View Full Version : Player Help Essential items for a game with a futuristic setting.

2015-09-28, 08:03 PM
So! Topic title says it well, doesn't it?

I've done the fantasy/medieval setting enough times to know to bring plenty of rope everywhere I go, among other things. Now, I'm doing two games with settings vaguely defined as 'the future.' Both are home brew settings, with one game having a 'shadowrun' feel (but without magic/fantasy races), and the other being closer to 'fallout' on drugs.

That said, I find myself trying to put together my utility belt of must have items. And odd as it is to say, I don't know much of modern/future tech, and what might be reasonable to have on hand. I could just re-hash some of the same stuff (rope, canteen, marbles, etc) but I'm trying to think of new ideas to try out, and learn some tricks to deal with modern problems like security cameras, forensics, and hackers (a serious problem since I have cybernetic upgrades in one game).

It's still early days, but I'd appreciate any advice/tricks/tactics for this brand new world! Thanks for your time.

Broken Crown
2015-09-28, 09:09 PM
A towel. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy)
And some extra characters.

2015-09-28, 11:13 PM
A phone, maybe? Like real life?

2015-09-29, 03:23 AM
Fake IDs of varying qualities- some cheap crappy ones as 'burnable' IDs, a couple of the best you can afford- one as an every-day use one for when you want to go about daily life in your 'secret identity', and one as part of your bugout bag.

... speaking of which, a bugout bag. A duffle of middling size, with a couple of changes of clothes that add up to a noticeably different look to your 'usual', enough cash to get by for a week or two, the aforementioned spare fake ID, a backup weapon, and whatever other things you think you might need if you get burned and have to make a run for it.

If you're worried about hackers, a signal jammer would probably be useful. If they can't get a connection to your cyberware, they can't hack it. Although if your chrome doesn't have a hardwired switch to disable wireless capabilities, I have to question whose side your cyberdoc is on >.> Also, standard security programs like a firewall, antivirus, spyware remover, etc. would be must-haves, and ones that oddly few characters with computers built into their bodies seem to think of :smalltongue:

Other essential items... spare batteries of whatever kinds your equipment and your teammates' use. Mirrors for spoofing laser traps, smoke grenades/pellets, some kind of reliable nightvision, a few vials of random blood samples stolen from either a bloodbank or an NPC your character doesn't like to spoof forensics, false fingerprint gloves if you can get them, maybe a hair or two- again, stolen from a barber shop or some NPC's hairbrush, holo-lenses (basically, fit over the lens of a security camera and display an image of whatever it is that the camera normally points at, except without you and your team in said image), zip ties (makeshift handcuffs) and, of course, the holy grail of modern-ish utility belts, duct tape. At least three rolls of whatever the toughest variety is that you can get your characters' grubby little hands on.

2015-09-29, 06:50 AM
I'll second many of the things already suggested for Shadowrun. Especially the fake IDs. Here's some more things:

- Pistol. Sure, the assault rifles and grenade launchers go up to the 11 but 7 or 8 is usually enough. And the main reason is that you can conceal one under your clothes easily.
- Silencer/suppressor for all the suitable weapons that you plan to use in a populated area.
- Non-lethal ammunation. Find out if there are any. Stick-n-shock, tranquilizer darts, whatever does the job without killing them. It's less messy, makes capture missions easier, it's not murder and if you change your mind about killing them? Well, they are unconscious...
- Fake permit for concealed carry. Might be handy. There are fake permits for all kinds of things. You can convince everyone that: "Yes, I am press. Yes, I can fish here. Yes, with this gun."
- Night/ultra vision+other sense enhancers. You don't need to be a cyborg. It's good if you can get them in contact lenses. Buy glasses as well. And goggles if you are one of those military types.
- Armor that doesn't look like armor. You never know and neither will they.
- Lockpicks or even better: an autopicker, that wonderful device that does that almost automatically. But don't forget that mechanical locks are not the only option. Many places don't even have them so get the thingamajobber that helps... picking them. Wow. Professional.
- A suitable vehicle. You all need to move around, right?
- Communication device(s). Phones, commlinks or whatever they have.
- A place to call home. Perhaps even two. Alarmingly many cyberpunkers forgot this in the year 2020.
- Related to above, life style costs paid for couple or several months ahead. (assuming Shadowrun rules)
- Basically anything that helps you... How Not To Be Seen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zekiZYSVdeQ).

- A vehicle. But don't buy one. Steal one when the game is under way. And as many times as possible. It's good for driving, yeah but the spare ones can be bartered for some serious profit if they still function.
- It's good to be an expert in melee weapons. They save bullets.
- But you'd better be armored if you try that. Or even if you don't.
- Bullets.
- Guns for the bullets. You can usually forget the subtlety and just get the deadliest ones but I'd still buy a silencer for a pistol just in case.
- Fuel.
- Food.
- Binoculars.
- Uh... medical supplies?
- Some ragged memento reminding you of a beloved world that was nuked away and won't come back, no matter how much you wish it would? Pass...

2015-09-29, 09:42 AM
The above lists are good, but for shadowrun, don't forget a good, solid knife. You want one that's combat-capable, and to be useful in a variety of utility situations.

A good multitool (the grown-up swiss army knife style things, like Leatherman tools) is also good: useful in a number of utility situations that a plain knife isn't, and its knife can make a makeshift weapon if you lose your big one. Neither of these are for primary combat purposes, but it's always nice to have something of a fallback melee weapon and tool.

Also, your instinct about rope is good in both Shadowrun and Fallout, still. Chain may be even better, especially in Fallout.

