[End Times] Quick Inventory System

Marmalade

Bottlecap Joe
Validated User
#1
Greetings. I just wanted to drop a post outlining one of the mechanics in my Modern-Fantasy Post-Apoc Roleplaying game End Times called the Quick-Inventory System. In short, this system allows and encourages players to have and use multiple weapons and items in combat. One's quick inventory is made of a limited number of weapons and items that can be accessed quickly in combat, basically representing what someone can have easily accessible on their belt, slung on their back, in holsters, ect. In End Times you may use one of your actions, a Minor Action (the "smallest" or most incidental one) on your turn to access your Quick Inventory, which allows you to move items freely to your hands or back into your inventory, as long as they're all part of your Quick Inventory. However, accessing anything not in your Quick Inventory takes a Standard Action (the one used to attack and preform most actions). Let me explain more.

Almost all characters have 7 Quick Inventory Slots, save for the Fighter class or anyone with certain specialized abilities or Feats. Different items take up different amounts of slots. Generally, small items and weapons take up 1, medium 3, and heavy 5, although there are many items that take up 2 or 4 (and a rare few that take up 6!). For example, a sawed off shotgun, machine-pistol or machete would take up 2 slots. Before a combat a character will have their Quick Inventory built either having it on their character sheet beforehand or there is a optional rule where players build their Quick Inventory as a combat starts, allowing them to sort of choose the load-out for that fight. An example of someone's 7 slot quick inventory could look like this: 1 Machine Pistol (2 slots), 1 Rifle (3 slots), 1 Knife (1 slot), and 1 Hand Grenade (1 slot).

Let's say someone was holding 2 handguns, one in each hand, both of which are part of their quick inventory. Suddenly an enemy runs up close to them and they need to take them out, preferably with their shotgun, which is also part of their quick inventory. On their turn they use their Minor Action to access their Quick Inventory. Since all of these items are in their Quick Inventory they can holster both handguns and then whip out their shotgun, with enough actions left to move and shoot. Due to the fact End Times has a large variety of weapons and equipment, as well as ammo being a factor, I thought it was a good idea to implement a system to allow players to actually take advantage of multiple weapons, rather than just use one all the time to avoid hurting their action economy.



FAQ: Yes, you can use the Quick Inventory System to just avoid having to reload by swapping weapons. If one of the items/weapons in your hands in not in your Quick Inventory when you access it you can just choose to drop it and still use the Minor action, but if you want to put it back on your person you would have to use the "longer" Standard action.


So I just wanted to dump this rule/concept here to get some opinions and feedback on it. Specifically, I was thinking of a better, punchier name because though "Quick Inventory" is accurate, it's crazy boring. Much appreciated folks.
 

Terry Herc

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#2
I'd be interested to see how this fits into a larger combat system. I see the use of the design, but I don't know how it would be utilized in light of the other combat components. What benefit would players get from switching items quickly? Is this something they will need to do regularly? Is the system very mechanically driven in that you need to toggle between objects to accomplish tasks?

This feels like it is going in a very granular direction. It suggests that the overall system will be very crunchy. Is that your intent? What other crunchy mechanics will items provide that you could quick switch to, and how can players leverage the benefits?
 

Marmalade

Bottlecap Joe
Validated User
#3
I'd be interested to see how this fits into a larger combat system. I see the use of the design, but I don't know how it would be utilized in light of the other combat components. What benefit would players get from switching items quickly? Is this something they will need to do regularly? Is the system very mechanically driven in that you need to toggle between objects to accomplish tasks?

