Sunday, April 14, 2013
Game Idea: Hyper Violence
by Tobie Abad
Lots of simulated violence and gore ahead. It isn't really anything that bad, but I understand some people are sensitive about such things, hence this warning.
Some days, you just feel so stressed out that you need to let loose.
Some days, the responsibilities of living, the stacks of bills and the demands for your time just feel so oppressive, you find it hard to ignore the throes of horribly dumb people who interfere with your good vibes. Those are the kind of days you should embrace one night of hyper violence.
Doesn't sound like your thing? Think you're not the kind of player who celebrates violence? That's okay. I ain't one either. But when stress can be intense, sometimes you'd enjoy a little something different.
Remember those fighting games like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Eretzvaju? (I doubt most of you will get the last one but I just had to put it in.) Then host a one shot night where you and your friends grab a system you all love, and create characters out for an all-out rumble. There are many reasons story-wise that you can embrace to do this, ranging from clan/turf wars, to some kind of worldwide contest of fighters, to many even a Ender's Game/Battle Royale thing. Everyone starts with the same character creation points or stats and come up with a monster fighting machine. You can set rules like, "Only using stuff from the main book" or go crazy like me and my friends did one time and went for, "So long as you can find it written by someone else and posted online" for a d20 Rumble Across the Planes thing.
But yeah, consider it a crazy night of throwing out the best you can dish out.
I will warn you now this early, Exalted is one of the few games you might want to reconsider using for a game like this. Or you will see how frighteningly broken the fighting system really is once people start throwing out infinite attacks and essence.
The World of Darkness excels in allowing this kind of game play. Get inspiration from movies like Kill Bill, Drive, and The Last House on the Left and have your players portray people who realize enough is enough. In World of Darkness, systems such as Hunter the Vigil (Especially the supplement book Slasher) and the classic World of Darkness line for the Sabbat are particularly fun systems to use for this. In other games, I'd add Palladium if you go for an all-out offensive story arc (such as a group of Valkyrie pilots with a terminal disease who decide to try to take down a Zentraedi battle ship on their own) or maybe even Legend of the Five Rings for an action-packed dose of bloodshed. I personally feel you should avoid games that are miniature-focused such as d20 (in all its iterations) for this since thinking "tactically" takes over thinking "awesomely" too often during combat.
Just Turn Up the Juice
On the other hand, you might not want to waste a night with a one-shot game. So just turn up the juice meter in your game, no matter what it is, and let the bloodshed fly out with your frustration. Admittedly this can be an interesting thing for certain games (like maybe in a Castle Falkenstein game, it is pretty much represented by a single amputation in the whole story, given how gentlemen tend to stick to first blood only), but who said that the single bar of health cannot equate to a pint of blood splattering like a peacock's display of crimson feathers?
The Walking Dead and Spartacus where blood is celebrated as a massive special effect of "we know how to do watery effects now" and be sure to describe your games with such orgasmic sprays of gore. Those searching for more recent inspirations might try the recent Dredd movie for a great excuse of high-speed photography + blood effects = hyper gore.
Somewhere Else in the World
Finally, it doesn't have to be something so separated from your current game. Instead, have the game set still in the same world, only using characters whom the players do not necessarily have to worry about losing. A fantasy game, for example, might have a session where you play a bunch of warriors defending a far bastion from an invading force... and perhaps die trying. In a modern game of corporate espionage, maybe the players portray a team of amateur thieves who try to break into the corporate building, and massacre their way out.
And the cool part, is in later sessions, referring to the events of that session as things that did happen while the player characters were busy handling something else. Maybe any survivors from that game can reappear as recurring non-playing characters that the players can chat with. Overall, the game session becomes an added opportunity to enrich the already existing game world. (I did that, in a less violent way, in my origins episode for my Houses of the Blooded campaign: The Riddle of Blood)
So there you go, some ideas to use when you're having a bad day.
Cause let's face it, sometimes we do have them bad ones.
And we get tired of always being the good guy.
Thankfully, gaming allows us to get the steam out without really harming anyone.