Battle Games and Scenarios
This is a team battle where each team elects a member to be the “8 Ball.” This must be the last person to die on the opposing side to win. Killing the opponent’s 8 Ball before all other players results in your team’s loss.
This is a pit fight where one to five people enter an area designated as the pit and stay in the area to fight combatants. They start by having a single foe per person in the pit, then each round is when they have either killed all of the other people, in which case you add an additional person and begin again and this goes until they have to take everyone on at once. Or until the team in the pit dies in which their killers stay in the pit and begin a round of their own. If you step out of the pit you are disqualified as a coward and have run off to be fed to the wolves.
Breakthrough and Conquer
Breakthrough and Conquer is a team game where you attempt to conquer the opponent's flag by breaking through their defenses. The playing field is setup much like a football field. View the diagram of the field to better understand the rules. The size is relative to the number of players you have. For smaller numbers use feet, for larger numbers, use yards. Rope off the area or mark the playing field in some other way. Players are not allowed to leave the playing field or they die. Both teams start at their flag pole. When the game starts they advance towards each other team's flag, fighting each other along the way. When a player dies they must take their weapon with them and run back to their team's spawn line and touch it to "resurrect" themselves to go back to fighting. Dead players must keep one arm above their head to show that they have been slain and cannot attack anyone. If a player ever touches the opponent's flag with their hand, that team wins.
Bridge Battles are team games with any amount of players. You must destroy the opposing team just like a normal team battle, but the trick is that your are on a bridge and can fall into the waters below. See the diagram for a visual layout. You are safe to stand on the land or the bridge, but if any part of your body touches the water are, you are instantly killed (i.e. fell off the bridge). Pushing and shoving is allowed to knock people off the bridge. Water can be made by laying two large blue tarps on the ground, or by staking a rope to the ground.
Variation: Instead of merely killing off the other team, attempt to be the first team to get to the other side of the bridge. If anyone one of your team members sets foot on the opposing team's side, your team wins.
Bull in the Ring
A fun game for about 4 to 10. Everyone forms a large ring (bull fighters), and one player is selected to be the bull. Each player from the outer ring comes in to fight the bull one-on-one. If the bull survives all the fighters he or she wins, if the bull loses, whoever killed the bull becomes the new bull. In order to give the bull a sporting chance, it always regenerates damaged limbs after every round and the may have special powers if you choose.
If the bull is able to stay alive for 1 minute, he or she automatically wins the round.
The bull can only be killed from a torso shot, while the fighters are be killed on any legal area.
Capture the flag
This is an old game, but still a classic. The rules of regular capture the flag have been modified to use boffers, but the spirit is the same. The game is played in a playing field with lots of visual obstructions like a forest or a warehouse. The playing field is divided in half, see the diagram for a visual. Before the game starts, each team places their flag somewhere on their side of the field. Nobody is allowed to leave their side of the field yet. Once both flags are placed the game begins. To win you have to find your opponent's flag and bring it to your side of the field without getting killed. Combat ensues just like normal, except when you die you have to run back to your spawn pole to "resurrect" yourself. Dead players must keep one hand above their head at all times. Flags must be placed on a pole and stuck in the ground. You are not allowed to move any living plants to hide your flag, but dead plants and fallen trees are allowed.
Variation: If a complex field of play is unavailable, one can still play this game fairly simply. In a rectangular field setup, the easiest option is to use opposing diagonal corners for the flag locations, and the other two for the opposing respawn locations. Flags recovered mid-field must be returned to the proper corner during the match. Other additional options include requiring any player to abandon their weapon upon grasping the flag, and if the flag itself can be used to deflect/defend attacks.
Variation: Having two-handed weapons cause the user to walk only, but be able to break shields. The other rules are the same a normal.
There are two main variations of the game Classes. All of the variations can be simplified to use different damage rules, but there are special rules that are normally used for this game:
Any hit to a limb does one damage, unless there is a special ability saying otherwise.
Any hit to the torso does one damage, unless there is a special ability saying otherwise.
Unless the class has a special amount of health, taking two damage to a limb renders it useless.
Unless the class has a special amount of health, taking three damage to the torso kills you.
Losing two limbs kills you.
