Thursday, November 14, 2019

Recent-ish Resource Management Links - Late 2018

Around this time last year, I started collecting links when people posted about resource management on their own blogs. Aaaaand, then I kind of forgot to post any of them. Aaand then there were kind of too many to fit into a single post. So here's the first post of what will become an irregular series, resource management links from the roleplaying blogs I read.

Ten Foot Polemic - Three Ways to Solve Resource Tracking

This is the one that got me collecting links, because James Young referenced something I wrote at the beginning of his post. Anyway, James makes an interesting distinction between what he calls "drain" and what he calls "use". These are two ways that resources get depleted. "Drain is when they tick down over time. Use is when you make an active decision to use them up." In James's view, and I agree, use is usually going to be more interesting than drain. Drain is something being taken away from you, use is voluntarily giving something up ... to get something else you want even more.

He looks into three resources he wants to manage in his game - food, ammo, and light. For food, he decides on a use mechanic. He makes rations the primary source of healing, and adds a special new cooking rule as an extra incentive. For ammunition, he decides to ignore it. For his game, he decides that tracking ammo uses up too much mental bandwidth for too little payoff to be worth it. For light, he decides on drain. With two of his three resources NOT being drained, he feels able to treat one that way, and uses the overloaded encounter dice mechanic to simplify the rate of torch consumption as much as possible.

In addition to appreciating the drain / use distinction, I also like James's point that you can use different mechanics to deal with different resources. You're not required to treat them all the same way. Also, choosing to ignore one resource might free up the time, attention, and mental energy you need to be able to track another one that you care about more.

Goblin Punch - Triple X Depletion: A Unified Depletion System

Arnold K actually does recommend using the same mechanic for tracking all your resources, but the one he suggests is pretty simple. And you still could, like James does above, adopt the triple X mechanic for just one resource in your game.

In this system, when you initially buy a resource, you get a bundle with 3 check-boxes worth. Each time you use the resource, mark off one of the boxes with an X to indicate that it's partially depleted. When you mark three Xs, the resource is gone. You can also replenish a partially used resource. I'm not totally clear on the costs of replenishment vs buying another resource, but replenishment has the benefit of not adding another line to your inventory.

Magic items can't be replenished, but they get six Xs instead of three (or they get three, but accumulate them a half-X at a time). Using an item for a special purpose means using it up completely.

While the mechanic for tracking resource consumption is the same for every resource, the specific condition that triggers drawing that X varies, which gives each one its own specific feeling. Food and drink deplete twice a day during rests, torches and lamps deplete based on the encounter dice, ammunition has a 50% chance of depleting after every combat where you fire it.

Arnold also recommends having weapons and armor deplete exactly the same way. Armor gets an X when you roll a critical fumble on a defense roll (equivalent to a monster rolling a critical hit in other rules) and weapons can get Xs from critical fumbles on attack rolls. There are a few other complications to both of those, but that's the basic system.

The triple X system seems like it might be a a nice middle ground between each item taking up its own inventory slot and carrying bundles of 10 or 20 that basically never run out. These bundles are just small enough to make depletion meaningful, they're also small enough to remember. "Three strikes and you're out (of the thing you were using)" is an intuitively simple rule, and three items in each bundle probably allows the bundles to fit neatly inside your working memory.

The Manse - Stow & Load Encumbrance System

Cacklecharm is just looking at encumbrance here, but he does a couple things that are interesting. The first is to make a distinction between the total load a character is carrying, and the items they can stow within easy reach.

You can stow 4 + Dex modifier items where you can reach them immediately during combat. Anything not on that list takes multiple combat rounds to reach. Stars Without Number has a similar detail in its encumbrance system. Troika! adds the interesting touch of numbering your items in order, then needing to roll higher than an item's number to get it out during combat.

You can also load up 8 + Str modifier items for each level of encumbrance, of which there are four. My initial thought is that this feels like a lot of items, with the average character able to carry 36 before running out of room.

However, Cacklecharm also adds the detail that many items take up extra slots based on their weight and size. If I understand correctly, small items like daggers take up 1 spot, medium items take up 2 spots, and large items take up 3. So this system is still more generous than most, but the average character can only carry 18 average items, or 12 heavy ones.

