[Post-Apocalyptic] Furious Roads - Ness's Story
9 = 2[d6]+1[d6]

With Ness pacified for the moment, Chain is able to enjoy being scum along with Lord Eater and the rest of the cannibal slavers.  They seem happy about something, which the dice roll above will reveal presently.  These are slavers, however, and not just marauding people-eaters, so we can safely guess it's about trade.

And so the night passes in terror, with the last of the nomad slaves caged away and the weak ones slaughtered for a feast.  The night is filled with the smell of cooking flesh, laughter and crude jokes.  Ness fumes, endlessly trying to figure out how to free Smoke Foot when she can't even free herself.

When daylight comes, the slavers — I guess I really should call them The Slicing Crew, since that's their name — load the cages onto their movers and get rolling.  It's a ragged caravan, but designed for maximum efficiency.  And we know they have the capability to run down and capture those fleeing in the fastest vehicles, since Ness stole one of their interceptors, it's a pretty scary bunch of rides.

They drive most of the day until a large, but decaying, structure appears on the horizon.  It's a tall, weatherbeaten place, collapsed in some places, but mostly intact.  Part of a sign remains, reading CEWAY.  The first portion is missing.

There's some haggling to get through the gates, because the place is surrounded by fencing, but once inside Ness sees a collection of strange vehicles mixed in among the more common wasteland fare.  These vehicles have what look like racks up front, and are reinforced all over with metal bars.  Count Eater and Imperator Chain mingle among the assembled men and women.  Schmoozing, for lack of a better word.

Some of the people in this strange collective have booths set up, and trade is underway, but it's pretty clear that's not what this place is.  Not a permanent market, anyway.  This has the feeling of an event, and an opportunity for merchants to make trades.

After a time, a set of gates open on the main structure.  The reinforced vehicles start up, engines rumbling.  They file inside.  Meanwhile, buyers start coming around to peruse the Slicing Gang's merchandise.  Deals are struck.  Nomads start to vanish from their cages, dragged off to who knows where.

Does anyone want to buy Ness?

Yes, and...

7 = 4[d6]+3[d6]

... the price fetched for her must be pretty good, because even Chain seems happy with this turn of events.  He lets Ness out of her cage, gives her a few smacks to remember him by, then turns her over to her new owner, whose name is?

8 = 3[d6]+5[d6]

2 = 1[d6]+1[d6]

Chum Killer.  Thanks, George Miller, for giving us some of the weirdest names in SF.

Chum drags Ness around with a rope around her neck until he can trade for a nice leather collar.  He doesn't have much to say to her, but he doesn't seem unusually violent, either.  What is this guy's deal?  We'll soon find out.  Be patient.

Eventually he leads her toward the main structure and through a side gate guarded by a couple of heavies.  They pass through grimy, dimly lit concrete halls until finally they emerge into an oil-stinking and filthy chamber immediately recognizable as a garage.  The reinforced vehicles are all here receiving maintenance.  What is going on?  I said be patient!

There are slaves here, many bought from the Slicing Gang.  They huddle together, not risking conversation.  Ness isn't bound among them, but brought to one of the vehicles with a rack in front.  Chum converses with his blackfinger, as well as someone Ness eventually figures out is Chum's driver.  Is this some kind of race?

We should also figure out what happened to Smoke Foot.  Was he sold?


So he's still back with Chain!?  That's bad news.  Now Ness has to worry about his wellbeing, because although they weren't friends, he did serve as her proxy when Chain would have liked to abuse and kill her out of frustration or even amusement.  I sure hope he's okay.

When the evening grows late, there's the clangor of voices and the drum of feet overhead.  They are underneath something, and people are gathering.  The blackfingers finish their work, and then we discover what the racks are for: they hold people, and Ness is going to be one of them.

These things are essentially a small pedestal with an upright and some bars to keep someone secured with ropes or chains.  Despite her protests, Ness gets her own set of chains.  Working together, Chum and the driver mount her on the front of their vehicle.  The same thing is happening all around the garage.  They're becoming living hood ornaments.

Engines start, deafening in the hall-like garage.  A huge sliding door opens and the drivers crawl out into a flood of artificial light.

The floodlights blind Ness until her eyes adjust.  Then she sees the stands and the gathered fans, and the wrecked old racetrack spinning around the interior of the grand structure.  CEWAY makes sense now: raceway.  This is an old racetrack.  Where there used to be grass in the center, there's now a large, sandy area crisscrossed with tire tracks, stained with spilled oil and dotted with pieces of vehicle wreckage.  It's here the slave-carrying vehicles assemble.

A loudspeaker crackles.  Announcements are made.  The crowd cheers.  Engines rev.

