Not limited to what happens in the squared circle, World Wide Wrestling allows players to fully immerse themselves in their player character’s professional wrestling and personal life.
The very unique RPG balances between what the on-screen imaginary viewing audience sees during an episode and what happens when the lights go off. It’s this added element – the off screen life of your wrestler – that really fuels the fun.
Some real life role playing scenarios could be; Did your wrestler get stuck in traffic and not make the venue on time? Is your wrestler in a tag-team that hates their partner off camera? Is your professional wrestler full time or do they have a day job?
The off camera element really fleshes out characters, who may otherwise be nothing more than archetypes of what we see on television every week. Not that there is anything wrong with that and you can play this way too.
There’s even a character stat Real that players roll dice against to determine successful or not successful outcomes in real life scenarios.
An example is during our group’s first run of Davenport Wrestling Alliance, arriving at the venue required players rolling dice to see if they arrive on time. Everyone rolled on their Real and a botch happened. The result for showing up late to DWA was getting booked into a 2 on 1 match against TTC Driver #1 and #2.
It’s up to Creative (game master) to come up with real life and wrestling scenarios for their player’s characters to be involved in. Much like wrestling, off camera life often imitates on camera life with a slight twist.
Creative creates an episode based on feuds (determined by wrestlers Heat with each other), backstage on camera drama and real life off camera drama.
Each episode is packed with matches, promos and real life.
What makes World Wide Wrestling awesome is players don’t compete against each other to win a match.
The outcome, like wrestling, is predetermined by Creative, but players can swerve Creative’s decision making through their wrestlers actions. It’s not about winning the match, but building an Audience. As your character gains Audience from working awesome matches, cutting promos, and developing heated feuds their stats improve, their characters become more developed and include such opportunities as custom finishers.
Players talk through the match with each other, working together to develop a larger share of their imaginary viewing audience. Their goal is to improve their Audience standing and by working together they develop Momentum, Heat and ultimately a bigger Audience share.
A game session can be a one off gathering of friends or it can take on something much larger if a group decides to meet more often. Playing a campaign is based on episodes being strung together into a season. Best, players can drop in and out. Missing a game session doesn’t hinder game play in the least because Creative has so much flexibility in deciding who appears on television and who doesn’t. It’s an incredibly easy system for someone to play a drop in character. After all, professional wrestling is full of wrestlers who drop in for a short time or a night.
Beta rules are available for free, but the 162 page soft cover booklet is professionally designed, exceptionally written and has fab pen and ink cartoon-y wrestler images. The twenty-dollar purchase, $29.50 USD after shipping was more than worth the price of admission.
Personally having the paperback rule book in front of me during Davenport Wrestling Alliance game night made it much easier to access the information than when we played with the rules on my computer in PDF.
We’re not experienced role playing gamers, which is fine because the learning curve wasn’t very steep, but we did need to reference them often. By having them in the book game play is much easier to access.
Wrestling fans will really enjoy playing and shouldn’t be worried they don’t know anything about role playing games. It’s easy to play World Wide Wrestling and develop a character that is a mishmash of your favorite wrestlers. If roleplay wrestling isn’t your thing and you’d rather try your hand at a game of chance online, find more fun on bingo online.