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Old 06-03-2010, 09:33 AM
Mahatatain Mahatatain is offline
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Default Random Minor Importance Equipment

Has anyone ever put together a list of equipment of minor importance that NPCs might be carrying? For example things like a forage cap, some snares, a plastic drinks bottle with screw top and a solar powered calculator.

I ask because I've tended to find that in T2k games that players often strip more than just weapons, ammo, electronics, food and armour off enemy casualties/prisoners and so I've had players asking for a lot of detail about what items they recover. While I can think of a whole range of vaguely useful items I wondered if anyone had put together a list to make it a little easier to answer these requests, either by selecting from the list or randomly rolling.

Has anyone put a list like this together?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:53 PM
HorseSoldier HorseSoldier is offline
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I don't have a list, but it would probably work pretty well to use the SAS (and everyone else) 1st Line/2nd Line/3rd Line gear division and then deciding what level of kit the bad guys in question are carrying. A patrol sent out from a larger body is going to have a lot less on them than a group of refugees or stragglers with everything they own slung over their back.

I'd guess most guys or groups would carry some of the following as personal effects:
  • Utility knife/pocket knife/multitool (could be junk or valuable)
  • Some means of fire starting
  • Wet weather gear (pretty universal)
  • Cold weather gear when appropriate/available
  • Figure some sort of hatchet or camp axe per every few guys. Machetes or saws in environments where those are useful at about the same rate.
  • Kit for fishing might be a common part of foraging equipment.
  • Boots are probably a valuable item circa 2000, depending on their quality and such.
  • I'd guess by 2000 sunglasses are a luxury good
  • First aid kit for minor trauma -- band aids, wound cleaning supplies, etc.
  • Booze

I'm pretty into the scavenger economy model in T2K, and think players should be rewarded for being thorough (when possible), but if players start stripping the dead down to their skivvies and taking absolutely everything as a matter of policy, I'd think you should allow them the joys of exposure to blood borne pathogens, lice and fleas and all the diseases they can be vectors for, etc. should be a potential issue.
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:26 PM
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If you have a US vehicle, you may still have what are called by US troops "pioneer tools" -- a shovel, an axe handle which you can put a pickaxe head or an chopping axe head on, and a sledge hammer. US vehicles, especially tracked vehicles, usually also carry two length or wire rope to use when towing another vehicle or getting a tow from another vehicle. Inside, they carry a small tool set appropriate for minor repairs and maintenance on the type of vehicle in question, and a small first aid kit which has several bandaids of various sizes, a couple of field dressings, a small package of supplies to treat blisters, a tube of antibiotic ointment, a tube of hydrocortisone, a cravat, a space blanket, cream and dressings to treat minor burns, and a few other things I can't remember offhand. The first aid kit is in a hard plastic box about 6x4x3 inches in size.
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:55 PM
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I put together just such a list during my train-up for Iraq. I carried a lot of crap with me at Fort Bliss that I didn't carry in Baghdad.

Come to think of it, I shed a lot of gear after a short time in-country. I locked up my electronics (except for night vision) and never looked at them again. I'd have ditched my M203 if I could have, given that we weren't supposed to use HEDP. Ammunition, water, first aid, my knife, my multi-purpose tool, and a notebook w/ pen were about the only things I carried with me. Of course, I had the luxury of keeping everything else in my assault pack in the truck when on missions or nearby when at the checkpoint. The night vision was never very far away.

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Old 06-03-2010, 05:28 PM
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There seems to be a lot of focus on the military side of things but I think you'd find the people who are trying to survive after the breakdown of life as they knew it would carry a lot of other little things.
It might help to look at some of the lists people make for AD&D, I mention that because I recall a friend having one such 'random items' list that included such things as -
a half eaten raw potato (that's still good for planting)
a cryptic note (that may or may not be useful, I think the one we got said "turn left at the first well, look for the oldest house")
a not so cryptic note (this one was a 'wanted to buy' note like "Wanted to buy, four horses, will pay top price, see NPC#4 at location X" kind of thing)
a diary page torn from a journal that mentioned the location of something unusual (this was a simple clue to a possible treasure site but in this instance you could have it as "shot down the helicopter that was chasing us, didn't get to loot it because local bandits arrived" - also gives some kind of location info)
a bag of hard candy that's still good for eating
a small handful of local coins

