Equipment is what will be acquired throughout Demon's Souls.
Armor will be used to protect the player from attacks from enemies. Armor is not upgradeable.
Items are anything from keys to consumables. These can be used in any encounter.
Magic can be used in many different encounters. Some enemies will be more resilient to magic than others. The player has limited mana for casting magic.
Rings are picked up throughout the game. Each ring will do something different. The player can only have two rings equipped at any given time.
Shields are used to block enemy attacks. Each shield is different. One shield may be better suited for a different situation than other shields.
Weapons are used to attack and kill enemies. Weapons scale with the player's stats. Some weapons can inflict status defects on enemies.
Upgrade Materials are items used to upgrade weapons and shields. An upgraded weapon or shield will be better than an un-upgraded one.