Advantages and Disadvantages of Heavy Variant Encumbrance

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variant encumbrance

Using a character with heavy variant encumbrance can give them an advantage in combat, but it also comes with many penalties. Some classes are less useful outside of combat than others, and some players believe that Fighters and Barbarians have no utility outside of combat.

Thankfully, encumbrance is not a permanent disadvantage, and there are several ways to mitigate its effects. Listed below are some of the most common means of reducing the encumbrance penalties for various classes.

You can also learn how Artificer Infusion work here.

variant encumbrance

Characters with heavy variant encumbrance

While encumbrance provides an additional advantage for certain classes, many players believe it can also come with a penalty. Heavy variant encumbrance increases a character’s carrying capacity, a number equal to fifteen times Strength.

Some races, however, have a higher carrying capacity, allowing them to reliably lug around the heaviest objects. The following sections detail the benefits and disadvantages of heavy variant encumbrance.

variant encumbrance

Encumbrance rules vary depending on the background of a character. DMs often use variant encumbrance rules to account for different backgrounds.

If a character’s encumbrance is not indicated on their background, they must hire a porter or animal to carry them. In the case of RAW characters, this standard solution is to hire an animal or hire a porter.

The animals are common, but are not always available. Guild Artisan characters and Noble characters have two background options: retainers and carts.

heavy encumbrance

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Heavy variant encumbrance also causes a character’s movement speed to be reduced by 20. A character who carries excessive weight suffers disadvantages on saving throws and attack rolls as a result of the penalty.

Encumbrance is punishing and can put tremendous pressure on players who don’t carry too much inventory. In many cases, a character with excessive encumbrance will end up losing a significant amount of momentum.

Heavy variant encumbrance is a significant disadvantage when combatting enemies. However, this disadvantage is sometimes counterbalanced by the other negative effects of armour.

For example, in the Westeros RPG system, each additional five on a roll increases the character’s success by one point. If a character has 22 on a roll, the result will be a 22. These numbers are inclusive of the damage die and bonuses.

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