Rules give us 3 value ranges for load: Light, Medium and Heavy.

There are respective bonuses/penalties to those loads. I couldn't find any mention of what happens after exceeding heavy load range (endpoint is named maximum load).

Can such character even move? Does such character get damaged by being smashed to the ground by his/her own equipment?

Also - what happens to creatures that are extremely heavy on their own (let's say dragons) when their strength drops to very low levels? I can't believe that such dragon would be able to move if it had strength of a regular human.


1 Answer 1


From the "Carrying Capacity" section of the rules, specifically the section on "Lifting and Dragging" (emphasis mine):

Lifting and Dragging: A character can lift as much as his maximum load over his head. A character’s maximum load is the highest amount of weight listed for a character’s Strength in the heavy load column of Table: Carrying Capacity.

A character can lift as much as double his maximum load off the ground, but he or she can only stagger around with it. While overloaded in this way, the character loses any Dexterity bonus to AC and can move only 5 feet per round (as a full-round action).

A character can generally push or drag along the ground as much as five times his maximum load. Favorable conditions can double these numbers, and bad circumstances can reduce them by half or more.

I have not seen any specific rules for what happens if a creature becomes so weak they can no longer support their own body weight. RAW, they would need a Strength score of 0 before this would happen (and they would become unconscious).

See the Pathfinder SRD for a table that describes low strength scores. The only one that mentions a penalty to movement is a Strength score of zero (and that is because you would be unconscious).

I have not seen any rules on equipment crushing a character as they become too weak to carry it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ All of what You're quoting here provides information on "what are the limits" (which I stated I already know) and doesn't help in any way in answering "what happens beyond those limits". There are lots of spells/curses/abilities that reduce strength so having Your armor suddenly heavier than what You can carry is a real and quite common usecase. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nec Xelos
    Jun 5, 2020 at 20:02
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @NecXelos You said you did not know what happened beyond Maximum Load. I just showed you. You can stumble around until twice Maximum load. You can push/drag until 5x Maximum load. You can move 5 ft. per round as a full-round action. You lose your Dex bonus to AC. It is all spelled out in that text block. Beyond that, you are stuck in place. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2020 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ d20pfsrd.com/basics-ability-scores/ability-scores see the table in Strength section. It'll help you to turn this into a full answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jun 5, 2020 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've had GM's homerule damage for the crushing weight of things when a character (or enemy) has their strength sapped while holding something particularly heavy (an instance with a portcullis comes to mind). But I believe this is correct by the book. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 6, 2020 at 3:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can You elaborate ifusaso? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nec Xelos
    Jun 6, 2020 at 13:02

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