Elementalball

Elementalball

from Addison’s Guide to Sports and Games

Developed in Calatini during the eigth century, elementball has been a popular game among the affluent since its creation and has recently spread to the common classes through sports halls and taverns. An alchemic witch developed the game to show his students the weaknesses of elemental magic in different environments. However, the game was so enjoyable one of his students marketed it to gentlemen at court and elementball became an instant success.

Elementball can be played with two players to four teams. Each player or team selects a different element. Earth defends the north goal and has a brown elementball. Fire defends the south goal and has a red elementball. Air defends the east goal and has a blue elementball. Water defends the west goal and has a green elementball. Players roll their elementballs to hit the white goalball into the goals of opposing players and to block goal attempts on their own goal.

A game is begun by spinning the elementball wheel to activate the waist-high table. When activated, the black slate top dissolves into different scenes, such as volcanoes, forests, oceans, etc., where each element has varying strength and rolls differently based on that. The goalball is placed in the center of the activated table, and the player with the weakest element in the scene gets the first roll. Once the goalball is in play, the turn continues until the goalball either is pocketed or stops rolling.

The player who started the roll receives a point from the player whose goal was pocketed unless that goal is theirs. If so, the starter forfeits a point to the player who made the goal. The player winning the point may request a new scene and spin the elementball wheel. Once the new scene (if any) is established, the next roll is started by the player who lost the point. If no goal is made, the starter receives or forfeits no points, and the next roll is started by the next weakest element.

The game continues until a player reaches sixteen points with at least a four point lead over other players. If a player reaches sixteen points without a four point lead, players more than four points behind the leader forfeit, but the leader and other players continue to play in double mode. In this mode, players receive or forfeit two points per goal, and the game continues until a player achieves a four point lead or the leader reaches thirty-two points, whichever occurs first. If leader reaches thirty-two points without a four point lead, the players within four points of the leader continue into the death roll. During death roll, whichever player scores the next goal is the winner.

With its many scenes, complex interactions, and elaborate scoring, elementball is a fascinating way to while away an afternoon, although one game in the tenth century was rumored to have lasted for over a month. Some claim that witches, especially strong ones, possess an advantage over players; however, tamper-proof elementball tables ensure fair play for all.

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