For Fallout, the other basic survival gear you're used to - canteens, etc. - is also good.

2015-09-29, 11:17 AM
For that matter, a good solid knife in Fallout is also good. Honestly any setting could use a knife. I'd also want a good set of automotive tools, probably for either genre, though that might be getting into gear that the mechanic might carry herself rather than something everyone would.

2015-09-29, 11:23 AM
A phone, maybe? Like real life?

Yeah, in a Shadowrun setting you really can't do without a good smartphone/comlink. Get several in fact! That way if your phone is compromised you can brick it and grab another quickly.

A good solid Maglite flashlight works. Get a metal one, those are solid enough to double as an improvised club.

2015-09-29, 11:24 AM
Since firearms and knives have already been mentioned, a Zippo. Or a magnesium firestarter, but those are trickier to work and less handy.

Fire is useful.

EDIT: Light cigarettes, light fuses, light molotovs, sterilize the knife, keep rope-ends from fraying, commit arson, create distractions, help with some elements of electronics repair, fry electronics, bend metal, bend plastic, create homemade flamethrowers, refine certain chemicals, keep warm in cold weather, make smores in warm weather, cook things, signal someone, express approval of a performance, set off sprinkler systems and alarms, etc., etc.

"If all else fails use fire."--Anonymous, Rauru Town

2015-09-29, 07:25 PM
That way if your phone is compromised you can brick it and grab another quickly.

For some reason, I imagine someone who tried to use your phone when it got bricked, causing him to throw (http://celebrity-lists.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/brad-pitt.jpg) the phone at you (http://www.deathvalleymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/throw-a-brick11.jpg).

I'm a silly person.

2015-09-30, 01:07 AM
Beat-up car with ramming plates
Improvised axe
Leather clothes


Space helmet.
Rocket pack.

There's more than one kind of futuristic setting.... :smallbiggrin:

Semi-seriously, maybe a search for "everyday carry" would help - that's a term for the people who routinely carry half a hardware store with them "just in case". Bound to be some useful stuff there....

2015-09-30, 08:17 AM
For some reason, I imagine someone who tried to use your phone when it got bricked, causing him to throw (http://celebrity-lists.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/brad-pitt.jpg) the phone at you (http://www.deathvalleymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/throw-a-brick11.jpg).

LOL, hey anything can make a good improvised weapon if you throw it hard enough. :smallbiggrin:

2015-09-30, 08:28 AM
Lots of duct tape.

2015-09-30, 05:53 PM
a small spool of razor wire

2015-09-30, 06:24 PM
It's surprising how useful a jack, tire iron, crowbar, and a portable battery jumper can be.

2015-10-05, 02:20 AM
Well, for fallout? Probably a Geiger counter. Gas Masks are pretty good ideas too. Kerchiefs and hats if you're going western, because windstorms and heat stroke are pretty bad ways for your hero to go out.

Other ideas:
A watch: precise calculations or just telling the time, a wind up watch will always help. Even better if it doubles as a...

Compass (and Map!)- So you have any idea where you are, at all.

Holsters, and slings. Even better if your slings run through or clip to your armor. NO dropping your disarmed weapons!

Good Boots. Cause.

Chalk, Pen, something to draw and write on.

Weights sown into the bottom of a coat(or cloak, for class) makes for faster draw and a surprising weapon.

Fishhooks set into your pockets, making pickpockets destroy their hands.

UPS uniforms, janitor clothes, etc will get you in better than most ID cards

Gloves, for poking, prodding, and not leaving fingerprints.

Crowbar, and a power drill (if you've got the space!)

If you've got UV or IR goggles, make sure you get a flashlight in the same spectrum. Then, you can see what they cant.

Handcuffs, or failing that, zip ties.

A small mirror, or a little camera.

Piano wire, for trip wires and garrotes.

Wedges. 2 wedges in a door will stop someone cold.

A badly faded ID thats impossible to read properly.

Fake plates for your ride.

Smoke grenades.

Somebody said duct tape, but what about super glue?

Fishing hooks (again, I like fishing ok?), fishing wire, and a whistle. The first are just useful, the later is gonna be great at making an ally or enemy look at you.

A basic tool kit, with things like bolt cutters, eyedropper, hacksaw, magnet, padlock, pliers, scissors, screwdriver, Swiss Army Knife, tweezers, wire cutters, wrench.

A flask. It gets lonely, and wounds get infected (and hurt more than emotionally)

Tape recorder, and binoculars.

Whatever that one drug you can blow in peoples faces that make them forget everything.

Waterproof case (for papers or computers) and waterproof clothes.

WD40, bondo, baling wire. Cause rednecks everywhere cants all be wrong.

And after all this junk: If you haven't used it in the last 3 missions, chuck it. Its probably just dead weight.

Credit to a lot of this goes to a thread on the dumpshock forums I posted years ago.

2015-10-05, 06:25 AM
Jetpacks. The future always has jetpacks.

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-10-05, 10:38 AM
Never mind what items you need, what functions and apps should you have on your future phone? Navigation is always good, some heavy encryption software that means others can't listen in on your calls or see your location, a camera is nice, some hardcore porn app in case someone catches you taking pictures of them and wants to see what you were doing with that phone (never mind, carry on), some tricorder style sensor stuff (infrared, geiger counter, X-ray), maybe some sort of tactical overview calculator, giving you numbers on how many guys are chasing you and how many bullets each of your allies still have...

2015-10-05, 05:03 PM
A good lawyer