(Optional)Any head or neck shot kills you instantly.
The classes that are in this game are as follows:
Poison Blade: Any hit to any valid part of the enemy's body kills them instantly, regardless of their remaining health.
Robin Hood: Any hit to the torso does 3 damage. Other shots do normal damage.
Conversion: The player stands still and waves arms up and down, with the top point having the arms raised directly overhead, and the bottom point having the arms down by the sides. After waving the arms up and down five times, they may point at another player and that player is now on their team. In Teams, this means that that player joins their team. In Deathmatch, converting another player makes them protect you at all costs. A converted player must join the Evangelist's team if they are converted, and must protect the Evangelist, even to the piont of death.
Spell: To use the spell, the Mage points at an enemy player with one hand and starts waving their other arm up and down, like the Evangelist does with Conversion. While the Mage is pointing at their target and waving their other arm up and down, neither the Mage nor the target can move. If the Mage successfully waves their arm ten times, their target must drop their weapon.
Variation: Deathmatch is for 2-10 players. Each player chooses a class. All players spread out (this is especially important if there is at least one ranger). When the player initiating the game says "Lay on", all players begin fighting in an every-man-for-himself style. Temporary alliances are allowed, but there can only be one winner, so those alliances will have to be broken at some point. The last man alive wins.
Variation: Team is for 10+ players. The players split into two or more teams. Each player should wear something signifying which team they are on. Each team must have at least one member of each class, unless there aren't enough players to do so, in which case each team may not have more than one player of each class. Before the game begins, each player must choose their class. At the beginning of the game, the two teams stand on opposite ends of the playing field. Upon a signal to begin, the two teams may start attacking each other. Each player must keep track of how much damage he has taken to each area of his body at any given time. When one team is out of players, the other team wins.
**Using Classes as a variation on the battle system for other games can greatly increase how fun they are. For example, capture the flag with the battle system from Classes can add an extra level of depth to the game.**
Down with the Giants
Play with any number of players, but one out of every five players is a giant. Then team the giants and the regular players together. Giants can receive five hits and take no damage or wounds at all. However, when they are hit for the sixth time they die.
Depending on how lopsided the teams become, adjust the number of giants to equalize the battle.
A last man standing game, but players must act out all of their mortal wounds and epic death scenes with agonizing, blood curdling screams. They must remain dead on field until there is a winner.
Fetch works best with 5 to 10 people. One player is the thrower the rest are the fetchers. All fetchers start in a line 5 feet apart from each other. The thrower stands five feet behind them. The thrower then tosses a rock over their heads as far as he or she can. When the rock hits the ground the thrower shouts 'GO' and the fetchers can begin to move (false starters die instantly). Their job is to fetch the rock and bring it back to the thrower. (The rock must be placed in the throwers hand, not tossed to him or her.) The fetchers are fully allowed to kill and/or maim each other in the returning process.
First blood is a very formal set of rules for the noblemen. It's played one-on-one, each person wields a one-handed sword of equal size and length of their opponent. They start at five feet away and begin combat. The first player to land a valid hit anywhere on their opponent's body is the winner.
One out of every four players is a ghoul. Ghouls fight like normal, but if they die they come back to life in ten seconds after they hit the ground. If a player is killed by a ghoul, they fall to the ground and are now considered a ghoul as well and will rise in ten seconds. The last living player wins. You may want to have a way to determine ghouls from the living, like a colored sash (when you become a ghoul, you put the clothing on). "Baby sitting" ghouls or standing over their corpse is not allowed.
Variation: Zombie - Same as above, but zombies cannot run unless in groups of three or more.
Variation: Necromancer - A variation of Healers with a similar premise, but team based.
This game is meant to emulate the gladiator battles of Rome. Each player pairs up with another player. Use duct tape or a length of rope to attach their legs together at the calf, or have them hold hands. Pairs must stay together for the entirety of the battle. Even if your teammate dies, you still must remain bonded to them. Battle continues until only one pair remains.
