December 29, 2019

Tips for Managing Characters’ Inventory

How players manage their inventory is a significant worldbuilding component and one you shouldn’t take lightly. Today’s #worldbuildingMonday post centers around some advice & tips for GMs & worldbuilders to facilitate that inventory management process.

To set the table, the traditional spectrum of inventories spans from realistic – i.e. how much the player character would reasonably be able to carry based on their strength and the carrying capacity of their backpacks etc. – to virtually unlimited, a system where players can pick up and horde items of just about any size, weight, and configuration to their heart’s content.

Worldbuilders are going to find that there is a sizable population of players who want to take pretty much everything not bolted down when they “loot” an area. Similarly, GMs and worldbuilders will find that there are players who prefer guidelines that are fair and enforced to give everyone a level playing field.

StoryTogether’s POV therefore, if you’re extending your worldbuilding outside the TTRPG’s system’s inventory management constraints, and/or you’re home-brewing your own rules in this area, is that you create a happy medium between those two player archetypes. Instead of having your players mired in the granularity of weight limits and “could my character really carry all these items?” conversations, establish a defined series of item slots. You can have a certain number of slots for weapons, wearables, and miscellaneous items.

So that way, instead of wasting time quibbling about the “reality” of the situation, your players can then be focused on the strategic choices they have in filling those inventory slots. And you of course have the freedom to add/subtract slots as well depending on the play-style of your players. Have players that love to horde? Maybe add a few extra miscellaneous slots. Have players more focused on what’s real? Maybe then limit the number of inventory space you have.

It’s a win/win for everyone and, perhaps best of all, saves time and streamlines the game!