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Old 10-22-2017, 05:57 PM
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Default Children & Senior Citizens in T2K

Childhood, as we know it, is a relatively recent invention. For most of human history, childhood ended at puberty, with boys and girls joining the workforce (the family farm, cottage industry, or with the advent of industrialization, on the factory floor). I imagine that the Twilight War would set childhood back at least a couple of centuries. With survival being much more challenging, I don't imagine many children going to school in the T2KU. Instead, I reckon that most kids would be forced to work- mostly in agriculture or doing manual labor in exchange for necessities- in order to support their families and themselves.

Then there's the somewhat overused tropes in fiction- that of children as hostages, or victims needing rescuing.

Here are some less common contexts in which T2K kids might be encountered.

Unit Mascots

I've seen multiple mentions in histories of war of units "adopting" orphans on campaign. You can see it in fiction, as well: there's the kid in the movie, The Green Berets, for example. I haven't seen it in a T2K campaign yet, but I could definitely see a young tag-along.

Brass Monkeys

This thread is inspired by a brief scene in the most recent episode of PBS' Frontline- a kid who looked to be around 10 or 12 picking spent cartridge cases off the ground and collecting them in an ammo box. I assume he's going to earn something for this scrap. In the T2KU, with settlements like Krakow manufacturing small arms and mortar ammo, I can imagine a market for brass. I can see kids employed in scavenging battlefields, paid in food, clean water, shelter, etc.

I can also see kids employed in the reloading of spent brass. There's a scene in Schindler's List when one of the Nazis tries to take some children to the killing floor but Schindler (or his accountant, I can't recall) saves them by saying that their small hands are essential for polishing the inside of shell cases.

Spies

There's an episode in Cornelius Ryan's Bridge Too Far (and in the film version, two) where a Dutch teenager assists the resistance by riding his bicycle past German billets and reporting the unit markings he sees. It's very dangerous, but I can envision all sides using kids to gather intel.

Child Soldiers

By child soldiers, I don't mean young draftees- it would not be uncommon, in some places- like Poland, for example- to see kids as young as 14 or 15 in uniform. I'm referring to even younger kids forced to bear arms and fight. Sadly, this is not uncommon, especially in modern times. The civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone have featured pretty horrifying examples of children press-ganged to fight. Some of the worst atrocities in both of the afore-mentioned conflicts were carried out by and on children.

ISIL is well-known for employing children as suicide bombers. Thankfully, I don't reckon that this would be too common in most campaign settings.

In a Pirates of the Vistula PBP I ran, I wanted to give my players an unusual/moral challenge so I had them encounter a force of child soldiers. I thought that this might encourage the use of diplomacy and/or subterfuge instead of force, but the players opted to shoot it out and the result was a bloodbath, with the kids coming off much the worse.

How have/could children featured in your T2K?
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Last edited by Raellus; 10-22-2017 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:11 PM
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Powder Monkeys. The young boys employed on 18th and 19th century warships to bring up gunpowder from the magazines.

Drummer / Bugler.... These early signals may see a return with the loss of radio communications.

Horse / Bicycle messenger. Messages need to be taken when the distane becomes greater than a shout or a bugle could carry it.

Blood donor... voluntary or not.

Cook or Bakers helper. Units won't be getting MRE's or canned food from home and making do with local produce will have to do.

Washers and tailors...... following units around and doing the la

Prostitutes (either gender) throwing that out there since this IS post apocalypse fiction.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:51 PM
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Great way to find out if an area is mined or not... send in the kids...


Now turn it around... what to do with the old people. I live in a complex with a high senior population and if the shit hits the fan I know a majority would not make it. BUT I also know thire apartments are full of canned goods and medication that would help more able body people survive. LOL wait I think we had this discussion about this before.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:09 AM
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In Ruins of Warsaw I am sure there is a reference to children hunting vermin.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:34 AM
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I think you would also see children being employed in observations roles as well, (not spying per se, but definitely surveillance and not messengers as such but that's also part of it). Think of the kids sitting on the hill and watching troop movements in the movie Black Hawk Down. All you need them to do is watch an area and report anything suspicious or "interesting".
And not just as lookouts but also keeping an eye out for say, refugees, or merchants either to set them up for banditry or to encourage them to come to the camp (or to keep away).
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:11 PM
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The 1st Ed. Dark Conspiracy Referee's Screen had feral children as a career.
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:18 PM
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Default Examples of chilldren discussed in forum posts.

There have been several posts that include or are focused on children in T2K. Below are two that I've posted over the years.

Teenage Scout - And reluctant mother
Brandon Micks is a 14 year old boy dressed in mixed civilian cammo clothes and carrying a Ruger 10/22 semi auto .22 LR with a scope. When encountered he’ll have two squirrels in a day pack (he caught them on snares). He’s the man of the house now, since his father was killed by whatever “enemy” group is in the area. He’s very familiar with the local area, and will be a willing and effective guide. His family is living in a suburban house, both the yards have been turned into a garden, they have five chickens, and the pool is stocked with catfish. His mother is 38 and quite haggard looking and will be adamant against his being involved in anything, though he will sneak out. He’s got a 12 year old sister and they have adopted a 11 year old boy. Their father and a 7 year old brother are buried in backyard.

