|ATTLEBALL: Game of the Flanaess
|Posted on Tue, December 07, 2004 by Farcluun
|Abysslin writes "During a visit to Asperdi to negotiate a trade compact with the Sea Barons, Lord Drax witnessed some of Asperdi’s shacktown residents huddled in an alley, squaring off in a game unlike he had ever seen before.
BATTLEBALL: GAME of the FLANAESS
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BATTLEBALL: GAME of the FLANAESS
by Terrance "Abysslin" Hunt
During a visit to Asperdi to negotiate a trade compact with the Sea Barons, Lord Drax witnessed some of Asperdi’s shacktown residents huddled in an alley, squaring off in a game unlike he had ever seen before.
There were two teams of four throwing around a ball made of pigskin stuffed with dried ham and sand. The men were throwing their bodies at one another and it appeared that the object of the game was to advance the pigball into the farthest reach of the defending team’s territory known as the cryptzone in order to win a round.
Drax, always one for sport, spoke with the two teams after their pleasureful game. He questioned them on the rules and nuances of the game and within the following week, he had erected an arena dedicated to the sport.
Occassionally, Drax would invite the Asperdi residents to come and compete against the best players Rel Astra had to offer. Drax would invite nobles from the surrounding area and officially claim the day as one of relaxation. The battleball arena would fill with newfound fans of the sport, anxiously awaiting the duel. Unfortunately, Rel Astra’s team always fell in defeat against the very experienced Asperdi team.
Over the next year, Drax invited many rulers and other peoples holding places high within their native governments from across the Flanaess were invited to Rel Astra in order to witness this new sport known as battleball. It did not take long and soon other large cities came to participate, recruiting and training teams of their own, in order to compete with the already established Rel Astra and Asperdi teams.
Currently, eight cities and their teams are participating in the game and a formal schedule is set up before each cycle, which has the eight teams separated into two divisions. Once the best team in each division has been established by “single elimination,” the best team from each division squares off in the Grand Battleball Arena, in Rel Astra, for the prized battleball trophy (A 10’ nickel coated statue of an Oeridean man holding a pigball in one arm above his head.)
Currently, Asperdi holds the trophy as they have for the last two years since the trophy’s inception. On 1st of every third month (beginning Fireseek 1st), the teams once again do battle in an attempt to display the battleball trophy in their own arena.
THE BATTLEBALL SCHEDULE
|Rel Astra Fiendslayers
|Roland (Ountsy) Hellhounds
||Dyvers Dire Dogs
The battleball tournament occurs once every three months, with each one of the year being named a quarter. For example, the 2nd tournament in the year 591 CY would be named “the 591 2nd Quarter Battleball Tournament.”
Quarters begin on the following dates and each round within the quarter is played on Moonday each week until the winner of the division is determined after the second week. At this point, the teams each receive a week of rest before competing in the championship (in Rel Astra) on the last Moonday of the last week of the month.
Schedules are single elimination and once a team has lost, they are out of the tournament.
See the example below for last year's schedule and results.(This should give you a rough idea on how to set up the brackets for the tournaments)
Note: The Scores follow each team's name (explained later under "Rules of Battleball")
591 1st Quarter Battleball Tournament
|Greyhawk Griffons 4
Verbobonc Birdcallers 3
||Rel Astra Fiendslayers 4
Roland Hellhounds 2
||Greyhawk Griffons 4
Dyvers Dire Dogs 3
Asperdi Deckhands 4
Greyhawk Griffons 2
|Asperdi Deckhands 4
Rel Astra Fiendslayers 3
|Hardby Portmen 2
Dyvers Dire Dogs 4
||Asperdi Deckhands 4
Kalstrand Siegelayers 1
POSITIONS of BATTLEBALL
NOTE: Positions are color coded; generally explaining which member of the defense is responsible for which member of the offense. Furthermore, a player of any given colored position usually plays that position on both offense and defense. For instance, a player whom plays Archer on offense usually plays Watchtower on defense.
