So this is an idea that saw some experimentation at my table a while back, and I think it deserves some revisiting. GREGBRANE HAYT MATHS, so the object here is to make dealing with encumbrance stupid easy (like in the title) while retaining its value and purpose -- i.e. eliminating "pack-elephant" situations where players are toting around such a ridiculous amount of loot and equipment that it defies the (admittedly loose) reality of the typical campaign world.
1. THEE BASIC IDEA
All materials that a PC could wear or carry are reducible to generic Units. Units are an abstraction of weight and bulkiness and are not in any way exacting. Every piece of gear or armor has a value of 0, 1 or 2 Units.
- Items that clock in at 0 usually weigh less than ten pounds. Think "non-encumbering" things like a pouch of tobacco, thieves' picks, a wine bladder, etc.
- 1-Unit items include most medium-sized weapons, small chests, sacks full of coins, etc.
- 2-Unit items are usually things like plate armor or massive two-handed swords, big chests and the like.
2. THEE FORMULAE
- A character can carry a number of Units equivalent to his STR score without being encumbered.
- A character cannot carry more than twice his STR (maximum encumbrance).
3. EFFECTS OF ENCUMBRANCE
- Running is not possible, though a half-speed jog could be effected.
- Any DEX-related checks or throws are made at a -2 penalty.
I'm purposely overlooking the largescale travel/movement rate issue because it doesn't really come into play at my table. Any instance where some sort of travel-related roll would be needed to adjudicate a situation could be pretty easily dealt with using percentile dice.