You guys ever play Final Fantasy? Have you ever checked inside your inventory only to find that you can’t hold another phoenix down because you’re already holding too many phoneix downs? I must have finished VII with thirty of the friggin’ things, and I know there were battles along the way where I could have used them. In retrospect, I probably should have.

If your game of choice uses some kind of limited resource, whether it’s fate points or channeled virtues or Vancian magic, I say to use that mess ASAP. Drink that potion of water breathing and explore the mysterious pool. Call in your favor from the thieves guild and sneak into the catacombs. Go ahead and blow your daily power on the first encounter if the goblins are lined up like bowling pins.

Weighing the risks and rewards of a resource management game can be a lot of fun, and is certainly part of the challenge of an RPG. Nothing sucks harder than staring at your unspent spells when you’re back in the inn though, especially when you limped your way through a tough fight on suboptimal actions because, “I might need my disintegrate against the next guy.” That’s why I’ve been making an effort to burn my scrolls and my daily uses of luck lately. The five minute adventuring day sucks, but you don’t get bonus points for ending the campaign with the most stuff, and big plays tend to be more memorable than a well-organized loot bag.

Do any of you guys struggle against this sort of thing? How do you balanced the desire to conserve resources with the need to actually play the game? Conversely, have you ever seen limited resources wasted foolishly? Let’s hear about your epic battles against the inventory screen down in the comments!