They're not on the racetrack itself, not that anyone could navigate the thing after years of neglect and abuse.  But the vehicles circle now, keeping to the sandy area.  Some kind of... arena?

Just then the announcer clues Ness into what's about to happen.  A derby, he says.

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Things are not looking good for our heroine.  Kidnapped into slavery not once, but twice, and now sold to a bunch of maniacs who use human beings as hood ornaments on their vehicles.  And it gets worse.  Skip back a bit if you want to see what's happening.  I won't summarize it here.

The vehicles — it seems charitable to call such wrecks "cars," really — continue to circle the sandy arena, waiting for the signal.  Some of the human hood ornaments openly weep.  You would, too.  While Ness, for her part, furiously thinks of some way to get out of this situation before she's smashed into paste.  There must be a way!  She tries her chains.  Does she have any slack to work with?

(4[d10]) No

What about how it's secured?  Is there a way to get it UNsecured?

(8[d10]) Yes

It seems they haven't padlocked the chains in place, which would have been impossible to escape.  In this case they have a long pin slipped through the links of the chain.  It might be possible, if she's dextrous enough, to get that pin loose.  After that, it's just a matter of getting the chains off and, hopefully, jumping to safety.  Though with two-ton vehicles slewing around, being on the ground isn't going to be much safer than being strapped to the bumper.

Ness has superb deftness, which is going to work to her advantage.  What's more, this reminds me I've never posted her character sheet, so we're going to have to do that for those curious how Furious Roads works.  If you have the rules and you're curious, her Deftness is 5.

Anyway, the practical effect of this is she gets an extra die to roll when attempting this.  But does she get a chance to start before the derby does?

(4[d10]) No

An air horn sounds.  The vehicles break from their circle and swarm inward.  The game is on.

If you're unfamiliar with how demolition derbies work, one thing the uninitiated think is that it's about ramming into the other cars.  That's only technically true.  The real derby drivers steer their vehicles BACKWARD, because smashing your engine is a good way to lose.  And, in this case, it'd squash the person up front.

An announcer speeds through the rules as cars reverse, swerve, accelerate and smash the brakes.  The sound of clashing metal competes with roaring engines.  It seems there's a point system at play.  Even if a driver's car is immobilized, they can still win a prize by scoring the most kills.  That means crushing the hood ornaments.  Because of course that'd be part of it.

Does Ness's driver engage before she attempts escape?

(10[d10]) Yes, and...

... the back end of another vehicle comes hurtling toward her when she's helpless to escape.  Without the luckiest break in the world, she's about to die.

8 = 2[d6]+5[d6]+1[d6]

One success out of a potential three.  And it's a five, too.  This is as close as it gets.

Ness works feverishly as the derby commences, jiggling the pin holding her chains together and trying to get at least a touch with her fingers so she can shove it out of the link that's holding her.  As her driver steers her into certain doom, she feels the pin slip loose.  Immediately the chains go slack.  She has only seconds.  Like a madwoman, she squirms free of her bonds and claws her way to the top of the rack which held her.

The vehicles smash together.  It's all Ness can do to hang on.  In fact, CAN she hang on?  Deftness would factor in here, too, I suspect.

8 = 2[d6]+5[d6]+1[d6]

WHAM!  The vehicles collide.  Ness is almost ripped from her perch as steel crashes against steel just a little distance below her.  But is her driver's car immobilized?

(5[d10]) Yes, but...

... it's still in motion of a sorts, driven backward by the relentless strength of the vehicle which smashed it.  They grind toward the edge of the arena, but this brings them into range of other drivers who may or may not realize Ness's driver has already lost the derby.

Do we have another crash?

(5[d10]) Yes, but...

... it's only glancing, so Ness can still hang on without having to roll.  The first vehicle peels away, burying her in a cloud of spraying sand.  Her driver curses behind the wheel.  The air vibrates with the violence of engine noise.  Is there a gap for Ness's escape?

(1[d10]) No, and... +Twist: Physical event / Hinders the hero

... at that moment her driver gets hit again by a vehicle going top speed.  Without even a chance to roll, Ness is flung from the top of the rack, plummeting onto the trunk — or boot, as you prefer — of the attacking car.  The wind is knocked out of her.  Spots swim in her vision.  She's disoriented, which could be lethal in this situation.  When the car lurches into forward, crusty gears screeching in protest, she tumbles off onto the sandy ground.

She needs to get the heck out of here, but luck has been shaky thus far.
Because you demanded it!  Ness's character sheet!


