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Author Topic: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat  (Read 2141 times)

Accaris

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This year I'm working on a kaiju combat RPG. I know there are a few things out there with a similar vibe, like Kaiju vs. Mecha for Fate Core, and there's a couple of small supplements for other settings like Savage Worlds. There's the Lancer mecha game too. Ours will be a large stand-alone game with its own world and a distinctly Pacific Rim vibe.

We want to develop the gameplay system from the ground up. We want the combat to feel fun and simple but with the potential for branching complexity.

I don't believe a fantasy-like "attack roll," "damage roll," "subtract from HP" system is suitable for giant monster battles. I want to closely emulate the heft and momentum of these fights. With an emphasis on momentum. Giant monster fights are often a kind of "tug of war" between colossal entities where the entire earth shakes beneath your feet.

Was thinking about something like a roll-over-percentage system. Separate a character into distinct injury zones, i.e. limbs, head, torso, legs, tail, etc. With levels of injury or exhaustion. I think of Mechwarrior briefly, and how a disabling a leg can cripple a giant robot.

Lancer's system for example seems to be more tactical with an emphasis on evasion. But how is Godzilla going to evade King Kong punching him in the face? The answer is, he doesn't. He's just so strong that a punch merely slows down his momentum, making it harder (temporarily) for him to counter-attack against King Kong. Perhaps a temporary reduction in Godzilla's combat prowess? I.e. the chance for him to sustain an injury against King Kong falters for a moment?

Just looking for thoughts. Thanks
« Last Edit: March 26, 2022, 06:22:10 PM by Accaris »

HappyDaze

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2022, 06:24:36 PM »
Do you know about the Streetfighter RPG from White Wolf? A variation on those combat rules (along with rules on engaging sub-Kaiju threats like tanks, planes, and infantry) could be really fun.

Accaris

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2022, 06:26:39 PM »
Do you know about the Streetfighter RPG from White Wolf? A variation on those combat rules (along with rules on engaging sub-Kaiju threats like tanks, planes, and infantry) could be really fun.

I'll check it out for sure! I'm doing more research to see what rules systems would be good inspiration.

We do want to have a Power Rangers/Super Sentai sub-game where you can play as super heroes fighting on the ground.

EDIT: Ouch at some of the prices.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2022, 06:31:53 PM by Accaris »

Wisithir

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2022, 12:12:23 AM »
I am not sure how translatable it would be to Kaiju, but Know Your Role has some good ideas on GM-less one on one combat, creating maneuvers on the fly, powering signature and finishing moves, and a sense of momentum from successful attacks proving an advantage in the next round. Combat being an opposed roll, both combatants declare intention but only the better modified roll one takes place and provides initiative to the next round forcing the other party to declare intention first, thus allowing the prior successor to tailor a counter.

Pat

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2022, 02:53:53 AM »
Do you know about the Streetfighter RPG from White Wolf? A variation on those combat rules (along with rules on engaging sub-Kaiju threats like tanks, planes, and infantry) could be really fun.

I'll check it out for sure! I'm doing more research to see what rules systems would be good inspiration.

We do want to have a Power Rangers/Super Sentai sub-game where you can play as super heroes fighting on the ground.

EDIT: Ouch at some of the prices.
Sounds like you mostly have a background in traditional RPGs but want to break away from that mindset, so it might help to have a bit wider exposure. THRASH and Final Stand might be an interesting place to start. They're both free martial arts RPGs from the 90s and 00s. While they're not aimed at kaiju, they're both heavily focused on combat pacing and they're different enough from mainstream games that they might give you some inspiration for how to lumbering tugs-of-war. Riddle of Steel is another non-kaiju game that focused heavily on pacing, though it's not free and the prices on the aftermarket have been crazy for a long time. But you could at least get an idea of how it works from the reviews. Another interesting game with a different pacing mechanic is the dueling RPG Swashbuckler. Which I think is still fairly cheap, but again you can get a decent overview of the system from reviews.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2022, 03:06:39 AM by Pat »

Accaris

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2022, 10:17:59 AM »
Do you know about the Streetfighter RPG from White Wolf? A variation on those combat rules (along with rules on engaging sub-Kaiju threats like tanks, planes, and infantry) could be really fun.

I'll check it out for sure! I'm doing more research to see what rules systems would be good inspiration.

We do want to have a Power Rangers/Super Sentai sub-game where you can play as super heroes fighting on the ground.

EDIT: Ouch at some of the prices.
Sounds like you mostly have a background in traditional RPGs but want to break away from that mindset, so it might help to have a bit wider exposure. THRASH and Final Stand might be an interesting place to start. They're both free martial arts RPGs from the 90s and 00s. While they're not aimed at kaiju, they're both heavily focused on combat pacing and they're different enough from mainstream games that they might give you some inspiration for how to lumbering tugs-of-war. Riddle of Steel is another non-kaiju game that focused heavily on pacing, though it's not free and the prices on the aftermarket have been crazy for a long time. But you could at least get an idea of how it works from the reviews. Another interesting game with a different pacing mechanic is the dueling RPG Swashbuckler. Which I think is still fairly cheap, but again you can get a decent overview of the system from reviews.

