights, I will here quickly 15 x 2 x 14= 480 Carry(SORRY NOT by REAL LIFE). Tweak Time 480 divide by 2= 210 lbs carry close enough(why 210 divide by 20%= 1,050 lb Mule) ever seen a 2,400 lb Mule yes you have the one that carries 480 lbs but not in Real Life.

Now to the true math 2 horses @ 24,300 lbs together, 2 mules @ 210 x 3=630 lbs 1 pulls, 630 x 3= 1,890 lbs together for 2 & lets for now assume they all work together that's 1,890 x 9 = 17,010 lbs add the horses 17,010 + 24,300= 41,310 lbs QUITE SHORT of the 73,000 lbs. BUT I did find where Mules can easily pull a wagon = to their own weight so lets try that. 1,050 lb mule x 18= 18,900 + 24,300= 43,200 CLOSER. Well after approx. 10 min. I came up with roughly what they did : 1,050 lb Mule x 3= 3,150 lbs each mule was expected to pull ROUGHLY, 3,150 x 18= 56,700 lbs being pulled add Horses 56,700 + 24,300= 81,000 lbs able to be pulled. ** PLEASE remember that once its rolling less force is needed to keep it rolling.** Now what would I use for a Formula honestly as a player and DM I would say 2x the carrying weight for 1 mule pulling with the exception that yes you can use 3x but your speed is halved as well as a mandatory 1hr break for rest, food and water. As well I would accept for 2 mules working together the weight pulled is 3x more so: 210 carrying weight divide by 20%= 1050 lb mule x 2= 2,100 lbs pull for 1 mule, 2,100 x 2 = 4,200 lbs for 2 mules... 2,100 x 3= 6,300 lbs for 2 mules working together pulling**. This wagon with Mules and Horses is the ONLY one that had a strong enough Hitch System that could add all animals into the Pulling Power. A chain running straight from the wagon out to the lead Mules, with chains being attached along the way with pivot points for the Mules to be attached to(see picture below).

View attachment 146840

I feel it should be noted that this wagon also used just 20 Mules for the Hauling and kept the 2 horses tied in back trailing the Water Tanker.

Please Remember I know this seems like HOME BREW BUT if Certain People would ADD it to the BOOK's then People Like us wouldn't have so many HOME BREW methods, but for me this isn't HOME BREW its just doing what they (the Authors and Researchers didn't want to do to keep things simple and fast being that I have been doing this since the Beginning of the Game)with as much accuracy as I can Find. To ME Home brew would be changing spell times what they do and things like that. BUT to ME doing what I've done here it's How I FEEL the Game was meant to be played.

This just in as of this long winded writing FOUND Elephant Pulling Power: 1.7 x their weight so for Game Formula it would come to: 15 x 4 x 22= 1,320 lbs x 2.6515= 3,499.98 lbs, 3,500 lbs rounded for carrying capacity. Knowing that said elephant used is 14,000 lbs x 1.7= 23,800 lbs wee simply divide that by the Carrying Capacity and get: 6.8, now we take the carrying capacity of 3,500 x 6.8= 23,800 lbs the Elephant can pull.

In writing this I realize I have touched on other Topics such as Wagon Capacity and Backpack Capacity. These will be in their own posts and HOPEFULLY much SHORTER in LENGTH. This also in, I just looked up Backpack in 5e and found its very vague in its description compared to 2e description found on pg. 78 of the 2e Players Handbook, plus 5e backpack carries less weight (HAVE FUN).

Lastly I want to say that for most of the other animals and creatures I would use the Carrying Capacity x 3 for Pulling(unless it just didn't seem right, then I would figure out what would). I did not find any information regarding the Pulling Power of Camels.

I feel that in the cases where Game overrides Real Life Stats. it should be looked at and Math done to get it closer to the Real Life than the Game gives, as simply and quickly as possible. Or like in the case of the Draft Horse just leave it as is, its close enough.

I trimmed a bit and spaced things out. I didn't rewrite anything. This needs tables. But it's no longer a giant wall of text.
 
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BookTenTiger

He / Him
My mental carrying capacity is not large enough to parse this wall of text.

Which is a shame, because this is a topic I would actually enjoy playing around with!
 


Cleon

Adventurer
Okay, where to begin.

I'll put the cart before the horses and start with Pulling Power.

The wagons which "weighed 7,800 lbs and could carry 10 tons (20,000 lbs)" referred to in the initial post are the "Twenty Mule Teams" used to haul borax out of Death Valley, which had a total weight of 73,200 pounds fully loaded. That included 20 short tons of borax and a 1200 US gallons water tank - which is another 5 tons or so from the water alone. The weight presumably includes all three wagons, the two 10-ton capacity borax wagons plus the water wagon.

A bit of arithmetic and the 40,000 lb of borax in 15,600 lb or wagons plus 10,000 lb of water adds up to 65,600 lb. The 7,600 lb that's unaccounted for from the 73,200 lb total is presumably the water wagon plus all the chains and harnesses plus food and other supplies for the crew.

Now the draught team is 18 mules plus 2 horses. Since they used horses with "great brute strength" presumably they were heavyweights bred for the task, so some kind of draft horse presumably. Let's see, a mule averages about 900 pounds, a heavy horse about 1,750 pounds or so, although particularly hefty ones weigh 2,000 or more.

If we assume it's 1,900 pounds, that gives us a neat 20,000 pounds of equine hauling the thing.

With a 73,200 lb load, that's a "Pulling Ratio" of 3.66 to one for that wagon train.

