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Thread: Fantasy sports?

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Fantasy sports?

    I was sitting here trying to brainstorm some sports for a fantasy setting, like the famous quidditch game from harry potter for example.

    The problem is sports in the real world pretty much come in every variety possible, its difficult to come up with something that isnt already being done. And its even more difficult to come up with a game that wouldn't be playable in real life.

    Have you ever tried to do this? What ideas have you come up with?

    One idea i've been tinkering with all day is basically meant to be chess turned into an action sport, though I don't think I've captured that all too well.

    The goal of the game is rather simple and mundane, get the ball through a hoop on your side of the field (like basketball really, minus the fact that you dont have to dribble the ball), but that's the only mundane part of the game.

    The players on each team are given magical objects that allow them to fulfill specific roles on their team that can't be fulfilled by anyone else. The categories I have right now are:

    Knights: they can summon a magical barrier that is used to either keep the opposing team from getting to their ball handler, or keeping the enemy ball handler from scoring, i might reduce them to goal post guards.
    Footmen: they have magical lances that will teleport anyone they touch back to the starting area for their team, their job is of course to try and simply get opposing players out of the way. they may have to hit a target on a player's body armor in order to teleport them away.
    Jokers: they have a wand that when cast on someone holding the ball will cause the ball to fly out of their hands, they also have the ability to fly over the battlefield to give them extra manuverability. they were added in to prevent stalemates, since knights could easily box in the ball handler while he's running across the field, making it virtually impossible for the opposing team to retrieve the ball. they also cant fly low on the playing field, making it virtually impossible for them to retrieve the ball themselves.
    Ball handler: I may remove this, simply they're the only ones that can score. i may limit them to one per team, or simply remove them entirely
    King: another idea i just came up with which may or may not end up in the final version, they were added in mostly to try and make the game feel more like chess than football. they dont directly interact with the players on the opposing team (infact, they're intangible, and also the opposing team cant see or hear them), their job is to instruct the other players on what to do, they serve to make the game a bit less chaotic, and keep the players where they would be the most useful. like jokers, they fly around over the battlefield to give them more manuverability and a better vantage point.

    I'm not really too happy with how its coming out, it looks too much like a wargame and I think it might be a bit too complicated. Though it does give off this sorta light-hearted childish feel that I'm trying to go for (this is meant to be a game that even highschoolers could play, assuming magic actually existed of course). I also like the fact that this game can obviously only be played in a world with magic.

    I would also like to have more than one sport (like there's more than one sport in the real world), but at the rate I'm going that's highly ambitious.

    Anyway, what are your thoughts and ideas?

    edit: edited for typos and grammar mistakes
    Last edited by xBlackWolfx; 2012-11-24 at 05:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xBlackWolfx View Post
    I was sitting here trying to brainstorm some sports for a fantasy setting, like the famous quidditch game from harry potter for example.
    Don't do that. Quidditch is an absolutely horrible game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    Don't do that. Quidditch is an absolutely horrible game.
    that's obvious, i wasnt trying to mimic quidditch (if anything i'd prefer to avoid anything resembling it). but how many fantasy sports do you know of? i only know of one, and of course quidditch isnt exactly the best game ever made (not to mention i think the name is stupid).

    edit: actually, i did just think up something that would probably work fine: sword fighting, except they use magic to make the weapons non-lethal. its a bit mundane (it would look a lot like fencing, except using different weapons), but it would be suitable i guess.
    Last edited by xBlackWolfx; 2012-11-24 at 11:14 AM.

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    Most sports are objective based. Move X to Y while the other team tries to stop you. I think something fun could be made with portals.

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    The biggest thing I dont like about quidditch is its chaotic, you have multiple balls, some of which are meant solely to attack the players. It makes it difficult to keep up with what's going on, and besides that it makes it hard for players since they have to basically play dodge ball while also trying to get one of multiple different balls into one of three hoops, and the fact that they can fly complicates things since now they're also having to play in three dimensions rather than two. I'm afraid my game may be heading in the same direction.

