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Starting Out - Wrestling/Fighting Game

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JPOG
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Hello again to anyone that remembers me. Seems like everytime I remember this site, the forums and content get more and more helpful and large - looks like BGDF is really a serious resource, my guess would be THE resource - congratulations on that!

Well enough butt-kissing eh? Though I really mean that, site's looking great.

I am still working on what I think will be a game of some kind that involves dice and is meant to simulate professional wrestling, or initially was, but I think it could be even more flexible if I went a broader route, possibly, so various unarmed fighting styles/martial arts could be used.

Ok on to the specifics or at least the firm pretty-sures:

Although as mentioned I might want to make this more broad, the CURRENT idea that I'm posting about involves professional wrestling, and one thing I keep seeing on RPGnet is that a lot of games are sort of niche, meaning they will only appeal to a pretty established group, but that the good ones work because the mechanics of the game are all tied to the theme itself, to help reinforce it. I also read with interest the Theme TIGD thread and found that pretty much supported this idea, so I think I'm on the right track. The idea of tying a theme into a game is to make the most obvious and larger and memorable parts inherent in the game mechanic, and also in the minutae, if it lends to the game without detracting from it or overcomplicating it for the sake OF the theme.

Basically, I have various ideas for game mechanics for this as a simple dice game, but I'm not sure really if thats a good idea. My own idea is that I prefer a 'boardless' dice game that uses wrestler sheets because it allows for an open system and doesn't hardwire specific moves and such into each and every game, and allows customization of wrestlers and their reportoire, etc. Also I think dice games are simpler and faster and easier than board games, so its a bit of personal bias as well. I have bought or downloaded just about every wrestling dice or board game I've ever seen, and a lot of computer wrestling simulators as well, and I also have always wanted to make a tabletop role-playing game, so I have a million theories and examples from which I can draw inspiration and ideas.

My problem is I tend to overcomplicate things to try to simulate what I know the "apparent" workings of a wrestling match are like, but I also know that from an outsider's (just an everyday fan) perspective, wrestling is pretty cinematic and a lot of things that happen in it just really don't make real-world sense, like being punched makes you "stunned" so your opponent can do an even MORE powerful move to you, etc. All the ideas I come up with for a game/system are all pretty generic and don't really help showcase the idea and spirit of wrestling, though some of them I haven't seen done before.

The other thing is as I said, a dice game seems easiest to me because I myself like games where you can sit down and get out a few things and start pretty much immediately and not have to keep track of much during the game with lots of pawns and tokens (and I also am a fan of the D6 used for tracking things), but perhaps some sort of board game hubrid or aspect might actually help the theme or game? I know I really don't want cards or a card game, even non-collectible, just because they're just that many more components to have to deal with and make pictures and such for, instead of just having a table or two.

My intent so far is for something along the lines of Tom Filsinger's Champions of the Galaxy, a well made and fun but simplistic game whose mechanics don't really do the wrestling theme justice and are really bland, objectively. I don't want to make a better COG, but I want to make a good, solid game of MINE that uses the theme efficiently but is simple and fast and probably (if I published it) inexpensive.

I envision having about 10 stock fictional wrestlers and their stats and moves on cards or some such, and providing rules for wrestler creation, possibly move creation, match types, items, etc, for people who DO want to do more in-depth playing, but the game could also be played with about 5-10 minutes setup of just finding your wrestler and the rules and dice and starting.

Because COG is probably the best wrestling game I've seen, in my head there's a rut of the 'roll dice to determine the move you do' mechanic though I'm trying to think outside the box and have been considering players having the option to choose their move, and maybe adjust a success roll or something depending on the move's impact and difficulty, etc.

Anyone have any thoughts on any of this ramble, for good or ill? Thanks.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Starting Out - Wrestling/Fighting Game

I recommend checking out Avalon Hill's game "Wrasslin'" if you haven't already. In that game, the moves are on Cards, but different moves require different attribute ratings, meaning that some wrestlers won't be able to perform certain moves. Overall, the game is fun but, in my opinion, flawed in that recoveries are a bit too easy and there are a few too many turns spent drawing and discarding, hoping to pull a usable card. Overall, though, it's pretty good.

-J

JPOG
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Starting Out - Wrestling/Fighting Game

Thanks for the reply. =)

Yes that AH game is easily the most expensive I bought, topping $30, though it is admittedly one of their nice bookshelf game box games. I never got a chance to play it though I certainly went through the system and just the sheer amount of... stuff... in it, was distasteful to me, for my own purposes, but yah the drawing and discarding and recoveries did seem to be FAR too common and tedious, from what I could tell, which is to me, one perfect example of exactly what should NOT be part of a game which is supposed to be pretty quick and straight-forward to match its parent (pro wrestling).

Do you think a wrestling game pretty much needs a board and such, maybe tokens, track, etc? I certainly don't want to make one of those awful older WWF board games (games themselves were solid but generic)...

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Starting Out - Wrestling/Fighting Game

I'm afraid I don't have a strong opinion on the subject, and indeed, "Wrasslin'" is probably the only wrestling game I'm likely to play, and that only because it was popular with other members of my group. But having said that, I think the game does an exceptionally good job of simulating the variety of things that can happen during a match, the moves available, and has a nice system for the players with different strengths gravitating towards emphasis of certain moves. When the game lasts 15 minutes, it's a romp and a hoot, and is an excellent simulation that's a blast to play. But it's possible, and indeed, common, for the game to drag on much longer, and that's when it falls flat.

Does a wrestling game need a board? No, I don't think so; Wrasslin' works incredibly well without one. It just has an unenlightened card drawing mechanic -- a common deck, and a lot of cards that are highly situational. Were I to tackle this genre, it would be with an eye towards solving those mechanical problems rather than going to a board approach, though it could be done.

sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Re: Starting Out - Wrestling/Fighting Game

JPOG wrote:
...I've been considering players having the option to choose their move, and maybe adjust a success roll or something depending on the move's impact and difficulty, etc.

Anyone have any thoughts on any of this ramble, for good or ill? Thanks.
What about a system where you can choose whatever move you want, but the moves themselves have restrictions as to which moves they can follow? This was brought up a little bit in another thread to an extent, but say for example one type of move is a Grab. So several moves or cards in the game would be in the category Grab, and they would count as Grabs, and would change the state of the game (the player grabbed would be "in a Hold". Other moves would either be disallowed or only allowed when you are in a Hold. For example, when someone's got you in a headlock, you can't clothesline them. And if you have someone else in a headlock, it's easy to poke them in the eye, whereas that may not be possible if they are not held.

So moves would be possible or not possible, maybe also better or worse, depending on what move they follow (chaining moves) or what move the opponent did... But the move or action is always chosen by the player (perhaps from a subset of the total possible moves).

- Seth

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