Carcosa Wacky Races Signup
So Giant Evil Wizard and I stormed a brain and this is what fell out:
Carcosa [is about] riding a triceratops hell-for-leather into a field of soon-to-be-dead robots … using robot blood to warpaint your Triceratops like the side of a mid-70’s conversion van. Carcosa is the weird uncle transdimensional neighbour of Mad Max World. It’s like Wacky Races on PCP. Plus, all the best hot rods run on high octane sorcerer blood.
Then Jeff Rients said The prospect of racing a Mad Max style dune buggy across an electroradiant hellscape makes me giddy.
You can bring whatever lunacy you’ve invented because flailsnails, but at minimum the home setting will have Carcosan dinosaur riders, Mad Max desert buggies, Tharks on Thoats and carnival floats. Race, fight and dirty trick your way into the lead, try not to become food for the hemogoblins. The track will run across the radioactive Plain of Glass, through Mike D’s Desert of Dead Gods and up and down canyons that just might be monster gullets/cloacas.
- the race will be over in 6-8 turns and the prize will be Grand Yet Mystifying;
- your character may die, mutate, get incorporated in the landscape and or reified/deified along the way. Really, it’s gonna be potentially deadly regardless of your level. If you want to roll up a character just for this, may I suggest:
What else you will need:
Roll up a vehicle (below). All vehicles can take at least 3 people, big ones can carry up to 6.
You automatically get one henchman if you don’t bring your own – a grease monkey who builds your ride (chargen right at the end of this post).
You can also choose to take a local Sky Man guide** along with you to keep you from getting lost and warn you about what’s coming up on the track. The downside: he comes with a kerosene-powered backpack radio, which bypasses all armour if it blows up. The upside: he can use that radio to contact his buddies further up the track, if you ask nicely.
Roll on the following tables, or make up your own craziness* and I’ll assign you bonuses and penalties by return of email.
Where do you ride? D10
1: A sweet black Zil or Caddie chassis, or if you want everyone to know you’re the good guy, then a Ford Mustang. +1 AC, +1 speed on smooth track or -1 in the rough, 8 HP
2: classic Mad Max dune buggy, with pipework spaghetti all over. +1 speed on the smooth, -1 in the rough, 10 HP
3: an ekranoplan nose-cone or hammered-together rocket booster +1 AC, +1 mishap, 12 HP
4: a coracle. Or a wickerwork howdah or open-top Baba Yaga hut. +1 speed, -2 AC. Counts as “stripped down.” 4 HP
5: a throne mounted on a titanium pipe and bamboo gantry, held together by hope. +1 speed, -2 AC, +1 to hit, +1 mishap. Counts as “stripped down.” 2 HP
6: the bony carapace of some giant creature – zaratan skull? Upturned Anklyosaurus back? Turtle shell? You choose. +1 AC, -1 to hit, 12 HP
7: a Vincent Black Lightning. Or if that doesn’t stir your juice, one of these motorbikes right here. +2 speed on smooth, -2 on rough, 4HP
8: The Bone Wagon. Or hell train. You choose, either way it’s clearly possessed by some really angry spirit. +2 AC, +2 mishap 14 HP
9: big, black altar stone. Looks like a Styrofoam movie prop but really hurts if it hits you in the shin. You cling to it for dear life, ironically. 16 HP
10: giant robot controlled by jumper cables sticking out of its trepanation hole. +1 AC, +1 to hit, +2 mishap, save on crit mishaps or it gets control over its own limbs again and you’d better watch out. 10 HP
What makes it go? D10
1: wheels and gas-o-line. In a poorly-sealed container, so bad mishaps can yield pretty orange fireballs +1 speed on smooth, -1 on rough
2: thoat. You choose if you sit atop or behind, but be warned, they kick +4 HP
3: skids and a giant everglades propeller, powered by compressed gas. See 1 above: save vs blender on bad mishaps.
4: Cameltrain – a giant 10-legged mutated camel with no head. Creepy. +2 HP
5: Soulburner: safe, clean, eerily silent energy that requires one sacrifice every 1d4 turns or it stops. Sacrificial process is your call.
