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> Iron Rations!, What are they? I just found out!
Wounded Ronin
post Aug 17 2008, 07:51 PM
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Everyone knows that iron rations from 1st ed D&D are pretty much t3h pwn. There was no reason for your character to ever stock up on "standard rations" when he could just automatically buy "iron rations" that were exactly the same except they didn't automatically go bad overnight as soon as you entered a dungeon. Actually, it's pretty stupid that "standard rations" were supposed to do that, but I didn't write that rule.

IIRC iron rations were described as being hard tack but I never knew for a long time where the term came from, or why your beefy barbarian is supposed to be able to feel fit and healthy fighting 30 lethal sword battles each day if the only thing he eats is crusty flour and water. I remember in Knights of the Dinner Table how Bob goes to a grocery store and asks the clerk for iron rations, and the clerk can't find any.

But Wikipedia informed me what iron rations are.

QUOTE
The first attempt to make an individual ration for issue to soldiers in the field was the "iron ration", first introduced in 1907. It consisted of three 3-ounce cakes (made from a concoction of beef boullion powder and parched and cooked wheat), three 1-ounce bars of sweetened chocolate, and packets of salt and pepper. The ration was issued in a sealed tin packet that weighed one pound, and was designed for emergency use when the troops were unable to be supplied with food. It was later discontinued by the adoption of the "Reserve Ration", but findings from the development and use of the Iron Ration went into the development of the emergency D-ration.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-ration

I guess that "iron ration" wasn't the most appropriate term for D&D, then, since iron rations are apparently referring to a specific 20th century invention, and since D&D characters shouldn't have access to pepper since there's no silk road. Unless it's an Oriental Adventures setting, I guess. They probably shouldn't have access to sweetened chocolate either since in medieval times sugar was supposed to be rare and prized.
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DocTaotsu
post Aug 17 2008, 10:03 PM
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What, we can have orks, dragons, and wizards with the ability to teleport and fly but we can't find pepper for our meats?

You're trying to apply logic to D&D, especially 1st edition. You're doing nothing but inviting mental anguishing.
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Wounded Ronin
post Aug 17 2008, 10:53 PM
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QUOTE (DocTaotsu @ Aug 17 2008, 05:03 PM) *
What we can have orks, dragons, and wizards with the ability to teleport and fly but we can't find pepper for our meats?


Sure, because it has to do with setting. You can't put pepper on your meat for the same reason you must use a Holy Avenger to kill the wizard, and you can't just pull a .45 and blow his head off instead.

Now, if you want to kill the wizard with a .45 and put pepper on your meat at the same time, you must play Shadowrun.
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HeavyMetalYeti
post Aug 17 2008, 11:24 PM
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But wouldn't it be soypepper? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Rasumichin
post Aug 18 2008, 01:19 AM
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Actually, they have included pepper in the 3.5 PHB.
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Redjack
post Aug 18 2008, 03:45 PM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Aug 17 2008, 02:51 PM) *
They probably shouldn't have access to sweetened chocolate either since in medieval times sugar was supposed to be rare and prized.
I have also seen it written that with the tack bread they would usually dip it in coffee or water to soften it and sometimes had jam, molasses or honey.
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imperialus
post Aug 18 2008, 10:53 PM
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I've always described Iron Rations as being more like the rations issued to sailors before refrigeration. In other words hard biscuits, and dried meat. Standard Rations on the other hand are breads, cheeses, and meat like sausages that is smoked, but not dried.

Also, while the term "iron rations" is an American invention records of similar types of rations (minus the chocolate) were recorded during the 30 years war. Pasteurization and canning as forms of preservation were invented for Napoleons army and even the Crusaders had some fairly effective food preservation techniques during the 11th and 12th centuries. I expect that the term "Iron Rations" was used in part because D&D grew out of wargaming, some of which have remarkably complicated rationing/supply systems and because it was a phrase that would be easily identified and understood by the reader.
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Backgammon
post Aug 19 2008, 01:37 AM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Aug 17 2008, 06:53 PM) *
Sure, because it has to do with setting. You can't put pepper on your meat for the same reason you must use a Holy Avenger to kill the wizard, and you can't just pull a .45 and blow his head off instead.

Now, if you want to kill the wizard with a .45 and put pepper on your meat at the same time, you must play Shadowrun.


Oh yeah, sigged.
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Wounded Ronin
post Aug 21 2008, 04:51 AM
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QUOTE (Backgammon @ Aug 18 2008, 08:37 PM) *
Oh yeah, sigged.


The highest honor a DSFer can get. IIRC in the past I sigged something you said. The circle is complete and the 80s pseudo philosophy has been engaged towards fueling Shadowrun.
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Adarael
post Aug 21 2008, 04:24 PM
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Goddamit, I was gonna sig that. Now I'd just be a biter if I did that.

Maybe I'll just have my street sam inexplicably carry an old-style 45 and packets of pepper instead. And have him hate wizards.
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Snow_Fox
post Aug 24 2008, 03:54 PM
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Iron rations is a pretty common term, but the contents have improved with time.
Today it's MRE's
in the mid-20th centruy it was K-rations and C-rations. (K was semi dried in boxes, C were canned. and the emergency D rations- highly concentrated coholate

In WW1 and earlier it was hardtack- a bread/biscuit dried so hard it was almost impossible to break with teeth. and dried meats and fruit- beef jerky, dried cod and fruit cake are all examples.
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Wounded Ronin
post Aug 24 2008, 10:45 PM
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I think hardtack is t3h pwn, by the way. I have made it myself (using white flour) a couple of times just because I was so excited about the concept. One summer I even tried to live on it for a week but that didn't go well, probably because I was using white flour. It was the equivalent of trying to live on saltines.
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Wesley Street
post Aug 25 2008, 08:44 PM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Aug 24 2008, 05:45 PM) *
white flour


aka The Devil's Flour. That stuff has no or minimal nutritional value.
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DocTaotsu
post Aug 26 2008, 01:31 AM
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Mmm... Wonder Bread! Eating nothing but hardtack (especially if it's just the flour biscuit deals) is a recipe for disaster, without vitamin supplements you can develop all manner of fun and exciting disorders like... scurvy of all things.

