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Limited Storage Capacity - Dungeons and Dragons DMing Tips

In the roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons a common thing for player characters (PCs) to do is to carry around lots of things on them, often with little explanation as to how much PCs are actually able to carry, where they are carrying it, etc.

One of the common ways of working around this problem is magical items that increase storage capacity. Items like:

Bag of Holding

Portable Hole

Handy Haversack

As a DM however, giving out such magical items actually becomes more nuisance than boon as characters will often then go willy nilly on carrying everything with them and reaching into their handy Bag of Holding to pull out something that allows them to defeat the wonderfully crafted story the DM has created.

DM - "I guess you guys will have to make a raft in order to get across these rapids."

Player - "No need. Boris reaches into his Bag of Holding and pulls out a canoe. Oh and two paddles."

Now that doesn't mean that every encounter ends that way. Nor does it mean every PCs walks around carrying lots of stuff so that regardless of the circumstances they have a THING for that. But it does mean that quite often PCs are carrying lots of extra stuff on them that are unnecessary most of the time and end up being extremely useful in various circumstances. Done too often, it starts to become really annoying.

However I do have a proposal for a solution that will help both players and DM feel as if they something has been gained as a special reward, while simultaneously making it more difficult for players to be carrying ridiculous amounts of stuff.

Scrollcase of Holding

Sounds just like a Bag of Holding, but it can only store scrolls, maps, paper, parchment, etc. Try to put anything else in there and you just ruin one of your scrolls. 5% of these scrollcases are cursed and will once per week "eat" one of the items contained within it. The owner will likely assume the scroll or map was stolen.

Portable Smithy Figurine

A tiny iron figurine of a blacksmith. When the command words (eg. strike while the iron is hot) are used, it summons an anvil, bellows, forge and everything you need to do normal blacksmithing work. Except of course the blacksmith. The PC will have to do any blacksmithing checks themselves. The smithy disappears 8 hours later and can only be used once per day.

Other Figurines also exist, such as a Carpenter Figurine which summons a carpentry shop, a Stonemason which summons all the necessary tools for cutting stone, a Mapmaker which summons a desk to work on, ink, quills, etc.

Handy Coin Pouch

Can store an unlimited number of gold, silver or copper coins. Only coins. No gems, no twinkets - just coins. Attempting to put anything else inside the coin pouch causes the foreign object to be expelled as if the pouch had spat it out. It can also produce the exact number of coins the wearer commands. 5% of these coin pouches are cursed and will once per week "eat" all of the coins contained within it. The owner will likely think that someone robbed them of their coins.

So what do you do with these items?

Well, instead of giving PCs another Bag of Holding every so often, give them one of these unique items instead. Or make up your own unique item, so that PCs will still feel like they got a cool magical item, but they will be less likely to be carrying around a silly amount of things.

Examples of possible items...

Key Ring of Infinite Keys

Quiver of a Thousand Arrows (not infinite, just 1000)

Drinking Horn of the Town Drunk

Sack of the Jewelry Thief (can only store jewelry for some reason...)

Sack of Craziness (produces one random weird item per turn, which are 90% likely to be useless)

See? So much more interesting than a boring old Bag of Holding.

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