26 Sep

More roleplaying game rambles. Pretty sure this is going to be an ongoing thing for a while. My almost a whole day of thinking about the game I will be running in a few months has gotten a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head. Once again not going to go deep into mechanics. Though this will have a bit more of that than yesterday’s magic post. One of the things I’ve liked about Torchbearer is the approach to how much stuff a PC can carry. It is a little blunt, but basically there is a space on the sheet you write your inventory on and when the slots of your backpack and belt and stuff are full that’s all the stuff the PC can carry. Physical space on the character sheet as inventory space for the character. I was going to say I ran into this elsewhere and enjoyed it, but now that I think about it I suspect it was in Mouse Guard. Which is just the same system adapted for heroic mice.

However, based on another blogpost I’ve got in my big collection of gaming blogposts that I’ve printed out as a book more than once, I think that amount of stuff carried is not as interesting as how easy the stuff is to use. So here’s a outline for a inventory mechanic for that.

Three basic levels of where you can hold stuff.

  • Backpack – Doesn’t have to be literally a backpack, but any large storage space that the character carries around.
  • Pouch – Again, doesn’t have to be literal. Any belt pouch or easy to reach scroll tube or something in a pocket.
  • Readied – Anything actually in the character’s hands, more or less.

If there is no time/situation pressure, any item a PC carries can be brought out and used as normal.

  • In dangerous time-sensitive situations, anything in a Backpack takes one turn/action to get out before it can be used. The items are, however, safe from environment hazards, enemies, etc.
  • Anything in a pouch can use without an action to get it out, but failure on the action will mean the item is dropped/destroyed. Also very vulnerable if the character, for example, falls or gets hit by a spell.
  • Anything readied can be used as normal. Very easy to an enemy to steal/disarm/destroy.

Basic common sense should be used for how much a PC should be able to carry. Only 1-2 items should be readied at a time and anything readied is put away if something else is used from a pouch or backpack.


Posted by on September 26, 2016 in Dungeons & Dragons, Pondering RPGs


3 responses to “Inventory

  1. iisawiisaw

    September 26, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Many years ago, at a Pacificon, a bunch of friends and I did an SCA fighting demonstration. The finale was two fighters equipping themselves from standard character sheets and then attempting to fight each other.

    50′ of rope is surprisingly bulky and heavy… to say nothing of cans of soda representing potions and flasks of oil, or (heavens forfend) a 10′ pole. A crossbow and quarrels slung from the pack became a danger to the guy carrying it unless it was firmly tied down, making it impossible to free quickly. Same with grappling hooks.

    It was hilarious.

    After multiple “fights” it seemed the best tactic was to try to fall on your opponent, pinning him under the weight of yourself and your gear, while fumbling out a dagger to shove into his eyeslots.

    After that, all our dungeon parties hired serfs to carry our crap.

    • Griffin

      September 26, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      Hee. Always fun to see what people discover when they actually try out this kind of stuff. I must admit, Torchbearer does pretty good on that account. A 50′ length of rope takes up about 20% of a character’s total inventory space.

      • iisawiisaw

        September 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm

        Yeah, that’s about right for the rope!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s