Equipment like Adventuring Gear and Bag of Books employ a "uses" mechanic that helps abstract the equipment buying process and encourages improvisation.

Adventuring Gear:

"When you rummage through your adventuring gear for some useful mundane item, you find what you need and mark off a use."

Say a player pulls a rope out of their bag and marks a use. They then use the rope. Does that rope persist and enter their inventory as a separate item if it makes sense in the fiction (i.e., if they remember to collect it).

Or is the item consumed along with the "use" and just kind of hand-waved away?

Similarly, if a character pulls out a book about Halfling anatomy to help him during a dissection, can he continue to Spout Lore at a +1 on Halfling anatomy until he somehow loses the book in the fiction?


3 Answers 3


“You find what you need.”

That is, you have an item. Items don't vanish for no reason and the move doesn't say it disappears later in a puff of smoke or otherwise, so you get to keep it.

For the Word of Designer, Adam Koebel once answered the same question like this:

once you pull something out, it's a thing. It's real. Add it to your inventory.

The GM can use a normal GM Move to later threaten it or directly take it away, of course, but until then it is as much a part of the fiction of what you're carrying as the staff you started with or the headless bronze statuette you picked up in the last room.

Whether that means you can leverage it for +1 ongoing to Spout Lore about halfling anatomy is the GM's call, based on the precise situation as usual, though. (So, probably, except when it doesn't.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh nice. That's what I was looking for. Word from the source. Thanks, man. \$\endgroup\$
    – Preston
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 17:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for "it is as much a part of the fiction of what you're carrying as the staff you started with." If you have a rope in one room, it makes perfect sense to still have it in the next room. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 1:31

Objects should remain for the scene, session, or dungeon at your discretion.

To me the whole point of adventuring gear is to avoid niggling over who has what items in what quantity and the general problem of keeping an up to date manifest for every player in an RPG. It nicely expresses all of the usual and odd things an adventurer might carry and need in a dungeon. If anything sticks around from the Gear for a long time I'd assign it a weight value.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah. It's this side of the argument that spurred me to write the question. I feel it kind of goes against the spirit of the item to place individual items in inventory. \$\endgroup\$
    – Preston
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 17:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PrestonFitzgerald I wholly agree, Dungeon World should feel cinematic, item hoarding and quibling goes against that. don't hesitate to destroy items via putting someone on the spot though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 18:05

I have a wrong answer, but maybe a viewpoint worth considering for a house-rule.

It'd be weird if, on pulling a heavy rope out of your pack, you should then have to add it to your inventory and count its weight.

It's a movie-style trope to pull out useful one-shot things to resolve a situation. Very James Bond. Though it's an older trope than that, featuring in fairy-tales like the baba-yaga story. It's FUN!

If you go with the "You keep it" rule, then people will generally tend to find boring, generic, reusable tools. A lockpick to open a trivially locked diary. A crowbar to smash a window. Things with maximum reuse potential.

But if you go with a "you will tend to lose the items fairly quickly" house rule, then people would be more inspired to have more esoteric items that would make the scene they are used in more colorful and fun. Aunty May's hat-pin to open the diary. A '64 bottle of Mont Claire to break open a window... such a shame to waste it by hurling it through the window, let's drink it first.... Things with color! They would use the fun trope more, and generic tools less.

All that said, though, if the player gets no permanent, useful item from it, there's slightly less benefit to using up the uses of the pack sooner (to get maximum use out of the tools), so players may be more inclined to hoard their uses, which also reduces the fun level, perhaps?


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