Variation: If you want to play it more realistically, you can make it that the player whose companion has died cannot move from that spot (as they would have to be carrying a corpse with them). The killed companion would them be on their knees while the other is fighting for his life. The living player may "drag" their bodies, but slowly (the dead one would have to move on their kneels, to imitate the slowness of the dragging). Optionally, if the gladiators are using different weapons (short and medium-sized swords, for example), they may have to drop them when they die, for anyone to pick up. You can also, like the film "Gladiator", make one person with a Sword and the companion with a Shield. The companion may drop the shield to take a sword of a dead enemy.
Healers is a team battle with any number of teams with any number of players. Before combat, each team picks one player to be their healer. The healer cannot use weapons, but they do get a very nice special ability. If a healer touches any of their teammates, that teammate is immediately, and fully, healed of all injury, even death. The only exception is that a healer cannot heal his or her self. Because the healer is so powerful, they will be the prime target of the opposing team, so make sure the healer is a fast runner.
A good tactic in this game is to guard the fallen bodies of the opposing team. This prevents their healer from being able to resurrect them. Killing the other team's healer is very beneficial, but it doesn't ensure victory. It's still possible for the other team to rally.
Variation: Once players are used to this game or if the healers are killed too quickly, allowing a "Rod of Healing" to extend reach may shake things up. (Even just a couple spare pool noodles will do!)
Variation: Cleric - Identical to the above, however if the healer touches the opposing team's dead they are out for the remainder of the round (Purged).
Variation: Necromancer - Separate Game, similar premise.
This game is best played in an area with LOTS of natural cover and with a smaller number of players, ideally around 10. One player is the designated 'Hero'. All others are considered bandits or some other form of evil-doers. The bandits split up into groups of one or two and go hide all over the playing area while the Hero closes their eyes and counts to 90 (more or less depending on the size of the area). Then combat begins. The Hero goes around, killing off groups of bandits who hide in their location until discovered. The first opponent the Hero kills becomes his/her companion, and the two now form a team. Every time the Hero or their companion kills a bandit, the Hero has the option of switching that person for their current companion (for reasons like a better fighter or the current companion is injured). If the Hero dies, but has a companion, that player becomes the Hero automatically. Play continues this way until either the Hero kills all the bandits or the bandits slay the Hero and their companion.
For those of you who don't mind some dangerous pain, the Highlander games focuses strictly on head and neck shots. Hits to anywhere else on the body is ignored, but if you're hit in the head or neck, you're dead. You may want to wear some head and neck armor if you play this game! Just remember, there can be only one!
Hold the Keep
This is best played where there are natural blockades or dividers such as tables, walls or chairs that cannot be moved easily. You divide into two teams and position one team inside the “keep” and the other team assaults it. This ends when the invaders are all killed or the defenders are ousted from the keep. Change teams every other round and remix the teams every three rounds.
Hunt the Fox
Hunt the fox works best in an area with a lot of obstacles and a short field of vision. One person is the fox and must run and hide. After a designated time (five minutes or so) the rest of the players (the hunters) go and hunt the fox. Only the hunter who kills the fox is the winner, which means that it is also beneficial for the hunters to kill each other. The fox is also armed and can be the winner if it kills all the hunters (or if the hunters kill themselves).
Kill the Killer
Kill the killer is a last-man-standing with a twist. The game gets hectic fast and doesn't always end easily. Everyone starts in a circle with whatever weapon they want. If you die go to the sidelines and watch the person that killed you. If your killer dies, you come back to life. If you die again, you have a new killer to watch. The game becomes very difficult later on because each time you kill someone, several other players come back to life. The game only ends if one player is able to kill several people in a row without dying. It's important to know who killed whom in order to prevent resurrecting too many players at the same time.
Kill the King
This game uses any number of teams with any amount of players for each team. One person on each team is considered the king (or queen). The king must stand out in some way whether it be a crown, herald, etc. Battle commences and each team is trying to kill the opposing team's king, while at the same time keeping their own king alive. When a king is killed, he shouts out his name, and all the other fighters on his team die with him. The team who's king is the last standing wins.
Variation: Instead of allowing each team to know who the other kings are, have each team pick their king in secret before hand. Now you must try and figure out who a teams king is depending on how they protect their team members.
Variation: Only one team has a king, the others are peasants. The king must be escorted by their guards from a starting point to an objective point without being killed by peasants.
Last Man Standing
Also known as "Free For All."
