by Scott Haring
The Wolf is a scenario for two teams of duellists and a referee. There should be at least three players per team, though four to six would be better. Anyone planning to play this scenario should read no further.
Refereeing The Wolf will be a tough job - not because the action will be complicated, because it won't - but because you will need the cooperation of two players who can keep a secret and are good roleplayers. And then at the end of the scenario, you're going to have to double-cross them.
You will need Car Wars Expansion Set 5 to play this scenario, both for the team counters and for the map of the site of the scenario, the Buffalo Municipal Coliseum, often called the "Murphy Memorial" for its shoddy construction and unreliable automatic security systems. Each team gets $80,000 to build its vehicles, and should have one vehicle for each team member (no doubling up on crew). The players have been attracted by a big purse - $50,000 for each surviving member of the winning team - but the real money to be made at Murphy is in the underground betting parlors all over upstate New York, where two criminal organizations are fighting it out for control of the illegal gambling profits.
This is where it gets tricky. You (the referee) must take one player from each team aside (at different times) and get that player's cooperation. The duellist (you tell him) has been approached by a rather unsavory gentleman associated with one of the two big crime organizations. He explains, none too politely, that his bosses have put a lot of money on the other team, and they don't want anything to go wrong. The duellist is told to make sure that his team does not win. How the hood persuades the duellist is up to you - threaten physical violence, bribery, blackmail, a sweet old aunt tied up somewhere - just get the player to cooperate. How the duellist is supposed to throw the match is pretty much up to the duellist - he's just supposed not to be too blatant about it. Then go to the player you've selected from the other team, and tell him the exact same thing - except he's being contacted by the other big crime family.
Not content to let their hopes (and money) ride on a bullied autoduellist, both crime families have brought a few of their troops in the afternoon of the big duel as further insurance. One family has disconnected the automatic security system and gotten four men to the top of four of the ten TV towers (determine which ones randomly). There's a pair of linked MGs at the top of each tower, all fully loaded. If that family's side is losing, the men will blaze away, hoping the knowledge of Murphy's faulty security system will make people think it was "all an accident." The other family (it really doesn't matter which family is on which side) has planted six powerful bombs under six of the eight foxhole covers on the arena floor (again, determine which ones randomly). These bombs will do 6d6 to the underbody of any car going directly over the cover, and 3d6 to the underbody of any car within 1/2" of the cover. The bombs are radio-controlled, and the man with the switch is in the stands. His task is simple - if his team is losing, even the score by blasting any opposing cars that come near the foxhole. If an escaping pedestrian tries to jump into a foxhole that has a bomb in it, he will see the bomb. On a roll of 1-3 on 1d6, the man in the stands will immediately set off the bomb - the fewer witnesses, the better. On a roll of 4-6, he decides not to give himself away. The player discovering the bomb can try to alert people to the hazard (though he's likely to get cut down before anyone will understand what he's trying to say), or he can jump into the foxhole with the bomb. Once inside (assuming it doesn't get set off in the interim), a player can disarm it in five seconds, if he tries. If he just cowers there, hoping it won't go off, well...he might get lucky.
No matter how the duel ends, one of the two crime families is going to be looking for revenge. If the player who was supposed to throw the duel but failed is still alive, whichever family he dealt with will try to kill him immediately, either with the machine guns or with the bombs, depending on what firepower that particular family has available. Of course, the attacked player's teammates are also fair game, especially if they get in the way. And the turncoat on the losing team (if he's alive) will also be attacked by the people who hired him - to eliminate witnesses, of course.
There's a decent chance (1-4 on 1d6) that either of the two players who have been told to throw the duel (the "wolves" of this scenario) will spot some of the other preparations being made before the duel (people climbing TV towers, guys snooping around security systems, people toying with the foxholes, missing security guards, whatever). If they do spot some of the other activity and realize that the double-cross is on, then a number of courses of action are open. The player could confide in his teammates, and get their help out of the mess. And if both teams ever figure out that they've both been set up, their combined forces would wipe out the hoodlums pretty easily - earning them all fame, adulation, extra prestige, and some powerful enemies for future campaigns.
The duellists are in a tough situation, almost a no-win one. Like many roleplaying scenarios, there is no "winning" this adventure - just surviving it.