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Bikers without bikes

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Svrtnsse, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    My main character is due to pass through the kind of biker bar that's frequented by big burly dangerous-looking men in studded leather and lots of tattoos. You know, the stereotypical biker hangout. Only, there are no motorcycles in my setting, and I'm having a hard time coming up with something equivalent.

    It's not super important to the story that I come up with anything specific. It'll work anyway. I figured it's a nice thought experiment though. What do you think?

    The are is a kind of swamp/forest so it's flat and wet, and there may be a fair bit of traffic by boat. It's also pretty warm, so too much heavy leather may be uncomfortable. There will be lots of scary tattoos though.
     
  2. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

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    I have to jump on this real quick like. I figure the Fantasy sort of equivalent would be like a wolf rider sort of bar. It's actually a later development for my own stories, but the wolf/drake and other sorts tend to equal biker gangs. With dragon and griffon riders being the equivalent of pilots. Or at least give that vibe. It could also be a smugglers sort of bar. What with the usual sort of low lives and smugglers bandying about. If you can give the atmosphere, you can even have it a bit like the Shrek bar. Maybe a Dark Lord hanging back with the minions and having a (not so) private function.
     
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  3. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Mounts is a good idea. I won't be using wolves, as the place is also "home" to a werewolf pack, but there are other things that can be ridden, and which can handle the wetness too.
     
  4. My immediate first thought was riding on huge wild boars.

    call them the Hog Riders or something
     
  5. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    There are plenty of "rough types" without bikers. Bandits might operate near trade routes, a whole culture of swamp dwellers might live on the fringes of civilization, ones that are insular, and not friendly to outsiders.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    I think of those guys on that oil rig in Waterworld, remember that movie? Maybe your guys are smugglers of some kind?
     
  7. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Longshoremen. Docks are usually a very lucrative part of the world to work and live in. They have been the home of closed shops [no outsiders allowed], generational family involvement, less than petty crime and full out organised crime. If they live on or near the water and they want a ride... Giant Pike? Alligators?
     
  8. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Good ideas all of them. Thanks for the comments and suggestions. This helps quite a bit. :)
     
  9. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

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    My first thought when I read "bikers without bikes" was Flying broomsticks! ... No, really. Attach some handlebars, a seat cushion, some stirrups and saddlebags, and maybe a lamp and windshield in front, and viola! Magic biker thugs. They'd function like the speeder bikes from Star Wars, I suppose, with more emphasis on speed rather than height.

    I can easily imagine a group of surly tattooed 'bikers' zipping along the swamp just above the reeds, intimidating the boatmen passing by.
     
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  10. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    This works a lot better than you probably expected. I'd have to change the name as broom carries some imagery I'm not too happy with, but other than that I think it would work.

    Magic within the setting is such that in theory this would work just fine. In practice it'd probably be a bit too much time, effort, and money to keep an entire gang with enchanted brooms, but in theory it could be done.

    At one point a medic arrives on a flying carpet, so there's no reason they shouldn't be able to use brooms in the same way.
     
  11. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

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    In that case, the word 'broom' could be a contentious point with them too: "It's not a 'broom'! It's an oaken spear haft bound with the finest of genisteae fibers!"

    Hell, maybe the fibers on the end are actually from a shrub called bike? Similar to how the broom shrub was used to make old brooms.

    Or! I remember reading somewhere that bike meant beehive or wasp nest in some language (Scottish, I think?). So, you could have it that everyone calls it a bike cause it sounds a lot like a beehive when flying?

    Viola~ You've got yourself a biker gang, drinking at a biker bar. :D And they might even be Scottish.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  12. Bruce McKnight

    Bruce McKnight Troubadour

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    I must not be in an original mood. My mind first went to a hangout for hitmen (a la Deadpool). There's a sort of brotherhood among them and you don't want to mess with anyone there. Similarly, it could just be regular sellswords that are hireable for guarding caravans or the like.

    Thieve's guilds can be a bit cheesy, but you could subtle it up by just having a place where all the well-known degenerates hang out. If there is organized crime, the muscle could hang out at the same place at the end of a day (a la Sopranos). Sailor bars could also have an edge to them (a la Black Sails).

    Is there a compelling story need to know /why/ everyone there is a big bad*ss? Could the character just walk in and immediately notice everyone looks like they want to hurt him (a la Elf)?
     
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