“It’s time for New Oerth City’s favorite game show pastime! ‘Killer Cars and Motor Murder!’ It’s the only game show that combines demolition derby, gladiatorial combat and modern popular culture! Strap on your helmets and visors, it’s carnage time!”
In several dystopian and post-apocalyptic books, games and movies; technology hasn’t so much improved our lives so much as modified how we do things… whether it’s in the name of everyday convenience or horrible acts of violence. In the case of today’s post? We’re reinventing the former to do the latter! Twisted game shows, a new form of combat among road warriors, an armored carriage against an unrelenting wasteland, improved assets for both warfare and public suppression, you get the idea. I’m talking about stuff like Death Race 2000, Twisted Metal, Blood Drive, Mad Max, Cel Damage, Car Wars, stuff like that! So today, we dedicate this post to decked out and weaponized automobiles!
Author’s Note: I’ve been wanting to update vehicles for a while! Plus, this is an excuse to write up some ideas for vehicular combat, in terms of more modern machines. Jousting with motorcycles, fuck yeah! And yes, I realize that some of the ideas below are somewhat sparse notes, but I’ll probably come back to this later. After all, I promised someone something on racing, something on jousting and even mecha battles! GIANT ROBOTS!!
Vehicles: In order to properly harness a vehicle’s capabilities, the driver must be proficient in the Tool, Vehicles… particularly land vehicles.
- Waste Dune Buggy – 7,500 GP; Speed 60 MPH; Crew 1; Passengers 1; Cargo 100 lbs.; AC 13; HP 55; Damage Threshold 10
- Spiky Buggy – 9,000 GP; Speed 50 MPH; Crew 1; Passengers 1; Cargo 80 lbs; AC 16; HP 55; Damage Threshold 10; Spiky Covering, Melee Weapon Attack (Reach 5ft.), 18 (4d8) piercing damage
- Motorbike – 8,000 GP; Speed 100 MPH; Crew 1; Passengers 1; Cargo 50 lbs.; AC 14; HP 40; Damage Threshold –
- Light Plated Car – 9,000 GP; Speed 100 MPH; Crew 1; Passengers 4; Cargo 300 lbs.; AC 15; HP 75; Damage Threshold 15; Contains trunk space for turret
- Heavy Plated Car – 10,500 GP; Speed 80 MPH; Crew 1; Passengers 4; Cargo 200 lbs.; AC 18; HP 85; Damage Threshold 25; Contains trunk space for turret
- Speeding Bullet – 12,000 GP; Speed 140 MPH; Crew 1; Passengers 1; Cargo 150 lbs.; AC 12; HP 70; Damage Threshold 15; Ramming Buffer, Melee Weapon Attack (Reach 5ft.), 21 (6d6) bludgeoning damage.
- Battle Tank – 40,000 GP; Speed 30 MPH; Crew 4; Passengers 10; Cargo 600 lbs.; AC 15; HP 135; Damage Threshold 20; Turbo Cannon – Requires Prof. in Artillery Weapons; Ranged Weapon Attack (Ranged 1000 ft./3000 ft.), 55 (10d10) piercing and fire damage.
- Armed Rigging Truck – 20,000 GP; Speed 75 MPH; Crew 1 – 4; Passengers 1 – 8; Cargo 2,000 lbs.; AC 12; HP 120; Damage Threshold 20; Harpoon Turrets – Requires Prof. in Artillery Weapons, Ranged Weapon Attack (Ranged 60 ft./200 ft.), 22 (4d10) piercing damage, Reload; Contains space for up to 2 more turret or stationed weapons.
Driving around takes up fuel! And… well, without fuel… you’re kinda fucked. Taking inspiration from 7E Gamma World rules, your tank starts out full and travel depletes it. Traveling over the course of 1 hour depletes your tank slightly. Doing so up to 4 times drains it to empty. The usage of fuel is spent in hourly intervals. Fueling your tank requires a station, a gas tank or some other source.
Now, in some cases, alternative fuel can work as a viable substitute. A scientifically minded character could convert corn into fuel with the right supplies. Though, if you’re feeling gutsy, some “fuel conversion machines” have made their work out of living bodies; converting the viscera and grossness into a fuel source all its own.
Reaching Top Speed:
Usually in one turn, you can speed a vehicle up to 1/2 of its maximum speed range. In order to reach high speed in record time, the driver must make a DC 14 Vehicle tool check. Failure can prevent them from doing so, slow acceleration and cause some sort of backlash. Upon success, you may roll 1d6 x 10. The result is the MPH you accelerate to. Otherwise, they may choose to accelerate 10 more MPH instead.
The driver is sometimes forced to make a Vehicle check to keep control of their car, should they encounter an obstacle. A major failure can result in damage to you, passengers, or the car. The Base DC for the check is 10. Below are some example modifiers that change the DC:
- One or more of your tires has been damages, if not outright destroyed: +4
- Rammed on the side by a car equal in size/weight to your own: +2
- Like the previous, but the attacking car is larger/heavier: +4
- Your car is the target of gunfire aimed for you or other passengers: +3
- A large chunk of debris blocks the roadway: +3
- A massive barrier, metal or concrete, blockading the area: +6 (successful save halves damage)
- Tight Roadway (w/ rail): +3
- Tight Roadway (no rail/over cliff): +5
- Hazardous Road Terrain (bumpy/uneven/cracked/crumbling): +2
- Extremely Dangerous Road Terrain (littered with debris/extremely uneven): +4
This mini-game pits groups of racers against each other through a cruel and unforgiving course. Many of the encounters are driven by your vehicles (pun intended), combating creatures on the road as well as inside other cars. The objective is simple, make your way to the finish line alive!
Below are some sample encounter ideas:
Ambush – Many raiders, revolutionaries and the like aren’t fans of this racing event and are more than happy to kill you to make a statement. This could range from explosive mines hidden away, tire tearing traps, fake detours, debris/roadside fixtures converted into a trap (e.g. highway sign broken off to topple on car)
Toxic Dump – Much of this leg of the race is in a poisonous or irradiated zone. As such, treat driving through this section as traveling through a moderately irradiated area, using the rules for radiation found here. For reference on encountering toxic spills, poisons and the like; consult the poison page here.
Swarming Mob – While not as organized as an ambush, the area is swarmed by all sorts of horrible monsters. This could be shambling waves of zombies, herds of wild animals, angry protesters or disgruntled locals looking to take their anger out on the races… usually with guns.
Tight Curves – As per driving based action movie tropes, if it’s not the enemies, it’s the environment. And what better environment than a tight road overlooking a cliff!
IMAGE CREDIT: Plymouth Rock Combat Car – Warner Bros. (Mad Max: Fury Road)