CW - The Taxi

By Jess O'Brien
HTMLized by Gustav Dahlström.



In the world of 2039 AD, getting somewhere is often difficult - even fatal. It is not an uncommon occurrence for cars to be damaged or stolen. Thus, the advent of the taxi. Just call and a well-armed, well-driven vehicle arrives, ready to transport you and your luggage to your destination - if you live in the right area. If you live in a less than desirable area, getting a taxi could be a little more difficult and a lot more expensive. In most areas the idea of taxi service hasn't caught on. But, where it has (in approximately 12 major cities), the charge is anywhere from $3 to $50 a mile, depending on the route. Remember, the driver has the right to refuse service to anyone and to refuse to go anywhere. However, for the right price . . . some may be convinced to go anywhere.

A few taxi companies have set up driver-training courses which include gunning, driving and hand weapons. It also includes rudimentary standard procedures such as manners, ethics, frisking methods and dealing with non-paying customers - this is often very hazardous to the passenger's health. It is not uncommon for the drivers to place radio-controlled tear-gas or concussion grenades under the passenger's seat. Most drivers receive insurance which covers the costs of ammo, power-plant charges, tires, damage to armor and, of course, accidental death. This is determined entirely by the referee. The referee should set a monthly salary for drivers in relation to their campaign.

A taxi campaign can be a fun diversion from the usual arena to arena hum- drum. As taxis take important people to important places, there are numerous opportunities for adventures. Characters are taxi drivers, charged with delivering their precious cargo quickly, efficiently and safely. Some customers will obviously be no one special, but they can pretty much be ignored by using a monthly salary to simulate them. However, interesting people will often board politicians, mobsters or influential businessmen. This can provide many adventures, some perhaps, leading to the financing of an autoduelling career for the taxi driver. Subplots between customers or between fellow drivers can be easily developed. Most campaigns of this style work best with two people; one referee and one player. However, it is easy to work a multi-player campaign - it just takes more work on the referee's part.

One such option is to equip drivers with two way radios so they can get help from off-duty drivers. This involves other players and can encourage subplots with NPC's. If you want, there can be an established quota for the drivers. This can result in PCs "recruiting" customers with smooth sales pitches, fast talking - even at gunpoint. Installing additional weaponry and defenses to the stock model assigned to every driver is also encouraged by management, although additions almost always come out of the PC's pocket.

Scenario suggestions:

1. A customer boards. You recognize him as an important city official fighting for the rights of your favorite interest group - autoduellists, clones, etc. Unfortunately, he is on the hit list of a cycle gang, pedestrian group, or professional assassin - the dangerous party is waiting around the corner.

2. An unusual-looking man boards. He has long scraggly, blonde hair and a scruffy beard. His only luggage is a large suitcase. As you pull away, he opens his suitcase to reveal a large, armed bomb. "Take me to Mexico now!," he shouts, "or I will blow us away!"

3. A local cycle gang is hard up for cash and your taxi seems like an easy hit. Three or four $5 - $10,000 cycles should make a challenge, depending on the money spent on the taxis involved.

4. The advertising department of your taxi company decides that entering a taxi in the local arena would be great publicity. If you win big enough, you may continue your autoduelling career under the company logo. Note that losing can result in termination.

5. The rival taxi company decides that the competition is getting too hot and makes an all-out attack on your building. Best for a multi-player bout.

6. A passenger racks up $500 worth of fares in a joy ride. At an intersection, he leaps out and runs into an alley far too narrow for your vehicle. You immediately grab your hand weapons, lock the car and pursue - into the bad side of town.

7. The opposing taxi company is muscling in on your territory. They have severely injured one driver and blown up three cars, damaging both reputation and profits. You've been assigned by the boss to come up with a daring retaliation.

8. A customer drops a hint about a valuable wreck, informal duel, rival driver or other goal located just outside of town. Pretending you're working overtime, you drive outside of town to investigate. Unfortunately, this is nothing but a trap set by a rival taxi company planning to trash your car and you. However, if you manage to come out on top, it will certainly be worth the risk. In conclusion, since the most interesting and enjoyable aspect of Car Wars is designing your own vehicles, doing so is recommended. However, illustrated above is a sample vehicle. (Note that this vehicle is weak on defense.)

Taxi

Luxury, hvy. chassis, hvy. suspension, 4 hvy. duty tires, driver wIlOpt. body armor. 2 passengers, machine pistol, laser, 2-space turret, 2 concussion grenades, hi-res. SWC, radio detonator, long distance radio, luggage compartment. Armor: F40, R25, L25, B30, T20, UlO. Accel. 5, Top Speed: 97.5, HC 3, Weight 5,827 lbs. $21,912.