Hard Roads Writeup
Adventure Writeup from a satisfied customer:
Note: I abbreviate post-apocalypse and all its forms as "PA".
Using Risus, Hard Roads, and ideas garnered from Meghann Marco's excellent Field Guide to the Apocalypse, I ran an off-the-cuff post-apoc adventure for a couple of my pals.
Thomas played "Suki," an Ex-Stripper/Escort(2)and Reformed Serial Killer(3), now a Typical PA Motor-Berserker(3). She drives a Toyota Supra with machine guns and kevlar vests stapled to the sides(4) that Gets Good Gas Mileage(2).
Bob played as "Tag," a Former Vanilla Goody-Twoshoes Go-To Guy(3) who's now a Cynical, World-Weary PA Badass(3) and an Escaped Gladiator Slave(2). We rolled that last one on the Last @$%# Cliche table (from the Risus Companion) and were amazed at our luck. (Bartertown, anyone?) He drives an aquamarine colored Gutless Hybrid Car(4) that he hates but can't seem to get rid of thanks to it's Cursed Good Luck(1, Lucky Shots), and Armor Plating(1, can make a loss a tie). I can't remember what it was armed with, because he mostly attacked by opening the driver-side door and smashing stuff with it at high speed, or firing his dirty-Harry style revolver through the sunroof while steering with his feet.
Our adventurers began the game having just scavenged toilet paper from The Big City to fill a contract with the community of WallaWalla for ethanol and water. (Didn't you know? Everyone knows how to distill ethanol and/or make biodeisel and modify engines to run on it. Road Warrior had it all wrong. The real precious commodity is water.) Upon returning to WallaWalla they found it encircled by a band of Savage, Football Pad-Wearing, Be-mohawked Marauders(5) (Road Warrior did get that part right ;) ). Battle ensued, during which we learned that Suki prefers molotov cocktails when dealing with mostly-naked opponents on bikes. The bandits fled, while Tag strung one unfortunate captive behind his car and drove him into town.
When questioned, the town's Keeper told our antiheroes that the gang was after some widgets they found in the underground bunker beneath WallaWalla. (GM's plan was to have the antiheroes defend the town from the gang in return for more water... HA!) Suki asked the keeper "What are they for? Can you even use them?" The keeper scratched his chin and said, "Well, no... we don't know what they're for; no one can figure them out." So Suki says "then just give them up, stupid!"
Well, her logic was pretty solid, so the Keeper just said, "Well, yeah, why didn't I think of that?" and that was that.
So the antiheroes rode out of town heading north, while WallaWalla planned to give up the widgets. Well, our marauding band came back with reinforcements, but instead of going to the town, they came after Suki and Tag! After a lengthy fracas, a badly wounded survivor confessed that his master, Lord Invictus, thought that the two of them had taken the widgets out of town. They decided to pay a visit to this Lord Invictus fellow and Tag tortured their captive for the location of his Secret Desert Fortress(4). Upon arrival, Suki talked their way into the gated compound by showing generous amounts of flesh. They probably would have made it all the way to Invictus' audience chamber, were it not for Steve, the Lord's Chief Pastry Chef(4). For some reason, Suki's bosom had no effect on him, and he openly challenged their presence. Well, it came down to whether or not the crowd sided with Suki's bosom or listened to Steve. He opened by threatening their continued supply of Delicious Creampuffs(5), and not even Suki's charms seemed to stand up to that! Tag even tried one (single action conflict, the creampuff won) and realized what all the fuss was about. He brokered a deal in which they would visit Invictus under escort to parley.
Short version: Invictus made them a generous offer of their lives and a little bit of water in return for the widgets, which they explained would be possible for them to get. Tag threw in a striptease from Suki to sweeten the deal.
When they got back to WallaWalla, they discovered that the Keeper had already given the widgets away! He said he couldn't tell the difference between one roving band of psychos or another these days.
This story is starting to stretch the limits of "kinda long," so I'll summarize: They tracked the bandits to an abandoned nuclear missile silo, complete with nuke! A secret death cult currently inhabits it, and they are trying to find a way to launch the nuke into the supervolcano beneath yellowstone national park. They believe that human survival was a mistake or punishment from God or something and they're trying to "finish the job" of wiping out humanity so we can all finally ascend to the glorious nether realm... now that I write this, I realize that it's kind of like those ridiculous Necromongers from Chronicles of Riddick... anyway, the widgets would somehow help them accomplish this. Well, our antiheroes pulled the standard kill-some-guards, don-their-uniforms routine and smuggled the widgets back out. Another scuffle ensued when the cultists found out and chased them to Invictus' stronghold. This was the big one, folks, and all kinds of betrayal and killing ensued. Suki and Tag came out of it ok, and made their way across the desert to the south, leaving behind a new evil overlord at the stronghold (I think his name was "Bill").
After that, Thomas took the reins and I got to play the sample character I whipped up, Milton Scott, for yet another adventure. I won't go into the whole thing; suffice it to say that Thomas has a cruel sense of irony. ("Oh yeah, that guy you used as a human shield? He's dead now... Oh you're wounded? Yeah, he was a doctor. You can keep his stethoscope, though...")
Anyway, thanks again Hank!
aka Milton Scott
Reckless PA Badass(3)
Secret Death Cult Missionary(3)
Former Tax Attorney(2)
Puke-green '89 Volvo with machine gun (4)
Turbo Boosters (1, Lucky Shots)
Improvised Armor Plates(1, make a loss a tie)
PS: Oh poop. I just realized that Lord Invictus is the name of one of the notable bad guy characters in WizKids' Rocketmen game.
I think I'd heard it in passing or saw it on a website or something. On game day, when put on the spot to come up with a suitable name for my Impromptu Evil Local Warlord(3), "Invictus" just popped out. Please note: It's not the same guy. My intention was not for him to be anything like a certain Copyrighted WizKids Evil Overlord(6).