Orcs Of Sports - Great Games Gone Wild.

December 28, 2021

How Can Orcs Be Violent Yet Peaceful? Keeping It In-Game.

A few clans of orcs were being relentlessly hunted by better-equipped races and saw their karmic oblivion reward for the suffering and misfortune orc-wars had created. They would have to give up their warmongering ways, but how? Orcs live for combat, love bloodshed and adore riotous conflict. How could a group be both violent and yet kind?

They chose to hide in lost forested valleys and made deals with the various hags, oni, green dragons and fae lords that dwelled there. For protection they agreed to attack only their own kind. They were, however, allowed to purchase slaves of any kind - under one key condition. Any creature regardless of intelligence, size &/or race, was able to gain

  • freedom from slavery is guaranteed by via Game-Credit: winning a specific number &/or kind of games.
  • healing of all kinds was supplied FREE
  • great efforts are made for all players avoid death with both rules, rulings and
  • Reincarnation was offered for all, for a price
  • refusal of combat is a right

Here we look at different sports and how orcs would play them.

BloodBalls: When One Ball Is NOT Enough!

RingBall: Imagine large bands or rings made of metal with massive spikes on the outside - hula hoops from hell. These are all welded together to make a hollow ball of sorts. The spikes are enchanted so they do not dig into the dirt or nearby objects - making it move very easily and allowing it to survive impact from plethora gaming instrument-tools. Of course the magical enchantment means it does extra damage for each spike that goes into an actual creature. Typically made with adamantine in the mix so spikes do critical damage more often and also be nearly indestructible. It is a symbol of great prestige to own such a magical device and it means one's play-terrain gets action every night.

SkullBall: Taking the heads of undead creatures (often the left-overs from reincarnated sport-battle heroes), these things have some Magic Hand abilities so they hover and can theoretically fly away. This isn't an issue because they love to kill anything living biting anything larger than a fairie with all the nastiness they can muster. They have been programmed well and never hurt local wildlife - this adds to the ferocity that SkullBalls hunt. Breaking a SkullBall means the loss of a large number of points. Fortunately, these are often easily caught with net-staves and can be safely handled with chain or better gauntlets.

HeadZupBall: These basketball sized metal balls bounce up to 30' in the air - more so if struck in combat and launched. They are cursed to as to aim for any head or helmet they can sense on fall, striking with mild proficiency and dexterity (+5 total). If the subject is wearing a game-approved helmet must save to avoid being knocked prone and must save from being stunned for 1-4 rounds (save each round). Without the right helmet the ball does 1-8 damage as well. If destroyed the ball is worth no points and takes 1-4 rounds to repair itself. These balls come with Mending enchantments which activates up to three times per day.

SparFlag: Technically a weapon but it is also considered a 'ball' in some games (especially in Capture The Flag style games). The 'flag' portion of this is made of super-fine chain mail wiring enchanted to be indestructible. The spear-flagpole is sharpened & bladed on both ends. Holding this flagpole causes it to recognize your emblem (from your chest, hauberk, tabard, shield crest or any such marking) and cause the emblem to reproduce on both 'flag' sides. When held this pole will radiate light and create epic trumpeting-violin-choir sounds & epic drumming. Though heroic seeming, this gives +10 / advantage (perception) to locate such a person within about 200' radius. If it drops / not held a SparFlag will go dim and lets out a sharp 'ping' every 88 seconds giving perception at perception-advantage to find them for any creature in 1000' (these things can be expensive to replace / bugger to lose them).

Typical game tools include the following:

MaulerMaul: These are standard issue for nearly all gamers. The spikes are designed to do no damage against constructs - the damage to a construct creates an audible (and heroic-sounding) explosion that launches both the target and the maul in opposite directions. If a successful mauler hits an inanimate object they can make a saving throw - if successful one does a 'critical' hit on any creature within a 10' radius.

