Let's Sperg Let's Play Cataclysm ; Dark Days Ahead

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H

HG 400

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The smoker runs me down as I get to the house, and a bloater catches me at the same time. Between the both of them I'm suffering some major poisoning and smoke inhalation, and won't be able to fight, and might not be able to run. I decide to get in through the window and dash through the house, using closed doors to block them if I can. At this point I'm regretting my overconfident journey and have given up on finding fire. Now I just want to get back to homebase and drink toilet water in relative safety.

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I manage to get into the house and through to a bathroom, which I slam behind me. I grab some vitamins that were sitting there, and think about my next move.

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As you can see, I have moderate injuries all over and my stats are gimped to helplessness from the pain, smoke and toxic gas.

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I go out the bathroom window but there's a bloater to the north and a good-sized pack of regulars closing in to the south. I'm torn between trying to climb that chain-link fence or going back into the house through that drawn-curtain window. In the basketball court there's a couple of child zombies which I might be able to kill, but that won't buy me much time before the zoms tear down the chainlink. I decide on the house.

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I go in and find it still choking thick with smoke. I try to run past the smoke and out the eastern picture-windows.

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A zombie brute is running me down even as I climb past the window. Further to the north I see a boatload of zeds. I get my shotgun ready and head for a SUV parked not far to the northeast.

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But a skeletal dog and second brute coming from the north convinces me to turn and run south instead. Skeletal dogs are faster and weaker than regular skellies, and keep the same resistance to ranged weapons. I doubt I'll be able to shotgun it, or outrun it, or defeat it in melee.

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I fire my shotgun point-blank into the brute's face, doing an obscene amount of damage and killing it instantly. Now I just have to deal with this skeletal dog and I'll have a little space to breathe. With no confidence in my ability to outrun it, I swap to my nailbat and hope I can prevail.

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It's not going so well. I've got it down to 'heavily injured' but zombies are closing in on all directions. I decide to run to the south before it's too late.

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The dog is getting all kinds of free hits against me as I run, but thankfully my armour is pretty decent. There are far too many zoms shambling along behind me. I simply can't stop to fight the dog.

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I do manage to get it between a vehicle and myself. Zombie pathfinding would rather tear their way through obstacles than go around, so this will slow a lot of them down for a while. If only I had a lighter, I could set the interior of the car on fire and thin them out quite a bit. But then, if I had a lighter I wouldn't be here in the first place. I'd love to check those front seats for the items that are there, as cigarette lighters are often found in cars, but I simply can't spare the time. I head for the garage to the southwest, which I spotted as I first entered the town.

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I get inside with the door closed behind me. Unfortunately the only vehicle is a half-stripped chassis. I don't have long before the zombies batter the door down, but I decide to make a quick look around for useful tools before I keep running. Almost everything is too heavy or too advanced to be of use to me, but I spot a hacksaw, a pair of welding goggles and an oxy-torch. I run over and get them.

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I smash out an eastern window and circle around the building, with that goddamn skeletal dog still in pursuit. I stop by a car that might be in working order or might not, but either way I think it's a good idea to climb in and slam the door behind me, putting an obstacle between me and the dog.

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Unfortunately, skeallington-dog is up in there with me before I can close the door behind me. I try to scramble out the other side, knowing I'll take a bunch of hits. The item in the backseat is a telescoping umbrella, by the way. Not the most useful of finds.

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I can't outrun it and this might be the best chance I'll ever get to defeat it in melee, now that I'm on solid ground and it's slowed-down by sitting on carseats. I turn to fight it.

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A few missed swings and a few more dog-bites and I finally put it down. I'm almost dead now, only needing a couple more hits to the torso to kill me. I really hope this car was abandoned with keys in it. Also, with all the items I'm carrying ADF is struggling, although I like to think that message is referring to the weight of his fat ugly body.

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Hallelujah. Abandoning my quest for fire, my only thought is to get the fuck home. I wind my way around the zombies and head back out of town the way I came.

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My next problem. It's 7:30 by my car's dashboard clock, and the sun is going down and my car's short on battery charge and has a dicky alternator. If I use the headlights all night I might not be able to get her started again. Not like I have a choice, though.