The Shieldbearer is responsible for starting the play by tossing the ball between his legs to the Archer and blocking the Spearman from hitting the Archer.
The Archer is responsible for either throwing to the Arrow or handing the ball to the Swordsman, whom will advance the ball forward by running while the Archer then blocks for him.
Note: The Archer can not pass the line of scrimmage (point from which the ball was given to the Archer from the Shieldbearer) whilst carrying the ball.
The Swordsman is responsible for advancing the ball forward by running with it, or aiding the Shieldbearer in blocking the Spearman, and sometimes blocking the Pikeman.
The Arrow is responsible for running forward into the defense’s territory and catching a thrown ball from the Archer, or blocking the Gauntlet while the Swordsman runs with the ball.
The Spearman is responsible for rushing into the offense’s territory and knocking the player with the ball down to end the play.
The Watchtower is responsible for containing the Archer and either aiding the Pikeman in knocking down the Swordsman or helping the Gauntlet cover the Arrow.
The Pikeman is responsible for containment of the Swordsman and also is responsible at times for rushing into the offense’s territory much like the Spearman.
The Gauntlet’s sole responsibility is to cover the Arrow and attempt to deflect any thrown ball the Archer has thrown intent on reaching the Arrow’s hands.
RULES OF BATTLEBALL
The Arena in which battleball is played is 50 yards long and 25 yards wide with 5 yard deep “Cryptzones” on each end and a red line across the middle known as the “Battle Line.”
At the beginning of each match, a coin toss called by the away team decides who will start with the ball on offense. The toss winning team may choose to defer this privilege if desired.
Battleball is 7 rounds long or until 1 team reaches 4 “Bodies” also known as round wins (best of 7.) A round is won by scoring a “Body” by advancing the pigball across the battle line, into the defenses territory and into their Cryptzone. Once a body is scored, the round is over and the offense that reached the opposing team’s Cryptzone is awarded 1 body (round win.) The first team to reach 4 bodies, WINS.
The offensive team begins with the pigball at their own 0 yard line at the beginning of their own Cryptzone. The team then is granted 3 chances to advance the ball to the Battle Line by executing plays against the defensive team. If the the offensive team reaches the Battle Line within the 3 chance allottment, they are awarded another 3 chances to reach the defending teams cryptzone and score a Body beginning from the Battle Line.
NOTE: Even if a single offensive play advanced the ball farther than the Battle Line, the ball is brought back to the Battle Line for the second set of 3 chances to reach the defending team’s Cryptzone.
If the offensive team reaches the defending team’s Cryptzone they are awarded a body and the defending team is then given a turn on offense.
If the offensive team fails to reach the Battle Line, or the Cryptzone in their allotted chances, the defending team then takes over on offense from their own Cryptzone line. However, during the course of a play, if a defensive player comes into possession of the ball via a Fumble or Interception, the play is over and the defending team takes over on offense from the Battle Line.
If a defensive player knocks down, also known as a Siege, an offensive player in the offensive team’s Cryptzone, a play known as a Castle, and the defending team takes over on offense from the Battle Line.
Battleball should be played on graphpaper 52 squares (the end 2 squares each representing the two 5 yard deep cryptzones) long and 25 squares wide with each square representing 1 yard.
Each player will have Skills that determine their success or failures throughout the game. A skill check is successful when a player rolls a number on a d20 that is equal to or less than that player’s skill rating.
Players may move and use up to two different skill checks in a turn of a play.
This skill is equal to the player’s Dexterity and the distance a player can throw the ball is equal to the player’s Strength multiplied by 2 (in yards.)
Anytime an Archer throws the pigball to another player (usually the Arrow) he must make a Throwing check.
If successful, and the intended target is within the Archer’s range, then the ball reaches it’s intended target.
Note: If a natural roll of ‘1’ is rolled for a Throwing check, then the receiving player receives a +2 bonus on his Catching check and the covering player receives a -2 penalty on his Covering check.
This skill is equal to the player’s Dexterity.
Anytime a thrown ball reaches a player, he must make a Catching check vs. the covering player’s Covering check.