JabbyJavelin: These javelins have a Magic Mouth triggered by specific creatures within certain radius - it screams as loud as possible 'Over Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere!!!'. This is great for announcing the location of sneaky members from other teams hiding in the terrain. Most team mates keep at least one Jabby on at all times so as to get assassinated less.

HoverOver: These nets have some Magic Hand enchantments on them and the nets are about ten pounds / quite huge. They seek to hover over enemy groups, spinning to stay aloft - and fall on the enemy team mates when called. They typically have thin indestructible chains woven into them and often include both thorns and hooks that cause 2d4 damage to escape.

TossyTrap: Typically one-use items these will explode a few Grease spells worth and one Fog Cloud spell at the same time. This means that the enemy team mate tends to stumble around whilst the coloured mist shows their location.

CrawlerDeVine: This causes a Plant Growth spell to go off. Though fairly expensive, these traps are highly valuable. Some games allow these to be pre-set on one's own game terrain. Other games allow for a certain number of these to be cast before the game begins - strategically placed near goal-areas and finish-lines.

Let The Games Begin!

Typically the best terrain is where the creatures in the bleachers can actually see the contestants play. The goal-objectives are set by all three witness referees and both captains sign off with blood, often in a Zone of Truth. Any failure to chant the entire Good Gaming Oath that allows the referees to remain impartial and the captains to refrain from breaking rules.

Like Drow have the spell-like Darkness, these sport-orcs have Goodberries - this allows them rapid recovery for themselves and survival of nearly all death situations - and keeps themselves (and their slaves) alive, food wise. They also tend to have cantrips like Mending (to repair their gear), Prestidigitation (cleaning their gear and occasionally their slaves) or some fire spell (to keep warm in winter during sporting events), Shape Water (to dig out snow and clear water during sporting events), Mold Earth (setting up sporting events to shape the terrain) and more. Speak With & Charm Animals spells are both really popular for the beast-oriented sports.

Who Is Invited To The Games?

Obviously some creatures make better patrons, team-mates and 'slaves' (gladiators) than others. Sporting orcs export circus-style events that include many dangerous contests: as good as they are at not dying they also try to die one heck of a lot.

Their travelling entertainers import nearly anything that might be a challenge or look good on the gladiatorial fields. Dragons rarely put up with the abuse for long, but some do join up - especially in their first century whilst they are relatively fragile and seeking to gain their hoard safely. 'Smaller' giants join up regularly - both ogres and trolls excel in tournament games. Ettins and cyclopsii struggle to fit in and may occasionally go after a jeering crowd with a bit too much enthusiasm. Some tried mounted basilisk games but that proved disastrous. Mimics get welcomed thanks to their ability to provide so much interest and value. It is known that many creatures that are trainable are also bred rapidly. FlailSnails, for example, provide both solid challenges on the field and extremely valuable parts when they die. Purple worms would be encouraged except for the fact that they eat most of the audience and then exit through the ground - controlling them even slightly is impossible.

In Game Justification - Level Up Your Player's Characters

Many players wish to start at a much higher level - this culture encourages nearly any class up to a point. The 5e Gladiator has a CR5 and has 15 hit dice, so it isn't clear how much experience they gained. Do they have some of their hit points as a skill or feature of their trade? If they were even 10th level as non-players, wouldn't they have a lot more special features and combat abilities other than just hitting stuff? We do not know. Keep in mind, even a 15th level equivalent diviner wizard is only CR8 and they are very close to being arch-mages with the added power to alter reality whenever they need to (their 'portent' restores after casting any divination spell). It is safe to assume that a gladiator or circus entertainer or even battle healer could easily make it to 5th level very safely. A 9th level druid in such a culture is treated as a minor godling: their ability to Reincarnate a hero that dies by accident (or is simply too old - orcs die of old age as soon as 40) - for some exotic roots and oils they can bring anyone back to life, often as an elf or gnome or other long-lived creature. Real orcs would hate this but a gaming orc really doesn't care - as long as they can get back in their favourite game again.


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