BMR stands for bautweil'morshin'ressan, a draconic phrase that translates literally as 'ball magic run.' It is a magical sporting event that was first developed in Sendrellar as a training exercise which was later adapted into a sport that allows students to compete with limited risk of injury, bloodshed, and demonic invasions. As such, it has a rich and respected history, though few non-students know much about it other than that it exists. Originally, it served as a means of training students in the arcane arts, encouraging them to think of inventive uses of spells and to trust their fellow spellcasters, but several hundred years ago it began being used for more athletic purposes than academic.
Teams & The FieldEdit
BMR is played on an outdoor field that is 110 ft long by 35 ft wide. On either end of the field, 10 ft from the edge, three metal posts are set, five feet apart (thus one in the middle, and one in both the square to the left and to the right of the center). The central post is 15 ft high with a one-foot wide hoop goal (AC 7), and the adjacent posts are 10 ft high with half-foot wide hoop goals (AC 9). The goal of the game is for the two opposing teams to throw the ball through the other team’s goal hoops. Each ball thrown through the lower hoops earns 2 points, while a goal in the middle, higher hoop is worth 3 points. The ball is a four-inch diameter steel ball marked with two purple stripes.
Each team has five players, each of whom normally performs only one role, but teammates can choose to switch roles by running next to each other and tapping each other as a symbol they are switching positions.
The first position is the Virax'arcaniss (attack-caster), who is the only position allowed to cast spells on the opposing team or the other team’s goals.
The second position is Irisv'arcaniss (heal-caster), who is the only position allowed to cast spells on members of their own team.
Then there are two Ssej’togik (mute-runners), who are allowed to make physical contact with other players, up to and including physically attacking with weapons.
The last position is the Naktar'tuano (goal-keeper), who guards the goal. He is allowed to cast spells on his own goal, but must stay within twenty feet of the goal until someone switches position with him.
Regardless of position, any player can carry, shoot, or pass the ball, and can cast spells on themselves or on any part of the field aside from the goals. However, only the Virax'arcaniss can cast spells where members of the opposing team are currently standing. For example, the Virax'arcaniss can cast sleep or dispel magic at opposing players, but any other position could only cast spells where the field was clear. Grease or entangle would be a fair option, but not if a player is in the area of effect at the time of casting. Damaging spells are allowed, but players must practice caution. Whenever a player falls unconscious, the game is halted and another team member must be switched in. If a spell or attack kills another player, the team that made the attack automatically loses, and the player responsible is usually banned from future games. Players are encouraged to use spells to disrupt the other team, but direct damage is mostly used only when the caster knows his target can survive. The crowds love attack spells.
A player who violates these position restrictions is given a warning, and after three warnings for a single player, the opposing team gets 5 points and the offending player is banned from play for the rest of the game.
Play lasts for ten minutes, in two halves of five minutes each. After each half, team mates can switch out (often necessary, since most spellcasters don’t have enough spells to last two halves), and have a 2 minute break to cast buffing or healing spells. Each team also gets one time-out per half (time-outs last 1 minute), usually reserved for when several team members are overcome by magical afflictions. During time-outs, players from both sides are allowed to cast spells on teammates.
If an entire team is rendered unconscious or unable to act before the end of a half, the team still standing gets 4 points for every member of their team still able to function. The game pauses and each team can switch out players up to their full number of five, and play resumes. If an entire team is rendered unable to play, the other team gains 40 points, and the game ends.
Play is open to any magic-user, arcane or divine. A team can bring no more than twenty players to a game.
At the beginning of each half, players must announce their positions before play starts. The Naktar'tuarno must move to within twenty feet of his own goal, but all other team mates can begin anywhere on their half of the field. One member of each team usually stands near the middle of the field, ready to grab the ball when it is released, but no more than one player from each team can be within 10 ft of the middle of the field. One of the judges gives a signal, and then teleports the ball into the very middle of the field. The two players nearest the middle of the field make initiative checks, and whoever wins gets the ball. Then everyone else rolls for initiative, and play progresses using normal movement and combat rules.