Digger Co (Engineers): The Co musters 37 effectives organized into a 4 man HQ, two Engr ‘Plts’ (1st Plt has 13, and 2d Plt has 11 men) and a 9 man equipment ‘Plt’ who operates heavy equipment, generators and water pumps and showers. Each of the squads has a couple of men who can work a dozer. The EOD SSgt has proven his worth at recovering explosives from dud ordnance and making improvised mines and explosives.
When encountered on the road, they will be lead by the M113, followed by HMMWV, M-88, dump truck towing machine shop trailer, the tractor trailer (carrying armored bulldozer). The trail vehicle will be 1st plt in the Dump Truck with mounted M60. All vehicles are heavily worn and loaded. Packs and dufflebags hang from the sides. The unit will appear on the ball with every weapon manned by alert gunners and watchful eyes all around.
2nd Plt (11 men) is mounted in a M113 with a Mk19 w gunshield, it is towing a line charge trailer with a line charge and rocket. A SSgt is the Plt Cmdr. He has vehicle crew (driver and gunner) and 2 4 man squads. In addition to small arms, they are equipped with a RPG-16 and 6 rockets, 4 men including a rocket man will normally be up and out the back hatches.
1st Plt (13 men) is mounted in a dump truck whose cab has been armored. The dump body provides decent protection for soldiers riding inside, a M-60 with gun shield is mounted behind the cab. It’s pulling a 1 ton trailer cargo trailer, overloaded with a wide range of engineer tools and limited class IV. A SSgt is the Plt Cmdr, he has 3 4 man squads. They have a RPG-16 w 7 rds.
The Co HQ drives in MRC 145 radio vehicle that has been ‘up-armored.’ They tow a ˝ ton trailer with EOD tools, a camp stove, water purifier, water pump and NBC decontamination senator (more often used to provide field showers). The HQ consists of the Commander (1stLt (a brilliant young Engineer Officer, who also happens to be a 24 year old cute/petite lady, M4/M9), the 1stSgt (wise and grizzled old SNCO, M14 & .45), an EOD SSgt (caustic sense of humor, annoying, but brave and effective tech, M4 & M9) and the Medic (SP4, Ak-74, 9mm, medic bag). They have one AT-4 rocket.
- The Equipment Plt has a 5 ton truck dump truck with improvised cab armor, which hauls a machine shop trailer with a 20 KW generator. It’s bed is crammed with spare parts, POLs, tools and materials. The Driver is an excellent mechanic (M-3 grease gun), his A-Driver is a MSgt Equipment Maintainance Chief who is responsible for fabricating many of the units best up-armored vehicles (including his favorite Godzilla) M203, .357 magnum revolver. The MSgt's "war wife" is a plain looking but friendly 31 yr old Polish woman, who rides in the vehicle and has a AKR SMG.
M-88 ARV w .50 MG (3 man crew). They are protecting/have 'adopted' a 7 year old refuge boy and his german shephard who rides with them in the cab.
A “tractor rough terrain articulated medium (TRAM)’ (a large rubber tired forklift capable of switching out the forks and replacing them with a ‘bulldozer and loader blade.”) with improvised armor which does double duty as both a fork lift and front end loader. The rubber tires have been filled with foam, two spare tires (also filled with foam are carried on roof). Operator armed with SMG version of the Ak-74).
Godzilla: A D-7 bulldozer that has been up-armored. It has armor plates and RPG cages around engine and driver compartment. The driver compartment has firing ports that allow the operator to employ his M3 SMG from inside. A flame-thrower has been added (50m range, 1d4+3 shots) mounted to engine cowling, the operator aims it by turning the vehicle. The back end has a ripper (which has proved very useful against fortifications). The blade has proven to be very effective ‘spaced armor’ and has taken 3 RPG hits creating only minor holes. They have a TTP of employing 55 gallon barrels full of improvised explosives which are fired by a 2 min time fuse after the vehicle places the charge.
A single tractor trailer, with improvised armor on cab and a M-60 on ring mount and low boy trailer, remains operational to transport the HE. It will either be used to carry Godzilla to an Assault Position, or one or two of the other pieces of kit to work sites (it can carry one Dozer and one backhoe at a time or both backhoes, but not both dozers). It’s also been used to carry supplies and lumber. It's normally carries three men (driver, gunner/VC, and Godzilla operator).
2 standard D-7s dozers (one is NATO three color camo, one Caterpillar yellow) and two civilian backhoes are also available.
They have 2 M19 non-metallic mines, 25 recovered Soviet TM-6 AT mines, 12 improvised claymores, a 40# shaped charge, 36 improvised ‘toe popper’ mines (built in tuna fish cans), duds 2x82mm, 1x122 mm, 1x155mm HE (for use as IED). 6 POMZ-2 (grenade on a stick) mines, 240# of military explosives, 120# of HME. Reasonable amount of blasting caps and time fuse, though they are short on det cord.
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:01 PM
Silent Hunter UK Silent Hunter UK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdnwolf View Post
Great way to find out if an area is mined or not... send in the kids...


