Ever since Fifa stopped dropping off the brown envelopes a couple of years ago--no idea why that happened--we've had to scale things back a bit at DiceChucker Enterprises, and nowhere was this more obvious than at Dicechuck-a-thon XXVI.333, staged last weekend. This year's event was relocated from the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan to a corner table at the fabled Royal Canadian House of Pancakes. To be fair, it was one of those big, round tables with the booth-style seating; we could've seated 8 comfortably.
Inspired by the venue, I decided to debut my new maple punk game. Set in an alternate earth some time after the Cold War came to a head with a limited nuclear war--a la War Day by Whitley Strieber & James Kunetka, or, for the less-literate, "Red Dawn" by the immortal Patrick Swayze--both the Soviet Union and the United States are vastly dissipated as a result, leaving Canada as the predominant force in the Northern hemisphere. Rumors spread that the nuclear strike was instigated by Moscow in retaliation for the Miracle on Ice, which induced Canada--outraged that they were left out of a war over a hockey game--to send troops across the north pole to claim the rich ice fields of Novaya Zemlya and simultaneously, in a move known as "Burgoyne's Revenge", invading the U.S. at several points in New England and the Upper Midwest, staking claim to the American rust belt and cornering the world's maple syrup supply.
But the the Maple Leaf forces, upon reaching burnt out remnants of Schenectady in the east, or perhaps on failing to find the Ransom Money from "Fargo", decided there really wasn't much to be gained by the occupation and retreated back to their pre-war boundaries. But the remnants of the United States had broken up into various regional confederacies, none of which seemed to want anything to do with the frosty North Country territories that the Canadian troops had vacated, and made no effort to reclaim these lands. The area has now become a no-mans land stretching from Maine to Minnesota and as far south as the I-90/94 corridor in some areas. Populated by settlers and bandits driving rusted-out pickup trucks across frozen lakes, all sorts of freebootery take place in this zone but, this being the North Country, three commodities reign supreme: Labatt's, cheese curds, and the collected works of Irving Bacheller.
I see it as a sort of Boreal "Road Warrior" or perhaps "Dukes of Hazzard" on snowmobiles. As such, I'm using a mishmash of Gamma World/D&D rules with stuff from Gangbusters--mostly firearms and vehicular combat rules--and maybe some Aftermath wherever that seems appropriate, like when I need some nuclear fall out. We played the shit out of it at the pancake bar on Saturday. Sorry to have missed you.