Thursday, October 18, 2012

Campaign Proposal: Demo Derby

In talking with my players last night we decided to set Marvel aside and move on to a game with a more party oriented approach. The game we settled on after some debate was Shadowrun (yay, and no, I didn't force it) but that led to some decisions about what people wanted to play. During the conversation I told people I could tailor the game around whatever they wanted so not to worry if they had multiples of each role. I'd be just as comfortable running for 5-6 deckers as I would 5-6 riggers as I would 5-6 street sammies as I would a healthy mixed group. However, the idea I had for 5-6 riggers got me intrigued. I figured I'd write up the proposal, even if I'm not going to be running it.

The game would start with players being an amateur race team in a large city with an equally large racing population. The kind of races where it is perfectly fine to win by smashing all the other cars, though not everyone does that (street honor is still a thing.) As the PCs competed in these races, interacted with the other teams, and other such things they would start off struggling to keep their vehicles going (it gets expensive after all.) Eventually they would attract the eye of a Johnson or other corporate stooge who would look to sponsor their team. Money is easier now, but they're also elevated to a higher tier of competition. Fame enters the picture. More gambling. Throwing races, head hunting, bounties, etc. Eventually, if the PCs kept with it, they'd be a top tier race team participating in all the really big events. You know, the ones with the prize pools that are actually worth killing over...

Shadowrun can be a bleak place, but to be honest it would be very hard to not take inspiration from the Wachowski's Speed Racer movie, especially for the top tier corporate races. I mean, the move is practically set in the kind of dystopic mega-corp world already, it just presents things a lot more cheerily and makes a point of showing how people survive via god-eggs that wrap around them should their vehicle take damage. It isn't hard to take this, twist a bit, and end with something that would be really fun to play with. Add in a dash of Death Race - the guns and such - and you have something I could see the Shadowrun corps really getting a kick out of watching.

Since this game would be using Shadowrun it would only be fair to have it be set in Shadowrun's timeline, which for 4th ed is around 2072.

Ideally, once past the opening part, the team would be going all over and getting intro trouble, adventures, and races. Starting off I'd have to custom build a city with a dedication to racing. A new motor city, or maybe something based off Indianapolis but bigger, more high tech, and with a lot more people crowded into things.

Aside from the races themselves, challenges would take the form in getting parts, keeping the vehicles working, keeping the racers out of trouble, and of course clashes with other teams, as well as criminal/corporate race riggers. There is a lot to the seedy side when it comes to racing, especially when Corporate contracts come into the picture, so why not embrace it and run with it. After all, even if racing is the big show, that doesn't mean we can't get into a gun fight on the way to the race, right?


  1. I've actually run a version of this game. The difficult side to it in my experience is that someone inevitably wants to be the mechanic that can make awesome things for the vehicles, and then making sure that everyone has a place in the action, and out of action. Mind you this was 8 years ago. I can think of a lot of ways now to make it work, but that was the challenge I experienced. That said, It's a fun concept.

  2. Shake... and Bake! That just happened.