Noob game: So much for shelter, what now?

Hey guys. A couple days ago I made my first post on another thread sharing in the noob experience. Well, honestly, in the five days since then I did not open that file and distracted myself with other things, but I recently opened it up and made further progress. Instead of hijacking that thread I felt like making this one to sort of document these shenanigans. I only have a vague idea of what I’m doing and as you’ll see the situation is not one I expected right out of the gate.

Quick world and character overview: Summerhills uses mostly default options. NPC needs have been disabled, I have opted to test the National Guard Base location for some reason, and there are no ants as I mentioned in the other thread.

The character, Francis McGrath, is very bog standard. I didn’t give him many traits aside from Nightvision. Evacuee with a Survivor start.

On the first day I took stock of the situation and noted that to the northeast there were corpses and smoke. I suspected a smoke zombie at the time and played it safe by doing my curtain dismantling to the south. That was about all I did.

I was wrong about the smoke zombie part.

Today, I opened the file again. Minor note: some glitch occurred where after a single step Francis was absolutely winded and needed fifteen minutes to regain stamina (I had done nothing to warrant a lack of stamina before that), probably caused by something involving updating the game since the last time. I started some crafting and then checked on that smoke again. It was gone. Just the bodies. I noticed something about the site but didn’t think too much of it at the time.

Still, it nagged on me for a bit. After a bit of learning the crafting system for myself, the NPC called out that she heard footsteps. I peeked. No zombies. But the something I had noticed became blatantly obvious and I remembered something. Just in case, I took a screenshot and went to a Discord server I’m in and asked what was up. They confirmed my fears.


I was told of all the nastiness that would follow once this Yugg shambled right on up into the building. This screenshot was the site before I went to peek again. The trail had come almost up to the shelter wall. I asked my Discord comrades what to do.

I was told “run”. And also to stay on the road because confounded asphalt stops the wormy thing from doing its nasty on my poor unprepared survivor. So I did.

…Then immediately came back because I forgot to craft a knapsack and cudgel which would help a bit. While I was doing this, the Yugg finally attacked. I was crafting on the other side of the building when the NPC elected to engage the beast. She seemed okay after that attack but the walls took a pounding.


“Come with me?” Francis asked his evacuee buddy.
“Lol nah,” Sheila replied.
“Okie-dokie, good luck.” And he left just like that.

And so by an act of cruel fate Francis is back on the road, alone, and with only a vague idea of where to go. While he was sheltered he managed to obtain the coordinates for the local Refugee Center, but it is a good distance away. Can he possibly rest anywhere else now that the only shelter and companionship he had since the apocalypse started was worm fodder?

I have no idea. Genuinely no clue. This map doesn’t look promising.

So on a technical note, my current issues are not only seeking new shelter and supplies far away from the worm that probably ate Sheila when I left, but also inventory. Somewhat. I learned that a canvas bag is not something you can wear because they were designed by Bethesda. I did not have the appropriate tools for a duffel bag so crafted the knapsack instead. My crafted tools include a bunch of makeshift lockpicks, a makeshift crowbar, a makeshift hammer, a wooden needle, and finally a screwdriver. My weapon is currently a cudgel. My torso’s encumbered because I’m also wearing an emergency jacket for a little extra volume. I packed a blanket because cozy but it’s an emergency one so less cozy? This is what I’ve left the shelter with, I’m not risking going back.

I got a rock, too.

And this all happened in my first hour and half in-game. I’m not completely certain of what I’ll do next. I’m considering heading to that homeless camp first. I’m not counting on using it as a staging area for a night raid. I would prefer to avoid the town during the day. Worst case, I could attempt to cross country to the refugee center. Thoughts?


In continuation/conclusion of this, I ended up going to the homeless camp. Pretty useless. I should have predicted it. A couch and a makeshift bed, and nothing else. “Camp”.

So I went cross country to the refugee shelter and was confronted with many dangers such as roving packs of dachshunds that wouldn’t stop yapping up a storm, some pitbull mixes in the distance, a moose or two (I am no match for CDDA’s true final boss so I avoided them), and a spider or two.