This feels like it is going in a very granular direction. It suggests that the overall system will be very crunchy. Is that your intent? What other crunchy mechanics will items provide that you could quick switch to, and how can players leverage the benefits?
The weapons in the system all have very different uses, being situationaly useful, as well as limited ammo being a factor. though wouldn't need to swap constantly, it allows you to have options, even if they're limited. The system is crunchy indeed, and the main way that players will leverage these benefits is as described above, adapting to different situations in combat. A shotgun is killer at close range, though it lacks the versatility of many other weapons, as it has a shorter range. If a player places a med-kit or potion in their quick inventory they can use it very quickly in combat, when they need it. It doesn't typically play a role outside of combat, but there are time-restrictive or tense situations where it could. Another purpose it has is that it's a means to balance some of the weapons. A pistol can be generally weaker than most weapons as it takes up less space.
 

Xander

Registered User
Validated User
#4
It make sense conceptually. John Wick seems to be a good example.

Maybe the default for switching is that you drop an item in your hand on the ground, or it takes quick inventory points to put it away. So John Wick may switch from pistol to shotgun when he is crouching behind cover and has a moment of time, or he's going to drop his pistol and ready a knife in close combat. Or he drops an empty pistol and grabs a new gun from a downed enemy, or he may choose to have a hand free to reload quickly, grapple an enemy, etc. He's doing lots of different things.

John may also have less than 7 Quick Inventory system points if he is in mostly civilian clothes with shoulder holster and belt pouches. A full military harness would give him more Quick Inventory points, or if he is totally in civilian clothes (gunmen attack when he's in gym clothes at the Y) then he just has his hand slots.
 

Marmalade

Bottlecap Joe
Validated User
#5
It
It make sense conceptually. John Wick seems to be a good example.

Maybe the default for switching is that you drop an item in your hand on the ground, or it takes quick inventory points to put it away. So John Wick may switch from pistol to shotgun when he is crouching behind cover and has a moment of time, or he's going to drop his pistol and ready a knife in close combat. Or he drops an empty pistol and grabs a new gun from a downed enemy, or he may choose to have a hand free to reload quickly, grapple an enemy, etc. He's doing lots of different things.

John may also have less than 7 Quick Inventory system points if he is in mostly civilian clothes with shoulder holster and belt pouches. A full military harness would give him more Quick Inventory points, or if he is totally in civilian clothes (gunmen attack when he's in gym clothes at the Y) then he just has his hand slots.
That is the sort of thing it represents, yes. Your capabilities in combat are based on the weapons you can get your hands on.

If you're curious, John Wick would be a Scoundrel in the system. They gain the abilities to build up points they can spend on quick, lethal super turns, and the ability to use weapons on the turn they disarm them from enemies. He'd be about level 11, out of a max of 16, but I haven't seen the first movie in a while.
 

johnthedm7000

Social Justice Witch
Validated User
#6
One question I would have is if you're still using a battle mat for combats how do you make range differences between weapons relevant? The size of an average battlemat means that once you get past a certain point ranges don't matter, as there's only so much space you can include on the battlefield. And if you're doing combat in the theater of the Mind Style ranges in feet are more or less completely arbitrary. "Is he 60 ft away or 65?" "Who the fuck knows?"

The easiest way around this is to use a range system that's descriptive rather than prescriptive. Have a weapons range described as someone will describe it in the field like "The shotgun is a QCB or close ranged weapon."

Also how specific are you being regarding ammo? Tracking ammo is almost never worth the time, especially if characters are going to have to track three or four different types of ammunition.

I think it would help a great deal if you showed us some example weapon stats so we can get an idea of how big of a difference there is between them. Doing so will allow us to determine how useful a mechanic quick inventory system is.
 

Xander

Registered User
Validated User
#7
I think ammo tracking is very relevant in a wasteland game, where each shot is a precious resource. If your characters can resupply freely, then ammo tracking matters much less.

