I was toying with a character idea for a female 00 for a possible up-coming campaign and wanted something really distinctive for her. I wanted a fast, modern car, but something with a quirky, retro style so I turned to the venerable house of Morgan. I decided she needed a Morgan Aero 8, and specifically the hardtop Aeromax.

Established in 1910, Morgan is one of the oldest British car companies and is still turning out interesting designs like the Aero 8, their old roadsters, and the very nimble Three-Wheel (which got its start as a tax dodge for motorists in the 1930s.) Morgan was famed for their use of wood for their frames until very recently, when they switched to lightweight aluminum. The Aero has gone through a series of design tweaks since 2000, including the unfortunate “cross-eyed” period (image google the car…you’ll see what I mean.)

MORGAN AERO 8

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Employing a BMW 4.8 litre V8 and their 6 speed Getrag gearbox, the Morgan puts out about 360hp and 370 ft-lbs of torque for a 2600 lb. vehicle, giving the car a 0-60mph of 4 second, and a top spedd of about 170mph. A two-seater, the car is optimized with a 50/50 weight distribution with just the driver. Just under four feet high, the vehicle is low, sleek, and with independent suspension and brakes for all the wheels, is very stable in turns.

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Leather and aluminum abound in the cabin, which is very minimalist, even in the Aeromax coupe.

The Aeromax

The Aeromax

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PM: +1   RED: 4   CRUS: 80   MAX: 170   RNG: 220   FCE: 2   STR: 5   COST: from $120,000

…and a bonus. Their distinctive 3-Wheeler.

MORGAN 3-WHEELER

Created to allow British motorists a cheap car that avoided the high taxation of the 1930s (it was classed as a motorcycle), the 3-Wheeler is powered by a 1983cc S&S motorcycle engine mounted transversely at the front of the car, and a 5-speed Mazda gearbox. The fat rear wheel drives the vehicle, while the exposed twin wheels at the front provide surprisingly stable and nimble steering. They seat two with massive legroom (the pedal length is adjustable) and decent comfort, save for exposure to the elements.

The “Moggie”, as they are known to their aficionados, weight under 1200 lbs. allowing the 82hp motor to still push them to 60mph in 6 seconds with a top speed of 115mph.

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PM: +1   RED: 4     CRUS: 60     MAX; 115     RNG: 300     FCE: 0     STR: 3     COST: $60,000

GM Information: The Morgan receives a -1EF to safety tests.

(I haven’t had a chance to drive either of these, but an acquaintance here in Albuquerque has both the Aero and the 3-Wheeler. He is highly complementary of the Aero’s speed and maneuverability, as well as the comfort. He describes the 3-Wheeler as “exhilarating” — even though it is slower and a bit unstable in hard turns [yes — they will tip] and prefers it to the more useful Aero.)

’cause if you are going to have a car chase in a one-off Aston, to need a similarly rare cat to chase you…

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The Jaguar C-X75 is a hybrid-electric concept car that was first shown in 2010. It is powered by four electric motors on the wheels producing a total 778hp and 1180 ft-lbs of torque(!!!) — the batteries for which are fed by a pair of diesel-slurping gas turbines that give the car an amazing range of 550 miles and a loud, shriek when floored. (On just the batteries, the range is 68 miles.) It can run 0-100 in 3.2 seconds, has a top speed of 205mph.

The interior is spare and race-oriented, and the cabin is accessed through forward raising doors.

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If you can find one of the half dozen build, it’ll run you about £10 million. Perfect for a car chase.

PM: +2   RED: 2   CRUS: 100   MAX: 205   RNG: 500   FCE: 2   STR: 6   COST: $20 million

GM Information: the C-X75 gains a +2EF to Pursue/Flee maneuvers.

Yes, there’s only ten of them, and yes, they were built just for the movie…what Aston called  “bespoke sports car.” (Interesting idea — in the past, there were hordes of coachworks firms that would take a base vehicle and trick it out to the customer’s specifications…could this be a new area of opportunity for the pricey supercar industry?)

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The DB10 sits on the Victor Hotel (VH) platform and is driven by the same engine 4.7 litre motor as the V8 Vantage and the same 6-speed manual transmission. With similar weight, horsepower (400hp or so), tires, etc., that would give the DB10 the following stats:

PM: +2   RED: 3   CRUS: 90   MAX: 175   RNG: 220   FCE: 2   STR: 6   COST: bespoke

GM Information: The DB10 receives a +1 to Safety tests.

Here she is…

Stay tuned tomorrow for Hinx’s ride — the Jaguar C-X75.