    Though I have come to accept the wargame feel to it, I could give it a backstory that it was originally a gladiatorial game that was softened up in modern times to be far less deadly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    Don't do that. Quidditch is an absolutely horrible game.
    The fling and bat flying balls through hoops while under some form of magical flying was all right, though it could be refined. It was the golden snitch that was total <expletive redacted>.
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    Always thought that Quidditch was very cool idea, only the snitch and 150 points being obviously broken and badly thought-out part, that sadly had to stick to the very end.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Always thought that Quidditch was very cool idea, only the snitch and 150 points being obviously broken and badly thought-out part, that sadly had to stick to the very end.
    the whole game was basically designed so that harry potter would be special, so special that wheather or not the team won was always completely dependent on him. in all honesty, I've been thinking that the entire harry potter universe was j k rowling's escapist fantasy, considering that the series contains a rather large amount of stuff that seems to serve no purpose beyond simple escapism (particularly in the first book). and one of the biggest things that struck me was that there appears to be little to harry potter's world beyond hogwarts, seriously even the finale takes place in hogwarts for no apparent reason (though i've never actually read beyond the fifth book, and i didnt even finish that one, so what do i know?). i find that odd that the whole series seems to be so focused on adolescence, while the adult world is rather simplistic to the point of being minimalistic.
    Last edited by xBlackWolfx; 2012-11-24 at 07:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xBlackWolfx View Post
    the whole game was basically designed so that harry potter would be special, so special that wheather or not the team won was always completely dependent on him.
    The whole world is like that, not just the game of quidditch. Quidditch wasn't poorly thought out. It was deliberately designed to be a team sport (so Harry gets all the social benefits of being on a team) that can be won single-handedly by one specific player (so Harry can win by himself and get all the credit). Everything in the series is like that, but it's more obvious in Quidditch because Rowling doesn't know anything about sport and couldn't cover the Mary Sue-ism very well there.

    As for the OP, I would recommend keeping the magic to a minimum. The most popular sport in the world features very minimal equipment. To play soccer, you only need one ball and some open space for a couple dozen people to play. You can mark goals with a couple of rocks or something as long as you have a ball. In even the poorest countries, an entire school of kids can pool their money to buy a football and play everyday. If your fantasy sport requires a lot of magical items that serve no purpose outside of the sport, then you're looking at something more like F1 racing where most people will never be able to do more than watch because participating is so expensive.
    Last edited by Xuc Xac; 2012-11-24 at 10:11 PM. Reason: undo incorrect "autocorrection"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    As for the OP, I would recommend keeping the magic to a minimum. The most popular sport in the world features very minimal equipment. To play soccer, you only need one ball and some open space for a couple dozen people to play. You can mark goals with a couple of rocks or something as long as you have a ball. In even the poorest countries, an entire school of kids can pool their money to buy a football and play everyday. If your fantasy sport requires a lot of magical items that serve no purpose outside of the sport, then you're looking at something more like F1 racing where most people will never be able to do more than watch because participating is so expensive.
    You're the second person so far to not realize that I'm the OP in the past few days (the first time was in a different thread).

    I was thinking of other games that could use the same equipment, most notably the footmen's lances. The footmen on their own could be used in a sort of gladiator-like game rather easily. It'd be sorta like laser-tag really, except at melee range. I really like the footmen, I dont care what I just love the visuals of them charging across the field.

    And I also think the arm-shields the defenders use could have obvious practical uses (a large impreneteble shield that you can summon at anytime? I imagine a lot of people would have those lying around).

    Though I do understand in a way the requirement that the sport be cheap, though I was more thinking of my game as being a major professional sport. You have given some inspiration though: find some stuff that would be fairly common in the setting and make a game using them.

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    I meant OP = original post, not poster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    The fling and bat flying balls through hoops while under some form of magical flying was all right, though it could be refined. It was the golden snitch that was total <expletive redacted>.
    A much more sensible and less obviously-sueish way of doing the seeker and snitch is to make the snitch worth 50 points. It's important, but not a virtually assured victory for the seeker's team.

