Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Highwayman Television Series For Your Old School Post Apocalyptic Campaign



“There is a world, just beyond now, where reality runs a razor thin seam between fact and possibility; where the laws of the present collide with the crimes of tomorrow. Patrolling these vast outlands is a new breed of lawman, guarding the fringes of society’s frontiers, they are known simply as ‘Highwaymen’... and this is their story...
 


I pride myself on being a provocateur  of  the post apocalyptic genre but this little gem escaped my notice.. Its the story about a dangerous type of warrior of the highways.. according to the voice over by William Conrad : 
They say he came into this world from someplace off the clock.

And his mother was an ice-cold wind; his pa a fiery rock.
It's told that on some starless nights his rig could up and blow,
And folks who say they saw it coming swear they didn't see it go.
Now you hear a lot of legends told when you ride the long hard slab,
From some who say the man is good and some who say he's bad.
But all agreed who've ever tried to play a cheatin' hand;
You only get one chance to draw against "The Highwayman."

Most crimes in our society begin or end on some stretch of road, where laws often terminate at county lines. Combating these legal blackouts is a new breed of lawman; working the fringes of society's frontiers, and known simply as 'Highwaymen.'
This is the story—and the legend—of one such man: The Highwayman.


 This show would pop up time to time on various forums for the OSR  & Cyberpunk 2020.The plot was interesting to say the least.  There were elements of knight rider, a weird mad max shadow years world, & lots of South Western locations The basic plot went something like this :
The Highwayman", one of a mysterious group, presumably  of U.S. Marshals, conducting crime-fighting missions and solving bizarre mysteries. Each Highwayman in this group is equipped with a high-tech, multi-function truck. 

The lead character is more mysterious than any of the other Highwaymen in that his real name is never revealed (he is only known as "The Highwayman" or "Highway"). He drives a large, black, computerized truck with a bullet-shaped cabin, which is the nose of a concealed helicopter (an AĆ©rospatiale Gazelle) which can detach from the rest of the truck. The truck can also operate in "stealth mode" to become invisible. A concealed futuristic sports car can emerge from the truck's rear. Some elements of the futuristic dashboard design were re-used from Knight Rider.
 





Twenty five years ago this show was cool. This was a world on the ragged edge. The United States had been through a war in either South America or the Middle East. Possibly both & society was barely holding together.
 After the pilot they added another highway & truck! Wiki explains it here :
After the 1987 pilot film, only Jones returned for the weekly series. The retooling of the premise eliminated the truck's "stealth mode", which was never mentioned again. The Highwayman was joined by a new sidekick, Australian outback survival expert "Jetto," played byMark "Jacko" JacksonJane Badler as the Highwayman's "boss", Ms. Tania Winthrop, and Tim Russ as D.C. Montana, who was responsible for the maintenance and modifications to the vehicles  
Australian outback survival expert "Jetto,"'s truck
A Quick Note on Weaponry of  The Highwayman 
There's always been some confusion on the weapon the Highwayman carries.

 Personally I believe that the firearms carried by the Highwayman and Jetto are larger and more imposing than traditional police sidearms. That carried by the Highwayman appears to be similar to a stockless 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun with a sawn-off barrel, as used by SWAT teams and some military agencies.
 T
his weapon has selectable 'modes' and is capable of firing both 9mm Parabellumand 20mm high-explosive ammunition. The sidearm carried by Jetto is a stockless, full-length Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun. These weapons are the military grade stuff that the United States Police forces carry in Escape From New York.


The Highwayman & The OSR
 

 The Highwayman is a very weird little show  & when I ran a Cyberpunk 2020/Gamma World hybrid  campaign it was one of the sources I pulled from.. The Shadow Years of  Gamma World 1st & 2nd edition are a terrible time for humanity.. So I used the Highwayman & another 80s icon
 There wasn't too much information about the organization that the Highwayman works for but wiki summarized what was already in my notes:
Although the organization shares elements with that of "F.L.A.G." (the Foundation for Law and Government) from Knight Rider, it shares more with the mysterious "Firm" from the original three seasons of Airwolf.The exact organization that the Highwayman and Jetto work for is never revealed in any great depth. Highwaymen seem to have extra-legal powers that occasionally cause conflict with the local police.
There was another organization that had hybrid   & did similar jobs as the Highwayman.


MASK Logo.JPG

I gave a bit more of  background to the forces of  the Mobile Armored Strike Kommand & The Highwaymen dealing with the threats in the Shadow Years. Venom & Contraworld's forces were profiting from the mutations & mayhem going on.. V.E.N.O.M. (an acronym for the Vicious Evil Network oMayhem).  They appear to be the foot soldiers of an even higher evil organization called Contraworld.  
The criminals from this United States were sent to the maximum security facility in what used to be New York City
Perhaps you've heard of it? 


At some point I'm going to run this again with Mutant Future & Metamorphis Alpha original edition.
The best source of information about the Highwayman is of course  Here

 
This same campaign was a world where everything had gone to hell back in '79 but the world continued on. The government during these shadow years created the following programs to cope. 


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