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I cut cross-country and get myself as far past those milspec/antimat turrets as I can before turning on the headlights. The last thing I want is to be hit by a .50cal bullet that comes from a mile of darkness away. One I make it past the first little town I park and abandon my car. Headlights and flashlights at night will draw hordes, and I don't want to lead them right to my homebase. I continue the journey home on foot in the pitch blackness.

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And make it back to my shelter in one piece. Almost dead, in great pain, hungry, dehydrated, still without a firestarter, but alive. I use up my entire bottle of disinfectant cleaning my multitude of cuts and scrapes, drink a full bottle of unclean water, eat the banana I found in the gas station and crash into a well-deserved slumber. So ends day 5.
 
H

HG 400

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Day 6 is another 3-post day. Plenty happened

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Ahuyvia has a rough and vomitous night from the unclean water, and wakes up still very hungry and dehydrated. To make up for missing a few meals yesterday, breakfast is canned chicken, pickled herring, the last of his opened chicken & dumplings, and the last of his bacon. I wash it all down with a vitamin pill and my rainwater cachement. I'm 'full' but still 'very thirsty', and that'll only hold if I can manage to keep breakfast down.

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Despite still being somewhat injured, I decide to set out again in my quest for fire. This time I'll follow the northwest road and find out where it leads. I walk back towards town to fetch my car. Thankfully, no stomach cramps and vomit follow my breakfast.

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Only to discover how wise I was to have abandoned it back there. My night drive drew hordes, who wandered all the way to the last place they saw headlights. Unwilling to fight my way to it, I turn and leave, resigned to exploring the northwest road on foot. I just now realise I left my oxy-acetylene torch in the front seat, a costly and stupid blunder.

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I find an abandoned vehicle not far from my shelter. It has all four wheels torn off, and in the front passenger seat is a pack of cigarettes, but no light. While I'm examining it, an asshole bull-moose comes up from behind and attacks me.

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With wandering hordes so close, I don't want to risk using my shotgun, and beat it to death with my nail-bat without taking too much damage. ADF is becoming a badass.

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I come across a group of dead soldiers. Due to how clusters of corpses are spawned, the visible tile is their underpants, not their dead body, which is a little weird. I pick through the corpses for anything useful.

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Only to be interrupted by what killed them. That's a kreck and a mi-go, monsters from the netherworld, the Russian-style Roadside-Picnic-homage alternate-dimension apocalypse. I'm not so shy about using my shotgun when it comes to anything this dangerous.

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Even a 12-gauge 00 to the face isn't enough to put down a mi-go, but hopefully it'll be injured enough to flee. I get ready to defend myself with the buttstock of the empty shotgun.

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It runs off, heavily wounded, and even the kreck has decided to keep its distance from me. I casually reload my boomstick and blast it to pieces.

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Wolves really aren't shy about what they attack, so long as it's crippled. I reload, ready to blast whoever wins this fight, but the mi-go takes off into the woods with the wolf chasing after it. I finish scavenging and don't find much worth taking. I score a tactical dump-pouch, which I want to refit and repair before wearing, an EMP-grenade and 10 rounds of 7.62x51mm incendiary. There's plenty of kevlar items I could scavenge later on, so I mark the corpses on my map and move on.

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Another batch of corpses with a confused bull moose wandering around nearby, and the first thing I find is a bottle of water purification tablets. It's not fire, but at least I'll be in clean water for a while. I move on to ransack the rest of the corpses.

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These corpses appear to be scientists, and I find a couple of very intriguing pieces of tech. The first is the C4-hack, a fist-sized suicidebomber robot. I've never seen one of these before and I'm a little apprehensive about using it.

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The second is an optical cloak, capable of turning me predator-style almost invisible. Unfortunately I don't have a UPS, which is required to power it, but there's no way I'm going to pass by such a valuable piece of tech without grabbing it. I continue onwards.