    Still, being seeker is like being quarterback. You shouldn't be getting the role because of some talent and your father's laurels, especially not when you're the youngest player on the field. You need either a lot of training, or some time as Catcher.
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    Okay, my game has just become simpler, there is no 'king', and I decided that the joker is unnecessary. If the knights try to box in the ball carrier, the footmen can gang up on them and simply push them out of their configuration, allowing them to take some of them out. Also, now when the footmen 'tag' someone, they stay out of the game until a goal is made, at which point they reset.

    So here is how the game works now:

    Both teams consist of 1 ball carrier (really need a better name for him), 4 defenders, and 6 lancers. I decided to rename the knight and footmen btw.

    Each of them come with a different set of armor. They all have targets on them, on the upper arms, the middle of the back, the middle of the chest, and on the sides of the legs. The lancers must touch these targets with the ends of their lances in order to eliminate a player from the field. The ball carrier's targets won't do anything unless he's holding the ball (they light up when he has the ball, so signify that he's no longer immune).

    They start off at opposite ends of a circular playing field. In the center is a circle about 10 feet across. The ball doesn't have to be caught, it'll automatically teleport into the hands of the ball carrier who gets into the middle circle first. If he is touched by one of the lancers while carrying the ball, he wont be removed from the game, instead, both ball carriers will be teleported to a random spot in the central circle (unless they're already standing in it), and the ball will automatically appear in the hands of the opposing ball carrier. His job is to get the ball, take it to his team's hoop on the edge of the field. There may be multiple hoops, with higher ones earning more points, but being harder to successfully hit. If he misses his target, the ball will come back to his hands and allow him to try again, as long as the lancers dont get him.

    The lancer's job is to try to clear the playing field, and also chase down the enemy ball player when he tries to make a goal. They lack targets on their chest to make it harder for them to take eachother out. If only one lancer remains, he becomes invulnerable to the opposing lancer(s). This helps to prevent his team losing just because they would no longer have the ability to retrieve the ball. They also some somewhat of a defensive roll in that if they abandon their defenders (such as they all decide to go chase down the ball carrier), the opposing lancers can rather easily eliminate their defenders since they have no way to fight back. Lancer's can also eliminate opposing lancers

    The defender's job is to try and keep the lancers from striking people out. Their primary job is devoted to the ball carrier, since he's unsurprisingly the most valuable target. They keep the lancers away from him while in the circle so that he can escape across the field. They typically won't all follow him since if he gets caught they won't teleport back to the circle to defend him, not to mention leaving their lancers defender-less can allow the opposing lancers to eliminate them rather easily, especcially if they're backed up by the defenders on their own team (they box most of them in, with them on the outside of the box of course, leaving one or two opposinglancers to face all the lancers on their team). They spend most of their time trying to corral the enemy lancers away from their ball carrier, and they allow their own lancers to turn their back to the opposing lancers without worrying (too much) about being eliminated with a strike in the back.

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    Disregarding the quidditch side discussion, I think 'live chess' is not a bad idea. On the contrary, it's an excellent idea.

    However, I wouldn't use much magic unless the world is high-magic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zireael View Post
    Disregarding the quidditch side discussion, I think 'live chess' is not a bad idea. On the contrary, it's an excellent idea.

    However, I wouldn't use much magic unless the world is high-magic.
    Well it is, infact all the players would be mages, and they could actually make a defender's arm-shield thing themselves if they wanted. It's a very magic-centered world. Why? Because I have always loved mages, so there.

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    I had to come up with a few before, so here's two not quite sports:

    Microcosm
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    More of a bragging competition than a sport, Microcosm is a multi-year project for each country. Still, each competition is more intense than the last and has attracted much attention of major influences. The results of the competition is already matter of national pride, hosting such a competition is considered to be an honour. (equivalent of a country hosting an Olympic games, costs about the same too)

    Each Microcosm competition takes place over a period of 8 years with a 2 year intermission between each competition. Due to the length and complexity of this tournament, the number of participants each country may send and even the finer points of the rules vary between each competition.