  • Brawn — 2
  • Deftness — 5
  • Cunning — 3
  • Grit — 4
  • Allure — 3
  • Stuff — 1
  • Stress — 6
Scamp — Lvl. 2

  • vicious fighter
  • in the right place
  • bag of nasty tricks
Re Post 4: I'm a bit behind, so I missed the Reader's Choice Awards, which might be a good thing, as Jingo's suggestions were probably better than mine. In situations like this I tend to run.  I come up with a race mechanic and treat it as a chase. It at least gives the PCs a chance to flee an unwinnable fight.

In this case, being caught wouldn't necessarily mean instant death. I don't believe these nomads were specify characterized as cannibals, only the slavers from whom Ness escaped. Jingo already listed some reasons the nomads would want to capture her. Another could have been for sport, perhaps an arena fight for freedom. Thunderdome! Anyway, I'm interested at seeing how it all worked out.

This is one of the reasons I like to run a party of characters when I play campaigns. Better chance of having someone alive to continue the story should some members be killed off
For those reading the non-play posts: I decided to take Teviko604's advice in my as-yet-untitled ninja game, which you can find here.  As of right now, Ness is by herself not least because the people around her keep getting killed.  And I called it "Ness's Story," so I've painted myself into a corner.  To paraphrase Ivan Drago: "If she dies, she dies."


Meanwhile, Ness is in a real situation: surrounded by speeding vehicles smashing into one another at high speeds.  Blood spatters and jellied flesh color the sands as human hood ornaments are crushed for points.  It'll be a miracle if she can get out of here in one piece herself.  But she DOES have the Trait, "in the right place," which has served her well thus far.

There's also the question of Stress, which it turns out I've been using incorrectly.  Rather than losing Stress like classic hit points, a character loses Stress AS THEY SUCCEED, thus making it more and more unlikely their luck will hold up.  I completely misread the Stress rules on p. 7 of the Furious Roads rules.

Ness's Stress (it rhymes!) is 6.  Because I made the mistake, I'm not going to penalize her for it by retroactively applying reductions, but technically she should have lost Stress both times she succeeded earlier.  That's one point when she got loose of the hood rack and another when she avoided being crushed by the subsequent collision.  We'll keep this in mind moving forward.

But enough about that.  Let's get to the action!

Ness is on the ground, as mentioned.  She springs to her feet and looks for an out.  Does she see one?

(1[d10]) No, and...

... a vehicle bears down her!

She throws herself into a full dive to escape!  During the course of this we're going to invoke "in the right place" for every roll, which means she gets a bonus die.

15 = 6[d6]+4[d6]+5[d6]

Two successes!  The leap carries her clear of the rampaging vehicle.  It roars past, and Ness gets a glimpse of the human hood ornament screaming in fear.  Moments later, another derby car crashes into that one and the person is pulped.  Score another one, the announcer calls.

She looks for another way out.  She's still in the worst possible place.  Anything?

(1[d10]) No, and...

... she's in immediate danger again!  And let's not forget she lost a Stress point with that last success!  Can she get clear before she falls beneath the knobby wheels of another vehicle?

12 = 3[d6]+4[d6]+5[d6]

Barely a success that time.  Ness stumbles and falls to her knees, struggling to get back up.  This auto comes so close it brushes against her.

There's GOT to be a way clear of this!  Vehicles crisscross, circle and slam into each other.  Some are disabled, others are still at full capacity and some even have living hood ornaments.  It's a bloody, deafening chaos that would drive any one of us mad with fear.  But a crazie in the wasteland has to deal with things like this as a matter of survival.

Does she have an out?

(3[d10]) No

If she stays on the ground, she's going to get killed.  Her Stress has fallen to 4.  Those points WILL run out, and soon.

Since Ness can't get OUT, maybe she can get UP, and that's exactly what she sets out to do.  She looks for a vehicle moving slowly enough to mount.  Is there one?

(5[d10]) Yes, but...

There's still dangerous ground to cover before she can get there.  She dashes forward as two vehicles rush toward each other at top speed, looking to crash rear to rear and maybe break their opponent's axle.  She moves to dodge between them.

7 = 3[d6]+3[d6]+1[d6]

Okay, that's bad.  And here's where I'm going to deviate from the rules-as-written, because I believe in the "rulings, not rules" approach to roleplaying.  And here's the deal: you lose Stress with every success in combat, but I think it makes sense that you can also TRADE Stress for successes you don't roll.  It's a voluntary surrender, and has the same potentially deleterious effect in the long run.  Meanwhile, it can keep a character running even through the occasionally unlucky roll, like this one.  Fair?  Fair.

Ness trades in a Stress point, reducing her to 3, but it's not that simple.  As she runs between the hurtling vehicles, she realizes she's not going to make it and throws herself to the ground.  The derby cars, jacked up on their suspensions as they are, roll OVER her and collide, showering her with shredded metal and rust.  She's alive, but she isn't going to get that lucky too many more times before luck runs OUT.

