Inventory System for Homebrew World (a DW drift)


I’ve been working on and off on Homebrew World, my pared-down and significantly revised playset for Dungeon World. I recently did a significant update to the Inventory System, borrowing heavily from Blades in the Dark. Full details here, but you can get most of the gist from this:

Initial reactions from people seeing it are good… the core idea is that you pick your Load; your Load determine how many “slots” (diamonds) of items you get, and you pick items at start of play or during play as you want. So far so good.

The problem that I was worried about, and that became clear on first playtest, is how this interacts with PCs using stuff up, dropping/losing items, adding items that they loot, and swapping gear between them. The “diamonds” from a player’s Load are doing double duty as both an encumbrance limit and as a resource to expend, and when they start moving stuff around, it gets weird.

E.g. the Fighter (shown above) starts play with a Normal Load (5 []s). He starts with sword, a leather cuirass, and a shield (4 []s). During play, he produces a rope (his last []), ties it to a pillar, and then the party climbs down the rope, leaving it behind. He crosses off the rope or erases it, because he doesn’t have it anymore.

The Fighter now has 4 []s marked, but has used all 5 []s to start with/produce items. The sheet/rules seem to imply that he can now produce another 1 [] item, because his Load is “up to 5x []” and he only has 4 [] on his sheet. But that’s not how it should work… he should be able to pick up another item that he finds, but he’s already produced that rope he was carrying around and discarded it… he doesn’t have another undefined 1 [] item, because if he did, he would have had 6 []s at one more… more than his Load allows.

Obviously, we could handwave it, but… I don’t want to. And initial playtest reports have already confirmed that this is a point of confusion/clarification.

I’m pretty committed (for now, at least), in keeping:

  1. The decision of “how much Load are you carrying” at the beginning of play
  2. The ability to define gear both up front and on the fly
  3. Listing the most relevant/interesting gear choices on the sheet itself (as opposed to just using slots and having players write in items on their slots)

So, with that in mind, here are 3 possible UI changes for the sheets (and the moves that go with them). Interested in which ones y’all think are most intuitive/easiest to use in play (or if you have suggestions for something better, keeping with the 3 commitments above):

Option A: adding empty diamonds next each Load option, and you mark those at the same time start w/produce items in play:

Option B: adding empty circles (which are used throughout to denote uses or resources that can be accumulated/spent), with instructions to mark them as items are picked/produced.

Option C: adding a new icon (combo of circles+diamonds) to specifically denote undefined resources, with instructions to mark them as items are defined.

Thanks in advance!


Eh… separate conversation convinced me that the choice of Light/Normal/Heavy Load isn’t worth the squeeze.

So, here’s the revision:

  1. Picking a total amount of specific items + undefined items up front (by default, no reason not to pick your max.

  2. Tracking “undefined” items in their own space, with same icons as defined items.

  3. No need for special rules about how to move quantum items around, or what happens when you add loot.