Friday, May 22, 2009

Combining two loves

Occasionally I wonder what it would be like to combine two of my hobbies that otherwise don't intersect; Japanese anime-like superhero fighting games and roleplaying games. Street Fighter the RPG, in other words.

You may say, "but Mr. Dark•Heritage guy, there already is such a game; White Wolf published it in the 90s." You may also say, "But Mr. Dark•Heritage guy, you could also use the totally free 'homebrewed' Thrash RPG, which was specifically designed to emulate that genre."

Or you could conceivable say other things as well. I don't know that any of those games really give me the experience that I want. I've considered perhaps using Mutants & Masterminds to emulate it, and I've had some, including some game designers (If I remember correctly, Ethan Skemp, who is a Storyteller game designer most famous for his work on Werewolf, said that's what he would do to run the setting, for instance. But maybe it wasn't him, but someone else instead. Take that with a grain of salt.)

The challenge I find is that trying to emulate the specific techniques seems like a quixotic endeavor. It'll never approach actually playing the video games. Rather, it should be somewhat abstracted and suggestive, without trying to replicate the styles of the fighters in minute detail. This is where I think games like Thrash and the White Wolf Street Fighter game fail. If all you want to do is replicate the combat system in a pen and paper environment, you're better off not, really. Just fire up your console and game of choice and play it.

That's why I think Mutants & Masterminds would be a good choice. It's got just enough granularity to suggest the different perks and quirks of the various fighters without bogging you down in minutae. It also allows you to go farther afield if you want to. It allows you to create, for example, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 with Spider-man, Iron Man, Wolverine, Venom, etc. fighting against Ryu, Ken, Akuma and the rest. And you can do it without having to create house rules for various styles and moves. The system is already robust enough to suggest these differences without modelling all of the details of it.

That said; I'm still not sure how else to pull this off. I'm just rambling a bit right now, but if you've got any suggestions, feel free to let me know here. And I'm not so much looking for mechanical help as I am "what in the world do I do, assuming I set this up?"

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