The Squared Circle: Wrestling RPG by dereku
Round 1: IntroOriginal SA post
The squared circle RPG is a wrestling RPG by daydreamers interactive. What can we expect from this game? Well let’s check what the official page has to say about it
Daydreamer interactive posted:
Create a wrestler and lead them to the very pinnacle of the wrestling industry, winning titles and engaging in feuds along the way…will you become a legend? Or maybe running a wrestling promotion is more your style, create and run your own promotion and face off against your friends to see who has the skill to make it and who doesn’t.
The game includes the core book (which we will dive into together) a series of solo adventures “rise of a legend” (sold separately), and splat books for 80s wrestling, Mexican “lucha libre”, Japanese puroresu, and a book dedicated to female wrestlers.
And without further ado:
I’m not going to say I love this cover but I don’t hate it. The art could be better and it might not grab the attention of those who are not looking for a wrestling RPG (which are pretty rare it seems) but it drives it’s point across this is about wrestling.
The first page of the book has a disclaimer about not trying to emulate the wrestling moves described in this book at home. Not unlike WWE’s “don’t try this at home” TV spots
After the index we start with the classic “what’s this book? What do you need to play?” it also mentions that there are 5 classes of wrestlers and two styles of game (one when the players play wrestlers in a single promotion and a mode where every player controls their own promotion and as well as their own wrestlers.
It then also goes saying that this promotion management mode is good for playing alone
The glossary gives us this definition for house rules
House Rules: This term refers to a set of rules the Game Master has either come up with or modified for a specific game system. This could be a small change or a big one, generally Game Master do this because they feel the game system is either broken or too difficult to handle.
So I guess that it’s a given that groups will have their own house rules for this game.
If there is interest in this game I’ll go through character creation and once we’re through that there might be a bit of audience participation.
Round 2: Character CreationOriginal SA post
Round two character creation
Again I’m starting with some art. I like this more than the art cover but each section cover is essentially white background with a couple of sample wrestlers just posing. Some of these get reused later inside the book.
OK I admit it. Maybe the art is not the strong point of the book (One of the wrestlers in the class section is reused inside the same section. Same pose and all)
But I’m digressing let us start with character creation.
The first step to make it big is to roll for your attributes. The rules for this is to roll 4d6 six times and reroll ones. That would leave you with a range between 8 and 24 in your attributes… Also
These six attributes are determined by roll four six-sided dice (4D6) for each attribute
English is not my first language but that “roll” seems kind of… wrong. But if it’s grammatically sound I will apologize.
The stats we use in this game are as follow
Strength This stat is the most basic of them all… How hard can you punch? You use it to calculate how much can you lift as well as extra damage from your moves.
Intelligence This stat is used to learn new moves and that is pretty much it. A high intelligence gives you extra moves
Endurance The stat for taking a beating, This stat gives you extra hit points (HP) and endurance points (EP). What are these? I’m sure we will find out soon (but probably not in this round)
Charisma The classic dump-stat in your generic murder-hobo campaign, In this game charisma is all about your personal magnetism (AKA this is not beauty) you use it when you’re making a promo or you’re involved in angles (The glossary did not give us definitions for these terms but I’m sure they will be somewhere ahead) so if you want to HEAT up the crowd and have them chanting for you this is your stat. a high charisma gives you bonuses to your angle rolls
Agility This stat is used for two things: dodging and high spots. The flavor text says it’s used to move “quickly and easily” but there is also the speed stat.
Speed This is to define how quickly the wrestler moves. It also gives you bonuses to initiative so no improved initiative for you.
My opinion so far? Well the stats are simple and straight forward. You also don’t start getting bonuses to them until you have at least 13 on the relevant stat, having players roll for stat and not offering a point-buy system might end with groups of rookies that go from godly stats “MR. perfect” to “Unlucky no stat higher than 12 O’Hara”. But a nice enough GM might let you re-roll stats if you’re not happy with yours.
Also unlike other systems that also use stats these are not divided in body-mental/social stats and this is nitpicky of me but I’d have moved Endurance in the description to above Intelligence that way you can have “groups” of stats (muscle, movement, social)
Once your stats are allocated you can move on to picking your class. The core book includes 5 basic classes while the splats include some extra character options.
All classes begin with a set of abilities and they gain extra abilities as they go up in level until they get to level 10.
And lastly, all wrestlers have a finisher move at level one and earn a new finisher at level 5 and 10
The classes are:
Technical skill? Who needs it? The brawler has the best weapons on him on demand and they are not fancy moves or stuff like that. No it’s good old fisticuffs. Punch your opponent hard enough and they won’t come back for seconds.
They begin play with 4d6 +20 HP, 4d6 EP, 2 slots for skills and 1d4 +4 skill points.
