In the core rulebook, it states that dwarven speed is never reduced by encumbrance or armor.

However, if a character is trying to move something beyond their push/pull/drag limits, as determined by strength, the normal rules state that their movement would be reduced to zero (as if they were encumbered)

This seems to be a conflict in rules, indicating a dwarf could quite literally move a mountain (albeit at 20 ft/round)

Is a dwarf's speed affected by push/pull/drag limits?


1 Answer 1


Even though a character can never be encumbered doesn't mean that he can move something by pushing, pulling, or dragging things that he can't physically pick up. Try seeing a dwarf pick up a mountain as in your example!

Despite encumbrance rules, a dwarf still is limited to what it can push, pull, drag up in regards to its strength, just as any character is. Therefore, if it on the strength table, it can't pick up the item in question, it wouldn't be able to attempt to move it by pushing, pulling, dragging it around.

According to D20 PFSRD's website

Encumbrance by Weight: If you want to determine whether your character's gear is heavy enough to slow him down more than his armor already does, total the weight of all the character's items, including armor, weapons, and gear. Compare this total [weight] to the character's Strength on Table: Carrying Capacity. Depending on the character's carrying capacity, he or she may be carrying a light, medium, or heavy load. Like armor, a character's load affects his maximum Dexterity bonus to AC, carries a check penalty (which works like an armor check penalty), reduces the character's speed, and affects how fast the character can run, as shown on Table: Encumbrance Effects. A medium or heavy load counts as medium or heavy armor for the purpose of abilities or skills that are restricted by armor. (emphasis mine) Carrying a light load does not encumber a character.

The rules continue to say

Lifting and Dragging:

...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. (emphasis mine)

TL;DR Even though a dwarf can never be encumbered, they still have to abide by strength lifting/ carrying capacity limitations and restrictions. Anything over the heavy carrying capacity, the character effectively cannot move that weight. Note the rules do not make an exception specifically for dwarves, therefore they are under the same rules that everyone else is under.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your answer seems to address picking items up - but what about pushing, pulling or dragging? I don't need to pick up a box, to push it across the floor. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rayanth
    Aug 21, 2016 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rayanth still would go with weight limits (and there is a part that says dragging, above). \$\endgroup\$ Aug 21, 2016 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JesseCohoon You might want to revise your introductory paragraph. As written, it sounds like the answer's going to be entirely about picking things up, but the question is specifically about pushing or pulling things along without picking them up. Also, your line "Even though a character can never be encumbered doesn't mean that he can move something that he can't physically pick up" is an odd choice, given that the pull/push/drag rules explicitly do allow a character to move objects that they can't pick up. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Aug 22, 2016 at 6:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe thanks. Edited to make it flow better. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 22, 2016 at 12:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Good edits, now it more directly addresses the question. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rayanth
    Aug 22, 2016 at 22:40

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