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[game] Champs, Chumps, and Triumph

 
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mean_liar
Duke


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:43 pm    Post subject: [game] Champs, Chumps, and Triumph Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've come up with a wrestling RPG that I'm really happy with: it combines tactical in-ring and backstage competition, stitched together with I-trust-the-players Fiasco-style narration. The game's main conceit is that the wrestling action is real, but so are the business concerns pushing showmanship over strict gladitorial combat, and overall success within the ring almost always comes at personal cost.

In theme, it's Gladiator-meets-Beyond the Mat. In execution, it's Street Fighter-meets-Fiasco. The game's meat are tactical exercises connected with MTP.

I've pushed the design as far as I think I'm comfortable with, and am at the point where I really need some playtesting done. My local group isn't interested in wrestling games - even ones with the themes I've laid out - so it's languished for a year or so; so, now, I'm hoping that some folks on the internet will be able to help me out.

The PDF is available at:

(updated 8-Feb-14)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_nu50YR0PFzcWRDRnBVZHFzOWs/view?usp=sharing

It's lacking pre-made NPCs as the process to do so is pretty laborious and I'm just less than half-way through. For that, I apologize: your opponents are largely going to be yourselves, though on the upside as I gather PCs that playtesters make I can just incorporate them into the game and share them with other playtesters as NPCs. ...and having written that, I'm sort of sad at the effort I made in doing up the NPCs I already have done. Sick

Please, take a look, tell me what you think of the rules, and please, please, please help me out with some playtesting. Make up some wrestlers with your friends and do up a few shows! Tell me what worked, what didn't, what egregious errors I've made in the rules.


Last edited by mean_liar on Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My own strong recommendation is to put it on DropBox or something rather than 4Shared. I can't download it without signing up for 4Shared, and I can't read it in the format it puts up on the little preview window.

-Frank
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Avoraciopoctules
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

http://www.mediafire.com/view/?5b4pehw536w7rtn
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Cynic
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Why not just host it on google docs?
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mean_liar
Duke


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The PDF is now available at:

https://sites.google.com/site/meanliargames/Champs%2C%20Chumps%20and%20Triumph%20-%20130102.pdf?attredirects=0

So, no registration needed. Sorry about that.

I've also set up a website at https://sites.google.com/site/meanliargames/ . It contains the low-hanging fruit so far as what sort of playtesting I'd really like to see, but ANY feedback trumps NO feedback.

Please, take a look, let me know what you think.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There's a discrepancy between the Shrewd card and the definition listed in the Mods and Maneuver Adjustments table.



Edited twice because I am apparently too drunk to review homebrew projects. That's a new low for me.


Last edited by Whipstitch on Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:11 am; edited 2 times in total
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Taking a look through it, I like the different phases of play.


I feel like it'd only take some reflavoring to turn it into a Giant Monster/Ultraman game, where the ring is where you are huge and wrecking cities, and outside of the ring/personal life is what you do when you aren't ultraman/ dont summon mothra/ are not piloting the evangelion.


Last edited by OgreBattle on Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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mean_liar
Duke


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RE: Shrewd.

Oops. I updated the main PDF as well as created a Change Log with a link to just a revised version of the card's page.


...


RE: Re-skinning the game.

I had originally included a list of possible skins for the game, but backed off in order to just finish off the main core.

It's a clunky mess at the moment, but includes the following ideas:

80s Wrestlefest Forever (no degrading from Development)

Romance of the Three Federations (adjusting the Booking phase to play as a war, with faction strength added in as a measure of your collective performance)

ˇRudos y Técnicos contra los Demonios Inmortal! (using the rules to make luchador movies)

Blood Ring (fantasy skin for the game)

Ludum Gladiatorium (Roman gladitorial combat)


I just eventually decided that was all a bit much to worry about, just coming out of the gate. If I can tighten up the game and there's interest I'll expand it - the game's main hurdle seems to be the theme, in that no one gives a shit about wrestling Sick, so addressing that shortfall looms larger than it would otherwise.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

mean_liar wrote:

I just eventually decided that was all a bit much to worry about, just coming out of the gate. If I can tighten up the game and there's interest I'll expand it - the game's main hurdle seems to be the theme, in that no one gives a shit about wrestling Sick, so addressing that shortfall looms larger than it would otherwise.


If you made the theme Monstergirl wrestling, /tg/ would be all in love with your mechanics.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you take gladiatorial combat as your core, you might see more interest.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I half remember saying something about this before, but I genuinely think that it would be easier to do:

2d6 + Attacker Stat vs. TN 7 + Defender Stat

than what you currently have, which is:

1d6 - 1d6 + Attack Stat - Defender Stat vs. TN 0

I mean, I think you're maybe trying to make things easier by having your degree of success simply be the amount you beat TN 0, but that concept only seems to appear in a few instances (such as the Hustle Results and Pop Determination tables). At which point, the d20 style "everything is addition" is just way easier than having multiple positive and negative terms to track.