You could expand it to include things like
a handful of rounds of odd ammunition that's almost impossible to find but might sell for a good price to someone e.g. .30 Mauser
keys to an old safe, they have a tag that mentions the town (but the PCs would have to search the town to find the safe)
a spare sight for an RPG-7, useless without the weapon but maybe they find one later that's been damaged?
any random item from the medical equipment list in the main book
worn paperback novels, maybe in a language the PC doesn't yet read
the owner's original beret from when they completed commando training (or some other specialist military training), carefully wrapped in paper and stored in a plastic bag - it's their one memento from the 'good times' before the war
a street level map of some town but it's missing the sections detailing the name of the town, however there are some pen marks to indicate that perhaps there's something important in the town (it could be a cache, an enemy hideout, a slave camp or whatever makes for a good adventure)
the operator manual for a small diesel locomotive - didn't the PCs pass a narrow-gauge railway a few days back?
religious medallions - the PCs notice that a lot of the NPCs have been wearing these lately, maybe the medallions are slightly defaced and are worn by members of a radical offshoot religion or even a cult. Local civilians/militia might pay a bounty on medallions turned over to them as proof that the wearer is now dead.

As you can tell, I kind of like items that may provide a new adventure or might just turn out to be useless junk or worse, they could be red herrings.

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 06-03-2010 at 05:29 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:43 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
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- deck of playing cards*
- deck of pornographic playing cards
- someone mentioned survival manuals elsewhere, I think these would be gold
- maps! some of them might even be for around here. Some of them might be old, and looted from civilian stores.**
- dice (If the dead guys were NATO, they might even be 20-siders! Dead gamers: this fills me with sadness.) Character sheets-- how many guys might be playing an RPG during the long nights in the winter cantonments?
- Cooking gear (pots & pans, strainers, knives, ladles, you name it)
- spices *** including packets of fast-food ketchup or bottles of Tabasco
- vehicles might carry spare parts for vehicles other than themselves, especially tires and inner tubes.
- bicycles (see: inner tubes, spoke wrench, hand pump, chain links)
- cargo pocketful of small tools: adjustable wrench, Philips-head screwdriver, flat-head screwdriver, a clamp or two, all held together with twine/rubber band/plastic twistie/piece of wire.
- handcuffs & keys
- a can of WD-40
- tobacco pouch and a pipe, or rolling papers made from scraps of newspaper or magazines
- Bible (or other religious book)-- the ones with a bullet or shrapnel stuck in them make the best stories.
- cigarette case (metal) with someone's name engraved on it.
- booze flask, also engraved.
- wind-up wristwatch (or several, if the target is into looting)-- all those battery watches are pretty dead by 2000.

Some stories these bring to mind:
* Old Willie & Joe cartoon had one of them telling the other to save weight by throwing out the jokers. Of course, they are both humping the MG, tripod, belts, etc. at the time.
** Another WW2 story: After the Riviera invasion, a young US engineer officer was given the task of finding a way through the Alps from France to Italy. He went to the local library, and hit the jackpot: maps made by Napoleon's topographical engineer, a hometown boy.
*** I was told of a Confederate soldier who filled a knapsack full of mustard jars from a Union supply depot/train. He had trade bait for months, when his companions had the same old beans, bacon and hardtack they'd had yesterday, and the day before....
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:58 PM
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How's this
Attached Files
File Type: doc Personal Possessions.doc (37.5 KB, 135 views)
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:03 AM
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Best thing to do is to get a small spiral notepad (one that would fit in your pocket) and a pen or pencil and carry it with you wherever you go for a couple of weeks and just start writing things down. When you get enough items to satisfy yourself then transfer them to a spreadsheet or Word document, and number them in such a way so that you can roll dice to randomly determine items. And do not just write down useful stuff, write down stuff that just looks interesting (such as a wine cork or a couple of golf tees). Oh, be sure to write down your pad and paper and pen/pencil!

In fact, if people want to do this and then post their results here I can whip up a spreadsheet that will randomly generate a list of X number of items. And remember, the more items the more realistic your game!

Last edited by Mock26; 06-04-2010 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adm.Lee View Post
- spices ***
Spices will be worth a lot in the post-apocalypse. Salt would probably be worth its weight in gold.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mock26 View Post
Best thing to do is to get a small spiral notepad (one that would fit in your pocket) and a pen or pencil and carry it with you wherever you go for a couple of weeks and just start writing things down. When you get enough items to satisfy yourself then transfer them to a spreadsheet or Word document, and number them in such a way so that you can roll dice to randomly determine items. And do not just write down useful stuff, write down stuff that just looks interesting (such as a wine cork or a couple of golf tees). Oh, be sure to write down your pad and paper and pen/pencil!

