Instead of replying in the episode 20 Q&A, i taught i would bring this up as a new topic as it started to feel a bit trolly down there, and there is no need to start to feed the flames. But anyways, the discussion about counting how many bolts Persindgetron has left made me think: Why do we even count the bolts and arrows in 5e?
It's a common trope for games to run with. Everything else is self repairing and maintaining except ammunition. If not maintained with care, no one would have armor or clothes. Weapons would be in horrible condition from fighting rock golems and suits of armor. Then why count the arrows in storytelling sense if everything else doesn't need to be maintained?
Mechanically having few hundred bolts is not an issue in weight and most of the cases not an issue of money. It's just a small thing that people usually don't stack up. Like, no adventurer would leave for a trip that is expected to last few weeks with the amount of arrows that one needs in two fights. Still 20 is the "standard" amount that is given at the start of the game. It's like they aren't even supposed to be counted.
PHB p.146 states that one can recover half of expended ammunition by taking a minute to search the battlefield. This is something that will most of the times be forgotten in normal play and in the case of the CoS show, there are many other things happening and usually asking if you can get the ammunition back is just taking time for nothing. Having to ask for ammunition is something that should be automatic. I feel like there should be a notification from DM if there is no way to get the ammunition back.
IMHO i don't find it fun or adding any benefit for the game when someone runs out of ammunition in a fantasy game. To me counting ammunition feels like that it's something that is usually done for the sake of it.
Why do you guys count ammunition? I would like to know the answer as i can't come up with any.
PS: In my game i don't track ammunition. It's just an extra mechanic that doesn't add any fun to the game. I don't need people going to subtract ammunition from their character sheet mid combat when their focus should be in the combat. I'm also completely sure that i would forget to expect that from players and when trying to force the issue i would have no idea how much they should have.