Rising Forces

Rising Forces is an RPG primarily inspired by "Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game", the RPG created in 1994 by White Wolf based on the Capcom video game Street Fighter 2. More than this, of course, the RPG is inspired by martial arts fiction more generally, as well as the aesthetic and fiction surrounding similar video games in the fighting game genre, beat 'em up genre, and other games beyond. Kung Fu movies, ninja movies and comic books also play heavily into the inspiration. In the United States, White Wolf only supported the Street Fighter RPG until 1995 and it has since been out of print. Given the unique and entertaining nature of the rules, it is the author's position that it is a shame that these rules are no longer in print or available for new generations of TTRPG players, and Rising Forces is also an attempt to rectify this situation.

What is the overall goal and direction?

The primary goal is to create an RPG that retains the core entertaining combat system of Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game while streamlining and improving certain systems that were troublesome in the original game. I'll list some good and troublesome things below. After this I will lay down rules or rules ideas. Regular text will be rules text and italicised text will be my design thoughts and feelings.

The Good

The Troublesome

The Rules


All characters in Rising Forces have nine Attributes. These Attributes are defined along two axes containing three items each. Along one axis we have Attributes relating to Physical capabilities, Mental Capabilities, and Social/Spiritual capabilities. Along the other axis we have Attributes relating to Power, Accuracy and Resistance. Here is a table of them

Power Accuracy Resistance
Physical Strength Reflexes Endurance
Mental Reason Intuition Willpower
Spiritual Aura Influence Stability

[Character Creation: Prioritize the 3 Categories (Mental/Physical/Spiritual), then assign from 1 to 5 points to each attribute (10/8/6)]

This Attribute layout is slightly different from that in the original Street Fighter RPG. The main inspiration was the way DC Heroes splits Attributes, but also even White Wolf went with a similar Attribute set up for their "New World of Darkness" games. I may choose different names for the Attributes, but I'm happy with the number and function of them. The current rules I have for assigning Attributes at Character Creation are just a clone of the Street Fighter rules, worded differently. There is no reason the rule should be this way, but it also works. So, in the absense of some scheme I think is better, I am happy to leave things as they were in the original game.

The Core Mechanic

The core mechanic of Rising Forces is rather simple. Determine which Attribute would be most applicable to the action being attempted. Determine if the character possesses any relevent Background or Technique. Add the ratings of these two things together and roll that many d6.

[For example: Imagine a player is playing Roy the Boy, a Kung Fu Yo-yo champion. He wants to impress some folks in a show of Yo-yo expertise and has the Background "Yo-yo Champion" at 3. He would take his 3 in Yo-Yo Champion and add it to his 4 in Reflexes to roll 7 dice.]

When rolling dice, normally each die that comes up as a 5 or a 6 is counted as a "success" and if you score any successes, the action you are attempting succeeds. There is a bit of nuance to this however.


In Rising Forces players play characters involved in the martial arts world, and they're pretty good at it. Backgrounds are about the rest of the character. Do they have a talent, hobby, or profession? If so, they should have a rating in a Background representing it. Does the character have an unusual nature, connections or privileges? Use a well named Background to represent it. Backgrounds are used to take a character's concept (outside of fighting) and give it mechanical weight. For activities in game that call for action resolution outside of combat (unless otherwise specified), Backgrounds are rolled combined with the most relevant Attribute to the task. Characters with no relevant Background may still normally roll their base Attribute in the roll. Some example Backgrounds are given below, but definitely use this as an opportunity to get creative and make your own.

[Character Creation: Distribute 8 points to represent your character’s talents, hobbies, profession, connections and privileges.]

This Background section basically excises Abilites (Skills, Talents and Knowledges) from the game, and removes the list of Backgrounds included in the Street Fighter RPG. Instead, this is made completely free-form. Whatever a player thinks is important to define for their character, they can just write it down and give it a rank. This, combined with the core mechanic, I believe is enough for a fully functional, flavorful RPG. The main mechanical heft in this game is in the tournament combat/martial arts bits, so I thought I would have the game focus on the one core thing and not feel the need to add a bunch of crunch outside of that. We'll see if my opinion on this changes as I continue to put things together... There is still more I can flesh out here though. A GM could rule in some cases that maybe a person without a Background could not reasonably roll their applicable Attribute to attempt a thing, or they may rule that they may do so, but at Disadvantage. Because of Rising Forces' crazy inclinations, I prefer GMs at least allow Attribute-only attempts at Disadvantage over just flatly denying attempts in most cases.