In any case, your "basic mechanics" at the front of the book is totally missing a description of what winning and losing actually entails, and whether or not winning and losing by more or less counts for anything. That's super critical information and needs to be right at the front of the book. If you want to have a general rule about how -3, 0, and 3 are breakpoints, it would be just as easy to say that 4, 7, and 10 were the breakpoints. Easier even, because telling people that zero is a success in a roll-hit system is deeply counter intuitive. And in any case, a facsimile of the generic result chart needs to appear in the description of the basic dice mechanics.

-Frank
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Booking terms like "Burial" and "Put Over" are also begging for a more detailed description of what they entail, given that they are meaningless to the uninitiated while smarks might get confused by connotations that may not apply. For example, when I think of a "Burial" I think of Ultimate Warrior no selling the Pedigree en route to squashing Triple H. But in the context of this game I'm not sure if Buried wrestlers are actually supposed to throw the match or if it's just a tool for putting your enemies into lopsided matchups. Same deal with "Put Over"--Is it just a tool for getting an ally with low Draw & Stroke a high profile match or is the victim of the hustle expected to at least avoid squashing their opponent?
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mean_liar
Duke


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RE: Die mechanics.

I still like the -3/+0/+3 breakpoint system (1d6 - 1d6 is the same as 2d6 - 7; , but I see what you mean about including a discussion about what that means more generally, as well as being explicit that a +2 and a +0 are the same result.


RE: Better descriptions.

Point taken. The only point behind those Hustles is to arrange matches for your allies/enemies against opponents they do/don't want to face: past that, it's still up to the wrestler in the ring to perform. For example, no selling arises out of pro-wrestling-as-strictly-entertainment, which the game doesn't buy into. You don't no sell something in CC&T, because nothing is sold.


RE: Theme.

This is waaaay too true. The awful stink-eye and crickets I got from my RPG group when I told them about this project was disheartening and palpable. "THIS is what you poured your creative energy into?!"

As an extension of this, the only places I've received feedback at all on this came from this board and reddit/r/squaredcircle. I've gotten nothing from reddit/r/rpgs, feartheboot, and rpg.net.

The problem I have with focusing in on gladitorial combat as the principle theme is that I honestly have no idea where to start. I grew up with wrestling (though stopped watching in the late 80s), and I think I know what I want to be doing with the game. With a gladitorial thing, I'd be more inclined to be focusing on the managers rather than the actual gladiators, and more importantly, I just basically lack the sort of familiarity I'd need in order to really do it well.

As an add-on theme it's easy to gloss over some stuff because hey, it's just an add-on. As a principle theme, though, I just don't feel confident with it.

In contrast, Koumei once posted an idea about fantasy-creature wrestling... that's something I'd be a lot more comfortable extending the game into.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Honestly, you could probably assume that gladiators work exactly like professional wrestlers but with weapons and sometimes people actually die and it would be workable. I think it's the soap operatic nature of pro-wrestling that turns people off, especially since WCW actually went mainstream by ditching it, then faded into obscurity and collapsed when they fell back on it. So there's probably nothing about the actual concept of wrestling that turns people off, it's the terrible, mellodramatic storytelling that it's become known for.
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mean_liar
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

HA. That's the best part of pro wrestling. Smile It's like Call of Cthulhu without "it was so cyclopian and out-of-this-world and indescribable it caused him to go MAD". It just comes with the territory. Like dwarves and elves in fantasy.

Transferring the game to gladiators isn't a bad idea, but it isn't the match elements that personally give me pause. That's all easy stuff: they stab each other, they use different stereotypical weapon loadouts, it takes time to recover, whatever. It's the other bit that makes me balk: what did managers do? How were fights arranged? By taking all that and incorporating it into the direct experience of the entertainment, pro wrestling managed to make everything part of a never-ending struggle between actors, which in turn makes it (from my personal perspective) great grist for the one-player-one-character paradigm of gaming.

Ultimately I made this because I was dissatisfied with other wrestling games (Wide World Wrestling being the best of the lot), and that's the only hole I'm hoping it'll fill. In my mind it has lots of fun extensions - the fantasy version particularly - but it still is intended to be a wrestling game.

I have other games in development for other ideas I really like, and managing gladiators isn't on the list.

That said, if you came up with what you think the Hustles ought to be then we'd have a start. I mean, I'm open to accepting help in that regard. There'd have to be stuff in there to track stables of gladiators, buying and selling them, cultivating talent, arranging matches against other stables and negotiating fees and payment...
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

mean_liar wrote:
It's the other bit that makes me balk: what did managers do? How were fights arranged?


And the answer to that can just be "the exact same way as in professional wrestling because who even cares about historical accuracy."
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There's a confusing bit where Finishers are said to require at least 4 pop followed by a Finisher design step chart which cites a minimum of 3. Also, if Concussive does not stack with stunned I'm assuming it's not supposed to stack with itself, either, but if so that should be cited clearly given that suffering penalties of 4 or more plus damage is total dead man walking territory in this system.

