Thrash: Not Dead, I Guess

After it coming up in an e-mail conversation, and being mentioned in this RPG.net thread alongside Final Stand, I think I got sufficiently embarrassed over the fact that I’ve been failing to work on Thrash 2.0 for 5 years that I got inspired, and came up with some new ideas for how to handle and fix some of the things that have been bothering me. I’m still keeping the majority of the stuff from my last big push to work on it (last year), but changing some fairly major things too.

The main thing is that I’ve come to dislike systems with lots of fiddly points to spend. Now, I admire what’s been accomplished with stuff like Hero system and Mekton Z Plus, but I just have a very low tolerance for dealing with that kind of stuff personally. The earlier draft had characters spending pools of points on Attributes, Techniques, and Everything Else. I’ve decided to nix that last category (for which PCs originally would spend a big wad of Character Points) in favor of something less granular. Characters get a set number of selections for Maneuvers and Supers (by default, 3 and 1 of each to start with), and a set number (10) of “Support Traits,” which are a catch-all for Edges, Skills, Maneuver Upgrades, Support Maneuvers (which are where you get your movement and defensive maneuvers mostly), and Story Hooks.

I’m still working out the details of Story Hooks, but I want them to be something like TSOY Keys and the whatever-they-were-calleds in Weapons of the Gods. Basically the player has an opportunity to “buy in” to storylines ahead of time, and get extra XP for it. I’m also thinking of brining back that “Fighter Nature” idea I had a while back, which is basically where you pick an archetype that represents your character’s basic motivation for being a martial artist and going out to enter tournaments and whatnot. I was originally going for more of a purely “gamey” design, but I think I want to also include at least some stuff that points the characters towards getting into fighting game/fighting manga style storylines.

I also got sick of dealing with so many fiddly bits for maneuver design, and decided to come up with the simplest system possible. So, although the game still has Action Points and whatnot, its maneuver design rules are more akin to BESM Weapon Attacks. You take a base maneuver, and add Enhancements and Drawbacks, up to a certain limit, to get what you want.

So, at this point the final version of Thrash 2.0 is looking like a crazy mashup of The Shadow of Yesterday, Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game, and Cinematic Unisystem.

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9 thoughts on “Thrash: Not Dead, I Guess

  1. I liked the old Thrash very much when I first saw it long long ago, but I never managed to get a group interested on playing it so I totally forgot about it until I found this blog.

    Still haven’t tried the original but I will try harder to play the 2.0 if it gets released. Keep up the good work.

  2. I am glad that the game is back on track. It is hard to believe that nearly seven years ago I found Thrash on the internet. My friends and I loved it, though looking back we were the perfect example of how the game could be broken.

    One character was a hulking machine called Random who had no intelligence or skills, but could crush most opponents with a single hit. Another character used Positive Chi and Finger Strike to deal a single killing blow. Yet another character had Hopping on nearly all his moves. It was a lot of fun, but it was hard making bad guys that could stand up to them.

    So, in saying that, I am excited to see Thrash revisited. I think (well, I hope) I speak for many when I say that I would be happy to help playtest this edition. I have been working on my own martial arts game (MACE, Martial Arts Card Engine, it is on 1km1kt) that uses cards instead of dice, so I definately have an interest in what you are trying to achieve.

    Anyway, just thought I would comment to let you know that people are interested and take notice of you re-working your game.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. I recall finding Thrash some years ago, while looking for Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game resources. At the time, the game turned me off. Even back then, still in my d20 days, it seemed needlessly complicated and a lot of stuff looked rather tacked on for a fighting game. Also, the note about twinking characters was the last thing I’d expect in a game about kicking ass and looking good while doing so, and I’ve been reading that statement as handwaving an inherent weakness of the system.

    However, it’s good to read that you’re working on a new version. It does sound interesting, and I believe the long break in development might turned out beneficial for this game. Still, I imagine you’re basically redesigning most of the game from scratch at this point.

    All in all, a fun arcade martial arts game that would be more up to date with current design approaches than SF:STG remains one of the things I’d like to play. Thrash 2.0 could be a good candidate to fill that niche. If it remains empty for too long, I suppose I’ll have to write such a game myself, eventually ;)

    In the meantime, I need to take a closer look at Raspberry Heaven.

  4. As Aaron’s examples illustrate, the system had entirely too much room for twinking, and at the time I wasn’t able to address it properly. The new version is definitely going to reign in a lot of the stuff people have used to go all munchkiny, hence Styles as a character trait are gone completely, maneuver modifiers are *severely* limited (no freight train punch crap, dammit!), and it’s hard to treat anything as a dump stat. And, god damn it, your character’s special moves are going to BE special maneuvers. I got really sick of the PC who just kept elbow striking his way to victory.

    I don’t know if it’ll be what you want, Filip, but I definitely like it a million times better already.

  5. Thrash 1.8 was a great game. While it left quite a lot of room for munchkins, it was still a hell of a fun. I even wrote some house rules for faster battles and a better balance.

    Thrash 2.0 sounds like it could be an even greater game. Especially the besm-like effects-based moves sound very interesting. I wonder how good that would work with 1.8…

  6. It’s great that you come back on Trash.
    I just buy KoF XI and Maximum impact 2 on PS2 and was that Trash 2 was never finished.
    It’s a good thing that you rethinks the system. The points system goods but not game-master friendly, I thinks this type of game need a more “plug and play” feeling where you can create a NPC on the fly.

    I really like what you done with Tokyo Heroes and I looking for Trash 2.0 impatiently.

    May the kitty be with you!
    Poulpy

    (sorry if my english is wrong, I’m french and if I am no problem to read english it’s another thing to write it!)

  7. Doresh- For better or for worse, I’ve been working on 2.0 for so long that I barely even remember some of the details of 1.8. ^_^; Of course, people are more than welcome to do whatever they want with it.

    Poulpy- Yeah, I tend to get inspired to work on it whenever I get into playing fighting games again, like when I got CyberBots for Saturn or Bleach for DS. Your English isn’t too bad, but I wanted to point out that it’s “Thrash,” not “Trash.” The game has a way of attracting people from all over Europe and South America, and lots of non-English-speakers have trouble with the TH sound. And yeah, doing something to make it easier to come up with quick NPCs is another thing I want to do with the game.

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