    Four years before the start, a site for the competition is picked and preparations start. The preparation is needed before the end of the previous competition due to the time required for construction.
    Sites tend not too far from a major city but on natural terrain. The area is then walled off. Depending on the rules debate, the area might then be sterilized. In any case, each country's starting position and territory is decided.

    Each participating team has to manage the environment of their territory through use of magic and understanding of nature. Participants are allowed to cast any spell they like as long as the effects are constrained within their territory. They can also import any living creatures they choose and introduce them to their territory.
    - Lifeforms can only be introduced within the responsible team's territory, but may wander into other teams' territory without penalty.

    Each Microcosm competition has a theme, and participating countries are graded every year on Aesthetics, Cost and Innovation.
    The team that has the highest total score from all years wins the competition.

    The competition is a test of each country's magical prowess and understanding of natural systems. To win the competition requires ecological manipulation and judicious application of magic. Most of the time, by the end of each competition, the various teams are usually waging a subtle biological war on each other's territories.


    Cat's Cradle
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    More of a versus puzzle game than a sport. Two mages take turns casting spells at a chosen item that is sat on a pedestal. No spells may touch the pedestal or the item or the mage who it belongs to is considered to have lost.

    Each spell casting must take less than ten seconds from the start of your turn (or you skip) and your opponent's turn begins five seconds after yours ends and all spells must fall inside a ten meter radius from the item when it is first cast.

    The mage to go first must place his first spell within one meter of the item.

    The mages take turns to attempt to force each other's spells to touch the item or pedestal. Between mages of equal skill, it would go on until someone makes a mistake as the tangle of spells trying to push each other get more and more complex.

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    I came up with a game called kobold-ball for my homebrew campaign-setting. It is heavily inspired by rugby or american football. Two teams try to get the ball to the opponents endzone. However in kobold-ball the ball is actually... wait for it... a kobold (duh).
    Each team has an additional endzone that the kobold has to reach. This means that the kobold can actually win the game if he scores more than the two teams. I haven´t really worked out the exact rules yet and I think it will be difficult to balance. I want it to be very difficult for the kobold to actually win, so the few successful kobold-players are celebrated superstars.
    There will be two league rankings, one for the teams and one for the kobolds.

    I´m actually playing with the thought of basing a whole campaign on this sport. The PC´s could be a professional koboldball-team travelling around the world. It would be a pretty unique campaign, I think.

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    I thought about making the ball something alive that the players would have to chase, but I decided that was barbaric and inhumane.

    As for a sport campaign, I imagine that would be similar to all the fantasy football games you see out there, such as bloodbowl and the far newer (and more light-hearted) elfball. Blood bowl even got a video game, with one or two expansions. They have league play where you play your team and watch it evolve over the course of several games, individual players even gain experience points (or star player points) as they accomplish certain things, such as hospitalizing an enemy player or getting a touchdown. Though I have always hated the fact that the game is extremely reliant on luck. Blood bowl in particular penalizes you if you get a bad roll, infact its not uncommon for a game to suddenly be completely turned around all bc the winning side got a single bad roll. The biggest roll I hate is the one for picking up the damned ball. Not only does it give you a turnover when you fail, but the chances of them successfully picking up a ball that's lying on the ground right infront of them is surprisingly low. I dont see why the players would be that incompetant when it comes to picking up an object, hell if they're that uncoordinated they shouldn't even be able to move without having to roll dice just to see if they trip over their own feet or not.

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    Look up "Jugger" and the movie "Blood of Heroes"
    Sounds very much like what you are going for.

    I played it a few times when I was an active Amtgard player. foam swords in the park, beating up your friends. Good stuff.

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    Can you tell me the names of the blood bowl games, xBlackWolfx?

