I think this would be a poor choice for character creation, because it would easily homogenize the starting profession is even certain basic items where made available to all of them. Most classes are made more interesting too by only having some or none of these starting items as part of their profession at the start of the game.
For instance, the knife. One of the most basic implements for crafting just an absolute dearth of items on it’s own, and it allows you to convert finished products back into useful components. (mainly clothing into rags, leather, plastic chunks, fur pelts, felt patches, nomex… But also convert corpses into (usually) edible meat, and usable by products, as well as a potential source of CBM’s…) Classes that don’t have this piece of equipment as part of their profession have the additional challenge of not having any last resort means of attempting to remove a bite wound before it becomes infected, until they acquire one. It also bars you from crafting a pointy stick to roast meat on, getting raw meat itself, and an easy means of getting rags to disassemble for string to make fire drills for fire starting. I know you can craft a stone knife to side-step this. I know that if you start in the shelter and are not surrounded by zombies, then this is moot, but the game gets way more interesting if you avoid letting every class start with a knife without any sort of struggle. At least the makeshift knife requires a spike and either a rag or string/thread.
Also scissors allow you to acquire Kevlar.
The lighter (especially the re-fillable one) gives you instant access to the most basic heat source for cooking. Without it, it becomes substantially harder to clean water. Dirty water leads to starvation or dehydration. Soda leads to instant diabetes extremely poor health. Soldiers can use the water purification tablets to clean water for a little while, and the matchbook lets them clean more water, and do some cooking, but that kind of comes with the profession really. Not to mention, that being able to burn down the building you leave as zombies peruse you is an insanely powerful escape tool.
Guns, explosives, and to a greater extent actually good melee weapons. First off, guns present a very quick and powerful option against enemies that you would otherwise be no match for, and would have to find some way to outwit. Yes, guns are generally loud. That isn’t an issue if you use discretion. Not only that, even if it only comes with 10 bullets (professions with guns often come with 50 (!) ammo or more) you can leverage that to raid a few houses and acquire a pot and of frying pan, random meds (maybe even first aid kids), good low level books for skills like cooking on a budget, under the hood, what’s a transistor, clothes, more guns and ammo… and generally that’s to let you temporarily deal with a hulk, a shocker zombie, an acid spitter, a smoker zombie, a necromancer (I should have dealt with this first!), a dog. Just what is faster than you or way to dangerous to have around. Yes it’s temporary, but that isn’t the point. The point is that the gun is a timer before you have to deal with threats properly, and if every profession has the potential to just spawn with these, then basically civilian professions aren’t very different from militant ones. Same applies to explosives, although I think it would be more likely that people would load up on crafting components for Molotovs then buy explosives outright to start.
It gets worse when you give a survivor a good melee weapon like a machete, a combat knife, a baseball bat (wooden or aluminum), or what happens often enough if I raid a mansion, a rapier or a katana, or an awl pike. Basically if I can choose between sacrificing 5 points worth of character for a rapier, there would be no reason not to take the rapier. Heck, I would do it for 6 points. Seriously, 105 moves for a standard attack when the weapon has 29 stab, +2 to hit (noob friendly), and has rapid strike (half move cost for attacks if it happen), parry (block 1/3 of all damage as long as you pass a melee roll), and precise strike (crits regardless of roll if you hit and get this technique.). The only reason not to take the rapier is if you take the machete instead with it’s 20 cutting and only 89 move cost. A weapon you an later upgrade into a No. 9 that does fire damage in addition to it’s regular attack, or a survival machete that is faster, and in addition to blocking, has precise strike (which again is instant crit). You don’t even have to put starting points into melee combat, or even know how to use that machete to kill that thing that the bottom of a mine and steal an artifact on day one! DAY ONE! Sure, you’ll probably teleport yourself into the wall with that Shifting Rhombus, because you didn’t realize that artifacts need to be tested out in the open, but come on!
