Back in 1977, Roger Corman released a film entitled Death Race 2000. This film was about an America of the future where the national sport was a transcontinental road race where the winner is not only the fastest team, but also the team with the most points, which are gained by running over people. It was a black comedy.
Corman was hailed as either a visionary genius or (as many claim) someone who'd seen the film in action.
The film was immediately banned (and still is to this day) as being an outrage and a bad influence on the moral aspects of society, but copies were circulated anyhow and it became an underground cult classic. Corman - and the actors who starred in the film - never made it big, and this was considered to be the downfall of their careers.
However, in the Nineties, there seems to be a trend amongst many gangcults to resurrect the idea of the film, and now many NoGo residents have another fear in their lives.
Death races are used by gangcults for everything, from settling disputes between gangs or gang members, to keeping local populations in line, or just for a bit of fun. Pirate TV stations and jetcopters usually cover the races themselves, and this serves two functions. The first is that it's extra revenue for the pirate station and publicity for the gangcult, and the second is that it serves as a record for the actual scores. When cars are racing at high speed hitting people, the actual age of the score is not as memorable as getting the score itself.
Obviously death races are highly illegal, and security and law forces try to stop them by any means necessary. This is one of those times when it gets personal and all attempts to bring in prisoners tend to get overlooked.
Racers tend to view these obstructions as added excitement, and call all opposers of the race as being "French" *.
The race and the rules are very simple. It's a straightforward race between two or more vehicles. The object is to be the first across the finishing line, but the actual winner is the person with the highest score.
Scores are pedestrians and other road users.
However, a score only counts if the pedestrian is actually hit by the vehicle. Gunfire and weapons do not count, only ramming. Vehicles do not give additional points, only the occupant. However, weapons can be used to drill holes in a vehicle, which could then be rammed.
One note though: Ramming and physical contact is the way to score points, but at the same time, ramming can be used for indirect scoring. If you ram a vehicle and it loses control and crashes - scores can be gotten through any fatalities of that vehicle. If the vehicle were to plough through a crowd, then the vehicle causing the loss of control would get the points and would continue until the driver regains control of their vehicle.
All points for scores are based solely on the age of the victim.
There are no restrictions as to who can be scored. Rival teams, own teams, race officials, it really doesn't matter.
The point awards for winning the race, with second and third places, are only given to those who actually finish the race. They are high as an incentive for finishing, but it is rare for them to actually come into play.
And those are all the rules there are.
A Death Race can be set up much like a normal race. A games master may be useful when playing death races. Use the following guidelines.
All players have $65,000 to design a renegade car, and generate Drive
skills as per Game Four in the main (Dark Future
, page 88).
If you already have gangs set up, then you can use those instead.
The track is laid out using the rules for Continuous Track Generation
The beginning three pieces of track should be three straights devoid of anything but track, but after that, whenever a new piece of track is laid down, roll to determine the contents of that track section. Roll 1d6 and consult the following table. As this is NoGo, you might apply a -1 if the roads are quiet.
- 1 Nothing
- 2 1d6 lightly armed pedestrians, roll again:
|20mm Grenade Launcher
- 3 1d6 heavily armed pedestrians, roll again:
|20mm Grenade Launcher
- 4 1d3 bikes, roll again:
On an Even score, the bike will be coming towards the racers. On an odd score, the bikes will moving away from the racers.
Speed of the bikes will be 2d6 x 10 mph. Skill of the bikers should be determined as for Game Four (Dark Future, page 88). Each Bike will be worth 1d3+1 x$10,000
- 5 1 vehicle, roll again:
|Renegade worth $50,000
|Renegade worth $50,000
|Renegade worth $65,000
|Renegade worth $75,000
|Interceptor worth $100,000
|Interceptor worth $125,000
Roll to determine the direction of the vehicle - an Even score means that the vehicle is heading towards the racers, and odd score means it is going away from the racers. Skills should be determined as for Game Four (Dark Future, page 88). Vehicle speeds are 2d6 x 10 mph.
- 6 Roll twice on this table, re-rolling any further sixes.
All cars start out side by side, with a starting speeds of 0 mph.
The game ends when all racers are destroyed, immobilised, left the race due to being so far behind, or when a racer crosses the finishing line. The finishing line should be a certain amount of track sections that the racers have to traverse. An average race could be 25 track sections, but long races could be twice that.
A games master will be useful when conducting a death race. The main role will be playing all the non-racing vehicles and pedestrians. The racers will want to use these for scoring, but obviously they will not want to be scored. If a lot of vehicles and pedestrians are being rolled, you may want to draft in some help. Ordinarily, the pedestrians and vehicles are just going about their business so they won't shoot first, or until it looks like the racers are gunning for them. If you wish, they might just travel for a couple of track sections and if no one is doing anything about them, then they might just pull off to the side of the road and let the racers pass.
As a games master, you will also be responsible for the flow of the game. You'll dice for the track generation and for what's on it. You may want to do all of this in advance before the game starts. That way, the race will flow more smoothly as it won't have to slow down when board sections are called for. However, if the players have used these gangs for a while already, then they may have bounties on them. In this case, you might want to generate specific events for during the race, such as road blocks, sanctioned op ambushes, rival gangs, civilian militia, media jetcopters with a bias for a certain racer, eager fans, law enforcement, and so on.
Being a games master running the race should be as much fun as it should be playing in the race. This is a game after all, and we're in this to have fun. Unless you're a potential score of course...
There are no restrictions when designing cars for a death race. Anything goes, including weapons. However, just remember that weapons fire cannot create scores. But they can be used against security forces and for softening up targets. Real men don't mount guns, but spikes, wheel blades and other cosmetic additions are very popular.
[Before anyone starts complaining about the use of the word 'French' here, it should be noted that the race rebels were termed 'French' in the film, and I use the term here solely for continuity.]