Saturday, June 4, 2022

OSR: Brothers of the Asphalt Infinity

the 1981 poster for Mad Max: The Road Warrior
Speed.  Speed is all that matters.  Life is change, heat and movement.  To move is to live.  Slowing, stagnating, stopping, these are death.  To stop is to die.  This is the creedo of the Church of the Asphalt Infinity, which preaches the Gospel of the Throttle.  Adherents to this high-octane book, almost always found in audio book format, believe in going fast and never stopping, except for the briefest of intervals.  They seek to reach the Infinite Overpass by engaging in the Forever Ride, a road trip for the ages.  Those who reach this will cruise across the stars at impossible speeds, surpassing time and space through sheer force of speed.  But as no one knows where the Overpass is, the adherents of the Gospel of the Throttle continue their endless journey, living and driving as fast as they can. 

Many who pursue the Infinite Overpass do so with only tepid enthusiasm.  To them, it is a metaphor or a philosophical construct.  Others think it isn't real at all, using the Gospel of the Throttle as an excuse to live reckless, violent lives.  Yet these unbelievers and heretics should beware, for they face a high-octane enemy in the form of the Brothers of the Asphalt Infinity, or as you're likely to know them, the Speed Priests. 

Chasing the Horizon at Mach 3:

The Speed Priests are the most fanatical followers of the Church of the Asphalt Infinity.  They are fanatics who destroy those who pervert the teachings of their Church and any who prevent others from driving fast and living as they choose.  They are violent, passionate and utterly zealous.  If you disagree with one, you will find them to be utterly stubborn and irrational.  You'd be better off fighting than arguing with one.  The only way to convince a Speed Priest of something is to beat them in a race. 

Some also say that the Speed Priests race others to test their worthiness.  It is said if you beat one in a race, they will give you a boon.   

Speed Priests can be easily identified by their modified bodies and cars.  They tattoo themselves with scripture and give themselves mechanical components that allow them to directly interface with their cars.  Their cars are similarly modified, organics and mechanical components fused into a macabre mockery of life.  Their cars are all unique, each one a living temple to the ideal of Speed. 

Should a Speed Priest be killed, his car will go berserk and try to destroy the killer.  It will keep going until it runs out of fuel or dies.  The only way to prevent this is to be a Driver of the type the car will accept or by tricking it through the use of magic.  

 Should a Speed Priest's car be destroyed, he will try to kill the destroyer and then, after burning his car, he will begin constructing a new hot rod.

Speed Priest
HD see below
AR 1d3 [Cool Leather Safety Gear, covered in iconography]
Atk see below
Mor 7+HD, max 15
Saves (7+HD) or less

Expert Driver: Speed Priests have advantage on any rolls made to drive, pursue targets while in a motor vehicle or perform stunts while driving, such as drifting, fish-hooks, powerslides, etc.

Engine Speech: Speed Priests can "talk" to engines, gauging their health and being able to easily diagnose problems with them.  They can easily fix car and motorcycle engines.  They can also talk to other types of engines, but have no experience fixing such engines or machinery. 

Hard-Wired: Speed Priests can multi-task while they drive without losing effectiveness, as their minds are directly connected to their cars through their implants. 

Tactics:
- Drive fast
- Run your enemy off the road, force a crash
- Live for the thrill, fear nothing but the sudden stop

by Wenjen Lin

To customize a Speed Priest, roll on the tables below:

This Speed Priest is...

1d4

1- A Speed Deacon.  This Priest has just stepped out on his own, and is inexperienced in the ways of going fast and never asking questions.  He has 1d3+1 HD and rolls 1d4 on the Car table.  He can make 1 attack.  He is currently alone, so do not roll on the companion table.   
2- A Father of Fast.  This Priest is experienced, having spent years traveling the broken lanes of America.  He has 1d4+1 HD and rolls 1d6 on the Car table.  He makes two attacks.  Roll on the companion table once.  He also can cast the spell Nitro Rush.  
3- A Bishop of Burnouts.  This Priest is very experienced, having roamed the roads since before many ever left the fortress-cities to try to make their fortunes in the wild places between.  He has 1d6+1 HD and rolls 1d8 on the Car table.  He can make 2 attacks.  Roll 1d4 times on the companion table.  He also can cast the spell Nitro Rush and Car Insurance. 
4- A Cardinal of Crimson Tailpipes.  This Priest is a demon of iron and oil, an ancient warrior of asphalt and rubber.  He's a nursery tale, a faerie-story told to reckless young Riders, warning them to not go too fast, lest they find a Cardinal on their tail.  He has 1d8+2 HD and rolls 1d12 on the Car table.  He can make three attacks.  Roll on the Companion table 1d6 times.  He can cast the spells Nitro Rush, Car Insurance and Cruise Control.     

