Posted by: tirkaro | September 4, 2013

Fight! The Fighting Game RPG – An introduction and overview (Part 1- Character creation)

Imagine this, but with more dice (and fighting)

HEY, YOU!

You like movesets don’t you? Of course you do! Ever make a moveset, and think, “gee whiz, this set may be swell and all, but I’d love it more if I could actually play with it!”? Well think no more, because your boy tirk is coming at you with quite possibly the most criminally underappreciated tabletop RPG around: the creatively named Fight!: The Fighting Game RPG.

So just what the hell is this shit? In short, it’s a tabletop RPG game by the folks at Divine Madness Press, designed to emulate the spirit of the fighting games we all know and love, classic or modern. I first came across it when I was planning for a nice, cheesy campaign for the old Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game game by White Wolf, way back in the 90s. By /tg/’s suggestion, I was recommended this game instead, and boy am I glad I listened, because Fight fuckin’ pulls a 46-hit combo on Street Fighter and finishes it off with a FATAL KO! You straight up have no business playing that dusty old clunker now that muthafuckin’ Fight! is in the building.
What makes this system so great? Well I’ll be perfectly blunt with you, it’s not going to be immediately obvious. While the game itself is one of my instant faves, actually learning the damn thing wasn’t an easy task. This isn’t because the system is overly obtuse, per se, but because the book itself is pretty horribly organized and is in desperate need of some editing for clarification. It’s also probably part of the reason why this system hasn’t really caught on despite being top-notch. Seriously, I fully expect that once this writeup is published, it’s going to instantly end up on the first page for this game’s google results. It’s that unpopular. Well I ain’t gonna have that, and I figured this game would definitely appeal to MYMers who’ve always wanted to do something a bit more, so I’ll write a clear and hopefully beginner-friendly tutorial on this system to get this ball rolling.

THE SOUL OF THE SYSTEM

Fight! is a tabletop RPG, so naturally, a lot of its mechanical workings are resolved with using rolls of the dice as a Random Number Generator. This game uses d4s, d6s, d8s, d10s, and d12s; no more and no less than that. By default, most “average” rolls in this game are d6s (with the exception of basic attacks, which are d4s by default, more on that later). When a character gets a bonus to something, or is using a big special/super move, their rolls are increased to d8s-d12s. If the roll progresses further from there, the roll becomes d12+1, d12+2, and so on. If you get a penalty to an action, the roll decreases from d6 to d4. Once you get below d4, you end up with a 1. No roll, just a flat 1.
In this game, you begin at level 1 and eventually level up to the max level cap, Level 8. A level 1 character has 30 points in their life bar and 10 Fighting Spirit. Your Life Bar is, obviously, your HP. You lose all your HP, and you’re KO’d. Fighting Spirit is less obvious. The easiest way to put it is this game’s equivalent of “meter”, but it’s not really that, as special or super moves generally don’t require it. Instead, you apply it to different purposes in combat, such as giving a die boost to your initiative or control, add a point to your accuracy roll, boost your defenses, or add just one more hit to your combo. You generally want to use as much fighting spirit as possible a match.
Upon level up, you gain 10 health and 10 fighting spirit. You also gain 10 “move points”, points you use to build your special moves (waaay more on that later). You can sacrifice a move point for an extra unit of fighting spirit if you want.

BASIC QUALITIES

First thing you’re gonna need to do is learn how to make a character. Thankfully, it’s a pretty simple process, even if you have no prior experience with tabletop RPGs.
First thing you’re gonna wanna do is nab your Basic Qualities (not to be confused with the entirely different concept simply called Qualities). Basic qualities are more or less your core stats, except there’s only 3 of them, and their ratings are somewhat limited. You can only have -1, 0, 1, or (in rare cases) 2 in a single basic quality. 0 means your stat is fairly average for a fighter, so you get no penalties or bonuses. -1 means you get a penalty to actions relating to that stat, 1 means you get a bonus, and 2 means you get another bonus. For example, a basic attack does a d4s worth of damage by default. If you were attacking an enemy with 0 stamina, and you had 0 in your strength stat, you deal that 1d4 damage. If you have a 1 in strength, and you basic attack that same enemy, you get to roll a d6 for your damage. And if you had 2, you dish out a d8.

