RoadMastering

The obvious key to RoadMastering (RMing) RoadWorld is simply follow the lead of the movies and such mentioned in the introduction.

However, there are some tips that can be imparted herein, not the least of which is how characters get together to begin with.  Many alternatives exist, but a favorite of the author's is employment by a large corporation, usually limited to a task, and typically, at that, an expedition from one city to another.   The goal can be simply to get goods from one megacity to another (for example, from the Northeast Corridor to the Southern Confederacy - see below).  This gives the player-characters a chance to bond.  Other great ways to bring characters together can be as members of a gang - and make the gang bad enough the player-characters will want to break out.  There's always the secret police, as well, who might mistakenly or otherwise arrest or draft the characters.  Finally, talk to the players; maybe they want their characters to share a political bond or economic bond of some kind. 

Also, a good idea is to have the general landscape in mind, at least the part the characters will interact with.  At a minimum, I have the United States fragmented into a few major city-states with "wilderness" in between them.  The Northeast Corridor megacity encompasses just north of Boston down to just south of Washington, DC (those cities no longer exist as such).  The Southern Confederacy includes many southern cities which retain their identity and are fairly autonomous and, unlike the northern megacity, they still are separated by areas of wilderness, the small towns that now have degenerated to loose collections of shacks and the last remnants of civilization, generally ruled by the local sherriffs - who basically are thuggies with their former bikers.  The middle of the country I leave as a vast wilderness with roaming mobs and pockets of radiation and toxic dumps - both caused by the dumping of waste.  On the west coast there's the Mexicali complex from San Francisco to Tijuana.  The northwest is largely a mystery, now almost unreachable as the few passes are tightly controlled by refugee bikers.

A final tip includes using the tables below for random encounter generation or for assistance in campaign planning.

Road Encounters

To assist the RM, the below table provides suggestions for random encounters.  Characters on the roads between the megacities (the wilderness roads) typically encounter d4-1 of these random encounters a day. 

d100 Roll Encounter
1 Trader; Single warcar with trailer or single car with trailer or single truck
2-3 Traders - Caravan; d20 cars with d4 trucks with d10 bikes
4-7 Small Caravan - Mercantile; d10 cars with d4 warcars with d8 bikes with d4 trucks
8-9 Medium Caravan - Mercantile; 20 cars, 15 bikes, 5 warcars, 4 trucks
10 Large Caravan - Mercantile; 40 cars, 30 bikes, 10 warcars, 6 trucks
11-12 Small Political Caravan; d4 warcars, d10 cars, d10 bikes
13 Large Political Caravan; 20 cars, 15 bikes, 7 warcars, 1 truck
14-15 Criminals (returners; take from the rich, give to the poor); d20 criminals with d6 cars, usually 10% of the criminals have a warcar, and d4 bikes
16 Special Caravan; RM's discretion, usually with unique cargo/goods
17-20 Highwayman; 1 warcar or 5 bikes or 4 cars
21-34 Samll Group Highwaymen; d4 warcars or d10 cars or d10 bikes
35-44 Medium Group Highwaymen; 5 warcars, 10 cars, 10 bikes
45-58 Freaks/Punks/Bikers; d4 warcars or 4d6 bikes
59-60 Horde; 3d6 warcars, 5d6 bikes, 5d6 cars, 1 truck
61-62 Bordello - Fake; stocked with d10 crooks, 10% of whom have a warcar, with d4 cars and d6 bikes
63-64 Bordello - Real; stocked with d4 cars and d10 workers
65 Settlement - Temporary; usually d10 hastily constructed buildings (shacks), d100 inhabitants, d4-1 warcars, d20 cars, d20 bikes; 40% of the time these settlements have a bazooka or some similar heavy artillery
66-67 Debris - Ambush; 50% of the time these correspond to small group of highwaymen (above), the other 50% they are a highwayman as above
68 Debris; roll d4; 1 = cuts speed to 1/4 over d4 miles with no alternate route; 2 = blockage requiring d4 hours to clear or may go alternate route requiring d4 extra hours; 3 = 1/2 speed over d4 miles with no alternate route; 4 = major blockage takes d10 hours to clear with no alternate route; note that in any case there is a 10% chance of some sort of treasure at a blockage spread out over d4 locations worth d10-d10000 dollars in total
69 Animal; RM chooses any sort of animal, including monsters, for the encounter
70-79 Rain or Snow; lasts 3d6 hours; roll d4, on a "1" it continues; all combat maneuvers and ranged weapons are at -2; for combat maneuvers shift column down 3; going >30 miles per hour requires a roll to control; double skid chance and distance
80-87 Fog; lasts 3d6 hours; roll 3d4, on a "1" it continues; all ranged weapons at -4; field of vision is d4 hexes
88-95 Frozen or Slippery Road; lasts 3d6 hours; roll d4, on a "1" it continues; effect on combat same as rain or snow except for ranged weapons; maximum speed is 20 miles per hour; shift column down 4; triple skid chance and distance
96 Earthquake; lasts d100 seconds; if appropriate a 1 on a d4 roll produces an avalanche; stops movement; roll d4, on a 1 a rift opens up with width d6 feet, length d20 feet, and depth d100 feet
97 Hurricane or Blizzard; lasts 5d6 hours; renews on a 1 on a d4 roll; cannot go faster than 20 miles per hour; chance of stopping for d10 hours equals a 1 on a d4 roll every 4 hours; chance of being unable to move (snowed in) is 1 on a d10 roll (applies to cars and bikes only); no vehicular combat allowed; ranged weapons at -4 with half range
98 Tornado; travels at 100+d100 miles per hour; width is d100 hexes; no movement possible, must take cover; people and vehicles uncovered take d100 damage, warcars take 25% more damage, cars take only 2/3 of that number, and bikes are thrown d100 hexes
99 Windstorm; lasts 3d6 hours; renews on 1 out of a d4; if at backs movement is doubled while fuel is regular cost; if at side movement is regular but fuel is 50% greater; if at front movement is cut in half and fuel is doubled
100 Avalanche (Rock or Snow); roll d8 for each side of the hex, on a 1 that side is being rained down upon; with snow burial happens on a 1 out of d4

