Draft Rules

(last update: 8/9/01. All new or changed material is indicated by red text.)

The Playing Field

A typical ElfBall field is a circle 24 paces in diameter (a pace being 1 game inch). Within this circle are three smaller circles, each set along a line bisecting the circle. The center circle is drawn at a radius of 3 paces around the exact center of the field. In addition, there are two goals, each 1 and a half paces in radius, with their center 9 and three-quarter paces from the field's center.

Not all villages' fields will be laid out exactly the same, so some small variance in these measurements is allowed. At a minimum, however, no field should be smaller than 18 paces in diameter or larger than 32 paces and the goal circles will always be equally spaced from the centerpoint, and at least closer to the bounds than the centerpoint.

The Teams

A team playing Elfball is made up of 8 players. Of these, no more than 5 may be placed on the field at any time with the extra men waiting off-field as a reserve.

The Players

Every player of ElfBall has five attributes which define his performance on the field. They are as follows:

Jog - This is the base number of paces which a player is able to move in a turn.
Tackle - This is the player's ability to make attacks on other players.
Dodge - This is the player's ability to defend against tackles.
Skill - This is the player's ability to throw and catch the ball.
Grit - This is the player's toughness and ability to withstand punishment.

Not all players of ElfBall are the same. Some have specialized in various aspects of the game, such as blocking, attacking, or running with the ball.

For the playtest phase, all ElfBall teams have the following players available:

0-2 Strikers 5/2/4/4/2
0-6 Midfielders 5/3/3/3/3
0-2 Defenders 5/4/2/2/4

It is at the manager's discretion which players from his roster are placed on the field for a test. It should also be noted that if a team cannot field five players at teh beginning of a test (due to injury) they are still obligated to carry on with those players they do have, as the rules only require one player on the field to begin a test (the player taking the face-off).

Additionally, every race that plays ElfBall has special abilities which only they possess, the details of which will be revealed when the races are elaborated.

Challenges

When a player attempts to perform an action which requires a die roll to determine success or failure, it is referred to as a Challenge. The system for making a challenge is to roll a number of dice equal to the attribute in question with a given threshold number. Every die that comes up greater than the threshold is a succcess. Often the total number of successes will determine the outcome of an event. A die which comes up "6" is rerolled, with the result adding to the variety of rolls, and may subsequently be re-rolled on a "6" as well. You must also keep track of the number of die which come up "1", for if the Challenge results in more "1"s than successes, the player has flopped on his challenge, usually with disastrous results.

Objective

A game continues until one team has scored two goals and is declared the winner. To score a goal, a player holding the ball must enter the opponent's goal circle. Only a player holding the ball prior to entering the goal circle will count as scoring a goal.

Beginning A Test

At the beginning of the game, or after each goal, you may set up your team for the next test with the following restrictions:

The Face-Off

Play begins with a face-off, where with each Manager rolls a Skill attribute challenge with a threshold of 3 for their player at the center circle. The player with the highest number of successes has won the face-off and may move first. Note that the player who wins the face-off is required move first, but the other Manager may move any of his players on the subsequent phase. A player who flops on a face-off falls over and is placed down on the field. If both players flop the face-off, then a new face-off is declared, and neither player involved in the first may be used for the second.

Turn Sequence

The player who wins the face-off must be the first player to take an action. After that player has acted, the opponent's manager may select any one of his players to act. Play alternates in this fashion until a goal is scored. A manager may select any one of his players to act in his turn except the very last player which acted on his team. Thus, the same player may only act every other turn.

If a team has only one player on the field, then he still may not take an action in consecutive turns, thus, the opposing team will get two actions for every one of the solitary player.

Actions

Movement

Players perfoming any action that involves movement may move a number of inches equal to their Jog statistic. All movement is made in straight lines and players may not move through the space occupied by other players (the space a player occupies is defined by the width of his base, so a player may not make any move where his base would overlap another player's base to any degree at any point in the move. TIP: making a 1" wide ruler out of transparency film makes determining legal moves much easier.) A player who moves against another player's base (i.e. a player making a tackle action) ends his movement for the turn at that point. A player who picks up the ball as a part of either a run or a run & pitch action ends his move where the ball was on the field.