Here are the three holy stats in question:
STRENGTH: Your obligatory physical force stat. A bonus to this increases how much damage (not accuracy) you do by one die, while a penalty to it does the opposite.
SPEED: More important than you’d think. When you put a point into speed, you have the choice of upgrading either your initiative or control by one die; Initiative is essentially “who acts first at the beginning of a turn.” You roll it every round (not to be confused with a Full Round, which is this game’s term for what a round usually is in a fighting game) against your opponent’s initiative, and generally you always want it higher.
Control is a bit harder to explain- To put it in layman’s terms, it’s the number you roll at the beginning of every round alongside initiative that allows you to “buy” your actions/attacks in order to use them for that round. If you put a bonus into control, you get to roll 1d8 for your control roll. If you roll a 1, you can only afford to do a single basic attack for that round, as far as attacks go. If you roll a solid 8, you can probably afford a combo consisting of a few good basic attacks and a special attack. If you have at least one point of control left over, you can also add a single point to your accuracy roll. Basically, you also want control.
If you have two points in speed, you can choose to have either a bonus to both control and initiative, or two bonuses to just one. If you take a penalty to speed, you have to choose a penalty between init and control.
STAMINA: How well you can take a hit. It doesn’t affect your health bar (everyone has the same health), but it does reduce the impact of attacks made towards you. If a move normally does 1d6, and it’s directed at someone with 1 point in stamina, it instead rolls a d4. Likewise, if you have a penalty in stamina, the move will do 1d8.

When it comes to choosing these qualities, you can only have: two basic qualities at 1 with the last at 0, or one basic quality at 2 with the other basic qualities being at 0 and -1. This allows up to 9 different combinations.

QUALITIES, WEAKNESSES, AND QUIRKS

Next you’re gonna need Qualities. No, they have next to nothing to do with Basic Qualities, this book’s choice of terminology is just fucked. A quality is an advantageous character-based trait. Some affect combat, others are silly things that affect things like social situations. Basically, qualities define what a character is all about. You’re given 4 qualities to nab.
If you want more qualities, or just wanna flesh out your character a bit more, you can also choose to take a weakness. They’re the same general idea, except they’re more disadvantageous in nature. If you take a weakness, you gain a free quality in return. There’s no set limit to how many weaknesses one can take, but we usually limit them to about 2.
Last are quirks. They’re a lesser form of weakness that mostly deal with how a character is roleplayed. If you take 5 quirks, they count as a weakness, meaning more free qualities.
If Qualities aren’t your thing, you can exchange a spot for qualities with three additional points of Non-Combat Skills, two points of Fighting Spirit, or a single point in a Combat Skill.

COMBAT SKILLS

Pictured: You, on the right, on the blunt end of a Qipao-clad gangbang because you didn’t put enough points into defense.

This is where things get just a bit more tricky. Your combat skills consist of Defense, Evasion, Tactics, Combo, and Ki. The more important ones there are Defense, Evasion, and Tactics, collectively known as DET. DET is essentially how you avoid attacks; if an attack’s accuracy roll meets your highest DET skill, they get a hit on you. Of these, the most commonly used is Defense, as there’s times where you’re sometimes forced into it. Evasion is similar, but if you dodge an attack with the evasion stat, you can either take a +2 to Accuracy on your next attack(you lose the bonus if you get hit before you get to use it though), or move 2 spaces(no more and no less) for 1 point of fighting spirit. Tactics is a bit more extensive in that if you successfully dodge with it, you get to counterattack with one of maaaany Defensive Responses. There are far too many of these defensive responses to list down here, so check them out in the book yourself.
Your Combo skill measures how long your combos can be. If you’re at all familiar with fighting games, you should know what a combo is. In this game, it’s a string of attacks that you unleash, instead of just using your attack on a single wimpy basic hit or single special attack. There are no set combos in this game- anything can combo into anything. Your combos are simply limited to how many points are in your combo skill, as well as the control you rolled for the round. For example, a combo consisting of 2 basic attacks and an L3 Special would require at least 3 points in your combo skill and 5 control points to spend for the round.
The Ki skill is a bit more specialized. Any ranged special move (special move with the Ranged element) depends entirely on Ki for its damage. A ki skill of 1-3 gives you 1d4, 4-7 gets you 1d6, 8-9 is 1d8, and 10 nets you 1d10 on your ranged attacks.
When starting out, you get 5 points to spend on your combat skills, with another 3 points to spend upon level up. You can only put up to 3 points in a DET skill when starting out; how that progresses is explained in page 22 of the book.

NON-COMBAT SKILLS

They’re, uh, skills. But non-combat related.
Namely, they’re split into two parts: Mechanical skills and Narrative skills. Mechanical skills are a bit more involved mechanic-wise, but they’re ultimately well removed from the actual combat system. Examples are evaluating a character’s stance to find out some of their special moves or getting extra turns when doing silly beat-a-bunch-of-thugs-up-at-once fights. Narrative skills are more story-related, and honestly kinda silly at times. Why on earth are Shadowing and Stealth two different things? Grim Determination? The fuck? Could they not afford to slim down the skill system just a bit? Eh, whatever.
You get 15 points to spend on these other skills, and the amount of points you can spend on a single one is equal to x3 your level, up to a maximum of 10. You use these skills by partaking in skill checks, which is 1d10+skill vs the given difficulty number you have to pass.