In fact, if people want to do this and then post their results here I can whip up a spreadsheet that will randomly generate a list of X number of items. And remember, the more items the more realistic your game!
Hmmm well at work I usually carry the following

Army Notepad
Pen
Cell Phone
Wallet
Swiss Army Knife
Army Roll Call Book

My Wallet has

Pictures of the wife and kids
Pictures on Brothers kids
Credit Cards (Army Amex and my MC)
Bank Card
Blockbuster Membership Card
Army ID
Army Blue Cross Card
Scout Leader Coin
Who to call if trouble card
Phone Card
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:15 PM
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Items I have used:

Personal photos of the dead guys family to make the PCs think
Zippo Lighter with unit sheild with a engraving from his wife
Paperback book
Battered old crossword puzzle
lengths of 550 or paracord
legths of time fuse or det cord <used to denote a demo type>
Assorted rounds
tobacco
money
jewelry
plastic baggie w/ears or fingers
soft cover or boonie cover
crevate
gloves


As for T2K, I did incorporate that into a campaign once, the PCs happened upon a shack in the middle of a farm area, it was currently covered in snow and a blizzard was moving in. They found some books, magazines, cards and a couple moduels and dice in the bookshelf in the kitchen.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester View Post
Items I have used:
As for T2K, I did incorporate that into a campaign once, the PCs happened upon a shack in the middle of a farm area, it was currently covered in snow and a blizzard was moving in. They found some books, magazines, cards and a couple moduels and dice in the bookshelf in the kitchen.
That could be fun- "You find a hand drawn map in the pocket of the dead body. There are no notes or directions on it, except for a large green money sign near a castle."
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:11 PM
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And don't forget your Airborne coin or you'll be pushin'!
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:18 PM
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Another piece of kit I often include in some of my characters is a claymore clacker. It generates enough power to blow a charge.
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:51 AM
HorseSoldier HorseSoldier is offline
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in relation to the demo guys mentioned earlier, medical personnel would probably have EMT shears, hemostats, and IV tourniquets in their LBE/V/webbing, in addition to whatever they kept in their actual aid bags.

A guy who knows his way around a long gun might carry shooting sticks.
For pre war USAREUR troops, a Graf Jacket would becommon.
Pre War
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Old 06-05-2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
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Another piece of kit I often include in some of my characters is a claymore clacker. It generates enough power to blow a charge.
One debate we always had about the claymore clacker was whether it could be used as a torture device. We were always told never to try it out, and I unfortunately (or, I guess, fortunately) never found anyone who actually did try it to see whether it could generate enough of a charge to torture anyone.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmulcahy11b View Post
One debate we always had about the claymore clacker was whether it could be used as a torture device. We were always told never to try it out, and I unfortunately (or, I guess, fortunately) never found anyone who actually did try it to see whether it could generate enough of a charge to torture anyone.
Heheheheheeee

It does't hurt that bad. Usualy the vic,....er person would drop or throw the end of wire and jump a bit shouting but otherwise they were fine
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmulcahy11b View Post
One debate we always had about the claymore clacker was whether it could be used as a torture device. We were always told never to try it out, and I unfortunately (or, I guess, fortunately) never found anyone who actually did try it to see whether it could generate enough of a charge to torture anyone.
But you know that with the advent of the show Jackass that someone out there has tried it on themselves!
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
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But you know that with the advent of the show Jackass that someone out there has tried it on themselves!
That reminds me of a saying I heard once, "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
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That reminds me of a saying I heard once, "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
The way it was expressed to me was, "If you make something idiot-proof, God will make a better idiot."
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:02 PM
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As ever, ARRSE has some words to say on the subject of squaddy-proofing:
http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Squaddy_proof
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmulcahy11b View Post
That reminds me of a saying I heard once, "A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
A teacher I work with had soemthing like this on her wall:

"Never argue with an fool. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:06 AM
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Back in the day my grandfather had an entire drawer in the kitchen packed full of random crap. My grandmother griped about it sometimes, and my mother made fun of it, but whenever something broke Grandpap seemed to be able to find something he could use to rig a temporary fix in that "junk drawer." I think any character with a decent scrounge skill in T2K needs a portable junk drawer of some sort...
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:47 PM
Abbott Shaull Abbott Shaull is offline
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You know the Army has those junk drawers too, but they are usually guarded by a stingy 76 Yankee...
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