Thursday, November 14, 2013

Armor and Inventory Jr.

Alright, wow.  People are interested in inventory systems.  (I'm so glad I'm not the only one.)

First, I probably should apologize.  Yesterday's post was the synthesis of a dozen other brilliant inventory systems that I've seen and osmosed.  And since attribution is important, thank you +Logan Knight +Brendan S +Jack Mack +Jack Shear +Thomas Fitzgerald +Erik Westmarch +Scrap Princess +James Raggi (and all the people I'm forgetting) for sharing my derangement for armor and inventory systems, and then writing about it.  I'm sorry I didn't attempt to credit you all (although you can see why I didn't).

I also apologize in advance for if I ever write about weapons.

Alright, part 2.  This is a continuation of THIS.  Firstly and thusly, click this picture.

This is one way you can quickly, easily, and visibly mark off what inventory goes where.  Buying ruled paper is optional if you don't want to feel like a high schooler.  It's very clean, bold, and easy to read.

See how handy the handy bag of holding is?  They come in bigger flavors, too.

Damaging Items

Acid, fire, and demon piss can all wreck your inventory if you insist on rolling around in them.  Bigger monsters/exposures can ruin multiple items.  (This is the "attack every part of the character sheet" philosophy.)

Which items get ruined?  Just remember that fast items are more vulnerable (since they are in easy to reach places), especially the fast items lower down.

When you fall in acid, roll 2d8.  If they show two different numbers, take the lower number and count up from the bottom of the fast inventory.  The item that the count falls on is the one that is affected.  If the item is immune to the damage (like fire hitting a metal sword) nothing happens.

If the 2d8 show the same number, it skips the fast inventory and goes straight to the the backpack (everything that isn't in the fast inventory is in the backpack).  Take the number that was doubled and count upwards from the bottom of the backpack to find out what item is potentially affected.  So if you rolled double 1s, the last item in your inventory would be affected.  When counting this way, big items (polearms and armor) count as 1 item.

Inventory roll over is in effect here.  If you continue counting past the backpack slots, you start counting into the fast inventory slots.  If you count past the fast inventory slots, continue counting at the bottom of the backpack.  Something is getting damaged, and you don't have to roll any more dice to figure out what.

Yes, this means that only the bottom eight items in your backpack are vulnerable.  The other items are safely packed away in the middle of your pack.

Yes, this means that characters with 16 Dex can keep the topmost item in their fast inventory totally safe from fire/acid hazards, because they're quick enough to pull this most valuable item out of harm's way.  Characters with 18 Dex can safeguard 2 items.

Example of Damaging Items Using the Example Inventory

The vorpal pig spits acid on the fighter.  The DM tells the player to determine which item is damaged.  The player rolls 2d8 and get 1,6.  Counting 1 slot up from the bottom of the fighter's fast inventory, the player determines that the acid strikes the bag of caltrops.  The bag weakens and then bursts, spilling caltrops all over the ground.  Fuck.

The vorpal pig barfs another burning load on the fighter.  Another damage-item roll, this time showing 6,6.  Doubles, so it goes to the backpack instead of fast inventory.  Counting from the bottom of the backpack, the 6th item up is the Bag of Holding, which then spills out of the backpack and dissolves, spilling a dead leprechaun and other shit out on the floor.  That was pretty unlucky, and the fighter swears vengeance on the vorpal pig while the other players ask why he's still carrying the wedding dress.

Coins and Ammunition

10 pieces of arrows can form a pack, since you can pick them up with one hand.  3 sling stones form a bundle for the same reason.  Quivers. . . I'm tempted to count as part of the backpack.  You could just add a reinforced pocket on your backpack and stick some arrows in there.

How many coins are comparable to a sword or 10 arrows?  Honestly, just pick your own number, but I like 300 coins (if they're the size of quarters).  It's a challenge if they find a chest with 2000 copper coins it sucks, but have you every carried copper?  Like wiring or something?  Metal is heavy.

I also recommend not using the gold standard.  Not only does the silver standard make finding gold more exciting, but it also makes it easy to carry around a king's ransom.  If there are 20 gold coins to a silver and inventory space is tight, your players will be visiting the moneychangers (and enjoying their 10% conversion fee) and banks (good luck finding one that pays interest).

Or go whole hog and use +Thomas Fitzgerald's brutal copper standard.  I imagine that they just trade pieces of dung when they need change for a copper.

Needless Clarifications

Halfway Encumbered = Move at 75% speed and make Strength checks to swim.
Fully Encumbered = Move at 50% speed and sink like a stone.
Over Encumbered = Stagger around like a doof.  25% speed and no actions.

Buying Fancy Gear

You can upgrade your starting backpack in any city:
Fancy Backpack = +2 inventory slots but doesn't work with the Fancy Pockets.
Fancy Pockets (belt/bandoleer/bra) = +1 fast inventory, but doesn't increase total inventory slots or work with the Fancy Backpack.

Items that combine or improve on the two items listed above are going to be either magic items made by the most practical-minded wizard ever, or ridiculous-looking prototypes with backpack gaskets and infundibular panniers.  Either way, they're special items.

Bag of Holding = Takes up a slot.  Has 5 slots inside.
Magic Codpiece of the Assassin = Take up a slot.  Has 3 slots inside.  If it's in a fast inventory slot, so are its items.

This Picture I Found

I understand it now.

Thanks for explaining it to me.


  1. Shouldn't the breastplate (+2 AC per your last post) only take up two slots, not four?

    1. You're right. when I wrote this, I was thinking about armor sets, not modular armor, and breastplates are just my internal symbol for "generic medium armor". Assume that this guy is also wearing reinforced pants and a helmet.

  2. How many slots do rations take? How about water?
    How much can a mule or pack-ape carry?

  3. a piece of a copper would be a farthing. coins were even minted to allow breaking them into four pieces... so four things