In the world of supercars, there’s super…then there is superlative. The Italian-made Pagani is the latter. Constructed of a carbon-fiber/aluminum sandwich, the car is under 1500 pounds in weight, then powered by a 730hp V-12 engine by AMG, with a seven-speed sequential gearbox that can be operated by paddle shifters or a traditional gearshift. This throws the car from 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds, and it tops out at 230mph.

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The interior has had-stitched leather, carbon fiber, and aluminum, with a suite of electronics, including the ability to change the color of the dashboard lighting to suit your mood. You get into the sumptuous cabin through gullwing doors. The mirrors look like leaves on stalks growing out of the front of the vehicle. Pirelli designed tires specifically for the car to allow an astonishing 1.66g lateral acceleration.

But let someone else do a better job of describing this masterpiece of automotive artistry…Top Gear‘s Richard Hammond:

Game specs…

PM: +2   RED: 2   CRUS: 100   MAX: 230   RNG: 250 FCE: 1   STR: 4   COST: $1.5m US

GM Information: The Huayra gains an additional +1EF to Pursue/Flee.

There are four different versions of the Scrambler, but they are — outside of cosmetic differences — essentially the same motorcycle. The Icon is the base model, and at $2000 more there is the Full Throttle and the more retro-looking Classic. Ducati used a version of the 798cc motor from the Monster, opened to 803cc but with half the valves, and created a perfect beginner bike, or quasi-off road bike for more experienced riders. Balance is amazing, and the large lock-to-lock radius on the steering allows for very tight turning. The engine gives 70hp or so, and 50 ft./lbs. of torque — about on par with a Triumph Thruxton, but has a sixth gear.

The Scrambler Classic

The Scrambler Classic

 

The Icon

The Icon

 

PM: +2   RED: 4   CRUS: 60   MAX: 120   RNG: 150   FCE: 0   STR: 1   COST: $8500US

GM Information: The Scrambler is very easy to control and handles well on or off road. It gains a +1EF to Safety tests.

Without further ado:

P220_NitronElite_10mmSIG-Sauer P220 Elite 10mm

The P220 has been around since the 1970s, and was always chambered in .45ACP until this year, when a fully-redesigned version for 10mm was released. There are four variants of this new weapon, all differences in finish, save a special version of the stainless Elite that has a single-action only trigger; otherwise, they are operationally the same as a normal P220 — DA/SA triggers, a light rail on the front, the decocker, slide release, and takedown lever all on the left side of the gun. This P220 is heavy at 44oz. unloaded, but the weight keeps the recoil of the most powerful 10mm ammunition on par with .45+P.

PM: +1   S/R: 2   AMMO: 8   DC: H   CLOS: 0-8   LONG: 13-20   CON: -1   JAM: 99+   DRAW: 0   RL: 1   COST: $1400

I’m supposed to be trading my .45 1911 for one of these this weekend, so the specs might change once I’ve had a chance to shoot it.

ROCK ISLAND .22TCM 1911 Fullsize

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There are currently a few versions of the 1911 Fullsize for .22TCM, and a commander-sized “Midsize”, but they are exclusively manufactured by Armscor (as is the ammunition.) The idea is similar to that of the 5.7x28mm cartridge — a light, fast bullet that minimizes recoil, increases accuracy and armor penetration, and give a large magazine capacity. The .22TCM uses a 40 grain bullet moving at between 1900-2100fps with a muzzle energy between 312-375 ft lbs. (I chrono’ed the stuff I shot at 2050 average.)

The platform is a double stack (although there is a single stack available) 1911-style pistol. The quality of manufacture is very high, although the standard grips are awful (at least the ones with the finger groove, but some folks like those), and has an excellent trigger, which aids in the accuracy of the gun. The .22TCM and 9mm barrels can be swapped quickly, and gives the shooter the ability to use different ammo; the magazine used is the same 18-round double stack. There are reported issues with the last round of the magazine “jamming” because the slide stop engages early, but I had none of that in my original magazine. The new one I bought, however, did, and the culprit is the follower is not shaved appropriately. Ammunition availability for .22TCM can be problematic, but it’s plentiful online.

The handgun does not fit standard fitted 1911 holsters like the SERPA, etc.

PM: +1   S/R: 3   AMMO: 18 (17 in 9mm)   DC: F (G in 9mm)   CLOS: 0-7   LONG: 12-20   CON: +1   JAM: 99   DRAW: 0   RL: 1   COST: $700

GM Information: The .22TCM ammunition will reduce personal armor ratings by a DC step, but the DC against inanimate objects (cars, etc.) is reduced one. The barrels can be swapped in about a minute. The 9mm barrel does not give the armor bonus, nor does it lose DC against inanimate objects.

