Monday, 25 October 2010

The Power And The Glory RPG - Bulletpoint version

This is, I believe, all the rules and game format so far and should be complete to play. Ideally I'd like to follow this with a nicer PDF version with a crash course in 1950s/1960s motorsport but this is where we are at the moment.

Buyer Beware - Totally unplaytested.


DRIVE is d6+6, DOOM is 2d6+6, roll 3d6 and allocate at will. Pick a name, nationality, and one sentence "elevator pitch" for your driver. Pick a team for him to drive for.

Stuck for suitably international driver names? Pick up the newspaper and scan the team sheets for last weekend's football. Note that there were very few top-level racing drivers from Asia, Africa (excluding white South Africans), the Middle East or Communist countries in the 1950s and 1960s - off-hand I can't even think of one. Don't let that stop you though.


Lorenzo Totti, Italian, Scuderia Ferrari
Spoilt brat playboy.


Menzies Lynch, Scottish, Ecurie Tipton(*)
Talented and taciturn driver from Highland farming stock.

(*) Does not exist. In-joke moniker for my slotcar racing exploits

Tokens aka The Short Straw aka "Beads"

(This assumes coloured black and white coloured beads or flat marbles in an opaque bag. Adjust according to whatever is available to your group. Playing cards with PLAYER LIVES or PLAYER DIES will also do in which case the former is WHITE and the latter BLACK).

Each player draws one bead from the bag and keeps it secret. It refers to the ultimate fate of the player to your right. White = destined to live. Black = destined to be killed.

Clerk of the Course

Randomize one player as "Clerk of the Course" (quasi-GM). He keeps in front of him the "Gonk", a small item with some motorsport significance that marks his role - spark plug, model racing car, Scalextric car, miniature helmet etc. Ideally this should be period-appropriate - a 1960s racing toy car for a 1960s game etc. When the role of Clerk of the Course changes, pass the "Gonk" on. This acts a reminder as to who is currently in the hot seat. Exactly what your "Gonk" is is left to the ingenuity of the gaming group.

Clerk of the Course sets the scene for the first Grand Prix (a round of play, shorted to GP). Describes location, type of race, weather, reputation etc.

e.g. Monaco GP, a street race around the principality, blazing sunshine, a race notorious for breaking cars, slow-speed crashes and difficult in overtaking.

This may be based upon a real venue (for the enthusiasts) or completely fictional even down to being set in a fictional, Ruritanian nation. In the 1950s some GPs were still being run on closed public roads.

Each GP consists of five hazards. The Clerk of the Course selects the first hazard from the list and it's "victim" and must narrate the run-up to the hazard. Note that harder a hazard the Clerk of the Course throws at the victim the greater the points the victim scores should they overcome it...

The victim then "fights" the hazard in the old Fighting Fantasy style with DRIVE replacing SKILL and DOOM replacing STAMINA. (Both roll 2d6+SKILL. Highest causes loss of 2 STAMINA to other. Repeat until somebody runs out of STAMINA. Check any FF book.)

If the victim wins he scores points based upon the hazard and becomes the new Clerk of the Course and takes control of the "Gonk". He narrates exactly how he overcame the hazard (recovered control, went wide onto the grass to avoid the backmarker etc.)

If he loses, he is out of the game and the bead held by the player to his left is revealed.

If black, the victim died and is out of the game and the Clerk of the Course must narrate the aftermath. The player may still be Clerk of the Course in later GPs.

If white, the victim survived the hazard and the Clerk of the Course must narrate the aftermath. The victim may no longer score points, nor be a victim again but may still be Clerk of the Course in later GPs. He is assumed to not make any impression in subsequent races for this season and does not get mentioned again.

If the victim beats a Race Ending hazard he may not be targeted as a victim again in this GP.

When the victim fails to overcome a hazard, the Clerk of the Course remains in that role and keeps the "gonk".

After five hazards have been resolved, a new GP happens. Randomize Clerk of the Course again.

Repeat procedure until all drivers have run out of DOOM points or a GP starts with just one driver left.

And the end of the season (one or no drivers left or you have run out of time), total points for a winner (if you care). This driver has amassed the greatest reputation even if it is posthumous. Actual race placings (which we ignore) are not particularly relevant (Stirling Moss never won the driver's championship).

In subsequent seasons, surviving drivers may be reused but their DOOM and DRIVE are rerolled. Their scores in previous games may be kept to show their "career" points against their whole career not simply this season but this has no real game effect.

List of Hazards

Those marked (*) are race ending even if overcome. Driver may not be targeted again this race.

HAZARD/DRIVE/DOOM/POINTS/If hazard overcome/Example "Black" outcomes
BLOWOUT(*) 8/4/52/Stops car safely/Crash
HIGH SPEED BLOWOUT(*) 10/8/100/Stops car safely/Crash
SKID 7/10/70/Regains control or stops car safely/Crash
SPIN 11/4/44/Stops car safely/Crash
OFF TRACK 7/6/42/Misses anything hard, returns to track/Crash, ditched, beached
TRAPPED IN BURNING CAR(*) 10/4/60/Escapes/Burns & Smoke inhalation
RISK OF HITTING OTHER CAR 10/4/40/Misses car/Crash
TANGLE WITH BACKMARKER 10/2/20/Misses car/Crash
SOMETHING BREAKS(*) 7/10/90/Stops car safely/Crash
SOLID OBSTACLE 8/8/64/Misses obstacle/Crash
BREAKDOWN(*) 10/2/40/Stops car safely/Crash
FIRE IN PITS 9/8/72/Avoids flames/Burns & Smoke inhalation
DEBRIS 9/6/54/Misses debris/Strikes debris, crash
FUEL LEAK(*) 6/10/80/Stops car safely/Fire, car stops in dangerous place
ANIMAL/SPECTATOR ON TRACK 10/4/60/Misses obstacle/Crash

Extending this list.

Generally speaking, a short, sharp shock (dodging a spectator) has a high DRIVE and a low DOOM because the hazard is resolved quickly. Something that drags on, such as a mechanical failure at speed has a low DRIVE but a high DOOM, requiring several relatively easy rolls to overcome.

Points are simply DRIVE*DOOM with a +20 bonus to all Race Ending hazards.

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