Friday, December 3, 2010
Gamma World: The Road
There's only one Road. Only one good one, anyway. Chances are there was a whole network of Roads once, criss-crossing and connecting the entire West. But a lot of things have happened since then: wars, disasters, dimensional incursions, robot wars...
The Road we've got is probably pieced together from the good bits of a bunch of different ones, judging on how some stretches tend to go on beyond the turns. Most of them are either bombed out, booby trapped or overgrown enough that you couldn't get anywhere on 'em without rides built special for navigating the terrain. No way in hell that the Tankers could make their way over those cobbles. And that's why we have the Road, and the reason that it can't be broken.
Sure, you can drive your pick-up or dune buggy or hover-boat around wherever you please, but none of those things can haul worth a damn. If you really wanna get things from Point A to Point B, you gotta use something big, like one of the old tankers or a gravity barge, and if there's one thing that all those Big Rigs need, it's space and stability. But once you've got that, you need to keep it that way.
That's where the towns come in. Most of them sprung up Roadside as soon as the lines from the Coast to Vegas were being reconnoitered, but each of them soon learned the drill. If you keep your chunk of the Road free from raiding parties, burrowing sharks and giant robots, you get trading rights for the cargo coming down the Road. Depending on what Rigs are rolling, you could get anything from clothing to food to construction supplies to Dr. Goggles' Tank-Aged Frontier Whiskey. The promise of first dibs on these treasures is enough to keep the crossbows loaded and lasers charged most Roadside settlements.