Monday, June 13, 2016

6 Tournaments To Add Some Bloodsport To Your Campaign

There is nothing quite like a tournament. The pomp and circumstance juxtaposed with the speed, skill, and sometimes brutality, of combatants doing everything they can to be the victor. A tournament can often be the centerpiece of a campaign chapter, and winning one of them (or at least putting on a good show) is a phenomenal way for your party to get noticed. I recently completed a series of 6 tournaments for Kobold Press, and they're free for any player or DM to use.

If you like these, then you might want to check out the previous series I did for Kobold, 6 NPC Organizations to Spice Up Your Campaign.

Or if you're looking for some other pieces of lore to add to your campaign you should check out the supplements A Baker's Dozen of Rumours (And The Truth Behind Them) as well as A Baker's Dozen Pieces of Lore. Both pieces were authored by yours truly for Azukail Games, and they're full of urban legends, potential plot arcs, traditions, and local legends to spice up your setting.

6 Tournaments To Add Some Bloodsport To Your Campaign

#1: The King and Queen of Sharps

Where scoring "points" is a whole new game.
The King and Queen of Sharps tournament is a display of astonishing skill, and fast-paced swordsmanship. When your goal is not to kill your opponent, and where wounding them could lose your victory instead of clinching it, only those with a nearly supernatural skill will win the honor of being addressed as one of the Kings or Queens, and be given the right to carry one of the weapons awarded to the tournament winners.

#2: The Iron Fist

No tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone.
When it comes to bare-knuckle brawling, no tournament is more brutal, or more revered, than the Iron Fist. A tournament by invitation only, participants have their lots drawn at random. They enter the arena with no weapons, and no clothing, fighting with strength, skill, and training to see who is the toughest. While some participants will only fight a handful of opponents, it isn't unheard of for one fighter to have to best a series of fresh, eager enemies with no more than a few minutes to catch their breath.

#3: The Arcane Masters

Never call it the battle of the bands... the bards take it personally.
Tournaments aren't only for the martially-inclined. Wizards, sorcerers, magi, and others all flock to the Arcane Masters as a way to prove their skill, knowledge, and power. However, the goal is not to do your opponent serious harm; the goal is to make them concede. This is where strategy comes into play, as many powerful spellcasters will try to keep their best spells and abilities a secret in order to throw off their opponents. Guile and strategy are often just as important as raw power when it comes to winning this tournament.

#4: The Labyrinth

It's around here somewhere... I think...
The Labyrinth is unusual among tournaments, in that it's not a test of battle skill... or not just that, at least. Every year the Labyrinth is different, and its location is set up so that only those in the know, or who are skilled at ferreting out information, will be able to find it. The challenges are kept completely secret, but participants need to overcome those challenges as quickly as possible. So, it's not a question of can they beat the Labyrinth... but how quickly can they do it?

#5: Blood on The Sand

A day at the beach, it isn't.
In the desert, water is life. Warring over water is expensive, though, which is why the tribal chieftains and nomadic caliphs came together, and created a way to determine who would control the oases. Blood on The Sand is often a battle to the death, but as the years have passed and the desert tribes have grown wealthy, the fighters have grown stranger. Mercenaries wielding bizarre weapons, mystics from faraway nations, and even inhuman creatures spawned from the desert's depths are all common sights in this tournament, but there's no telling who will win.

#6: The Devil's Dance

And your first opponent is...
Some tournaments are only available by invitation. Others are held in secret places, inaccessible to the common people. The Devil's Dance, though, is a tournament so secretive it's considered a legend by many fighters. Matches are held in a dark cavern before a masked and hooded audience, who never breaks their silence while fighters are pitted against fiends belched from the innards of some mad, despicable hell. Is the tournament real, or merely a figment in someone's imagination? And what prize would be worth fighting such inhuman creatures?

All right everyone, that's this week's Moon Pope Monday update. I hope you enjoyed, and found it useful. If you did, and you'd like to see more content just like this, then why not stop by The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a patron? As little as $1 a month nets you some sweet swag, and it will help me keep creating content just like this. Lastly, if you haven't done so yet, why not follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter to keep up with my latest releases?

1 comment:

  1. I particularly like the mage duel idea. My DM once held such an event, and my Wizard got into a duel with his aged father. I quickly realized that with both his age and his profession, he had almost no STR. A ray on enfeeblement and a waves of exhaustion later and I had won. It really gave me a chance to solve a puzzle as it were.