Last man standing is a simple game where each player starts at an equidistant from everyone else. The marshal shouts "lay on" and everyone begins to attack each other. Play continues until only one person is left alive. Whoever is the last man standing wins the game. No alliances are allowed to be made.
This method is useful to start sessions. After this match is over, the final two players can then choose teams, as explained in Team Combat
Mad dash can be played with any number of players. You will need one weapon for each player and only one. Take all the weapons and put them into a pile. All players form a circle around the pile an equal distance away from it. When the game starts everyone makes a mad dash for the weapons. Players may pick up as many as they can hold, but when they die they must drop all their weapons and anyone can pick them up. Play continues until only one person remains standing.
Necromancer is a very interesting game involving treason and should be played with twenty or more players. Two teams are made, a team of peasants and a team of zombies. One out of every five peasants is a zombie. Before combat begins all the peasants draw a piece of paper from a hat. One piece of paper has the word "necromancer" on it. Whoever gets the necromancer is secretly on the team of the zombies. One zombie looks at each peasants paper to find out who the necromancer is and tells the other zombies (the peasants should never know which one is the necromancer).
Battle then begins. When anyone dies, peasant or zombie, they fall to the ground. The necromancer can "raise" them by nudging them with his or her foot. Anyone raised is now a zombie and fights for the zombie team. If the peasants figure out who the necromancer is and kills him or her all the other zombies die and the peasant team wins. If the necromancer and his zombies succeed in converting all the peasants they win.
Variation: Similar to "Healers", both teams start with a Necromancer, who has no weapon (or a "Rod of Healing"). Play proceeds as normal. Dead players stay put, Necromancers can heal their own dead teammates, touching the opposing team's dead causes them to rise and fight for that side as Zombies. Depending on the mood of the players, they may agree to zombie-moan as they move to signify they were reanimated, or move more stiffly when not being actively engaged. Once Zombies are killed they are either out for the match or, for smaller team sizes, they could require Purging from the original team's healer.
Porcupines is an interesting last man standing battle of archers. The only allowed weapon is the bow and arrow. Each player starts out at 20 feet away from every other player, with an arrow pre-nocked, and no more than two extra arrows on their person. All arrows may be reused off the ground. Normal rules apply, and play continues until only one person remains.
Revenge is a game to be played with four to seven players. This game can be played with the simple rules template or the complex rules template. One player is chosen as the "murderer". All the other players try to kill the murderer, who kills as many enemies as he can. Once someone kills the murderer, that person becomes the new murderer, and all the other players try to kill him. The last man standing is the winner.
Round robin is a way for a large group of players to find out who is the most skilled one-on-one fighter. Each person fights everyone else once. Whoever has the most victories in the end is declared the victor. In the advent of a tie, perform another round robin to see who wins the next time.
This is a horrid game of tag mixed with skills of ambush and stealth and is best played in a heavily forested area where there are lots of places to hide. Each person only carries either a dagger or a short sword and the only killing blow is by thrust to the back, all others are negated, including swung shots. Think of it as the most lethal game of tag coupled with Hide-and –Seek you have ever seen. I personally use this as a training exercise for my squad of assassins in Vanguard.
Siege is a team-based game, best played with at least 10 players. The players are grouped into two teams, Attackers, and Defenders. The Attackers may outnumber the Defenders.
The 'Castle' is a clearly defined area or structure. Try marking it off with rope.
The Defenders are not allowed to leave the 'Castle'. If a Defender is killed, he is removed from the game. When a new Wave begins, all arrows and missile weapons are returned to the Defenders. The Defenders are considered healed of all limb wounds.
The Attackers attempt to kill the Defenders. They may approach the 'Castle' from any angle. If an Attacker is killed, he must leave the field of play until the next Wave.
When all the Attackers are dead or leave the field of play, the Wave is considered over. The Defenders may retrieve all of their missiles and their wounds are removed, and the Attackers gather at their starting position. A signal is given, the next Wave begins.
Your group may decide amongst themselves how many Waves to allow. Three is pretty fair, but for large groups you may want upwards of five.
Attackers win if all of the Defenders are dead. Defenders win if at least one survives all waves of Attackers.