6: Dinosaur. Can bite at ramming distance, but can also go wild on a bad mishap. Good luck. +6 HP
7: Giant spider crab. Skittery. Prone to attacking other vehicles for food +5 HP
8: gas-powered hovercraft – inferior to the soulburner in almost every way. +1 mishap, -1 to hit and pretty orange fireballs – but -2 damage from ramming.
9: wheels and rocket juice! Once during the game you can jump! Leaving a big black smudge on the track. During that jump you get +8 speed, +6 mishap, -2 AC (exposed underbelly). At the end you have to save or leave a big red smudge.
10: old-fashioned Mongolian ponies that won’t mess up your home campaign. With razor-sharp teeth. +3 HP – or giant landshrimp/trilobites that do exactly the same job.
What keeps the sun off? D10
1: Buddha brolly. Delightfully cool and colourful.
2: nothing at all. If you think you should have a roof, it’s missing.
3: Viking shields. +2 HP
4: gull-wing doors torn off defunct 80s sportcars +2 HP
5: tailfins torn off MiG fighters. +1 AC, -1 to hit +2 HP
6: an upside down boat. Rusty but solid. And hard to see around. +1 AC, +1 mishap (cannot increase AC over +2) +4 HP
7: pintle mount: you can target multiple other vehicles in a turn, but -1 to hit and +1 mishap for every target after the first.
8: fluttering ribbons. They’re supposed to bring good luck.
9: war banners. Double as lances in a ram, for +2 damage
10: hang-glider. Can try to use it as a last-ditch save vs death for one character, but that’s about it.
How do you recognise it in the parking lot? D10
1: live opera singer hood ornament. Knows the Deus Irae from Verdi’s Requiem, sneers at you if you ask for Ride of the Valkyries. Bellows and bites when you ram.
2: stripped down like a hot rod: +1speed, -1 AC overall
3: Bulked up like a tank: -1 speed, +1 AC
4: hard to look at. Maybe it’s the blinding mirror finish, or the op-art spiral paintjob, or the giant sloth skulls or the hypnotically-swaying fuel leads. -1 to hit, +1 AC
5: wildly bouncy shocks. -1 to hit, -1 speed
6: stringpunk jury-rigged trash-heap. +2 mishap, but also +2 on critical saves.
7: loaded with extras – like Scrap Princess’ “useful devices:” can be used as your wild hallucinatory visions demand, or as weapons for +1 in a ram.
8: Bronze trireme ram. Because they’re badass. +3 when ramming.
9: Nasty spiky bits, like Roman chariot wheels, or circular saws or Alien mouths-in-mouths. +1 when ramming
10: varmints – could be anything from rats to grasshoppers to seed shoggoths. 1 in 6 chance of +2 mishap each round.
The following weapons can be found lying around the junkyard:
Radium guns and gatling guns
Then there’s the weapons pit. This is guarded by a ferocious, giant dino-dog, sneaky glassworms and a robot snake. You can try your luck up to 3 times, risking your grease monkey’s neck, and in full cognizance of the fact that you won’t always get what you want… Tell me how many times you’re trying and how much risk you’re taking, I’ll tell you what you bring back. Roll a D20 for the “I’m going in but I’m not losing sight of the exit” table, or D12 for “I am in so far over my head and I don’t even know what these metal abortions might have been back when they worked” table.
Everyone gets the old favourites – oil spray and smoke out the back, shooting while doing bootlegger turns, kicking up dirt, thumbtacks – but beyond that you should invent these yourself. Email me with your ideas of misleading roadsigns or explosive hitchhikers or collapsing bailey bridges. All tricks come at a cost, usually of raised mishap risk. No you don’t get to know what that is ahead of time.
And last of all: the Grease Monkey, a race-as-class special to Carcosa Wacky Races
Full rules for these denizens of the junkyard are over here. For chargen purposes what you need to know is: write “grease monkey” on your charsheet. And a name. 3D6 in order as usual. d4 HP, specify whatever fetid covering you want up to chainmail. You get a free spanner/wrench and screwdriver and can also roll on Jeff’s What Went Wrong for equipment, background and sexual orientation, should you so desire.