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Sportsball! and the Forbidden City

As presented by its primary directors, Jewish Ferret and Gingerhorse
Secondary directors - Fishboy and Cagemaniac
Tertiary director - Redhead October

You know what? Screw it. Let's do this. I know turn-based RPGs have an unfortunate history of dying out on this site, but let's ignore that, I'm optomistic.

Introducing : Sportsball! : Legends Reborn (5th Edition)
Why, "what's Sportsball?", I hear you ask. I'm glad you asked. It means I get to talk more. Sportsball is a custom homebrew pen-and-paper RPG that me and some friends co-created together approximately three years ago. Sportsball is a synthesized game, pulled from some of the best elements of our favorite RPGs, like Fallout, Skyrim, Lord of the Rings (technically not an RPG), and, of course, D&D. It's made with lots of love, some extreme psychedelic drugs, and a little bit of insanity

The game's 5th edition has been in a "nearly-done" state for a while now, but all that's remaining is the enumeration of content in the lexicon, which isn't really relevant considering most of the content is made up on the spot and retroactively added to the lexicon anyway. The only other thing is a bit of statistic balancing, number crunching, and management of rules to prevent overpowered exploits or issues, which hopefully this thread can help me with.

What is different?
If you've ever played D&D before, you know that the best parts of any campaign are when things run smoothly without hitches or bumps. Sportsball is essentially an extremely streamlined version of D&D, designed to reduce the frontloading on both the Players and the Gamemaster and use a mixture of intuitive rules and simplified mechanics to make the game fun and enjoyable for all players, including first-timers to the RPG world. The game is also designed to be played fast and loose, and is roughly based on the personalities of the creators (myself included). If a world including malicious ducklings, explosive harpoons, and singing warships sounds like your kind of place, welcome aboard! Sportsball welcomes you into its hallowed halls!

And Sportsball! has a very useful precedent that I think will apply well to the forum. Due to issues with scheduling among the original Sportsball! crew, we have a rule officially within the game known as "NPC Mode", where a player's character will be suspended and controlled by the Ballmaster if they are unable to make a meeting. In this forum, the scenario will be applied so that if a player does not post over a certain amount of time (say, 48 hours), the character will be reverted to default "NPC Mode" and controlled by me to prevent the thread from stalling. If a character is in NPC mode for more than a week, they will be removed from the thread and a new player's character will be introduced


I'm a seasoned D&D player. What can I expect?
Sportsball is designed to be a simpler variant of D&D. This means:
  • Statistics have been consolidated. There are only four statistics, with Wisdom and Intelligence packaged together. Same for Constitution and Strength.
  • Statistics are primarily based on class choice and not player choice. This was done because we reasoned that, as with D&D, if players were given a class with priority statistics, they would all roughly have the same statistics layout. It also simplified class design and the need to put emphasis on skills, making a well-rounded party more important.
  • The class list has greatly been reduced. Most of the classes have been consolidated into key classes to, again, reduce the difficulty of choice for new players and to streamline the game. For example, Paladin, Druid, Monk, and Cleric were consolidated into the Paladin class, Barbarian and Fighter were consolidated to the Mercenary class, Wizard, Warlock and Monk were consolidated into the Mage class, etc. There are 8 classes in total, though homebrews are allowed depending on house rules.
  • Magic has been expanded to make all characters feel more capable. Simple magical spells can be learned by all characters, with Mages holding more powerful spells and having a greater quantity they are able to hold any any one given time.
  • And many, many more changes, such as space-based inventory rather than weight, defense having a numeric effect in damage dealt, non-dice based weapon damages, and a seperate lore.