The "Clydesdale horses and the Beer wagon" Khel refers to sounds like he's talking about the Budweiser Clydesdales. Since they're basically a publicity stunt - one of those horses should be able to pull a wagon with the 243 boxes of bud I see in this picture. Each of them's probably got 12 bottles which weigh, say a pound or two apiece? That's 2,916 to 5,832 lbs plus the wagon and two guys. Assuming there's actually bottles in those boxes!

As for "two horses pulls three times as much as one horse" Khel mentioned, that appears to be a thing, so a pair of Clydes would pull it easily.

Rummaging around the internet I've found multiple references to a "rule of thumb" as follows:

Horses can typically pull about 1/10 of their body weight in “dead weight,” such as a plow or fallen log. If you add wheels to the load (e.g. put a log on a cart), an average horse can then pull 1.5 times its body weight over a longer distance. For shorter distances, this number may go up considerably—six times the horse’s body weight, or even more, depending on the breed.

However, Draft horses are absurdly strong, the Calgary Stampede heavy horse pull record is a pair of horses weighing 5,475 lbs pulled 13,400 lbs of dead weight, over the ground. The pull is over loose free-flowing sand (judging by this video), which probably makes it easier.

See this article on examples of their pulling power. Incidentally, that 1924 "Shire horse pulls 29 tons" claim was from Liverpool, so it'd be 2,240 lb UK tons (or "imperial tons") for 64,490 lbs in total, not 2,000 US short tons for the 58,000 lbs the article states.

That said, without strong corroborating evidence I'd take that figure with a shire horse drawn wagonload of NaCl.

It's worth emphasizing that the pulling ability varies greatly with the surface being moved across. A good road or hard, flat ground obviously gives a much higher "Pulling Ratio" that pulling something over rough grounds, through thick mud or water, or up a slope. A wagon loaded to 4,000 pounds might easily be drawn by a single horse on a good road, but might need two to traverse a rough country lane at any speed or perhaps even four to haul across a broken wilderness.

Also, the more spectacular weights obviously were only moved a short distance, and it would have considerably tired the horse. The "1.5 times its body weight" rule appears to assume it's in it for the long haul (ahem), with at least this source claiming it's for an 8-hour work day.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
The wagons which "weighed 7,800 lbs and could carry 10 tons (20,000 lbs)" referred to in the initial post are the "Twenty Mule Teams" used to haul borax out of Death Valley, which had a total weight of 73,200 pounds fully loaded. That included 20 short tons of borax and a 1200 US gallons water tank - which is another 5 tons or so from the water alone. The weight presumably includes all three wagons, the two 10-ton capacity borax wagons plus the water wagon.

Dang it, I should probably put that stuff about the 20-mule team on his Carrying Capacity and Weights Carried by Wagon or Cart thread.
 

toucanbuzz

Legend
I like to measure carrying capacity in Halflings. How heavy is that chest? About three Halflings. Ugh, put it on the mule.
It's not far off from what I would expect in medieval fantasy settings. Education on weights and measures wouldn't tend to be widespread, so people go with what they know, roughly. It sounds a lot more authentic than the farmer saying "it weight 72 pounds, about what a person with an 8 strength could struggle to lug around, so let's put it on the pack animal."
 

Cleon

Adventurer
It's not far off from what I would expect in medieval fantasy settings. Education on weights and measures wouldn't tend to be widespread, so people go with what they know, roughly. It sounds a lot more authentic than the farmer saying "it weight 72 pounds, about what a person with an 8 strength could struggle to lug around, so let's put it on the pack animal."

I disagree. A medieval farmer would have a very good idea of weights and measures, although they wouldn't have been formally educated in it. It's an intrinsic part of their job, most likely learned from when they were sitting on their dad's knee. Who was probably a farmer too, just like dear old grandpa.

The main problem* they'd have is that there were multiple different weights & measures depending on what was measured. There was a lot less unified and uniform regulation back then.
*Well, actually a Medieval farmer's main problem is more likely to be the Miller short-changing them whenever they ground their grain for food. Millers where notorious for cheating farmers by cutting out more flour than they were supposed to. To make matters worse, they might have had a monopoly on milling enforced by the local lord (who obviously got kickbacks). At some times and places, it was illegal to own or operate a hand-mill, to ensure grain was processed through an officially sanctioned mill.

For example, in the UK version of the Avoirdupois System, a ton is made up of twenty hundredweights, a hundredweight is made up of eight stone, and a stone is made up of fourteen pounds. So a ton is 2,240 pounds (14 × 8 × 20 = 2,240).

However, in medieval England, how much a stone weighs could depend on what it was a stone of. A stone of cheese might weigh different to a stone of salt beef, for example. The weights were regulated, but the regulation might be performed by individual Guilds or other officials that may place different numerical values on measures with the same name, or use use the same weights as other types of good but use different names.

There's still lingering traces of this practice today - that's one reason a standard beer barrel holds a different amount than a standard wine barrel, and why Jeweler's use Troy Weights of ounce and pound when most standard commerce in the UK has been metric for decades.

Besides, I'd guess an average farmer of the time would likely eyeball something's weight as to how many bushels of grain it would be as heavy as, which would likely match the bushel-weight of the main grain they grew for food (probably barley or oats).

So, I'd guess a farmer would likely say something along the lines of "reckon it's about two bushels. Put it on the donkey."

They would have had to memorize all sorts of terms for weights and measures that are rarely used or forgotten today, such as a sheaf of arrows (24 arrows, or a standard quiver full) versus a sheaf of wheat (no fixed value, as it's "an amount of fresh cut grain large enough to require bundling", but a maybe two or three pounds of grain once winnowed?).
 

Stormonu

Legend
Why not start with 1 Horsepower and work from there?

Guinness records and all are nice for noting upper bounds, but they do little for helping calculating "averages".
 

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