If the receiver makes his check by more than the covering player, the ball is caught and he is free to run until he is Sieged, reaches the Battle Line, or reaches the Cryptzone.
If the check is failed, the reciever has dropped the ball, ending the play.
If the check is made by less than the covering player’s Covering check, then the covering player has deflected the ball, ending the play.
This skill is equal to the player’s Dexterity and Strength added together and then divided by 2.
Anytime a player is successfully Seiged, he must make a carrying check or risk fumbling the ball.
If the ball carrying player fails his Carrying check when being Sieged, the player has fumbled the ball. (See Fumbling for information on how to handle this situation.)
Note: If a natural roll of ‘1’ is rolled for the Carrying check, then the Siege is broken and the Carrying player is free to move and the play has not ended.
This skill is equal to the player’s Strength and Constitution added together and then divded by 2.
Anytime a player is attempting to block another player, the blocking player must make a Blocking check vs. the rushing player’s Rushing check.
If the blocker makes his check by more than the rusher then the rushing player is considered successfully blocked and can not use any movement in that turn of the play.
Note: A player can only attempt to block another player when they occupy adjacent squares on the Battlefield.
This skill is equal to the player’s Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution added together and then divded by 3.
Anytime a player is attempting to rush through another player (or his block), the rushing player must make a Rushing check vs. the blocking player’s Blocking check.
If the rusher makes his check by more than the blocker then the rushing player is considered unblocked and is free to move any remainding movement he has left for the turn.
This skill is equal to the player’s Dexterity and Strength added together and then divided by 2.
Anytime a player is attempting to knock down, or Siege, another player, that player must make a Tackling check.
If successful, the Siege knocks down the ball carrying player, ending the play.
Note: If a natural roll of ‘1’ is rolled for a Tackling check, then the ball carrier has fumbled the ball. (See Fumbling for information on how to handle this situation.)
Note: A player can only attempt to Siege another player if they occupy the same square on the battlefield.
This skill is equal to the player’s Dexterity.
Anytime a thrown ball reaches a receiving player, the covering player must make a Covering check vs. the catching player’s Catching check.
If the covering player makes his check by more than the catching player, then the ball is deflected to the ground, ending the play.
If the Catching check is failed, the reciever has dropped the ball, ending the play.
If the check is made by less than the catching player’s Catching check, then the catching player has caught the ball, and is free to run, during which time the covering player must catch him and attempt a Siege.
Note: A a natural roll of ‘1’ when rolling a Covering check, the ball is Intercepted ending the play, at which time the defensive team takes over on offense from the Battle Line.
Note: A player can only attempt to cover another player when they occupy adjacent squares on the Battlefield.
This is an active skill that represents the player’s range of movement around the field. Generally Human sized players and larger have a movement of 12 while dwarves, gnomes, and halflings, have a movement of 9.
The movement rate (9 or 12) is a direct representation of the number of squares (or yards) a player can move on any given turn within a play.
Note: The Archer can only move 1/2 movement on a play where a pass to the Arrow is intended.
Note: The Archer can only move 3/4 movement on a play where a handoff to the Swordsman is intended.
Note: The Archer can not advance past the line of scrimmage (point from which the ball was given to the Archer from the Shieldbearer) whilst carrying the ball.
Note: I takes 2 movement to move in a diagnal direction on the Battle Ball board
A fumble occurs when the pigball is knoecked from the ball carrier’s hands.
To resolve these situations use the following procedure:
1. Any player in an adjacent square (in regards to the ball) may make a possession check in an attempt to gain possession of the ball. If there is more than 1 player that fits this criteria, then use the standard procedures for combat initiative.
2. After step 1 is complete, players that haven’t already made an attempt to secure the ball are free to move their movement making a covering check when they reach the ball. Again, if 2 or more players reach the ball at the same time, use the standard procedure for combat initiative.
THE BATTLEBALL TEAMS & PLAYERS
This ragtag team is a group of mercanary sailors whm invented the game of Battleball and have show their experience on the field with a Championship win in each tournament since the games inception. They are unmanaged, but Drax funds them and built a Battleball Arena in Asperdi for them in appreciate for their invention of a game he deems thoroughly enjoyable.