RESOURCES:
Ballmaster Manual
Content Lexicon

HOW TO JOIN:
This campaign is expecting a party of about 4-7 players. We are expecting:
  • Users who are on the forum often enough to prevent the game from dying
  • Users who can take the game mostly seriously and will not divert the campaign, ruin the campaign or act out of character
  • Ideally players who have some idea of what they are doing, what their goal is, some initiative to play right, and maybe older than 13 years old. If your idea of funny is "69 420 lol", this game probably isn't for you. If you are a particularly mature 13-year-old-or-younger, exceptions can be made.
  • Users who are enthusiastic towards this type of game and will give it their all! You do not need to have any experience towards this type of game nor understand the manual, and the gameplay is frontloaded so that the Ballmaster (me) is the only one who needs to be knowledgeable about the rules. You just need a little bit of devotion and a lot of pizzazz and you'll probably get the hang of it.
  • Users who are, above all, playing to have fun more than they are playing to win. Sportsball thrives when characters go for the option that is more entertaining rather than more serious.


IF YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO JOIN IN THE FIRST PARTY:
Don't worry, I'm highly certain the first group may die out in the first couple days, depending on how well they do. If they don't, there will always be opportunity for others to come in with custom characters as enemies, allies, or quest-givers. Hell, I may allow someone to be a villian if I feel like it. Sportsball is and always will be a fun game first, and we can throw out the rules if it means more people get to play.

WHAT TO DO:
Nothing yet. Just throw your hat into the ring and we'll get started in a week or two while I finish up what I need to do to prep for this campaign.

So, hopefully this block of text hasn't scared everyone off. If we were to start in, say, a week, who's in?
Please join. I don't want to have written all of this for it to slowly drift to the back of the forum games section.


ACTIVE PARTY:
1. Wycca
2. DIAV In Limboland.
3. PrivateInspectorKidd
4. Donutmanman
5. OPEN
6. OPEN
7. OPEN


WAITLIST PARTY:
1. lol n0
2.
3.
  
I can join. Hopefully stuff doesn’t get botched rather quickly.
I’m also trying to read up on the manual.
  
Well, that's one more person than I was expecting, so that's good news. Anyone else?

I'd say a cursory glance at the manual is a good idea, especially for planning initial ideas for class and race. I'd also say not to look at the Lexicon on its own if you are easily overwhelmed because it can get a little confusing. There's an applet I'll link later that makes it easier to check everything when creating a character.
  
I'll give it a whirl.
  
Well, that makes two. Hopefully we can get two more and then get the ball rolling from there. Any other takers?
  
Color me interested.
  
That makes three! I'd say that's a bare minimum of what we need to get started, but I'll leave the recruitment open for another day or two before I start to set you guys up and get you acquainted.
  
you had my curiosity, you now have my attention
  
im not particularly good at d&d or staying on topic though
  
I'm sure it'll be fine - as long as you play relatively by the rules and don't oversimplify or sandbox the game it'll go smoothly. And if worse comes to worse and someone needs to steer you back onto the right track, there's always a gamemaster to handle the reigns. Welcome aboard!

This is a good number to start with, but is there anyone else?

I'll keep recruitment open until Wednesday night.
  
Okay, I'll say that it's about time you guys start planning some things out. Preliminary battle plan, if you will.
I'd suggest you start by looking over the classes and decide how you want to play. There are currently 11 classes, the 8 in the base plus 3 homebrew that are unofficially officially added. As a reminder, the classes are
Direct:
  • Mercenary
  • Paladin
  • Rogue (Homebrew)
Support:
  • Assassin
  • Marksman
Indirect:
  • Thief
  • Diplomat
Technical:
  • Mage
  • Smith
  • Bard (Homebrew)
  • Tinkerer (Homebrew)

Link to the Homebrews

I'd say start talking to each other and maybe try to plan out the party of who wants to take what.
The recommended layout of a 4-man party is :
  • 1 Direct Class
  • 1 Indirect Class
  • 2 Technical or Support Classes

Though you don't need to stick to this. So maybe start talking amongst yourselves and start planning out who will take what role (More than one member of a class can exist in a party)

I'd mostly say to do this to avoid a party of all Diplomats or all Smiths.

