Well, basically you're creating a Taskmaster-like character in that he's
sort of the ultimate copycat. Later on, he becomes disenfranchised with
"merely" copying, and seeks to actually understand the mystical side of
some special maneuvers, training with some sensei to develop the Focus
side of things.
Very good so far.
Now, to rules. As you discuss merits and flaws, it seems that you're
either using a homebrew system, or something similar to the White Wolf
Combatica system as opposed to the bog standard 1993 Street Fighter the
Storytelling Game. Very good - that'll give me something to work with.
Obviously, the character needs excellent physical stats (just to be able
to do whatever the maneuver requires, like the upper body strength
necessary to execute a Storm Hammer), and the character probably needs
an excellent Perception, fair amount of Wits, and probably some
Intelligence as well. Social skills doesn't really enter into this.
I'm actually not convinced that JKD is the obvious choice style-wise for
the character, but I'll revisit that in a moment.
Now, the problem is that game-balance wise, it would be ridiculous to
allow a character to sort of just "copy" special maneuvers from any
Flashfire circuit match he just happened to observe. Clearly, that would
either require ridiculous amounts of xp distributed to everyone just to
let them keep up with the "superhero" character (yes, I use bunny ears
there, 'cause as super powers go, the photographic reflexes gimmick is
fairly low power), or some new game mechanics. So I choose the new game
That which you seek to simulate - or achieve with the character - is the
ability to do something which the character cannot normally do (because
the character has not paid points for it), and do it with some regularity.
The only similar game mechanic already existing in the game that allows
for something like this is the Stunt Card.
Furthermore, the Street Fighter game in itself is designed to allow new
techniques and new backgrounds with little or no problem. Clearly, the
solution to the conundrum should be somewhere in that area.
My suggestion is something like this:
Unique Background: Photographic Reflexes
Within limitations, the character possessing this unique Background can
observe and then execute strictly martial arts based special maneuvers
with some regularity. Focus-based special maneuvers, or special maneuvers
with Focus prerequisites, cannot be copied.
In order to copy a Special Maneuver, the copying character rolls a
Perception + Photographic Reflexes roll. The number of successes needed to
successfully copy a maneuver is one more than the number of power points
the maneuver costs for the fighter that is copied.
Thereafter, for the rest of that session, the fighter can execute the
special maneuver for a cost of 1 Willpower, or 1 Willpower more than the
special maneuver costs if the special maneuver costs Willpower and Chi
normally. The fighter must meet all prerequisites except special maneuver
prerequisites in order to be able to execute the copied special maneuver.
Copycat sees an elbow smash executed by a muay thai practitioner. Easily
passing the 2 successes requirement to correctly analyze the special
maneuver (1 power point for muay thai, +1), Copycat may utilize the Elbow
Smash maneuver for a cost of 1 Willpower for the rest of that session.
Copycat needs to meet the Punch technique requirements in order to be able
to execute the special maneuver with any effect.
Copycat sees a scissor kick (secrets of shadoloo) executed by a Ler Drit
practitioner. That maneuver costs 3 power points for a Ler Drit
practitioner, and so Copycat needs 4 successes on the Perception +
Photographic Reflexes roll in order to be able to execute the maneuver for
the rest of the session. Copycat still needs at least *** in Kick and ***
in Athletics to be able to execute the maneuver, though he does not need
to know the Jump special maneuver to do Scissor Kick (even though that is
a regular prerequisite for the maneuver). If Copycat does execute a
Scissor Kick, then that will cost him 2 Willpower (1 Willpower normal
cost, +1 for being a copied maneuver).
Copycat sees a flying punch (secrets of shadoloo) executed by a Ler Drit
practitioner. That maneuver costs 3 power points for a Ler Drit
practitioner, and therefore Copycat would normally need 4 successes on the
Perception + Photographic Reflexes roll in order to be a ble to execute
the maneuver. However, Flying Punch has the prerequisites Athletics ****,
Punch ** and Focus *** in addition to the Jump Special Maneuver. Because
of the Focus technique prerequisite, Copycat cannot execute this special
Obviously, the Storyteller is free to put any sort of "duration" on the
copied special maneuvers as he likes. The "rest of this session" rule is
there just so that the character cannot just execute any and all eligible
special maneuvers after a while. Obviously, the Storyteller may allow the
use of the Stunt Card in order to recall a previously encountered special
maneuver, or to successfully execute a Focus-based maneuver - but this
should represent the exceptions rather than the norm, and would be wholly
up to the Storyteller's discretion, as always.
