CYOW #3: Apocalypse Jonathan Dawes Projects

Death On Two Legs

Creator: Jon Dawes
Exhibition: CYOW 3: Apocalypse
Published: May 2020
Format: Twine (Harlowe 3.1.0)
Content Warning: Violence, Despair

“Never trust anything on two legs.”


Description of the Work

Back in the eighties, when I was in high school, some of my friends (Brian and Shane) started working on a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game called “Wheelchair Wars”. The idea was that something made everyone unable to walk, so they were souping up wheelchairs and fighting over gas like Mad Max. It was old school, so we started by making a bunch of tables for things like what happened to you when you ran over something radioactive. (You mutated, obviously.) The actual game design never went much farther than that.

Fast forward to the current millennium: Now, my old friend Shane has a kind of terrible arthritis that has actually put him into a wheelchair. We talked about the things that suck about being in a wheelchair in a world designed for walking, some of which were not obvious to me. We thought it would be cool to revisit the idea of a Wheelchair Wars RPG with an eye toward miniature games that have done cool things with vehicle combat, like Games Workshop’s Gorkamorka and Steve Jackson Games’ Car Wars. I even ran a few system-less playtest sessions to see what kind of things people would do, but didn’t get much farther than that.

When I heard that the Papercut Arcade’s next CYOW theme was to be “Apocalypse”, I knew right away that my story would be set in the Wheelchair Wars universe. This one’s for you, Shane. I hope you like it!

Process & Project Photos

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