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There have been many alternative inventory systems designed for use with Dungeons and Dragons over the years. Inventory is more often than not something that many Dungeon Masters simply eschew. This has an unfortunate side effect of making strength by far the least important statistic for many characters who it should otherwise at least be of some relevance to.

I too was counted among the DMs who ignored this vital mechanic for a long time, and it was only when I began playing older editions of the game (specifically, 1981s Basic and Expert Editions) that I came to realise the importance of inventory management to the game.

Dungeons & Dragons is fundamentally a game about acquiring treasure and wealth and using it to finance your further adventures. This is seen in its main reward cycle of magic items and great hoards of treasure. With experience points often deliberately ignored and replaced with milestone levelling, and older editions having the very gold you earn determine your XP gain, it is clear that this harvesting of treasure is the very fundamental reward cycle of D&D.

The best way I could think of to provide this visual understanding of inventory was to borrow from video games, and give the concept of a grid based inventory. With this, it’s simple to understand how much space each thing in your inventory is taking, and to reason about encumbrance.

One Pound = One Square

In this document, you will find sheets for all different strengths. They have bordered regions for use with the variant encumbrance rules (the top section is unencumbered, the middle is encumbered, and the bottom is heavily encumbered). The red section at the bottom is for ‘free’ items, which are items which weigh less than one pound and are unlikely to be held in any quantity which would exceed one pound. The number in the very bottom right is a reference for the strength of a character who will use this sheet.

Certain sizes require different sheets, and sometimes strength exceeds 20. Because of this, in some instances you might require multiple sheets. In these instances, combining the three sections should be done such that a player becomes encumbered when the unencumbered section on both sheets is full.

Provided alongide the sheets you will find a chart designed to aid you in determining which sheets a character need use. To minimise the number of sheets, tiny characters do not perfectly match their as written carry limits.

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Eleanor J February 14, 2020 3:15 pm UTC
I think the file might've been lost when this title was uploaded, I went to download and there was no option.
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Lucille B February 14, 2020 7:59 pm UTC
It should be present now?
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File Last Updated:
February 14, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on February 14, 2020.