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D&D 3E
Simple Question 
24th-Mar-2006 04:51 pm
I only ask because I can't seem to find it anywhere:

-How much weight can a standard backpack hold? It would stand to reason that you can't stuff everything in there, and if you tried, it would break after a certain limit.

Ty in advance.
24th-Mar-2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
I think they kind of left it up to common sense instead of calling out specifics, especially since there are so many different things you can fit in there that take up lots of room without lots of weight, etc.
24th-Mar-2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but it would be nice not to have to arbitrate it, you know?
24th-Mar-2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure 2nd Edition had specifics on volume and how much backpacks, sacks, and pouches could hold.
24th-Mar-2006 10:25 pm (UTC)
I'd say a medium sized critter could get a pack that would manage ~100lbs. Maybe even a bit more, but it wouldn't work over armor. Thats just my opinion though. Depending on what they want to carry, bulk might be more important than weight however.
24th-Mar-2006 10:29 pm (UTC)
A lot of it probably depends on timescale. I had a cheap backpack that I used for evening classes, and it broke (the straps unattached from the bag) after half a semester carrying around my calculus textbook. On the other hand, I've filled an ordianry backpack with textbooks and got it from my apartment to my office (about a five minute walk, then a ten minute bus ride). It's not going to be a '19.9 lbs. can be carried indefinitly, but 20 lbs. will break the bag'.

My guess would be that unless your party is carting around lead bricks, anything that would break a backpack in under a year would not fit in the bag in the first place.

If you want a more exact answer, I seem to remember that one of the magazines I read as a kid (Zillions -- it was billed as Consumer Reports for kids) did an article or two on testing the wear of kids' backpacks. It would not be inconcieveable that an outdoors site might do the same for camping/backpacking equipment (which would probably be a bit more like the packs a D&D party would use than a backpack for textbooks and paper).
24th-Mar-2006 11:25 pm (UTC)
I've gone up to 35lbs with my mountaineering backpack (I'm still getting in shape). The max is about 60lbs after which the climber has difficulty carrying any more. At this point, one technique is to pull sleds behind each climber with more gear.

I also think that soldiers carry even more gear, so properly made backpacks should be able to go to well past 60lbs of gear. Generally the limit is what the person has endurance for and not the backpack.
25th-Mar-2006 08:45 am (UTC)
In extreeme situations a soldier may have to carry more than 60 lbs, but typically the backpack is much lighter than that.
27th-Mar-2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
You are probably right. I was working from vague recollections of the complaints from some soldiers I know. :)

To the original question, I think the answer remains that (modern) backpacks will carry as much as the person can carry.
24th-Mar-2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
I usually just draw a picture of everything I want to stuff into the backpack and see if I honestly think it would fit. With a couple of belt-pouch-sized side pockets, it's usually fine.

Handy Haversacks are still the win, though.
25th-Mar-2006 01:03 am (UTC)
According to Wizard's "Converting to Metric" article (I don't have the link on me), backpacks can carry 60lbs. This is the same as a sack, and I personally think of backpacks as smaller than sacks, so I say (or houserule or whatever) 30lbs. My Jansport in high school could be stuffed with 30lbs of books, so that number makes sense to me. I think of a backpack as being that size, and a sack as being the size of a sports duffle (like what hockey or football players would carry their gear in). If you think of a backpack as more like a Hiking/camping backpack (with a frame and all), then 60lbs is probably reasonable.

The one think D&D doesn't consider is encumbrance. So technically you could put a couple greatswords in a backpack without going over the weight limit, because it doesn't consider bulk or dimensions. But that's just my complaint, and I see how considering such dimensions would make the game more of a logistic nightmare :p
25th-Mar-2006 01:53 am (UTC)
I generally just presume that they can be made to carry the load the creature that bought them can carry.

But if you want to get into details, why not make a sliding scale?
Listed price gets you...say, 60lbs and slide it about depending on what you think is fair.
26th-Mar-2006 11:53 pm (UTC)
Although, I'd think about doing things that way if I wasn't using a sliding scale.
I'd consider reducing the penalties for a medium load for a masterwork backpack if I was using one.
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