How would ant haul, enlarge person, and muleback cords (or bulls strength) work together for carrying capacity?

  • Ant haul increases carrying capacity by 3x.
  • Enlarge person increases carrying capacity by 2x
  • Muleback cords increases carrying capacity by +8 stat
  • Bulls increases carrying capacity by +4 stat

All are transmutation effects, so do they count as the same type of bonus? Also, normally when multipliers are combined in pathfinder a 2x and 2x become 3x, not 4x. So if they do stack would it be 3x and 2x become 4x?


2 Answers 2


I think you've found a rare thing in Pathfinder - a way to stack four effects that all affect the same thing, even two different multipliers applying at full effect instead of additive. Too bad it's not a generally-combat-useful thing, but creative players and non-combat solutions are scary with the kinds of lifting power this will give you.

Muleback cords say the wearer treats their Strength as 8 higher for determining carrying capacity - this isn't a bonus of any sort, this is the same as actually having 8 more Str.

Enlarge person doesn't directly buff carry-cap; it's a buff to size category, which incidentally happens to double carry-cap. This isn't a carry-cap buff for stacking, it's your new (temporary) base carry-cap. It also comes with a +2 size bonus to Str, which is nice for your purposes.

Bull's strength is a +4 enhancement bonus to Str. Nothing else in this set grants an enhancement bonus to Str, not even the muleback cords (which require bull's strength to create but don't work the same way), so it stacks fine with everything else.

Finally, ant haul takes your current carry-cap and triples it. This is the only direct buff to your carry-cap you've got in the set.

So to calculate your final carry-cap, you add +8 (effective) +2 (size) and +4 (enhancement) to your Str for a total +14 and look it up on the chart, then apply the correct multiplier from size (which is no change if you were enlarged from Small to Medium or x2 if you went from Medium to Large) to find your current base carrying capacity. Then triple it for the ant haul effect.

Quick examples:

Human 10 Str normally maxes at 100 lbs. With all four effects, they'll max at 4,200 lbs.

Halfling 8 Str maxes out at 60 lbs. Buffed, their max load is 1,560 lbs.

Half-orc 20 Str has an impressive starting 400 lbs. With all these buffs, they can carry at a heavy load 16,800 lbs, or nearly 8 and 1/2 tons.

Don't forget all these weights are for maximum supported in backpack or lifted overhead and walked with nearly normally. You can get twice that off the ground and barely stagger around with it, or push or drag five times those numbers along the ground. Yeah, the 20 Str Medium character with those buff could push 84,000 lbs (42 tons) along the ground, twice that under "favorable conditions". Have fun breaking the game, hero.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Im actually playing a zen archer monk and the GM allowed us to use the race builder, so I started off as large, which means enlarge person still works on me. I have been carrying the party gear around in a wagon, but we recently discovered that the wagon encumbers me, so all my monk bonuses are gone. So I have been looking at ways to affect my carrying capacity to still do this job, but remain in my light load. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jun 29, 2016 at 6:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering mind if I ask your Strength score? Starting at Large and moving up to Huge is going to make the numbers even more ridiculous. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2016 at 6:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ My starting roll value was 16 and except for the bonus from large being my natural size, it has no other bonuses. Thankfully I have this all worked into a overly complex spreadsheet \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jun 29, 2016 at 6:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Sadly my character weighs 125 as medium, 1000 as large, and 8000 as huge, so Im always outside of my light load if I needed to count my own weight, lol. Yes, that kind of carrying capacity should do nicely when I start carrying around a house for us to sleep in at night, lol. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jun 29, 2016 at 7:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There is, if you're using the enlarge person spell (or mythic enlarge person spell). Look at any Colossal dragon in the book for a quick counter-example - they don't have any size bonuses, those are their natural Strength scores. I think there's been a question before on exactly that subject - the various enlarge and reduce spells always giving that bonus/malus made people think it always worked that way, and the race builder giving a size bonus instead of a racial bonus made it worse. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2016 at 7:18
  • Bull's Strength gives an Enhancement bonus to strength
  • Enlarge Person gives a +2 Size bonus to strength, and doubles carrying capacity due to the increased size category (assuming you're going from Medium to Large)
  • Muleback Cords don't give any "real" bonus to strength, just "treat your strength as 8 higher" for carrying capacity purposes
  • Ant Haul just triples carrying capacity

There is a specific clause that says:

Multiple magical effects that increase size do not stack.

There is no comparable clause for carrying capacity. Even if there was, only Ant Haul directly affects carrying capacity multiplier - everything else does it as a side-effect of either strength or size.

Multipliers only combine weirdly for rolls, not raw figures. So the multiplier will be x2 x3 = x6

So, to calculate your new carrying capacity, first add all the strength bonuses (+14), then multiply the matching carrying capacity from the table by 6.

eg, if you started as a medium character with a strength of 15 (= max carry 200 lbs)

  • Add 14 to strength = 29 (max carry 1400 lbs)
  • Multiply by 6 = max carry 8400 lbs

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .