Anyone have a custom move for vehicle racing that they like?

Anyone have a custom move for vehicle racing that they like?

Anyone have a custom move for vehicle racing that they like?

I want to run a one-shot adventure about an airship race in Inverse World with island hopping, cloud sea obstacles, creature dangers, sabotage, and rival airships to beat.

I’m sure I could just use the vehicle rules and basic rules as written, though I thought it might be fun to have a custom move that helps narrate the polling and complications of an exciting race, maybe a visual timeline/sequence tracker also. Since it’s a one-shot I’m hoping a custom move would help trigger boons, obstacles/dangers, and delays along the course, perhaps with a hold mechanic to help signify that the finish line is approaching. Regardless of where the party is in the polling when the race is finishing, a final encounter could be had to determine the race. A race is exciting in the back and forth and the bold moves needed to get ahead and stay ahead. Crashing out is always a risk, though hopefully a custom move could help a party that crashes midway to still make a play for victory.

Anyway, I’m part way to a custom move already in my head, but thought I’d poll the tavern to ask if anyone has a DW custom racing move they could share.


7 thoughts on “Anyone have a custom move for vehicle racing that they like?”

  1. Jeremy Strandberg thanks for looking that up! The cloudfish chariot has some neat imagery that would work in Inverse World just fine. That said, it doesn’t seem like he made a custom move for the race itself, but rather just the mechanics of defending or maneuvering the chariot. In his post he talks about the players ending up at the finish first to win and that’s where my question lives, can we make a custom move that guides how and if the PCs will win the race?

    I suppose a modified Labyrinth move comes to mind, with player choices to use Hold to gain position in the race, cheat through/around an obstacle, or repair the vehicle — otherwise they either run into complications (environmental or NPCs) or lose position in the race. Save up hold to enter the final stretch of the race as the final encounter.

  2. I’m sure you could make such a move, but I don’t have anything off the top of my head.

    Other than: are you really sure you want a custom move for this?

    Like, if this race is going to be the focus of the entire session, I think I’d write it up more like a series of potential encounters, moments, and GM moves. Maybe a rough map of the route, with a few decision points available to them. And maybe some grim portents. Then run the race like a normal adventure, making GM moves and asking what they do, etc.

    Like if you broke the whole thing down to ~5 “phases,” each with possible challenges or events.

    0) Before the race

    > Establish rivalries

    > Establish stakes

    > Raise suspicions about an NPC crew member’s loyalty

    1) Out of the Gates

    > Mad scrum for position

    > Rivals attack/ram/sabotage

    > Long stretch of clear sailing, a test of speed

    2) The First Gauntlet

    > Asteroid fields!

    > Sharp turns

    > Ships trying to knock each other into rocks (or vice versa)

    > Safer, slower route vs. quicker, more dangerous route

    > Something of great value available if they go out of their way or take greater risk (ideally, set this up in phase 0)

    3) Straightaway!

    > A chance to haul ass, close the distance/increase the distance

    > Treachery from the crew (?)

    > Damage sustained earlier gets worse

    > A rival cheats!

    > Personal conflicts come to the fore

    4) Choice of paths

    > Shortcut through a tremendously dangerous shardstorm

    > Longer, safer route

    > Tests of the crew’s morale, loyalty

    > Difficult decisions for the captain and other PCs

    5) Final stretch

    > Some sort of hazard to dodge or evade

    > Desperate, cheap tactics from rivals

    > Another chance for betrayal

    > Another test of loyalty/morale

    > A chance for victory at great cost/personal sacrifice

    Personally, I’d find something like that way more interesting to play through than a series of dice rolls, which is what I’ve found the Labyrinth move can sometimes become.

  3. Jeremy Strandberg it’s a good point. I was planning on having set piece obstacles and locations for sure, but rather than wait for bad rolls on a custom move they could just come up in sequence as you describe.

    If the race was just a segment of a larger adventure perhaps a custom move would make more sense. Say, a decathalon with many legs that don’t all want a set piece encounter.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Jeremy.

  4. When you have a few minutes of uninterrupted time at the controls of your airship and navigate it through the race roll +airship. On a 10+ hold 3 on a 7-9 hold 2. You may spend hold for any of the following actions

    – move up one spot in the race (if you’re in first increase your lead)

    – damage the enemy ship behind you

    – avoid an obstacle/ damage

    – improve your airship by +1

    – come side by side with another airship for a boarding opportunity

    – make great time on the course (fill in a clock segment)

    Give the airship a stat say +1 to start and as things go wrong you can decrease it on 6- etc.

    Then use a clock to monitor how much race is left. This gives them the opportunity to control how much time to go as a hold but also you can use it as well to add tension

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