Weapons and Armour are Heavy!


I noticed a lot of weapons are armour are pretty heavy, and many are heavier than they were in the previous edition. I know there's a section that says you generally shouldn't bother keeping track of encumbrance, but it's weird that if you did, a lot of characters would find themselves encumbered pretty quickly with fairly standard weapon + armour layouts.

Some big offenders:
-Combat Armour: 12-20 KG basically guarantees any character wearing these will be encumbered when you add any other reasonable gear.
-Vacc Suit: 8-17 KG is not as bad as Combat Armour, but still eats up over half of an average Str + Enc characters weight limit when wearing the lightest version. Is this intentional?
-Broadsword: Look, I get this is supposed to be a big hulking sword, but historically even the largest swords intended to be used for combat didn't weigh much more than 2 KG.
-Shield: 6 KG! What's this thing made out of?
-Cutlass: 4KG for what is a standard boarding weapon seems really high and also unrealistic.
-Laser Rifle: 8KG. I get that this thing has a power pack, but that's pretty heavy. Most characters couldn't weild a laser rifle and decent armor without being encumbered or just at their weight limit.

Generally, a lot of weapons and armour seem pretty heavy. An average traveller would have trouble walking around with the set of armour, main weapon, pistol, few grandes, and items in their backpack that the rules on page 92 imply should be no problem. It just seems weird that on one hand we're told encumbrance is no big deal, but if the referee did feel like enforcing it, we'd quickly find that a lot of characters couldn't even lug around their basic gear.
I have come to the same conclusion.

But I see it as another balancing factor in favour of strategic thinking. Actually it is one of the factors that is rather independent from the referee's control for monetary rewards and equipment availability. I.e. you char may have the next best armour, but if he wears it, and he carries his main weapon, there isn't much kg left for any other things. Also, you can always use backpacks, or similar containers, and drop them before or at the start of action. And it does make some sense - carrying too much is expected to hinder the character. (Of course, getting self-powered armour negates significant portion of this penalty)

Our group was/is spoiled by the fantasy DnD types of systems, where it is ridiculous how much items a player can carry (there are some comic type pictures, including one by their main artist). This came as a sobering experience.
Keep in mind that there's a huge difference between wearing armor, and carrying armor. If one wears armour, the weight is distributed around the body, in some cases the armor itself helps support some parts of it.

Basically, if a suit of armor is well-designed, one'd barely notice its weight when wearing it. Carrying it around in a bag though, that's different. That would mean lifting the full weight of the suit with your arms, instead of having it distributed around the entire body.

Laser rifles are kinda the same thing. Part of the weight is from the backpack-mounted battery. The rest is the rifle. The rifle itself wouldn't weigh much more than a gauss rifle, I'd guess, and the rest is carried in a backpack or attached to a belt or something, meaning the load gets distributed.

Take a look at a hiking backpack, carrying straps and a belt around the waist distributes the weight much better than simply slinging something over the back.

So, realistic rules for encumbrance would need to take in account how something is carried, and in the end, the current version of simply not caring about encumbrance at all might be the best and easiest solution. And remember, there's always a game-master that can intervene when someone tries to abuse the encumbrance-limits too much :)
I'm leaning towards going back to the weights from the 1st edition rulebook. Those seemed a little more forgiving, while still forcing characters with low or average Str + End to make strategic choices about what they carry around. And they didn't unduly burden people for carrying around melee weapons.