They also get for being first level +1 to damage, +1d6 HP, +1d6 EP, 2 base reversals and 6 base moves.
Lastly, whenever they gain a new level they earn 1 skill slot and +1d4 skill points.
These wrestlers have sought balance among all areas of wrestling but they are so spread out they don’t master any.
They begin play with 4d6+10 HP. 3d6 EP, 2 skill slots and 1d6+4 skill points.
For being first level character they earn +1d6 HP, +1d6 EP, 2 base reversals and 8 base moves.
Lastly every level they gain an extra skill slot and +1d6 skill points
As its name indicates, this kind of wrestlers it’s about executing techniques flawlessly as it’s the class that ends with the largest pool of moves so if you don’t want to repeat after yourself this is the perfect class for you.
They begin game with 3d6+10 HP, 5d6 EP, 3 skill slots and 1d8+4 skill points
Every new level they earn 1 skill slot and 1d8 extra skills.
Lastly, for being first level they have 1d6 EP & HP, 3 base reversals and 10 base moves
THE HIGH FLYER
Tell me. Do you have little regard for your safety and others? Do you want to take off the ground and only land back on it on top of another human who had to catch you probably against his will? Do you want to be a daredevil on the ring? If you said yes to these questions this is the class for you. As the name indicates this class is all about the aerial maneuvers and most of the wrestlers that fall within this category are smaller and more agile.
Also if we are not taking in consideration the “lucha libre” splat, this would be the class for the common idea of a luchador a high flyer masked man fighting for glory.
Their base stats are 3d6+10 HP, 3d6 EP, 2 Skill slots and 1d6+4 skill points.
Every level they earn 1 skill slot and 1d6 skill points.
Their first level bonus is +1d6 EP & HP, +1 speed, 2 base reversals and 10 base moves
Yes this class gives a bonus to a stat and nope this class doesn’t have a requirement of height/weight.
The powerhouse uses its great size/weight to pull off devastating attacks and leave their opponents sprawled on the mat.
This is also the only class with a minimum weight requirement as a powerhouse has to be at least 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) and weigh at least 260 lbs (118kg) they begin play with 5d6+10 HP 3d6 EP, 2 skill slots and 1d6 skill points
They earn 1 skill slot per level and 1d6 skill points.
Finally at first level they earn 1d8 HP & EP, 1 strength 2 base reversals and 8 base moves
So, what’s my opinion on the classes? Well they fill the basic archetypes of wrestling, there are extra classes in the splats but these 5 could give you a balanced group of wrestlers in your game. My biggest problem with these classes lays in the experience needed to go up a level.
What do I mean by this? Well every class has its own XP speed let me demonstrate.
The BRAWLER and POWERHOUSE needs 3k XP to get to level 2, the ALL ROUNDER and the HIGH FLYER need 3.5k XP and the TECHNICHAL needs 4k
And it’s pretty similar with all levels capping at level 10 with the BRAWLER needing 22k XP and all the other classes (including powerhouse) needing 24k
This is a little too book-keepish to me even if it makes certain sense if the “simpler” classes need less effort to grow. But could you picture other RPGs having their own leveling speed depending on the classes? It might be just me but it feels kind of weird.
We move to step 3. Skill selection. What about the moves? Well the move list is pretty long and stuck to the back of the book and I’ll get to them in the next update so without further ado
I’ll be honest with you all… The skill list seems more like a bunch of advantages than a skill list. There is no climb skill or jump skill and they are not related to a stat or anything but with each point you give each skill they might give you one time bonuses, or use a skill point system to get extra bonuses. There are a total of 26 skills in this book.
