D&D 5E Any house rules for a video game-inspired slot based carrying capacity system?

For groups that bother with Carrying Capacity/Encumbrance there's nothing I hate more than doing pound for pound accounting for a characters items and equipment. So I want something that resembles the Inventory Screen in a lot of video games you see out there, maybe not the so-called "Inventory Tetris" where you have to click and drag things that are narrow and wide to optimize, but at least something where you have a number of slots based on your strength score and size (including powerful build) and certain feats/magic items, where items can take up 1 or more slots (like dagger or any light weapon being 2 slots, rapier or any one-handed weapon being 4 slots).

Also looking for something like Quick slots for how many things like potions, bombs and other non-weapon items one can readily use in a single combat encounter.

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The dark one :)
I had a rule like that but never finished listing item slots and never tested it.

I used base slot value = size + str score (small: 10, medium: 14, large: 20)
And max value = size + 2 x str score

You get disadvantage on some skill checks as well as attack and dex based saves when over your base value.

Edit: really tiny items took no slot (ring, amulet, etc...) some like 100gp or a potion took half slots and the max was heavy armor at 6 slots but I never took the time to test and finish item listing. I also think number of slots is a bit higher than I would want on a second tought.

Edit2: backpacks also had a limited amount of "slots" so even if you could carry more no way to carry multiple armors without a mount or a cart
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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Maybe something like:

- Slot total: Size + Str mod + Con mod (covers both worn items* and backpack)

- Readied item slots: 1 + Dex mod + Int mod (specially crafted belt/pouches/scabbard can add a bonus). Those items may be readied using an Item Interaction. Readied items can be stacked by genre (healing potion, pitons, ball bearings, alchemist fire etc)

- Special containers take 1 or 2 load slots of the backpack, but allow to stack diminutive (potions bag, scroll case, coin pouch, quiver). If no special container is used, diminutive items are considered Small, as they are loose in your backpack or pockets.

- Foraging in your backpack to grab a loose (aka non-readied item) requires 1 minute. Items with a Load of 3 or more cant be put in the backpack; they need to be holstered to the bag. Only 2 items can be holstered to the bad in this fashion.

- Worn items: each character can wear: 1 pair of boots, 1 pair of gloves, 1 armor, 1 helmet, 2 rings, 1 amulet, 1 cloak, 1 belt and use their two hands to carry 1 item in each one (if available) or 1 item of Load 3+.

Load per Item size
  • Diminutive: 0 if worn or put in a special container, or 1 if loose (coins, potion, scrolls, ring)
  • Small: 1 (light weapons, helmet, normal cloths)
  • medium: 2 (light or medium armors, one handed weapons, cloaks, noble regalia)
  • Heavy: 3 (heavy weapon, heavy armor, shields)
  • Cumbersome 4 (a chair, a small creature, heavy clay pots)-
  • Burdening 5+ (a giant's weapon, a medium creatures, a heavy desk)


He / Him
I've always found this idea intriguing! I whipped up this super simple form that players could use. I haven't tested any of the math, so that would need to be played around with.



  • Inventory.pdf
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Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I like PF2’s bulk system. An item that weighs about a pound or less is Light. An item that weighs about 2-5 pounds is 1 Bulk. An item that weighs more than that or is particularly cumbersome for its weight is 2 Bulk. 10 Light items add up to 1 Bulk. If I remember correctly, PF2 lets you carry 5 + Strength mod Bulk before becoming encumbered, but you could easily adjust that as needed.

As an alternative to strength-based weight/bulk limits, you could go “true” slot-based. For example, you can carry a one-handed weapon on each hip, a two-handed weapon on your back, and a weapon or shield in each hand, plus a coin pouch and a backpack. A coin pouch can hold up to 600 coins, and a backpack can carry up to 6 Bulk worth of equipment.


I am always using a system I've seen years ago.

Most items have a weight ot 1. Items smaller than a dagger are free. Items that need two hands to carry have a weight of 2 or more.

Up to your Strength score is unencumbered, up to double your Strength score is encumbered, and up to three times your strength score is heavily encumbered.

Write your inventory as a list with numbered lines, and mark the lines where encumbrance goes from none to medium, and from medium to heavy with color. Items with weight greater than one take up as many lines accordingly. All you have to do js make sure you have no empty lines above an item, and you never even need to count how many items you carry. If you're over the marked lines, you're in the next encumbrance class.


I've done a bunch of these.

One (from 3.5e days) had a bunch of specified slots, matching the various magic item slots plus a few more, and then a number of generic 'pack' slots. Characters were supposed to put items in the relevant slot on their character sheet, and stop when they ran out.

My most recent (5e) one just gives characters 10 'slots' that they can fill with any item of their choice, where a 'reasonable' number of identical items count as 1 (so 5 potions of healing are 1 slot, but 1 pot of healing and 1 pot of greater healing are 2).

None have ever really been satisfying, largely because groups have inevitably found a bag of holding in short order and made the whole thing moot!

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