Then you could have the scene in Fury Road, where I think Max is in the truck, there's a bunch of guns on the floor, and no one knows how many shots are in each gun. :D
 

johnthedm7000

Social Justice Witch
Validated User
#8
I think ammo tracking is very relevant in a wasteland game, where each shot is a precious resource. If your characters can resupply freely, then ammo tracking matters much less.
Then you could have the scene in Fury Road, where I think Max is in the truck, there's a bunch of guns on the floor, and no one knows how many shots are in each gun. :D
The problem with that proposition is that without mechanics to enforce ammo scarcity (like making Ammo currency, or including rules for equipment breakage so PCs have to choose between repairing their war-hog and reloading their SMG) PCs will naturally end up with enough ammo to make tracking ammo more or less irrelevant. And in a post-apocalyptic world where guns are established as being in common use, there *will* be enough ammo for those who use guns as part of their job, because the alternative is getting destroyed by a rival tribe or eaten by a demonic hell-beast. Now if there *are* significant mechanics in the game that call out ammo specifically as a rare commodity, then that's awesome: tracking ammo is going to matter a whole lot.

On the opposite side of things, you could just abstract ammo tracking and so cut out the paperwork while still driving home that running out of ammo (or getting stuck with dud bullets) are things to worry about in this post-apocalyptic wasteland. So maybe something like this:

After a fight ends where you've fired a gun, mark off Ammo.

Mark off +1 Ammo if:

  • You fired your gun over and over again.
You fired a fully automatic weapon.

Ammo you've spent can be reclaimed with time, effort, and equipment by reloading the spent materials requiring a (insert check here). Otherwise, you've got to beg, barter, or steal it. The lore to make them from scratch has been lost, though some primitive tribes make their own black powder muskets and shot.

Ideally, you want to do both. Minimizing bookkeeping is always a good goal to have, especially if it reinforces the themes of your game. Especially if you're using a D&Desque assumption that any given attack roll really represents multiple attempts and a whole exchange of fire rather than "one attack in six seconds", tracking individual bullets is insane.
 

Marmalade

Bottlecap Joe
Validated User
#9
One question I would have is if you're still using a battle mat for combats how do you make range differences between weapons relevant? The size of an average battlemat means that once you get past a certain point ranges don't matter, as there's only so much space you can include on the battlefield. And if you're doing combat in the theater of the Mind Style ranges in feet are more or less completely arbitrary. "Is he 60 ft away or 65?" "Who the fuck knows?"

The easiest way around this is to use a range system that's descriptive rather than prescriptive. Have a weapons range described as someone will describe it in the field like "The shotgun is a QCB or close ranged weapon."

Also how specific are you being regarding ammo? Tracking ammo is almost never worth the time, especially if characters are going to have to track three or four different types of ammunition.

I think it would help a great deal if you showed us some example weapon stats so we can get an idea of how big of a difference there is between them. Doing so will allow us to determine how useful a mechanic quick inventory system is.
In response to this I will post up about new, updated weapon stat examples. as far as ranges for on and off the battlemat are concerned...

On battlemats about 3-7 is close range, 8-12 is medium, and long is anything more than that. The ranges work off a tier system where each tier after the first awards a -1 penalty, with penalties for range being about -1 to -3 on your average sized battle mat based on weapon. Weapon ranges are also sorted into 5 general ranges for the purpose of theater of the mind (immediate, short, medium, long, extreme)
 
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Marmalade

Bottlecap Joe
Validated User
#10
In response to ammo tracking, the standard rules have it that ammo is tracked individually. It's explicitly stated in the book that the party should never be swimming in ammo, and firing a gun should always be a choice, even if it's an easy one. Ammo types have been condensed, but multiple ammo types are part of weapon balancing, as well as giving GMs the a resource to create tension and incentivize/deincentivize certain weapons.

However, there exists an alternate rule that forces ammo checks on a roll of a 1, where the weapon is now out of ammo if the check is failed. Certain weapons have a better chance of passing or failing the check, roughly based on their respective capacities in the normal rules. Reloading weapons in this alternate rule is done with single use items called "9mm ammo, .45 ammo, ect" so it reduces book-keeping while preserving multiple ammo types.
 
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