Now turn it around... what to do with the old people. I live in a complex with a high senior population and if the shit hits the fan I know a majority would not make it. BUT I also know thire apartments are full of canned goods and medication that would help more able body people survive. LOL wait I think we had this discussion about this before.
If someone got dementia or Alzheimer's, I suspect they would be euthanised.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:12 PM
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If someone got dementia or Alzheimer's, I suspect they would be euthanised.
What about heart conditions and diabetes. Not openly a serious problem but if not constantly taken care of it would kill them. My thought was gather all the seniors left alive after a month into one place... give them a nice warm final meal... laced with something and gently help them on their way. Disposal of the corpses would pose a problem.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Cdnwolf View Post
What about heart conditions and diabetes. Not openly a serious problem but if not constantly taken care of it would kill them. My thought was gather all the seniors left alive after a month into one place... give them a nice warm final meal... laced with something and gently help them on their way. Disposal of the corpses would pose a problem.
I see two issues with this, first what is the cut off for some one to be "Senior" I remember at basic training calling the guy who was 29 grandpa as he was so old (to the rest of us at 18), and second you will be losing a ton of real world experience they may not be able to do it any more but can still talk you thorough the issues.
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:10 AM
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I think we're talking old enough for their free bus pass. You'd probably end up 'triaging' them a la Warday. If they've still got all their marbles and can move themselves without assistance, then they'd be useful for childcare, teaching etc. If they're doubly incontinent and can't remember what day it was...

As for corpse disposal, mass grave would be the easiest option if you can get a digger to work.
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Old 10-27-2017, 06:45 PM
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I think we're talking old enough for their free bus pass. You'd probably end up 'triaging' them a la Warday. If they've still got all their marbles and can move themselves without assistance, then they'd be useful for childcare, teaching etc. If they're doubly incontinent and can't remember what day it was...

As for corpse disposal, mass grave would be the easiest option if you can get a digger to work.
I think I kind of get the age you are talking about even though we do not have free bus pass based on age here. I also think that all their marbles is a good thing, but not sure about the mobility part. Up tell about a month before my father passed he had his marbles, but did not have his mobility. He did have tons of experience and could talk you through different things based on that experience and so would be very helpful if you can care for him. Now I also know people who are much younger but even though they have their mobility they do not have their marbles, I am not sure who would be a bigger help/drain on the community.
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Old 10-28-2017, 01:40 AM
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Oddly, I think the answer has changed in a generation, before the internet and extilligence (as coined by Pratchett, Cohen and Stuart in the Science of Discworld) then old people's knowledge is vital. IF you still have access to data then they are less important. Depends very much on your apocalypse type too...
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Old 10-29-2017, 09:19 PM
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I was thinking... does there knowledge outweigh the amount of resources that would be required to keep them around. Although the younger generation is incapable of processing with out an electronic device in their hand they could be retrained as in the Max Brooks book World War Z.

To be perfectly candid, our supply of talent was at a critical low. Ours was a postindustrial or service-based economy, so complex and highly specialized that each individual could only function within the confines of its narrow, compartmentalized structure. You should have seen some of the ‘careers’ listed on our first employment census; everyone was some version of an ‘executive,’ a ‘representative,’ an ‘analyst,’ or a ‘consultant,’ all perfectly suited to the prewar world, but all totally inadequate for the present crisis. We need carpenters, masons, machinists, gunsmiths…We needed to get a lot of white collars dirty.”

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/0...m-world-war-z/
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Old 10-31-2017, 12:48 PM
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You know, as far as the elderly, it depends on the person. If you get a feisty woman like my mother who has a lot of (albeit dated) combat experience, she could carry out patrols and missions as a normal team member.

Or Mike Marsh, my former neighbor, who has WWII experience in tanks as well as the ability to make just about anything, and has given be a lot of ideas for keeping up and increasing the value of my own home and helped me with some failures with electricity, plumbing, etc. (Unfortunately, he passed away in 2015 -- a huge loss to the world.) He would be useful as a general fix-it guy who also knows how to operate things like tractors and old armored vehicles and can shoot if necessary. He was in as good shape as I was when I left the Army. (His war stories were priceless, and he's one of two people who were vets who sat me down and talked to me about what I might be getting myself into when I joined ROTC.)
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
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You know, as far as the elderly, it depends on the person. If you get a feisty woman like my mother who has a lot of (albeit dated) combat experience, she could carry out patrols and missions as a normal team member.
This is true. My Mum was a racing car driver when I was young. She's still an expert driver. She's also a botanist and a born gardener. In a post-apocalyptic setting she'd be incredibly useful. She's pretty fit and she's mentally tough.
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