Bleh to hardtack. We whine enough about MRE's and those are vaguely warm and look mostly like real (cafeteria) food.

Actually the latest generation of MRE's is pretty good, they have some new menus items and better extra stuff inside of them. I will also note that they lose their novelty fairly quickly and it's an odd bird who enjoys eating them for more than a couple of weeks. I, for one, cannot imagine eating MRE's for 6+ months (especially if you only had menu 1-12).

But stay away from the omelet, that shit is horrible, it's like powered eggs mixed with HELL.
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Wounded Ronin
post Aug 26 2008, 07:44 PM
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Sounds like the C rations (i.e. canned dinners) must have been tastier than. I've happily lived on canned pasta products for extended periods of time myself. I have a burning curiosity to know if Chef Boyardee is similar to the spaghetti and meatball C ration or not. I imagine it would have to be as all canned spaghetti tastes very similar.
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Wesley Street
post Aug 26 2008, 09:26 PM
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After a quick google search I wasn't able to find nutritional values for C-rations but I'd imagine they taste a little different than Chef Boyardee as commercial canned pasta is heavily loaded with sugar.
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crash2029
post Sep 5 2008, 10:47 PM
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When my dad was in Vietnam he loved either the fruitcake or the pineapple upside down cake (cant remember which) that came in the c-rats. He told me since he didn't smoke he used to trade his cigarettes for the cake. He also told me two very important rules in the Army, especially when in-country.

#1 NEVER take off your helmet. EVER.

#2 NEVER volunteer. For anything.
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apollo124
post Sep 6 2008, 06:32 AM
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MRE's ain't bad, but if you're going to be eating them for long periods of time, keep your activity levels up, especially if you're eating the winter MRE's. The winter ones have about 3000 calories each!
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Voran
post Sep 6 2008, 10:46 AM
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It was odd, since power-bars didn't really exist back when I was playing DnD originally, but once they came out, I always figured Iron Rations were sorta like that. Really disgusting power-bars that you could keep in your drawer and theoretically use in emergency.

Heh, I always ended up being food conscious for my characters. Not "Minding my weight" kinda conscious but "I really need to have a secure, ready food supply in case the GM starts messing with us". Enter Murlunds Spoon (Spelling?) that magical spoon that you put into a pot or cup or bowl and it makes gruel. Omni-gruel useable by all types of eaters, herbivores, carnivores, etc. Sure it looks and tastes like wet cardboard, but its chock fulla nutrients and vitamins. Usually I'd chip in gold for one of those, and some spices/sweeteners.
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Wounded Ronin
post Sep 6 2008, 03:35 PM
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QUOTE (apollo124 @ Sep 6 2008, 02:32 AM) *
MRE's ain't bad, but if you're going to be eating them for long periods of time, keep your activity levels up, especially if you're eating the winter MRE's. The winter ones have about 3000 calories each!


Actually, it sounds like it would really make sense for every household to have some MREs handy in case of natural disaster. Do you know how someone could go about acquiring some MREs?
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crash2029
post Sep 6 2008, 08:04 PM
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Actually you cannot legally buy or sell official MRE's. However you can purchase unofficial MRE's that are just as good. A good place to look would be military surplus stores and catalogs. It's amazing the kind of stuff you can find there.
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Wounded Ronin
post Sep 6 2008, 11:33 PM
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QUOTE (crash2029 @ Sep 6 2008, 04:04 PM) *
Actually you cannot legally buy or sell official MRE's. However you can purchase unofficial MRE's that are just as good. A good place to look would be military surplus stores and catalogs. It's amazing the kind of stuff you can find there.


I'll be sure to do that.
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apollo124
post Sep 7 2008, 04:05 AM
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Someone was running a military surplus tent at a local fair near here and they were selling some MRE's there. Not a great selection of meals, but you take what you can get.
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fistandantilus4....
post Sep 7 2008, 05:35 PM
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I just had an MRE for the first time last week. Clam chowder in a plastic bag ... oh yeah baby ... good stuff. The "Chocolate Milk" left a little to be desired, but the "beef pork rib" and the "vanilla pound cake" (I use quotations because just 'cause that's what it said on the bag, don't make it so) were actually pretty good. Damn thing even had chiclets to freshen up my breath (incase of needs for up close hostage negotiations I guess), matches, salt, and handy wipes. No damn pepper though. Go figure.
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fistandantilus4....
post Sep 7 2008, 05:35 PM
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I just had an MRE for the first time last week. Clam chowder in a plastic bag ... oh yeah baby ... good stuff. The "Chocolate Milk" left a little to be desired, but the "beef pork rib" and the "vanilla pound cake" (I use quotations because just 'cause that's what it said on the bag, don't make it so) were actually pretty good. Damn thing even had chiclets to freshen up my breath (incase of needs for up close hostage negotiations I guess), matches, salt, and handy wipes. No damn pepper though. Go figure.
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