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Scavenge - hunter gathering in the modern era
The apocalypse happened some time ago - no-one is really sure how long now, but it's been at least a year and probably more. Those who survive must find the food and equipment they need to do so, and as such scavenge has become an important job in the new world order. You will have to do this to survive, certainly in the early days.
Most houses and shops in Epitaph, at least those that are not under direct faction control, have been set up for scavenging. To scavenge, you simply 'search' in a room - if there's anything there, you'll be told where you can get it. Each room has a particular 'scavenge profile' that determines how much will be found there, and what kind of items you'll find. You'll find food in supermarkets, books in libraries, tools in DIY shops and so forth. These items will be reset on a regular basis, so just because you have looted a particular location it doesn't mean you won't find more later on.
Why is stuff in such weird places?
It's been quite some time since the infection hit, and if you think you're the first scavenger to hunt down supplies you are sorely mistaken. The city, as heaving with scavengables as it was, is running out. Before, people could be both scavengers and choosers - upon finding a nice bottle of whisky, you'd make room for it by dumping that bottle of water in the first place that was convenient. Things are out of their normal locations because, quite simply, people stopped caring about putting them there.