“My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land. But most of all, I remember the Road Warrior. The man we called “Max”.
To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time. When the world was powered by the black fuel. And the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing. They built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed on men.
On the roads it was a white-line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice. And in this maelstrom of decay, ordinary men were battered and smashed. Men like Max. The warrior Max. In the roar of an engine, he lost everything. And became a shell of a man, a burnt out, desolate man, a man haunted by the demons of his past, a man who wandered out into the wasteland. And it was here, in this blighted place, that he learned to live again...”
—The Narrator, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Opening Monologue
In 1979 George Miller and Byron Kennedy created the film Mad Max, a dystopian action film dealing with the slow breakdown of society and the vengeance-fueled rampage of the titular hero, Max. Shot on a budget of only $400,000 AUD, it eventually made $100 million worldwide and for thirty years held the record for the highest profit-to-cast ration for any motion picture, until Paranormal Activity was released in 2009.
Mad Max was so successful it spawned a sequel, the 1981 smash hit The Road Warrior (known as Mad Max 2 in Australia). Generally considered to be far superior to the original movie, The Road Warrior advances the timeline to after a global war, presenting the viewer with a post-apocalyptic world that has been imitated in countless films, games, stories, and comics.
In 1985 a third Mad Max movie was made, titled Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. It pushed the timeline further into the future, and showed how society was slowly rebuilding itself. While generally well-received, it lacked some of the maniac energy of the first two films. However, there is (supposedly) a fourth Mad Max film on the way, Mad Max IV: Fury Road. In March of 2009, director George Miller announced the development of a 3D animated film that will continue the Mad Max story line, although location scouting has been rumored to occur for a live-action film. Right now, the most likely result is a Japanese anime for Northstar Productions that will probably debut in 2011.
No dates are given in any of the films, aside from “a few years from now” at the start of Mad Max. However, the official movie magazine for Beyond Thunderdome states that it’s set 18 years after The Road Warrior while George Miller says it’s 13 years after. Using Mad Max as the basis, we get this possible timeline:
1979—Mad Max released.
1984—“A few years from now...” The events depicted in Mad Max occur.
1987—Max goes into the Outback and encounters the refinery. The events depicted in Mad Max 2 occur.
2000—Max encounters Bartertown. The events depicted in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome occur per George Miller.
2005—Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome per the official movie magazine.
A much more elaborate and detailed timeline can be found at the Max Max Chronology. Taken from the novelizations of the three movies, it pushes the events of Mad Max up to the year 2000, with Thunderdome taking place in 2018.
The character represented here are only a sampling of the ones who appear in the various films. They were written up as 175-point heroic level characters for HERO System 6th Edition. The cast includes:
Jim Goose: A Main Force Patrol officer who uses a motorcycle.
Max Rockatansky: A Main Force Patrol officer who feels he’s seen enough.
The Gyro Captain: A scavenger living out in the wastelands, he pilots a tiny gyrocopter.
Lord Humungus: A huge, muscular man, who leads a gang of marauders.
Max Rockatansky: Having left the MFP behind, Max now wanders the wastelands, trying to survive.
Wez: Humungus’s lieutenant, and a violence-addicted psychopath.
Auntie Entity: The cruel leader of Bartertown.
Master-Blaster: Made up of the diminutive “Master” and his hulking partner “Blaster,” this duo supply the power to Bartertown.
Max Rockatansky: Now a wandering trader and/or scrounger of the wastes, Max continues his aimless journey.
There are numerous other characters featured in the films. Examples include the Toecutter from the first movie, the Warrior Woman and Papagallo from the second, and Jebediah from the third. While I didn’t create character sheets for them (for various reasons), it’s fairly easy to do so. Simply start with the Competent Normal on page 440 of 6E1 and add in any number of Templates (such as the Ganger from Post-Apocalyptic Hero) and weapon skills.
Jim Goose | Max Rockatansky | V-8 Pursuit Special
MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR
The Gyro Captain| Lord Humungus | Max Rockatansky and Dog | Wez | Gyrocopter | The Humungus Machine | V-8 Pursuit Special
MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME
Auntie Entity | Master and Blaster | Max Rockatansky | Transavia PL-12 Airtruk
Return to Movie-Derived Character Adaptations.