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OK, so I’ve been working on the inventory sheet for months now, this last couple of days especially.
Getting pretty familiar with the math (that I cooked up to pretty closely approx the pound counts), and…
I cooked up these rules that come very close to giving the same results, outcomewise. The question is: are they too complex to manage? The inventory sheet I made pretty much does all of this for you. Doing the following by hand could be a pain?
You need any ruled area (like the dinky little equipment area on most character sheets) or just a hand made bullet list on scrap paper or w/e. I’m going to use the word “slot” for these rows/list-entries/bullets.
Take your armor and divide it’s pound weight by five, round down. Subtract that number from your strength score.
That’s how many items you can carry.
Block that many slots out right away. (Draw a bold line on your ruled paper, or make that many bullets in your hand drawn list, or w/e.)
(Holy shit that’s too few?) Mark yourself as Encumbered (-10 speed) to add your strength score to that.
You can do this once more and go to Heavily encumbered (-20 speed and disadvantage on all physical rolls).
Having a backpack is presupposed, pay for one if you’re buying your own gear.
You can not have more big items than small items. Your big items and your small items need to cancel out.
Keep track of your small items with a “-” and your large with a “+” in front of them.
If you would ever add a big item and you don’t have enough small items to cover it, mark another empty small slot right away with a - on an empty line.
Tiny items: You’d put it in your pocket. One coin, one gem, one candle, one piton, or such. Around 50 per lb.
Small items: You’d put it in your bag. Lanterns, flasks, tinderboxes, messkits, or such. Around 1 lb.
Rations: One ration counts as two small item. Is an annoying exception to the normal categories. Around 2 lb.
Medium items: Weapons, shields, bow+full quiver, or such. Around 5lb.
Big items: tents, bedrolls, blankets, 50ft rope, one-gallon-waterskins or such. Around 9lb.
Heavy items: One these five items: pike, maul, greatclub, heavy crossbow, two-gallon-waterskin. Another annoying exception. Around 15 lb.
So to put a big item you must also have a slot occupied by a ration, small item, or tiny item.
A heavy item occupies three slots all on its own. It works as if it were three medium item, it doesn’t look at either your small nor your large items.
Pouches and sacks work like they do on the inventory sheet.
A medium pouch counts as a medium item and can have 250 tiny things in it. Small things can go in there, and each takes as much space as 50 tiny things. Rations can go in there, and eachs takes as much space as 100 tiny things.
A sack counts as two heavy items, i.e. it take up six slots all on its own. It can carry 1500 tiny things, 30 small things, 15 rations, 6 medium things, 3 big items or any mix of that.
So you can put a coin on one line or you can get a pouch.♥
For this example, she has 11 strength and a 10lb leather armor.
So she can carry nine items. 11 - 10/5 = 11 - 2 = 9.
In the example, she could go to 20 items (9+11) by becoming encumbered and she could go to 31 by becoming heavily encumbered.
And puts two rations and her thieves’ tools in the pouch.
(Leaving the last line already blocked out so that she doesn’t have to re-think about this until all of her lines are full up. If she wants more slots she can add her strength score.)
So the number point of inventory tracking is to see how much the player characters weigh. Do they trigger pressure plates, can they carry each other etc? This is trickier with this rule than with the sheet but it’s possible:
Note (or force your players to note) each PCs body weight in pounds, divided by 5, add their own strength score. (This includes both gear and armor.) Add it again if they are encumbered, and again if they are heavily encumbered.
Dragging capacity = strength score times three for heavily encumbered, times four for lightly encumbered, times five for unencumbered. Times six if they are dropping everything including armor.
So I’m not sure 773 words of rules is a good replacement for a clear and graphic sheet
On the fence about this one. But it’s also because I’m attached to the work I’ve put into making those sheets.
Trying to sum it up a little simpler (and then there are nooks and crannies that I as DM can preside over):
You can carry your strength score in items – subtract your armor weight divided by five first.
You can add your strength score to that by becoming encumbered, and once more by becoming heavily encumbered.
You can’t carry more large items than you can carry small items. Note them with a - and + to keep track.
PS when I started working on the inventory sheet I was working from awareness of these: Delta, ACKS, LotFP, Torchbearer, Dungeon World.
For this particular thread, the Delta influence shows more strongly than on the tracker itself. You can read more about Delta’s ideas here. I always thought it was weird that he uses stone but then most of his items are 1/3 stone, causing him to have to count them in threes. (That sort of counting I want to get away from, I’d rather block out slots once and then know that I have free reign within those slots.) My inventory sheet has small, medium and large slots but for this version, I went with medium as the default – around 5 lb – precily the 1/3 stone I thought would’ve made more sense for delta.
It’s also the case that it matches up particularly well for 5e. With stone, the levels are ⅓ str, ⅔ str and str. With “medium slots” as the base, the levels are str, 2×str, and 3×str.
I was working on making a version of my inventory sheet with that base but I’d rather fill in six circles than try to count out eighteen circles. It might work for this, though, because you are just counting off lines/bullets. IDK.
I’m not sold on this