Thursday, July 25, 2013

To Dream the Henshin Dream

I have a dream game. I wish I could pull it off, but after years of tinkering and goofing around I haven't worked out the bugs...just yet.

You see I'm a fan of tokusatus shows the stuff like Sentai and Kamen Rider, but it's more than that. At the surface value you'd think just out and out Supers would work. I've gotten close with Mutants and Masterminds, but it's always a little off. Part of the flow of a good toku show is the building drama, the hero going to the ropes, the mid season power up!, and other genre flavor elements that are hard to emulate in a RPG. It's kinda like how people who play Star Wars games gripe about how game mechanics get in the way of the flow of a good Star Wars story. (I argue that is bunk and yes that means my issues are bunk, but I'm getting to that.)

Half of the action of a good toku show reminds me of Dungeon World style relationship mapping. How you can have ties to the rest of the PCs. A good toku hero picks up rivals, support characters, bitter enemies, as the show goes on. But another element of good toke reminds me of FATE style compels dealing with environmental fights, building up enough aspects to put a beatdown on someone. Finally there is the Hero Point mechanics of say Mutant and Masterminds where for all the setbacks you take, you get bonus points to blow people away when the time has come.

Which is great except, well....I love more mechanical play. I love knowing how high a character can jump, having a list of unique powers to call upon, etc. I get twitchy around more narrative driven games, mostly because in my head I have this massive disconnect between the simulation of the world. I can't benchmark PC's vs. real world stuff. I get my jollies thinking about just how many windows The Flash would blow out running at full speed without the Speed Force canceling out the shockwave he SHOULD be producing. I have dreams about Wolverine's claws getting stuck in something not because he can't cut it, but friction catching up with him over time. It's silly, but Murphy's Rules are so...delicious. The little Munchkin power gamer in me rubs his hands and giggles in glee.

Maybe I'm hanging on to the old GURPS/HERO junkie in my soul too much. Maybe I need to pick up a copy of FATE Core and throw my fortune to the wind. Or maybe M&M3E is finally flexible enough to pull it off. Or maybe...I'm trying too hard to make the perfect toku game.

We all have our pet projects. Mine is guys in full body costumes beating up other guys in full body costumes.

Hmmm...almost sounds like a fetish.