But now the way is clear.  The car she targeted before is still moving slowly enough that she can leap onto the side.  She does, clambering up its protrusions and spikes looking to get on top and away from the immediate danger of being run over or crushed.  It's then that she sees this vehicle's hood ornament is still alive.  It's "Lord" Colossus!

This isn't the time for sentimentality, but Colossus did keep her alive when the motivation rolled on the table was "butcher her."  That's one of the things which made her previous survival so unlikely.  And this time his life is in HER hands, provided she can clamber over the roof and hood/bonnet of the auto without falling off.  The thing is still in motion, you know, and there are the crashes to consider.

Can she get to him before the vehicle collides with another?

(2[d10]) No

WHAM!  The car takes a hit!  Ness is knocked clean off her feet and rolls off the roof onto the hood.  There she can see the driver shouting at her through a rusted metal mesh.  But at least he can't reach her where she is.  Shake her off, maybe, but he can't shoot, stab or hit her.

Since there was no roll, there's no Stress cost.  Ness makes another attempt.  Can she get there this time?

(10[d10]) Yes, and...

... the setup for Colossus is not much different from that which held her.  She doesn't need to break a lock somehow, or pick it without proper tools.  She's able to pull a bolt and the chain comes loose.  Colossus clings to the rack's upright as they turn into a sidelong skid.  Their car is locked in a one-on-one with another determined driver.  And since they're making their escape, their driver wants to see them killed, too.

The announcer loves this, as does the crowd.  Usually the hood ornaments get squashed and that's entertainment enough, but Ness, and now Colossus, are putting on a show!

They need to leap down if they're going to escape.  They can't ride this car forever.  But they can't put themselves in the same situation Ness just avoided, touching down in the middle of this chaos.  No, they have to wait to see if their vehicle gets clear enough for them to make a go for the edge of the sandy arena.

Does it?

(4[d10]) No

It stays in the thick of things, continuing its duel.  POW!  Another bone-shuddering crash that could potentially send Ness and Colossus flying.  Do they stay atop the car?

(6[d10]) Yes

Whew.  Ness has already been in the thick of that combat, and she doesn't need to plunge back into it.  But she doesn't have any good choices here.

Colossus shouts that they should go for the inside.  Through the driver if they have to.  They could potentially get through the screens on the passenger and driver's sides, since the "windshield" is essentially impervious.  The question is: can get into a position to do this?

(7[d10]) Yes

Ness scrambles to find a way in on the passenger side.  The screen is just a flap made of light strips of metal, designed more to keep out flying shrapnel than provide cage-like protection.  It'll take a daring maneuver to get it open, swing around from the roof and through the window, so let's have a roll.

14 = 4[d6]+4[d6]+6[d6]

She pulls off the trick and lands inside the grotty interior of the vehicle (Stress is now 2).  The driver immediately tries to grab hold of her, but remember that Ness has "vicious fighter" as a Trait.  She goes for the eyes.

15 = 4[d6]+5[d6]+6[d6]

That is not a good result for the driver.  Ness's Stress may be down to 1, but the driver isn't going to be watching any sunsets for a while.  The car veers out of control, careening through the melee.  But does this sudden change throw Colossus from the roof?

(5[d10]) No, but...

... he's hanging on for dear life.  There's no way he can get in and take the wheel.

SMASH!  The other car plows into theirs.  The opposing driver isn't stopping just because of what's happening.  He's determined to win this thing.

Once more, Ness has to drive when driving isn't really her thing.  With the driver still screaming, blood running from his ravaged eyes, Ness squeezes into the seat with him.  Can she get this thing moving?

(4[d10]) No

The engine stalls.  Not surprising, given the situation.  And that makes them a sitting duck.  The other driver circles around and comes at them full speed.  There's no chance to restart their vehicle.  They can only survive the impact.

The other vehicle plows into them at full speed.  There's an explosion of metal fragments, shards of broken and splintered steel and aluminum, and Ness's demolition auto is bent almost in half.  The impact flings her and Colossus around like pebbles in a can.  It's a miracle neither of them are killed, but since Ness still has four points of Stress, she's okay for now.

They slide sideways as the other derby car continues to drive into them.  Ness can see the driver craning his neck to look through the chicken wire covering the space where his rear window used to be.  She wishes she could throw something at him, but it would be a meaningless gesture under any circumstance, let alone now.  Better to do what she does: clamber out the un-mangled side of the vehicle and into the cascading dust.

Does the other driver push their car out of the arena?

(10[d10]) Yes, and...

... as the vehicle hits the lead edge of the old asphalt driving lanes, its knobby tires catch and the thing rolls.  Ness has a chance to throw herself free, but it's going to be a close thing.  But remember, I'm including "in the right place" in all these rolls, so that means a bonus die.

