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Cabbages & Kings: The Steampunk Renaisance

Sports and Games
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"The urge to gamble is so universal and its practice is so pleasurable, that I must assume it is evil. "

 Games and Sports

Card Gambling
Skill Roll: Most card gambling results can be quickly obtained by a Profession (Gambler) skill check roll.

Cardonians have a passion for gambling and card games. Cheating on any wager, if proven, is a death sentence in Wonderland. Any type of card game you can imagine is played in Wonderland. Decks of Illusion are often used in games like stud poker, blackjack, and gin rummy. Also in game similar to “faro”, this deck is used for illusionary combat between each card drawn from a player’s deck. The winner is the one who wins the most rounds of play. Faro is often played as a tournament with the winner of each duel advancing up a dueling pyramid. A very high stakes game is played by the nobility with a Deck of Many Things. Being challenged to such a game is the same as being challenged to a duel and play continues until one side can no longer draw.

Skill Roll: The game of chess can either be played by the player and DM or the skill check Knowledge (Chess) can be used.

Clockwork Chess: The pieces of this chessboard are controlled by a mechanical intelligence. Generally one side of the board is occupied by a mechanical construct solely devoted to chess play.

Tri-corner Chess: The most popular form of chess in Wonderland evolves a three sides board that allows three people to play at once. The usual colors of the pieces are red, black, and white. Two, Four, and Five player chess are less common.

Battle Chess: Most towns have a battle chess team that plays other teams in a Battle Chess League. The most common match ups are two opposing teams, but three team and four team match ups are common. Each chess piece is an actual person that must fight other pieces to win a square. Subduing or forcing your opponent out of a square is will win the battle and remove him from play.
The playing field is generally a checkerboard with each square measuring 10ftx10ft. Sometimes both teams are allowed to set up an equal number of magical traps in any unoccupied square at the beginning of the chess match. Anyone can play any piece but the traditional movements of each piece are strictly enforced. Generally the sponsor or coach of each team is the king and knights are mounted on a flying or leaping mount.

Death Chess or War Chess: This game is played the same as Battle Chess but almost always between two teams. Unlike battle chess this game is played to the death. Generally this game is used as a substitute for actual war and to settle legal feuds. As a rule, the pieces are limited to certain core classes. The Kings are the chief disputants or clan heads. The Queens are the only arcane magic users allowed in play. The bishops are the only divine magic users allowed. The knights are the only mounted troops allowed and are usually paladins, rangers, or fighters. Rooks can be armored fighter, rogues, or monks. The pawns are common warriors deigned the use of armor. Each team plays its pieces the same as normal chess. War chess is strictly monitored by a third party (usually the crown or deputy of the crown) and cheating will result in a forfeit and likely a death sentence for the offender.
Equipment for each piece can be anything that doesn't violate any of the above restrictions. The board can be any shape but checkerboards with each square measuring 5ftx5ft are most common. Unlike Battle Chess, the Queen can cast a spell on any single piece instead of moving for that turn; no area effect spells such as fireball are allowed.

Blood Sports

Wonderland has a variety of blood sports that are watched and played both legally and illegally by all races.

Polo: Both Water Polo and Mounted Polo are played by commoners and royalty. Injuries and fatalities are common in this game since no rules are applied to this game except for those agreed to by the competitors. Unusual Polo mounts include ponies, elephants, ostriches, dire beasts, dinosaurs, undead, giant sea horses, and construct mounts. Intelligent mounts such as giants and unicorns are uncommon and generally only perform in grand melees where the first team to score wins with the cash prize split between riders and the ridden.

