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  1. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

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    Selfish, but realistic ways someone could blow a bunch of money in the apocalypse?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by frigocc, May 3, 2021.

    Have a character that is really selfish, and I want to show this. He's a bounty hunter in the apocalypse who takes a very high-paying job for the sole purpose of _____. Kinda trying to fill in that blank with something selfish, especially considering the fact that he's working as a team with his two friends.

    Don't want something so obvious as to just buy a bunch of gold or snacks or something, but really show something that makes him selfish.

    Any ideas? My current story for it is that he just wants enough money so he can go to Texas and eat at a Whataburger, never having to work again. Emphasis on the never having to work again. But don't think that really shows selfishness (unless it's a subtle way of telling us his priorities are messed up, and he only cares about money).
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  2. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    What kind of apocalypse? What's left that he could even spend money (or gold) on?

    My mental image of post-apocalypse is one in which total anarchy rules -- like Mad Max, or the old Van Damme movie Cyborg -- and money doesn't really have any value. If your post-apocalypse society still has money and money can still buy things, then basically he could be looking to buy anything that most people would not be able to afford. That might be a car if most people don't have cars, or maybe a yacht, or an airplane -- or possibly a country (like one of the small South Pacific island countries).
     
  3. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

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    Perhaps instead, a way to show his selfishness is to clearly show the amount of the bounty, but have him lie to his friends about it so he can get a larger share?

    It would allow me to still have the comedic angle of the Whataburger thing, but still show him as being selfish (and provide a conflict later on that breaks them up, something I was lacking before).
     
  4. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    I'm struggling to understand how there is such a thing as "Texas" or Whataburger in a post-apocalypse society. That's why I asked what kind of apocalypse you have in mind.
     
    retardis likes this.
  5. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Member

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    Have you ever been in College Station, Texas the night after the Aggies lose to Oklahoma? Talk about post-apocalypse. The only solace in the world is Whataburger and beer.
     
  6. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Active Member

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    It may be difficult to answer this since, as @SapereAude alluded to, you haven't really explained this apocalyptic world you've built. I find it highly unlikely that Whataburger, as we know it, would still exist.

    Are you confusing dystopian with apocalyptic?

    You may not necessarily have the character do something for a very selfish reason (in the common, selfish=greedy and immoral sense). Think of Han Solo, he just wanted to get money to repay his debt to Jabba, but once he did he still risked his life to assist the rebels. But his original motivation wasn't too repulsive.
     
  7. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Like they said ^^ in an apocalypse society breaks down, and along with it go things like businesses and money, which can only exist within a functioning society with a functioning government and economy. Unless maybe you've got a Venezuela situation, where a loaf of bread costs a wheelbarrow full of money. That isn't really an apocalypse though.
     
  8. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

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    It's a zombie apocalypse. And I also doubt it still exists, but he still has that pipe dream, kinda like the little girl in Zombieland.
     
  9. SapereAude

    SapereAude Active Member

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    Born in Bryan, Texas. Right next door to College Station.

    'Nuf said ...
     
  10. GraceLikePain

    GraceLikePain Senior Member

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    Maybe he could overexaggerate his importance in the bounty hunting, and thus "deserves" more? Maybe he refuses to help if he doesn't get more money? Like have someone in danger, but he does nothing until they promise him money.
     
  11. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Member

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    :superlaugh: 'Nuf, indeed.
     
  12. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    Not sure what anyone could blow money on during the apocalypse. About the only thing cash would be good for is kindling. If you want to show a character being selfish there are plenty of other ways to do it.
     
    retardis likes this.
  13. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    Slaves would be selfish.
     
  14. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Potatoes again? Supporter Contributor

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    There was an old post-nuclear apocalypse where artifacts of the past got repurposed as money. Not Brin's The Postman, but I recall that postage stamps were used as currency as no one had the means to make any more of them. One of the major activities beyond hunting and farming was scrounging (kind of like in A Boy and His Dog) and one day a character found an unopened six-pack of Coca-Cola. It was something of such rarity that it literally was priceless, so he ended up giving it to the children of the village (who had all been born some time after The War and never tasted such a thing) to share. Can't for the life of me remember what the story was, maybe but maybe Alas, Babylon but I'd be surprised if that was it.

    ETA: Not The Road either

    'Nother edit: There was another post apocalypse book that shall remain nameless (because it's reasonably current and spoilers) where the great magical artifact of the past that everyone was chasing after turned out to be a diamond drillbit whose "runes of power" were the manufacturer's trademark and part number. As was once pointed out by somebody or other, the Native American inhabitants of Manhattan Island lacked the technology to make glass beads. If they'd been able to, history might have run a little different.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  15. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

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    I want there to still be a semi-functioning economy of sorts, mostly based on barter, but also different forms of currency. The setting is pretty much once people are settled in, and life starts to move on.
     
  16. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    But the thing is, currency is legal tender, only in that particular country. It really is useless paper or metal unless there's a functioning government, the one that issued it.

    What level of apocalypse is it? If it's a full-on zombie apocalypse then there's no government anymore, or it's reduced to a shambles with no real power anymore. Are people still going to work? Why would they? If there's panic in the streets and zombies everywhere, would you go in to your job and stand behind a cash register waiting for customers like there's nothing special going on? If it's an earthquake or a tornado people don't keep businesses open, they run for shelter. The emergency takes precedence, society and businesses etc are constructs that only exist when everything is going well—as soon as there's a massive disruption in normal day-to-day functioning they dissolve in an instant.

    So if it's really a zombie apocalypse, there's no society, no government, no businesses. And no legal tender anymore. We're back on a barter system or more likely it's everybody breaking in, killing each other, and stealing what they want. Whatever you can't defend isn't yours anymore, including your life. But I can see where in the early stages there would be a transition period, where some people don't know yet how bad it is, maybe the zombies haven't really reached their neighborhood yet and some people haven't heard the news and started nailing the doors and windows shut. Yeah, in fact that little transition period would be fun to play around in as a writer, but it wouldn't last very long. And the people who try to go about normal daily business as if nothing is different are going to get disillusioned real quick when they try to go in a store and it's all boarded up or just abandoned.
     
  17. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Active Member

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    That sounds more like some dystopian setting and not an apocalypse. It sounds like the zombie invasion has been put down and some normalcy returnw. Not sure how this happens, maybe zombies have been reduced significantly and are maintained by some agency like RIP PD or ghostbusters?
     
  18. frigocc

    frigocc Contributor Contributor

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    Well, it's not that they've been reduced, but they're kinda just... not a big deal. I mean, yeah, they kill people sometimes and stuff, and precautions need to be taken, but these are Walking Dead zombies, and not Day of the Dead zombies. They're dumb and slow and easy to kill. The bigger threat is other humans, which has naturally led to cities becoming fortresses run by warlords pretty much with their own functioning economies.

    Now, the specifics of how this all works, I'm not too too concerned about just because I don't have the time to explain it in a screenplay, so it kinda works out that I can hand-wave it away.

    But, to answer another question, governments have fallen. It's a total free-for-all, with warlords and militias being the organizers.
     
  19. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Active Member

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    I don't want to derail this thread, but I just want to point out, that in order to reach that type of societal collapse, there would have to have been some type of shock that resulted in the failure of governments and infrastructure. Maybe everyone just panicked at the sight of zombies even though they were easily subdued?
     

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