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"More Post Apocalyptic Loot" Topic

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2,047 hits since 25 Nov 2011
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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infojunky25 Nov 2011 3:20 p.m. PST

Well the Boy managed to wash and dry his "El Cheapo" brand Cell/smart phone, and it is Dead…. So we fished out his SIM card and bits and pieced from former household phones a serviceable if somewhat dated replacement. I was surprised how much functionality it still had with out any SIM card in when I was checking if the battery was still good.

Looking at my current phone, then comparing it to some of the computers I have used over the years, the phone is quite a favorable bit of hardware.

While EMP will kill a fair number of phones, consider the sheer numbers of them.

It seems to me a working "Smart"phone might be very useful, considering how they are transforming the 3rd world today. Especially in light of our discussion of PA professions in a previous thread.

So I give you new Loot Cards.


Solar charger

Spare battery

Data chips with specified data set

What am I missing?

CPT Jake Inactive Member25 Nov 2011 3:30 p.m. PST

The data center where the apps are hosted.

The cell network that allows everything to be used.

infojunky25 Nov 2011 3:48 p.m. PST

Jake the premise was based on the functionality of the raw phone sans network, in that what was available on the derelict phone we where testing as a replacement for the Boys current generation yet dead phone. In fact my current Android based phone works quite well as a computer when it is places where is gets no signal.

As per previous threads one of the postulates was a group who provides limited service across the wastes.

28mmMan Inactive Member25 Nov 2011 3:51 p.m. PST

Keep a bit of the mystery of how things work and those types of cards will do well.

Perhaps assign colors of compatibility with your cards; the colors allow cross functionality?

SmartPhone…red edged

Solar charger…red/yellow edged

Spare battery…blue/yellow edged

Data chip…red/blue edged

…so with these items you could have a working phone if the phone had a good battery.


The color marks would make things quite easy to figure out.

Pulse gun…requires 4 batteries, blue…so a handful of green batteries would not work, but someone with Jury-Rig or Make-it-Work skills could connect them for temporary use.

Just a thought.


As far as different tech, of use…

Environmental Tester (air quality, radiation, etc.)



Portable Water Purifier



Electronics Testing



Full Spectrum Optics



Portable Medical Diagnostic Computer


28mmMan Inactive Member25 Nov 2011 3:56 p.m. PST

Sorry I thought you were looking for general useful tech.

You were looking for communication related equipment for your Radio Pirates…

cel phone
charging unit
docking station

alignment equipment

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART25 Nov 2011 8:28 p.m. PST

The phone must have a workable tower to act as a telephone. Generators to run said tower need lots of fuel.
During the October snowstorm in Connecticut last October, all the cell phones failed because the towers were powerless. As to other functions, why not? Sad to say most phone apps need a civilization that pre apocalyptic to be useful.
Batteries have a limited shelf life. Most would be inert after less than a decade. This would relegate a lot of the gizmos to inert status very quickly. A shovel is forever.
So is a cooking pot or frying pan. ….think small

infojunky25 Nov 2011 9:55 p.m. PST

28, the pictures help a lot and your suggestion is great.

One of the general ideas behind the Loot Cards is that they need to be smallish, man-portable in pockets or small backpack. Rifles are the top end of the scale.

The compatibility idea gives me ideas for building bigger things that assembled out of Loot.

One of the test drawing i am working one for the "recycled" cell phone look like the 2nd generation Cell phones like the orginal Motorola Flip Phone



CPT Jake Inactive Member26 Nov 2011 5:25 a.m. PST

Even smart phones that actually have apps stored on the device often require access to the network for those apps to get the data they need to function.

For example, my wife has an Iphone thing with GPS functionality. Unfortunately, it relies on google maps or something to display the road network you are driving on. If you loses data conenctivity you get an icon showing your position on a grey screen…

Having said that there are some apps that do not rely on outside data/network access for most functionality. Some of them may act buggy without network access though as they automatically seek to either forward data to a data center or search for updates on a nonexistant network.

28mmMan Inactive Member26 Nov 2011 9:45 a.m. PST

Yep…for game functions the color system works very well.