The ball weighs four pounds, has a range increment of 20 ft, and is considered a simple weapon. Though it is not normally used to inflict damage, if it is hurled as an attack, it deals 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage, with a ×2 critical. To pass a ball, a player must make a thrown weapon attack at the square he wants to pass to. A player in the square the ball hits can make a Reflex save (DC 10) to catch the ball, even if he was not the intended target. For the sake of simplicity, assume that balls that are not grabbed simply land in the square with no effect. A character in an adjacent square can ready an action to try to intercept the ball; he and the player the ball is heading for both make Reflex saves, and whoever rolls highest gets the ball, assuming he beats at least DC 10.
If a ball is on the ground, play continues, and whoever can get to it first can pick it up as a move action from any adjacent square. A player may attempt to grab it on the run by succeeding a Reflex save (DC 15) when he passes through the ball’s square, or (DC 20) from an adjacent square. The Spring Attack feat allows a player to make a melee attack roll instead if he chooses to.
Characters can try to disarm whoever is holding the ball using the normal disarm rules. A character who is struck for more than 10 points of damage in one round must succeed a Dexterity check (DC 5 +1 per point of damage over 10 dealt by the same source) or drop the ball.
A player who is in the same square as a goal, and at a height where he can reach it, can attempt a Reflex save (DC the thrower's attack roll minus the goal's AC) to catch the ball. For many other tactics, such as levitating a large object to block the goal hoops, use common sense. Though many tactics seem cheap or unfair, part of the appeal of the game is watching players find ways to overcome these obstacles.
Spell Restrictions & CrowdsEdit
Certain spells are wholly prohibited in BMR games, mostly spells that cause instant death like disintegrate or finger of death. It is forbidden to remove the goals, such as by polymorphing them so balls cannot score, and it is illegal to wholly block goals with force effects, but illusions to make goals appear elsewhere, or appear to vanish, are fair. Particularly cruel spells, like insanity, domination, and all spells that inflict negative levels are likewise forbidden for the sake of polite play. Finally, players are not allowed to create extra balls or destroy or alter the original ball. Judges usually have true seeing and various other spells cast to make sure proper spells are used.
Crowds are usually civil, but sometimes fouls can offend crowd members. Since many BMR spectators are magic-users themselves, this can be quite dangerous if an audience member begins casting spells onto the field. Offending audience members are quickly targeted with hold or sleep spells, and are removed, with all efforts going toward getting rid of the threat without disrupting the flow of the game.
The Red DragonsEdit
The Red Dragons represent battlemages, the school of mages who specialize in red magic.
The Jade SerpentsEdit
The Jade Serpents represent animists, the school of mages who specialize in green magic.
The Protectors represent cthonurges, the school of mages who specialize in black magic.
The Counterspellers represent metamages, the school of mages who specialize in blue magic.
The Enchanting EngineersEdit
The Enchanting Engineers represent demiurges, the school of mages who specialize in brown magic.
The Card SharksEdit
The Card Sharks represent chymurges, the school of mages who specialize in grey magic.
The Dominators represent skeptomancers, the school of mages who specialize in indigo magic.
The Pretty Young CannibalsEdit
The Pretty Young Cannibals represent unmakers, the school of mages who specialize in orange magic.
The Violet ViolenceEdit
The Violet Violence represent devolutionists, the school of mages who specialize in purple magic.
The Omniscient HostEdit
The Omniscient Host represent oracles, the school of mages who specialize in white magic.
The Surgical StrikeEdit
The Surgical Strike represent physicians, the school of mages who specialize in yellow magic.
The Naturals represent the sorcerers.
The Stormchasers represent the stormlords.
The Starshooters represent the astromancers.
The Battling BardsEdit
The Battling Bards represent the bards.