Maybe clothes and bucket could both work, with a super low heat tolerance before "burning" and destroying the item while also increasing the oven's chance of starting a house fire (and indicating "damaged/messy" oven or something like that, to signal the risk of fire).
I think no to the plot- my unfounded understanding is that the game will generate mostly random NPCs to interact with that will develop their own "stories" as they go, with a few set NPCs that will recur with their own associated events or something like that.
A plot suggests a climax and resolution, but I think that kind of structure would work against the "Story of How You Died" vibe.
I'm finally getting time for some extended digs into the new build and have to share, new elements with movement/cooking/protection/zombie lethality have really balanced the game into everything I ever wanted out of the foundation of it. I walk past ambling zeds instead of killing them for xp/fun, because they're deadly; raiding involves way more strategy and preparation because you can't mindlessly kill the mindless anymore, but the raids are much more rewarding now that clothing and soap are valuable. Finally coming up on winter and it's felt (and looked) nothing like any other play I've been through. Can't wait for MP so I can orient my game group to this new world!