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Developing a kaiju/giant monster combat RPG. Thoughts on combat

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Accaris:
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

HappyDaze:
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:

--- Quote from: HappyDaze 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.

--- End quote ---

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.

Wisithir:
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:

--- Quote from: Accaris on March 26, 2022, 06:26:39 PM ---
--- Quote from: HappyDaze 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.

--- End quote ---

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.

--- End quote ---
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.

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