15 = 6[d6]+3[d6]+6[d6]

Two successes (and good ones!) do the trick.  The vehicle flips.  Ness uses the momentum to leap clear.  She slams to the hot tarmac, and the breath is driven from her lungs.  She rolls ten feet before she comes to a complete stop.

Did Colossus make it out behind her?

(3[d10]) No

Is he still alive?

(9[d10]) Yes

The demolition vehicle stops upside-down on the empty lanes as the demolition derby continues.  The sound of engines is still deafening.  The evening still scorches.  Colossus is trapped inside the vehicle.

Here we face something of a conundrum.  On the one hand, as a player I'd like to see Ness demonstrate a heroic tendency and rescue Colossus.  On the other hand, Ness is a crazie and a survivor.  To be these things at her age is to be utterly ruthless when the situation calls for it.  Which tells me there's an equal chance, when balanced against my personal tendencies, for her to abandon him.  I'm going to leave it up to a die roll.

So... does she abandon Colossus?

(7[d10]) Yes

That's our Ness!  She takes one last look back at Colossus struggling to escape the smashed vehicle and then runs for it.  Ness sprints for the stands.  Guards posted around the arena move to intercept.  Can she make it to the stands ahead of them?

(6[d10]) Yes

As soon as she hits the raceway's edge, she clambers up the rotted wooden barricade into the crowd.  They tear at her, cheering like maniacs at the possibility that she might die or might live.  Either one will do at this point.  And the guards close on her.

The only way out is up.  Ness jumps, crawls and runs as best she's able, pushing through the people, climbing over seats, even scrambling on all fours up sections of broken-down stairs.  She leads the guards up, then up farther, until she's at the summit and looking down at the grounds below.  It's too far to jump without killing herself.  And even if she makes it to the bottom, there's yet another distance to cover between the stands and the hurricane fencing sounding the place.  But going back is not an option.  She MUST get down somehow.

This means climbing.  Or, rather, descending.  Just as the guards come near enough to grab hold of her, she throws herself over the edge and clings to the structure of the stands.  She has to get down, get down NOW, and there must be no delays.

This calls for a roll.  She's in a hurry, she's under duress and there's the chance she might fall.  But don't forget that bonus die!

12 = 5[d6]+3[d6]+4[d6]

She descends as rapidly as she's able, hanging onto the supports like some kind of deranged wasteland monkey.  Once she slips and plunges downward, only to catch herself by her fingernails (a five is barely a success)!  But she makes it to solid ground ahead of the guards.  She takes a moment to catch her breath and still her shaking, tired limbs, and then she's off again.

It's a short matter to reach the fencing.  But have the guards caught up to her?

(10[d10]) Yes, and...

... one is close enough to make a grab for her!

Let's recall her Stress has been reduced to 2.  She's running out of second chances.  Can she slip his grasp?

6 = 4[d6]+1[d6]+1[d6]

No!  So close to escape, she's caught!  Though this does preserve her Stress.  But we can't forget Ness is a vicious fighter, and there's chance she could still get out of this.  She goes for the eyes, which is always the right move in a situation like this.  Even a man who outweighs her by fifty pounds or more has vulnerable spots.

14 = 6[d6]+2[d6]+6[d6]

He reels backward, screaming after she rakes his eyes with her dirty nails.  He has blood on his face, and instant tears.  Ness takes no time to gloat, however.  She spins around, clutches two handfuls of chain links and climbs.

The ferocity of her attack was enough to give the rest of the guards pause.  It's only when she's completely cleared the fence that they gather themselves enough to pursue.

Ness isn't waiting around.  She runs as if her life depended on it.  Which, as a matter of fact, it does.  Out into the clusters of vehicles brought by the spectators, and the temporary camps that might have been tailgate parties in bygone years.  She ducks and weaves through any cover she can find, confusing her trail.

So the question is: does she shake them?

(8[d10]) Yes

And so she's in the open wasteland again, the sound of engines and cheering behind her.  Away from Colossus.  Away from Count Eater and Imperator Chain.  Away from the bloody sacrifice of the human hood ornaments.  Heading somewhere, anywhere, she can be safe.

Though how long could that last?
This is a question that would easily be answered by downloading and reading the source material, but . . .
1. I’m too lazy to do that right now, and . . .

2. That would deny you an opportunity to get some feedback, and we all know that is what us posters live off of.

I’m still not quite sure how STATS (or attributes) affect the game. You briefly discussed it early on, but it sounded very vague and arbitrary. Basically, a high stat gives an advantage and a low stat gives a disadvantage. But there was no concrete correlation as to what that advantage was (+1 to roll, extra die, etc.) or what necessarily qualified as a high or low stat. Are only 5’s and 6’s high? Or are 4-6 high while 3-1 low?  To complicate the matters, I don’t think I’ve seen these attributes factored into your rolls, only traits, such as Ness’s “in the right place,” which give her an extra die.