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I discover what's at the end of two roads, science labs. I don't want to tangle with anything inside those yet, so I cut across country, heading for the road that goes due north. Before I leave, I fire my shotgun into the air one last time, reasoning that I'd rather have wandering hordes milling around here than at the last place I fired my shotgun, which was significantly closer to homebase.

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I'm attacked by a giant wasp as I cut through the forest towards the northern road. I don't mind giving it a taste of 12g. Drawing the hordes northwards means I might have to make a detour to get back home but at least they'll be drawn further and further away from homebase.

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I've made my way through the forests and onto the northern road. Time to see what's at the end of it.

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I come up on a small roadside motel, with a small pack of zombies wandering around in it, including a spitter and a smoker. Following my reasoning that it's better to draw the hordes as far north as possible, I have no qualms about using my shotgun here.

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Alternating between point-blank headshots and jogging away to reload, I make my way through the zombies easily. I find a functional car, unfortunately abandoned without keys. It has a flashlight in it, which I take the batteries from. I do manage to snag a few goodies off the dead zombies as well, a pair of roller-blades and a belt sheath.

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Clearing out the motel courtyard gives me a few more goodies. A bag of potato chips off one zombie, and a screwdriver off another. I'll finally be able to attempt hotwiring cars.

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And my quest for fire is (sort of) complete. I find a discarded lighter, with only enough gas for a few fires. While it's better than nothing, it's not really enough. I continue to search the motel.
 
H

HG 400

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I find a roadmap in the motel office, which fills in roads and buildings of interest to my overmap. By studying it, I now know where the nearby towns, banks, police stations, schools and hospitals are.

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These vending machines are stocked with drinks and snacks, it's time to put my looted cash-cards to use. I stock up on bottled water, mineral water and sports drinks, and also grab a couple cans of V8.

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I'm out of carrying capacity so I leave. I check an abandoned car just to the northeast to find the solution to all my prayers. A motherfucking half-full disposable bic.

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The horde has caught up to me. It's time to leave. I head for the car I saw earlier and attempt to hotwire it with my new screwdriver.

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With no electronics skill, I fail, and give the horde enough time to surround and start tearing through the car. Time to flee.

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I get out of the car okay, running north to the car I found the cigarette lighter in. I close all the doors and make a second attempt at hotwiring under-stress. There's way too many zombies for a saucy translatinx minx to handle.

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I fail on the first attempt, but the car's still intact. I try again and get it started, the second time, triggering the alarm system. Oh well. My plan to drive through the hordes is no good, since they'll just follow the car alarm back home. I decide to head further north.

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The road ahead. A couple more labs just off the main road, and to the northeast I can hear gunfire, which intrigues me. I continue on to investigate...

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... only to find the road blocked by a plane wreckage, and the forest around it too dense to drive around. If I leave my vehicle here and continue on foot I'm certain the hordes will be surrounding it when I get back, so I reverse up and continue along the northern road.

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Along the other road I find a megastore, certain to be packed full of goodies and way more zombies than I can handle. To the north my roadmap has revealed a mid-sized town. I also spotted a river, from the placement of the bridges in town I down it's accessable or avoidable by off-roading. After quite a lot of thought, I decide to turn around. I'll try and make it past the hordes in my car, then abandon as quickly as possible and make it back to homebase.

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I reach the hordes, increase speed and aim for the least populated stretch of road, hoping to punch my way through.

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I make it through, only hitting two zombies. I slow down as I reach the motel to take a screenshot of the first car I tried to hotwire. Holy shit, look what the zombies have done to it.

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I'm past the hordes and my car's alarm has finally stopped beeping, meaning I could try to drive this all the way home. Since I won't be able to go cross-country, this would take me through that tiny town and past my other abandoned car, where there's probably a lot of zombies still milling around. Ultimately, I decide to pull off onto the western road, abandon my car as close as I can get to homebase and continue home through the forest.

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I find an abandoned police cruiser where I planned to dump my car, and check it out. Inside is a .40cal Glock with 50 rounds of ammo. Ahuyvia just got even more dangerous.

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I make it through the forest and back home without any problems.

