View Full Version : What penalties should encumbrance have on agility feats?

2017-04-12, 09:30 PM
I suppose a division could be made between balanced encumbrance like fat or armour, and unbalanced like carrying sacks of gold coins. I'm not sure how balanced carrying someone piggyback would be.

Say it's a 3d6 system using Agility as the relevant characteristic. What levels of encumbrance would you rate for what penalties?

2017-04-12, 09:34 PM
Well, the first question is "does it matter?" An old-school gritty exploration type game is going to have a very different answer to that question than, say, Exalted. The appropriate level of detail and penalty is ENTIRELY genre/theme-dependent.

EDIT: While we're at it, I'll also share my favorite encumbrance system: the anti-hammerspace item tracker (http://rottenpulp.blogspot.com/2012/06/matt-rundles-anti-hammerspace-item.html). Instead of thinking about weight, you have to track where an item is being carried. It's simpler than weight, and a heck of a lot more engaging.

2017-04-12, 09:49 PM
Well, it depends on what exactly agility means in your game. If it determines everything that encumbrance could possibly affect, such as movement, defense, and accuracy, then I'd say encumbrance could directly penalize that stat. Otherwise you'll want to look at all those things and think about how it should work.

As for measuring encumbrance, I say go with an abstract measure that takes into account portability, bulk, and weight. I recommend something like what ACKS and other OSR systems tend to have. That way you'll have easier calculations that are remarkably sensible, and players don't need to worry themselves with exactly which belt segment their sheathe is tied to.

Also, I think it's rather unfair to give players extra penalties for every pound of chub on their PCs' bellies; If it's an issue, just ask them to have their characters' appearances have some relationship to their stats. Even then, IRL looks can be quite deceiving. Even some of the strongest people in the world don't look like much, so I say don't worry about it too much for a make-believe roleplaying game.