There's another detail that encumbrance interacts with Cacklecharm's encounter system. Becoming encumbered reduces your stealth and adds an extra 1-in-6 chance of an encounter every time you roll. Carry enough weight, and you're guaranteed an encounter every time. Worse, once you slip into the "heavily encumbered" range, you can't act during the first round of combat. So while you can carry a lot of items in this system, there are some serious incentives not to. The increased encounter chance also kind of mimics the effect of finding more wandering monsters while moving slowly, while bypassing Gygax's (tedious) ever-changing movement speeds, which is a nice trick!

Pfaff - Encumbrance in OD&D: The Isle of Ys Campaign

Michael Pfaff has also written an encumbrance system. Characters get between 3 and 7 slots to fill based on their Strength score. The average character gets 5. Adding additional slot's worth of equipment drops you down one movement rate each, so 3 extra slots over your initial limit leaves you crawling along at 30'.

Slots are pretty abstract though, and don't directly correspond to the number of items carried. Armor is heavy, and weighs between 1-3 slots depending on type. You can carry a "short" weapon for free; "long" weapons take up more room, but you can carry a couple weapons for only 1 slot.

Every character also has a pack that holds their other equipment. A pouch holding 1 item is free, a rucksack that holds 9 items takes up 3 slots. This all sounds a little complex to explain, but he makes it sound not too difficult. This is also more or less how Torchbearer handles packs. You can spend 1 or 2 body slots to wear a pack, if you do, you get an additional 3 or 6 pack slots to fill.

It seems possible that you could get the same effect he achieves here by increasing the "slot" limit and allowing "slots" to represent items in a more direct and less abstract way, although the trade-off would be slightly more difficult math. The benefit of Michael Pfaff's system, I think, is that you're dealing entirely with single digit numbers. If you did away with the slot-item distinction, I think you' be left with something closer to what Cacklecharm wrote.

Roll 1d100 - The Sunfall Cycle Playtesting Rules: Equipment and Encumbrance

The first thing to know about Steven Lumpkin's encumbrance system is that it only applies to things you're carrying but not using. The armor you're wearing, along with any magic clothing, is separate from this encumbrance system. So is anything in your hands, such as a weapon, a lantern, or your shield. This feels a bit the "stow" space from earlier, except that instead of quantifying it, Steven chooses to ignore it.

Beyond what you're immediately using, you have 3 regular encumbrance slots, 1 "belt slot" that can only hold a small item, and 1 "class slot" that can only hold a class-specific item (such as a bard's musical instrument or a cleric's holy symbol), and a "back slot" which can either hold one item strapped to your back or a backpack with slots of its own, a bit like the Pfaff packs. A backpack holds 2-6 items, depending on your Strength modifier.

Most items are going to take up one slot. Smaller items are three-to-a-slot, however, for consumable resources like torches or arrows, Steven has a different rule that involves rolling dice after each use. If you roll too low, the item only has one use left, after which it will run out. If you fill two slots with the same consumable, however, you no longer need to make these tests. (Which will almost certainly encourage each character in a party to specialize in a single type of consumable equipment.)

Equipment kits work a lot like consumables. Each kit has a list of possible items. Each time you use the kit, you can pull out any item from that list, then roll to determine if the kit is down to only one use left. You can also pay extra for expensive kits that have more uses.

Sheep and Sorcery - Supply Die:  An Alternative to Counting Pennies

Michael Kennedy adopts the Usage Dice from The Black Hack and Macchiato Monsters as a kind of catch-all supply. What he's describing here actually reminds me most of The Scones Alone's expedition resources. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one, although it is a slightly more abstract version of a mechanic I already like, so it has that working in its favor.

Anyway, the Sheep and Sorcery supply dice is a catch-all for rations, torches, ropes, and ammunition. Each time you pull supplies from your pack, roll the dice, and if you roll a 1 or 2, it shrinks from d10 to d8 to d6 to d4 to gone. If every character in the party gives up one inventory slot for supplies, the party gets a d6 supply dice; if everyone gives up two slots, they get a d10 dice. The daily meal for the entire party takes a roll. A roll also produces one rope, or 1d4+1 torches. The idea is to make using any supply a little risky, and presumably to run out of all vital dungeoneering supplies simultaneously.

Buildings are People - Conditions

What Valzi offers us here is not so much an inventory system as it is an option rule that could be added on to any encumbrance system that uses slots.

