The Encumbrance (or in short form, Enc - see also the game help) is a stat related to Items (you can see it at the Items pane) that shows how much weight you are carrying, in percentage. It's directly related to your Might (the higher the Might, the more things you can carry), and is important for grinding as it determines how many and what kind of looted items you can carry away from a replayable scenario, to sell later (see Item Selling Guide/Value Vs Enc).
Contrary to many classic RPGs, gold has no encumbrance.
Each of the game's items has an associated Encumbrance value, although many of them (especially the Misc(ellaneous) items designed to remain in your inventory for a long time) have an Enc of 0. From April 2010, Undroppable items have no effect in your Encumbrance. This is an important effect, since before this measure was put into effect, undroppable game items (both useful and loose ends) could represent 8-12% of your total Encumbrance.
Equipped items only add half of their listed Encumbrance value.
Your total Encumbrance is checked each time you're offered the chance to pick up an item. Also, in the shops, your intended purchases will be weighted against the remaining 'free' percentage of your Encumbrance (simply expressed: 100% - x% = y%, where 'x' is the value shown in the "Items" pane of the game - your current burden - and "y" is the difference based upon which the game will determine whether the new item(s) will still "fit" into your inventory), to see if you can carry them .
Usually your encumbrance cannot exceed 100%, but there are several exceptions:
- When you automatically pick up an item during the course of a quest. Those items are not checked against your Encumbrance, and are therefore allowed by the game to push your total Encumbrance over the limit (i.e.: in excess of the nominal 100%).
- Equipped items have their weight reduced by approximately 50% (easily justified by the fact that spreading any force over a wider area lessens its "impact" - think of "psi", or "pounds per square inch"; simply illustrated: it is easier to carry 5 pounds on each foot, 10 pounds in each hand, 2 pounds on your head, 20 pounds around your waist supported by your hips and another 15 pounds on your back supported by your shoulders than would be carrying the sum of those individual weights, 67 pounds, in any one place, whether it be on your back, in your arms, or, as some people prefer, on top of your head!...). If you unequip or change some gear when you're quite encumbered, your Encumbrance may rise over 100%.
The only consequence of being over-encumbered is that you'll be unable to buy or take any more equipment until your encumbrance drops below the maximum. You can't even take items with Enc = 0, although you'll keep receiving the automatic quest items. Your movement, combat, abilities, etc., won't be affected in any way.
- Only ONE backpack will affect your encumbrance at a time, their effects do not 'stack'/combine/compound; so having more than one results only in extra weight.
- As they have an associated Encumbrance, you won't be able to pick them up when over-encumbered or very near, even if picking them up would have the net result of actually increasing your Encumbrance limit to where you would cease to be over-encumbered.
- Their Encumbrance is counted before adding their bonus, so the Large Backpack (+20 to your Encumbrance) will only really add +16, because its own Enc is 4.
The formula for Encumbrance seems to be 200 + (Might*3) + Backpack. See talk for more info.
So with 20 Might and a Large Backpack, max Encumbrance would be 200 + 60 + 20 = 280.