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Three day old dogmeat? MMM!
Food going bad and decomposing.

One of the backbones of this game is the difference between the haves and the have nots. Gear, money, cars, whatever. I think it would be great to add a layer of that to the game in the form of food going bad the same way a corpse does. Maybe depending on the food, it goes bad faster but has a higher nutritional value? Something like soyonuts, for example, might never go bad, where as a nice new york steak wouldn't last much more than a few hours in the hot digi-sun without taking on a greyish hue, flies, etc.

This would serve to further illustrate what certain characters were okay with doing, and others would turn their noses up at. A poor, down-and-out mixer would probably still eat that day-old steak, I mean c'mon! Real meat! Whereas a corpie wouldn't be caught dead taking a bite.

Functionally, the items would go through a few stages of disintegration for a given period of time before disappearing entirely. Maybe at the later side of decay they actually make you sick? Temporary hit to endurance? Maybe the tougher and stronger you are the more you can handle bad food?

Mixers stockpiling steaks always cracked me up because of this, and not in a good way. It'd be good to see that 'special' box of cupcakes someone's got stashed away go stale and moldy... and then still eat them for a semblance of the good life.

I think this has been brought up in the past and it was said it'd take effort to put these kind of values on food (an old system already), along with a system that decreased their state on ticks and updated their descriptors, and bloat to keep track of every food item in the game.

Regardless, it's always something that stuck out to me as silly and I'd love to see something like this implemented to combat it.

+1

It would definitively give physicians and the like more to do (treating people who leave a sandwich in their pocket for three days and still decide to eat it, thus getting food poisoning) but I can see how this would be a lot of work for the GMs.

In the internim I think it is on players to resist the urge to be gamey and RP as realistic as possible, like not eating food that is old or been sitting out in public. Even though the current system doesn't allow for rot or putting poison in food, it's something we should still acknowledge via RP.

PCs need to eat, Eph, there's very real ramifications for not eating, check out your ht some time if you've gone a while without eating.
PCs do not need to eat. You will never die of starvation. There are benefits to eating but that is all. And personally, I prefer it this way. I'd rather spend my time plotting and battling and all that and use Food as a useful prop along the way.
An interesting idea, however, I would not want to divert any of the dev's time to something like this. There are so many other things that could make the game more fun, I would rather work on those.