Cargo: gear and starships

This is the basis of a suggested house rule in the up-coming Cartol’s Emporium supplement.

The encumbrance system in EotE/AoR might seem confusing. For silhouette 3 and smaller vehicles the cargo capacity can make some sense, but for larger ships and transports, silhouette 4+, the unit of measurement that is Encumbrance can come across as confusing. While the game itself has a very narrative orientation, which is used as an argument against a more nuanced and detailed cargo measurement system, presented here is a tweak of the existing system. This idea does not dramatically change the encumbrance system of EotE/AoR.

Mentioned briefly under the Encumbrance heading in the Gear and Equipment chapter in the core rulebooks is the notion of cargo crates consuming between 4-7 encumbrance in the cargo bay.

How much such a container can hold on the other hand is not detailed. The suggestion presented here is that a cargo crate can hold up to 8 times its own encumbrance. So a crate consuming 5 encumbrance can hold up to 40 encumbrance worth of gear. Obviously this isn’t a static value. Some items require a lot of volume and the crate may only hold 20 encumbrance worth of items of that nature. Common sense should prevail in situations where comparisons stops making sense.

In any case, at some point one has to make a decision when it comes to 0 encumbrance equipment like comlinks and the like. Off hand one could say that 0 encumbrance gear and equipment consumes 1 encumbrance when put in groups of 5, 10, 15 or more (depending on “actual” size”). That is, comlinks and power packs would perhaps need 10 to consume 1 encumbrance, scanner goggles would need 5 to consume 1 encumbrance, whereas stimpacks and toxins would need 10 or perhaps even 15 to consume 1 encumbrance.

When it comes to weapon crates and specific crates for specific types of gear, one could decide that weapons (and armour) stacked in crates consumes less encumbrance than when carried and ready for use. Halving the encumbrance, and rounding up, could be a good start for some types of gear and equipment that can be folded and neatly packed.

One important point to remember is that these crates cannot normally fit into smaller than silhouette 4 ships. For instance a cargo crate won’t fit into a Y-Wing, there just isn’t enough room.

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2 thoughts on “Cargo: gear and starships

  1. Looking forward to the next revision of the Emporium. The cargo encumbrance rules are something I’m really trying to embrace, but struggling with nevertheless.

  2. Same here, although my players stopped smuggling… they do weird stuff now. So I’ve never really had a big issue with the encumbrance rules, but I see why some do and I noticed it early on, already during the beta I tried to figure something out. My best guestimation is a combination of the backpack and how armour has lower encumbrance when worn. The above is sort of the end result of the thought process, I’m now settling with one solution for my house-rules, and we’ll see where it takes me/us.

    There is something about the “speed of the plot”, and the notion that the plot decides. It is a different approach, and some players are not going to appreciate that no matter what you do. So, here’s top hoping I don’t have any players like that! 🙂

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