Two-Lane Blacktop

April 21, 2008

Blacktop is a two lane road that extends forever because it is in fact a complicated loop. If you keep driving away from the crash site (the starting location), you’ll eventually end up back there. As such, it’s best to talk about Blacktop geography in the sense of stretches of road that the car goes through.

1. Speed Traps: where the speed limit drops suddenly and cops lurk.
2. Traffic Jams: where maneuvering and high speeds become difficult.
3. Roadwork: unending highway repair.
4. Rest Stops: the only time when you’re not on the highway.
5. Hills: good places to try to achieve escape velocity.
6. Crash Site: where this all began.
etc.

Each area has specific limitations and required rolls that must happen for your car to proceed safely through. Poor rolls may mean that the car loses speed, is damaged, is pursued by the police, etc. Over the course of play, then, there are a few conditions that should be kept track of:

1. Speed: How fast is the car going right now?
3. Gear: What gear is the car in? This provides a limit on the top speed.
2. Speed Limit: How fast can you go without the police getting involved?
4. Damage: Is the car smoking? Is it on fire? Have you lost one of the tires?
5. Pursuers: Are the police on your tail? How many? How close are they?
etc.

Now, leaving Blacktop for the heavens is a matter of putting together the right combination of elements. Think of it as crafting the world’s best cheeseburger.

1. Lettuce: achieving escape velocity.
2. Tomato: being on the right stretch of road.
3. Heinz 57: being in top gear.
4. French Fried Potato: being on fire.
5. Big Kosher Pickle: being chased by the cops.
6. Cold Draft Beer: pulling some crazy maneuver.
7. Good God Almighty: the Godstick being ready to leave.

You stand a fair chance of being able to soar into the heavens with more than half of these elements, but your best bet is to try to fulfill as many as possible, since, if you don’t rocket away into the sky, maintaining these conditions can be really dangerous and lead to monster crashes (which are also fun, but move you further away from victory).

2 Responses to “Two-Lane Blacktop”

  1. fredhicks Says:

    I’d recommend saying “Ketchup” instead of “Heinz 57”, just from a “less likely to be seen as an infringing use of a brand” sort of perspective. 🙂


  2. True. I’m no Jimmy Buffet.


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