Valzi suggests that whenever you character has a "condition", that takes up 1 inventory slot, in addition to any other effects it has. He lists additional option effects for fatigue, hunger, thirst, being wet, being cold, and being too hot. Having each condition take up a slot is a simple model for the wearing down of an injured character, it gives you a definite place to write any current conditions on your character sheet (is there another place you're supposed to write them? it's weird that there's not, right?), and it adds a benefit besides hit point healing to taking a good long rest.

You could very easily add poison and disease to this list, and the injuries that characters get from monsters scoring critical hits are another possibility. I think this one's a winner, and I know I've seen one or two people using it in the wild already.

Lithyscaphe - Dungeon Logistics & Supply Bundles

David Perry also uses Usage Dice, but in a markedly less abstract way than we've seen before. To start off with, every item in a character's inventory is labeled as "combat", "pack", or "travel".

"Combat" items are things the character ALWAYS has on their person, even while exploring and during combat. Every single combat item beyond your weapons, armor, and shields imposes an across-the-board penalty to all your combat stats!

"Pack" items then are all the things the character carries with them in the dungeon, but these "packs" are just sacks, just bags with no straps, closures, or handles. The assumption is that you're leaving these in a pile while you explore (with only your "combat" items on-hand), and then making multiple trips back and forth to build a new pile once you've secured a route through some part of the dungeon.

He doesn't go into specifics, but he says that this assumption of backtracking to retrieve your stuff helps explain why characters with more items move slower. I'm assuming that the slower movement rates are an abstraction which lets him track time the way he wants to without forcing his players to actually describe making several back-and-forth trips every time they advance, but I can't say that for certain. He does mention that there's a risk of becoming separated from your packs, which could only happen if there's a problem on the first trip out away from the pile, or if you consciously decide to forgo moving the pile along with you.

I'm also not certain how much you can carry in a pack, or how many packs you can carry. David says that each sack can hold "9 to 30 'faces' in any combination" but I'm not familiar with that terminology. Whatever doesn't get counted as a "pack" item goes into the final category. "Travel" items are left with the horses and carts outside the dungeon. They're available during overland travel, but not while you're inside. It's not clear to me how much characters can bring in with them, and ho much they need to leave outside, but it is an idea that lets you not carry something right now without having to erase it off your character sheet for good.

Now, what's going into those over-the-shoulder sacks are "supply bundles" each of which gets its own Usage Dice. (And, presumably, normal non-consumable equipment.) David makes each dice represent a different supply, in contrast to Michael Kennedy's unified supply dice. So at a minimum, the party needs to carry rations, fuel for their lights, and ammunition. Medicine and nick-knacks get their own dice as well, if you want them. Instead of each character setting aside space for an equal share of generic equipment, the players get to decide how many supply bundles to bring, and how to divvy up the dice across their packs.

This is a full system with a couple different interlocking parts, and you could probably adopt part of it without taking on the other. With his insistence on assigning a physical location to each object, this is one of the most concrete treatments of equipment, and denying his medieval player characters modern backpacks probably also makes this the most "realistic" ... but at the same time, he still uses an abstraction rather than raw counts to handle the supply of consumable items.

David Perry also includes an interesting link to David Black's post The Usage Die and Why it isn't That Great. David Black makes the point that the Usage Dice is most interesting when it's used for a specific purpose in tracking the supply of consumable resources, and that its effectiveness is diluted if it starts being applied to other situations. I've thought before about the fact that you could use the Usage Dice to determine if tools break when you try to use them. But I think that you'd need to make a decision to either have the Usage Dice track the supply of consumables or have it track the condition of breakables, but not both in the same game. David Perry also includes several links to my blog, which I promise is not a criteria for showing up on one of these lists.

Final Thoughts
Looking through these, I think my personal inclination is that, as much as possible, one "slot" should correspond to one item. Some items will be too small to bother with, some will come in (hopefully predictably-sized) bundles, and some will be large enough to need two (or more) spaces, but "one item, one slot" seems like an ideal I would prefer to strive toward. Admittedly, this prevents the kind of "spend a slot to add a storage space with several slots" solutions that Torchbearer and Pfaff blog and Roll 1d100 all use.

I very much like the idea that wounds and injuries take up encumbrance slots, and I would be very tempted to expand this to allow mental scars to take up "mind slots" if I could figure out a good way to make skills and class abilities and weapon proficiencies and spells all interchangeable.

