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Unread 9th of October, 2005, 01:20
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Black Plauge
PhD in Physics [Epic GM]

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Gladiator Tournament Rules

Originally Posted by The Town Crier Here ye, here ye! The great and humble Duke Soloth of Wildenberg is holding a gladiator tournament. Gladiators of all races and styles are invited to compete in an event that will test their mettle and win them great fame. Contestants will have to prove their mettle by surviving a match in which they are pitted against a creature from the arena stables, so only serious competitors need apply. Potential competitors should present themselves here for inspection by the judges prior to the end of the Conjurer’s Chess tournament currently taking place at "Sir" Wilfred Pennyweight's Emerald Dragon Inn. To ensure the fairness of the competition, competitors will be divided into classes according to ability and size.
OOC Rules
1) The tournament will be run and moderated solely by me (Black Plauge). I will arrange the matches, adjudicate them, roll all the dice, determine all the results...which will be made public within these boards. I am functioning as "DM" for the match, and adjudicating all OOC matters. IC matters are adjudicate by the various IC judges (mentioned below in reference to their respective areas of responsibility).

2) Matches will take place on a play-by-post basis. From when the match starts, participants will have 24 hours to post their move, starting from when the moderator (myself) posts the beginning of the match, or the results of the opponent's last move. Weekends are excepted from this rule, extending the time frame to the same time on Monday that it would have been on Saturday. Failing to post on time forfeits your turn during that round. If you forfeit your turn, your character is presumed to take a total defense action (which means no AoOs) and a move away from combat if doing so would not provoke an AoO.

3) Participants will have a full 24 in-game hours to rest, be healed, pray and rememorize (as needed) between each round. While each round of the Tournament will proceed simultaneously, in reality they're taking place two or three matches at a time over the course of an afternoon.

4) While the IC announcement above invites gladiators of all races and styles, it also indicates that competitors will be divided into classes according to ability and size. I will only be running the tournament for one class at this time. Please see the rules below for the restrictions on characters.

5) A board member may submit up to two gladiators to compete. However, because the tournament is double elimination, if more than 16 board members sign up to participate, I may ask those with two entries to drop one so that this tournament doesn't last forever. This elimination will happen after the qualifying matches, which may thin the field to an acceptable level on their own.

Character Creation
  • 32 Point Buy
  • ECL 9
  • Familiars, animal companions, and special mounts are permitted, but cohorts are not.
  • Characters must be medium-size or smaller. Note: Using polymorph or similar effects to assume the form of a large or larger creature for longer than 10 rounds is considered to be the same as being large or larger and therefore not allowed (an individual using such tactics would be promoted to the larger size class). Any ability which changes your size to large or larger must have a duration of 10 rounds or less, be voluntarily dismissable, or subject to dispelling.
  • Flying characters are prohibited. Any character employing the use of an ability that allows them to fly or simulate flying will be disqualified.
    This restriction does not apply to animal companions and familiars so long as said creatures are smaller than their master.
  • HP will follow the RPGA standard (max on first HD, half die size +1 for rest).
  • Spellcasters with a spellbook or similar artifact must submit a list of spells in their spellbook with their character. Characters should have a reasonable number of spells, listings of “all spells of 2nd level and lower” and the like will be disqualified.
  • Templates are prohibited.
  • The point of this match is for all participants to have fun, as such, participants are encouraged to build varied and interesting characters, and not simply try to build to win. To encourage this, any board member can raise an objection to a participant on the grounds of them being overpowered and an unfair match up for the other opponents. This objection is subject to review by me. If I deem the objection to have merit I can, at my sole discretion, either force the participant be revised to fix the violation or outright disqualify them. Objections can be raised through the end of the qualifying round. I also reserve the right to force revisions or disqualify competitors I deem unfair even without a board member objecting. Once the bracketed matches begin, the contestants are set and objections will no longer be entertained. (What is happening IC when a character is disqualified in this manner is that the character is being reassigned to a different class.)
  • In addition to a full character sheet, participants are encouraged to select a miniature representation for their character from the D&D Miniatures line. When selecting a miniature, please indicate which series it is from so that I can double check it online to make sure I’ve got the right one. Participants can also supply a small bitmap file from another source if they prefer.
Allowed Resources
Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual, Complete Arcane, Complete Adventurer, Complete Divine, Complete Warrior, Draconomicon, Expanded Psionics Handbook, Planar Handbook, System Reference Document.
While the Book of Exalted Deeds is not an allowed resource, the feat Resounding Blow, and the nonlethal weapons which appear in that book, will be permitted.
For the Draconomicon, the following house rule is in effect: The Dragonslayer PrC grants +1 spellcaster level at even levels, not odd.
While the Player's Guide to Faerun is not an allowed resource, the feat Daylight Adaptation which appears in that book will be permitted.