Refugee shelter sucked so I just left and headed back to town to see how hard I could die. On the way I passed a road block and the plant menace smashing away in the forest.

Not a problem to walk around. Got to town where there was some sort of all out war going on in the southwest. I was uncertain what was causing earth shattering kabooms every now and then, but was more curious about what was in the houses. Answer: Not much. For one house I attempted to breach through the window. The window smashed. I didn’t figure out how you clean that all up in a timely manner and instead proceeded to deconstruct the window. Ended up having a zombie shamble on up to me. I emerged victorious but wounded, then headed further west. While in that building a saw a huge group of zombie pummeling what I thought was JUST a vehicle.


So another earth shattering kaboom occurred and I was deafened. I took a quick peek out a window and saw all the zombie dead. Because, as it turns out, they were attacking a Chicken Walker. And lost. With just about every zombie in that part of town dead to my knowledge (northeast was plants vs. zombies), I headed the other way in hopes of maybe burning down a house.

I did not burn down the house I tried setting fire to. I left the building, didn’t check a corner, and was stung to death by a giant wasp.

I think Sheila might have faired better with the Yugg.

So what’s the verdict? Bad start, or could I have acted like less of a tool?

Wasps can be really nasty early game, they are fast too, no shame in dying to a surprise one imo.

Encountering a yugg and then a chicken walker that quickly sounds like a pretty rough start to me. Giant wasps are no joke either. It sounds like you have a good grasp of what you should be doing, so next step is learning to overcome the myriad hazards of the game. Usually that involves getting killed by them a few times.

Since you’re just starting out I suggest you play it “safe”. Stick to the nightvision for your next character, craft a bunch of stuff until night falls and head out to the nearest town.
Always check the doors, sometimes you will find some unlocked, and if not and nothing is in sight try the lockpick. In a hurry (a)ctivate your crowbar to pry open the door.
When entering from windows, try to find an already smashed one as breaking them makes a ton of noise, there is an option in craft terrain in order to remove the glass shards from the frame. If you end up breaking the thing, activating your tool of choice a second time on the frame will remove the glass shards, but again, noise.

After that move slowly, find food and water, make a funnel and collect rainwater if you have no other sources at hand and make sure to boil any water before consumption.

My early game strategy involves barricading a basement and laying down a couple of traps, then hitting up the rest of the town -slowly and carefully- while hoarding everything in said basement. If I have to skip town I’ll stick close to my stuff until I find a working car or even shopping cart in order to transport everything.

And always keep an eye out for books!
You had a rough start, but stick to it, the game is amazing!

Get spear. Melee in this game can and will kill you. Reach attacks will save your life.

Regarding water, my new character (with far more traits which I saved a template of which I’ll share later), followed what I’ve seen Vormithrax do. Dismantled the water tower on the roof of the shelter and used one of the heavy barrels to collect water in. For this new world, my shelter was placed right next to a trailhead going into a swampy forest heading towards what seems to be a river. Aside from watching to make sure I’m not collecting salt water, I’m good on having a source of water but not purifying it yet.

I didn’t do much tool activation because the game was starting to claim “the door is already open” for the window. Granted, I’m probably misremembering here. There was something I tried doing that resulted in a message like that for a window but I don’t remember what I did.

For food in the new game I’ve foraged a lot of wild vegetables and roots, but I lack the means to cook them. I have a brazier, though.

I thought the early spear was nerfed?

The knife spear was nerfed. That’s the one where you duct tape a kitchen knife to a broom handle. It’s got a tag that makes it prone to break easily, mostly so there’s a reason to use other weapons in early game. A stone spear is still awesome, if you meet the crafting requirements.

Ah, sounds good.

As for my current character, I made her a preset.


Traits not included in that list but are still involved are Outdoorsman and Addictive Personality.

Good memory is useless since skill rust is off by default. Spiritual and mood swings are an excellent combo that I fully support. Craft a small religious symbol with some string and wood first thing and you’ve essentially got a free morale boost that just costs you a minute of time.

It also boosts the bonus from religious books through the roof, so grab two different religious books and read them both three times each for over 100 morale.

Good memory also increases how long you will remember terrain. Still not a very valuable trait but it’s not totally useless without skill rust.