He is armed with...

1d6

1- A shooting iron.  The Priest carries a submachine gun that does 1d8+3 damage, save vs firearm, and can target up to two additional targets, provided they are adjacent to the original targets.
2- A cluster of javelins.  The Priest carries a golf bag full of sharpened spears, balanced for throwing.  Along with the regular javelins, there is a Xd10%, where X is the Priest's HD, that he is carrying 1d6 magical javelins.  These javelins 1d4 [1= Explode on contact- 3d6 damage, save for half; 2= Spray hallucinogenic fluid, CON save or hallucinate for 1d4 hours; 3= Light stuff on fire- 2d6 fire damage, save for half, lights flammable stuff on fire; 4= Haunted- all within 30' are assaulted by hungry ghosts that drain 1 HP per round (1 HP per minute out of combat) and inflict nightmares on sleeping people, preventing resting.  The ghosts can be temporarily banished through offers of food and money, but the only way to get rid of them permanently is for a priest to exorcise them.] 
3- A bow and arrow.  The Priest carries a compound bow.  He has a Xd10% of carrying 1d6+1 magical arrows, where X is his HD.     
4- A basket of molotov cocktails.  A basket of bottles, a breakfast of liquor, gas and glass.  They do 2d6 fire damage, save for half, and set flammable stuff on fire.   
5- A grappling gun.  The Priest can grapple onto things up to 50' and pull himself toward them or pull them toward him. 
6- A magical slingshot.  When fired, this slingshot can either fire a normal stone, doing 1d6+3 bludgeoning damage, or 3/Day, conjure a small animal and fire that.  The Priest's favorite animal is a tie between rabid hamsters and poisonous snakes.    

Along with this, all Speed Priests carry a pistol (1d6+1, save vs firearm).

He is accompanied by...

1d12

1- 1d4 Asphalt Acolytes.  Junior Priests who have not ascended to their own blessed vehicles yet, they ride shotgun with a more experienced Priest.  1d3 HD, armed with shotguns (1d10 at close range, 1d8 at medium range, 1d6 at long range, save vs firearm) and metal hooks that they use to board enemy vehicles.   
2- 1d3 Gun-Bunnies.  Babes in skimpy outfits (1d4 HD) and armed with assault rifles (1d8+1, three round burst, save vs firearm).  Their outfits function as armor.  Improved self-image means that you have to successfully save to target them with an attack.  If their clothing is damaged, they lose their armor.    
3- 1d8 Fur-Friends.  Humans wearing fur-suits, who channel the spirit of their animal totems in battle.  1d4+1 HD each.  Their suits resist most forms of damage, but are vulnerable to holy water, blessed weapons and fire.  The ones present here are 1dX [1= Wolf- gives advantage to any creature attacking the same enemy 1/Round; 2= Tiger- grants advantage on stealth rolls; 3= Fox- grants advantage on DEX and CHA saves; 4= Cow- Grants an additional HD; 5= Dog- Grants the ability to track via scent for miles; 6= Racoon- can magically steal stuff from anyone within 50'; 7= Badger- can tunnel rapidly into the ground; 8= Bird- can fly for 10 minutes a day.]   
4- 1d3 Wall Street Wolves.  Businessmen fueled by confidence and cocaine: 1d6 HD each.  Can snort coke for a bonus to damage and initiative.  Their attacks also drain money.  If in danger of dying, they can summon their golden kites and fly away on them.       
5- 1d6 Maenads and their emotional Support Animal.  Women driven insane by spirits of rage, they shift between acts of ultra-violence and lazy indolence.  1d3+2 HD, take half damage from non-magical or non-holy sources while raging.  Only after all victims have been torn limb from limb, or their emotional support animal, can calm them.  Their animal is 1d6 [1= A dog- the goodest boy; 2= A cat, fat and friendly as can be; 3= A miniature pony; 4= A monkey in a fez; 5= A talking parrot; 6= Not an animal, but a sensitive and polite young man dressed as a valet.]
6- 1d6 Charm Addicts.  Humans addicted to the use of charm magic.  1d3 HD, vulnerable to charm magic.  Armed with basic melee weapons.  Fearless and cynical, they desire death.     
7- 1d20 Killer Clowns.  How did he even fit that many in there?  1 HD each, armed with axes, broken bottles and big knifes.  Laugh as you kill them.  2-in-6 chance of being accompanied by an Elder Clown. 
8- 1d8 Screaming Skeletons.  Skeletons.  They are immortal, denied a proper death.  They scream when they see a new victim.  Fearless and relentless.  Can only be killed by decapitation and their heads being buried on holy ground.   
9- 1 Slasher.  One of these sick freaks. 
10- The Boisterous Bone Boys.  A 5-man(?) Undead Boy Band.  Their music charms women and children into dancing with them.  The band-members themselves are friendly, polite and well-behaved. They are ghouls, wearing SPF 1000 to protect themselves from the sunlight.  Often mistaken for Vampires, to their endless amusement.    
11- A Radikal Bro with righteous shades, fingerless gloves and a magical skateboard.  Carries a totally cool Nipponese sword that can split tanks with a single swing, if wielded by someone sufficiently cool.  And this dude, he is cool.   
12- Li'l Nicky.  A small, black-eyed boy who never speaks.  Dressed in a private school uniform, carrying a battered, one-eyed rabbit doll.  Luck bends around Nicky, preventing anyone from hurting him.  Anyone who tries suffers horrible accidents.  Like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, except you're Tom.  Can only be hurt and targeted by indirect attacks or actions.  1 HD.  Killing him might only make things worse though.