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It's only early afternoon, so I busy myself with a few chores. I repair and reinforce my hoodie, which took a little damage in my last foray, and refit and reinforce the sheath I snagged from the motel. Unfortunately my rollerblades and tactical dump pouch are mostly plastic, and need a soldering iron to work with, so I leave them with my spare clothing. I also stitch a brass catcher for my glock. Cataclysm allows for a huge variety of firearm modification, but a brass catcher is the only thing I have the skills to make from scratch right now. Since my shotgun operates via break action, I can't attach a catcher to it, I just have to be diligent about picking up the shells whenever I reload.

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I hear something fossicking about to the south so I take my glock and nailbat to go check it out. It's a few zombies milling around. I don't want to use firearms in my homebase and draw hordes to me, so I'll handle them with my bat.

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I step outside and 'a few' turns out to be 'quite a few'. I step back into the shelter to chokepoint them in the doorway.

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I take out a regular zombie and two dogs before recieving a deep wound on my hand. Deep wounds are signified by the blue bodypart, and might become infected unless cleaned. Unfortunately, I used up all my disinfectant cleaning my little cuts and scrapes from yesterday.

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I finish off the rest that rush the doorway, although some still mill about at the edge of my vision. Then I clear the doorway of corpses and close it. I didn't think cleaning a wound Rambo-style would be the first thing I used my cigarette lighter for, but hey, it's a good thing I'm a fucking masochist... this is gonna hurt.
 
H

HG 400

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I manage to clean the wound out on the first try, which is unusual. Often it takes multiple tries, and sometimes you pass out from the pain and wake up with a burned and infected wound. Only used up 4 units of lighter charge, and added 16 pain, which isn't terrible. I'm still in okay shape to keep fighting.

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Which is good, because while I'm busy chopping the zombie corpses into managable pieces to take out and burn, the northern door gets kicked in. I move up to deal with this threat.

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I don't have enough construction skill to rebuild the door, so I try to drag a locker over to push into the doorway as an obstacle and to block line-of-sight. Unfortunately, ADF is a useless fat weakling and can't manage it.

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He can't budge a little bench either, so I settle on building a nailboard trap to place in the open doorway instead. It's not much but it might cripple anyone who comes through.

Night falls soon after, so I cook a dinner of scrambled eggs and drink some bottled water, pop a vitamin, smoke a well-earned doobie, and fall asleep. Just one more day to go and I've survived an entire week.

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BONUS CLIFFHANGER CONTENT ; In the early morning of day 7, while I'm waiting for the sun to come up, I hear this. There are two minefields very close to homebase, and it seems a zombie has wandered through on in the dark. While you'd think a minefield would be great for defence, it's not. This will call every fucking horde for miles around down on me. Entire cities worth of zombies. After two stressful adventure-filled days desperately searching for something so basic and mundane as a cigarette lighter, Day 7 was supposed to give ADF a breather. But in the Cataclysm, you are never, ever safe.

Although it's only a few pics, I'm ending it here for now. Early morning of day seven, ADF has food, water, fire, a decent outfit, and a couple of guns. What he no longer has is a safe place to sleep, and on Day 7 he'll have to grab what he can and flee, or stand his ground and fight off the hordes.
 
H

HG 400

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Day 7 - ADF

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My homebase isn't close to being ready to hold off hordes, with one door open and nothing but boarded-up windows, and a few shallow trenches around some of them. I gather up everything I don't want to lose, having to make some hard choices about what to leave behind. Used some cut&paste to show everything from my 2-page inventory on one screen. The Bowyer's Buddy book is new, it was being carried by one of the zombies who attacked my homebase yesterday evening. I'm leaving behind a lot of bottled water, some food, my sling and all ammo I can't use, the tools I can make myself, and almost all of my construction and tailoring materials, along with the pile of spare clothing. It's a lot, but I'm not leaving anything truly excellent.

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I decide to hole up in the nearby small town. I think my visits have thinned the residents out enough. I make the trek in darkness, the sun still isn't up. On the way there, a zombie lurches out of the dark at me.

