Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The "Walked Two Miles Uphill in the Snow to Game" Story

So we're not technically in a blizzard anymore - changes in conditions here have reduced the weather from that to just a nasty mix of snow, sleet, wind, and whatnot. Still, it's a state of emergency and pretty much everything is closed. Pretty standard weather if you go north of here far enough, but crippling nonetheless.

I've mentioned before about some of my players hiking through snow to my house to game.

Way back in the 90s I ran a game for a couple of players - three of them ultimately, two of whom still play with me and one of whom is an occasional drop-in.* We had a blizzard that shut the state of New Jersey down for a couple of days. No non-emergency vehicles on the road, snow piled up everywhere, etc.

I lived over two miles from the pair of them, on the other side of town, with plenty of steady, steep hills in between.

So as soon as the snow stopped, and the road got plowed enough to move around on - although it was still illegal to drive on them - they got their winter clothes on and hiked over. The state was closed for like 2-3 days, and we played on them. They walked all the way over, we played all day, and they walked home. I still remember walking part of the way back with them - all the way to the steep hill down near the elementary school by my house. I don't really remember the walk back home, but I remember standing there about 1/3 of the way and thinking, geez, this is crazy and cool. It was cold, but sunny and not windy, and if you can walk in the middle of mostly-plowed streets on packed snow with no black ice you're really not trudging too much.

These days that couldn't happen. The closest gamer to me is several times as far away with highways cutting between us at four points. Two gamers live in different states. We'd likely just play by Skype if I could keep my group down to three players and a story-centered game like we had going them. The one time we had a snowstorm the day before a game day one of my gamers picked me up so I didn't have to dig my car out of the snow in order to drive to game (also, so we'd have one less spot to hopefully find near our host's house.)

Still cool though. It's something I still think about after every snowstorm.

And I always think, I need to make the PCs walk around on snowshoes in my game. I think there are handy rules for them in DF16 and GURPS Russia . . .

* The brothers who run Vryce/Gerry/Short Bus and Dryst/Nakar/Angus McSwashy/Princess and our long-time friend who ran Caveman in the first two sessions of our Gamma World game. Those that know these three won't be surprised that they walked two miles plus in the snow to play games. If I said, "two of my current group walked uphill in the snow to play games" my current gamers could guess who. They're not easy people to discourage.


  1. I'm pretty sure Low-Tech has rules for snow shoes as well.

  2. I'm 45; we live just outside of Washington DC. This same thing happened with the huge snow of early 1987. Five of us tromped the snow and got together for a free-form "dungeon" (primitive terms back then). One guy got pissed and left, leaving four. We scissored a cereal box and scrawled-a-crawl on the inside panels. Even recruited a little sister for objective dice-rolling chores. We used a snow theme and named the whole thing The Flooded Mines of Poriat. Okay, semi-flooded mines with melted snow and broken tracks, pulleys, carts and tools is not the most imaginative thing in the world, but damn was it a lot of fun. We were huge Fiend Folio fans and I stocked it with Norkers and . . . oh man, what was the other thing . . . ogrillon? Something like that. Helluva lot of fun. Snow days make for awesome creativity.


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