SPECIAL MOVES AND SUPER MOVES

Sorry for boring you with all that before, because HERE’s the real meat ‘n’ potatoes. When it comes to forming your character’s moveset, the best way to explain it, in ways this community will understand, is like a standard mercurious/cosplay set. Basic attacks (Or normals, as I like to call them) are 100% generic and are assumed to be standard Sakurai attacks that all deal d4 damage by default. A punch is a kick is a hook, it’s all the same deal. Special moves are obviously far more interesting.
You construct a special move out of two concepts: Elements and Liabilities. Elements are what make your moveset, well, what it is. The amount of elements in your move determine the move’s “level”, abbreviated in most cases to “L”. (ie, a Level 5 move is shorted to an L5 move.) The move is allowed a number of elements equal to its level+1. While having a higher level allows you to go more crazy with elements, it also makes the move more expensive to use, as you pull off specials using the control points you rolled that round. Keep in mind that certain elements can count as more than one element in this regard.
If you want more slots for elements while keeping the level in check, you’re probably gonna have to use a liability or two if your moves. Liabilities are like elements, but instead of improving the move, it instead hinders/limits it in some way. Giving your move a liability gains it a free slot for an element.
Non-Ki Special moves by default do 1d6 damage, said die obviously progressing up if you have strength bonuses.

Super moves are like special moves, but y’know, super. You don’t get to use them until level 3, and they all must be L5 or greater. They do 1d8 damage by default, and are allowed a number of elements equal to twice their level. However, a damaging super has to spend half of those points (rounding down) on the Breakthrough, Increased Damage, Invincibility, or Increased Accuracy elements. In order to use a Super Move, you have to first earn gain Super Energy. Once you gain 10 or more Super Energy, you can pull off whatever super you’d like. You gain super energy not unlike how you would in an actual fighting game; the exact details are given on page 115 of the book.
Once you build a special move, you have to buy it first with move points. You get 10 move points at level 1, with, 10 more move points gained each level up. This means that in later levels, you’ll be absolutely swimming in move points, way more than you’ll ever need. Thankfully, these extra points can also be exchanged with extra fighting spirit. The cost of each move is the same as their level EXCEPT for level 2 moves, which cost 3 move points.(Same as level 3 moves.) This is because while L3 moves have an extra element, they cost 1 more control to use.

While I’d love to go more in-depth with the move creation system, there’s quite frankly way too many damn elements to go over, and the 2nd supplementary book even adds more! I haven’t quite extensively tested everything, but I’ve found that the system gave me enough freedom to make whatever silly thing I wanted. For example, for one character I used nothing but moves with the Bomb Element, allowing her to place up to four bombs on the field, some of which explode at different times, do different knockback, and one of which shoots projectiles on its own. And with the Trigger Interrupt element, she’s able to lay down a trap that can either entangle or poison a foe. It’s probably not a very practical build at all, but it’s certainly a fun one.
Fluff-wise, a move can be sorta anything you want. A sword does as much damage as a bare fist, a particularly supercharged kick can have as much range as a polearm, and that projectile attack can either be a fireball, a bullet, a spear, and so on and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. So long as the move follows the elements you’re given, you can skin it however you please.

SO IN TOTAL

When making a character at level 1, you:

  1. Choose the basic qualities
  2. Choose four Qualities
  3. If you want, choose weaknesses and quirks to maybe get more qualities
  4. Spend 5 points on Combat Skills
  5. Spend 15 points on other skills
  6. Spend 10 points on special moves

It’s a pretty simple setup once you get the hang of it, but in case you’re still scratching your head, let’s run it over with a character sure to be familiar to you all:

First, we’re gonna give Mario here his Basic Qualities. He’s an overall pretty average guy, so we’re definitely gonna go with a “1 1 0” setup to his Basic Qualities as opposed to the more specialized “2 0 -1” setup. He’s the kind of bloke known for being pretty fast on his feet, and he doesn’t look like a slouch when it comes to punches, so we give him 1 Strength, 1 Speed, and 0 Stamina. With his 1 strength, all of his physical attacks gain a single die bonus. With his speed bonus, we can choose to either beef up Initiative or Control. I went with Initiative. For now just pay attention to the red things. As you can see, his initiative bonus progressed the standard 1d6 on his init roll to 1d8.
Next, we’re going to choose Mario’s Qualities. We all know how much Mario loves to run and jump up things, so we give him the Mobility quality. To further suit things, we also give him the Reputation and Lucky qualities. We have 1 slot for a quality not used yet, so instead we have the choice on spending the slot on three more points of Non-Combat Skills, two points of Fighting Spirit, or a single point in a Combat Skill. We’re going with a single point in a combat skill, in this case giving him one extra point in Evasion.

