Lady Emerald Devon
Can each player have his or hers inventory? A little mini storage locker where they could maybe have 3 or 5 extra items? That no one else can access but them, just a place to keep their extra smart gear or other items they earn.
Perhaps you start with a storage of one extra thing, move to 2 with hard cases and then maybe 5 for AIs and then maybe 6 after completing an AVH.
Ok, ok, I see why this will never happen :) and from what I understand won't even matter once Sleuth II is here.
Lady Ruby Caplan
What I mean is that you have your five equipment spaces as usual then you can have (a private link) space for your inventory.
So, lets say you have your 5 equipment spaces and then you have 3 inventory spaces.
Now you gain a chemistry and you're really excited because it gives smart points.
However, you're tough and charming and you're wearing, (wait for it) a gold bangle from a favour and a tommy gun some nice person gave you.
So, you put your chemistry set in your inventory because you're just a noob rookie and no one will let your wear their gear (actually they don't let you because you have BO) so when you go to check your crime scene you go into your inventory and equip your chemistry set and VERY CAREFULLY put your gold bangle in your inventory.
So basically, every detective just has a few extra slots to their usual five that is separate to the agency stash. When they do a favour their gear can be sold, go to the agency thing, be put on or go into their inventory.