Down & Prone

Players who have fallen, been knocked over, or are injured are represented by two states, Down and Prone. A down player is not hurt, but does need to spend an action getting back to his feet. To represent a down player, place the miniature face-up at the spot where he was knocked over. A player who is prone needs a moment to shake off the effects of the hit he has taken and needs a couple of actions to regain his feet. To represent a prone player, place the miniature face-down in the spot where he has fallen. A prone player must spend an action to roll over to down status.

Tackling

A player who makes a Tackle action and ends his move in base-to-base contact with another player may attack one adjacent player. To make the tackle, roll a challenge of the attacking player's Tackle attribute with a threshold of the defending player's Dodge attribute. There is an additional +1 to the threshold for each additional defender beyond the first that is in the scrum. However, there is a modifier of -1 to the threshold for each additional friendly player in the scrum. A scrum is all players who are in base-to-base contact, and a player who is in a scrum need not specifically contact either the attacker nor the defender to modify the threshold of the tackle action. The results depend upon the number of successes:

Flop - the attacker is knocked down by the defender.
0 - stiffarm, no effect.
1 - slide tackle, both players are down
2 - solid hit, defender down
3 - punishing hit, defender is knocked prone
4+ - crippling hit - defender knocked prone and must test vs. grit with a threshold of the number of tackling successes to avoid an injury.

Injuries

A player on the wrong side of a particularly nasty tackle may be injured. To see the severity of the injury, roll a test of the player's Grit with a threshold of 3 and consult the injury table.

Flop - the player suffers a career-ending injury and is removed from the team.
0 - the player suffers a lasting injury. Rules for these injuries will be included in the ElfBall League system rules. The player will also miss at least the rest of this game.
1 - the player sits out the rest of the game.
2 - the player sits out the rest of the test.
3+ - the player is just winded. Place him prone.

A player who suffers the effects of an injury is removed from the field immediately.

Disengaging

A player who is in base-to-base contact with opposing players and who wishes to move away from that contact needs to test their Dodge skill to do so, with a threshold of 4. There is an additional +1 to the threshold for each additional defender beyond the first that is also in contact with the dodging player. However, there is a modifier of -1 to the threshold for each additional friendly player in the scrum.

Dropping the Ball and Bouncing Balls

Any player who is carrying the ball and is knocked down or prone will drop the ball. A dropped ball will fall to the field 1 inch from the fallen player in a random direction determined by the roll of a d12 (read the direction as you would a clock face with the hour being selected by the die roll).

A ball which bounces (i.e. as a result of a missed pass) will land in a random position d6 inches from the target player in a direction selected by the roll of a d12.

A standing player within 1 inch of the landing position of a bounced or dropped ball may make a Skill challenge with a threshold of 5 (+1 for each standing opponent within 1 inch of the attempting player) to pick the ball up on the bounce and thus gain control of the ball. A player who has failed a pick up or catch challenge, thus resulting in a ball drop may not attempt to pick it up on the bounce in this manner.

Picking up the Ball

To pick up the ball, a player need only make either a Run or a Run & Pitch action and move to the spot of the ball. To pick up the ball, the player must pass a Skill Challenge with a threshold of 3. Any opposing players within an inch of the ball will raise the threshold by 1 each. If the player fails to pick up the ball, it will move as though the active player had dropped it. If the player flops on his challenge, he will be placed down as well. Regardless, the player's movement will end at the point he picks up the ball.

Toss & Pitch

A player with the ball may attempt to toss it to another player. A player who is pitching the ball may throw it up to 6 inches and a player who is tossing the ball may throw it up to 18. To make the pass, select a receiver and roll a skill challenge. The threshold for the challenge is a 3 if the pass is up to half the maximum distance of the pass, or 5 if it is more than half the maximum distance for the pass. The threshold is increased by 1 for every opponent within 1 inch of the thrower. Only 1 success is needed to throw the ball accurately.

If the pass misses its mark, the ball will bounce from the receiver's position.

An accurate toss or pitch may be caught by the receiver. To catch the ball, roll a Skill challenge with a threshold of 3 (with a +1 to the threshold for every standing opponent within 1 inch of the receiver). Only 1 success is needed to catch the ball. If a player fails his catch roll, the ball is dropped. If the receiver flops his challenge, he is placed down on the field.

Out of Bounds

A player who moves out of bounds cannot return to the field during the current test.

If the ball goes out of bounds, a new test is declared and the teams are set up as normal.