Survival Tip #27:
How to handle new comers at your fortress
Strays is the term I use to refer to any human being that crosses your territory that is not a member of your team or an outlier of such.
An outlier is someone who isn’t part of your team, but perhaps someone you gave your location to in case they could make it.
First I am going to talk about outliers. Since you knew an outlier in the Old World, you should have an established signal and requirement for them to join. Whether they get your attention via a set number of whistle blows, or flash light signals you should have a preset signal for them to identify themselves. Just avoid using something obvious like S.O.S in morse code. I used to get a kick out of the bumper stickers that said, “Gas, Ass, or Grass, no one rides for free”. Same applies to your survival in the Primal Age. Maybe this person was a doctor who never took the Primal Age seriously enough to want to prepare, so you said “hey doc, if the end of the world does happen this is where we will be.” You just picked up a doctor. Great. But, what if they aren’t a doctor, and they wouldn’t take you seriously enough to prepare. Make sure they know the toll. Whether they need to bring X amount of food, guns, ammo, fuel, knowledge, no one should get into your fortress for free, especially an outlier. Outliers in some ways are a personal insult. They didn’t care enough to train and prepare, but they now want your protection. Make sure the Ferry Man is paid, if you’ll accept them at all.
Strays are an entirely altogether different concept. These could range from groups to a lone survivor varying between better prepared than you, and near death. Much of this comes down to personal code, and will depend on the strength and size of your team.
I can’t tell you how you should act. I am not a preacher and do not wish to be. So, instead I will give you pluses and minuses to different situations.
If a group of strays is equal to or greater than you in numbers:
Pros: if you can wipe them out all of their belongings are yours.
Cons: if you don’t wipe them all out and they can retreat you now pissed off a group that knows where you are. You may have killed off someone valuable to you. You may have slit your own throat, by killing a team that would have been a buffer for you from other threats.
Pros: You get their supplies and possibly their man power.
Cons: You might not want their man power. You might be forced to kill those who don’t wish to join you. They join you and now form a majority of your group causing a switch of power. You can’t capture them because they outnumber you and now are forced to fight without the element of surprise and are exposed.
Pros: They may choose to join you without a fight. Might create a friendly relationship where once they are settled you can begin trade relations. Might be able to trade there on the spot for something you need.
Cons: You may not want them to join you. They could upset the balance of power. They could turn hostile. Another group of survivors knows where you are and all the negatives that can come of that.
Pros: They don’t know where you are. There is no conflict.
Cons: They might realize you are there anyways. They might want to claim the ‘unmanned’ location. You may miss out on valuable people, supplies, or relations.
If a group is weaker than yours, all the same cons apply with the exception of shifting your balance of power; however this can still lead to unrest. The pros are the same.
When someone wants to join you make sure they are worth bringing along. Making someone wait exposed for a length of time, or making sure they have enough supplies or knowledge to not be a determinant are not bad ideas. Every body you take on is a mouth to feed. Made sure it is worth the risk.