Encumbrance

Encumbrance represents the burden of equipment that the persona has elected to carry. Everything that the persona wears or carries contributes to encumbrance. Encumbrance includes clothing, armour (unless worn), ammunition, weapons, food, and anything else with a wate. This section does not cover the philosophical elements of encumbrance, The age-old questions of which is more difficult to carry, 2 kgs of oxygen, or 2 kgs of lead?

Drawing of sweaty human carrying overloaded pack in the desert.

All my stuff.

Encumbrance is a role-playing tool to afford some faux realism to carrying and lifting stuff. A persona shuffling through the underbrush with 3 tonnes of equipment would be unrealistic. Equally, players should not suffer exacting milligram calculations of their equipment list. Encumbrance is a check against carrying the kitchen sink along with the house. The referee can check in on encumbrance once in a while to keep things in check.

Occasionally encumbrance rule can be the center of a scenario or puzzle. If a single persona cannot lift the essential artifact, which persona can? Or how much loot can be carried out before the demolition clock runs down?

Drawing of lightly dressed humanoid antelope out maneuvering heavily encumbered humanoid panda.

Free vs Encumbered.

Determining Wate Allowance

The persona’s Physical Strength (PSTR) is what determines how much a persona can carry. Each PSTR has its own assigned Wate Allowance. Each persona gets assigned a Wate Allowance when being created. The stronger the persona, the more they can carry and lift. Did you forget to generate Wate Allowance for your persona?

Persona Size and Wate Allowance

Bigger personas can lift more stuff. The player multiplies her persona’s Wate Allowance by the WA Adjustment.

Persona Size and WA Adjustment
The bigger the persona is the more it can carry. Anthros are medium sized.

Alien Size

WA Adjustment

Tiny

divide by 5

Small

divide by 2

Medium

no change

Large

double

Gigantic

multiply by 5

Alien Size

WA Adjustment

Encumbrance Levels

Wate Allowance is a solitary number. For many groups, the single kilogram value of wate allowance works well enough. If the players prefer something more granular, EXP has a complicated and byzantine encumbrance system. The Roll Playing System divides the WA into qualitative descriptors that affect performance. The persona’s Physical Strength (PSTR) is what determines how much a persona can carry. Encumbrance levels show the impact of carrying too much stuff.

Encumbrance Levels
  1. Free

  2. Un-encumbered

  3. Encumbered

  4. Over-encumbered

  5. Lift Only

Free

Free from all encumbrances. This persona is carrying nothing and may be wearing even less. Restrictive civilian clothing may jeopardize a persona’s Free encumbrance level. Carrying anything removes a persona from the Free encumbrance category. Flora and fauna are always free of encumbrance.

Un-encumbered

This persona is carrying very little equipment. Wate Allowance determines how much equipment the persona can carry with impairing their function. A persona is un-encumbered if she is carrying less than 1/4 her wate allowance (WA). A persona with an 11 PSTR has a WA of 16 kgs. She could carry up to 4 kgs and still be un-encumbered.

Calculate Un-Encumbered Level

wate < Wate Allowance / 4

20 kgs WA. The persona to carry up to 5 kgs of stuff and remain unencumbered.

Encumbered

Encumbered is the normal state for most personas. Personas can carry a certain amount of equipment and can function normally. Wate Allowance determines how much equipment the persona can carry with impairing their function. Encumbered personas carry anywhere from 1/4 to 1 and a 1/2 times their wate allowance (WA). So the persona with a wate allowance of 16 kgs could carry up to 24 kgs and only be encumbered. Carrying any more wate will have a detrimental effect on the persona’s function.

Calculate Encumbered Level

wate < Wate Allowance * 1.5

20 kgs WA. The persona to carry up to 30 kgs of stuff and remain encumbered.

Over-encumbered Level

This persona is carrying too much stuff. They are starting to feel the impact of the wate on their ability to function. Wate Allowance determines how much equipment the persona can carry with impairing their function. An over-encumbered persona is carrying between 1 and 1/2 to 2 and 1/2 times her WA. The persona with the 11 PSTR would be over-encumbered when carrying between 24 and 40 kgs of equipment.

Calculate Over-encumbered Level

wate < Wate Allowance * 2.5

20 kgs WA. The persona to carry up to 50 kgs of stuff and remain over-encumbered.

Lift Only

This persona has reached the limit of what they can carry. A persona can only lift a wate beyond over-encumbered. The persona can do nothing other than lift the wate. The wate could be a single object or a rucksack full of random junque. Nothing but lifting is going on here.

