I'd like to give this 5 stars, I really would. Item cards, a great idea. If you can't keep accurate notes, or if you're doing a random item draw thing, or if you're likely to forget to raid that camping store for a compass before heading into the wilds of Colorado.
The rest of us will just write it down, in a handy space on our character sheet, marked "gear" or "equipment" or "inventory" or any other such verbage.
But here's where it really loses points. I dislike having a dozen items that do the same thing. When my character eats, he eats "food" - the difference between a takeaway pizza and a 5 course gourmet luncheon is mostly irrelevant, especially when I have to eat it in between combat rounds, while loading my shotgun with the other hand. So explain to me why I need a card that says "pizza" while my colleague has one that says "fast food," if you can? What is the difference between a can of nuts to a bag of trail mix?
It's worse with weapons. Now, some people like their weapons to have flavour. Groovy. My character has a fillet knife because that's all he could grab when he raided that kitchen. OK. A fillet knife does exactly the same thing as, for example, a butterfly knife, a throwing dagger, a survival knife (barring the survival bit) and, believe it or not, a glass bottle. To say nothing of the butter knife, steak knife and switchblade.
That's seven, count 'em, seven things that do exactly the same thing. Let's be generous and take out the bottle and the survival knife. That's five things that would cheerfully come under the heading "knife" and nobody would notice the difference. You might, maybe, note it on your sheet that it's actually a professional grade steak knife because before TZA you were a waiter at a five-star restaurant, but when someone asks you what you're carrying, you're going to say "knife" just like everyone else.
Few people that aren't plumbers would be able to tell the difference between a monkey wrench and a pipe wrench if you smacked them over the head with it, much less care what the difference is when you're, erm, smacking them over the head with it.
And don't get me started on the guns. Incidentally, that should be "Ruger." "Rugger" is something quite different and only applies if you're an English public schoolboy.
I can't even compliment the author on his artwork, because the pictures are thumbnail-sized photos, probably ripped straight from the search engine nearest you.
So, either this product starts at one star, and gets a bonus because it's occasionally useful, and another because it's free; or it starts at 5 and loses one because it's repetitive, and another because of the not-so-arty artwork. Either way, a solid 3 stars.
Oh, and the Item cards don't have any stats other than weight, so you could use them for any modern setting that's heavy into survival. I might aregue with some of the weights, though. A candy bar really weighs half a pound?
I shall leave everyone with one final thought. If you're leading your berry band of survivors thought the grim wasteland of the zombie apocalypse, is there any item less useful than a bag of ice?
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