Alright, we’re back for more. Apparently I forgot a few degrees the first time around, so here’s the first expansion pack for Apocalypse Simulator 2020: Dunedin Edition. Same rules as last time. More options for your 5 flatmates. Eat up.
Zoology: These kids have some serious perks. The ability to understand and cooperate with animals will prove exceptionally useful when all semblance of human trust dissolves in the catastrophic hellscape that is post-quarantine Dunedin. You may not be able to trust your neighbors - but you can trust the stray cat that your zoology friend has been feeding for the last 6 months. Importantly, at a high enough level, zoo students can attempt an alliance with the seagulls. If successful, this grants your flat air superiority: ensuring surveillance and unlocking the ability to send messages via bird. This degree operates well within the wild, but can also amass a menagerie of loyal beasts to guard the homestead. A solid all-rounder. Note: zoology is incompatible with any flatmates suffering from animal-related allergies, unless paired with a pharmacologist or med student.
How long they’ll last: They’ll last a while, unless they screw up their alliance with the gulls, in which case you’re all toast.
Weapon of choice: Lasso made from the hairs of fallen enemies.
How they’ll taste: Honestly, they’ll probably be the ones eating you.
Marine Science: Like other rangers, this degree is best suited to a proactive playstyle. Their knowledge of coastal ecosystems can provide your team with ample food and travel opportunities, but only if your team manages to get to an adequate location in time. Like Davy Jones, a marine science student can not survive long without the touch of seawater, so make sure that you bring a squirt bottle of the salty stuff whenever you make a mission into town. They will dry up and crumble in its absence. I’ve seen it, it’s not pretty. Careful not to accidently adopt a marine geologist; even before the apocalypse, these guys could only access their field of study remotely, so with the end-times upon us, that particular breed of marine science is utterly useless. Make sure to ask lots of questions about fisheries and tides and erosion before taking on a marine scientist, so you don’t get stuck with somebody blabbering on about “spreading centers” or whatever the fuck.
How long they’ll last: Seriously, don’t let them dry out. It only takes a few hours before cracks start to appear, and then they’re damaged for life. You don’t want that.
Weapon of choice: Very sharp oyster shells, net and trident, plus a combat bonus when submerged.
How they’ll taste: Best served freshly caught, wrapped in kelp if possible, very nice with a garnish of lemon and capers.
History: They’ve read about past crises, now it’s their time to shine.What lessons will they pull from the great past masters? What bits of sage wisdom can they offer in these trying times? We know they can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk? Fortunately for all of us, it doesn’t matter. True history majors, busy double-checking their notes and peer-reviewing their theories, will be bulldozed by herds of staving physio students in week three. For history students, the best strategy is to construct some sort of great barrier out of their abundant, hefty tomes, and hole up in their literary castle until this latest apocalypse washes itself out. After all, someone has to survive and document end-times in overly-banal, patronizing paragraphs.
How long they’ll last: If their walls go up in time, they’ll ride it out. Otherwise, they’re doomed.
Weapon of choice: Pouring hot tar out the window, dropping hefty bibliographies.
How they’ll taste: Salty, with afternotes of ink and parchment. Kinda semen-y, really, pretty gross.
Engineering: Okay, I get it, I left it out the first time. There are just so many different types of engineers, and many of them (as they are today) prove quite useless and frustrating in the apocalypse. However, they do each have their perks: a civil engineer can help you relocate and navigate stealthily if your team decides to settle in a city. A mechanical engineer can provide traps and maintenance to your home and vehicles. An electric engineer can hotwire abandoned cars, keep the lights on, and maybe even set up a solar plant on your roof. A software engineer can go fuck themsevles (again, same is true pre-apocalypse). Obviously engineering is a valuable skill to take with you into the catastrophic future, but you’ll have to carefully vet any engineering candidate for their personality, work ethic, substance dependence, and physical capability: much like you would a prostitute.