In Rising Forces the player characters are martial artists, either formally or informally, they know how to handle themselves in a scrap. During character creation a player can decide that their character is a practitioner of a particular style, or they can elect to remain a general martial artist. If a player chooses a particular martial art for their character, that character is eligible to purchase Special Maneuvers in their style list for a discount of 2, but the trade-off is that any maneuvers not listed in their style list cost 1 more for them to obtain. In addition to the Special Maneuver cost adjustments, characters with a particular style can be treated as if that style is a Background for purposes of knowing about the culture and society surrounding that particular style. Characters that are Rising Forces PCs but have not chosen a martial art purchase Special Maneuvers at their listed cost.

[Character Creation: Either choose to have no style and purchase Special Maneuvers at their listed cost, or choose a Style to unlock the right to purchase the Style's Maneuvers at a 2 point discount, while paying 1 point more for Special Maneuvers outside the Style's Maneuver List.]

This section is a little premature. I haven't settled on this particular set of martial arts. I would like to cover all of the main bases without listing every possible style. For example, I'm not sure if both Judo and Jiu-Jitsu should be on the list, or if I should chose Wu Shu to be a style instead of, say "Tricking" or something that would also capture the vibes of Parkour, etc. Beyond this, I'll need to get the Special Maneuvers well underway before I'll be able to actually flesh out these styles with their maneuver lists and so on... Regardless, the intent is not realism, but instead a kind of mythic/kind of true, but mostly cinematic impression of the styles listed. As for the change from SF, to have the ability to be a general martial artist or choose a style, that comes from a desire to satisfy two separate desires I've seen expressed. On one hand, I've seen people unhappy with styles because they feel like styles lock them out of Special Maneuvers they need to put together their character concept, and its kind of arbitrary. Also, choosing a particular style can clash with some people's conception of a character that studies multiple disciplines. On the other hand, rival schools and "Who has the strongest style?!?!" is such a key part of so many martial arts stories that it feels like it'd be a shame to remove the idea from the rules of the game. The 2 point discounts combined with the extra cost for non-style maneuvers seems like a way to give a feeling or shape to the style, enough to mechanically support the idea that practioners may really think their style is best. Also, this game will have a lot of Special Maneuvers. New players choosing a style gives them a way to trim down their choices into something more manageable.


[Character Creation: Which aspects of fighting are you best at? Distribute 8 points (minimum 0, maximum 3) between the six standard Techniques (Punches, Kicks, Athleticism, Defenses, Grappling, Powers), selecting a Basic Maneuver for each point spent.]

Every maneuver in Rising Forces is associated with a primary Technique. Techniques perform two functions in Rising Forces: They are added to the Effectiveness when determining how many dice to roll when performing a maneuver, and they may also serve as prerequisites to learning more advanced maneuvers.

This is still a little in-flux but basically what it will be. I may rename the Techniques. I am also inclined to also include weapon Techniques as seen in the Street Fighter RPG, but want a sensible, fairly concise list. If and when I do, those other techniques should also be options maybe open for PCs to place dots in during character creation as well. Weapon fighting in general will need some consideration as to how I want to handle it, and as to how much I care about dealing with guns in a detailed or broad way. It's an area where I may end up expanding the game beyond the original's take, but where will that land on the spectrum between adding cool game play and adding crunch that detracts from the core idea or aim of the game?


This subject is both important and one I think will have the largest departure from the original Street Fighter RPG. I may change what name I refer to this part of the rules as, but by "Expendables" I mean values that can change during the course of a game session. In the original Street Fighter RPG these were: Health, Chi, Willpower, Glory, Honor and Rank. Rather than italicize this whole section, consider everything I write here to be tentative ideas and brainstorming. I will be mixing a lot of my thoughts in with the proposed tentative rules.


Old: Characters start play with 10 Health. They can purchase more Health by spending "Freebie Points" during character creation (3 per point), or spending XP during play (4 per point). The most Health a character can have is 20 points. Normally, all Health is restored after 15 minutes of rest. If a character suffers damage in excess of their maximum Health, that excess amount is taken as "Aggravated Damage." Aggravated damage is healed at a rate of 1 per day. So, for example, if a character with 20 maximum Health were to suffer 23 points of Damage before they could rest up, they would have 3 points of Aggravated damage, meaning that after 15 minutes of rest they would heal up to 17 points of Health. The following day, assuming they suffered no additional Aggravated Damage, they would have 18 Health, and so on until all Aggravated Damage was healed and they were back up to their 20 Health Maximum. Interestingly, the rules as written seem to stick to just this and do not make weapons or environmental hazards like fire cause Aggravated damage directly, though that is mentioned as an option for Firearms in Contenders, and the "Lightknife" laser in Secrets of Shadoloo also inflicts Aggravated Damage. In passing it mentions that Fire could possibly cause Aggravated Damage (a hero entering a fire to save someone being listed as an honorable action, as it may inflict Aggravated Damage that would put them at disadvantage in an upcoming fight). As for healing Aggravated Damage, beyond natural healing of 1 per day, it is mentioned that some Animal Hybrids that can regenerate body parts may heal 1 Aggravated Damage per hour instead of per day. Also, when mentioning Ring Doctors it is stated they can roll Wits + Medicine to so that fighters can ignore a number of Aggravated Damage equal to the successes rolled (though they come back after the fight.) Also, doctors can heal 1 Aggravated Damage per week on a character in addition to their natural healing. The section suggests Chi Kung Healing and Regeneration are also methods to heal Aggravated Damage.

New: Health in Rising Forces works very similarly to how it worked before. Here are some details -

I was considering "Characters start with Endurance + 5 Health", but didn't see that it really added anything, so stuck with something quite close to the original game. Still deciding on how much it'll cost to obtain more Health. PCs having between 10 and 20 Health also seems to be good for keeping the lengths of fights reasonable. In the Willpower/Stamina section below you'll see I'm also considering the option of burning Health for Stamina (Willpower). I think I generally like the idea of all damage being the same, be it punches, swords, guns, fire, etc., rather than having certain dangers cause Burning/"Aggravated" damage, as it keeps the kind of cartoon-ish vibe. I'm not totally opposed to the idea of certain things directly causing burning damage, however. As far as things that could heal Burned Health beyond the rate of 1 per day, under no circumstances could more than a character's Endurance be healed in one day.


Old: Characters start play with a number of Chi as set by their Style (Styles grant a Chi + Willpower of 7, divided differently by Style). Additional Chi can be purchased at character creation by spending "Freebie Points" (1 per dot), or by spending XP during play (costs current rating in XP to raise by 1), up to a maximum of 10 Chi. Chi is a pool of points used to power certain Special Maneuvers, especially Focus maneuvers. Chi is regained at the end of a story. Chi can also be regained after a fight by rolling Honor. The successes rolled on the Honor test can be used to restore Chi or Willpower on a 1 to 1 basis.

New: Here is what I'm thinking of doing instead of Chi -

One thing I like about the easier ability to recover Spirit, compared to Chi in SF, is that it allows powers based characters to more freely use their abilities, though they have to pick tactical moments to rest and get Spirit back. It's this trade-off, they'll tend to have less Spirit than a Focus-based Street Fighter would have Chi, but it comes back more reliably, and if they burn Spirit they can have a similar amount of Spirit as Street Fighters would have Chi, it's just more of a tactical choice now. Also, it circumvents that odd part in Street Fighter where villains had more difficulty recovering Chi due to it being based on a between-fights Honor roll. Another interesting feature I think, with the burning of Spirit, is the idea of Special Maneuvers that cost more than a character can pay with their straight Spirit. It leads to the possibility of powers that can essentially only be done so many times a day, as doing them ends up burning Spirit, which has to be recovered at 1/hour before perhaps the power could be used again. You can almost think of it in terms of wizards in a fantasy RPG that only have so many spell slots or spell points, but framed instead in terms of recovery. Also, there could be feats some characters can perform with their free Spirit that others would need to burn Spirit to perform, which is a kind of neat way of seeing a level of power expressed in game. A Special Maneuver that had a cost of 4 Spirit, assuming prerequisites are met, could possibly be performed by a character with only 3 Spirit, but they'd quickly tap out their Spirit due to burning it, wheras a character with 5 Spirit can perform the Special Maneuver, rest for just a couple turns, and do it again all day long that way.


Old: Characters start play with a number of Willpower as set by their Style (Styles grant a Chi + Willpower of 7, divided differently by Style). Additional Willpower can be purchased at character creation by spending "Freebie Points" (1 per dot), or by spending XP during play (costs current rating in XP to raise by 1), up to a maximum of 10 Willpower. Willpower is a pool of points used to power certain Special Maneuvers, but it can also be spent to gain an Automatic Success outside of combat, or to add a die to your attacking die pool in combat. Additionally, it can be spent to activate an Abort Maneuver in combat. Willpower is regained at the end of a story. Willpower can also be regained after a fight by rolling Honor. The successes rolled on the Honor test can be used to restore Chi or Willpower on a 1 to 1 basis.

