This is a guide containing the rules for the game Gnomeball. It can be played with 2-4 players, and requires a 10x10 grid along with 5 markers per player plus 1 marker for the hapless gnome. Additionally, a 6 sided dice is needed.
Developer's Note: Having just made up this game, it is almost certainly rife with unbalance. Realizing this inevitability, I have decided to err on the side of everything being overpowered, as I think that will be more fun than everything being underpowered.
For the sake of consistency, 'player' will refer to the human and 'character' will refer to the game units.
Gnomeball is a simple game. On the 10x10 grid, each player has a 2x2 corner, their 'home'. The objective is to move the gnome into the other player's home, thus scoring a 'Gnomedown', earning the player 8 points if the gnome is still alive and 5 points if the gnome is dead. Another way to score is by punting the gnome (or propelling it through arcane means) over the other player's home, thus scoring a 'Gnome-R-Gone!', which is worth 4 points if the gnome is alive and 2 points if it is dead.
Beginning the Game
Each player selects one 2x2 corner of the field to be their home.
To begin the game, after each player has selected their 5 characters (see below for more on that), the gnome is placed in the center of the grid. Each player may place his 5 characters anywhere within 4 squares of his home. A coin is tossed, and the winner of the coin toss may act first. He can activate any of his 5 characters, which can then move up to 3 squares in any direction (count 1 square of diagonal movement as 1.5 squares). At the end of a character's move, he may perform an action. After player 1 has finished using a character, player 2 may activate and move one of his. Then player 1 picks an unused character After all 5 characters from every player have been activated, player 1 begins the cycle by activating any of his characters. Play continues in this fashion until one team scores 20 points.
Pick up the Gnome
- The character may pick up the Gnome if it is on the ground. The Gnome is now in the characters' possession.
Toss the Gnome
- Any character holding the gnome can toss the gnome backwards (it must end closer to the tossing player's home than it started) up to 4 squares. A dice is rolled, on a 3 or higher the Gnome ends in the intended square and is caught by any character in it. On a 2, it ends one square farther than intended (even beyond the 4 squares normally allowed), and on a 1 it ends one square closer than intended.
- If any character on the opposing player's team is within 1 square of the gnome's path, he can attempt to intercept the gnome by rolling a 5 or a 6 on a dice. If he succeeds, the gnome is placed in his possession. Otherwise, it continues to its intended target. If the gnome does not get caught, it sustains 1 point of damage as it bounces with a 'thwump' on the ground. If the team's copperback is throwing, the backwards restriction is removed. Additionally, the gnome can be thrown up to 6 squares (rather than 4) by the copperback's trained arm.
- Each character may melee attack the gnome or any character within 1 square of him. This is done by rolling a dice. The target sustains damage based on the score of the dice. On a 4, the target sustains 1 point of damage, on a 5 he sustains 2, and on a 6 he sustains 3. On a roll of 3 or lower no damage is done. If a character holding the gnome takes damage, he drops the gnome on a separate roll of 4 or higher.
Punt the Gnome
- A character who is within 4 squares of the enemy's home may attempt to punt the gnome. He rolls a dice, if the dice roll is greater than (but not equal to) the number of squares between the character and the enemy's home, the gnome goes flying for a Gnome-R-Gone! Otherwise, the gnome splatters on something and a new one is instantly teleported to the center of the field. Play continues as normal.
Every character has 5 hitpoints. The gnome has 3 hitpoints. If a character is reduced to 0 hitpoints, he faints and is immediately teleported out of the field. If the gnome is reduced to 0 hitpoints, he dies and is most certainly not teleported out of the field, he can still be used as normal but is worth fewer points when scoring.
By moving onto the enemy's home with the gnome, catching the gnome in the enemy's home, or by punting the Gnome over the enemy's home, points are scored. After a score, a new gnome is teleported to the center of the field and each player must teleport each of his characters to within 4 squares of his home.
Points are scored as follows:
8 points for a live Gnomedown.
5 points for a dead Gnomedown.
4 points for a live Gnome-R-Gone!
2 points for a dead Gnome-R-Gone!
Each player must select 5 characters before the game begins. He may use any number of each race. Additionally, one character may be marked as the copperback, and allowed to throw forwards with increased range as detailed in the 'Toss the Gnome' ability description above.
Tauren have 7 hitpoints instead of 5. They can also perform a warstomp as their post-move action once per game, which causes every enemy character within 1.5 squares of the Tauren (recall that diagonally, 1 square counts as 1.5) to lose their ability to act the next time they would normally be able to do so on a roll of 4 or higher.
Undead have sticky hands, and drop the gnome on a roll of 1 higher than normal, as well as catching it on a roll 1 lower than normal. Additionally, once per game, as a post-move action, an undead can chuck a plague barrel at an enemy within 4 squares, which will cause 2 points of damage on a roll of 2 or higher.
Orcs are big and tough. They can toss the gnome 1 square farther than normal. Twice per game, an Orc can go into a blood frenzy, increasing the damage done by their next attack by 1. This can be done any time during an Orc's activation and does not count as the Orc's action for the turn.
Trolls can move 1 square faster than normal. Once per game, they can regenerate an amount of hit points equal to half a dice roll, rounding up, so if they roll a 5 they regenerate 3 hit points. This is done as a post-move action.
Blood Elves look very pretty. An unlimited number of times per game, they can look pretty at anything, causing nothing special but making the Blood Elf feel superior. If a team consists entirely of blood elves, they gain 2 extra points per score.
Goblins can blow stuff up. They can place explosives once per game on a square they occupy as a post-move action. Every time the goblin is activated after the explosives are placed, he may roll a dice, on a 4 or higher the explosives explode, dealing 3 points of damage to anything within 1.5 squares of them.
Gnomes can't play Gnomeball, silly.
Dwarfs are short. They can't catch the gnome as easily, and have to roll 1 higher on any roll to grab the little guy. Anybody they attack, however, moves one square slower for their next 3 activations as their legs have been sliced up.
Once per game, Night Elves can spend 2 consecutive activations tending to the poor little gnome and helping it out of its chains (yep, it's chained up). If they are not attacked by the 2nd actiavtion, the gnome runs free and a new one is teleported to the center of the field. If they are hit between commencing the freeing and finishing it, they have to start over, but it does not count against the once per game restriction.
Humans always carry around a hearthstone. Once per game, they can return to any of their home squares instead of moving. They can then take any post-move action as normal.
Draenei can start anywhere on the grid, having just crash-landed from their space-ship. They are placed after every other character and may not try to take an already-occupied square.
Any time the Worgen is attacked or attacks something, it switches from human form to worgen form until the end of its next activation. In this state, it moves 1 square further, does 1 point more damage per attack, but also does 1 point of damage to the gnome if it is holding it (claws hurt!) and 2 points of damage to it if it catches it (decelerating onto claws REALLY hurts!)
Vrykul can, once per game, let out a deafening howl in front of them. This howl travels, strangely enough, in a straight line away from the Vrykul and prevents any enemy character within that line from moving next activation (post-move actions may be taken as normal).
The Tuskarr can, twice per game, throw a fish at his enemy. This fish causes the enemy to roll a dice for his next 3 activations, and on a roll of 4 or higher, he takes a point of damage from hungry penguins swarming him.
The first 2 times a Val'kyr kills an enemy, it is reanimated with 2 hit points and serves the Val'kyr's player.
I hope you enjoy playing this game, I know I'll be testing it out frequently. Feel free to send me any suggestions or experiences playing it by using the forum's PM tool. I'm happy that this contest finally got me to make an account and I'll hopefully go from lurker to poster now =)
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