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OB-icon-Burden.png Burden
School Alteration
Type Offensive
Effect ID BRDN
Base Cost 0.21
Barter Factor 0
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Custom Potions
Built-In Potions
Sigil Stones

Burden M points for D seconds

Increases the target's encumbrance by M points for D seconds. If Burden pushes the encumbrance level past its maximum value, the target becomes immobile. It will therefore be prevented from moving, and will be a sitting duck for pounding with ranged weapons or spells.


  • This effect can be gained for spell making and enchanting via spells only.
  • Note that most NPCs are carrying relatively little equipment, if any, and Burden will never encumber them. However, if you stack several Weakness to Magic effects on a target together and follow on with a Burden spell, it may be possible to actually encumber some of your opponents.
  • Burden spells also increase the target's rate of fatigue loss. This can cause them to be less effective in combat (less damage), move slower, and makes them more likely to stagger and/or get knocked down/back.
  • Your character may in turn be vulnerable to Burden spells cast by enemies, especially if you tend to carry as much equipment as possible. You will encounter a number of NPCs equipped with random Burden-enchanted weapons as well. To counter this spell, you can use Fortify Strength, or Feather; or drop equipment.
  • Instead of casting Burden, it is actually cheaper to cast Drain Strength:
    • The base cost of Burden is 0.21, compared to 0.70 for Drain Strength (see Spell Cost to learn how to use base costs). At first glance, Drain Strength looks more expensive. However, dropping Strength by just 1 point decreases Encumbrance by 5 points. Burden spells end up being about 2.4 times more expensive than the equivalent Drain Strength spells.
    • Strength reduction also reduces melee attack damage.
    • Another option is to use a bunch of default Damage Strength poisons and use them on a weapon. They are fairly cheap to buy. The advantage of this? No Magicka cost whatsoever, and the Strength damage is permanent. Even a good Burden or Drain Strength spell usually wears off before it can be much use. Note that custom poisons will wear off, where as default poisons will not.
  • Spells with a script effect (rather than the spell effects normally used) use the Burden spell effect icon.

See also

Related effects:

Alchemy Ingredients

The following Alchemy Ingredients can be used to create a poison of Burden: