Keeping track of player inventory

edited February 2012 in General Discussion
I have recently started a new rule in my game. All players must post their list of items on their character tab in OP. If a player says they use an item in game, and I check OP to find it not there, the item is not available. Perhaps it was left behind, lost, or stolen. Do you think this is a good idea or one doomed to failure?

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  • magavendon
    Posts: 112
    I do indeed think it is a good idea, if your players are active on OP. Otherwise I can see it just being a way to really piss off your players (like I think it would mine).
  • TheMazeController
    Posts: 115
    I hate to say it but probably doomed in my opinion.

    This rule pre-supposes a few things:

    *Players will be diligent about updating their OP char.

    *Players will not argue or try to game the system.

    *We all have as much time as we would like to work on the game as players or GM.

    It's my experience and observation that players aren't nearly as active as any GM wants in any aspect of any game, be it OP, character back-stories, showing up on time, bringing the GM dinner or booze etc etc. It's our cross to bear, if that's the case - why would it be different this time? If you crack down on your rule I think it's only going to make for sadfase players at best, grumbling and dissension in the ranks at worst.

    If you run an outstanding game, (which I have no reason to believe you don't) - players will probably go along with it, but is there a better way to handle this? I dunno that's for you to decide but perhaps incentivizing op contributions / updates / work is the answer. Run an audit every so often? Free minor experience bonus or some other bennie to those with the most accurate / updated OP char page? Me no know... just a thought.
  • Baalshamon
    Posts: 585 edited February 2012
    Players are already awarded for posting on OP and will recieve awards for posting their inventories. The reason this is coming into play is one player who never keeps track of ammo, money, etc, and then goes onto loot every item off of dead people. I once called him on things and looked at his sheet to find 87 guns, 115 knives, 3 swords, 66 grenades, and 14 huge ancient tomes. He didnt even have a backpack. Now this is an extreme example but I am at a loss for hw to make players keep track of their loot and gear. I dont feel like doing it so I would rather piss them off with the new rule and see them owning nothing because they fail to comply.
    Post edited by Baalshamon on
  • DreadGazebo
    Posts: 218
    Go to the items tab and make a "backapack" (or whatever) item for each character. Assign that item to each player and ask them to keep track of things threre, suggest that if they don't keep proper tabs on it, there's a chance the inventory goblins will come and snatch their stuff ;)
  • GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 3,001
    I have used this system (not on sheet, you don't have it) for over 6 months now. Works great!!
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    Just trying to help out.

  • kenurion
    Posts: 80
    Nobody wants to be an inventory manager for a game, not the GM, not the players. One workaround is to claim most of the items recovered are very poor quality (used and abused) and unlikely to sell for very much. Then, assign a cash value on the assumption most of the recovered items are sold in the near future. This is a fudge, but unless your PC's have very little cash, the timing difference won't matter much. Alternatively, you can say most of the items are just too heavy and the party is forced to leave most of them behind. Either way, you can then just highlight the most interesting items for the players to divvy up and inventory. By making the tracking problem much smaller, maybe compliance will be better.
  • JaymesBolton
    Posts: 278 edited February 2012
    I think it would highly depend on the system too. A Magic Fantasy setting (D&D) has magical extra dimensional space you can keep everything in. I always have a handy haversack in 3.5 so i don't have to worry about all the crap I am carrying around. In a sci fi setting or a low magic fantasy it becomes more problematic. For my L5R game I allow three weapon slots on their character (left hip, right hip, back), plus what can be fit in a small bag on their person. The rest is kept in their homes, on their horses, carried by servants, etc.

    As I side note i am always the loot tracker for games and I use google docs so that way I can share it with the DM and the rest of the players. Also no worries of the information being lost. Once something is sold or used I just change the text color to red. Maybe that will help a bit.

    If your players are actively participing on OP (as in at least once a week updates assuming you have game once a week) then it is no problem. If they are not you are just going to end up pissing them off. I would just address each player individually and go over their stuff and try to keep it contained that way. Not a perfect solution but it might be the only real solution you are going to have.


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    Post edited by JaymesBolton on
  • Baalshamon
    Posts: 585
    thanks for the thoughts guys, I like seome of them and will talk to the group to see what they prefer.
  • Sorwen
    Posts: 64 edited February 2012
    lol. It seems your problem was keeping him realistic and not about him keeping track. Tell him his character can be shot 87 times, stabbed 115, blown up 66 times and have 28 lbs of books fall on him(adding the swords would jut be over doing it) or he can pick a few things and write off the rest.

    As to listing it here I have to agree with TheMazeController when he said "We all have as much time as we would like to work on the game as players or GM". It is good to want your group to keep a copy here and to want to get them involved, but it isn't always practical. Sort of like carrying 87 guns, 115 knives, 3 swords, 66 grenades, and 14 tomes. :)

    P.S. I'll have to mention that the next time my group gets together. We have one person that has to carry a weapon for every situation. He misses the fact that you might be able to carry the weight, but you can't logistically carry a halberd, great axe, a bow, two bastard swords, a mace, a crossbow, and an extra suit of plate armor in a normal backpack. I wanted to go PC tipping. He was also a more attractive target then half the NPC we were fighting at the time. "You know if I loot you my character can retire?" Your guy has him beat hands down. :D

    "Return to the Time of Troubles":
    Post edited by Sorwen on
  • TheMazeController
    Posts: 115
    Stephen, Sorwen

    "For your players":
  • Baalshamon
    Posts: 585

    My players have gotten onboard with this new rule and as of the 10th of this month it goes into effect. We shall see how well it works as time goes on.
  • Sorwen
    Posts: 64 edited February 2012

    lol. You know I don't know why, but seeing that made me think maybe I need to pull an Xbox an give achievements. "You have not been over encumbered for 10 sessions."


    Let us know how it goes.

    "Return to the Time of Troubles":
    Post edited by Sorwen on
  • Dungeon_Master_Loki
    Posts: 359
    I've found that this approach works really well with our group, and has for two campaigns now.

    One thing that does help a lot is to introduce it at the launch of a new campaign. If you start off with the requirements of keeping up with character loot and actively updating the portal right from the start the adoption pains are much, much lower.

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  • bluesguy
    Posts: 127
    Back in the day I told the Players to keep an inventory on a separate sheet of paper. They had to list the item and where they kept it. There were a few who didn't do it - I gave them 4-6 weeks to get on board. At one game one of the players wanted to use something he 'found' a few adventures ago and I told him he couldn't find it. When he said "My character just had that! He got that on {some adventure} and it just wouldn't disappear." I then asked for his character's inventory list which he didn't have. At which point I said "Hmm maybe your character only has the clothes on his back because he doesn't seem to have any stuff." We compromised in the end. He kept everything else but lost the item he really was looking for. He also wrote an inventory during the session :-). Later there was an adventure to recover said item.

    With my current players I told them that story (except for the adventure to get it back) and asked them to put their inventory out on their OP character sheets - in their hidden area. It has to include what & where it is at. Everyone has done it except my wife. Gotta have her sit down for 15 or 30 minutes to record the stuff. Although her character is considered 'wealthy' (a special Perk in the Hero Game system) and so she always has coin.
  • Baalshamon
    Posts: 585 edited February 2012
    Would someone be willing to make a dynamic character sheet that is just for inventory.

    I was thinking it should have the following to be as generic as possible


    The page should have enough lines to handle 50-100 seperate items

    Plus another section that could handle currencies. Maybe give 15 lines for this


    If we had this it could be added to anyone's page that isnt using an existing dynamic sheet.
    Post edited by Baalshamon on
  • Sorwen
    Posts: 64 edited February 2012
    You need something like Karelzarath has on the inventory section of his 3.5 character sheet(with a few more fields of course). Has a set number of default lines then you just add more as needed.
    Post edited by Sorwen on
  • Maesenko
    Posts: 325 edited January 2014
    Sorry for the necro-post, but I felt this had to be said:

    DreadGazebo said:
    "Go to the items tab and make a “backpack” (or whatever) item for each character. Assign that item to each player and ask them to keep track of things there, suggest that if they don’t keep proper tabs on it, there’s a chance the inventory goblins will come and snatch their stuff ;)"

    ^ This. Is. GENIUS. I think I'm going to implement this now.

    "Whispers in Tamris":
    Post edited by Maesenko on


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  • PhoenixMark
    Posts: 90
    My players no longer contribute to OP. I have resigned myself to keep track of their "Loot":, individual "Party Magic":, as well as their "Treasury": I also don't give out as much magic as most games, so this is not terribly hard to track. Whenever they find something important, I make a note (eventually transferred to the LOOT page) as to who has claimed the item(s), and then add the item(s) to their character items page. My players are super spoiled, but there are drawbacks for them.

    Because they leave it entirely in my hands (albeit most do not know how to code, and I did not make it easy for them - I kinda wish I didn't make it all spiffy but just made a simple list of items that they could easily edit), I do have a lot of control over not only what they get, but which character gets which items. When the loot is sold, they rarely get an appropriate value because I don't take much time with the math. Characters can't usually buy items in my campaign, save potions and scrolls. I can't remember the last time they went looking to purchase anything of value or importance. Even when they have items at their disposal, many of my players never look at their character's page, don't have notes about their stuff, and forget to use key items I have given them for specific purposes. I can't count the times I have had to remind them too look in their items for something specifically useful for a situation (which might require INT checks in order to remember they have the item). I even had one player (no longer in the campaign) who was a wizard that horded scrolls and never once used one, not even to add to his spellbook.

    Still, I enjoy the work, when I have time. I have made it clear that if something has not made it onto their page, either they can't find it amongst their gear, or it has been lost. I keep very good notes. For the most part, they don't argue with me. But then again, I usually take about a half-hour of time before one session a month to make sure everyone is up to date. Most of them don't really care about stuff... and for the most part, I don't mind. We enjoy the role-playing over the treasure-hoarding aspect of the game, which we all agree is more important.


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