Chthonian Highways is a tabletop role-playing game set in a world where nightmarish creatures have ravaged the Earth and otherworldly landscapes have merged with ours. Strange, dreadful beings prowl in the shadows, and dangerous alien flora is taking over the green forests and grasslands. The few remnants of civilization are held together by the Chthonian highways – a web of roads that are still traversable by ground vehicles. The characters are dauntless road warriors who roam the cursed highways in their souped-up cars and motorcycles for as long as there is gasoline to keep the engines roaring.
The Alpha Playtest Kit
Chthonian Highways is currently at its alpha development stage and in open playtesting. The latest version is a playable prototype of Ironcore Engine including a brief description of the setting, rules, character creation, equipment, vehicles and a single ready-to-play scenario for 2 to 4 players. The latest version of the playtest kit can be downloaded for free.
Please note that this is not the final product. The game is still in development and some parts are still missing and/or only partially proofread. It probably has some mistakes here and there too.
The World of Chthonian Highways
What we know now as the Reckoning started roughly twenty years ago. First there were massive earthquakes like none we had ever seen before. The quakes were followed by tsunamis and the thick fog that rolled in from the sea. Millions of people were killed and lost in these natural disasters. At least we thought they were natural until the great sinkholes appeared and many cities collapsed into the deep chasms on the ground. Dense, foul-smelling steam poured out of these holes and people reported that they saw horrific creatures climbing out of the thick mist.
The earthquakes and the sinkholes of the Reckoning shattered most of the old roads and highways, but some were spared. The highways that are still good are used to transport people and goods through the wastelands between the settlements. While the cannibals and bandits often lie in wait along the roads, the roads are still safer and faster to travel than the badlands that are filled with unknown threats and abominable monstrosities.
The Road Warriors
The player characters are road warriors, brave men and women who are willing to risk their lives on the chthonian highways for a cause or for worldly riches. Some road warriors are more like mercenaries or wasteland paladins on a quest, while others are more like travelling merchants or messengers trying to keep up people’s hopes.
Because death is always lurking on the chthonian highways, road warriors tend to form groups called convoys. The road warrior convoys are tightly knit groups with people, who are willing to give their lives for each other. Only by trusting your convoy, you can survive another day on the chthonian highways.