Everyone knows their basic color wheel, primary and secondary colors and how they interact.

purple code will work for red and blue

green code will work for yellow and green

orange code will work for yellow and red


A character with the appropriate skill set could make various types of equipment and even combine function.

red : back pack generator


red-yellow (orange) : cel phone

blue-red (purple) : handheld directional sat dish


With proper alignments this setup could be used to disable communications within the range/cone, could be used to remotely power equipment at range, or it could be used for destructive measures such as a radiowave gun, a directional EMP, an on/off switch for electronics within the range/cone, etc.

The players could get creative without any knowledge of technology beyond colors and imagination.

Each step away from the color compatibility would increase the difficulty.

Red + Red + Red = no +/-, straight skill…an unskilled person may have a 30% (10/10/10) + any related skill or baseline abilities…a Jack of all Trades or other type would start with a skill rating (ex. 30-70%) + the 30%

Red + Red + Blue = -30% for the two steps (purple then blue)…unskilled -10% (10/10/-10) so without a related skill there is no chance…JoaT (ex. 50%) 50 10% = 40%


28mmMan Inactive Member26 Nov 2011 9:56 a.m. PST

The numbers suggested are just for example…it looks like the more steps you add the better the odds…there should be a baseline that is altered by each item and skills.

Baseline number…modify equipment…25% or less

red + red + red = 10 + 10 + 10 = 30% of difficulty…25% 30% = 05%

So the three step modify roll is at 05%

unskilled guy…- 05% no chance of success

related skill (mechanical, electronics, etc.) 30% 05% = 25% of success

modify skill (Jack of all Trades, Jury Rig, etc.) 50% 05% = 45% of success


Failure results in damage and more difficulty.

28mmMan Inactive Member26 Nov 2011 10:07 a.m. PST

Another example…

red code cel phone

red code battery pack

red code solar charger

red code antenna booster

Anyone could hook these up, A into A, B into B, etc.

Character with Bad Luck or Unlucky may mistake a color code if there are options or plug it in wrong, causing damage and future difficulties.

infojunky27 Nov 2011 12:54 a.m. PST

Considering different shapes for the batteries.

It is such a great idea. Thanks.

infojunky27 Nov 2011 4:02 p.m. PST

Re-reading this thread perhaps I was a little too specific in my initial response to Jake, and maybe a little curt, if I was I apologize.

Small useful tech that can be powered by smallish rechargeable batteries really is what was in my head, just the days tasks of giving basic phone service back to the Boy colored my response.

As for small Laptops (or really I should say palmtops or sub-notebook) they actually fit quite well into this category. With proliferation of "netbooks" they should be included.



If you get my drift with these pictures. I have a PictureBook that I bought as soon as the english version came out in 2000 that still runs like a champ today (ok the battery is dead, but that is relatively minor issue) Oh and it is probably the oldest Factory install on WinME in the world.


Another related item is Digital Information, in Fallout it is on "HoloDisks"

Which are great in that 1950s/1960sPunk sorta fashion, but sometimes I like mu SF to be a little less clunky, maybe something like Sony's Memory sticks
or Your average USB Memory stick?

I lean toward the USB Memory stick over Sony's, But the Sony ones are so SF in their own dying standard sorta way, or thinking that maybe on of those multi format readers should be a item as well…

infojunky02 Dec 2011 4:54 a.m. PST

Here is an intresting blog on Loot.


Fuel precursor cards, fuel for a Genset or vehicle requires two or three color coded parts…..

28mmMan Inactive Member02 Dec 2011 8:54 a.m. PST

Yep using straight playing cards is a fun way to layer complexity.

A classic touch from Deadlands, a moment of genius IMO, is the tiered system of suits and card value equaling dice.

You could apply the same to a loot search or followup



or some other value such as the blog poster used.

Cards can be fun.

infojunky02 Dec 2011 10:50 a.m. PST

I started out with playing cards… Then I found that Strathmore makes Artist Trading Cards on a varity of papers and finishes including bristol for like $2.00 for 20, so I started drawing my own and ditch the chart….

28mmMan Inactive Member02 Dec 2011 2:23 p.m. PST

Very cool


infojunky02 Dec 2011 11:37 p.m. PST

And I forgot the last bit for making my own decks, the corner punch that rounds the corners….

I considered laminating them but the cost od pouches is a little too high for any amount….

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