Encumbrance is what happens when your weight (including all equipped and carried items) exceeds your ability to easily carry that weight. You slow down and react less quickly. "Encumbrance" is also used to refer to the stats penalty due to encumbrance.
The following formulae are used to determine the amount of weight you can carry.
MaxWeight is the weight one can carry without being encumbered. At Size Factor 0, each point of mass is equivalent to 0.5kg. At Size Factor 2, each point of mass is equivalent to 0.5t.
For mecha: MaxWeight = 15 + MechSize For characters: MaxWeight = BodyStat + 2 + WeightLiftingSkill
Your Encumberance level is then calculated as follows:
If MaxWeight < 1 → MaxWeight = 1 EquipmentWeight = the weight of all your equipment, whether carried, installed or equipped ExtraMass = EquipmentWeight - MaxWeight For characters: ExtraMass = ExtraMass - WeightLiftingSkill [Ed. This is the second time your Weight Lifting skill is taken into account.] If ExtraMass > 0 → Encumbrance = ExtraMass div MaxWeight Else → Encumbrance = 0
Your Speed stat is penalized by your encumberance level:
Speed = Speed - Encumbrance
Your Reflexes stat is penalized by half your encumberance level:
Reflexes = Reflexes - (Encumbrance div 2)
Mech Encumbrance Penalties to MV and TREdit
Generally, the more stuff you pile onto your mech, the slower it will move. "Intrinsic" mass is the mass of the mecha, including installed items. Equipment mass is the mass of equipment in mounts, hands, or carried in inventory.
Intrinsic Mass Penalty: -1 MV/TR per 7.5 tons
Equipment Mass Penalty: -1 MV/TR per (7.5 + .5 * mecha size) tons