I also kind of like the technology of modifying encumbrance using the Strength BONUS, rather than pegging it directly to the Strength score itself. I've said before that I don't think character's encumbrance slots should vary from 3 to 18. Varying from 7 to 13 seems like a compromise that's easier to live with. The first place I remember seeing this idea was on Roles Rules and Rolls, although there's every reason to think that Cacklecharm and Michael Pfaff both re-discovered the technology independently of Roger G-S, and of each other.

Finally, in any encumbrance system, complexity adds up fast. If you do plan to use different systems for different resources (the way I praised Ten Foot Polemic for doing) you want to make sure that each system is as simple as it can be. If you want different kinds of items to take up different numbers of "slots" then you also want to limit the number of possibilities and to apply them as clearly and consistently as possible. Each feature you add, however elegant in its own right, adds to the complexity of the whole.

I dunno, looking at all these has got me thinking that to evaluate an encumbrance system, you might need to take a step back and ask a more basic question about what design goal the rule is intended to accomplish? It's hard to judge how well a thing is fulfilling its function if you don't know for sure what that function is intended to be. Like, the "spend a slot to add a storage space" thing strikes me as being a roundabout way of increasing the number of slots, it's not a tradeoff if you would never not choose it, and I can't see that that extra complexity serves any purpose. But maybe I just don't what that purpose is supposed to be?

My FINAL final thought is that "encumbrance" and "slots" are both terrible words that feel uncomfortable to say. I don't know if there's a solution to this problem since they are both clearly THE terms of art but I would love it if some other words could catch on.


  1. Your overview posts are fantastic! There's tremendous value in seeing links collected and reviewed like this. Thank you for doing it.

    Also, I agree fully on "slots" and "encumbrance". Whoever comes up with a better terminology will usher in a new era.

    1. Thanks, Olav. I read a review of a (now-defunct) music show that described the way the show assembled its songs each episode:

      "it seemed to me that the host had forged a new genre out of nothing more than an astonishing memory and a boundless musical curiosity"

      I feel like something like that is my goal when I do these curation posts, although I'm not sure I meet that high standard.

      Also, re terminology, I think we might be collectively testing out new terms across these posts. I like "supply" to refer to things like torches and rations that you use up. Maybe "load" or even just "inventory" instead of encumbrance? "Slots" is going to be the really difficult one I think, because it's not archaic, it just sounds ugly, and it IS a decent description of the concept it represents.

  2. In the late days of G+ I found a blog and then forgot to save it, but the guy writing it had an interesting encumbarance system also.
    Everyone can carry 6 items. Period.
    But stuff like rations (water and food), climbing gear, light and abstracted "Treasure" only have to be carried once per party. And ration etc basically do not run out except you use them for something creative. Like droping rations to distract some monsters and you have a chance to loose all the rations you carry on you.

    The blog was great I'm very sad I lost it.

    1. Hah, found it:

    2. I like that one as well, Klaus! That was one of two posts I discussed the last time I wrote something like this.

  3. Thoughts:

    I'm very close to 1 slot = 1 item as well. I used to bundle potions (and other things) 3 per slot, but now I think potions should just be more potent, and fit 1 to a slot. (The in-game rationale is that potions are fragile, and must be packed carefully.)

    I'm now of the opinion that ammunition shouldn't be tracked. I think James talked me out of it by asking "have you ever had fun gameplay come out of tracking ammo?"

    I'm torn between having players describe where things are held (three slots on a belt, six slots in a backpack, etc) and just having a big inventory list. One idea I'm playing around with is "all items are stowed and can be accessed quickly, unless you're overloaded", which seems easy enough.

    I've also played around with tying encumbrance to random encounters ( but in practice it tends to be kinda finnicky, as it's another thing for the DM to forget to keep track of.

    Why is this sort of thing so interesting to me?

    Also, I love 'slots'. I'm neutral about 'encumbered' and I think 'overloaded' might be preferable.

    1. You're definitely not alone in finding this interesting. I get a lot of feedback whenever I write about resource management, it's something that a lot of people have feelings about.

      Making potions stand alone makes a lot of sense. That said, I'm not opposed to bundles, although I'd like them to be consistent. Thinking of "a bundle" as "an item" that takes up one slot isn't much of a mental leap.

  4. The reason I moved towards letting all inventory slots be fast-access slots was because I don't think it's that fun for players to choose which items they put in what slots. Or--at least--it's not as fun as the choices they'll make when they have full access to all of their inventory. A player can come up with more schemes when they have full access to their inventory and you ask them "so what do you want to do this turn?"

