Handling Inventory at the real table


Hey shields,

I wonder how you manage inventory at the real table.

I don’t really like the compact inventory space because item details (tags, roll bonus etc.) hardly fit there for my table. Also erasing is a pain. How do you handle that?

On my table we went with a more lazy approach: We don’t count item slots but everybody needs to note where something is located. So most things end up in bags or similar. For each bag, my players get an index card to take notes about what’s inside. Weapons are usually carried at the body and hence are written down at the actual inventory space on the sheet.

What’s your solution?



I’ve had a lot of success using gear cards. Cut an index card in half, write the name, effect, bonus, tags, etc.
I usually have 10 or so from each loot table already written out. Then, when they visit a merchant, I just pull out some cards & say, “here’s what they have to sell.” For me, this had made buying & selling of gear much much easier at the table.


I normally rely on players to police their own inventories however they want. I’m not fussy about how they do it. I think if there’s any concern a player would cheese that opportunity, I’d address the underlying trust issue.

I do have a stack of legal pads and spare pencils and I encourage my players to take notes beyond their sheets. A few of them bring journals to write things down.


We generally don’t use inventory that much. Like, our character sheets probably contains a handful of “notable items” - perhaps a special sword, a key, and a scroll with unknown content - and the rest is abstracted “adventuring gear”, established at the start of a session and used from memory, or things that are semi-permanent and seldom modified.

We have experimented with cards for other games, but my impression is that they work best for high-rotation inventory and become a bit of a hassle for things that rarely change. So therefore we have moved away from cards, at least for the moment.

On a different note, we sometimes change character sheets during extended campaign, when the paper has become thin from erasing (usually in the hit points box). But what often happens then is that many of us never really use the new sheets because the original ones feel better, and instead add a piece of scrap paper.


I usually just use inventory slots, really the character sheets have a lot of space and I don’t recommend copying everything in the inv spaces, just write a quick reference and the page where the item/thing is in the book (if possible).

Using cards like what @OldBen said is also something I’ve personally used too and can confirm it works like a charm if you need some more flexible way of keeping track of things. Plus, it makes trading things between party members a breeze!


I like the ‘Index card per bag’ idea very much and will try it out tomorrow at the game table. Put a nice picture onto it, too, and you add mood to the table. Love it!


At our table:
We use LOAD and SUPPLY from Five Torches Deep.
Every character can take 10 + STR Load. Everything is usually 1 LOAD, Medium armor is 2, Heavy is 3, but you can skip monitoring what is Equipped if you want.
And we have SUPPLY, 10 + INT, so we dont have to always write down and erase that 3 day meal, and 6 torches, etc.

We only write on the sheet the name of the item / supply the character carries, and i give out little equipment cards for the important items what are more complex than a 1 line name + 2 word description. :slight_smile:



I haven’t done this really but you could put each item on it’s own index card. Have more than enough space for detail, and if the item gets destroyed you can tear it up! Or if it’s a consumable that you might find more of later, put in a pot of cards (Ex: A health potion)


Perhaps you could do like the attack in Dungeon World (which is a die) but for the inventory?

Certain classes can carry D8 supply, while others can carry a D6 or D12? And then Supply is spent for spells, food, healing, etc?