Last edited by Whipstitch on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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mean_liar
Duke


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Finisher contradiction is easy to clean up - I must've had one idea, changed it to the other... and now I don't know which is the "better" idea.

Concussive shouldn't stack with itself. Oops.

Thanks for the edits. I've gotten some other comments from other corners of the web and should have a revised version of the rules up by the end of the week.

I REALLY, REALLY APPRECIATE THE COMMENTS. Thank you!
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't really see the point of gladiator fights - it's like wrestling but without everything that makes wrestling awesome. And you need the crazy stories. That isn't what killed WCW, what killed WCW was:
  • Russo was given writing authority without someone to filter shit ideas out. So WWF had some awesome plots (see: Ministry of Darkness, Who Ran Over Stone Cold?), and WCW had... Return of the nWo, and the Newblood thing.
  • They spent too much time thinking about WWF and how to beat that - whereas McMahon spent all his time actually running WWF and ignored WCW. This even backfired at one point (see: Finger Poke of Doom)
  • WWF had wrestlers that were a bigger draw, and wasn't just relying on old talent*, and as soon as that started pushing WWF ahead of WCW they capitalised by spending more money on fancy set-ups and fireworks

    And then Vince McMahon bought the WCW and killed it, and after the whole Invasion thing, then the brief "nWo in WWE!" thing and the Goldberg thing, everyone from WCW who didn't die in WWE ended up getting booted out and signing up for TNA.

    So really, the main reasons it failed are "It was fighting against WWF" and "Russo needs a shit-filter". Not "people don't like stories".

    *I know, that's what WWE has been doing recently, though the whole "Undertaker gets 1 match per year, Triple H is now just a CEO guy, Make sure the NXT guys get to be relevant" is a big push away from that.
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    Whipstitch
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    PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Swapping out cheerfully dopey comedy and trash talking for snuff shows makes my eyes glaze over too. Granted, I'm biased though since off the top of my head I would list Gladiator, Avatar and Crash as the three most overrated films of the last thirty years in some order.

    Last edited by Whipstitch on Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:11 am; edited 2 times in total
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    mean_liar
    Duke


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    PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Just thought I'd put up the latest version of the rules. I really liked working on this game despite no one having interest in it. Smile The only things really left are writing out all the damn NPCs you need to make the game work.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_nu50YR0PFzcWRDRnBVZHFzOWs/edit?usp=sharing

    I'm also currently working on:

    Houses of Plasma and Hydraulics
    · Theme: spacefaring gigantic robots piloted by the rare nobles able to interface with their piloting mechanisms, with their attendants and hordes of supporting regiments, attempt to save humanity against near-endless enemies while winning glory for themselves and their noble houses
    · Execution: Warhammer Quest meets Warhammer 40k meets Apocalypse World meets Mekton Zeta… meets Fiasco

    Conquerors, Kings, and Gods
    · Theme: heroes in a high-fantasy world attempt to wrest control of their fates, their countries, and ultimately the heavens themselves
    · Execution: Exalted meets BECMI DnD meets Ars Magica... meets Fiasco

    By Deed and Lore: Fortunes and Glories
    · Theme: a sword-and-sandals fantasy old-school-revival (OSR) RPG. Characters dungeon crawl and/or face various episodic crises, then go be awesome in a narrative downtime between crises. Players create their adventures collaboratively.
    · Execution: Dungeon Crawl Classics with better (which is to say existent) out-of-dungeon stuff to do, Rune (by Robin Laws) with things to do when the battle music stops and a more serious mien... meets Fiasco

    Succession Crisis Supernova
    · Theme: a sci-fi space wargame that includes the internal politics of your warmongering space empire
    · Execution: Twilight Imperium without the waiting, Eclipse without the contrived end phase, Space Empires 4X without the bookkeeping and overly random start... with A History of the Peloponnesian War thrown in
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    ...You Lost Me
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    PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Crisis Supernova does not meet Fiasco, which is disappointing.

    I'd be interested to see your take on that fantasy genre (Conquerors, Kings, and Gods). I'm not a big fan of wrestling games besides Tijuana Death Match, and that's not even an RPG.
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    Last edited by ...You Lost Me on Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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    mean_liar
    Duke


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    PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    The Conquerors, Kings, and Gods game is the one I'm most invested in. I'd estimate that I'm maybe 60% of the way through the initial design: I have the basic skeleton of the game worked out and am in the process of translating notes into game, which means fleshing out interrelationships between mechanics, explaining all the jargon and crap I've assumed and skipped over when doing the notes, and trying to fill in all the gaps which that process has illuminated.

    Given my glacial production pace I can't imagine it being done before 2015.
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    OgreBattle
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    PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    After watching Macho Man, Ultimate Warrior, Ricky Steamboat, and Jake the Snake fights on youtube my interest in pro wrestling games has been rekindled.
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