Image from Collective.SquareEnix.com. Shot from KINGDOM·OF·LOOT.
Fill Their Inventory
While this may seem unimportant to some, consider how few people in the world leave their place of stay with just the clothes on their back. Biting the bullet and filling a character’s pockets and bags now will help you keep track of items throughout the story, and help prevent inventory creep, where an inventory gains items during a story without explanation to progress the story.
- Start with their professional equipment. Their swords and guns, their medical kits and purses. The things they would use most often.
- Follow that up with clothing and/or armor to define style and protection.
- Add necessary utilities, such as wallets, phones, glasses, etc.
- Expand this with money, such as coins and bills.
- Cultural items, such as identification cards, cultural piercings, etc.
- Relational items, such as a wedding ring or keepsakes.
- Other helpful items, such as water bottles, mints, creams, etc.
From all this, you should have a pretty full inventory. Just realize that a character’s inventory does not always need to be filled with junk. Consider what a character would want to have on them for whatever task or at whatever time they would leave on their adventure. Realism in a character inventory is somewhat that will always add a layer of context that will surprise and please people who are paying attention.