How long they’ll last: Variable, but dependent entirely upon type of engineer and supply of beer.
Weapon of choice: Heavy things falling very quickly.
How they’ll taste: Pencil shavings mixed with stale Speights, and a hint of the personality that was long-ago replaced with shame.
Sociology: So, society has collapsed, and you’ve spent your time at uni studying what, exactly? Practically as useless as the computer scientists, sociology students have also seen the evaporation of their field of study. At the flat level, this teammate can only analyze the dynamic of their peers. If this student manages the weasel their way into a leadership role, this can be very useful, but adopting one into your group runs the risk of accidentally including a member that really just pisses everyone else off. If you can find a sociology student that also happens to have useful hobbies, such as a fisherman or a builder, then their social graces could put everyone else at ease while contributing something more meaningful. That being said, these guys tend to be pretty geeky, so good luck finding that diamond in the rough.
How long they’ll last: If out of combat, they can survive as long as they maintain sanity. Keep them safe at home.
Weapon of choice: Manipulating others. When that fails, they’ll try to poke your eyes out.
How they’ll taste: Like the blood, sweat and tears of the bourgeoisie.
Microbiology: Allying with this degree is important only if they have access to the tools of their trade. Like a sniper without his rifle or a shepherd without his flock, a microbio student is nothing without her lab. That being said - if your game plan is to storm and seize the Otago labs (bold move, btw), having someone who can make good use of the equipment is essential. Partnering with a botanist, a microbio student can grow cultures of wild bacteria. With a pharmacologist, they can feed these cultures adequately, and with a med student, they can provide sophisticated care to injured flatmates. Microbio students are very valuable if they have the right assortment of teammates, but this requires significant investment. Otherwise, they can prove a burden on your team and will probably be eaten first. If they don’t have a microscope, there’s not much they can do.
How long they’ll last: Depends on which bacterial infection they accidently contract first.
Weapon of choice: Holding the magnifying glass in front of the sun and trying to burn you.
How they’ll taste: No matter how you cook them, you’ll still get E. coli. That’s one of their perks.
Pharmacology: Value of a pharmacology student is dependant on their supplies. Why would you partner with a student from the drugs department if they don’t have drugs? It just doesn’t make sense. If they do come equipped with their arsenal of pills and procedures, then a pharma-bro can boost the overall aptitude of your team. In times of shortage, this supply can prove invaluable, and once true wasteland scavenging kicks in, it’s the pharma students that you’ll want to send into the long-abandoned aisles of the chemist. They know how to pronounce “dextromethorphan” and know what it does. Again, if you’ve managed to secure a lab, this degree grows in value. Otherwise, a pharma student may just prove useful as a grunt or educated scavenger.
How long they’ll last: They’re running on a diet of amphetamines and nicotine, so when those go, so do the pharma bros.
Weapon of choice: Threats of a lawsuit, questionable poisons, overwhelming attitude.
How they’ll taste: Exactly like whatever they huffed to wake up this morning.
Geographic Informations Systems (GIS): Ha! Somehow, this degree manages to marry the computer lab confines of a compsci degree with the least practical parts of a geology or surveying degree. If a surveying student and geology student were to tough it out in the wilds, there may be some close calls, but they’ll last weeks beyond their GIS compadre. Without a screen and swivel chair, a GIS student is basically a glorified, fleshy GPS, and utterly unequipped to deal with the harsh realities of survival (or, honestly, the harsh realities of today). Though some may have surveying experience, none carry rock hammers, and all are too accustomed to the comforts of a computer science lifestyle. Without a microwave on-call, they’ll starve. If there’s anything that surveying and geology students can agree on, it’s that they’d be feasting on the bones of a GIS kid 48 hours into the apocalypse.
How long they’ll last: Heart palpitations claimed them when the power went out and they lost all their backups. 24 hours.
Weapon of choice: Strangulation via computer charger cord.
How they’ll taste: Like the chickens we keep confined in their cages, unable to exercise or move.