The goal of Rising Forces is to basically tidy up and republish a version of the old White Wolf "Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game", but as written by me. There is a core part of that game that works in a way no other RPG I've ever seen does, but it is out of print. Rising Forces tries to move beyond clone in that it has to be cool in and of itself, but don't over-complicate or get away from what worked in the original! Here are some bullet points on what changes, what goes and what questions remain:
The Attributes: I actually prefer the nWoD layout of 9 stats over the original, and overall want to somewhat balance the usefulness of all of the attributes. The current idea is to split them in a Physical, Mental, Social - Power, Finesse, Resistance way. Currently: Strength, Agility, Endurance. Reason, Intuition, Willpower. Aura, Influence, Stability. They function the same as we'd expect from the old White Wolf systems, with the same range and benchmarks.
The Abilities: Undecided. At the very least, the list of Abilities would be rethought entirely. At most, Abilities may be abandoned entirely and some system of broad, loose affinities may be used. I'd still like them to relate to Attributes the same way, but I'm still open about it. Basically, Street Fighter was about fighting and the abilities system was just kinda standard. It worked, but didn't provide anything special. So, I either simplify and add flavor, or I come up with something that feels more special and important to the game.
The Styles: At the very least, styles need to be recreated entirely. I have a list I need to lay down of essential martial arts. Another factor is what Styles do. In the original game they give a list of allowed Special Maneuvers and costs, as well as setting initial Willpower and Chi. Some Special Maneuvers are exclusive to a style or small list of styles. I'm leaning towards making Styles optional. Styles would only be a list of maneuvers that the style gets a 2 point discount on, all others costing listed price. Martial artists with no chosen style would get every maeuver at a 1 point discount? Basically, choosing a style is deciding to make yourself a kind of specialist. Also, socially, having a style gives you knowledge of its culture, practioners, rivals, history, etc. Non-martial artists, of course, pay listed price for all maneuvers, at least, or maybe some other special thing.
The Maneuvers: There are options from our old home games I'd like to add in, basically to improve the levels game, make Chi builds more viable, reduce redundancy, rename things for IP reasons, etc. My friend Rich has a maneuver list that could possibly form the basis of what is done here. A lot of room to expand the scope of the game here if I want to, but try not to get out of control. Maneuver balance is vital!
The Combat: This is the magic of the whole thing. Basically, it would stay as is, but with hard questions asked and procedures firmed up. For exammple, I lean towards permitting continuations of movement if a combatant ends movement, goes to strike, and is interrupted and moved away from. Needs careful attention, though, as this is the core engine of the game. Clarity about turn order, interruptions, willpower expenditure, and valid combos are all important.
Chi, Willpower, Honor, Glory: These all need looking at, especially Honor and Glory, which I favor possibly eliminating and at least modifying how they work. There is a lot of room here to create story-supporting thematic stuff. Also, Chi and Willpower could possibly be made more dynamic in matches.
Rank: Rank is just broken, as far as how the math works. Possibly eliminate, or come up with something sensible. There may be different ranks per circuit, and some story drama can happen involving this. Rank is really there to support drama based on ambitions, so if kept, aim it towards that and keeping records.
Backgrounds: Backgrounds can be enlisted to do a lot of things. Some of what they do may be subsumed under what gets done with Abilities as I reformulate them. I lean towards specifying what a character's general background is, then having sensible contacts, resources, etc. would be indicated by that, rather than buying such things individually. Of course, the Unique Backgrounds from the Players Guide are generally some kind of broken, but the idea of using backgrounds to unlock certain unusual extra abilities is potentially cool. When I think about overcomplicating things, I tend to almost think of Backgrounds as a place where "Character Classes" live, when considering character types that aren't martial artists and so on. Still, some of these thoughts are beyond the scope of what I want to do, so I should be careful not to get stuck here.
Setting: No details here yet, but it is important to have a rad default setting people can play with, one with cool organizations and characters. Additionally, tools should be provided to help game masters generate setting details.
Spot Rules and Equipment: There are only a few bits of equipment and spot rules that pop up in the original game, but there is some fun flavor to be had here I think to evoke the source video games and the cartoony inspiration behind all of this.
Dice Mechanic: My default is to want to keep the dice mechanic exactly the same as in the original, except for probably eliminating the "difficulty number can change" aspect. Or, if difficulty number changing is kept, have it less as a free GM chosen thing and made an explict thing that happens under particular circumstances. I can't help but love the "botches remove successes" vibe of the original. This keeps me from flipping over to an alternate die system, such as a d6 pool with 5s and 6s succeeding. Clearly still up in the air, but assume the classic system unless a compelling enough reason comes up for me to change.