IC Rules
The Tournament
An initial qualifying round will pit the competitors against a monster of CR 6. Any competitor not winning the qualifying round will be eliminated outright. The monster will be chosen from the following list: Tiger (advanced to 12HD), Digester, Dire Ape (advanced to 14HD), Dire Boar (advanced to 13HD), Dire Lion (advanced to 11HD), Dire Wolf (advanced to 15HD), Dire Wolverine (advanced to 11HD), Girallon, or Shadow Mastiff (advanced to 6HD). In the interest of fairness, all competitors will face the same monster, but which monster they will be facing will not be made known until the start of the qualifying matches.

Double elimination (except in case of character losing in the qualifying round, losing with Crowd attitude -20 or worse, or dying without Beloved status).

Bracketed Tournament. Seeding will be based on Crowd Attitude Score after the qualifying round. Note: Since the tournament is double elimination the Loser’s Bracket winner must beat the Winner’s Bracket winner twice in order to be champion. The Winner’s Bracket winner need only beat the Loser’s Bracket Winner once.

Sample Bracket:

The first round of all matches is for introductions and showmanship to influence crowds (normally a Perform (weapon drill) check, but other forms of showmanship are allowed). In the qualifying match the monster will be restrained during this round.

As a result of first round, there is no surprise round and neither contestant is flat-footed when combat begins on round 2.

At the end of the tournament, if there is a clear fan favorite (i.e. the competitor with the highest crowd attitude, with a tie for this position nullifying the effect.), and they are not the champion, they will be granted a bonus match against the champion to unseat them.

The Arena
Preliminary round matches (including qualifying matches) take place 2 or 3 at a time in 50' by 50' subsections of the arena. Subsections are divided by Walls of Force (with casters standing by to renew them as needed).

Championship match(s) and possible fan favorite match will take place in full arena.

Preliminary Round Arena Setup: Each 5' square contains either a low wall (5 squares), a high wall (5 squares), a low platform (5 squares), a high platform (5 squares), rocky debris (5 squares), or is empty (75 squares).

Full Arena Setup: 5' square obstructions: low wall (15), high wall (15), low platform (15), high platform (15), and rocky debris (30); 10' square obstructions: high wall (5), tall walls (5), tall hedge (5), low platform (5), high platform (5) and chained monsters (5).

Low obstructions are 2 ½' tall.

High obstructions are 5' tall.

Tall obstructions are 10' tall.

Chained monsters are confined to a 10' radius circle and will attack anyone entering that area (barring some outside influence). The chain can be broken (Str DC 26, Hardness 10, 5 hp) to free the monster, in which case it will attack the closest other being, competitor or monster (again, barring some outside influence). Monsters are chosen from the same list as the qualifying match opponent.

Walls and hedges may be oriented in any cardinal direction (N-S, E-W, NE-SW, or NW-SE), chosen randomly at the beginning of the match. 5' walls can be rotated as a standard action. 10' walls can be rotated as a full-round action. Hedges can only be rotated by an individual with Str 22 or higher (i.e one with sufficient strength to drag them). Doing so takes a full-round action. Tall walls cannot be rotated.

Standing or walking on top of a wooden wall requires a DC 15 Balance check.

Standing or walking on top of a hedge requires a DC 25 Balance check.

Climbing to the top of the Keeper’s building is a DC 20 Climb check. It is 10ft tall.

The moat is 15' deep, and filled with very murky water. A creature 5ft underwater has concealment from any attacks out of the water. A creature 10ft underwater has total concealment. Creatures underwater have concealment from other creatures 5ft away from them and total concealment from creatures 10ft away from them. This is in addition to the normal rules for underwater combat in the DMG.

Climbing the exterior wall is a DC 20 Climb check. It is 20ft tall. Archers stationed on the wall will fire on anyone attempting to climb it.

Walls (except for the tall wall) and platforms are made of wood and can be moved by the contestants. Picking one up is a standard action, and a character’s subsequent movement is constrained by their load.

Dragging is a full round action that allows a character to move the object a distance equal to their speed. Given the surface of the arena grounds, a character can drag up to 4 times their maximum load.

5' low walls weigh 45 lbs. 5' high walls weigh 90 lbs. 5' low platforms weigh 270 lbs. 5' high platforms weigh 450 lbs. 10' high walls weigh 180 lbs. 10' low platforms weigh 1080 lbs. 10' high platforms weigh 1800 lbs. Hedges are potted and weigh 2000 lbs. Tall walls are made of stone and cannot be moved.

Location of obstructions is determined randomly before each match.

Contestants’ starting position (and the starting position for familiars and/or animal companions, if applicable) is chosen randomly.

Contestants may elect to start the match mounted on an animal companion or familiar only if said companion is equipped with a saddle and tack.

Crowd Attitude
Whether for profit or to distract the masses, the purpose of any gladiator match is to entertain the masses. If the masses don’t like what they see, then they won’t keep coming to the games. In order to simulate this and encourage participants to play to the crowd, all participants will have a crowd attitude score, which is a measure of how well liked (or hated) a gladiator is by the fictional crowd that attends the matches. Having a high score provides a gladiator with certain benefits, while having a low one penalizes them (see table).