Can you please clarify how a character’s attributes are used in Furious Roads?
I can clarify it as much as the rules do, anyway.  It's pretty sketchy as the entire game is 12 pages including cover, and the rules are less than half that.  Most of the game is given over to the random tables which help you build story.

This is what it says about rolling dice and stats/attributes:

Add 1d6 for advantage of any kind: item, high attribute, superior tactics, good trait, etc.
Subtract 1d6 for disadvantage of any kind: low attribute, superior opponent, bad trait etc.

And that's it.  So my interpretation would be that 1-2 is low, 5-6 is high and 3-4 is average.  Two affect the number of dice and one doesn't.

The game is exceedingly bare bones and has very little in the way of tangible mechanics.  Levels, for example, seem to have no function.  All characters start at Lvl. 2, but this has no effect on gameplay.  Similarly, characters level up whenever the GM finds it appropriate.  Which could be every five minutes or never.  Not that it matters.

Furious Roads is definitely not a game for fans of rules.  There are almost none, and they're subject to heavy interpretation.
In the wasteland alone, with no supplies or weapons, is no way for a crazie to survive.  Ness is in serious trouble.  How MUCH trouble remains to be seen.

The first thing we need to know is if the cannibal slavers are looking to reclaim their merchandise after the sale went awry at the raceway.

(8[d10]) Yes

And so Count Eater and Imperator Chain are still in the picture.  Scouring the wasteland for Ness, knowing she couldn't have gotten far on foot.  Meanwhile, Ness is in desperate need of somewhere to hide, recuperate and plan her next move.  So let's have a look at RPG Solo's tools and see what's in there.  Hmm... there's a button called, "Get Place."  Could work.  Let's press it.

Rough supermarket

After a day of walking, watching the horizon for the telltale signs of dust rising from pursuing vehicles, Ness finds the remains of a shopping center.  In that center is the only relatively intact building: an old supermarket.  Sure, the roof is partially collapsed and the whole place is blasted by sand and time, but it's shelter of a sort and it will have to do.

Now the question is whether such a place is already occupied.

(8[d10]) Yes

Uh-oh.  Let's have some rolls on the random tables to see what we're up against.  If you're following along in your workbook, pp. 9-11 are nothing but random tables designed to produce NPCs and situations.  Though I guess I ought to determine whether these NPCs are a threat.  So... are they?

(2[d10]) No

Well, Ness finally catches a break.  She enters the supermarket, which is ransacked, as you might imagine, but it's quickly obvious the place is inhabited.

Please note: Furious Roads DOES have tables for generating locations, and it can even determine whether the place is inhabited, or represents a threat.  I just wanted to push some buttons today.

As previously mentioned, I tend to break numbers of NPCs into groups: a couple (2), a few (3-4), a handful (5).  So let's see what we have here.

A couple?

(9[d10]) Yes

So not too much in the way of occupation here.  Let's refer to the random tables to see who our survivors are:

6 = 5[d6]+1[d6]

7 = 1[d6]+6[d6]

A Butcher and a Feral.  Interesting.  What do we know about them?

5 = 5[d6]

6 = 6[d6]

The Butcher is wounded and in desperate need of help.  The Feral is too weak for this place.  They're "not cut out to survive this hellish [setting]."


9 = 4[d6]+5[d6]

7 = 1[d6]+6[d6]

8 = 2[d6]+6[d6]

10 = 5[d6]+5[d6]

Mr/Ms Tinker is our Butcher.

Scuttle Steal is the Feral.

Let's do a sex check here so we know whether it's Mr. or Ms., and for Scuttle because there's no way to tell from that name.  A roll of 1-5 on a d10 is male, 6-10 is female.

3 = 3[d10]

10 = 10[d10]

Mr. Tinker and Scuttle Steal.  Ain't they a pair.

Ness discovers them by a fire Scuttle has been unable to keep going.  She's not taking particularly good care of Mr. Tinker, largely because she has no medical supplies and lacks the knowhow, to boot.  She's a barely civilized figure.  We'll come to learn eventually that Mr. Tinker has been teaching her to read and otherwise habituating her to mainstream society.  Such as it is these days.

Mr. Tinker has a suppurating leg wound that's going to turn gangrenous if nothing is done.  Ness is no organic mechanic, but she knows enough to clean out a wound and put a covering over it.

