Lift and Encumbrance

Lift, Encumbrance, and Movement

There’s only so much you can carry. Normally, encumbrance shouldn’t come up very often, as most characters have sufficient strength to carry around whatever it is they carry around on a day-to-day basis. However, when hauling heavy loads, this could change dramatically.

Lift Factor

The average person can squat about 60 kg. This isn’t stellar, and shows an untrained physique, but it works. However, the average person isn’t going to be doing this routinely, or even irregularly. Assume that a character has a Lift Factor of his (Body x 3 kg).

A character may schlep up to his Lift Factor without penalty. Beyond that and penalties start to accrue. Note that, for most characters, this will be high enough that any basic carrying is handled (18 kg is a great deal of gear).


Add these rules to the rules for movement in Magenta. Once the character exceeds that amount, the distance he can run lowers. The following chart shows exactly how far the character can run in a single round.

Lift Factors Carried Run Distance Climbing
Up to 1 100% 100%
Up to 2 75% 50%
Up to 3 50% 2 meters*
Up to 4 25% Impossible
Up to 5 2 meters* Impossible
* 2 meters of movement normally isn't a run, but if you're carrying over 4 lift factors it suffers in the same way.

Note that the effects of fatigue from running are unchanged in these rules.


A character using proper rope or ladder climbing under good conditions and carrying nothing else depends on the character’s Climb and the difficulty of the slope. Take the character’s Climb result and subtract the climbing conditions below (the Rote difficulty – rolled difficulties don’t modify speed). Double the result. This is how many meters the character may climb in a single round.

It also becomes difficult to climb with too much stuff, and at a certain point impossible. The climbing distance changes depending on the character’s encumbrance. In addition, if using improper equipment (or no equipment at all) will increase the character’s effective encumbrance by one step.

While climbing, the character may face difficulties. These are normally Rote difficulties. See the following chart.

Climbing Conditions Difficulty
Good grips and hand-holds, or climbing using a rope or ladder; the slope is vertical or nearly so (this is the “base difficulty”) 2
Poor grips and hand-holds +1
Climbing on a good slope (you can rest your body on the slope to rest) -1
Climbing on a poor slope (the slope puts the face over you) +2
Climbing on an overhang (there is no “slope” – you’re on the underside of a nearly flat surface) +4

Someone who wishes to hurry can Roll, Risk, Push, or Breeze. A critical success allows the character to move at twice the normal pace. However, on a critical failure, the character falls.

If the character has pitons, he may spend around driving in a piton to anchor himself. Note that some inclement hazards will impose random difficulties. If the random roll is greater than the character’s result, then the character falls. Otherwise, read the distance climbed normally (do not subtract a random difficulty roll from Climb to determine how far the character climbs).

Grips (take the worst die) Difficulty
Wet grips, grips that will break if you put too much weight on them +1d4
Slick grips, or crumbling/fragile handholds +1d6
Slick and fragile handholds +1d8
Wind (take the worst die) Difficulty
Wind +1d4
Strong wind +1d6
Powerful wind +1d8

Movement in Exoframes

Ignore the 5+Space Suit rule from Magenta for determining run speeds in frames or spacesuits. Instead, use the following rules.

Wearing a space suit, fully-encompassing armor, exoframe, or similar imposes its own problems. For movement, use the Exoframe skill rather than Run to determine speed. A light frame (including a heavy exoframe with good movement enhancements) increases the character’s Load multiples for movement purposes by 1. A heavy frame increases it by 2. Thus, someone in a heavy frame with no other encumbrance moves at half normal speed.

A move assisted exoframe usually doesn’t apply its own weight to encumbrance, which is useful in so many different ways.

Overland Movement

What isn’t handled in the rules is long-term overland movement. If marching, hiking, or otherwise moving continuously (rather than in the start-and-stop speed pattern given above), then the character can move at his Run plus 3 km per hour. He can sustain this pace for a number of hours equal to his Hike.


Gravity is problematic on so many different levels. A character not only multiplies the weight of everything carried, but must now carry factors of his own body weight. To account for this, multiply the weight of all carried objects by the local gravity in Gs. You then apply another factor. Subtract 1 from the local Gs, and multiply the result by the character’s ((Body * 10) + 10). Apply that in kg to total mass.

Example: Sweeny has a Body of 8. He’s carrying 7 kg of gear and personal effects. He’s now in an interior deck of a rotating station, where the gravity is only 0.8 G. His gear now only weighs 5.6 kg, but he additionally reduces this by (90 * (0.8 – 1)) 18 kg, so he’s effectively carrying nothing at all.

Circulation and Function in High Gravity

Functioning in high gravity requires the G-Force skill. This has a somewhat lower tolerance than the actual g-forces sustained from acceleration, but it reflects the character’s ability to endure gravitational force in the long term. A character exposed to high gravity must usually spend a Body to take any Physical action more significant than walking (and may have difficulty doing that).

A character may tolerate gravity without suffering this penalty up to (1 + (G-Forces Rote / 4). Thus, an untrained character new to space can walk around in up to 2 Gs, provided he has the Body to lift himself in that gravity.

Example: Sweeny, from above, has 3 marks of G-Forces. He can keep himself conscious and functional at up to 4 Gs. However, at 2 Gs, he’s functionally hauling an extra 90 kg while completely naked. This means he can only move at half his normal pace. In addition, carrying more than 3 kg (what becomes 6 kg in this environment) will drop him to 25%. He’s so heavily burdened that he has to consider whether he’s going to wear clothes, because the weight of his clothes are that hideous.

Movement and Operation in Microgravity

Microgravity occurs when the character experiences, for all practical purposes, no gravitational acceleration. It also occurs when the character is actually in free fall. Needless to say, the Free Fall skill comes in handy here.

A character may glide along surfaces through freefall “climbing.” This uses the Free Fall skill and allows the character to move at an effective “run” speed (this does not cause fatigue). The character may also launch off of a solid surface if he can get the leverage, moving at his Free Fall “run” speed. However, he continues moving at this speed until he encounters something else, which might be a catastrophic result.

The highest Rote for any Physical task while in microgravity or free fall is the character’s Free Fall Rote. To get a higher result, the character may spend a Drive to obtain the higher Rote or may Roll, Risk, etc. Only Rotes are affected. A character may not Rote, Roll, or Push a Physical task unless he has a solid, massive surface upon which to anchor and lever. Lacking this, the character must Risk or Breeze. Critical failure sends the character into a spin.

If a character is moving uncontrolled through microgravity, he may stabilize by using Free Fall. There are actually techniques to allow someone to turn while in microgravity without a surface to lever. This faces a difficulty of 1d12, but a botch doesn’t cause additional spin – it just has the usual Retry cost.

Hauling Loads

Weight wouldn’t appear to be a problem, but mass is. A character may, conceivably, “lift” a planet if he had a big enough lever and a place to stand. However, the amount of total work required is the issue. A character cannot effectively leverage off of nearby surfaces because the character is no longer attached to any nearby surfaces.

A character may only keep in control of an amount of mass equal to his Lift Factor (take weights for 1 G). Anything beyond that and he has to spend an action both to start it moving and to stop it moving. The character needs a physical surface to lever off of in order to achieve this.

Lift and Encumbrance

Death may Die Pneumonica Pneumonica