I’d like to talk about a game that a friend (who also loves video games) and I came up with a couple of weeks ago. Essentially, we pit two Video Game characters together in a verbal battle royal – basically calling each characters action in a turn based battle to the death.
In previous games we’ve generally used characters that we have created ourselves (so a character from any game with a custom character creation or stat building feature – mostly RPGs) and we’ve always drawn from RPGs or stat-building games, mostly beacuse those games offer a wider variety of skills and abilities to draw from, but I don’t see why a pre-defined character couldn’t be used as long as they are pitted against something similar (i.e. pitting Ezio Auditore [Assassins Creed] against The Lone Wanderer [Fallout 3] probably wouldn’t work, while pitting Ezio against Gordon Freeman [Half Life] probably could – and would be absolutely awesome!).
To start a match, you simply need to say which game you’re pulling a character from. Character strength can be completly variable – but having the max level and/or best equiptment for your character is advisable unless you want to cripple yourself for a more interesting match. However, it’s against the rules to have a character that breaks the rules that define the gameworld the character hails from (i.e. you cannot have a character from KotOR that possesses all of the force powers and feats – it’s impossible in the gameworld – or a Fallout character with perks that don’t match up with their skills and attributes – a non stealth character with the ninja perk is impossible to come by). You don’t immediately need to list every aspect of your characters skills and equipment – but you will need to keep track of what skills/abilities you’ve already used (so you don’t get caught out breaking the rules of the game).
To compensate for the differences in damage levels between games (i.e. Final Fantasy characters have very high health and damage (often over a couple of thousand for both), while my characters in Fallout are lucky to top 500 HP), damage roughly scales to fit the target (so a hit from a 2000 damage weapon from the FF character will do less than 100 to the Fallout character, and vice versa). Attacks and skills based on a probability system (the percentage to hit system in Fallout’s VATS system, or the modified DnD rules that KotOR is based on) that system roughly carries over (my friend and I agreed pretty much on just averaging the probability as simply as we could – but if you really want to get the dice out, feel free).
Other than these few guidelines, the game pretty much plays out like a complicated game of chess. Each player takes turns calling out a move (and explaining it if necessary), either as a defense against the last move that your opponent made (which cancels or reduces their last attack), or as an answering offensive move. Generally the win goes to the player who is the most imaginative (using a combination of the Metal Blaster and the Mysterious Stranger [Fallout 3] to take down a completely defensive player was my best win), and the one with the best grasp of their character’s abilities, and their opponent’s weaknesses (my friend using a Final Fantasy spell to lock my Jedi Guardian [a KotOR class that’s terrible with a lightsaber] into a basic saber attack was inspired).
I don’t know if I get any serious gamers reading this (at least, they never comment if they do), but I’ve spent a fair amount of time playing this with some of my friends, so if this sounds like your sort of thing, feel free to give it a go.