Highlander & Street Fighter

MytosBR

Explorer
Hi,

I come for some input on two of my old beloved franchises.

In the 90's there was a tv show called Highlander The Series based on the Highlander movies that I liked a lot. It was the start of internet and forums and the RPG world was adapting to it. There was a lot of cool stuff to be found online about RPG and a lot of homemade creations. I once founded a Homebrew of Highlander (the Immortals) set on the World of Darkness from Whitewolf. The System is easy to adapt to anything really, but whoever did that Homebrew did a good work with a lot of lore and details.

There was also a Street Fighter system that was released in a Dragons Magazine edition which I hold dear still.

I am really wanting to GM both games to some friends, but the thing is on both cases, the combat is kind of an individual game, not like D&D where 4 player can take on one single monster. Well, Highlander is a "There can be only one" fight to death where only one immortal come out alive, and according to the lore no one can interfere. The other is a duel in a ring, fighter against fighter trying to hit either a KO or a higher score. There is even an Street Fighter Anime that goes in the direction I want to take.

What would be the best systems for me to set a game on those scenarios?
I've heard about Feng Shui 2 and I know Fate, but would someone rrecommend something else? Although I ask this I am less concerned about the system, since I intend to use the old ones mentioned (from Dragon Magazine and the Homebrew), unless I find something really on the spot. I am more concerned about the pace of the game and not infuriating my players.

Although those scenarios are appealing to me, I can see players get frustrated doing nothing while another player fights. There is really no way around that. Wait, that's why I am here. Is there a way around it? How would you manage this kind of scenarios? Please share some of your thoughts with me, I would really appreciate that.

Thank you.
 

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aco175

Legend
If everyone wants to play D&D, just make teams and have roving bands of Highlanders who work together to be the last 4 and then they will turn on each other. If I was going to play Street Fighter, I would want cool moves like with the 6 buttons from the arcade game. You could make it more like 4e D&D and have powers that recharge and some as encounter only powers. I do not play enough other systems where I can think of others that might work better for you.
 

It depends how much effort you're willing to put in. For the simplest version, you could just use D&D 5e and limit everyone to only the barbarian, fighter, monk, and rogue classes. The combats would still be balanced with the assumption of a party versus a big monster, or a group of minions, or a big bad with legendary actions.

Then use this 'sartorial defense' optional rule to keep the aesthetics of everyone in normal clothes, without messing up the balance of AC and such.

Optional Rule: Sartorial Defense​

Campaigns often focus on cities, where strolling about in full plate with shields out can be socially unacceptable, while also sometimes venturing into wilds where monsters would gladly tear through a wool coat to devour you.

If you prefer a game where heroes can dash into battle in their finest attire, you can use this optional rule. It reinterprets ‘armor proficiency’ as ‘defensive training.’ The Armor Class a character can gain from this training is roughly comparable to wearing low cost armor. If a character wants the highest AC possible, however, expensive armor is still superior.

Defensive Stance. Any character with any shield or armor proficiency can take time to stretch, meditate, and enter a defensive stance that prepares them to defend themselves as if they had armor.

The time it takes to enter a stance is comparable to how long it would take to don armor of the appropriate type. When you finish a short or long rest you can choose to adopt one of these stances without taking any extra time. The stance persists until the character spends a minute relaxing their muscles and readjusting their mindset. The character even remains in the stance if they fall unconscious, are stunned, or die.

Shield Proficiency. Any character proficient with shields can treat a cane or similar sturdy item they hold as a shield, as long as they did not use it for any other purpose (such as attacking or activating a magic item).

Light Armor Proficiency. Any character proficient with light armor can enter a light defensive stance with one minute of preparation. This stance provides an AC of 12 + your Dexterity modifier.

Medium Armor Proficiency. Any character proficient with medium armor can enter a medium defensive stance with five minutes of preparation, which leaves your limbs heavy – the better to block and parry, but less able to move nimbly. This provides an AC of 14 + your Dexterity modifier, to a maximum of +2. You have disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.

Heavy Armor Proficiency. Any character proficient with heavy armor can spend ten minutes to enter a heavy defensive stance, which is even more of an exertion than a medium defensive stance. This provides an AC of 16. You do not add any Dexterity modifier to your AC, and you have disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks. If your Strength is 12 or lower, reduce your speed by 10 feet.

Drawbacks. Being in a stance has similar effects to being in armor of that type, so for example some adept special abilities might not function if you are in any sort of defensive stance.

Magic Items. Any clothes of sufficiently fine quality can be enchanted, as with armor. Most provide their benefits regardless of what stance you’re in. At the Narrator’s discretion, however, some might only work with particular types of stances.
 