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I beat it to death, but take a deep bite to my hand. This is the second time that's happened, and I make a note that my gloves could use some reinforcement. My only way of cleaning out a wound is knife and fire and it's too dangerous to do that out here, when I could be attacked at any moment, so I keep moving.

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I make it to town and while fumbling around in the dark trying to come up against one of the houses I'm attacked again from the dark. This time I run. I climb through an already-broken window and wait for it follow me, battering it as it climbs after me.

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I stand sentry at the window until dawn rises, then see about cleaning my damn wound. This time it takes three attempts, leaving me in a significant amount of pain. I rest for a while before spotting a horde headed my way. I'm directly between it and the minefield, so I decide to relocate to a house further to the south.

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I decide to take a house in the center of town, but it looks like my previous visits haven't thinned the place out as much as I'd like. My pain has left me weak and struggling to carry this load, so I try to run to the house, where I can dump excess baggage and hold up in a chokepoint.

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A feral hunter inside the house chases me into a bathroom. I close the door behind me, drop just enough to ease my burden to a manageable level, and get ready to post up behind the window.

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Four regulars, a dog and a child later and my trusty old baseball bat, passed on to me from the cold dead hands of my cishet protector, has finally broken into pieces. Rip in Piss, baseball bat.

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There's one zombie still trying to come through the window and I kill that one with my knife. In restrospect, I should have used my shotgun butt, but after unsheathing my knife I didn't want to fuss around changing weapons and letting a zom take free bites on me. I sheath it, take out my shotgun, and turn to face the feral hunter, still trying to batter it's way through the door.

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After a long and clumsy fight, in which I severely injure it but suffer another deep bite, this one on my face, I manage to rush past it and slam the door behind me, essentially swapping positions with it. I'm badly tired and need a short rest to get my stamina back before I tangle with it a second time.

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It's another long and difficult fight on round two, and I end up pretty injured by the end of it, with another deep bite on my left arm. I manage to kill it, though. There are more zombies outside and I don't want to risk the pain that'll come with cauterising another two wounds yet. What I really want is to board up, but I'll need to go outside for rocks, since I left my stone hammer behind.

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I manage to find a tiny closet to lock myself in, however. To conserve lighter fluid I light my candle, which is something I should have thought of the other times I needed cauterising.

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I'm in so much pain I can barely function, but that makes me happy. Oh Ahuyvia, you wacky pervert. I decide to smoke a cigarette to hide some of my human-scent, lie down on the floor of the closet and sniffle dumbly and fatly to myself until my burns stop hurting so much. It's almost nightfall before my burns start to feel any better, and I don't want to risk leaving the house to make a campfire, so I eat a dinner of potato chips, popcorn and mineral water, and spend the night on the closet floor.

Day 8 - ADF

It's a cold, painful night for ADF and he gets no sleep whatsoever cowering in the closet, listening to the unmistakable sound of zoms roaming around inside the house. I realise too late that in my fatness and dumbness I forgot to butcher or pulp my defeated enemies, meaning that a lot of them will be up and wandering around, ready for a second go. I carve a curtain rod into a crude cudgel, since bashing weapons seem to be my forte, and move out to clear the house a second time.

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Thankfully, a lot of the twice-reanimated zombies are a lot weaker than they once were, still bearing the injuries that killed them the first time (well, the second time) around. Even so, I'm quickly forced back as my fat langorous body runs out of energy.

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I manage to clear out the closet doorway and shut it, give myself a rest, then come out for another go. There'll probably be a somewhat tedious rinse & repeat of those tactics, which I'll spare you all.

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After a few rounds of this, I've cleared out the house, and risk a dash outside to grab up some rocks. I head straight back to my chosen home. Even though I'm very hungry, I want to get it forted up before I cook a sad dinner of beans boiled in toilet water.

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With my stone hammer and screwdriver I can deconstruct furniture instead of smashing it, resulting in a larger yield of 2x4s and nails. I get to work taking apart furniture inside the house and boarding up windows with it.

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My work is interrupted by a zombie brute, and I overconfidently step forward to take him on with my cudgel, which has killed a fair few zombies by now. His first punch catches me in my face, instantly killing me.

