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I have a character that finds himself in a decent-sized town that has already been ransacked, what can I use to craft sedatives that would be effective on both Zombies, (assuming their anatomy metabolises the chemicals the same way), and animals alike, from overlooked basic household supplies like Bleach and other cleaning products, (Of which I am well aware aren't able to be used to make sedatives, just examples of overlooked household supplies that might not be looted/ransacked), and other natural plants and chemicals??

My character has above-average knowledge of chemistry, (Less than a professor and more than the average person), and has achieved a Bachelor's in Pharmaceuticals, with access to a small humble chemlab, (think on the same level as Breaking Bad), and a small amount of whatever goes into making Meth.

Method of delivery will be custom-fashioned darts, fired from a heavily-modified tranq pistol and/or rifle.

Last Edit: You can't capture and train something once you've shot and killed it, hence the use of tranqs.

How do?

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  • $\begingroup$ Please define what is "above average knowledge of chemistry" and "small humble chemlab". $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Aug 15 '20 at 4:27
  • $\begingroup$ What method of delivery will be used for the sedative? Does it need to be injected? Presumably not oral, as there might be some difficulties in persuading the zombs to eat it $\endgroup$ – Sol Aug 15 '20 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ Even if you have a chemical that is technically a sedative, dosing it for different animals and zombies on the fly is not an easy task. Putting people under sedation is highly skilled work, even in a controlled environment. Surely it would be easier to just shoot them? $\endgroup$ – Cadence Aug 15 '20 at 8:32
  • $\begingroup$ The incorrect dose of sedatives may do nothing (if too low) or kill them (if too high). The problem is that the correct dose is often a function of body mass and other things that a shooter is not likely to know. $\endgroup$ – NomadMaker Aug 15 '20 at 9:49
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    $\begingroup$ This is a story based question. The answer is basically: whatever serves the plot of your story. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Aug 16 '20 at 4:03
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Assuming all medicine cabinets have already been emptied, you're really starting from scratch. You may be able to find some Nightshade plant or something for a traditional poison, but this is actually a really tricky problem. Anything simple to make which knocks people out, only does so because they got lucky and weren't killed. Anaesthesiology is a profession because it's hard to just wing this stuff.

The easiest thing to make in an apocalyptic scenario which doesn't kill people, but knocks them out when it gets in their body?

Ethanol. Or a mixture of Ethanol, Methanol, and Acetone.

Salvage your town for: Rotten or unwanted food, water, a big metal container, metal pipe, steel wool, a thermometer, a tap, and some basic metalworking tools.

This will allow you to create a reflux still (https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Copper-Reflux-Still/). Which can put out 95%+ ethanol (Dilute 6 parts to 4 with water to make vodka for trading). ~20ml of 96% ethanol injected into muscle or fat tissue will knock average person out in a few minutes (Will give a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.40 - 8 times the legal driving limit here). 50ml should do a big hulky guy.

More methanol or acetone in the mixture, the more hungover they'll be.

Yes that's a lot a liquid (many, bigger darts), yes that's a long time to knock them out. But I can't think of any realistic way to make anything more effective in the scenario, that is unlikely to kill them.

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