The Highlander Game

Games are an important part of culture and many of them are variations on several “Mother Games.”  There is a version of tag that involves hunting a target while you are hunted by an unknown foe.  There are various other rules involved, but those are the basics.  Some time ago I figured that this would be a great base for a sword fighting game.  All I needed was a framing scenario.  I found this in the movie Highlander.  A movie that most sword fighters seem to have some affection for and it’s easy to see why.  It’s a simple set up, being about a race of immortals who absorb the power of other immortals by cutting off their heads.  The tagline for the move is, “there can be only one.”  It’s appeal lies partially in it’s excuse to have secret sword fights in a modern era.  There was one movie and a spin off t.v. show and THAT WAS IT.  Anyway, if you’re not familiar with Highlander, check it out.  It’s good cheesy fun.

So anyway, here’s my game:

Highlander: The Game

The time of the Gathering is approaching. You are an immortal who must fight other immortals for your survival. The winner takes his enemy’s head and with it, his power and knowledge, transferred through the Quickening. In the end… There can be only one.

The Rules:

  1. Each player/immortal is given a Token representing their life and their Quickening. When one player defeats another immortal, they gain their opponent’s token.

  2. In order to kill another immortal a player must strike their opponent in the head or neck, immediately after saying, “there can be only one.” If a player fails to do this then the strike is discounted.

  3. If you are struck on a limb, you cannot use that limb for an (out loud) count of five. If you are struck on the torso, you must take a knee and cannot move or fight for five seconds. Hands themselves are immune to hits. Blows must be struck above the wrist.

  4. Grappling may be allowed and must be taken on a case by case basis. Both players must agree that they feel it can be done safely. Similarly, if blows are to be struck it must be done lightly and only by agreement of both combatants.

  5. A player who has multiple tokens must be struck on the head or neck as many times as they have tokens. Their opponent only has to say, “there can be only one” before the final blow is struck however. Any player with multiple tokens must say how many they have before a fight, and they suffer no time based penalty for being struck in the head.

  6. One on one fights only and it’s a bonus if they are fought away from the public eye and in dingy, atmospheric parking lots and under bridges.

  7. Swords shall be made of either wood or the equivalent of the Cold Steel Trainer Series and blows shall be struck as gently as possible. Masks and gorgets are required for full speed combat, but slower fighting shall be allowed if both combatants do not have the required protection.

  8. Trench coats are strongly encouraged.

  9. There shall be set geographical boundaries for each game with a designated “holy ground” where you are safe from fighting. Holy ground is also where you gather when you die.

  10. After one hour has elapsed it becomes the time of the Gathering. All survivors will gather at Holy Ground for a final battle. In this final battle the restrictions on one on one fights are lifted and players can fight anyone. There shall be no pause in the fighting to collect tokens, so players may have to defend themselves while doing so.

  11. The winner is the last one standing. They have gained the power of all the other immortals and have thus won the Prize. Yes, there may be prizes based on whether or not there is an entry fee to the game.

  12. There Can Be Only One

So who wants to play?

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