A SOUL inventory system for ICRPG


Hi folks,

First of all, sorry for anything non-sensical, I’m not a native english speaker, please correct me.


Since some players come from DnD or Pathfinder to ICRPG, it can sometime be frustrating for them not to have a specific class or ancestry they like. Notably, I’ve a Leshi player and a Warlock player that want to play the exact same character in ICRPG than in their base games, but you would need quite a few items for that.

Or you can add a whole new type of inventory.

Suggested solution

The SOUL inventory system is a separate inventory with 3 slots that allows you to host SOULS like you equip LOOT. The difference is that it won’t break or be traded in the same way, it’s basically linked to RP reasons 99% of the time.


The idea is to allow some elements of a character to be bundled up together. Let’s say you have a Warlock character, you can translate it into a Warlock SOUL that allows Eldrich Blast + some shenanigans + Eldrich Lore + eventually a weakpoint or something.

You can use it as Ancestry

You can even use it as a ancestry system, if you want your dwarf player to suffer a curse that turn them into a turtlekin, just have a SOUL inventory that looks like that :
Dwarven Soul | BLOCKED
Turtlekin Soul | BLOCKING

And here you go.

It links roleplay and gameplay

The idea is to allow characters to evolve deeply with what happens to them, not just their LOOT.

Let’s say you have a prideful human warrior, their SOUL inventory looks like that :
Human Soul (give varied bonus if you have no other Ancestry Soul)
Prideful Soul (give bonus/malus on social roles)
Warrior Soul (give bonus for fighting in CLOSE range + some tactics)

If they are defeated as a Warrior and shamed, their Prideful Soul might break or turn into something else. Maybe a Shameful Soul that bring maluses, that nobody wants to buy or steal, and that the player have to find a way to get rid of, notably by beating the one that had the best of them earlier.


Creating a separate inventory for metaphysics things can help players and GM alike to link GP and RP, which is good


Cool idea. I am reading The Cypher System at the moment and feel reminded of Descriptors, Type and Focus.
The Cypher System (and games like Numenéra) use those to give short descriptions about who a character is and tie them to game mechanics.
For instance:

Player A is a charming [Descriptor] Leshy Warrior [Type] who adapts to any environment [Focus].

The descriptor “charming” would give you advantage on social interactions, the type “Leshy Warrior” would give Leshy- and Warrior-specific feats and the focus “adapts to any environment” would give certain abilities/skills.
Basically an Adjective Noun who Verbs to create multi-faceted characters.


It was inspired by Numenera indeed, but I wanted something more inline with what ICRPG already offers, and a little more free than the Cypher System, because linking 2 Types into one is something that could change the meaning of something.

As I see it :
A Leshi is a biological thing (how the body works)
A Warrior is a social and mecanical thing (what role do they have in a group)
A Leshi Warrior is a cultural thing (how are people from Leshi civilisations fighting ? What are warriors in their cultural space ?)

And I wanted to both avoid this effect and allow to chose between the 3 types of things.

With this system, I want to enable some hidden synergies, like if you are a Dryad Druid, it can be one SOUL (so only one space of inventory occupied) if there’s a Dryad cultural that has Druids and the player chose so. It’s also riskier/safer in a way, because losing this one SOUL would mean a lot, but it will be harder to destroy or alter, since it’s roots are deeper than just biological or socials


I would find a fully realized example helpful.



Let’s say you want a Dwarf Warlock from DnD5e ported into ICRPG.

All of its gear would become LOOT and their class + ancestry would become SOUL so something like

Physical Inventory (LOOT, max 10 items) :

  • Pickaxe (details)
  • Rope (details)
  • Torch (details)
  • Rations (5 days)

Metaphysical Inventory (SOUL, max 3 items) :

  • Warlock Soul (details like “has a pact with XXX, bonus to YYY”)
  • Dwarven Soul (details as well)

Is it detailed enough ? Does it help ?


OK, so the soul contains 3 items of either mechanical, or narrative, and this would replace bioform bonuses and type abilities?