After we get this organized, I can link a character planner and you guys can hopefully start getting your statistic and skill allocations organized as well as planning your traits and abilities.
  
I don't mind switching for the sake of party balance, but the one that jumps out at me is Bard.
  
Either Rogue or one of the Support classes.
Kinda trying to figure out which right now...
  
i wanna heal/be mage maybe.
  
Okay, sounds fine so far. I'm going to organize these in quote boxes to make it clearer
Kylljoy said:

To Donutmanman - I will say that if you want to do healing, Mage or Paladin are a good fit. Mage is much more magic-focused, but Paladin has a fighting-focus as well as their religious magic. Note that either class will work with DIAV's Harmonizing Chant if he plays Bard, so having another magic class will be useful.

Kylljoy said:

To Wycca - If you're having trouble picking between the three you've said so far, here are some helpful notes to differentiate

Rogue - Rogue is an interesting class because it is the only class that has full access to all Skills (sans Alchemy or Craft). Meaning that if you take this class, it allows you to be a pretty good Jack of All Trades outside of battle. The tradeoff is that, as a direct class your capabilities are battle-focused and therefore serve little purpose outside of battle. It's a good choice for if the party needs a Direct class, but is also missing a Thief or Assassin.

Marksman - Marksmen are useful because a majority of enemies in the game are melee attackers, with a minority as ranged or magic-casting. Meaning that if there is a large battle between the party and another enemy, you can stay safely outside of harm's way and not get targeted easily. They've also got the Critical boost in Investigate, meaning that they can take down heavily-armoured enemies slightly easier

Assassin - Assassin is a good class to choose if your party is missing a Thief or Rogue. They're sneaky and most importantly have the sneak-attack boost, meaning they can take down unaware enemies with relative ease, as well as being able to infiltrate and investigate locked off areas or take down public figures without anyone noticing. The big difference is that Assassins are never seen, whereas if you want to play a tricky and conniving character with disguises and lies, Thief is the class for you.

I hope that gives some help in helping to decide character

Kylljoy said:

DIAV - Nothing much to say. Bard is a good centerline technical class that can substitute in in lieu of a Diplomat, Thief, or Mage, and seems to be a perfect fit in a smaller party.

Once we get these sorted out and privateinspectorkidd gives us hers so I know what classes to set up for, we can get started in actually designing your characters and hopefully get this thing started by Friday
  
I am interested in Mercenary, Paladin or Marksman, in no particular order. Once everybody else is confident with their choice I'll simply fill in the empty spot based on the layout.
  
That's good - I think we need a direct class.
  
hrm. paladin for stabby stabby with my healing
  
Okay, so correct me if I'm wrong, but to be clear, it looks like people are planning:

1. DIAV - Bard (Technical)
2. Donutman - Paladin (Direct)
3. Wycca - Rogue/Assassin/Marksman (Direct/Support)
4. Privateinspectorkidd - Mercenary/Marksman. (Direct/Support)

I'd suggest that Paladin hopefuls look at the Paladin Dominions in the content lexicon to determine which spells you want to get (if you are planning Paladin). For a healing Paladin, I'd suggest Life or Protection.
  
I am a devotee of the great god khorne!
  
Okay, so based of a quick search, that straddles the War and Death domains. Which would you prefer?
  
CARNAGE. death, firey destruction, things that go boom, healing teammates with the blood of my enemies. all that good stuff.
  
Okay, sounds good. From what you're describing, I'll take it as an Evil War Paladin.
  
well yes, but i heal through the death of my enemies

i think thats called lifesteal ?
  
Unfortunately, such a spell isn't in the prayer set of a War-dominion Paladin. Your prayers are Agress, War Cry, Rally, Surrender, Summon Weapon, Tactical Advantage, and Frenzy, in addition to the basic Lesser Heal and Curse spells of an Evil paladin.
  
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