Update: In a statement to PCG, Larian says that the problem players are running into with the shared stash system is "not the intended behavior and will be fixed in an upcoming update."
Baldur's Gate 3 is excellent. Historically excellent, in fact, but it's not without its flaws. The first of these, of course, is that Astarion was not voiced with Neil Newbon's original Brummie accent, but the game's awkward inventory system is a close-run second. I don't know about you, but I probably spent at least a couple of hours of playtime standing stock-still in camp, desperately trying to give my chaotic inventory and those of my allies some semblance of organisation. It never worked.
The third patch for the game tried to ameliorate that a bit, implementing a new "Shared Stash" system that took important quest items away from party members when you dismissed them and placed them in your inventory. It's not much, but it does mean you don't lose track of your severed clown torso because you happened to dismiss the party member carrying it without thinking. But there's a problem.
As spotted by GamesRadar, the system seems to be affecting objects that aren't quest items, and it's driving players up the wall. Alongside your quest-related ancient artefacts and harlequin limbs, the shared stash is also dumping all your companion's alchemy pouches, camp supply packs, and keys on you whenever you boot them from your gang. Usually, the effect of this is to seriously encumber you, meaning you have to go through your inventory, find the offending items, and transfer them to camp or to your remaining party members. Pretty tedious.
"My MC has low carrying capacity and she gets encumbered every time I send a party member back to camp," says Reddit user Blindspy4, lamenting that "At least one of my party members has a piece of armor that gets taken off every time I make him wait at camp too." Calling the experience "Very frustrating, borderline unplayable," the player says they now have to " spend several minutes trying to figure out what just happened" to their inventory every time they swap someone out.
Those sentiments are echoed elsewhere, including one player declaring the issue has "ruined the game" for them, but it seems particularly acute for multiplayer users. One player named Arbitrary_Pseudonym currently has a multiplayer campaign on the go, and whenever one player can't make it, they just park that character and take a story NPC. "But now, when we do that, all their orange crap transfers over to whoever parked them. Those items don't go back to the original character, so when those players come back, camp items and keys just mess up their inventory."
Some astute players might have figured out the cause, though. A player named Agamemnon155 points out that patch 3's notes say that "Alchemy Pouches, Camp Supply Sacks, and Keychains will now show up in the Trade UI and won't be highlighted as story items." It seems that change hasn't quite taken on pre-patch 3 saves, though, meaning a lot of players are still rolling around with those things marked as story items. That makes them susceptible to the shared stash system and equally susceptible to ruining the days of unsuspecting players. With any luck, a hotfix will hit soon.