Hell on Wheels (for Gateway 2016)

Happy post-GURPSDay day!

You may have noticed I missed the Thursday deadline this week. Sorry about that! Occupational hazard from working overnights… I fell asleep, plain and simple, just passed out in front of the computer and didn’t wake up until it was time to leave for work again. (I am told sleeping four hours a day for extended periods is bad for you, but hey — so far so good!)

The other deadline very much on my mind lately is for game submission for the upcoming Gateway 2016 convention. That deadline would be… today. Sooo, I spent the morning after work brainstorming possible games to GM over the Labor Day weekend and finally came up with a blurb. That’s really all I need at this point — I don’t have to have the game prepped and ready to go for another few weeks, I just need to know enough about it to get it in the convention program.


These are all the game possibilities I dreamed up before finally hitting the one that felt right. This is the totally freewheelin’, no boundaries, sky’s the limit, completely spitballing ideas phase:

  • Streets of Fire (I will absolutely run this one day, but it’s going to need a lot of prep work and I just don’t have the time right now)
  • Cavemen
  • Four-color superheroes
  • Modern grimdark superheroes
  • Escape from New York
  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Bunnies and Burrows (players seem to love B&B as much as I do! Definitely running more of these eventually)
  • Old West
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Cyberpunk
  • Stranger Things (I loved the show, but I think a four-hour game of it would be… challenging)
  • Firefly and/or “Generic space western tramp freighter crew”
  • Fantasy Dungeon Crawl
  • Fantasy Dungeon Crawl with PCs as the monsters
  • Secret Life of Pets
  • Real world RPG players “magically sucked into the game world”
  • Gritty Espionage (“Jason Bourne”)
  • Cinematic Espionage (“James Bond”)
  • Haunted House/Call of Cthulhu
  • Sequel to “The Boogeyman”
  • Big Trouble in Little China
  • Age of Sail Pirates

Basically, I let my brain percolate while I worked until it spit out an idea. Then I’d spend a couple of minutes mulling over what the PCs might be like and what adventures they could go on. If nothing really grabbed me, I just jotted it on the list and moved on until the next one.

There are a lot of fun ideas in that list, and it will be nice to have it for the next convention prep, but I wasn’t really feeling any of them for this time around.

Then, I was cruising /r/rpg and saw a thread title called “Scenario/Encounter ideas for motorcycle-traveller based RP.” Not the thread, just the title… for whatever reason, the word “motorcycle” set off my “Winnah!” bells and I immediately grew enthused about creating a party of PC outlaw bikers (shades of “Sons of Anarchy”).

I spent just a minute or two thinking of possible adventures for a group of PC criminal bikers and quickly realized I had like a dozen. Yay, game chosen!

Obviously, now the real prep work is just beginning (and will be covered in future posts), but I have a very broad idea of what seems like a fun game so I entered this as my blurb for the convention booklet and registration:

“The Hellhounds outlaw motorcycle club has been in decline for years, but this big score could really turn things around. Just watch your back as you make the drop – – things in this world aren’t always what they seem, and no matter how tough you are there’s always a bigger fish. NOTE: Characters are outlaw bikers and not Nice People at all. NO GURPS experience needed.”

BAM. Deadline met, game submitted! Now I just have to actually prepare it and run it, but those are the fun parts.

Random Tidbit: I am really looking forward to reading this week’s GURPS release, “Adaptations.” Meta/GM-y kind of books are my absolute faves!


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  1. You deadline for Gateway was the 12th! Holy S**T!!! I’m not attending a Labor Con this year, but the deadline up year is usually around August 1st.

    Good description of the game idea process.

    Trying to come up with game is a challenge. Coming up with the idea is the easy part for me. Except for this time. I picked up Adaptions and I think it will be a big help for me.

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