Thursday, 18 April 2013

LotFP Encumbrance Calculator: Part One

I've been grabbing free, eminently gameable stuff from the OSR for a good couple of years now.
This is my first attempt at giving something back.
If you use it and it's good, let me know! It'll be like lotion for my ego.

Without further ado, behold my LotFP Encumbrance Calculator!
If you don't use the LotFP encumbrance system, you're missing out. It's the only system I've ever used that reduced resource management to a not-annoying level without resorting to the classic "Fuck Encumbrance" and/or "Everything is in my Bag of Holding" systems.

Anyway, edit any yellow rows on the spreadsheet and the blue stuff should update itself. I just noticed those colours didn't appear on the google doc, guess i'll do that in a sec.
For those who use LotFP straight up, that should be good enough for you!
For others, prepare for a huge fucking post where I explain the nuts and bolts for no good reason.

Skip to things in orange for things you're most likely to change.

If you're reading this now, over a year on since I made this, I later used the Excel knowledge I gained from this to get a job where I am the Excel Guy. Turns out D&D made me more employable! Who knew, right?
Reading this now and seeing how proud I was of a few nested functions is like so adorbz.

Oh First Thing You Should Know If You're A Big Excel Newb

Select a cell, hold ctrl, and drag the bottom right corner along. It'll copy the cell along the row or column. If you have a function in B6 that references B3 and drag it out, the one in C6 will reference C3 and yada ya.
I didn't know this when I started using Excel even though someone's probably gagging right now at how obvious it is.

Second Thing To Know Because I'm Pretty Sure I Just Made Up This Terminology

I talk about encumbrance "slots" and encumbrance "tiers" and encumbrance "points". This gets a bit confusing.
In LotFP, you accrue a number of encumbrance points based on what you're carrying. Having 0 or 1 encumbrance points lets you move at maximum speed. 5 points means you can't move.
An encumbrance slot holds a thing. Multiples of identical things go in the same slot. So the slot could hold a sword, or 4 rations, or two paired jade statues of mongeese worth 20gp or whatever.
An encumbrance tier is a group of five slots. You get an encumbrance point for the number of tiers your stuff takes up past the first. So having 4 slots filled gives you 0 encumbrance points, and having 17 slots filled give you 3 encumbrance points.

EDIT: It turns out that I fucked up here, turns out multiple items per slot is meant to be for bundles of smaller objects only. One ration is meant to be one slot.
I'm keeping it to 5 per slot of the more common adventuring items like rations and torches personally, but you can change that.

The First Sheet

Top Slot

The final Encumbrance total simply adds up the Encumbrance tiers, Oversized items, and Armour penalties. We'll get to all those in a bit.
Get the sum of everything between B12 and B15. Easy!


The next bit is what I term "Usefuls" since they're bought and consumed most frequently during play. The expiration date is just for my sake, since I give standard rations a week before they go off.
In my game, an encumbrance slot can generally hold up to five things of its type.
Plug in how much of each thing the character has and it'll update itself.

Usefuls Slots

Long story short, this equation finds how many encumbrance slots the Usefuls take up.
=SUM(ROUNDUP((B3/5),0), ROUNDUP((B5/5),0), ROUNDUP((B6/5),0), ROUNDUP((B7/5),0), ROUNDUP((B8/5),0))
If there are any Excel junkies out there who know how I can simplify this, please do let me know.
For those seeing the Matrix right now, I'll break it down.
Since my encumbrance slots hold up to five of a thing, I'm dividing the number of things by 5 and rounding up to the nearest whole number. So 3 torches is one slot, and 9 torches is 2 slots.
Change the 5 to change how many things fit in each slot.
=SUM(all this stuff)
Simply adds it all up.

Coin Slots

This one draws from the Coins sheet in the same document, which is a neat trick. I'll go into how I did coins later. For now, LotFP gives you 100 coins to the slot.
The exclamation mark says "Check the Coins sheet! Cell B8!".
MAX is a neat function that returns the biggest value out of two numbers. Basically this means the minimum value is 0, so we don't get negative numbers.
Kind of redundant because the Coins cell it draws from has a MAX function too but whatever.

Encumbrance Tiers

This is the real deal. It counts up the number of encumbering item slots then spits out the number of encumbrance points they take up.
Oh god oh man oh god.
 (COUNTA(B20:B48)+B10+B11) = Total slots
COUNTA counts the number of cells that contain information in a range. In this case, it's counting the number of encumbering items in the Encumbering Items section. Then I add the number of slots that Usefuls and Coins (B10 and B11) take up to get the total number of encumbrance slots they're carrying.
((Total slots)/5) = Unrounded tiers
Five things per encumbrance tier. Divide by five to find the number of tiers!
 (ROUNDUP(Unrounded tiers),0) = Rounded Tiers
Round up the number of tiers, because you can't have half of an encumbrance point.
((Rounded Tiers)-1) = Tiers
You get a "free" encumbrance tier.
=MAX((Tiers), 0)
You can't have negative encumbrance, so 0 is the minimum.

Phew! You shouldn't have to touch that one. I'm just proud of it because I'm bad at Excel.


Simply counts the number of items in the Oversized Items section.
Count the number of cells with info in them, give me the number. Hoorah.


Type in the encumbrance value of the armour as per normal. Leather/unarmoured is 0, chain is 1, plate is 2.

Oversized Items

Put the big stuff here that doesn't fit into bags. Polearms and stuff.

Encumbering Items 

Put the other stuff here. Don't write in torches or rations or other Usefuls!

Man ok, falling asleep here.
Next part tomorrow, those parts are much simpler.


  1. Nice!

    I am reworking it for Carcosa here:

    I have regrouped the three lines in green since those all total total up to the top line. That will make it easier for me to explain the difference between slots and items (which threw me for a while learning LotFP).

  2. That's a great idea, actually. I should do the same to mine at some point.

    I've added an explanation of the differences between points and slots and tiers at the top too.

  3. I think there are six different ways for items to behave in LotFP.

    1. Armour
    2. Oversized
    3. Encumbering
    4. Encumbering but stackable
    5. Non-Encumbering
    6. Non-encumbering but stackable

    Not simple to explain, but works very well in practice.

    Thought I would have a problem with adding foil credits to the sheet, but the formulas were not that difficult. (1 credit - 5gp but only 1/2 coin weight.)

  4. Ah, interesting!

    I've found it easier to explain when I give them the LotFP encumbrance sheet, since they can just write stuff into the slots by themselves.