I can assume the supermarket, since it's a place for shelter and survival, has access to some kind of water source, but let's make absolutely sure before we continue.  I don't like to make calls that help out the characters when I'm playing solo, because then it feels like I'm equipping them with plot armor.  This is generally how my characters end up in impossible situations, or die horribly, though, so the method has drawbacks.

Anyway.  Water?

(9[d10]) Yes

A blasted chunk of floor at the back of the store gives access to a big pipe issuing a stream of water.  It's not much, but it's the kind of thing that can keep a couple people alive, provided they have food enough to make it.  Ness uses the water and a torn piece of cloth from Mr. Tinker's shirt to make a washrag.

She cleans the wound while Scuttle watches.  Mr. Tinker is feverish and incoherent.  He's barely cogent enough to react in pain when Ness has to scrub out the pus.  A dressing is a problem, since both Mr. Tinker and Scuttle are filthy, but Scuttle offers cloth from her own clothes which can service as a makeshift bandage.  Not a great solution, but good enough for the situation in which they find themselves.

Do they have any food, or is there a food source?

(2[d10]) No

That's not great, either.  Mr. Tinker and Scuttle have been slowly starving here for days, Tinker having hurt himself scavenging in a nearby area.  Ness, of course, has nothing.  And if they stay here even Ness and Scuttle will be too physically weak to rectify the situation.

I'm going to assume Scuttle is Ness's age or younger, and probably abandoned at an early age.  Her parents either took off when they couldn't care for Scuttle anymore, or they died.  Doesn't really matter.  It's something of a miracle she survived, though, because she doesn't have any real skills beyond stealing.  Which means that if they're going to have a chance in hell of making it here in the supermarket's shelter, Ness is going to have to scare up some grub.

Since we know Mr. Tinker was injured which scavenging, we can assume there's other ruins worth investigating.  Ness takes some rest — her Stress is restored — and sets out before the sun goes down.  Pre-disaster food sources are scant, but there are things which live in the wasteland.  These things can be caught and eaten.  And I'm not just talking about other crazies.

And so she sets out to a relatively nearby site to search.  Let's use the Furious Roads tables to determine what that is.

6 = 6[d6]

3 = 3[d6]

Of all the things I expected, this isn't it: a lost warship.  It seems we are very near what used to be a sea or harbor, and the great, rusting hulk of the warship stands rotten sentinel over the landscape.  Of course Mr. Tinker would want to scavenge here, because a location with so many nooks and crannies is perfect for finding the remaining wildlife of the wasteland.  Though it also would serve as a draw for crazies likewise seeking food.  Let's make one last 1d6 roll to get a detail about this location.

1 = 1[d6]

Guarded!  "The location has been fortified against attacks."

Boy, Ness cannot catch a break, can she?  Everywhere she goes, something (potentially) bad awaits.  So let's find out what sort of crazies occupy this place.

4 = 3[d6]+1[d6]

Okay, that's not bad.  The rest is "Black Thumb," and I have an idea of what to do.

I'm going to borrow from the video game, Mad Max.  Play it if you're into the series at all.  It's good.  And if you've played it already, you'll recognize some similarities here.

Anyway, it seems a black thumb has set up a shop in the broken hull of the lost warship.  His assistant(s) provide security, and he does his work.  And now the situation with Mr. Tinker makes a little more sense.  Scuttle made it seem like an accident, but it's far more likely Tinker was hurt by the guard(s) when attempting to swipe food supplies.  Though I still don't know how many guards are on this place.  We'll do the usual narrowing down.

A couple?

(1[d10]) No, and...

... there are more that aren't currently present.  Even a black thumb, whose services will always be in demand in the motorized wasteland, has to have food and supplies, so it makes sense he or she would have a procurement team out there looking for parts and such.  So we're going to have to deal with more crazies if Ness is still around when they return.

Are there a few?

(7[d10]) Yes

Okay, there are 3-4 crazie guards.  I'll cut Ness a break and say three.  The black thumb him- or herself is likely not a combat type, though everyone in the wasteland ought to have at least some facility with weapons or self-defense techniques.  Except for crazies like Scuttle, who don't last long.

Ness takes some time to examine the defenses they've set up here.  She has a median score for Cunning, so that won't help when it's time to roll dice against the place, but allowing some time to be sure of the black thumb's defensive capabilities is worth an extra die.  The real threat is whether that scavenging team returns while she's checking out the warship.

(3[d10]) No

Finally a decent turn of the dice.  Ness determines a route into the black thumb's shop via the broken guts of the warship.  She can't know for certain, but there must be foodstuffs and possibly even medical supplies in there.  It's the kind of opportunity she can't pass up, despite the danger.  But though she's hungry, she doesn't rush.  She'll wait until dark.

Do the scavengers return by dusk?

(9[d10]) Yes

Crap.  I knew it was too good to last.  Are there a couple of them?

