Options are a good thing; Arbitrary restrictions that make the player feel like they're fighting the UI itself are not... and BG3 already has far too many instances where the player is forced to do exactly that. Inventory management is assuredly one of them.

Adding in a hard slot limit would actually help in this regard, since it would allow them to lock in display dimensions for things and make sure they're all easily visible, or easily accessible at a click, and remove that "fighting the UI" feeling. the actual number of slots can be functionally large enough that no-one ever really has to worry about it except in extreme cases - You could take a look at what NWN2 did in this regard. The inventory system there was slot based as well as weight based, but you have a very neat six tabbed pages of slots to play with, and functionally it just allowed for the player to file and sort things as they wanted, easily and cleanly, without ever having to really think about whether they had space for something too often... weight limit was still the most common limiting factor.

Options are a good thing; innately implementing an obscure or obfuscated version of a system and giving no recourse from it is not... and BG3 currently is doing exactly that.
Right now, in BG3, your carrying limit is displayed as being 10 times your Strength Score. However, this number means nothing because nothing and you can carry over it with no effect at all. Nothing actually happens until you are carrying 20 times your Strength score, at which point you become "encumbered". The character cannot run, when not in combat, but it doesn't seem to actually have ANY other effect; certainly no mechanical one. It's just... annoying. It's just a hassle to make the player fight their inventory UI and serves no real purpose. If you load up even more, you become heavily encumbered (though the tooltip still says encumbered), and unable to move at all, but no other actual disadvantages. The point at which this happens is... slightly murky, but it looks as though it kicks in at about when you start carrying more than 24 times your strength. (An 8 Str Astarion displays a carry capacity of 80, becomes encumbered at 160, and becomes heavily encumbered at 192)

Core rules give you a Carrying Capacity 15; no debuffs or disadvantages, just a flat yes/no binary. If you have more than that, you can't carry it all... in game this would be normally be paralleled by the inability to move, which BG3 does at 24 times Str.

Variant Encumbrance in the rules adds gradients with penalties: the fort point is that you ignore the strength requirement of armour; normally this means that if you wear armour (regardless of proficiency) that you don't meet the strength requirement for, your speed is reduced. If using Variant Encumbrance, this no longer occurs. Under this system, you lose 10 feet of speed as soon as you carry more than 5 times your strength score (so for 8 Str Astarion, this would be at 40lb), and if you carry more than 10 times your strength score, you lose another 1o feet of movement, and you have Disadvantage on all checks and saves that use your physical stats (Str, Con, Dex). Your maximum capacity is still 20 time Str.

So, to bullet point:

Core:
- Carry 20 x Str Score; absolute limit, no other penalties.

Variant:
- Ignore Strength Requirement on armour.
- Carry > 5 x Str Score; -10 feet movement
- Carry > 10 x Str Score; -20 feet movement, Disadvantage on all checks and saves using Str, Dex or Con.
- Carry 20 x Str Score; absolute limit.

BG3 Current:
- Visual display carry 10 x Str Score; seemingly meaningless.
- Heavy armour has no visible Strength requirement at any point (though our heavy armour options are limited).
- Carry > 20 x Str Score; Can only walk outside of combat, can still jump, no in-combat penalties.
- Carry 24 x Str Score; absolute limit (can't move), no other penalties (can still jump around (or be thrown if you're a halfling with a strong friend) when carrying in excess of this amount)

Overall, they let you carry more than any 5e system, without any actual penalties other than pointless annoyances. It acts like variant encumbrance, by having two grades, but the grade penalties are just aggravations, not actual considerations; penalties for encumbrance should be meaningful, or they should not exist, one or the other.

Right now, the current system is unclear and murky in its display, but more than that, it should be either simple and user-friendly, without adding extra aggravation to playing the game, or else it needs to have options so players can choose how in-depth they want their inventory management to have to be.

Along with clearer carry capacity rules that don't antagonise the players needlessly, I'd support a limited number of inventory slots that is still large enough to rarely be an issue - but a fixed umber and display so that it's a known commodity for Larian's coding and display UI. All on screen at once, or searchable through tabs would be ideal - remove the risk of things getting lost in long scrolls of empty spaces, and other such UI wrestle points.

Last edited by Niara; 07/02/21 12:34 AM.