They run the ball a lot with their swordsman for the first series to the Battle Line and usually finish up with a long pass to the Cryptzone from there.
The Swordsman is ridiculiously tough and hard to Siege (breaks Sieges on a roll of 3 or less,) and their Guantlet has great cover skills (+2 bonus applied to Covering checks.)
Rel Astra Fiendslayers
This team is owned by Lord Drax the Invulnerable and managed by his servant, the Fiend-Sage. Although the game of battleball was created in Asperdi, Lord Drax receives credit as the founder of the game by his act of bringing the game to the Flanaess-wide level it enjoys today.
The Fiendslayers, a name it’s manager the Fiend-Sage is not too fond of, are a team that plays with trickery and cheating. The Fiendslayers consist of some of Rel Astra’s vilest sportsmen, brought together by Drax, himself.
The Arrow on the team wears Boots of Speed (but not to their full potential) and Gloves of Missle Snaring, the Shieldbearer and Archer both use Guantlets of Ogre Power, part of the reason the Archer is known as the “Flamethrower,” giving credence to the distance he can throw the ball, and the Swordsman uses a Ring of Slipperyness (same properties as being coated by Oil of Slipperyness) making him very hard to Siege (Tackle.)
This team is managed by the “5 of Roland,” and is actually made up of 2 players from each, Roland and Ountsy. This was done purposely to rally fans from both cities in an attempt to garner more revenue from the sport. Thus far, the plan has worked and the Hellhounds bring in more revenue than any other team in the game.
When playing in Roland, the fanatical fans cause sever noise and distractions at critical moments of the game penalizing the visiting team with -1 penalties to all their game related skill checks.
Xavener’s team from Kalstrand consists exclusively of Darmen noble princes, as Xavener declared the game “one of nobility in Kalstrand.” Much like the Joust, only peoples of nobility are allowed to compete.
They employ a precise gameplan with an equal balance of run and pass. Much to Xavener’s chagrin, they have not own a single game, as of yet. Xavener’s assisstants are researching ways to successfully cheat in order for the Siegelayers to earn a win in the next tournament.
---THE WEST DIVISION---
This physical team is tough and is managed by a partnership between officials of the Mercanaries Guildhall and the owner of “The Pit.”
They have earned there way to a number of championship games only to lose “nail-biters” at the hands of the Asperdi Deckhands.
Each player is physically strong and their dwarven Shieldbearer is nicknamed “the Impenetrable” for his supreme blocking skills.
Dyvers Dire Dogs
This team has lost many players throughout various tournaments for cheating and is now under the new management sponsored by the Dyvers City Watch, an organization which does not condone cheating.
With a number of new and inexperienced players, the next tournament has a grim outlook for them. However, their fans are very supportive regardless of a match’s outcome.
Despotrix Ilena, Gynarch of Hardby sponsor this team managed by one of her noble nieces. The Portmen have been present for a handful of championship games, but just recently their star swordsman was injured in a sailing accident just outside the city.
Rumor (and truth) has it, that this team is blessed with a number of magical boones before a match.
This team is managed by a coalition of nobles from Verbobonc and is very well funded. Their new arena is considered the grandest in the game, a fact that has Drax contemplating a rebuilding effort for the arenas of Rel Astra.
Their elven Archer is extremely accurate (+2 bonus applied to Throwing checks) and NEVER throws an interception.
Currently, they are looking for a new Shieldbearer, as their last one retired after the team lost in the first round of the last tournament.
A number of cities have taken to the game of Battleball and sponsors throughout the Flanaess are petitioning for membership into the game including Safeton, Leukish, Tringlee, Enstad, Veluna City, Pitchfield, and even a city from the far reaches of the north, Soull.
Representatives from Hesuel Il’shar have also expressed interest, but knowing Drax’s hatred for the Scarlet Brotherhood, it is an unlikely event that the commissioner will allow them to join the league.
||Average Score: 4
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