‘Three silver coins to pack all of that for how many hours?’ inquired the suspicious yokel.
‘Five to six hours a day, but there will be a spell to help you carry this load, so it will seem quite light,’ replied the wizard.
Work was scarce in these out of the way places. The peasant had few choices.
‘I’ll do it,’ he said.
‘Are you going to tell him the downside?’ whispered the ranger.
‘Nah, that scared off the last two porters, let us see how he does,’ the wizard whispered back.
Lighten Burden (Arcane)
Duration: Two hours + 1 hour/caster level.
A seemingly innocuous spell, Lighten Burden allows the target to lift any encumbrance as if he or she had a Strength attribute of 18/00 (or Str 23 in newer editions). This works very well with various henchmen or hirelings or even other party members. The downside is that the target now has a Strength attribute of 7 for every other situation, including combat and skills like climbing, for the duration of the spell. Crafty wizards have used this to temporarily weaken opponents who are unaware of the benefits of the spell. For example, a 50 lb rock could be easily carried, but throwing it at an enemy would cause the rock to plummet to the ground, possibly with a chance to injure the thrower. As long as the intention is to carry the strength of the target will hold up, when the intention shifts to some other task or combat requiring the use of strength other than simple movements such as walking, climbing stairs, etc, then the subject will be weakened until returning to the job of carrying.