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Rip in Piss, Ahuyvia. I am forgotten along with the billions who died, etc. etc.

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Not bad for a fat dumb ugly homeless piece of shit. I've had enough Let's Playing for now so I'm taking a break. If any of you try Cataclysm out, let me know how you do.
 

Splendid

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If ADF can survive this long, how long can the average forum user?
 
H

HG 400

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If ADF can survive this long, how long can the average forum user?

ADF lucked out with a very non-urban start. Niggerfaggot Jones was a better roll than 80% of this forum would be and he didn't make it to dinner. Sometimes you can soldier on for months with the most gimped character imaginable, sometimes you can cheat in extra points and roll up a god and get bull-moosed on day 1.
 

Trombonista

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This game sounds fun. I might give it a try.

Do TJ Church next!
 
H

HG 400

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This game sounds fun. I might give it a try.

Do TJ Church next!

I might post a quick tutorial on getting started. I don't follow TJ Church so I wouldn't know how to play him. I might do Jace next if I come back to this, 'Parkour Expert' is a trait.
 

Splendid

> Moderating KF for free
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Yeah, I've been messing around with this game too, and I think I'm going to do a Jack Stryker if you don't mind.
 
H

HG 400

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Okay, brief tutorial like I said, for those getting started.

Installation

Go here and scroll down to 'New Download Locations'. Click the Windows or Linux link for SDL/Tiles under 'Latest Experimental', depending on your OS. The latest version is the bottom link. Download it, unzip it to a folder, and you're done. There's a link to the github repository where you can follow new features being added. To update, which is often worth doing every few days, delete everything in your Cataclysm directory except the 'config' folder, and possibly the 'save', 'memorial' and 'templates' folders. Keep the 'save' folder if you have current saves you want to keep, keep the 'memorial' folder if you want to keep the records of your dead survivors, and keep the 'templates' folder if you've made character presets. Then download the newest version and unzip it to the same directory.

Config / Game Options

General
- Turn "Auto-Safemode on by default" to true and "Safemode on by default" to true. This will mean when you spot an enemy after some time of being safe, you'll have to push a confirmation key to continue to playing. It stops you from getting shredded in a fight before you can react if you're holding down a move command for a long period of time and walk into a bear or something.
- "Periodically autosave" ; set to true unless you're a savescumming shitwizard.
- "Circular distances" ; set to true

Interface
- Set measurements to whichever you're more comfortable with, metric or imperial. Everything else is okay on default

Graphics
- Set terminal height and width to whatever works for you. Quit and reload the game to see if the new settings fit your screen good. Repeat until happy.
- "Use tiles" = true, and I reccomend ChestHole. Feel free to play in ascii though, or try out the other tilesets, although none are as complete and up-to-date as Chesthole.

Debug
- Set 'Skill Rust' to anything but vanilla. I use and reccomend IntCap. It means that your skill progression will rust at a level dependant on your intelligence, and will never rust so much that you 'lose' a level of skill. Without a 'capped' version of skillrust, your later characters routine will end up based around doing a sequence of tasks every morning to keep practised in every skill or lose them, and it's dumb.
- You can raise initial points and maximum trait points here if you want to roll up a cheaty god character.

World Defaults
- Delete World to "Query". I tend to delete my world after each death and gen a new one, but sometimes you might want to keep a world for your next character to play in. This just asks you if you want to delete world after each death, and is less tedious than manually having to delete every failed characters world.
- Spawn rate controls how many zombies spawn. I suggest starting at 0.5 and scaling it up as you learn the game. I'm on 1.5 now.
- Item spawn controls how much loot spawns in buildings, etc. I set it to 0.5
- NPC spawn should be lowered a lot. I'm on 0.05 and it feels okay, but set to personal taste as you play around.
- Keep 'Wander Spawns' off until you've got a handle on playing the game, then turn them on when you're ready to go hardcore. That controls whether or not wandering hordes will roam the overmap fucking your shit up all day.
- Static NPCs to true
- Dynamic NPCs to true
- Experimental Z-Levels to true