    I've also played around with letting players tamper with maximizing fast-access slots at the expense of total inventory slots (e.g. wearing more bandoliers and fewer backpacks) and I'm sure that someone will think that sounds cool.

    1. If you're thinking of having body locations that can be filled with slot-bearing packs, then it makes sense to give those packs some mechanical distinction. And like "a few fast-access slots" versus "many slow-acess slots" is a choice that actually presents a dilemma.

      In contrast, "a few slots for a low price" versus "many slots for a higher price" isn't really a dilemma, just a goal to accomplish.

      It makes sense to me that if you're NOT doing that (and like I said, I don't think that's my cup of tea) then there's not necessarily an incentive to put some items off limits in slow-access slots.

  5. I also dislike the usage die, because it's no different from having a set number of charges, with the chance of the charge depleting varying according to the charge. Like, if I told you that a wand had 3 charges, the first charge having a 1-in-8 chance of depleting, the second charge having a 1-in-6 chance of depleting, and the final charge having a 1-in-4 chance of depleting, it would sound overly complicated.

    And anyway, most of the time when I have a resource that needs to be depleted, I like having it deplete more often than 1-in-6 or 1-in-8. Those odds are too sparse for most of the depletions that I think are worth tracking. My 0.02 dollars.

    1. Usage dice seem to be pretty divisive. Personally, I think I like the idea of them better for tracking how long it takes objects to break or how long it takes to run out of some substance that's not measured in discrete units.

      When you use them for torches or arrows, people always want to know "but what number do I have left?" If you used them to track lamp oil, or battery life, or oxygen left in your respirator tanks, the purpose they serve might be a little clearer.

      Your wand example is interesting, because I think my first encounter with usage dice was in Kevin Crawford's "Spears of the Dawn" where the healing kit has a 1-in-6 chance of running out after each use.

    2. I think I first saw it on Untimately (now Necropraxis), slightly predating Spears of the Dawn (cf.

      I used to like it, but now that we almost always use automated character sheets, crafted in Google Sheets, it's not significantly easier to use the abstracted variants.

      In this scenario the only "benefit" usage dice have over marking consumption unit by unit is obfuscating the actual amount - but I think D&D has enough variables already to screw with plans and strategies without the need to making equipment less reliable.

    3. I think that obscuring the actual number of units remaining is kind of a drawback of the usage dice, not a benefit. If you have uncountably many of something, then you're not going to run out. If you could run out, then I think it's fair to know the number you have remaining.

      Money is a special case, because its denomination can be so small that individual coins are no longer meaningful units of measurement. If all prices are in 10gp increments, then it makes no sense to count copper pennies, which are worth 1/1000th of that.

      The other exception, and this feeds back into the preference I mentioned above, is for substances where there's not necessarily a clear "unit" to measure, especially if there's a chance you're using it unevenly (like lamp oil that burns faster or slower in different caverns depending on the quality of the air, or oxygen canisters that are depleted based on how quickly you breath).

  6. A really good survey of the topic. I’ve read, at best, maybe 3/4 of the posts you refer to, so this is a very useful consolidation. There are some great ideas and approaches described here. When it comes to encumbrance though, discussions tend to remind me of the encumbrance rules from RQ2, which I’ve often found myself coming back to whenever the groups I was with decided to actually pay attention to enc. RQ2 works on units of ENC, and 1 ENC is basically what you can hold in one hand. From the RQ2 rules:

    “1.THINGS - Any item which can be held easily in one hand (a sword, a rock, an axe, a rope, etc.) is considered to be a “thing.” There are just so many things a person can carry before the weight and/or awkwardness of the load makes it impossible for him to move and act normally. Objects which need to be carried in two hands (i.e., a spear), on one arm (i.e., a large sack or a shield), or in more than one piece (i.e., a bow and quiver of arrows) are considered to be worth two or more “things.” See Chapter IV for the encumbrance of weapons and armor.

    2. MAXIMUM ENC - The total number of things a character can carry and still function normally is determined by averaging the STR and CON of the character. The maximum limit of this, however, is the STR of the character. Thus, a character with a STR of 12 and a CON of 18 may only carry 12 “things” comfortably, even though the average of the two characteristics is 15. This is because the STR of the character limits how much he can pick up and carry easily. However, the character with the STR of 12 and CON of 6 has an ENC of 9 because, no matter how much he can pick up, he has to have the stamina to carry a load for any length of time.“

    1. I have thought of using the Into the Odd system of both hit points and strength damage with a game like Knave, and having encumbrance slots based on STR. Strength damage per ItO thus means that as you’re either seriously or critically wounded it makes sense that you can’t carry as much, as well as being effectively weaker because all of a sudden you’re not just winded, battered and bruised (hit point damage), but potentially badly hacked up/bleeding out and close to death (you’ve lost STR points and failed a STR saving throw - though I’d use CON for the save if it were Knave or other appropriately 6 statted game).

