Wounds, Pain, and Medical Treatment.
It’s kind of silly to be near death and then just slap on a load of bandages to be perfectly fine; so let’s overhaul the health system.
First, we have soft HP and hard HP. Getting struck reduces soft HP and then also reduces a hard HP if enough damage is dealt. When a body part reaches 0 soft HP, it becomes crippled; still being usable, but gaining a massive encumbrance penalty. Further hits then reduce Hard HP. When Hard HP becomes 0, that part is then broken; being completely unusable. Reaching 0 soft HP on the head or torso cripples you massively but doesn’t kill you immediately; but if that happens you’ll probably get killed anyway.
When applying first aid, you can only recover health up to your remaining HHP. Simple treatments like bandages will not recover HHP. As time passes you’ll slowly gain it back depending on your health and nutrition. Items such as stimpacks may recover HHP, but such items will be relatively hard to come by.
Instead of a global pain system, give individual body parts their own pain rating. Every X (10-15?) points of pain increases encumbrance on that body part. So having a lot of pain in the arms and hands reduces your ability to aim and fight, getting hit in the legs reduces your ability to run and dodge, getting hit in the head reduces your perception and movement speed (eyes and mouth) and so on.
You can inject painkillers into a certain part of the body to focus the effect on a particular body part. Oral painkillers affect all body parts with a lesser effect.
Instead of bleeding dealing damage to a body part, you have a global blood stat. As you lose blood, you start gaining penalties that increase as you lose more blood; until you die of blood loss. Recovering blood is a slow process that is affected by your health and nutrition; though items such as synthetic blood packs/plasma packs will recover it.
Instead of having first aid kits just work as recovery items, have them "d"isassemble into different items. Bandages, antibiotics, antihistamines, weak painkillers, antiseptics, sutures, splints, medical tape etc. Different types of first aid kits can carry different items and different items require certain amounts of medical skill to be used to their full effect.
Furthermore, different treatments have different side effects. Oral painkillers may give dizziness though injected painkillers may cause numbness. Bandages take time to apply whereas styptics are quick but may take multiple applications. Immune system enhancers may be applied to slowly fight infection whereas broad spectrum antibiotics do so quickly, but reduce your healthiness due to ravaging your gut flora.
It’s kind of silly that I can turn invisible, teleport, fire lasers, and hold an entire arsenal of tools in my fingers; yet the only thing I can use a PDA for is as a flashlight.
Let’s add more uses for computers in general. Do away with specialized things like electrohacks, mp3 players and such. Add multiple types of computers, each computer has different amounts of hard drive space and ports. Adding software to your computer takes up hard drive space, and adding hardware uses up ports.
Software could be anything from e-books to portable ATMs. What if you’re illiterate? Maybe you can find a skill’s hologram software that you can use without knowing how to read. Illiterate doesn’t necessarily mean stupid; maybe you just can’t read English? I know a lot of players that play Japanese games without knowing a lick of Japanese after all.
And then there’s hardware. Maybe your ATM requires a satellite uplink? Your HackPro software needs a jack? Your holobook needs an emitter? Or is it stand alone like a motion sensor? Or maybe you just want to listen to your music using earphones so every zombie in the area doesn’t come running?
"r"eload your computer with batteries, "a"ctivate it, and then select which feature you want. Depending on the software/hardware it may take more or less power to run. You can also uninstall programs/hardware you no longer need to free up space.
Just make sure you have enough computer skill, and is that unlabeled disc/chip/USBdrive that you just found a horrible, data corrupting virus that steals your credit card data to install porn or the latest installment of “Super Stabby Deathmatch of People that Kill Each Other Deluxe III”?
Cities have different strains of the goo which affects which types of zombies appear and are group like mutation categories.
So if a city has 4 “points” in Beast, 3 in plant, and 2 in Insect; Brutes, Claw Zombies, Bone Horrors and the like would appear more often. Followed by Grabber Zombies, Spore Ghasts, etc. Then the insects would come in via Stinger Zombies and Walking Hives (Think Scorpions and “The Pain” from MGS).
Then there’s another category of bionic-enhanced zombies such as shockers, hydraulic zombies, EMP fiends, etc.
Zombology represents your knowledge of zombies. It represents your ability to recognize zombie types at a distance(Is that a Boomer or just a fat zombie?), your knowledge of what makes them tick (for creating things like zombie pheromones), and their weak points (Increased critical hit chance and reduced time to pulp corpses).
Let’s say we’re looking to case a city; what can we do?
Well first we need to get there, so let’s drive over; hey look a sign!
“Welcome to MalfunctionLauncher” - Huh.
“Population: 12,410” - So that’s more people than SkullShooter but less than ShipSlaughtered.
“Come check out our ConflictLoser Gun Emporium!” - Sweet.
But that’s not all, let’s check out the “World Traveler” city guide we installed on our PDA.
“Home of the famous ConflictLoser Gun Emporium” - Already knew that but good nonetheless.
“Installation of bionics is restricted by law.” - So no bionics shop, can’t have it all I guess.
“Has been plagued with an increasing presence of illegal drug traffickers lately” - Maybe we’ll run into some coke den or something.
“Please Purchase the Full Version of this software to learn more!” - Well screw you too.
While we’re at it, let’s check out Goggle Snaps with our satellite uplink!
The zombies seem to be especially concentrated on the western side… - Good thing the emporium’s on the eastern side!
Looks like there was a military presence here due to that perimeter setup on the center of the city. - Emphasis on was.
“Your usage limit has been reached, please insert your cash card to continue.” - Goddammit.
Looks like there’s a stray zombie here.
"Hey! Think Fast!"
Okay, simply dislocate the second and third vertebrae and… done!
Now to test out that fancy device from that lab.
Just loop the thingy into my PDA, and vacutainer of blood…
Moderate amounts of Insect DNA
Moderate amounts of Cattle DNA
Small amounts of Lupine DNA
Small amounts of Unknown DNA
DNA Volatility: Moderate (Chance of Encountering Mutants)
No traces of bionics.
Thusly armed, you head into the city.[/spoiler]