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My DnD 5e players have stopped keeping track of ammunition, rations, torches, etc, because it's something they use all the time and their character sheet starts looking rubbish or being torn from erasing/re-writing the numbers all the time.

What we eventually set out to do is to spend an amount of gold per city visit that matches buying enough food/supplies for a week of adventuring. In specific situations where I know these will be a problem, I specifically ask players to keep tabs on the items.

Is there a nice way to keep track of items whose quantity changes constantly? Someone suggested to me to use decks of cards, e.g., each player has a deck of ammo, a deck of rations, etc. As they are used, he gives me back the card. On towns, he buys these cards.

Preferably, something low-cost (or free), not on electronic devices (let's not make excuses to have phones at the table), easy to use and that doesn't require much maintenance.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What system is this for, if any? \$\endgroup\$ – Sardathrion - Reinstate Monica Feb 9 '17 at 12:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree it would help to understand the system (or whether this is freeform). There are systems where "don't even worry about tracking those" is an appropriate answer, or the definitive answer, or not appropriate at all, for example. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 9 '17 at 12:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought it would be a system-agnostic question. Edited \$\endgroup\$ – BlueMoon93 Feb 9 '17 at 12:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this because as written, there aren't any criteria that voters can use to distinguish among answers, it seems. It's looking like idea-generation or popularity-contest listiness, which makes me suspect the question needs tightening up. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Feb 9 '17 at 13:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Edited for clarity \$\endgroup\$ – BlueMoon93 Feb 9 '17 at 13:40
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My party has been using LEGOs. We have some flats on which we put little pips of various colors on to represent hp, spell slots, ammo, etc. Since they all clip together it's not as messy or fiddly as counters, and they're all pretty cheap.enter image description here

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Use counters

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Game counters isn't rare merchandise (check ebay or your local game shop). Usually they are made of glass or plastic. Use different colors for different types of items (ammunition, rations, torches).

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If you are open to a house rule use descending dice.

For arrows, each time one is fired roll a d20, if you roll 2 or more nothing happens, if you roll a 1 immediately roll a d12 und use this from now on. If a 1 is rolled on that, you now roll a d10 and so on. When you roll a 1 on a d4 you are out of ammo. Buying more resets you to a d20. Scavenging after a combat lets you go up a die.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A bit abstract, but I like it. Much less fiddly than adding/removing items, and doesn't use up paper. \$\endgroup\$ – karhell Feb 9 '17 at 13:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you ever run out of ammo this way? Scavenging for a die seems too strong \$\endgroup\$ – BlueMoon93 Feb 9 '17 at 13:42
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Use dice.

They can be rotated up or down incrementally, and different colours can represent different things. And since you are playing D&D, there should be plenty around!

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    \$\begingroup\$ These are awfully prone to being changed -- not with intent to cheat, but accidentally -- at other times than expenditure and restocking. \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Feb 9 '17 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not an issue I have ever run into. Unlike hit die which change all the time, these die rotate infrequently (with the exception of ammo in combat) making them much easier to fix if they get knocked around. Also, they rotate predictably. But i play MTG, so i use dice for hp as well. That way i dont ruin my char sheet. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Feb 9 '17 at 13:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I need a d20... grabs ammo counter ...whoops. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Feb 9 '17 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Check out the system for cascading dice under the Ammo Tracking heading on page 9. Just as a single die rolled in melee does not represent a single jab or swipe, this system lets a single roll for ranged combat potentially be multiple arrows fired. \$\endgroup\$ – lostgrail Feb 9 '17 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude - Like I said, I use coloured dice. I don't grab the wrong dice when I'm rolling damage, let alone a saving throw. But again, I've never had this be an issue. Putting your counter die on your character sheet isn't that hard to do, and unless you make it a habit of rolling your dice like you're throwing a fastball (my wife), projectile interference isn't an issue. Just try it at your next game, see how you like it. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Feb 9 '17 at 14:32
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The simplest way I can see to do this is a notepad or spreadsheet application for the smart phones that all gamers seem to carry with them everywhere anyway.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ We avoid phones at the table \$\endgroup\$ – BlueMoon93 Feb 9 '17 at 13:34
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My players use a sheet of paper to sign things to remember, HP, ammo, rations, and anything else. The DM keep a copy of the important things for backup. Sometimes they update the character sheets, but probabily before that they replenish the provisions.

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