“You stop in the middle of the road as you notice something to your left. Somewhere out there in the wasteland, too far away for the bare eye to see, something is glistening in the sun, the reflected light catching your attention.”
“Kicking up dust while you walk, you have a watchful eye on your surroundings, but there is just not enough cover to prepare an ambush. The few scattered cacti could never hide a man, the rocks are too small to give cover and the next hills and mountains are miles away. While you march on, you hope that this is not just a piece of junk or some shard of broken glass you walk towards.”
“After about an hour, you start to see a low shape in the distance, and as you come closer you begin to recognize that it is a car. Still, you see no signs of a camp or any other trace of people.”
“Closing in, you grow pretty sure that this vehicle has been here for a long time by now. Thorny bushes grow in its shadow, all four tires are flat with the rubber looking porous and both wind and rust seem to have taken their toll on the paint. Just a chromed metal skull, mounted at the front of the cars roof, laughs at the sun and the desert. As you are but a dozen yards away, two further alarming details come to your attention: a large cavity that has been dug right under the deserted wreck and an assortment of different bones scattered around it on the sandy ground, picked clean and bleached by the sun. Some flies buzz about, but aside from this all you hear is the wind and a cricket in the distance….”
A tense little scene, isn´t it? Is the beast in the burrow already noting the characters and ready to come out and charge? Should the characters risk an unknown danger for potential loot? Well… in my game, this burrow would be empty, the inhabitant/s out on a hunting trip and the characters are thereby free to search the wreck.
The former owners of that car ran out of gas, so they took everything they could and moved on. Thereby, the tank is empty as is the glove box and the passenger compartment, but if the trunk is pried open, the characters can score some meager finds: three partially empty spice shakers (rosemary, thyme and nutmeg), a spare timing chain (which can double as an improvised weapon in a pinch), a shortwave radio (broken), a car jack and a half-empty bottle of turpentine.
If the GM insists on giving the characters a fight, the inhabitant/s of the burrow might return while the characters are busy with the trunk. It could be a wildcat or a pair of feral dogs or a very mean, big lizard.
Do you like this freebee scene? I took the inspiration for the loot from my most recent product, you can find it right here.