Urban Encounters

To assist the RM, the below table provides suggestions for random encounters.  Characters in the city run into encounters d4 -1 times a day.  Roll a d100 for each encounter.

d100 Roll Encounter
1-5 d6 Punks
6-11 roll d4; on a 1-3 there are 3d6 young upper working class youths of the dominant ethnic type of the city, on a 4 there are 1d6 of these
12-17 roll d4; on a 1-3 there are 2d6 young gang youths, on a 4 there are 1d6 of these
18-22 roll d4; on a 1-3 there are 3d6 young working class youths of a large minority type of the city; on a 4 there are 1d6 of these
23-27 roll d4; on a 1-3 there are 2d6 young working class youths (maybe gang members) of a small but tight minority type of the city; on a 4 there are 1d6 of these
28-33 roll d4; on a 1-3 there are 2d6 artsy youths; on a 4 there are 1d6 artsy youths
34-35 roll d4; on a 1-3 there are 2d6 militantly sexually-biased youths; on a 4 there are 1d6 of these
36-37 d4-1 secret police (minimum 1)
38-39 d6 vigilantes
40-46 d6 workers
47-52 d4 bureaucrats and/or computerists
53-54 d6 manager types with d4-1 guards per manager
55 d6 high level executive types with d6 guards + 1 per person
56-61 d4 common streetwalker-type prostitutes
62-63 d4-1 (minimum 1) higher class prostitutes
64 high class call girl
65-69 d4-2 (minimum 1) election-oriented politician with d4-1 guards per
70 d4-2 (minimum 1) career politician with d6+1 guards per
71-75 d6-1 dillinger type criminal (minimum 1)
76 d4 mafiosa
77-78 d4-2 (minimum 1) repo men
79 d4-1 (minimum 2) population control
80 d4 mafia boss plus d6+1 guards per
81 terminator (roll d10, on a "1" there are two terminators instead)
82 android (roll d20, on a 1-3 there are two androids)
83 private investigator (roll d10, on a 1 there are two P.I.s instead)
84-89 d6-1 (minimum 1) street people
90-93 3d6 bikers
94 d6 armed forces personnel, usually on leave
95-96 some large event, such as a fair or rally
97-99 religious fanatic with crowd of 2d6
100 religious leader with d6+1 guards