If you’ve ever been on the wrong end of a Swim check, you know how important it is to stay encumbrance free. Yeah it’s nice to carry your various adventuring gear on the actual adventure, but it’s also nice not to drown, fall off cliffs, or get crushed under the weight of your own loot.

It’s an especially tough problem to deal with for Dexterity-based characters. While Frar the barbarian can soldier on with the rest of the party riding in a howdah on his back, Percival the swashbuckler can’t put on his chain shirt without falling over. It’s even worse in point buy games, where you’re often obliged to dump your Strength in favor of the more synergistic ability scores. While muleback cords, masterwork backpacks, and handy haversacks are the most popular solutions, I favor the old standbys.

A mule costs 8 gp. A hireling costs 1 sp per day. Between the two of them, you’ve got all the carrying capacity you need. Of course, pack animals come with a significant downside. If you park Cletus the mule outside the dungeon entrance, he’s going to get eaten by wolves. If you instruct Nodwik the henchman to guard Cletus, they’re both going to get eaten by wolves. The upside there is that you get your 1 sp per day back, assuming the wolves haven’t eaten that too.

Fighter, being a traditional fighter, has the necessary Strength to avoid all of this tomfoolery. He is, however, a dick.


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