Most other books would divide the skills in sub-categories or they would put them in alphabetical order... Not this book, and I’ll give you them in the same order that the book has:
Fast learner : Extra moves you earn 2(2d6+2) new moves upon selecting this skill
Fast healer : Your character recovers from injuries at double rate
Referee slack : The referee is more likely to look the other side, if you use an illegal move its DQ stat is halved and the wrestler will be given 5 warning before being disqualified (up from 3 warnings)
Microphone work : This skill is for when you’re being interviewed or you’re making a promo, for every 3points invested you get a +1 to the angle (As long as it’s a Mic Work angle)
Natural charisma : you earn +1d4pts charisma for a onetime bonus
Basic angle writer : you earn a +1 to all angles the wrestler is involved with
Advanced angle writer : requires the basic angle writer, provides a +2 bonus to all angle rolls the wrestler is involved with
Acting chops : Gives a +2 to all angle rolls the wrestler is involved with
High flyer : For every 4 points invested here add +1 to all high spot bonus
Submission resistant : For every 3 points add a +1 on the submission break roll when defending against a hold
Submission master : For every 3 points add +1 on the submission roll when using a move
Fine tuning : for every 3 points in this skill you earn +20 points in endurance
The “No-sell” : If an opponent uses a move on you, you can use this skill to negate the effect of an opponent move even if it’s successfully and immediately switch initiative from the opponent to the user, you can use this skill once per mach per 3 skill points invested
Second wind : For every 3 skill points invested you can use this skill once per match. Once you use it your wrestler gains 25 EP
The miraculous kick-out : for every 3 skill points invested you can use this skill once per match. This skill allows you to escape any pin attempt with a miraculous burst of energy (good in a pinch)
The HEAT generator : You have that “it” factor that makes the fans be interested in you no matter if you’re a face or a heel, for every 3 points invested you start the match with 5 HEAT points
The negotiator : Let’s be honest, this skill is about money. No it doesn’t give you extra starting money but it gives you the following bonuses: for every 3 points invested you get an extra 10% from a contract and 5% discount in pre-match bonuses
Finisher specialization : Want to make your finishing move even more lethal? Well for every 3 points invested the finisher receives an extra 2 points of damage (and endurance drain if it’s a submission hold) and its failure chance gets reduced by 1. This skill is finisher specific so if you are a level 5 wrestler and you want to give your new finisher an extra boost you’ll have to buy this skill separately
Trademarked finisher : Do you want to make your finisher more unique? Even if it’s essentially the same move other wrestlers use? Not unlike the difference between a stunner and THE stone cold stunner? Well this is your skill for every 3 points you invest in this skill you earn 4 points of HEAT with your finisher (on top of its base HEAT). This skill is also finisher specific
Match specialization : Your wrestler is specialized in a specific kind of specialty matches (regular singles match is not included) For every 3 points you earn 10 points of HEAT, +1 to all initiative rolls and +1 damage in your kind of match
Ring technician : You want to make sure you’ll punch that other guy? Well for every 2 points invested in this skill you earn a +1 to your to strike roll when attempting to execute a move
Move specialization : This is similar to the Ring technician, but you pick one move every time you pick this skill and every time you use this move you gain a +2 to hit with it and +1 damage
Skillfull execution : you earn extra 1d4 skill points every time you level up. This skill is retroactive starting at level 2 (Yes you can invest skill points to earn extra skill points. Thankfully this seems to be a onetime deal and occupies one of your skill slots but still…)
Die-Hard following : For every 2 skill points invested in this skill you earn 2 extra HEAT points for every move you execute
The specialist : This skill lowers the endurance cost of all moves by half (round up minimum one)
Amazing recovery : For every 2 points you can turn up to 10 HEAT points in either HP or EP
And that is pretty much it for the skills
The fourth step is Finishers and moves but as I’ve said earlier we will be skipping this till the next update so off to step 5
Step 5: Rounding up
Height: You get to choose how tall your wrestler is (Remember the limitations on powerhouses) you may also choose to roll 1d4 (reroll 1) and add 3 to the roll and then roll 1d10+1 the first roll would be to define how many feet tall are you and the second one for inches (Wrestles are rarely shorter than 5 feet)
Weight: Again you may choose your weight (Remember again the limitations for powerhouses) you could also choose to roll 1d10 and then multiply the result by 10 then if your wrestler is 5 to 6 feet tall you can add 100, if he is 6 to 7 feet tall then add 200 and lastly if he is 7+ feet tall you should add 300 to the roll
Age: you might choose your wrestler age, you could also roll 1d100 then depending on the range you may check the following table
Age only comes into play if the GM is using the optional age rules
Birthday: If you’re using the optional age rules you will need to know when your wrestler turns older. For this you may choose your birthday or you can roll 2d6 for the month (Why not just 1d12?) and 5d6 for the day (So no one is born in January 1-4 it seems) The year would be calculated using the wrestler’s age
Gender: Male or Female? I’ll let the book talk for itself on this:
Why couldn’t you be a bit more like “Pendragon” with female knights?
Hometown: Where are you from? Or where do you reside?
Theme song: What song do you come out to the ring to?
Alignment: Yes there is an alignment system but no it doesn’t go in the L-C/G-E like DnD. There are 3 possible alignments. Certain moves have an alignment restriction and using moves not related to your alignment you will receive a HEAT penalty. These alignments are “Face” (Good guys, doesn’t cheat nor break rules and they protect those who can’t protect themselves) “Tweener” (Neither good nor evil, you only receive ½ penalty for using Heel moves) and “Heel” (Greedy, jealous and not nice people, they try to cheat as much as possible and will break all rules in the book if the referee is not looking)
Finances: How much money do you start with? To know you roll 1d8 x 10k
Ring entrance: Lastly you describe your ring entrance (This step is optional)
The previous update I said there would be some audience participation and here it goes… Why don’t you try to make your own wrestler?
Also, next update we will jump to the end of the book and check on the movement list, the author claims there are over 200 moves so I'll try to think of a way to make it interesting