I'm still unsure how much technology will be available in this world, I don't know if there will be "pockets of working grids", if people can only get energy from generators(which also adds the trouble of finding gas for it or using more "ecological means" if available) or if there is no energy available at all.

So basically everything would be done manually, the way many craftsmen used to do before we developed ways of making things industrially(fast and by bulk) This character would have their own survival skills, but I'm thinking that in a post-apocalyptic work not everyone tends to think of the commodities, like alchohol(both as beverages and for medical purposes), higyenic products(soap and toothpaste for example), sunscreen, ointments and etc. How much value would someone like this have for a group of survivors?Would they even be on demand if people know they might find some of these things while scavenging?


3 Answers 3


Since you’ve stated that everything would be done by craftsmen at the local level, you need to look at what was valued in the preindustrial world. The answer is that food will be the absolute top priority, followed by weapons, followed by tools, followed by alcohol, medicine and everything else after.

Scavenged supplies just wouldn’t last long enough for a long term set value to be in place, as it would fluctuate wildly with availability and the personal demands of the population, who may be completely delusional about the gravity of the situation and may value creature comforts way too much, or it could just not be in demand.

Look at how people live their lives in the most underdeveloped parts of the world, and you’ll notice a significant lack of sunscreen, toothpaste and ointments.

Really alcohol is the thing on your list that people will care about, given that we’ve been producing since the Neolithic.

Somethings will simply be too labor intensive to produce relative to how much people will purchase them for


Well, this depends on a few things:

1. How recent was the apocalyptic event?

The more recent, the less valuable your people will be, as more resources exist for scavenging. However, it would also mean more people out scavenging, and therefore more risk.

2. Where is the story set?

On a small island, such as Britain, resources would be very limited, and there would be few options for going to a different area, meaning the ability to make things would be very valuable. However, somewhere like America or mainland Europe is much larger, and much better connected.

Is the story set in the ruins of a population center such as New York? Or is the character stuck in the middle of rural Texas? Large (Ex-) cities will have far more leftover resources.


Depending on the situation in the world. ie why it is post apoc, this varies wildly.

but on a general term, having someone who is able to craft anything will be useful, how useful? again that depends on what the item is they're crafting, what quality that item is, how as Nixon mentions, the labour involved / resources.

I would argue the the value of 'craftsmen' would be in this order. Providing that nothing in the post apocalyptic world doesn't cater for this

1) Generalist - this is a little flaky. My reasoning behind this is something super simple.. Water, knowing that you can't survive without clean drinking water. you will need people who are savvy enough to be able to build basic equipment such as water steriliser. This can either be from fire/glass/bottle or by using chemicals. Having general survival skills, you'll probably be able to make basic shelter and so on. bit of a jack of all trades

2) Farmer / Fisherman - sustainable food sources

3) in no specific order, blacksmith / carpenter, for all your fortification / armour / weapons / tools

4) dr/medic/vet, an understanding of human/animal physiology and ideally an understanding of how medicines are made

Anything else would probably have the same value - really low as the items can probably be scavenged instead of crafted.


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