The persona can only lift any load greater than 2 and 1/2 times the persona’s wate allowance. To successfully lift this amount requires a successful attribute roll using PSTR. The more the wate exceeds the persona’s Lift Only encumbrance level, the more difficult the Attribute Roll.

No Wait Wate Allowance Table

If you do not want to do arithmetic, this table is available for quick determinations of encumbrance levels. If a large or gigantic persona has exceeded the table’s values, then arithmetic is still required.

Encumbrance Look Up Table
Don’t wait to calculate wate allowance. Rounded to nearest kg.

Encumbrance Level

PSTR

WA

UN

Normal

OVER

LIFT

1

5

<1

1-7

8-11

>11

2

6

<1

1-8

9-14

>14

3

7

<2

2-10

11-17

>17

4

8

<2

2-12

13-20

>20

5

9

<2

2-13

14-23

>23

6

10

<3

3-15

16-25

>25

7

12

<3

3-18

19-30

>30

8

13

<3

3-20

21-33

>33

9

14

<4

4-21

22-35

>35

10

15

<4

4-23

24-38

>38

11

16

<4

4-24

24-40

>40

12

17

<5

5-25

26-42

>42

13

18

<5

5-27

28-45

>45

14

19

<5

5-29

30-48

>48

15

20

<5

5-30

31-50

>50

16

22

<6

6-33

34-55

>55

17

25

<7

7-38

39-63

>63

18

28

<7

7-42

43-70

>70

19

31

<8

8-47

48-78

>78

20

34

<9

9-51

51-85

>85

21

39

<10

10-59

60-98

>98

22

45

<11

11-68

69-113

>113

23

52

<13

13-78

79-130

>130

24

60

<15

15-90

91-150

>150

25

69

<17

17-104

105-173

>173

26

79

<20

20-119

119-198

>198

27

90

<22

22-135

136-225

>225

28

102

<25

25-153

154-255

>255

29

115

<28

28-172

173-288

>288

PSTR

WA

UN

Normal

OVER

LIFT

Encumbrance Level

Encumbrance Effects

The encumbrance categories are neat and interesting, but how they affect the persona is what matters. All of the tables are optional, but reading through them should give the impression that the more you carry, the worse off you are.

Performance Rolls

Carrying too much equipment has a detrimental effect on the persona’s ability to perform maneuvers. The higher the encumbrance level, the more difficult maneuvers become. Encumbrance is not just about wate. It also includes restrictiveness and entanglements impairing performance. The persona needs to set the stuff down to avoid the performance roll penalty. A 6DD maneuver attempted while encumbered would become a 9DD maneuver.

When encumbrance rules are due to high gravity environments, personas cannot escape the penalties.

Encumbrance and Performance Rolls

Being encumbered makes it harder to do stuff.

Encumbrance

DD Adjustment

Free

0

Unencumbered

0

Encumbered

2

Over Encumbered

4

Lift Only

Lift Only

Encumbrance

DD Adjustment

Movement

Encumbrance has its most significant effect on combat movement. The greater the load on the persona, the more difficult it is to move. The persona cannot use specialized movement rates like bolting and running when encumbered. Non-combat movement is only qualitative and is not affected directly by encumbrance.

Encumbrance and Movement
Carrying stuff slows most personas down.

Encumbrance

Adjustment

Free

May Bolt.

Unencumbered

May Run.

Encumbered

Normal move rate

Over Encumbered

Half move rate

Lift Only

No movement

Encumbrance

Adjustment

Initiative

The less encumbered persona will get to act first. A persona loaded down with equipment will have a hampered response time. An over-encumbered persona that rolled 18 on her initiative roll would have it reduced to 15.

Encumbrance and Initiative
Being encumbered slows a persona down.

Encumbrance

Initiative Roll Adjustment

Free

+1 to roll

Unencumbered

No effect

Encumbered

-2 to roll

Over Encumbered

-4 to roll

Lift Only

-6 to roll

Encumbrance

Initiative Roll Adjustment

Driving

Personas must be free or unencumbered to drive or pilot any vehicle. This requirement includes inatmo and exatmo vehicles. Driving rolls will be impaired the same as performance rolls by encumbrance levels.

Attribute Rolls

Some attribute rolls are affected by encumbrance levels. The higher the encumbrance level, the more difficult the attribute roll. Encumbrance impacts actions like getting up, balancing, jumping, and climbing. Attribute rolls for DEX, PSTR can occasionally be affected by encumbrance levels. Actions like doing math, smiling, psionic attacks are less impacted by encumbrance. Attribute rolls for AWE, CHA, INT and MSTR are less affected by encumbrance levels.