(4[d10]) No

A few?

(5[d10]) No, but...

... one is injured!  They come tearing in with their buggy, and Ness observes the black thumb and his/her guards rushing to tend to their wounded man.  This could provide the distraction Ness needs to get in without being observed.  In fact, I'm going to be generous and add another die to the roll, since this is an advantageous situation.

Oh, and one more thing: I haven't been doing something the rules include, because it completely slipped my mind.  Furious Roads contains a Fortune Die, which is to be rolled separately every time there's a check.  A one on the Fortune Die indicates a bad break regardless of the number of successes, and a six gives the character a lucky break despite any negative result otherwise.  This is a sort of major thing to forget, but I'm going to forgive myself for being old and move on.

Let's have that roll.  I'm going to include the Fortune Die in the basic roll, so it'll be the last number in the set.

14 = 6[d6]+3[d6]+1[d6]+4[d6]

A success!  And the Fortune Die didn't tip things one way or the other.  I suspect it usually wouldn't which is why I'm not going to sweat my oversight from earlier.

Ness picks a way into the black thumb's place using the broken superstructure of the warship, with its thicket of hand- and footholds, to climb down from above and behind.  She finds herself in the oil-scented garage, surrounded by vehicles in half-states of repair or dismantling.  The black thumb and his/her guards are still preoccupied.  Time to search.

It doesn't take long to find the black thumb's stores.  Are they secured separately?

(8[d10]) Yes +Twist: Organization / Helps the hero

They have the stores chained up!  This is a disaster!  And Ness isn't such a handy-dandy that she can pick every lock she comes across, you know.  Still, she finds a prybar among the black thumb's tools and tries to break her way in.  But this turns out not to be the wisest course of action for a couple of reasons: 1) she has a Brawn of 2, which puts her at a disadvantage for feats of strength, and 2) she makes enough noise that guards come running.

And so there she is, completely exposed when the guards arrive.  She makes to run, but someone calls for her to stop and wait.  It's the black thumb!  Is this a male black thumb, oracle?

(10[d10]) Yes, and...

...  he's a mutie!  Okay, I stole that from Mad Max, too.  Just be glad I'm not calling him Chumbucket.

Where were we?  Oh, yeah, the black thumb says for her to wait, which Ness does despite her strongest instincts.  The black thumb tells his guards to stand down.  They do.  And now Ness doesn't know whether to take advantage of their temporary unreadiness, or wait to see where this is going.  Because I know, thanks to the oracle, I'm going to cut Ness a break and say the latter.

The black thumb introduces himself as...

12 = 6[d6]+6[d6]

7 = 5[d6]+2[d6]

Clunkrock?  Okay, random table, I'll run with it.

To Ness's surprise, Clunkrock says if she's there for food, they have plenty.  There's no need to run.  Is she with the man who came before?  Clunkrock's guards attacked him out of an abundance of caution, otherwise he would have been welcomed.

I'm a little curious to know if Clunkrock's telling the truth, because this seems too good to be true.

(2[d10]) No

I knew it!  But the REAL truth doesn't out just yet.  We'll just consult the "wants to..." table to see, well, what Clunkrock wants to do.

9 = 5[d6]+4[d6]

Collect body parts.  Oh, man, this is getting dark.

But Ness doesn't know any of this.  She's apprehensive, but she's never going to make it out here without that food.  As twisted and weird as Clunkrock looks, thanks to his mutations, he seems on the level.  Though I guess we could check Ness's cunning to see if she gets an inkling of Clunkrock's true intensions.

11 = 6[d6]+3[d6]+2[d6]

She senses something is amiss, but weighs the odds against her.  We have three guards, plus two uninjured members of the procurement expedition.  That's a lot of opposition to deal with, and doubtless they know the warship better than she does.  It's dark and she's hungry.  She's going to play along.

For now.
(05-15-2021, 05:11 PM)Semicolon Wrote: Furious Roads is definitely not a game for fans of rules.  There are almost none, and they're subject to heavy interpretation.

I can certainly relate. My Roses & Wyght campaigns (the first of which was actually my first solo campaign) were played using the Adventurers! rule system. The core rules Player's Guide is only two pages and so is the GM Guide. A lot is left up to the GM's interpretation. For instance, the game allows for magic-users, but they don't have any specific spells. They have powers, such as damage, and rules for hazards such as fire and ice. So, if you wanted to have a fireball spell you had to create it by combining damage powers with fire hazard results. Also, the game included no rules about managing magic. How many spells can a character have? Can they cast them as much as they want, or is there a limit? And if so, what is that based on? Their Mind Stat? Level? A set number? So far I haven't included a magic character in that campaign, but when I finally do I will need to spend some time honing exactly how it will all work.

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