The Children of War
The vast majority of the Children of War live what is called a half-life. They were born sick, and sickness will drastically shorten their lives. Sure, a few live long enough to grow old, but these big brothers and sisters are rare. The average lifespan of a War Kid is 24. Many die of sickness in adolescence as Blackthumbs, and those who manage to survive to fight in the wastes often die violently on their first few missions. That's not something they fear, though: If violence doesn't take them, sickness will.
Children of War are raised with full awareness that theirs is a half-life, and that they are already marked for death. There is no escaping it. Instead they are taught to embrace it, to welcome death and to die glorious and chrome. They are an engine, The Great V8, and each of them is a cog in that machine. This Cult of V8 teaches them that every cog has a purpose, and that while every cog is important to the function of the V8, the V8 is eternal and cogs are temporary. They live, they die, they live again. Their death is not a loss if the V8 revs on.
Knowing that death is coming for them, how they meet that death is what matters. The best death is a glorious death in battle. War Kids who are nearing the end of their half-life from sickness will volunteer to ride into battle just to have a glorious death. This 'Joy Ride' paves their way into 'Valhalla', the War Kids' afterlife, where they are free of sickness and pain on a beautiful, endless road. It is also often called 'The Last Road'.
All Children of War become Gearheads, Centurions, or Charioteers at fourteen. They are trained to do all three as Blackthumbs - how to repair and build vehicles, how to fight, and how to drive - but which one they end up doing is based on aptitude. Regardless of path, when they near the end of their half-life, they take up a weapon and ride into battle to die.
The greatest of the War Kids are made Imperators, the generals of their army, and they drive the War Rig and other elite vehicles, and answer directly to the Mother of War.
All Children of War should be sick, but there are exceptions (talk to TD). They all get the Perk Witness Me (10), which allows them to forego a Freak-Out Check and simply attack the source instead at a +1. This is obviously not always a great idea. If they choose not to attack and roll the Freak-Out Check as normal, keep in mind that failing and panicking is seen as cowardice, and such mediocre behavior will be remembered until they find a way to redeem themselves.
All Children of War get the Quirk Half-Life (10), which means that whenever they are injured they must make a Brawn Check without modifiers. Failure means their immune system does not kick in and they will not heal, leaving them at 0 SP going forward and without a Free Failure, much like an SR. They can only heal by being given a blood bag/donor and must roll again once a week until they get a success, at which point they are healthy again.
Not every War Kid is bald or shaves their head, but many do. They all cover themselves in white powder before going out into the sun to protect their skin, and many paint their faces with grease to have a skeletal appearance. Those with tumors from sickness often get faces tattooed on them and give them names. It's something of a status symbol. The more 'mates' they have, the higher they are regarded, but this is merely a social thing and not about rank.
Each Charioteer gets 15 points to build their personal vehicle from the aspects below. This is a standard car or truck of your choice of make and model. Bigger or specialized vehicles like the war rig are designed by TD.
Armor (1-5): Each level of armor a vehicle has can be used to soak SP damage meant for crew on the ride. Using it takes it out of play for the duration of the scene. Each level costs points equal to the level, so it gets more expensive as you go. A full five levels of armor costs all 15 points.
Extra Gunner Bay: All standard rides only have room for a driver and a single gunner to take actions, though passengers can be squeezed in (they just have no room to do anything). Additional places can be reinforced on the vehicle for more fighters. Cost is 4 points per bay.
Heavy Weaponry: A vehicle can have a heavy-ordinance weapon mounted to it, but such weapons are few in number and take up a lot of structural space. Costs 8 points, limit one.
Nitro Boosters: Many vehicles are equipped with nitro tanks to allow big bursts of speed. Burning a tank doubles SP gained on the driving roll that follows. Each tank is good for one boost, and costs 3 points per tank. Limit 5.
Ramming Weapons: Most vehicles have various weapons mounted or built into them intended to do damage to other vehicles. Spikes or blades on the sides or rims to shred chassis or tires, scoops or cow catchers to flip vehicles, and so on. These take away an opposing driver's action next round on a successful ramming or railroading attempt, and flip or crash the other vehicle on a 3MV roll or better. Costs 3 points.
Members and Associates
Sebas (Archetype)Role: Imperator (Charioteer)
Played by: Rufus Sewell
Sebas is an older Warchild, a crafty strategist skilled with knives and one hell of a driver. His heart's no good, so he's going to drop dead one day, but in the mean time, he's going to make sure every warchild has a death with is glorious and valuable to Sanctuary.
Vishys (Archetype)Role: Imperator (Quartermaster/Centurion)
Played by: Leonardo DiCaprio
Older War Kid dedicated to the Church of the V8. He takes care of the Garage and in doing so has the responsibility of knowing what is going in and out of it and crafting new fun weapons and toys to make up for what got used. He also dedicates his efforts to playing welcome wagon and training the War Pups in basic combat. Every life is useful; a wasted life is not a good death that will get one into Valhalla.
Fang (Supporting Role)Role: Polecat (Centurion)
Played by: Ksenia Solo
A wasteland orphan brought back to Sanctuary as a child, Fang has always seemed a little 'off.' She's edgy, taciturn, utterly dauntless, and a bit feral. On the other hand, she's nimble as a monkey, fights like a honey badger, and seems to have more lives than a cat. She doesn't play terribly well with others, but the War Kids are the only family she's got, so they're treated better than most.
Dash (Supporting Role)Role: Gearhead
Played by: Tyler Hoechlin