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