Monday, September 12, 2011

Guide to Berk: Vehicles

Miles per gallon? What's that? Image from Wikimedia Commons.

If you're going somewhere in Berk, there's a good chance you'll walk. Gasoline is rare, and anyone who has it is going to spend a lot of time (and probably most of the gasoline) just trying to keep it. Keeping animals is expensive, too, and there are few places to get a decent horse in Berk. Still, people have to get around, and goods need to be shipped from place to place, so there are all sorts of vehicles in Berk. Some are old-fashioned, while others are a new take on an old idea.


The automobiles of the wasteland are almost all owned by Gibsons. These tend to be stripped of all nonessential parts to save on gas, and the windows are almost always replaced with metal bars or nothing at all. Of course, no self-respecting Gibson would ever drive a vehicle that did not have spikes soldered to it, a custom paint job, or LEDs stuck on it.

There are a few biodiesel cars in Berk. Tofu people love these, and Gibsons pay less attention to a biodiesel car. For this reason, anyone who owns a biodiesel car will often go to great lengths to show that the car is biodiesel, though Gibsons rarely pay attention, as they know it may be a trick to hide a gasoline-powered car. While Gibsons may not swoop in on biodiesel cars, Gipsters love them, and several Berk residents who thought that their biodiesel cars were safe from raiders found out how wrong they were at the dread sound of scratchy record players approaching from all directions.


Motorcycles are the vehicle most associated with Gibsons, but statistically motorcycles are more likely to be found outside of Gibsons' hands than automobiles. This is because motorcycles are easier to store in a protected location, and are more nimble and thus able to escape from raider predation through the debris-strewn streets of Berk.

Librarians and Russian Werewolves make good use of motorcycles, and many unaffiliated adventuring parties have at least one motorcycle for scouting and running messages. Of course, some adventuring gangs keep motorcycles that are broken down and/or have empty fuel cans just so they can pose on top of them when meeting with potential employers.


They may not look as cool as motorcycles, but bicycles are one of the most practical vehicles available in Berk. They do not consume fuel and are relatively easy to maintain. Common among all factions, bicycles are especially beloved by Gipsters and Brofessors.

Tandem bicycles, while more rare, have the benefit of allowing one person to steer while the other one operates a weapon. Be warned, the more you laugh, the easier you are to hit.


Horses are hard to keep within the city, but Ents from Redwood and wastelanders visiting the city often employ these handy mounts. Horses require no spare parts and their fuel grows naturally, so they are a logical choice for post-post-apocalyptic survivors. As an added bonus, many horses have more common sense than their owners, so some survivors who at first turned up their noses at the thought of riding a horse soon changed their minds when their mount detected a Bearcoon sneaking up.

The horses of Berk can be a little mutated, but breeders will avoid breeding a horse if it's too mutated. Usually.


If it has wheels and is pulled by a horse, it's a cart. Many carts in Berk are converted automobiles, whether sedans, trucks, or city cars. Merchants use them almost exclusively for getting goods to and from Berk, and anyone who thinks that a cart can't be badass just isn't trying hard enough.

Mules and Donkeys

Strong, tough, and somewhat resistant to mutation, mules and donkeys still have a place in the post-post-apocalypse. Like horses, they don't need replacement parts or fuel, and they have the advantage of famously bad attitudes. There are raiders who wouldn't be caught with a girly mount like a horse who don't mind being seen on the back of a mean mule.


Barrows are a burro-like breed of deer, so named because of a joke that they are a cross between deer and wheelbarrows. Neither as big or as tough as a mule, barrows are very quick and light-footed and are thus the animal of choice for people trying to get relatively light goods from one place to another quickly. Librarians and Russian Werewolves who are reinforcing the more far-flung libraries and train stations often use barrows to bring supplies over broken terrain while attracting minimum attention.


Rickshaws are common in Berk. Like bicycles, they do not need fuel. As an added bonus, many rickshaws are pulled by robots, who can take advantage of wheels or treads to work up good speed over mostly level ground. Weaponized rickshaws, where the rider carries a weapon, have become so famous that all over Berk, when people are trying to decide who gets the prime seat in a vehicle, someone will call "rickshaw-gun!"

Boats and sea animals

Boats are useful in navigating the partially submerged parts of Berk. Rowboats are the most common, but canoes are also popular, and there is at least one aquatic gang of Gibsons who ride jet-skis instead of motorcycles.

Cuttlefolk merchants from the Sunken City often arrive in more exotic vehicles, such as bathyspheres, hand-cranked submarines, or on the backs of nudibranches, sea slugs bred for riding by Cuttlefolk ranchers.

Exotic Vehicles

On an average day in Berk, you will no doubt see many carts, some bicycles and rickshaws, a few horses or barrows, and perhaps a car or a motorcycle. You might also see exotic vehicles like the tuk-tuk, leftovers of the Between-Time like the chicken walkers, and even foreign animals like an elephant named Victoria. Yeah, I don't know where that elephant came from, but some members of the Sepia Society spoil that thing rotten and ride it everywhere.


  1. Is the group of Gibsons who like jet-skis particularly fond of cigarettes?

    Optional quest in my adventure: "Get a Ride on Victoria."

  2. The Gibsons who like jet-skis are known as the Pirates of the Bay. :B