Wibbs wrote:With the moving cargo, I'm really torn as to how much detail to go into. On the one hand I want to keep things moving, but equally I want to give a sense having to make hard decisions as to what to take with them and at least some sense of urgency.
Hmm. Well, you could write up a "crash-list" of various items you could imagine being part of the supplies -- some bulky, some not-so-bulky. Most of the details aren't likely to get used, but at least you have something to reference if a player comes and says, "Well, hey, what is in THAT backpack? If it's not all that important, he could drop that and help us carry this instead."
Random ideas for the sake of brainstorming:
* Duffel bag of paper products ... mostly toilet paper and paper towels. This is bulk, not so much weight, which some kid has taken the initiative to pack. Not "necessary" to survival, per se, but it can be appreciated.
Plus, could be a useful commodity for trading with other survivors for more essential supplies.
* Portable generator. Weighs a WHOLE LOT. Would take 4 people to carry at a decent pace. Probably a good contender for leaving behind and coming back for later.
* Cooler on wheels, packed with ice and recently-caught and butchered venison, with various bags and netting items strapped onto it and a modified long-handle, mostly carrying foodstuffs. Not the most practical food source if you can't start a fire, and it's not going to last terribly long. Could be sacrificed in an attempt to distract a few zombies (effectively taking them out of the action while the heroes flee for cover, if it works). (But would it work? It might not be "fresh" enough to interest them.)
* Large backpack with misc. bagged shelf-stable foods and "recycled" bottles filled with distilled water -- many repackaged in repurposed plasticware rather than leaving in heavy cans. Can opener included, for the few cans still in the stockpile. Still very heavy, slowing down someone who tries to carry it alone, but very valuable. (Maybe 200 lbs of goods, enough to provide 100 meals on "iron rations" or in other words a few days if the group is of any appreciable size.) If carried by an NPC, he's probably a "danger magnet" (most likely to get grabbed if zombies get in range) since the PCs being short on food seems to figure into their upcoming predicament.
* Several jugs of diesel for the generator. Heavy, and of questionable utility if the generator is left behind. If someone gets the "bright" idea to try to use this to make Molotov cocktails to deal with zombies, it's a waste of time. You have to heat diesel up first before you can get it to burn; contrary to the depiction given in an encounter in "Zombie Run," diesel is not roughly equivalent to nitroglycerin.
* Misc. medical supplies. Bandages, gauze, first aid kits, hygiene items, miscellaneous prescription medicines looted from abandoned medicine cabinets, sterile cutting implements, alcohol, dental tools, a few flashlights and spare batteries, some inhalers, etc., gathered together as part of the Hirschbeck Estates "community medicine cabinet." Heavy, of limited in-game use (it won't help if someone gets bitten by zombies), but practical for longer-term considerations, and for helping anyone making Healing checks.
* Battery stockpile. Heavy backpack loaded with all sorts of batteries, plus an assortment of small useful electrics and electronics (lightweight flashlights and small electric devices that could be used as improvised light sources, fuses, a random assortment of cables and extension cords), plus a few useful tools (e.g., wire cutters/strippers), electrical tape.
* Backpack Hoard of Duct Tape. Mostly matte grey or silver, but with a few oddball "designer" duct tape types (camouflage, neon pink, designer patterns from a craft store, etc.) thrown in, plus some rolls of other types of tape, assorted glue canisters, epoxies, sealant, etc. Also a few cans of spray paint in there, just because (neon orange, forest green, earth brown, grey primer, matte black, matte white), though unfortunately the ball mixers rattle when the carrier runs with it or is otherwise jostled, which might warrant stopping to dig them out at some point if anyone's too nervous about that.
* Ammunition backpack. Backpack full of a wide assortment of shells, some in boxes, some loose, along with empty shell casings, lead molds, spare primers, and assorted tools useful for packing and unpacking bullets. The NPC carrying this happens to be skilled in this sort of thing; if he's kept alive, and he gets a few hours to work with, he can provide 200 shots of whatever caliber of ammo the PCs might need, within reason, and has the skill to keep guns maintained. If he doesn't make it, but someone grabs the backpack, the PCs can scrounge 50 rounds of whatever types of ammunition are most convenient for them; the rest are in odd calibers they can't use, or are only in the form of jars of gunpowder, primers, spare lead and empty shell casings, in need of assembly.
* Bedrolls, spare clothes, winter coats, camp tents. Not absolutely essential, but if anyone's going sewer-camping, this aids in a more comfortable night's sleep (e.g., bonus to Survival rolls to get by, or perhaps Vigor rolls to avoid Fatigue the next day, a "well-rested" Benny, or however you want to reflect that).
* Camping stove and miscellaneous camping gear (including another tent, a butane lighter, some plastic wrap useful for collecting moisture or water-proofing the ground you set down on, insulating material, assorted tools, compass, local maps, small field guides). Basically useful tools for Survival checks, and a way to cook that venison in the unlikely event that it's still taken along.
* Assorted toys in what's SUPPOSED to be a bag full of food items. Some kid was entrusted with a backpack and told to pack food and other useful items, but he packed in some portable game devices, a couple of RC cars, some Airsoft pistols, spare batteries, etc., with only a few token food items (mostly candy and junk food) on top. This isn't likely to be discovered unless someone calls for an inspection. Inventive players could still make use of such items to create distractions for zombies, however. Either that, or it could be used in trade for more practical goods at a survivor settlement, as there's a chance of finding someone willing to exchange for the occasional "luxury item."
* Satchel with fishing gear, disassembled fishing rods, tackle box, "fish finder," more duct tape, a portable GPS, sun screen, a few assorted items of gold jewelry opportunistically swiped from abandoned houses, chewing tobacco, some warm beers, a first aid kit, hip-wader boots, a fishing hat, sunglasses.
* Rolling suitcase packed with clothes and mementos, most of which have absolutely no survival value. Some of the mementos (wedding rings, other jewelry) might have some trade value at a very poor exchange rate, but only if you can find someone well-situated enough in a survivor settlement to actually want such things (or be willing to take a chance that he can trade up with it). (E.g., "All right, I'll give you 12 MREs for that gold ring, and that's my final offer!")
* Tool cache in a rolling bin with an extended handle. Assorted handyman tools (thick gloves, tool belt, claw hammer, saw, rechargeable drill/driver, screwdrivers, Allen wrench set, socket wrench set, breakover handle, various types of pliers, level, crowbar, powder-actuated nailgun, etc.), supplies (WD-40, even more duct tape, sealant, axle grease, nails, assorted screws, nuts, and bolts, spare hoses, a few spare bulbs, etc.) useful for Repair checks when working on cars or basic carpentry, and a couple of items might work as makeshift weapons. For instance, the crowbar and hammer might be suitable as clubs if you wrap duct tape around the handle, or wear thick gloves. The nail gun would be a noisy, improvised weapon ... and I have stats for one around somewhere. (I reasoned that it would certainly have a penalty to hit as it's unwieldy, requires two hands to use, has laughable range, but if used in melee has a high AP rating. Oh yeah, and it sounds like a gun going off every time you use it. Not quite as cool as in the movies.)
Anyway, again, just for brainstorming purposes.