artist unknown

What Car does he drive?

1d12

1- Dragula.  Black with red-trimmed interior.  Old, but extremely well-maintained.  Drives 4x faster when the sun is down.  Is fueled exclusively on blood.  1/Day, can summon a swarm of bats that obey the driver.  Will only accept a Driver with consumate manners and dress, who have killed someone they hated and drank his blood under a New Moon. 
2- Screaming Eagle.  Covered in feathers and painted brown, gold and white.  Can summon a pair of Eagles who will drop things onto enemies or try to gouge out eyes.  Equipped with a reinforced bumper so it can ram enemy cars.  Will only accept a Driver who loves guns, freedom and 'Murica.   
3- Sun Chaser.  Gold, red and orange.  Powered by sunlight, as long as it isn't cloudy, doesn't need fuel.  Can only go for 1d6 hours at night, unless left in the sun all day, then can go 6 hours.  Totally fireproof.  Can 1/Day, cover itself in a flaming aura.  Will only accept a Driver who has a bold dream that he will pursue, no matter what.   
4- Thunderbird.  Polished chrome, blue, massive eagle over the hood, grasping thunderbolts.  Can fire bolts of lighting from the metal rods jutting off the back, like Tesla coils.  In a storm, drives 2x faster.  Riders inside are immune to lightning and thunder damage.  Will only accept a Driver who is driven to cause chaos and destroy things.     
5- The Compensator.  Huge and red, with engine that can be heard for miles.  Makes other males feel inadequate, granting advantage on intimidation.  Females can be more easily charmed, but some can see through it.  Has a giant machine gun strapped to the back.  Will only accept a male Driver who is insecure. 
6- The P*ssy Wagon.  A gross, tasteless car covered in lewd and crass decorations.  Banana yellow and tacky.  Anyone who drives this will be thought of as a rubish idiot and a blustering oaf for 1d6 hours after exiting, no matter what they do. 
7- Tire-Tearer.  A steel-gray vehicle with metal blades for wheels.  Send trails of sparks behind you when driving.  Extremely noisy as well.  The car can eat the tires of another car, or tear through metal with it's monster wheels.  The car will only accept a Driver     
8- The Purple Palace.  Purple and beautiful, with an interior that is bigger on the inside.  Contains a wet bar, perpetually stocked with liquor, luxurious beds and 4 Succubus prostitutes, bound by contract to serve those who enter the rear of the car.  They cannot hurt you, but they can make your life miserable if not allowed to cater to their guests.  Will only accept a Driver who is debauched and depraved. 
9- The Flying Carpet.  A convertible said to be haunted by the ghost of a Wizard.  On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays he can be summoned at night to answer any question known to geeks, nerds or scholars.  The car can also cast Fireball as 3 level spell 1/Day.  The car will only accept a Driver who is educated or one who can bully it into submission. 
10- Tombstone.  A car fueled by the souls of damned- black with skulls everywhere.  The interior is human skin leather with actual bone incorporated into the design.  Can enter the land of the dead 1/Day and protects the riders from sunlight.  Inflicts nightmares in those who hear it's engines.  If someone dies in it, they can keep living as an intelligent Undead.  Will only accept a Driver who has violated the laws of Death.   
11- Bad Moon.  A sleek white convertible with polished chrome and silver accents.  Drives 2x faster under moonlight.  Repairs all damage done to it, unless the weapon is silvered.  Turns those who drive it into werewolves.  Can project moonlight from the headlights at night to induce transformations.  Will only accept a Driver who is sexually promiscuous or a murderer.    
12- Improbable Road.  A car inscribed with magical runes and pained with scenes from a child's book that never was.  Can fire Prismatic Rays 3/Day as 3rd level spells and can give you directions to any destination you can imagine.  In strong winds, such as storms or tornadoes, can fly.  Will only accept a Driver seeking enlightenment.

