Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Tony Jaa Built The Optional System

I am the Warden!!

Last night, I did something I've been waiting to do for months: I took my in-laws out for dinner. Since my accident, they have been incredibly helpful with so many little things and one of those has been taking my fiancee and I out to dinner every now and then. As a future son-in-law, it's tough to be on the receiving end of such charity when you're still "new to the family," but our situation left us with no other choice (though I suppose saying "no" was an option... no, wait, they don't take "no" for an answer). However, now that things have started to pick up and proceedings are finally moving forward, I made a point to take them out to dinner as a token of gratitude for those previous meals.

Then we did a little shopping. Which brings me to today's topic.

One of the DVDs I bought last night was Ong Bak 3 and if I seriously have to tell you who's in this movie, you need to open up a new window or tab and go to IMDb. Now! My hopes were high as I thought Ong Bak 2 was absolutely brilliant choreography and demonstrated Tony Jaa as a true powerhouse in the Asian martial arts scene. I picked up #2 shortly after I was released from the hospital and watched it three times in one day.

It was because of that film I started to work on the Optional System.

What struck me as I was watching it were all the components of a cinematic action sequence made impossible by the standard initiative and action mechanic of nearly every RPG on the market. It was a thought I'd had previously, now it was being realized as evidence more than random thought. The hero was performing multiple attacks in a single round and turning a successful defense into a corresponding attack to disable his opponents. Say what you will about certain systems, there isn't a one out there which simulates a fight sequence exactly as a final cut of a movie.

Let's watch a scene, shall we?


How would your game handle this fight? The hero would need an incredibly high defense for starters. He's never touched. Second, every opponent would only be eliminated by rolling the dice once and embellishing those results through a description. All of this to say it's only possible to pull off as an incredibly high level of character development.

What I want is to provide a blow-by-blow, active defense mechanic making it possible from beginning to end. I wanted a game where this scene was possible in your first game. Did you kick the shit out of your opponent? Why stop there? Keep kicking ass. Hence the birth of the bonus option.

The strange part of it all is that my first RPG using the Optional System is not a martial arts RPG. It allows for martial arts, but it's not exclusive. Will I ever produce one? Fuck yeah. It's on the list and depends on how well Killshot does in August.