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    In a (standard-fantasy-setting D&D) campaign involving a university town, I invented a game called "ring-ball" related to soccer/basketball/U.S. football, whose defining characteristic was that it could be played with a variable number of teams. The field was a large circle (the "ring"), and each team had its own "flagzone"--so, for example, if there were 4 teams in a given game, the circular fence surrounding the field would have 4 different-colored flags at the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 positions. There was one ball, slightly smaller than a soccerball; a team scored goals by hitting their own flag with the ball. It had the pace of basketball with the violence of rugby.

    The thing that turned some NPCs into "ring-ball nerds" was that each game was characterized by evershifting team alliances; a place like a university with a lot of the same players all the time would start to develop enmities that spread beyond each game, sort of like pro wrestling. Gosh, I should use this again.
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    Having read this thread, I tried to come up with some non-ball based sport(s). What I thought of was a magical maze.

    1. Two teams (or individuals) enter at opposite sides of the maze.
    2. Each crossroads is 'naturally' a 4-way junction (the way you came plus three new options).
    3. The path to the centre of the maze is optimally 4 segments long.
    4. First team/individual to the centre wins!

    Now here's where the magic comes in:

    5. When you choose a new segment to continue down, half the unexplored choices move to your next crossroads and half shift to your opponent. This means at any particular point, you might have no winning options while your opponent has two. Also, if you choose the wrong way at the last junction, you might give your opponent a shorter route to victory.

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    I generally use any RL game which is pre-circa 1700, but with one exception. Divination is a reasonably common magic, and very useful one, so mages had developed a habit of divining the outcome and betting on it. As a result, almost all major sports are held within an anti-magic field. The REAL sport starts with the sneaky tricks, plots and alliances formed by the mages who are tasked with the upkeep of these fields, and paid handsomely to do so, since many of them are looking for ways around this defence.

    I honestly see no trouble in using RL games in a setting, we use RL weapons and armour (kinda, at least), tools, equipment and building practices in our settings, why not RL sports?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mapleson View Post
    Having read this thread, I tried to come up with some non-ball based sport(s). What I thought of was a magical maze.

    1. Two teams (or individuals) enter at opposite sides of the maze.
    2. Each crossroads is 'naturally' a 4-way junction (the way you came plus three new options).
    3. The path to the centre of the maze is optimally 4 segments long.
    4. First team/individual to the centre wins!

    Now here's where the magic comes in:

    5. When you choose a new segment to continue down, half the unexplored choices move to your next crossroads and half shift to your opponent. This means at any particular point, you might have no winning options while your opponent has two. Also, if you choose the wrong way at the last junction, you might give your opponent a shorter route to victory.
    Wouldn't that entirely be based on luck though?


    I've thought up a game I like to call by the simple name of "mageball". Basically, it's kind of like football/soccer, except you may not touch the ball (touching it results in nonlethal damage). Spells can be used to move the ball. Spells may not be cast directly on other players unless their area includes the ball as well. All spells are modified to deal nonlethal damage. Anything that grants immunity to nonlethal damage is banned. The game ends once all the players on one team are knocked out or a certain amount of points is reached.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Wouldn't that entirely be based on luck though?
    It would be a game with a strong luck component, but the strategy/skill comes in through the way you play the game. Do you split up or stay together? Do you leave a 'trail of breadcrumbs' or hurry forward? Do you rush to the first intersection or wait for your opponent to make their first choice before you? Another small alteration to provide more interaction would be the inclusion of 'junction guardians' who either have to be defeated physically or mentally.

    I like your mageball idea, and had came up with something similar the other night while laying sleepless in bed, but forgot it by morning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    I've thought up a game I like to call by the simple name of "mageball". Basically, it's kind of like football/soccer, except you may not touch the ball (touching it results in nonlethal damage). Spells can be used to move the ball. Spells may not be cast directly on other players unless their area includes the ball as well. All spells are modified to deal nonlethal damage. Anything that grants immunity to nonlethal damage is banned. The game ends once all the players on one team are knocked out or a certain amount of points is reached.
    Hit people with the ball until they all fall over! =D

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    In a world I've been working on, there is a nation of seafarers/pirates and I came up with a sport for them to have.

