Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Random Nearby Vehicle Generator

How relevant is this? Looks like they've been throwing cars since the beginning!
Along a similar line of thinking as last week's Random Female Bystander Generator I give you another occasionally useful gap-filler: The Random Nearby Vehicle Generator! Sure, it's not quite as much fun as hitting on helpless NPC's but it can add a little color to your fight the next time the brick wants to throw a car at someone. Dress up those otherwise dull descriptions of everyone's favorite improvised weapon with the tables below:

What is the closest vehicle to the character?
1 Compact Car (Civic, Corolla, Focus, Beetle, 1-Series, Soul)
2 Average Car (Accord, Camry, Taurus, Malibu, Mustang, 3-Series, )
3 Large Car (Town Car, Crown Victoria, S-Class)
4 Minivan/Small SUV (Caravan, Odyssey, Escape, Liberty, RAV4, X3)
5 Pickup/Large SUV (F-150, Silverado, Explorer, Tahoe, G-Wagen, Hummer)
6 Special

This should cover most of the vehicles on the road with #6 allowing for the unusual stuff. When interacting with vehicles in an RPG one important consideration is weight: Compacts weight from a little less than a ton to about a ton and a half, Average runs about a ton and a half to two tons, Large runs two tons plus, Minivans and small SUV's run about one and a half to two and a half, Pickups run about two and a half to four, while Hummers are three tons plus. So yes, sometimes strength matters a great deal, at least for non-bricks. 

There's no tank on the table. Those aren't really a random kind of thing in most cities.

Special Vehicle Table
1 Motorcycle
2 Classic Car/Exotic Car ('57 Chevy, '65 Mustang, Ferarri 455, Lamborghini Diablo)
3 Limousene
4 Bus (City/School/Tour/Greyhound)
5 Cement Tuck/Garbage Truck/Dump Truck/Fire Truck
6 18-Wheeler (Box Trailer, Flatbed Trailer, Tanker Trailer)

This set of options should pretty much cover everything else. Motorcycles are typically less than half a ton, Limos are generally two tons plus, a bus weighs 10-20 tons, a cement truck weighs 10-35 tons, the traditional garbage truck weighs 20-30 tons,  dump trucks are 10-40 tons, fire trucks are 15-30, the cab of an 18-wheeler weighs 10-15 tons and can haul up to 40 tons.

Lift with the legs!

What color is it? (2d6)
2 Primered/so dirty you can’t tell
3 Gold
4 Green
5 Red
6 Black
7 White
8 Silver
9 Blue
10 Yellow
11 Orange
12 Unusual Paint Job

Unusual Paint Jobs
1-2 Metallic (roll again for color)
3 Stripes! - roll again for colors
4 Logo or ad-wrap - pick a local company or organization
5-6 Multicolored - roll again twice

Should cover it, edit to taste. Based on some of the more recent reports as to the most popular colors of new cars.

Lift with the ... yeah

Distinctive Feature
1 Smoking, probably sounds bad too
2 Thumping Stereo
3 Custom Wheels
4 Dark Tinted Windows
5 Lowered or Lifted
6 Custom Exhaust - kinda loud

Use as necessary to embellish. You might not find a thumping stereo on a cement truck, but then again you might.

Looks like we're going to need to use Extra Effort

1 Pristine - looks brand new
2-4 Looks pretty good
5 Battered, beaten, used hard
6 Rustbucket

It may not happen a lot but your players will remember for a long time the day they ran into a rustbucket Ferrari.

Call it half of normal vehicle weight

Think of this as an opportunity to throw a little bystander roleplaying into a combat encounter because every one of them has a driver somewhere. Maybe the exotic car driver is an associate of the millionaire secret ID of one of the players. Maybe the hapless dependent NPC of a character just happens to be sitting there in their car. Maybe the female cement truck driver starts arguing with the brick about just what he is up to. Maybe the worried classic car driver asks one of the PC's to move his baby to safety. Is the bus full of senior citizens on a tour or are they really Viper agents in disguise waiting to unload a full broadside on the unsuspecting heroes - those "hunteds" or enemy complications can be a real pain sometimes.


Jayson said...

Or in extremis, the wronged motorist is driven to lash out as a themed villian with a grudge (moreso if they have a fatefully punny name).

Doc Savage said...

Very cool tables, although one might need to modify prevalence of certain vehicle types according to locale: rural North Carolina would have more pickups than compacts, etc.

Blacksteel said...

Yeah it's "generic American superhero city" by default, season to taste.