Optionally, I'd give "rest of this session and the next" as the duration
of the copied maneuvers, just to give a fair base of maneuvers to select
from. If the copycat character started to obsessively train a particular
special maneuver, I'd say that constituted training for that particular
maneuver, and the character would have to pay xp in order to permanently
learn the maneuver instead of just "copying" someone else's martial arts
As an aside, skilled martial artists can sometimes see who a particular
person's teacher is or has been solely on the basis on how that person
executes some signature moves. It might be fun to allow a copycat
character to pull of a Ler Drit style move (such as scissor kick), and
then let the character be targeted by people who believe the character to
be a practitioner of Ler Drit and hence someone affiliated with Shadoloo /
In my opinion, this game mechanic variant should fulfill both the
requirements of the player and the GM - the player wants his character to
have something completely unique, and the GM can't allow the character to
get that unique ability free of charge for the sake of game balance.
As an aside, I mentioned earlier that I didn't necessarily agree that JKD
was the slam dunk style choice that you seem to think. I think there are
several possibilities of a "base" style that should be considered in
addition to JKD.
Clearly, some sort of no holds barred or free for all type fighting style
is desired, as the character's training is held to be scientific - or at
least desires to be so. This means that most of the Focus based styles are
right out, and probably most of the culturally specific ones as well.
I think Wrestling might be a good style, as well as Western Kickboxing.
Neither style requires overly much Focus, and both claim to scientifically
study ways of defeating the opponent in my opinion. Muay Thai is way too
intense, and Boxing is way too limited to be of much use, the way I see
it. Sambo might be nice, but that's just a variant of Wrestling in this
To have the character have some background in say, the Sokol movement,
modern Krav Maga (which would certainly be Special Forces, another good
style), Combato (again, Special Forces) or Micmac (Special Forces) might
also be appropriate.
I personally feel that JKD isn't an "anything goes" style, but a style
that has a specific tenet and a specific way of doing tings. In that
respect, my personal favourite would be Special Forces for this.
Furthermore, Special Forces can get the excellent Spinning Backfist and
Spinning Knuckle special maneuvers very cheaply. It is also excellent in
that it doesn't have much in the way of Focus based maneuvers, Guile's use
of Flash Kick and Sonic Boom notwithstanding.
The character might also buy some dots in the Ally Background, and use
them as Staff (Players Guide). This will also help defray the costs of
buying dots in Attributes.
Bit wordy, perhaps, but I hope I got my point across.
On Sat, 19 Apr 2008, Nathan Fairchild wrote:
> So, you recommend a more "freestyle" role-playing, huh? If you
> describe it well enough, you'll succeed.
> That works for some games. Not the one my brother is running, though.
> Basically, I have the concept and history of the character down
> (which I didn't want to weigh down the post too much with), but I
> wasn't sure how to convey that concept in point distribution and
> Can anyone else help me?
> --- In email@example.com, "Luiz Fernando"
> <luizfduartejr@...> wrote:
>> Hey guy, don't worry about the "merits" and points in the character
>> sheet, because de most importantly do you have: the history, the
>> environment. The points is necessary for the game mechanical, but
>> is all. The background of character is most importantly in a
>> game and i like how do you create the history.
>> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Nathan Fairchild"
>> <nfairchild@> wrote:
>>> My brother is starting up a new Street Fighter game. It's an old,
>>> very complicated campaign of his, that he is picking back up with
>>> new crowd.
>>> My character's name is Fox. As I write independent superhero
>>> the character wasn't INTENDED for a Street Fighter roleplaying
>>> so I'm working on adapting him. Whenever anything is adapted from
>>> another setting it doesn't always translate perfectly. This is no
>>> Fox grew up the single child of two wealthy parents who made
>>> lives off of the understanding and mastery of physical movement.
>>> mother is a Olympic gymnastics coach. His father is a doctor of
>>> physical development and movement in children. One part guidance
>>> his parents, the other divine talent, Fox has what is
>>> called "Photographic Reflexes" - that is, he can memorize and
>>> what he sees physically done (limited by what is possible, of
>>> course). So, while he may not be able to create new music
>>> this gift), he could duplicate the performance of a musical
>>> instrument by watching an musician play. Or, relating it to
>>> Fighter, he could learn the essence of a style in a few fights.
>>> As an adult he found it his purpose in life to understand and
>>> as many martial arts as possible. And then when he started seeing
>>> more advanced martial artists, he strove to be able to perform
>>> mystical techniques. But this takes more than the mere copying of
>>> technique. Eventually, he found a master worthy of teaching him.
>>> a player, I don't know who this sensai would be exactly, but I
>>> imagine it someone with a lot of Focus-based moves, like Dhalsim)
>>> NOW, just based off that, how would you assign his points?
>>> JKD as his martial art, right?
>>> I was thinking of maxing out his Dexterity, and taking
>>> Attribute (Dexterity) as a Merit, along with Quick Reflexes.
>>> I've found some Flaws to take, but since I don't imagine it would
>>> interest most here, let's just say I have enough to pay for my
>>> and role-play off of.
>>> Where should I put the other points? Good techniques to take?
>>> It should be noted that I have a decent understanding of the
>>> mechanics of the game, and the history of Street Fighter and its
>>> characters, but I have never actually PLAYED SF:STG.
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