Unleash Your Inner Speed Demon in Road Racers

A high-stakes motorcycle racing RPG that asks: how far will you go to be the fastest?

Unleash Your Inner Speed Demon in Road Racers
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37.73 miles of closed public roads, around the Isle of Man. Reaching speeds of more than 200mph, through towns and villages, over the mountain and back down. The greatest – and most dangerous – motorsport event in the world. A test of skill and courage. A duel with death. A race like no other.

Road Racers is a tabletop roleplaying game designed by Thomas McGrenery, the creator of Malandros and Revolution Comes to the Kingdom.

The principal characters of the game are elite motorcycle riders from all walks of life, competing in the world's most famous road race. One participant, Race Control, acts as a referee and facilitator and controls non-player characters. The other players each take the role of an individual rider.

On each of the race's six laps, you take turns to go as fast as you can. You can take as many turns as you like, but each turn increases the number of dice you must accept from those you roll: on the first turn, it's easy. Simply select the single best die that you need. On later turns, you can include more good dice – but you start to run out of options to set aside the bad ones. How far will you push it to win? 

Between laps, rider interviews and other scenes, played out in flashback from before the race started, give an insight into the characters' personalities, relationships and rivalries. 

Three motorbike riders enter Parliament Square on the Isle of Man during a TT race. The image is rotated 90 degrees such that the motorbikes appear to be adhering to a vertical wall of asphalt.
Road Racers cover

The Dice Chain

At the heart of Road Racers is an innovative dice mechanic that captures the ebb and flow of a race. Each racing action is resolved by selecting from a rolled dice pool made up of "arc dice" that move down the "dice chain" (d8 to d6 to d4) when "cold" and up when "hot". Representing how close the rider's tyres and engine are to their optimal operating window, arc dice start cold and become hot when they get to d4.

Lower numbers are better, but a roll of 1 advances the arc dice, making them increasingly dangerous to use as the race progresses. A 4 in the result triggers an unpredictable Incident Deck draw, which could see your bike develop a fault, a slower rider come into view ahead, or a race-ending crash leading to injuries or worse. 

The Race

The race itself consists of six laps, with each rider taking as many turns as they dare. The hindmost active rider goes first each turn, creating a dynamic ebb and flow as riders jockey for position. 

On your turn, unless you bow out for the rest of the lap, you must select a number of dice from your roll equal to the turn number to form your result (one die on Turn 1, one on Turn 2, etc.). This allows more control in the early going, but increased risk and narrowing of choices as the race goes on ratchets up the excitement and tension. The lap ends when no rider is willing or able to take another turn. 

Sample page, covering racing actions "Go Faster" and "Overtake"

Exploring the Characters

Beyond the on-track action, Road Racers features flashback scenes between laps that allow players to deepen their understanding of and investment in their characters aided by evocative interview questions. This adds an extra layer of drama and personality to the game. And usually some dramatic irony, as the players know future events that their characters' past selves don't. This can be amusing, like when a confident pre-race champion is struggling due to hubris, or poignant, as when a racer who has been injured or killed is talking about future plans. 

Road Racers is a unique tabletop gaming experience, putting players right in the middle of the world's most exciting road races. With its innovative dice mechanics and character-driven narratives, the game delivers a blend of high-speed thrills and emotional storytelling. The race's time-trial format creates an unusual mix of tension and introspection: riders are often alone on the road even as they race to be the fastest, with overtaking a risky business when it happens, and you won't be sure of your result until the last rider crosses the line. How do you deal with it when victory looks like it is slipping away; how do you decide what counts as a successful race for yourself? In Road Racers, you answer such questions on the track and in your heart.

Examples of print & play Incident Deck cards

Road Racers is now available in digital format from DriveThruRPG. It includes the 24-page rulebook, a set of print & play cards for the Incident Deck – with a conversion chart for players who prefer to use a standard deck of playing cards – and play aids including an A3 playsheet to help keep track of positions, turns and laps at the table.

Road Racers play sheet

About Porcupine Publishing 

Founded in 2015, Porcupine Publishing is an award-winning game imprint creating and translating games that focus on adventure, emotion, and immersive experiences of other times, places and cultures.
For more information, visit porcupinepublishing.com.