    Boarding

    A 20' x 20' flat woden platform is anchored in the harbour, close enough to the edge for spectators to see whats going on (and to see if they bet on the winning team of course). Around each of 2 opposite corners is a 5' radius line painted on the boards. A team of players (usually 5) starts in each corner inside the line. The object is simple, remove all of the opposing team from the platform while keeping as many of your players on as possible. Players in the water may not get back on the platform, padded gloves and body protection are recommended but not required.

    Somewhat like team wrestling I suppose.

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    Bloodbowl.

    Complete Arcane has some ideas for Magic Tournaments, like the Conjure-off (Summoning monsters to compete against each other. Non lethal too, since they just go home when killed) and the Grand Illusion.

    Mageball sounds good though, may have to find a place for that in a session somewhere
    Last edited by Kane0; 2013-01-03 at 10:06 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Fantasy sports?

    I like the idea of a flying sport, and it doesn't have to be quidditch (for example, a game with one ball that the players have to get into the goal, like basketball of soccer, except they're flying). The only issue is I dont like the idea of players riding broomsticks, bc that makes it look too much like a rip-off of harry potter, and besides that it makes no sense. I imagine a broomstick would be rather uncomfortable to ride, and besides that it'd be virtually impossible to avoid falling off the damned thing.

    I was thinking of replacing them with like flying wooden horses, though it looks silly it makes a lot more sense, a lot more confortable and a lot easier to hang on to. Only issue is, it would look like the players were riding rocking horses, which would just be outright goofy. Real flying horses would be a major improvement, but that would pose practical problems in that if the thing had wings the huge wings would be getting in the way, and besides that you'd have a bunch of animals to take care of.

    Another idea I had was something more like wooden saddles, things that were clearly designed to just be practical. It wouldn't look as goofy, though it would look a bit odd.

    Another idea, since this is a world inhabited by mages, would be to just give the players wings, either through an enchanted object they strap onto their back, or a spell that causes them to sprout wings. Again, a tad odd, but it doesn't look goofy really, and it free up the player's feet, allowing them to also kick the ball if they wanted (like say to redirect the ball while its flying through the air either to the goal or an opposing player). Also, you could easily have the wings be of pretty much any design, angel wings, bat wings, fairy wings (which I think would look best, it also help to give the game some backstory, you could say it was based on a game played by real fairies).

    And another option, which would probably be the goofiest of them all, is to just have the players be able to fly around like superman. Yeah, that would just be rediculous, and it make the thing start to look like a parody.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Razgriez's Avatar

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    Default Re: Fantasy sports?

    Some general ideas, and ones I'm planning for my own campaigns:

    For Mages, the main problem is the safety factor. Everyone likes spectator popular sports. the historical Joust is no problem because it's all very contained. The worst that might happen is that someone sitting in the commoners section might get a splinter in their eye, or in rare cases, a horse might become startled (at which point Knight and horse would be penalized or DQ'd) or the rider might lose control of the weapon (Again, Penalties/DQ) And unless it's a very prosperous kingdom (Or alternatively, an evil oppressive kind with no regard for fans' safety from a stray fireball) you won't have the funds to typically invest in magical shielding, or some way to "Televise" the event to a crowd outside. Oh and of course also ban a long list of spells for further safety. So how do you let mages into the competitive fantasy sport world? Well, take a page from the real world. Namely, Shooting sport competitions. And there are a variety of those to draw inspiration from. The ultimate form, would be to set up a Military style training course. Now you can test mages on how fast and efficient they can move through an obstacle course, while clearing it of all targets.

    Speaking of Obstacle courses, why not set up a competition of speed and skill between two or more adventuring groups? Make them go through an American Gladiators, Ninja Warrior/Sasuke/Wipeout like course, but with a very DnD feel to it. Set up a variety of non lethal traps for the rogue to solve. put it a number of durable, but destroyable objects for the combat members of the party to clear. A number of heavy swinging wood blocks to knock members off a platform offers a challenge in mobility and balance.
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