Yep that’s it, the idea being à la PbtA where you forge a class/heritage identity with your players, so if all Dwarf are Blind and Redhead, having a Dwarf Soul give you this 2 attributes and what goes along mecanically and narratively. It allows for bioform to be changed midgame for those who might like it (or for vicious DM that like to curse people)


I am not sure I follow. So… I will say this…ICRPG evolved from 5e. It stripped it down and sanded all the nonsense off. Too many posts sound like someone is trying to make it go back to being complicated. If it is a bioform not already in ICRPG, reduce it to its essence and have that instead of attribute bonuses. Then add the character class ability chosen. The rest is loot (or if you don’t like the loot idea, and I dont) have advancement abilities (milestone rewards) specifically designed for the character.
If they can’t go along with that you have bigger problems than you realize.


I think I got the idea, but how does this solve your initial problem (the warlock character)?


@Luther it’s useful in 2 situations :

  • Going directly from 5e to ICRPG with not-so-open-minded players
  • It’s easier for players to understand what they can be in the setting than if they are a collection of LOOT
    It’s not something of value for everyone, it’s something for specific cases

The idea is for the Warlock Soul to have all the abilities and attributes linked to being a Warlock (Eldrich Blast, Eldrich Lore…) packed into 1 single element on the sheet so it’s easier to track. It can make it as fluid as

  • Who could climb that ?
  • I am a Ranger, so I should be able to climb things
  • I’m a Cat, so I should be able as well
    Even if Climbing isn’t listed in the properties of neither the Ranger Soul nor the Cat Soul. If you had a bow and arrow + a familiar to play as a Ranger, you would need yet another LOOT to be able to climb, and yet another to be able to track and so on.


So it’s a way to bundle up many abilities into only one slot? 'Cause Abilities are a thing in ICRPG, and they could do that too…


I don’t think this is more complex; it’s just a different way of doing type and bioform, and give a frame by which the GM can affect these things. I think the big question mark over it is whether each item in the SOUL inventory an ability, or is each item a heading for multiple bundled abilities? The former is pretty tidy; the latter strike me as being very similar to starting with either multiple abilities, or milestones. Either way, seems perfectly doable, though I feel like a mage with magic missile (ICRPG) has a warlock’s eldritch blast in every way that matters, so maybe the disconnect with the player is not understanding how spells are different in ICRPG as opposed to 5e? You would know best. Give it a try, and let us know how this goes!


Thanks for your input, indeed it’s different but not more complex.

The idea is that the bundle of capacity/spells and other stuff can be of any nature and evolve with time. Let’s say you begin a campaign, it is said that elfs are good climber and picky eaters among other things, well having an Elf Soul will mean you are a good climber and a picky eaters, so if it comes into play, you’ll have something to use.

Let’s now say that 3 month laters, the party of PC learn that the elfs are bad swimmer, it becomes a new trait of the Elf Soul. If it was one from the beginning, it would have been kind of a spoiler, and not something brought/discovered by the player but something I as the DM would have decided on my own. Since there’s some Dungeon World blood in ICRPG, I want this aspect of “the DM discover the world with the player” to be there as well without having to update everything that an elf does with each player discovery


I think the question here is how is this different from tags? Just use tags like: TAG Dwarf, TAG warlock, and boom. No new system, just specific.

So dump bioforms and allow characters to take one bioform tag, etc.


It could work yes. I think it would be mecanically the same, but since it’s for kinda new players as well, it felt like making it its own category worked better for them (more highlighted on the character sheet, things like that). Also, TAGs aren’t tradeable or breakable yes ? I’d like to avoid the “some TAG are under this rules but not all TAGs”


I think tags are what you want, and a simple explanation for your players like the following would suffice.

“Tags in ICRPG cover races, classes, permanent bonuses, temporary bonuses, etc. Tags are very robust and can cover a host of benefits or drawbacks.”

Then at character creation, assign them a specific list of tags while telling them to keep the tags brief but descriptive. Give them some examples.

“Your characters need one race tag, one culture tag, one class tag, etc.”

Perhaps tell them these tags should be a noun and an adjective. You’re not just a fighter, you’re a swordmaster fighter, or whatever.