Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wrasslin' and RPGs

So, as some of you know, over the past year or so, I've been partially back into profession wrestling. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for it, starting from a fairly young age when I stumbled across it on television. The larger than life figures, the battle between "good" and "evil" (Faces versus Heels) and the athletic action was a easy hook for me at that time. It was almost like a comic book come to life on my television.

Over the years I've floated in and out of following wrestling. For some reason I keep coming back to it. At it's heart, wrasslin' is the most basic of storytelling. A "bad guy" (heel, black hat, whatever) arrives and beats up on all around him. Over time, he looks more and more unbeatable. Then a "good guy" (face, white hat, whatever) shows up to kick his ass and set things right. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he initially fails, but eventually the Heel is defeated, and the cycle begins anew. It's a Western with drop-kicks, clotheslines and body-slams.

Now, naturally, given my love to tabletop gaming, I've thought, occasionally, about combining Pro Wrestling and Tabletop gaming. There have been several Wrestling-themed games over the years. A couple of CCGs, and two or three RPGs that I am aware of. I've tried a few of them and have never found them to really work. The closest I have found was playing White Wolf's "Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game" several years ago. (and that had numerous flaws as a game... and it wasn't really wrestling per se)

But the potential is there. The core story elements of pro-wrestling are the building blocks of most classic RPGs. So, from time to time, I spend some time turning the idea over in my head and trying to think of a way to try and run a wrestling-themed game. I still haven't thought of a system that I'd really want to run it in. I can think of systems that could do it mechanically... but most of them are too... complicated for what I want to do. There needs to be a level of abstraction and simplification in the system so that matches can flow smoothly and quickly. The basic mechanics of Feng Shui come close... but I'm not convinced it would really replicate what I want to do.

I probably will keep trying to come up with ways to do this, since I think the idea is a good one. Hopefully, some day, I will think of a way to make it work. We shall see.

Until next time,

-Peter "MechaGM" Bowman

Integral Wrestling Chronicles - Judgement Day 2003

So, I've been recording a second podcast with Nik "Y Ruler of Time" Freeman and Gavin "SonikGav" Leaf. It's a Pro Wrasslin' podcast, with an eye towards the arc of John Cena's career.

Nik, the guy who hosts and records this show, has just uploaded the mp3 of the most recent episode, and has done a very nice job of editing it. If you're interested in checking it out, here is the link:

It's been a fun show to do so far, and we'll be recording a new episode on Nik's stream this Sunday. Woo.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Surly Grognards Episode Sixty Six, "Black of Heart, Sharp of Mind"

This week Eric and I discuss some of our favorite villains from books, comics, movies, television, video games and from RPGs we've been involved in.

If you have any feedback, suggestions (show topic or other) or questions you'd like answered during an episode, please feel free to email us at: or you can post them on our forums at:

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Slayers d20 RPG Campaign - Episode Six

This week, our continue dealing with the forces of the corrupt lord of the small town they took refuge from a storm in.

A campaign set in the wacky universe of the Anime series, "The Slayers"
Players: Eric Carlson, Nik "Y Ruler of Time" Freeman. Michael "Skitch" Schiciano and WordOnTheWind
GM: Peter "MechaGM" Bowman

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Surly Grognards Episode Sixty Five, "Our Last, Best Hope for White Death Pods?"

This week Eric and I continue our discussion about our favorite Science Fiction shows. This week we discuss Babylon 5 and Farscape

If you have any feedback, suggestions (show topic or other) or questions you'd like answered during an episode, please feel free to email us at: or you can post them on our forums at: