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§3.21. The player's holdall
When the player has only limited carrying capacity, play is likely to be tiresome, but we can make life easier by providing a way for the player to carry endless items without dozens of free hands to hold them all:
The Attic is a room. The old blue rucksack is a player's holdall. The player is wearing the rucksack.
The carrying capacity of the player is 3.
In the Attic are a CD entitled No Smoke Without Fire, a 70s photograph of an American winning Wimbledon, a fraxinus branch, an urn holding your late great-aunt's remains, a convention badge from the American Society of Hypertension and a ghost story by M R James.
This example story introduces a new kind of container, the "player's holdall". This is a kind of which most stories will contain at most one example, but in principle there can be any number. A player's holdall is a capacious bag into which the player automatically places surplus items whenever his or her hands are full: trying the above example story and getting the items one by one will give the general idea.
Of course, if the carrying capacity of the player is never reached then there will never be any surplus items and a player's holdall will behave just like any other (portable, usually openable) container.
See Units for the tools to implement a more sophisticated capacity system
Disenchantment Bay 11
If we wanted, we could make the player's backpack infinitely capacious, so:
...And now whenever the player character is unable to hold everything, he will automatically stow some of his possessions therein.
This is only useful if the player doesn't have infinite carrying capacity himself, so perhaps we also need
Perhaps mercifully, items which are worn are not counted against the player's carrying capacity. We might want to let him take advantage of that, too:
This capacity system makes a compromise between the realistic and the absurd: on the one hand, it acknowledges that people can't carry an infinite number of items in their hands, while at the same time providing a sack that can.
Many games will have no use for object-juggling of this kind at all; others will want to be much more rigorous about questions of capacity and volume. Fortunately, it is easy to leave the whole business out by assigning no carrying capacity to anything.