Thanks I'm taking notes

Ruprecht

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2022, 01:34:17 PM »
You could use a modified Legend system. It's based on old RuneQuest and has an SRD to work from. Basically HP and Armor for each body part, and armor absorbs damage.  Percentage to hit. You could easily add a bit of complexity with armor providing different protection against fire breath or blunt damage or explosions. You could also hack the percentages to d20 if you want it to feel more like the D&D side of things.

There might even be a Mech hack out there already.
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Eirikrautha

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2022, 04:43:57 PM »
One thing to note, mechanics-wise.  I think it would be especially thematically appropriate to have a solid catch-up or last-ditch mechanic in your combat system.  Most of the media depicting these kinds of things follow a standard pattern of conflict: kaijus meet, one is repulsed, they meet again, the hero is nearly defeated, a last-ditch power or circumstance allows it to recover and emerge victorious, etc.  Something that triggers at 50% health (or even 10%) that boosts power or effectiveness (I can't believe I'm going to say this... but something like 4e's bloodied condition) would really fit the tropes of this genre well.

Accaris

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2022, 12:56:59 AM »
You could use a modified Legend system. It's based on old RuneQuest and has an SRD to work from. Basically HP and Armor for each body part, and armor absorbs damage.  Percentage to hit. You could easily add a bit of complexity with armor providing different protection against fire breath or blunt damage or explosions. You could also hack the percentages to d20 if you want it to feel more like the D&D side of things.

There might even be a Mech hack out there already.

I'll take a look at the Legend system. What you've described is similar to an idea I'm mulling over, which is that each giant monster will have an "invincibility" rating that must be overcome before they're vulnerable to attack, with one or more weaknesses making it easier to penetrate than others. I don't want it to feel like D&D though.

Accaris

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2022, 12:59:13 AM »
One thing to note, mechanics-wise.  I think it would be especially thematically appropriate to have a solid catch-up or last-ditch mechanic in your combat system.  Most of the media depicting these kinds of things follow a standard pattern of conflict: kaijus meet, one is repulsed, they meet again, the hero is nearly defeated, a last-ditch power or circumstance allows it to recover and emerge victorious, etc.  Something that triggers at 50% health (or even 10%) that boosts power or effectiveness (I can't believe I'm going to say this... but something like 4e's bloodied condition) would really fit the tropes of this genre well.

Yes, this is important. I'm almost inclined to have this kind of "final gambit" action to be up to player + GM negotiation; the player describes what they want to do, and the GM decides what the chance of success will be (without a bunch of charts). I'll see though. Someone suggested a wrestling RPG to me to check out, although I forget the name of it.

Wisithir

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2022, 02:53:05 AM »
Someone suggested a wrestling RPG to me to check out, although I forget the name of it.
WWE Know Your Role (ISBN-10: 1930950616) Supports 1-v-1 GM-less play and has build a maneuver where the roll is modified based of the desired effects of the maneuver and made as an opposed check with the better result taking place. Actions are declared in inverse initiative so who ever has the initiative can react to the other combatant.  Signature and finisher moves require building up heat top activate, so there is build up before the super heavy attacks come into play.

Pat

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2022, 03:08:27 AM »
One thing to note, mechanics-wise.  I think it would be especially thematically appropriate to have a solid catch-up or last-ditch mechanic in your combat system.  Most of the media depicting these kinds of things follow a standard pattern of conflict: kaijus meet, one is repulsed, they meet again, the hero is nearly defeated, a last-ditch power or circumstance allows it to recover and emerge victorious, etc.  Something that triggers at 50% health (or even 10%) that boosts power or effectiveness (I can't believe I'm going to say this... but something like 4e's bloodied condition) would really fit the tropes of this genre well.

Yes, this is important. I'm almost inclined to have this kind of "final gambit" action to be up to player + GM negotiation; the player describes what they want to do, and the GM decides what the chance of success will be (without a bunch of charts). I'll see though. Someone suggested a wrestling RPG to me to check out, although I forget the name of it.
Thrash does this a slightly different way, with a power meter. You have to charge up to use certain moves, which is explicitly a fighting video game thing, but also works in RPGs by requiring a build-up to finishing moves, or finishing moves only being usable under certain conditions. Swashbuckler has a similar effect but implemented in a very different way, in that certain moves can only follow other moves. This doesn't necessarily lead to a finishing move, but it does mean you have to chain abilities instead of just spamming them.

Accaris

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2022, 02:09:09 PM »
Here's what I'm thinking about so far. Obviously a very early/simple ideas. D100 roll-over.



First roll for avoidance (which will be a very small chance for giant monsters, a larger chance for smaller ones.) Then roll to deal damage with the percentage threshold being the chance of success for dealing. But there are other factors and modifiers, like an "invulnerability" rating that must be slowly whittled down.

Roll damage type + your rage level (or something.) Minus effective range, minus resistances, minus armor, etc.

I also need to factor in grapple/throw and environmental damage from buildings, explosions, etc.

I'm thinking every "hit" increases the percentage by a certain amount. When it reaches 100%, any further attack could kill or disable.

There will be "super moves" or desperation attacks as well.

Accaris

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2022, 05:34:36 PM »
Why are there so many kaiju/robot games under Fate Core? Or at least it seems that way.

zircher

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Re: Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2022, 08:11:36 PM »
Because Fate uses stress boxes and its combat is fairly narrative with the ability to leverage terrain and set up actions for a boost to your roll.
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