Quoting joeball123, reply 2I tend to agree with Alstein - it doesn't make sense that I cannot wear a chain shirt or a piece of plate unless I have some specific training. It would make sense that I suffer from some kind of penalty (most likely initiative, but defense and dodge penalties would also be appropriate) if I don't have some degree of practice or training in using the armor.
(at least, reading the other responses and adding +1)
In relation to how Spellcasters relate to this, I mentioned this already in another thread. Increase tactical mana costs for spells 2-3x while wearing heavy armor and 1.5-2x while wearing lighter armor. Special armors (using crystal, etc). could be created for mages, which would offset these penalties some, at a steeper price of course.
Rolemaster had a great system for this. Channelers could only wear leathers, Essence users had problems in anything heavier than cloth, and Mentalists has issues with helmets. RM also had a chance for spell failure, which increased greatly if you were wearing armor that interfered with your magic energy. We don't have chances of spell failure here (which could in extreme cases cause debilitating injury), but that'd be fun if we did!
Encumberance added to the problems we needed to solve, which in my opinion increased our connection with the various heroes, and added to the immersiveness to the game. By 'soaking up' a perk slot, Heroes become less legendary, and more like other units, which should not be the goal. And, again, this is why I have no problem with 2-3 stat points on top of a perk pick every level, so you could allocate a stat point to Strength (increase carrying capacity), or perhaps Maneuvering (a new stat to reduce maneuvering/movement penalties when armored/encumbered).
Heroes in this game need to be MORE legendary, not less. IMHO of course!
AGAIN, to placate you crybabies that don't like to have too many things to deal with, make this optional in scenario setup. This way, if you don't want encumberance, don't check the box. Don't want stat points? Don't check the box.
I love games that give you a bunch of decisions up front r.e. which options you want to play with. This allows you to tailor the playing experience to your own playing style, rather than having to accept only the specific scenario the designers want to force on you. For online multiplayer, of course, everyone has to agree to the parameters of the host scenario, but for single player, well, more options good.