Medkits and other medicines/drugs. I bring up med kits because I know of several bionic professions that start with bad bionics that if removed would leave bionic warriors with decent combat stats on their own. Combine 4 - 6 medkits with start scumming, and you end up with a bionic commando for cheap (although somewhat annoying to get). Getting or crafting the medkits to remove bad bionics and the risk of losing a character you actually spent time on is part of the challenge of the low tier professions that give you points to begin with. Also, starting with booze or drugs sounds really out of character for character that are supposed to come from decent backgrounds. Seriously, why should a school kid start with a bottle of rum? Or meth? Lastly, while it’s not unusual for some people to have painkillers like aspirin or codeine on them if they suffer from chronic pain from a serious injury, it doesn’t make sense for just anyone to carry them. Think about it, how often do you get that badly hurt. Really? And again, while caffeine pills are an awesome item to have to start the game with (I generally start as a computer hacker, so…), it doesn’t make sense for everybody to carry them, just in case.
Clothing with good storage or protection. Basically backpacks, leather clothes, trench-coats, dusters, messenger bags… Basically having really good clothing makes your character much more survival, either in being able to carry more items that could save your life, or actually providing much more protection from attacking predators and the elements. The only thing I could suggest here is, instead maybe survivors should be wearing seasonally appropriate gear when they spawn? Staving off the cold is a challenge that you could encounter in a survival situation like this, but I don’t get why, apart from the shower victim, everybody runs around in summer clothing when it’s -15°C outside. However that dosn’t mean that you should start with a ton of storage capacity to grab everything in sight while you dip and dodge zombies, left, right, and center.
Skill-Books. Problem here isn’t that your buying skills (you can do that), but that those skills are basically yours to keep, and all the harder to get recipes that are included right off the hop. Duct tape. Seriously, duct tape. Professions that have skill books, should still keep them because that makes sense for them to have them to begin with, but why should everybody have access to a copy of “The Art of Glassblowing”?
Seeds! Mainly cotton seeds, but starting with any kind of seeds if you aren’t supposed to have access to them makes the game way too easy mid-late game. Seeds should be something you work towards to establish yourself as a sustainable survivor, who can get way they need and keep themselves alive, off of the land for as long as possible. Starting the game with the seeds you intend to use, every single time, removes the challenge of finding and acquiring them, or finding and managing a sustainable alternative.
Toolbox’s, the individual contents within, and other specialty items like watches, (especially dive watches (time + temp), bio monitors (I know, not a watch but it monitors radiation) , and pocket watches (time + 0 volume!)), mess kits, welders (and welding goggles), wood axes, stills, entrenching tools, tents (and large tents), hand press and die sets, gunsmiths repair kits, GASP… Sorry, just needed to catch my breath. Anyways, you get the idea. These tools are meant to be luxuries that you work towards. Just like the knife, if your profession doesn’t start with it, it probably wasn’t meant too.
Lastly (at least for now), crafting components! What’s the point of looting and scavenging if you can just start the game with a small supply of all the harder to acquire scavenging goods, like again, duct tape. But also flasks, for oil lamps, survivors mess kits, chemistry sets, and yeast flasks. Or starting with 1 unit of yeast. Or jars for preserving meat and other goods? Why should anyone start with 100 plastic bags (easy plastic chunk, salt packed goods upon the collection of a vacuum sealer?)? Why would I pay anything more then a a nickle per bag for them? Why should you start with tons of cheap components to craft high end foods like water purifiers, and food dehydrators, and crap like that? Stuff like this breaks the intended balance of the game.
I could mildly support alternative item layouts to resolve the issue of inappropriate clothing, or to add a small amount of variety, to some classes and maybe consolidate some of them too (like the various different holy people for different faiths, etc), but I wouldn’t want to see class types end up either having a hidden cost (because perhaps by default the class starts out with terrible equipment, but all of a sudden and extra 3 points gets you more equipment), or becoming severely unbalanced, for similar reasons as to why I oppose the above. This sub idea could work out much nicer if it was used to provide different flavors of class. So instead of just a bow hunter, maybe you could have a regular hunter that uses a shotgun and is bad tempered or has animal discord as a result (think Elmer Fudd)?
Did I go on too long?
Edit: Also, did some minor corrections.