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I'm kind of bending the meaning of the prompts today but I've wanted to tell this story for sometime and this seems as good an excuse as any. So far this RPGaDay event has been pretty boring and I want to do something a little more engaging (at least for me).
I was at an Anime Convention with a strong Gaming presence in the Winter of 1994 when I came upon a table selling a bunch of Japanese RPG Magazines [in addition to various Manga titles and Artbooks]. Talking with one of the employees, I found out he was running a session that evening featuring a 'Mini-Game' from the September 1994 issue of RPG Magazine. He invited me and a friend to join him and we said sure.
The GM had a number of pre-generated Player Characters, each an over-the-top cliche' combatant reminiscent of such side-scrolling fighting video games as Street Fighter II, Fatal Fury, and King of the Fighters. Each PC had its own agenda as well as wanting to take down the world-spanning criminal organization 'Dark Inferno'.
My character was a Native America wandering hero who traveled across the country helping people in the vein of 'The Incredible Hulk' or the 'A-Team'. I added that he focused on helping his fellow Indigenous Americans, basically going from community to community helping out where he could and fighting off agents of Dark Inferno. His combat style was a mix of Traditional American Wrestling and some Special Moves related to Bear Hugs, Leg Locks, and Throws. He was very Big (Tall and Wide), very Strong, and very Tough.
My buddy played a Bruce Lee inspired Chinese-American Secret Agent whose specialty was Chi-Focused Punches and Spinning Kicks. He had some of the wildest Special Move combos including a Flurry of Blows that ended in a Leaping Upper Cut.
Attacks were things like Punch, Kick, Hold, and Throw. Defenses were Block, Deflect, Redirect, or whathaveyou. Techniques involved how it was done or what was the goal - Rapid (multiple Attacks or Defenses that cause or reduce less damage), Position (end up behind someone or send them out of Hand-to-Hand range), or Force (spend two Actions on one Attack to cause extra damage and weaken an opponent, reducing their stats).
A PC could, for example, take an Attack Stance and combine Punch with Rapid to throw a whole lotta blows at an opponent using Defense Stance-Block-Rapid to try and avoid them. In addition there were Styles: different sets of moves that gave various modifiers but told the opponent what Martial Arts school you were using. For Example: Wing is using Crane Style. He sets an Attack Stance and tries a Force Kick against Yumi. Unfortunately, Yumi recognizes he's using Crane Style and uses her Aikido Style with a Defense Stance to Redirect the kick so Wing hits his friend Danny and send the latter flying.
It sounds like a lot to remember but it really wasn't in practice and much of it is deciding what move you wanted to make at the last possible moment. Combat was really flexible. You were locked into an Action once you chose one but you didn't necessarily need to decide until you were ready. One of the Stat/Skill combos let you choose AFTER seeing what your opponent was going to do. If the opponent wanted and had the right Stat/Skill combo, they could 'cloak' their Action choice, forcing you both to move simultaneously. I am not sure I'm describing it well but it was so cool. I've played the White Wolf Street Fighter RPG and this was sooo much more fun. It felt like the perfect merging of Video Games and Anime.
Our finale fight was in a loft apartment in a skyscraper in NYC. The Big Boss bad guy was throwing a party and our PCs had crashed it. While two of us took on the villain, my pal and I and one other took on a horde of goons. Like a freaking army of endless thugs. I was Bear Hugging two guys at once and throwing dudes into three other dudes and having a blast. My buddy had a Special Move that sent opponents 20 feet as long as it was split between Up and Away. Imagine it like this: He could Punch or Kick someone 5 ft. Up in the air and also 15 ft. back and Away. He could knock someone 10 ft. up and 10 ft, backward. He used this to Punch and Kick a number of henchmen into the ceiling or out windows. A lot of hysterical combinations with the environment and the moves of the other characters.
Anyway, I used to have the issue above in my collection but I lost it some years ago. As I do not read Japanese, I don't know getting it again would help. I am not even sure the basic rules were in the issue. It might have just been an adventure that the GM was using for a separate game he already owned. Who knows?
Anyway, that's my tale. Hope you liked it. Let's see what's next...