    2. Thanks for sharing the Runequest rules!

      One thing I've definitely thought about is that its much simpler to say "you can't carry more than this amount, but any amount less than that has no effect on your movement." That's more or less how hit points work in D&D, and the game is simpler and easier to play for it.

      (Although of course, there's a large fanbase that wants more complex hp, just like there's a large contingent who want more complex encumbrance.)

  7. Specifically speaking about magic items, I like Numenera's "Depletion" system (I know it's not D&D, but I get the impression that Numenera is what Monte Cook wanted D&D 5th edition to look like.)

    In case you're not familiar with it, all magic items "artifacts" have a depletion score such as 1 in 1d6 or 1 in 1d10 or even 1 in 1d100, occasionally you'll come across an item with a depletion of 1-4 in 1d6. This ensures that all magic items will eventually get used up; how long they ultimately last is a mystery (but it doesn't apply to static items like armor.)

    I would edit the process by having the chance of depletion increase every time you use the item, so 1 in 1d6 becomes 2 in 1d6 after a successful use. Basically, everything has an unknown amount of "charges." This idea could so easily be ported into any D&D game.

    General encumbrance is something I've usually hand-waved unless a player tries to do something ridiculous. Lamentations of the Flame Princess has a decent system.

    1. I guess the main challenge with any system that relies on the judge having secret information (and especially something like "this item fails after the following number of uses") is that it ends up being very memory and notetaking intensive for the judge.

      Having the player roll a chance of failure every time prevents the judge from having to track every item in the game in a ledger to see when its charges run out. You'd have to get the players used to doing it, but it IS active and visible, and so easier to remember than marking a charge off a worksheet.

      Checking once per session would be cognitively easier, but maybe a little anticlimactic. There is, at least, some good drama when a tool fails in the moment as you're trying to use it.

  8. Encumberance is where my belief in simulationism and rule maximalism broke down. Encumberance is annoying, but also a valuable, even necessary to running resource based games.

    Back five or six years ago when Necropraxis, Papers & Pencils and Hill Cantons and I were discussing it, posting on it and playing with encumberance rules on G+ no one really went beyond very simple slot systems. Simpler then LotFPs, simpler then most of the elaborations anove, not because significant items = STR is a good simulation of weight capacity or showing technique, but because encumberance is annoying to calculate, largely under player control and unexciting. Simplicity, clarity and ease are the best way to push back on these issues.

    I feel like simplicity is often undervalued in ttrpg design, the lure of cool little tweaks and house rules get too strong. Encumberence is one area (its in almost every system - how many tables use it though) where this seems even more true.

    1. I appreciate your perspective on this! You and and the others you mentioned have done some of the most important public efforts to make old-school resource management actually work.

      I agree that keeping it as simple as possible seems important. When I quibble with "slots = STR", I'm not really asking for more complexity, just for either a flat number of slots for everyone, or for "slots + STR bonus" instead. Not more complexity, just a narrower range of variation.

      Inventory management is already a bit of a chore in a game where you have to write everything down and erase it. I think it was Paper Elemental who suggested having all equipment on cards to save on writing and erasing.

  9. Nice compilation. I must admit...I usually start campaigns tracking encumbrance fairly rigidly, but a few sessions in it's like, "Yeah, you can carry 40 spears and a donkey, why not?"

    1. I genuinely don't think encumbrance belongs in every game. There are games where it's important, and thus probably easy to remember, because you keep checking it and thinking about it.

      In other games, it just doesn't matter, so you never pay attention to it, and usually forget it's there. If you're playing a game like that, it's probably okay to just say "we're officially not worrying about encumbrance in this game."

  10. Time and resource management are mostly pointless without each other in d&d games. Resource management is about surviva , planning, and knowing what to prioritize as resources (hp, ammo, light, food, water, functional weapons, etc) become scarce.

    If you like these kinds of problem solving, design your systems to make good problems to solve. There's my opinion about design goals.