So keep a hold on that while we actually lay out his Combat skills. We get 5 points to spend here, so let’s make it count. First is DET (Defense Evasion Tactics). Being an average everyman, it seems unlikely he would have much to do in the way of tactics, so instead we’re gonna put 2 points Defense and Evasion, and not really bother with Tactics. We’ll spend that one remaining point on Ki, as he needs something to power his trademark fireballs. And lastly, we put that one extra point we got earlier into Evasion, leading to him having 2 Defense, 3 Evasion, and 1 Ki. Things should start looking like this now.
We have 15 points to spend on those other skills. At this level we can only have up to 3 points in a single skill, so we’ll put 3 points into Agility, 3 points into Occupation (for Plumbing), 2 points into Thug Thrashing, 2 points into property damage (to break bricks of course), 2 points into acrobatics, 2 points into athletics, and 1 point into perception because why not.
Lastly but not leastly, we build Mario’s Special Moves. We have 10 points to spend here.
First we gotta obtain a must-have move, Mario’s fireball. When building the fireball, all you need to do is grab the Ranged element, which counts as 2 elements. With it, you can unleash this move from range 0 to 4, and the damage is entirely dependent on your Ki. Since Mario only has 1 point of Ki right now, the fireball does 1d4 damage by default. We have one more element left to spend on this move, so we’ll use it to give this fireball the Harry element.( Makes the defender suffer a 1 die size penalty on his next init or control roll.)The end product should look like this:
L2 Fireball (Acc +1, Dmg. 1d4)
Elements: Ranged (2), Harry (1)
Mario shoots out a ball of hot, fiery death from his palm, which bounces along the ground until it makes contact with an unfortunate foe.

Super simple, isn’t it? As that’s an L2 move, it costs us 3 points to build, leaving us with 7 more points.
Next, we’ll make the Mario Tornado. Another simple attack, to make it work we’ll need for it to be an L3 move. We’ll use Mobile: Move 2 Ranges(which essentially lets the move travel two ranges while it’s occurring, making it very much the “Tatsumaki” element), Extra Damage, Fast Recovery, and Knockback Advance.(Which allows us to optionally advance towards an opponent we knocked back with this move. Your move should look like this in the end:
L3 Mario Tornado (Acc +1, Dmg. 1d8+1)
Elements: Mobile (1), Increased Damage (1), Fast Recovery (1), Knockback Advance (1)
Mario rotates rapidly with his fists outstretched, engulfing them in a high-speed spin.

We only have 4 points left, so let’s spend it all on the last trademark move: the Super Jump Punch.
For this one, we’re gonna make it an L4, allowing us to use 5 elements on it. These elements are gonna be Anti-Air(Allows the anti-air defensive response), Knocks Down(An element that makes the opponent suffer knockdown and costs 2 elements), and Increased Damage(We’re gonna put two elements worth of this into this move).
L4 Super Jump Punch (Acc +0 Dmg 1d10)
Elements: Anti Air (1) Knock Down (2) Increased Damage (2)
Mario leaps upwards, fist first. Getting socked by this punch will be sure to knock the coins right outta your skull.

And that’s it! We’ve now statted a level 1 character, nothing too fancy, but it should give you a good idea on how everything works. There are probably a ton of things I skimmed over, as there’s no way I can cover EVERYTHING in a single blog post, but this should make creating your first character simple enough. If this piqued your interest, be sure to support the developers by buying the game for yourself right here.

So now that we’ve built a character, where to go from here? Well stay tuned MYM faithful, for next blog post, we’re gonna go over an easy way to guide yourself through the real challenge: Combat itself!

(A final note: if you wondering what that little system I used to illustrate my example is, it’s a nifty little program called Maptool. You can download it here (be sure to download the latest b89 version), but in order to get the best out of it, you’ll need to import our custom properties and macros into it, which can be downloaded here.

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Responses

  1. That Melty Blood screencap.

  2. Hey, man. Thanks for the kind words about Fight!. I appreciate you taking the time to spread the word. 🙂

    – Christopher Peter

    • Holy crap, thanks man! You have no idea how much of an honor it is to see you comment here. (Because I’m sort of a loser that way)
      Me and little group have been playing this system over the past couple of weeks, and even though it could use some fixes here and there, it’s probably one of my favorite systems I’ve ever run, period.
      Anything I can do to give this game more exposure is well by me, because seriously, it’s damn good.

  3. […] https://mymbunker.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/fight-the-fighting-game-rpg-an-introduction-and-overview-p… […]


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