New: Here is what I'm thinking of doing instead of Willpower -

As with how I dealt with Chi/Spirit, I like how the ability to recover Stamina during a fight both eliminates that weird "Honor Roll between fights" method Street Fighter had, that made villains less scary, and it also provides a meaty choice when a character stuns their opponent. In SF, the choice was to attack the opponent when they are dizzied because it's a free shot, or just stand around or possibly show off for in game Honor or Glory reasons. These reasons still exist, but now you have the option of recovering some Stamina or Spirit while an opponent is stunned, and this can be an interesting tactical choice, in addition to the role-playing choices the game provided before. I'm still not totally settled on the idea of being able to burn Health for Stamina. It is more rules, and so maybe isn't needed. Still, I like the flavor of it, people possibly choosing to really hurt themselves to pull out wins.


Old: Characters generally fight in a particular Division. The Divisions are: Traditional, Duelist, Freestyle and World Warrior. To be in the World Warrior division you must be at least Rank 9 in another division, or have defeated a World Warrior in a match in another division. Your Rank in a Division is based both on the number of approved fights you've participated in and your win/loss ratio. Ranks range from 1 through 10. Rank 1: Less than 1 win per 20 losses. Rank 2: Less than 1 win per 10 losses, has fought at least 5 matches. Rank 3: At least 1 win per 5 losses, has fought at least 10 matches. Rank 4: At least 1 win per 3 losses, has fought at least 15 matches. Rank 5: At least 1 win per loss, has fought at least 20 matches. Rank 6: At least 2 wins per loss, has fought at least 25 matches. Rank 7: At least 3 wins per loss, has fought at least 30 matches. Rank 8: At least 5 wins per loss, has fought at least 40 matches. Rank 9: At least 10 wins per loss, has fought at least 50 matches. Rank 10: At least 20 wins per loss, has fought at least 60 matches.

New: Divisions and ranks are really only relevent to RP, but it is kinda cool to think of the fight circuit having some official standings that seem to be based on sensible criteria. Really, there should be as many Divisions as make sense for the fight types (Pro Wrestling, Boxing, Duelists, whatever). Some fight types might have different rules and win conditions. That can be fleshed out later, but here is a general scheme for gaining and losing ranks in any given division...

A Fighter starts at Rank 1. To progress to the next rank, at least 5 fights must be fought at the existing rank. Once at least 5 fights have been fought, the character's fight record over the last 5 fights is evaluated as follows:


The above describes the standard way of advancing and dropping ranks. If characters are somehow able to convince promoters or other fighters at a higher rank to fight them and they are able to win, they may get the opportunity to score more fights at that higher rank. If the fighter is able to get in 5 fights at ranks higher than their existing rank due to convincing fighter of higher rank or promoters to enter them into tournaments versus opponents of higher rank, and the evaluation of those 5 fights mean that "they remain at their existing rank", then they attain the rank of the lowest ranked opponent they fought in those last 5 fights that had a rank higher then their own. If evaluation of the last 5 fights mean "the fighter may choose to advance to the next rank", then the fighter advanced to a rank 1 higher than the lowest ranked opponent they fought in those 5 fights that had a rank higher than their own.

It seems like this new method should tend to slot characters into whatever rank is appropriate for them. I suppose I should set a top rank. The old method resulted in the possibility of characters getting into impossible positions where they might not be able to advance reasonably in rank. Also, it meant that if you played tournaments where PC might face each other, there was a decent chance they would be giving each other losses that would keep them from ever achieving "10 wins for every loss" level records, and that's no fun. Another kind of interesting thing is that, while rare, a character could end up in a tournament that involved some band of ranks within it, such that some fights might be no good for improving their rank, or others especially good, but either way possibly the tournament is still worth it overall. Seems like an interesting aspect to inject, the vibes people get about your character based on the quality of opposition they face and so on.








Here it is, the core of the game! It will all be very recognizably Street Fighter, but there are decisions, clarifications and re-wordings to be done. It might take me a while to get this just right, but let's jump into it! I'll start off bullet point style and see where it goes:

Random Musings

Here are just unorganized thoughts that I will eventually either modify, discard, or sort into a section of rules. It's a combination holding pen/brainstorming dump.