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Old Inventory

In the Rules Cyclopedia, all characters can use the same kind of inventory sheet, you don’t need to look at things like strength score and so on.

Hence, here is my suggestion: A “block” is 100 cn. Each block can contain 100 coins.

Make eight “blocks” by drawing dividing a sheet of paper into eight parts, or even having eight separate pages in a notebook if you’re carrying lots of gems and other coin-sized unique trinkets.

A small sack is two blocks, a backpack is four blocks, and a large sack is six blocks. So if you get a backpack, circle four of your blocks. If you load a donkey with a sack, make a new sheet for that sack with six blocks. (She could carry ten such sacks.)

A belt pouch is half a block so divide one block into two half-blocks.

Then as you put stuff in the blocks, note cn weight. A hammer weighs 10 cn, a grappling hook 80 cn, and a flask of oil is also 10 cn. That’s one block.

The hope is that it’s easier to add up to a hundred per block than count up larger sums over the entire inventory list.

Some things weigh more than one block, that’s fine. For example, chain mail takes up four blocks. takes two-and-a-half. Mark and note that clearly as you get such items.

Carry less quickly or carry more slowly

I deliberately gave you eight blocks to start with as a good default (and it matches 5e’s default speed) but the truth is that you can carry even less and get faster. Or, if you wanna carry more (like schlepping your injured friends out of the dungeon), you can but it’s slower.

However, switching between “block configuration” that way should be a careful consideration; the whole idea with the blocks is that once you’ve “fenced in” some blocks you no longer need to keep checking-checking-checking. If your blocks are full and you pick up something you can throw something else away. If you’ve drawn up eight blocks you know you can easily carry eight blocks worth of stuff without getting any slower.

Rules Cyclopedia

Blocks Speed
4 120/40
8 90/30
12 60/20
16 30/10
24 15/5

Moldvay Basic and Old School Essentials

Blocks Speed
4 120/40
6 90/30
8 60/20
16 30/10

Compared to 5e

Just to get a vibe for how blocks and coins compare to 5e item sizes. This isn’t a rule, it’s just in case people are curious and wanna compare and get an idea of how the two systems are similar or different.

A cn here in Old Inventory is like five tiny items. But here, each coin takes up a cn; you can carry fewer coins. Not a great fit for our Crowded Sea campaign where 0.02 lb per dinar was pretty reasonable historically (and matches al-Qadim since 2e did introduce 5e’s coin sizes), but maybe a better match for the design intent of many OSR modules we run. I dunno. And simple hopefully. Honestly our 5e system was a pretty good fit for 2e stuff.

A block is like our combo boxes of “two medium” or “a small and a big”. A block is ten pounds, whereas a medium was 5, a small was 1 and a big was 9. So a typical 8 block character is like a strength 16 character in 5e. That’s what you get for free. At the expense of coins and gems being five times heavier.

Ye Fast Pack

Moldvay had three ready made packs in B4 The Lost City but there are no weights listed so you’d still need to go look up every item in the equipment lists. Here I’ve added their cn weights in and counted them by boxes.

Pack A

Cost: 38 gp. Four blocks.

Pack B

Cost: 32 gp. Six blocks.

Pack C

Cost: 42 gp. Four blocks.