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Under Lifting and Carrying (PHB 176) it says:

Your carrying capacity is your Strength score multiplied by 15. This is the weight (in pounds) that you can carry... You can push, drag, or lift a weight in pounds up to twice your carrying capacity (or 30 times your Strength score).

and also specifies that a tiny creature can carry half as much.

A sprite familiar summoned through a warlock's Pact of the Chain feature has a strength score of 3 and so has a carrying capacity of 22.5 pounds, and a push, drag, lift limit of 45 pounds. The sprite stat block also specifies, however, that they wear leather armor and carry a longsword and shortbow.

By the rules in the PHB, these weigh 10 pounds, 3 pounds, and 2 pounds respectively, but considering they are smaller than those worn by a medium humanoid it one should assume that they do not weigh as much.

Is there any official guidance as to how much the sprite familiar's equipment counts against its carrying capacity?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your question title and body differ in what they're asking - the title asks whether a familiar's equipment counts against its carrying capacity (the answer to which is straightforward imho), while the question body asks if the tiny familiar's equipment weighs less than regular equipment of its type, or if it at least "counts as less weight" for the purpose of calculating how much the familiar is carrying. I presume what you actually want to know is the weight of a familiar's (or more generic, tiny creature's) equipment, which fits the existing answers. Could you adapt your title accordingly? \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster Jun 29 at 1:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster I have modified my title to more directly align with the question in my body text. The question in the body text is specifically "Is there any official guidance as to how much the sprite familiar's equipment counts against its carrying capacity?" This theoretically could be answered without knowing the weight of the sprite's listed equipment. If, for example, there were a rule that exempted a monsters listed equipment from counting against its carrying capacity, then I wouldn't need to know the weight. \$\endgroup\$ – Odo Jun 29 at 7:17
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5e offers no guidance on the subject of equipment weight for differently sized creatures

Unlike previous editions, nowhere in 5e's published rules is the question of equipment weight for larger or smaller creatures addressed. The DMG's section on designing new monsters briefly addresses weapons sized for larger creatures:

Big monsters typically wield oversized weapons that deal extra dice of damage on a hit. Double the weapon dice if the creature is Large, triple the weapon dice if it’s Huge, and quadruple the weapon dice if it’s Gargantuan.

But this is only about the damage the weapon deals. Weight is not addressed. As written, all equipment weighs the same no matter what size it is. This is obviously nonsense, but 5e's design has made a deliberate decision to elide these kind of concerns (in contrast to at least 3/3.5e, which covers the subject in a lot more detail). If the DM wants to get into this level of detail, they must decide for themselves what rulings to apply.

Personally, when I adjudicate item weight by creature size, I find that the easiest way to do it in the context of 5e's existing rules is simply to apply the same rules to equipment weight as apply to carrying capacity - which is to say, equipment for Tiny creatures weighs half what it normally does and equipment for creatures larger than Medium weighs double per step in size. It's not the most realistic ruling you could make, but it is at least consistent with the game's existing abstractions about weight and size.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'll caution that some but not all prior editions gave detail on this subject. In know that 3E did, 0E/1E/BX/BECMI did not, not sure offhand about 2E or 4E. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel R. Collins Jun 29 at 6:33
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Nothing official from any of the typical sources

Looking at the PHB, there is a section on "Variant Size Rules", but that is just do things fit, not adjusting for size.

The DMG is similar in its lack of detail.

This sorta fits with DnD 5e in general. It's trying to streamline and not get things bogged down with the minutia.

However

In fact the only place I could find mention of smaller and large equipment was the spell, Enlarge/Reduce:

Enlarge. The target's size doubles in all dimensions, and its weight is multiplied by eight. This growth increases its size by one category-- from Medium to Large, for example.
Reduce. The target's size is halved in all dimensions, and its weight is reduced to one-eighth of normal. This reduction decreases its size by one category--from Medium to Small, for example

So by those formulas, the Spite's equipment would be 1/64th the normal weight (1/8 for Small times 1/8 for Tiny). So by that the 10 pound armor would be a mere 2.5 ounces.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Aside, be cautious of Enlarge/Reduce's rules for changing equipment weight - if you follow them strictly, a heavily armed and armoured medium size warrior who gets enlarged is likely to be crushed under the weight of their own gear, even after doubling their carrying capacity! \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jun 28 at 22:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer, I agree, 5e is a horrible simulator. However, it is the closest thing to a rule regarding equipment off different sizes. \$\endgroup\$ – MivaScott Jun 28 at 23:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well - to be specific, it's the rule for what happens if you double (or half) every dimension of a creature or object (which logically must increase/decrease its weight by a factor of 8). I'd suggest that it doesn't necessarily follow that a piece of equipment that is originally designed for a larger creature would have the same dimensions, as the weight rapidly gets out of hand. Plate armour for a large creature probably shouldn't be twice as thick as plate for a medium creature, for instance. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jun 28 at 23:31

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