On the other hand, you could try to lean into the tropes of fighting anime and katanas-and-trenchcoats shows. In those stories, you only have one person fighting one person, usually, so you've got a couple options:

1. Make the game only 10% fighting, and have 90% be talking, scheming, exploring, investigating, and politicking. Have villains threaten the party in ways aside from just martial prowess, and the PCs need to protect their allies or their home turf from weaker minions, or from B.S. harassment from authorities, or from poisoned water supplies, or from political betrayal, etc etc. Only once the party thwarts the villain's non-combat scheme are they able to track him down, at which point whichever one PC has the most personal beef against the villain gets the honor of fighting them.

2. Implement some sort of bystander mechanics. If you've seen Rurouni Kenshin or Naruto, there are often friends who are watching the fighting, commenting on the various maneuvers each fighter is using. This is done for the benefit of the audience, to give the show time to slow down the action and help them understand how each strike or move contributes to the duel. But you could build some sort of mechanical backing to this, where each round each PC not engaged in the combat could 'chime in' and give some small bonus to their ally by expressing their opinion of the fight. Maybe you could shout a warning to give someone a bonus to defense, or you could praise their stance to give them a bonus to speed, or you could note how being injured has stirred your friend's fighting spirit, which gives them a bonus to their damage. You'd have to give each player two or three options from a list of specific effects.

3. Concoct a reason for the party to always fight groups of enemies, so they can all be having their own duel. This one's contrived, though.

4. Make it part of the game's social contract that players are expected to enjoy watching their friends showboat. Then just make it your obligation as Narrator to put in a lot of spectacle to your combat descriptions so it's fun to listen to, even if you're not in the fight. Practice storytelling. Rehearse. Plan visceral descriptions in advance that engage the listener's senses.

Oh, and when it comes to enemy tactics, you might spice things up by tweaking mechanics. It's not that interesting if your opponent just uses their turn to attack, and then either hits for damage or doesn't. It's boring. There's no tension to it other than 'will my hit points last.' What you want is Dilemma-Based Combat.

You want an attacker's abilities to, yes, do damage if they hit, but also to pose some threat. Like, imagine if someone has a huge greatsword that they make an immense swing with. Yes, they get an attack roll, and if they hit they do damage. But hit or miss, they continue on their momentum and build up an even bigger swing next turn. This is a telegraphed threat, a dilemma. Until then end of their next turn, they can't make opportunity attacks, but if they hit you on their turn, they'll do double damage.

How do you respond? Do you Dash to run away faster than they can follow? Do you try to disarm them, or trip them, or throw sand in their eyes to blind them and give disadvantage? Do you just attack, hoping you can down them before they can hit you? Do you attack, then run through a door and close it? Or take cover in a tight bamboo forest that would give you cover (but which, if they hit, would result in a dramatic moment of bamboo shoots being sliced in half and tumbling to the ground around you)?

Stuff like that. You can use the normal D&D mechanics, but you want to spice it up so that bystanders aren't just watching dice being rolled; they're wondering 'oh crap, how's he gonna get out of this one?!'
 

Randomthoughts

Adventurer
What would be the best systems for me to set a game on those scenarios?
I've heard about Feng Shui 2 and I know Fate, but would someone rrecommend something else? Although I ask this I am less concerned about the system, since I intend to use the old ones mentioned (from Dragon Magazine and the Homebrew), unless I find something really on the spot. I am more concerned about the pace of the game and not infuriating my players.

Although those scenarios are appealing to me, I can see players get frustrated doing nothing while another player fights. There is really no way around that. Wait, that's why I am here. Is there a way around it? How would you manage this kind of scenarios? Please share some of your thoughts with me, I would really appreciate that.
As you probably know, there was a SF game by White Wolf. It's OOP but I know I snagged hard copies of some old supplements (the core rules may be difficult to get). However, WW had remnants of that in Shards of the Exalted Dream for Exalted and World of Darkness: Combat.

For Highlander, I'm familiar with the Immortals homebrew (haven't played it) but there is also the Highlander Cinematic Adventure from Evil Genius games (I kickstarted it). EDIT: It's not out yet. There are also other fighting games like Fight!

As for running these types of games, @RangerWickett describes much of what I have done with SF. For "tournament-style" sessions, I have run matches with each PC against a NPC simultaneously (but in game time, they were at distinct times). As fighters are eliminated, it ends up with PvP (which the players enjoy) or use the bystander method (a player runs the the NPC against a PC who survived elimination).

I sprinkle in mook combats and 1:1 with one PC while others are elsewhere, say infiltrating a hide out, investigating a mystery or doing a "training montage" that involves decisions and rolls by the player. The key is variety.

My other suggestion is to limit the # of players so downtime is a minimum. I tend to go with 2-4 players max.
 


aramis erak

Legend
There's literally a Street Fighter RPG by White Wolf.

It's out of print but you can still get a hold of it.

If one can handle WWG's Storyteller engine, it's a very nice version of it. I've run a couple campaigns. Basic campaign premise: go place for tourney, have a situation to fix outside tourney either before or after it.

Combat is VERY tactical, and based upon hexgrid. If you've used World of Darkness: Combat, then you've used portions of it.
 

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