Thursday, November 29, 2012

Irradiated Roadways: Gears, Gas, and Guns

That there's a sweet ride, Max.
When Car Wars came to my attention (the little plastic boxed set of Car Wars), I immediately latched onto it as a game. It not only called to mind the Mad Max movies I'd seen back in the Philippines and in the U.S., it also reminded me of trucking TV shows and movies like B.J. and the Bear and Convoy.

I suppose it also fed that a need that was also satisfied later by Champions and other Hero System games -- the game within a game of building and optimizing your character (or car, as it were). But at the time, it felt like you were stepping into a bad, but not Mad Max horrible, setting where highway car battles and arena autoduels were a regular occurrence.

Subsequent helpings of post-holocaust fare, like The Road Warrior and Damnation Alley and even comics like Tim Truman's Dragon Chiang further expanded this image of a desolate American landscape (yeah, I know Mad Max is supposed to be in Australia) with wandering heroes and villains that had showdowns in truckstops and gas stations and on the road against bandits, mutants, and raiders.

Chi-Comm trucker Dragon
Chiang gets ready for
the dangers of the Road.
I never played in a campaign, though. All that was the backstory in my mind, but the actual games involved car vs. car combat. I know about the Hero + Car Wars and the GURPS + Car Wars RPGs that were created, but it was never a thing for me. The experiences I had were exclusively arena battles and highway autoduels.

Now that I'm older, is there an appeal for that kind of thing to me? The post-holocaust landscape now seems to want mutants and zombies and survivalists, and most certainly a mixing in of bands of survivors and communities struggling  to carve out civilization once more. Convoys, carrying precious supplies of food, weapons, medicine and technology to isolated, but key locations would certainly be part of that campaign. And arena combats and highway autoduels, of course.

I know that an RPG called Atomic Highway by Colin Chapman is freely available on RPGNow, so maybe I'll pick it up and see if it sparks something.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the tip on Atomic Highway. i've always thought Damnation Alley would make a good premise for a game


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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