Secret Spells of the Speed Priests:

Nitro Rush
------------------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: vehicle or creature        D: [dice] rounds

One creature or vehicle gains a +[dice] bonus to AR and to pursuit rolls.  The creature or driver of said vehicle also gains a bonus to any saving throws based on DEX or rapid reactions equal to [dice].

If cast with 3 or more [dice], the creature or vehicle does +[dice] damage on a hit for the duration, but only for melee attacks.   

Car Insurance
-------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: vehicle        D: one action

One vehicle regains [sum] HP and is repaired.  This cannot replace missing parts or grant what the vehicle does not have, such as filling an empty tank with fuel. 

Cruise Control
-----------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: vehicle        D: [dice] minutes

The drivers of [dice] vehicles must save.  On a failed save, you take control of their vehicles for the duration.  If any driver passes his save, he instead takes [dice] damage.  A driver can choose to fail his save. 

For each [dice] used to cast this spell, select one option from the list below:
- One vehicle under the caster's control gets a +[dice] bonus to it's speed.  You can select this option multiple times. 
- If a driver passes his save, instead of taking damage, he is teleported out of his vehicle, appearing on the side of the road.
- One vehicle under the caster's control gains +[dice] temporary HP. 
- The caster can teleport to any of the vehicles under his control for the duration. 

Treasures of the Asphalt Infinity: 

1d6

1- The Compass of Dreams.  A compass that points toward a person's deepest desire.  If his desire is for something less concrete, such as "money" or "my father's love", then the compass will point toward the nearest opportunity to try and gain that desire, such as something the character's father would be proud of him doing, or a vault full of money that could be stolen.   2- Mechanic's Mats.  A series of absorbent mats that cushion your feet and make it easy to kneel and lie down without straining your joints.  They also absorb fall damage from any height.  There are enough mats to cover 30' square. 
3- Blood-Oil.  Magical oil that, if poured over a vehicle, covers it in a sheen of oil that grants it +2d10 temporary HP and gives it +4 to speed rolls.  If poured over a person, it grants +2d10 temporary HP and a +2 bonus to damage, Attack and Defense rolls, as well as to pursuit rolls.  The oil's coating lasts for 1 hour or until it is burned away by fire.  Found in batches of 1d4 cans, each one use.                
4- The Ever-Wrench.  A magical monkey wrench that can change size and shape to fasten onto any nail, screw or bolt.  The Wrench can also double as a melee weapon, doing 1d6+Atk damage on a hit.  The Wrench will also always reappear in the pocket of it's owner, if it ever is lost.  It can only be taken by killing the user or if they give it over willingly.   
5- Detailing Brush.  A spray nozzle that, if filled with paint, can be used to paint any surface.  The paint can be used to create any design the user wants and is extremely convincing.  It can also be used on any surface, not just vehicles.  For example, a tunnel painted onto a wall looks real until closely inspected.  A Dragon on a van could be mistaken for real if it wasn't on the side of a van.  A mustache painted on a man looks real until scrutinized or touched.  
6- Throttle Armor.  A suit of metal-and-Kevlar armor adorned with script and illustrations from the Gospel of the Throttle.  Counts as Medium Armor.  When worn, the wearer can subsist entirely on gasoline, needing no food nor water.  The wearer also gains resistance to fire damage and takes no damage from car crashes.  The wearer can be stunned or disoriented as normal, but cannot actually take damage from a crash.

artist unknown, Miss Fortune from League of Legends

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