The crowd starts the tournament with Attitude 0 towards all competitors.

Actions in table in the next post during the matches affect crowd attitude (all changes are 1 step unless otherwise indicated).

Other flashy actions will be considered at my discretion. Actions I approve will be added to the table.

While toying with your opponent can be entertaining to the crowd, eventually they will get bored of it. As such, overly repetitious actions will lose their effectiveness at influencing the crowd and eventually run the risk having an effect opposite of the one listed in the table.

In order to prevent gladiators from digging themselves a hole they can’t get out of, or putting themself so high up that they don’t have to worry about falling, only half of a gladiator’s attitude score carries over from match to match.

A beloved gladiator who is raised starts the next match with Attitude 0 (See rules on recovery between matches below).

In addition to the fictional crowd, there is also the crowd of other board members following the matches. In order to gauge their reactions to the competitors each match will also be a poll, allowing board members to pick their favorite competitor. Poll options will be the competitors, “both,” and “neither.” If a single competitor has the most votes at the end of the round, that competitor gets a +2 bonus to their crowd attitude score for the next match. If the competitors are tied, or the “both” option has the most votes, both competitors will receive a +1 bonus to their crowd attitude score for the next match. If the “neither” option has the most votes, both competitors will receive a -1 penalty to their crowd attitude score for the next match. The poll will remain open for two days after the conclusion of the match to allow board members the chance to vote after seeing the entirety of the match.

Attitude Score Consequences
Crowd Attitude  Crowd View of
Score           Gladiator       Result
-20 or below    Hated           -3 morale penalty to attacks and damage, and cannot continue
                                   in tournament after losing (likely because you’re dead)
-10 to -19      Detested        -2 morale penalty to attacks and damage
-5 to -9        Disliked        -1 morale penalty to attacks and damage
4 to -4         Indifferent     —
5 to 9          Appreciated     +1 morale bonus to attacks and damage
10 to 19        Liked           +2 morale bonus to attacks and damage
20 and above    Beloved         +3 morale bonus to attacks and damage, and True Resurrection
                                   if killed during a match

Recovery Between Matches
Matches are monitored by clerics ready to stabilize any competitor in the negatives with a reach cure minor wounds (this allows coverage of the entire arena by 4 clerics without them being on the field of combat).

After the match clerics are on hand to cast cures, remove fear, lesser restoration, dispel magic, remove blindness/deafness, remove curse, neutralize poison, greater dispel magic, heal, and regenerate as needed to prep contestants for their next match.

All conditions which cannot be fixed by the above spells will persist to the next round (including death), with the following exceptions:
  • Gladiators who are Appreciated or better can also have restoration cast, if they need it.
  • Gladiators who are Beloved will be true resurrected, if they die during their match. Doing so, however, resets their Crowd Attitude score to 0 (the event organizers recognize the value of bringing you back, but to the crowd, you’re dead).
  • Gladiators can use any ability they might have to remedy the condition, even if that ability would not be allowed during a match.

Contestants cannot supply any of their own gear.

Contestants are allowed up to 5 items from the armory in each match. The armory contains MW versions of all weapons and armor in allowed resources, as well as all alchemical items, mounts, and spell component pouches (though no expensive material components are available). Item selections can be changed before each match.

Saddle and tack for an animal companion, special mount, or familiar counts as 1 item, but an armory mount comes equipped with its own saddle and tack as 1 item.

A ranged weapon comes with one set of ammunition (defined by its entry in the weapons table in the resource in which it appears). Additional ammunition must be selected as a separate item, but still comes by the appropriate set. E.g. A longbow comes with a quiver of 20 arrows as 1 item. An additional quiver of 20 arrows counts as a second item.

Because the spectators want to be ale to see each wound, participants are encouraged to use light armors or go unarmored. To this effect, medium armor counts as 2 items, and heavy armor counts as 3 items.

Items made of special materials cost double (i.e. an adamantine longsword counts as two items, but adamantine full plate counts as 6, and thus is not available).

Magical items are prohibited.

Contestants may not have any active spell effects at the time competition commences.

Contestants will be checked by an attendant wizard (Wiz 10, +18 Spellcraft, using detect magic) prior to the beginning of their match to ensure compliance with the above rules.

Spells cast during the match are limited to 2nd level and lower.

Spells which are not flashy (i.e. do not have noticeable visible effects) are restricted to those of a personal nature.

Death effects and spells or abilities which carry a significant chance of outright killing the target (such as disintegrate) are prohibited, regardless of any flashy effects they might have.

Spells which are deemed illegal under the above rules will be countered or dispelled by one of the attending casters (Wiz 10, +18 spellcraft). If the effect cannot be countered or dispelled immediately the judge will halt the match until the effect expires or can be reversed.

A Final Note
This tournament is in progress. Sign-ups are not being accpeted at this time.
Physics is like sex. Sometimes it yields practical results, but that's not why we do it.
-Richard Feynman
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