Obscuritus.ca A nerd making a nerdy blog

Princes of the Universe

I've recently been watching the Highlander TV series, and I've been listening to the theme song, and basically, I want to make that game. I want to make the Princes of the Universe RPG. And holy fuck do I want that. I don't care about the Highlander show - I just want the roleplaying game of the themesong.

The thing about the game is that I don't want to make a Highlander RPG. There are a few tools that are part of it that I like, and there are a bunch of others I don't want. The Highlander World of Darkness hack I read, and modified for my own purposes, worked really well. Highlander seems to be a World of Darkness series, perhaps with slightly more daylight. And really, that's a cool game, and I love it, I've played it, it worked, and it was good.

BUT - that's not the game I want to play. I want to play a game where everytime the lightning flies, Things Get Worse, better, but also worse. If Highlanders are absorbing the knowledge and experience of others, why are they so damn mentally balanced? Why are they not absorbing that madness as well? Why are they not absorbing bad with the good? I want that to be a part of my game.

The other problem is that of combat stats. It seems like a REALLY bad idea for Highlander to make players spend XP on combat stats, since, it means that you get disperate power levels, and then end with everyone putting their XP in their combat stats, and then, of course, people lose out on other things. Immortals would have to be really powerful in combat, or die. And that's shit. I don't want a combat RPG. Highlander is only about swordfights in an eyecandy level, and that's not in RPGs, even if the RPG has a really cool combat system, that means the game is going to have long fights, and one on one fights wont work.

Therefore, I came up with the idea of a game wherein no one has combat rules. Specifically, a game wherein the entire session is a single combat. Using the idea that Highlander is in the genre of Western - where the man in black and the man in white come into town, explain the town isn't big enough for the two of them, and then duke it out. I envision something closer to Fiasco, with a series of preset scenes, using each of the characters, and then a tilt - which is the short a frenzied fight (which the hero loses) and then the second phase where the hero regroups and then wins the next round. Of course, adding tension and allowing the characters to lose is the most important thing of course - since, you know, it's a game.

But then - also - adding the element of madness that's needed is also fun. Using Darius as the touchstone for the Quickenings is good - he was an evil Immotal who slew all in his path, until he slew an Immortal monk who stood outside of Paris, and then, became a monk himself, and devoted himself to peace. Which makes sense! If you gain their knowledge and experience - you slowly become that which you kill. Now, normally, I'd not like a numerical morality system - but this time, I think we need to corrupt slowly. And, perhaps, the morality of choice could be the core concept of the character sheet. More specific mechanics to come!