Thursday, April 24, 2014

Character Creation: Piledrivers & Powerbombs

As I may have mentioned before, there are a surprising number of wrestling-themed RPGs (that is to say, any). A few of them (including this one, and the one I'm doing today) showed up in a bundle I bought once upon a time. Now, I'm not a wrestling enthusiast, but I can see how one could have an appreciation for the art form. As +Eddy Webb (I believe) has mentioned, it's kind of like ballet and just as punishing to the participants.

Piledrivers & Powerbombs, however, is flashy, loud, and simple, and assumes passing the GM hat around and doing color commentary on PCs fights. I can get behind that in concept.

The Game: Piledrivers & Powerbombs
The Publisher: Prince of Darkness Games
Degree of Familiarity: None.
Books Required: Just the one (pdf, really).

The other day I asked folks to give me songs as inspiration for characters. +Justin Achilli gave me this one:

Now, joking aside about not knowing the lead singer's name, I enjoy Wham!, and I like a challenge. But this particular song (as opposed to the sober, serious, haunting work that Wham! did later, I guess), if you just listen to it casually, is a fun, party, "hey let's go shag in a dancey sort of way." But if you really listen to the lyrics, there's this quasi-clandestine vibe to it, and I hasten to note that George Michael wasn't out when this song was big, so he's really obviously talking about a guy, here, but never actually says that. So.

Over analyzing 80s pop music is something serial killers do, however, so I'm going to make my wrestler character and assume that he uses this song as his entrance music. I toyed with the notion of having his sexuality tie into his persona, but I honestly can't think of a way to do that that isn't really problematic. I think, instead, that the persona will be based around glam, 80s fashion, feathered hair, and basically everything that made New Wave Requiem and The Wolf of Wall Street great. But without the cocaine and homophobia and Reaganomics and the other horrible shit from the era. Basically like dressing up like a pirate - it's all about the swashbuckling, not about the pillaging and murder.

So the game recommends making a Federation with the group, but since it's just me I shall use the Wrestling Time Federation (or WTF) presented in the book. To make my superstar, however, there are three steps: Concept, Attributes, and Nemesis.

Concept asks me to (duh) conceptualize my superstar. I'll say that my guy is named George Glam, because there's no "on" like "on the nose." He's 6'5'', muscular but not humongous, high, feathered hair, sparkly earring which he carefully takes out before each match, colorful wrestling shorts, and wears t-shirts with beloved 80s properties (Care Bears, Smurfs, G.I. Joe, He-Man, ALF, etc.). He enters to, duh, "I'm Your Man."

I'm asked to think of a Finisher here, but I'm hamstrung by my lack of knowledge about wrestling moves. A quick trip to Wiki shows me the Shooting Star Press (which sounds like a legitimately dumb idea, and seems to have been banned for exactly that reason). Glam's Finisher is the WHAM!, which is a shooting star press accompanied by handfuls of glitter, confetti, or something else showy and sparkly.

I'm also meant to come up with a Gimmick, but Glam's is obvious - the 80s were GRRRRREAT!

Now, Attributes. Four of them: Popularity, Infamy, Testicular Fortitude (ugh, really?) and Mad Skillz (yep). I'm...not very ok with that third one, but whatever. I start with 1 in each Attribute, plus more to divvy up based on how experienced I am (which is a group decision, but since I have no group, let's assume Mid-Carder, which gives me 6 points).

Well, I know I want Popularity, so I'll sink 2 of my points there. I don't care to be Infamous, so I'll leave that at 1. Testicular...ugh...Fortitude...erm. It does take some confidence to wear hair like that nowadays. Let's put one point there. The other three I'll put into Mad Skillz; Glam is actually a fair deft wrestler. I think he started in modern dance.

And now, Nemesis. I have an arch-enemy. Hrm. It's very tempting to make my Nemesis the embodiment of the 90s. Flannel, long hair, grungey, enters to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" or something by Alice in Chains. His name is Courtney Hate (yeah, whatever, it's a unisex name).

Courtney and Glam need a "Connection," and saying that they're both spirits of the zeitgeist of their respective decades is probably too cerebral a concept for professional wrestling. But on the other than, it opens the door for other decades to "tag in" at some point. Actually, let's make it simpler - they're both time travelers, plucked from their respective moments in history and brought out to battle to see which bit of nostalgia is supreme!

Courtney's stats are like Glam's, except Popularity and Infamy are reversed (meaning he's a heel and I'm a face). His Finisher is called "Man in a Box," and probably involves a really uncomfortable looking hold.

And that's it, actually. Lookin' good!