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As an example, let's say that the hero is a Half Orc with a strength score of 20. They are wearing Chainmail armor, their main weapon is a two-handed glaive, and on their back they can carry spears or javelins.

How many spears or javelins could this orc could possibly carry, on top of the chainmail and glaive's weight?

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    \$\begingroup\$ 300 is not an answer, just a random number. Do you use the variant rules for determining encumbrance? Do your 'unencumbered' means carrying not more than 5 times your STR as the variant encumberance rules? Or you mean 'not heavily encumbered' (less than 10 times STR)? \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Apr 26 at 4:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Could you specify whether you are using the variant rules (Encumbrance) or not (PHB p. 176)? \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Apr 26 at 9:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like this is a fairly clear question. He is simply asking someone to demonstrate how the calculation of carrying capacity is done in dnd 5e. \$\endgroup\$ – Tobyhn Apr 26 at 18:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are we assuming the javelins are all bundled together / in a container, or is the awkwardness of carrying dozens of loose objects a factor? \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Apr 27 at 0:27
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You could carry a lot based on standard rules

Page 176 of the Player's Handbook states the following:

Carrying Capacity. Your carrying capacity is your Strength score multiplied by 15. This is the weight (in pounds) that you can carry, which is high enough that most characters don’t usually have to worry about it.

Push, Drag, or Lift. You can push, drag, or lift a weight in pounds up to twice your carrying capacity (or 30 times your Strength score). While pushing or dragging weight in excess of your carrying capacity, your speed drops to 5 feet.

Size and Strength. 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.

You have a strength score of 20, which would give you a carrying capacity of 300 pounds. Taking into account that your two-handed glaive weighs 6 pounds, your chainmail armor weighs 55 pounds, each javelin weighs 2 pounds, and each spear weighs 3 pounds, we can do the math.

With the glaive and chainmail equipped, you could carry 119 javelins or 80 spears separately. If you wanted to carry both, you could carry 59 javelins and 39 spears together.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 26 at 4:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ It may also help to include that there may be confusion because the rules only talk about weight - they don't talk about how you'd carry that weight. In addition, you may want to include answers for the different encumbrance rules. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 26 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I wonder from a DM perspective, would you allow a character to walk around with 100 javelins and still be able to hide in shadows? \$\endgroup\$ – Amethyst Wizard Apr 26 at 21:58
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Many groups tend to ignore encumbrance but they are the only rules that would specifically limit the amount carried. Page 176 of the Player's Handbook says carrying capacity is strength multiplied by 15 so a character with a strength of 20 can carry 300 pounds of gear. The armor, weapons, and equipment lists specify the weight of each item. Total up the amount he's already wearing and carrying, subtract from his total carrying capacity, then divide by 2 (the weight of a javelin) or by 3 (the weight of a spear).

Since the rules for encumbrance are rather cumbersome, the best solution is probably to just make your own house rule and say that 2 or 5 or 10 or whatever of them can reasonably be strapped together and carried without causing problems. Since the paladin class has 5 javelins as an option for starting equipment you might want to just apply that number. There is really no need to carry a large amount since thrown weapons are not single-use and can be retrieved after the fight.

Any discussion of carrying javelins would not be complete without mentioning the Quiver of Elhonna which has a compartment that can hold 18 javelins. It is a magic item listed in the DMG.

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