SIG-Sauer MPX

SIG-Sauer enters the submachinegun field with the new MPX. The weapon comes in several configurations, from a Kurz (or short) personal defense weapon, to a full size carbine. There is a suppressed version, the MPX-S, as well. It is typically chambered for 9mm, but can be had in .40S&W and .357 SIG. The stats below are for the MPX-K, MPX-S, and carbine versions:

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PM: 0   S/R: 2/6   AMMO: 30   DC: F/H   LONG: 0-10   CLOS: 30-50   CON: +4   JAM: 98+   DR: -2   RL: 2   COST: $3000

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PM: +1   S/R: 2/6   AMMO: 30   DC: F/H   LONG: 0-10   CLOS: 40-60   CON: n/a   JAM: 98+   DR: -2   RL: 2   COST: $2500

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PM: +1   S/R: 2/6   AMMO: 30   DC: G/I   LONG: 0-15   CLOS: 45-80   CON: n/a   JAM: 98+   DR: -3   RL: 2   COST: $3000

I was having a look over the retro-clone Classified which repackages the old James Bond: 007 RPG very faithfully. It’s no secret I’ve been working on and off on a similar project for a few years — slowed and distracted by professional concerns and child care duties. As writing carried on two years ago, I realized that a redesign of a few of the rules were needed. That expanded into tearing the system apart and putting it back together. Here are a few of the points that I’ve been working from:

1) Less freakin’ math! Let’s face it — James Bond: 007 (hereafter JB:007) is a pretty simple setup for character creation…except for the math. No, it’s not GURPS or Champions, where you need to buy time on a supercomputer to build a character in less than a weekend, but the numbers are big enough for people to bone up if they’re working quickly and by hand. This has been rectified. Additionally, I’ve stripped off some of the extraneous stuff you had to buy.

2) Why the hell do Fields of Experience exist? Because no one wanted to buy those as skills in the initial design of JB:007. Fields of Experience have been given actual mechanical effects, and the same goes for Weaknesses. They help define your character, now.

3) Simplify and make consistent the rules. The different mechanics for gambling, seduction, torture, and other aspects of the game were cool in 1983. They’re a headache for GMs used to more streamlined games now. If you want to really capture the excitement of being at the green baize, have the players play baccarat, or whatever, against the GM or each other. Connected to that —

4) Lose the d6. Initiative is based on speed. If two characters have the same speed, roll a d10. Highest wins. There’s another initiative system in the works that might capture the action movie flavor better that I’m working on.

5) Speaking of — modern action movies have had a much different pacing since the 1980s, even Bond movies. Gone are the days of deliberative one shot from a .32 Walther kills a guy at 50 yards…Bond characters may not spray and pray the likes of Martin Riggs of John McClane, but they’ve a lot less ammo discipline in these days of high-capacity magazines. Combat rules are being tweaked to reflect this, and add in things like martial arts styles.

6) Hero points: Only on a 01? Nope. Hero point now look more like plot points/story points/style points of other game systems. You get them for playing to your weaknesses, for good roleplaying, for rolling QR1s, or making good suggestions for how failure might be interpreted.

7) A game’s corebook does not need to be 500 pages and full color to be good. I’m aiming to keep the book cheap, easy to read, and fast to get into playing. There will be a lot of background material on the modern espionage world, policing, etc., and the obligatory short adventure scenario. The goal is a book running about 200 pages.

The goal: Keep all the good stuff about JB:007, lose the bad, and bring these mechanics into the 21st Century.

 

Phantom Badger Light Assault Vehicle

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The US Navy needed a small, light combat vehicle for reconnaissance, rescue, or combat situations that could be dropped from the V-22 OSprey. What they got was the Phantom Badger by Boeing. It crams a 240hp multi-fuel motor and five personnel into a jeep-like chassis that is just 60 inches wide, barely 13 feet long and has a range of roughly 300 miles.

The Phantom Badger has four wheel drive and steering, allowing for incredibly tight turning radiuses, and can ford up to three foot deep waters, hit 80mph on a paved road, and has interchangeable parts with most other US military vehicles, as well as a modular rear deck that can be reconfigured with a simple wench set.

The craft can either use a .50 caliber M2A1 machinegun on the rollbar behind the driver’s compartment; and two M249 5.56mm SAW for the two rear-facing seats; or it can carry up to six litters for wounded. One can be carried in a V-22, two in a Chinook helicopter or C-130, and ten can fit in a C-17 transport.

PM: +1   RED: 4   CRUS: 50   MAX: 80   RNG: 300   FCE: 2   STR: 5   COST: n/a

GM Information: The Phantom Badger receives a +1EF for off-road conditions. In a roll-over crash, the passengers receive the same damage as the craft, rather than one WL lower.