Red Streets Blue Mats is the title of the upcoming game of Mixed Martial Arts combat. RSBMats can be used for present day MMA matches, as a hand to hand combat system in other periods and genres from Pulps to Hong Kong cinema to even 5150 New Beginnings. You can even bring your existing THW characters into the octagon.
RSBMats game mechanics are based on the popular Red Sand Blue Sky gladiator game. But as combat in the octagon is much faster Tom Hise, the author, has altered the mechanics to reflect this. While in RSBS players follow the Maneuver-Attack sequence, in RSBM the sequence is extended with immediate resolution of some of the more exotic attacks. This match report will show you how the game plays.
One thing I have learned is that you must be aware at all times as things can change for the worse in a hurry, as you will see. This may be a bit of a long report but I want to take it step by step to show how the mechanics work. The actual match took 15 minutes to play.
RSBMats covers 20 fighting styles from Aikido to Wrestling with each placed in one of three Classes. The three Classes are Striker, Grappler, and Mixed ( a combination of classes). What makes RSBMats unique is that each Class has its own Non-Player Movement Table which allows the Non-Player Martial Artists to move and attack based on their Class. This takes solo and same side gaming to the next level. When fighting a Striker Class opponent it takes a different strategy than when fighting a Grappler as these opponents will use different tactics. Adds a lot of flavor to the game.
In our first match we have Andreas using the Pankration Fighting Style from the Mixed Class. His opponent is Chan, a Kung-Fu artist from the Striker Class. Now here's one of the best things about RSBMats, you don't need to know all about these real life fighting styles. All you need to know are the Signatures attached to each style and how they work in the game. This allows people like me, MMA spectators, to jump into the game and get fighting in no time with realistic results.
There are three Attributes (the same as used in RSBS and RSBMoon) Speed, Savvy and Strength and each have their place in the combat tables. Both of our fighters have a value of 4 for each of their Attributes.
Here's our match at the start.
This octagon is included in RSBMats as are a dozen fighter counters that can be used instead of minis. Andreas is in blue on the left, Chan in purple on the right and the center figure is the referee. The referee is used to keep track of who is active during the match. This comes in handy as the action can bounce back from fighter to fighter during the game. In this bat rep we will concentrate on the action as it relates to the game mechanics. Tracking the rounds (each fighter can activate once per round) is important as matches are a limited number of rounds.
The match will consist of three, six turn, rounds.
TURN ONE - The first action that takes place at the start of each turn is to see who will move (activate) first. Chan went first. As I was using Non Player Martial Artists, each fighter would roll on their appropriate Class NPMA Movement Table to determine what they would do. This is done versus the Savvy of the fighter. Chan's result was to stay in place.
Andreas went next and his result was to move towards his opponent. Here's a picture with the referee figure positioned to show that Andreas was active. Once a fighter enters the center of the octagon the match officially begins.
TURN TWO - The next turn Andreas goes first and rolling on the Striker Movement Table he enters into the zone occupied by Chan. Both roll on the Maneuver Table with Andres using 4 Bonus Dice and Chan 2. Bonus Dice are allocated at the start of the fight based on the Attributes Total of each fighter. Once used they are discarded. The Maneuver resulted in Andreas as the attacker. Moving to the Attack Table the results were inconclusive with Andreas's turn ending with both fighters in the same zone.
TURN THREE - Movement was diced for again an this time Andreas went first. Already in the same zone his try for a Lock Up Attack failed. Chan went next and this took them to the Attack Table where Andreas scored damage to Chan's Chest sending him out of the zone. Two points were marked off in Chan's Chest area. In RSBMats the damage from blows has been condensed from the legs to the belly and no arm damage is tracked. This gives each fighter three areas of concern, Head (where damage is easier to deliver), Chest and Belly. With 2 of his 4 points of Strength taken from his Chest, Chan would have to be careful that another 2 point blow to the Chest wasn't landed. When you reduce the Strength in a body part o zero the match is over.
Note that Andreas scored damage when he wasn't active.
TURN FOUR - A new turn and Andreas goes first. Again based on the Non Player Movement Table his tactics are controlled by the game, perfect when playing solo as it keeps the suspense going. Note the referee behind Andreas signaling his activation. Andreas goes in for a Lock Up attack. Note that the Lock Up Attack bypasses the Maneuver Table.
Both fighters roll for using Bonus Dice and Chan wins by 1d6. This results in the fighters going back to the Maneuver Table. From there the result is a standoff.
Chan now activates and goes to the Maneuver Table. Gaining the advantage the action moves to the Attack Table...
And Andreas scores another damaging blow on Chan, sending him backwards with 2 damage to the belly. Chan now has taken damage in two of the three tracked body parts.
TURN FIVE - Two turns left in the first round and both fighters are out of Bonus Dice. Now it's a war of attrition as the two fighters are pretty equal except that Chan has damage. As a player you don't want to find yourself in this situation as your strategy is limited by the lack of Bonus Dice. Chan goes first and rolls on his Movement Table. He passes 1d6 and instead of attempting to regain a Bonus Die goes in for the attack. Rolling on the Maneuver Table Chan becomes the attacker. Then lightning strikes!
Chan scores four successes and Andreas none! Andreas is knocked backwards. Chan rolls on the Hit Location Table and scores a 3 with 2d6. Head! Rolling 1d6 for each point of Strength (still 4 as damage to the belly and chest does not affect overall Strength) Chan scores 3 successes, adds 1 for the previous Attack Table result for a total of 4. Andreas is knocked out! Chan is victorious and can move on.
OBSERVATIONS - Being reduced to zero Bonus Dice is dangerous. It's easy to try and save the dice but when the action continues from table to table without a break, as it does quite often, the temptation to burn any regained dice is too great. Do you save your dice? What if your opponent dumps a load of them at once? It's possible to win a fight from Maneuver to victory in one activation so that has to be taken into account. Sometimes using a Bonus Die is enough to stop the action so you can recover, sometimes it's not.
RSBMats has a light book keeping campaign system where you gain money and fame for each win. This can allow the winner to increase in abilities. Like RSBS your fighters can move from Locale to Locale, from the mean streets of Hong Kong to the PPV arenas of Vegas.
This would be a great convention Tournament game.
More to come.