Bloody Cricket: This is an utterly bizarre game with truly bewildering rules. No race or party admits to creating it since only the truly suicidal will play it. The deadliness of this game makes it a crowd pleaser even among the jaded Wonderland populous. A cricket playing field is an ellipse. The foci of the ellipse are two points called wickets that are 60ft apart. In this game a enchanted spheroid ball is thrown by a “bowler” to try to hit his opponent’s “wicket”. A batter defends his wicket and tries to hit the ball with a paddle shaped bat. If the ball hits a wicket it detonates the spell stored inside the wicket. The most common wicket spell is a fireball but any area effect spell can be used. In most versions each team assigns a batter to defend its wicket and any team player that catches a fly ball can throw it at the opponent’s wicket from no closer than 60ft. If the player crosses the bowler crease the ball will detonate releasing a shocking grasp or any other touch spell. If the ball hits the ground before the bowler’s team catches it, then the batter can attack his opponent’s batter. While outside the bowlers crease the batter is vulnerable to a hit from the ball which will inflict its touch spell on him. Most cricket teams consist of 11 players and game can last for days until one team is completely eliminated. Some mundane variants of cricket employ alchemy, use clockwork devices, or wield cast iron kits.

Croquet: Many types of croquet are played including variants that use living creatures as the ball and mallets. Goblin Croquet uses a severed head as the ball and a war hammer as the mallet. The gates are often hostile constructs or undead lashed into oversized arches. In this battle version, all the players play at once and are free to strike at one another during play. The first player to push his severed goblin head through all the gates is the winner.

Caucus Race: The Caucus Race is a run on an oval track. Each runner must complete a certain number of circuits, lap all his opponents twice, or be the only runner still mobile to win the race. This game often matches up the quick and agile and the slow and powerful as competitors. All players must continue forward and can't wait in place for runners to come by them. Often the track it equipped with traps to keep the runners moving or to delay them instead. A moving wall of fire is commonly used to motivate runners while a series of pools, often containing crabs or crocodiles, is a common obstacle.

Chariot Racing: This sport has the same basic rules as a Caucus Race except that every one drives a two horse chariot. The race track varies in length but most are wide enough to allow two to three chariots to travel abreast. Common obstacles placed on the track are water hazards, fences, stone columns, archways, and narrow bridges. The chariot racing team has two forms. One consists of one person who takes a penalty to fight with his whip or other range weapon and drive at the same time or a two person team in which one drives and the other fights with a pole arm or bow. Horses are the most common draft animals used, but any willing creature can be employed. Hippogriffs are trained for aerial races where a team must fly through levitating hoops to win the race. Giant Sharks are used for submarine races that pit enclosed bubble cars against each other. Chariot Racing skills and feats are covered in depth in the “Sword & Fist” supplement book.


Skill Roll: Ride is the essential skill in all jousting attempts. The joust is resolved the same as a normal trip attack except that the defender may use his Ride skill in place of his Dexterity or Strength check. If you fail your opponent can make a Strength or ride check against you to knock you from your saddle. Additionally the velocity and size of your mount adds a bonus to your trip attack. Divide the mounts speed by 10 (round down) and add this to your trip check. If your mount is of a different size level than your opponent’s mount add or subtract 4 to the trip check every size level in difference (larger or smaller).

Tourneys: Jousting in Wonderland has the same form as in Medieval Europe. Knights travel form tourney to tourney and participate in jousting, grand melees, and archery contests. The main difference is the type of mount used by the Knight. The spectacle of odd mounts is not lost on the crowd and many Knights are more famous for their choice of mounts than their success on the field. Aerial mounts and an increased level of danger to a joust, but most knight wear rings of feather falling to prevent falling to their deaths. Aquatic mounts are only attractive to water breathers and are rarely widely followed. Besides the traditional tourney joust two variants are also practiced.

Carpe Cortina: All the mounted competitors are positioned at the bottom of a large hill or at the edge of a valley. The first to capture the brass ring in the center of the field is the winner of the race. The challenge is that the ring is very small and must be taken on the end of the rider’s lance. The armor class of the target ring is at least 15, and the ring is sometimes augmented by magic to be even more difficult to hit. If a rider is unhorsed before he captures the ring he is eliminated from the contest.

Crunch: The rules to crunch are very simple. If you or your mount leave the battle ring or if you lose your seat for any reason, you lose the match. The Crunch ring can be any size and hold any number of mounted contestants. Mounts can be animal, vegetable, or mineral. Exotic mounts include clockwork constructs, steam driven vehicles, and big mouth monsters. The gelatinous cube can be a Crunch mount but it requires special magic control reins, a necklace of adaptation, and a ring of acid resistance so the rider is not digested by his mount.

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