Starfinder introduces "Bulk" — an easier system for calculating encumbrance. All listed equipment are now measured in "bulks", however, creature weight is still being measured in pounds. It becomes hard to decide, how fast you can carry a wounded mate (or maybe a dead body, who knows), since you can't measure a creature in "bulks". Sometimes the question might be more serious than just "how fast".

Let's take a specific example - a Ysoki Mechanic gets his Drone damaged and inactive, and want to secure it until repair. The Drone has "Hover Drone" chassis (see Core Rulebook, page 75 for details), thus, is a Tiny creature. According to the table 8-1 "Creature size" (Core Rulebook, page 256), "tiny" creatures are about 1–2 ft. height, 1-8 lb. weight. The "estimating bulk" chapter (page 167) says that one bulk weighs around 5 to 10 pounds, so a tiny creature should be 1 bulk in terms of encumbrance. Or more, since the same page says that "an awkward or unwieldy item might have a higher bulk". It is still unknown, what volume does the Drone have (is it 1 cubic foot or more).

So, the title question:

Ysoki can store up to 1 cubic foot of items weighing up to 1 bulk in total in their cheek pouches

My damaged Hover Drone is tiny, it is 1–2 ft. in height and 1–8 lbs. in weight. But how bulky is it? In other words, can I store it in my pouches? (Common sense dictates that it probably won't fit the Ysoki's mouth anyways, but let's stick to RAW.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ This revision to the question is like asking "RAW, can I put a wagon in my bag of holding even though the wagon obviously cannot fit through the bag's opening?" \$\endgroup\$ – Cyrad Sep 8 '17 at 4:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cyrad in Pathfinder, a bag of holding has imaginable measurements - it is "about 2 feet by 4 feet". It weights from 15 to 60 lbs. (depending on the type), and is not measured in "bulks" - paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/magicItems/… \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Sep 8 '17 at 10:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cyrad Please read the Q introduction about bulks. A Ysoki creature isn't measured in bulks, neither is a drone, but the "cheek pouches" uses bulks, hence the question. I choose an obvious impossible action deliberately, to make it clear what the problem is. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Sep 8 '17 at 13:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ I recommend making a new question such as "What is the bulk of a creature of a given size category?" or "What is the bulk of a Tiny drone?" What you're looking for is almost entirely different (although related) than what was asked in this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Cyrad Sep 8 '17 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor I recommend ignoring that suggestion. Cyrad's assumption that the drone definitely can't fit into the creature's mouth is not particularly well-founded. Not only is it not clear how big a Ysoki's mouth can open, it's also not clear what the drone's shape is, and how these things interact. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Sep 8 '17 at 18:30

No (Probably).

Cheek pouches can only hold 1 cubic foot. Since 1 foot is the minimum length/height a Tiny creature can be (Table 8-1, p. 256 Starfinder Core Rulebook), it's likely the drone is too big.

Then you have to consider:

  1. Ysoki have two cheek pouches with a combined volume of 1 cubic foot. Since the volume is divided between these pouches, it's extremely unlikely a ysoki can use up their cheek pouch volume with a single large object. Cheek pouches are designed to hold many small objects, not one really large object.

  2. The drone would need to fit in the ysoki's mouth. Even with cheek pouches, that's extremely unlikely.

You might be able to convince your GM that your drone is compact enough to fit, but then you'd have to convince them that such a compact little drone is sturdy enough to hold weapons, armor, etc.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Sep 8 '17 at 22:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Write your own answer if you disagree. Comments aren't for arguing your point. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Sep 8 '17 at 22:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cyrad Have you ever had a hamster? \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Sep 30 '17 at 10:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Several of them. And a guinea pig. \$\endgroup\$ – Cyrad Sep 30 '17 at 17:07

The system fails to specify the needed bulk→size conversion rate

No conversion rate is yet given between creature sizes and bulk, as you have pointed out. Hobbling the various portions of the descriptions of what bulk means and what size means, each in terms of real-world quantities, the answer could easily go either way. A limit given in bulk will sometimes have sizes that clearly exclude that limit, and sometimes have sizes that clearly fit within it, but there will also always be sizes or combinations of sizes which are unclear.

The Ysoki should be able to do this, though

Other than those aspects determined by your drone's chassis and mods, the exact details of your drone's appearance and personality are up to you.

(Core Rulebook, page 74)

The hoverdrone is Tiny size, but your character built it and you get to decide exactly what kind of tiny size body it has. Furthermore, table 8-1 on page 256 strongly implies that a tiny creature is one whose longest dimension is 1ft-2ft (and specifies that this can be the case for bipeds and quadrupeds). A 1-foot-long winged centipede, a 1-foot-diameter electromagnetically levitating steel orb, or a half-foot-to-a-side sqaure quad-rotor hover drone with a three-quarter-foot long pistol protruding another half-foot from one side (as pictured with the pre-gen Ysoki Mechanic) are all examples of tiny creatures, and all occupy significantly less than 1 cubic foot of space. While some appearances may lead querulous GMs to balk at the idea that one's PC might fit that particular object within their mouth (especially querulous GMs with no experience with chipmunks), certainly the more modestly-sized drone appearances should not present a problem.

You probably can't hide the bigger Tiny drones in your mouth, though:

Hungry chipmunk looking all normal

Chipmunk stuffing its face with an object roughly the size of its head

Chipmunk with moderately full cheek pouches

No, officer, no drones here!

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