Slayer is a fast-paced deathmatch game, partly inspired by frantic console games like Halo or Gears of War. Slayer can be played either as a free-for-all, or as a team battle. The goal of the game is to secure a number of kills.
When you die in Slayer, you can return to any of the pre-determined 'spawn-points' on the field, count aloud to 10, and enter the game. You are permitted to stop counting, move to another spawn point, and start your count over. To indicate that you are 'dead' to other players, raise at least one arm above your head.
When you are 'killed' in a Slayer match, you must drop your weapon on the spot. Any player may pick up a weapon on the ground, but he must drop his own weapon first. You may only carry one weapon at a time.
A player or team wins when a set number of Kills is reached.
Smaug is a simple game that can be played with theoretically any number of players. One player is deemed the dragon, and has charge of an egg (a ball works great). The dragon cannot touch this egg. All the other players have two lives and are tasked with getting the egg a certain distance away from the dragon, such as walls if you are indoors, or a certain distance from the starting point outdoors. The dragon has 3-4 hit points per opponent, depending on skill level, and gets any weapon of their choice. Players must leave the playing area to re-spawn, and should not use ranged weapons, as it unbalances the game. The game ends when the players successfully get the egg away from the dragon, they kill the dragon, or if the dragon kills all of the players. If playing with more than five people, it is good to give the dragon a teammate 'baby dragon' with some of its hitpoints for every five opponents.
This is a simple last man standing where the only weapons are Rocks (that's padded foam, not real rocks). Each player is assigned a rock at the beginning of the battle and spreads out 20 feet away from everyone else. When battle starts, the rocks start flying.
Like with rocks in normal combat, they only do damage by hitting a person in the head. So you can think of this as something similar to dodgeball. Rocks can be picked up off the ground and used again. Play until only one person remains standing.
This is a game for four to ten players. It is easier to use the simple rules template for this game, although if you are feeling really ambitious, you can use the complex rules template. One player is selected to be the Superman. The Superman has two lives for every opponent. All the other players try to kill the Superman, and the Superman tries to kill all of them before dying. If the Superman wins, he gets to be the Superman again the next round. If he dies, the other players who are still alive fight each other until only one remains, and the winner is the next Superman.
Team Champions is like a cross between kill the king and down with the giants. It is played with any number of teams. Each team chooses one player to be their champion. The champion is special because they can receive five hits and not take any damage at all. However, their sixth hit kills them, no matter where it is. However, if a team's champion dies, the entire team loses.
Pick two captains at random. These two captains alternate choosing a person from the remaining group to be on their team. When the choosing is finished each team groups together a good distance from the other team. When the game starts both teams attack each other. Play continues until all of the players from one team have been killed. Whichever team has surviving members at the end is the victor. If you have enough players this game can be played with several teams.
Variation: Captains can be chosen as the last two alive after a Free For All.
Turtles is a game where all players have a shield and a one-handed sword. The only part of the body that can receive a hit is the front and back of the torso. Hits to the head, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, and hips are all ignored. Think of a player as having the exact opposite of a turtle shell. This battle can take awhile as each player tries to break through the strong defenses of their opponent's shield. The last "turtle" standing wins.
Also called Achiles' Heel, this game can be played with two or more players. At the beginning or each round, each player picks a vital section of their body from the list:
Head and neck (if it's allowed)
The only way to kill someone is to hit them in their specified vital area, all other hits are ignored. If a player receives a hit on a non-vital part of the body they must say aloud where the hit occurred so that their opponents will know that that part of their body is not the vital area. The last player left standing is the winner. It shouldn't be allowed to place the Vital Area in the arm holding the shield (if one is used).
To discourage cheating you can demand that each player writes down their vital area so they can prove where their vital area was at the end of the game.
In this game each player can get killed up to four times. Each time the person dies, they must switch a weapon type to one they haven't used yet. The types allowed are two swords, sword and shield, two-handed sword, and player's pick. (Player's pick must be something different from the other three, but can be any non-ranged weapon, staff, axe, etc.)
To start, place all the players in a line and pick the first two players. They each pick their favorite weapon of choice and dual. The loser goes to the back of the line, and can no longer choose that weapon type again. The next person in line picks their choice and fights the previous winner.
If you have lost four times, with each of the four weapon combos, you are out of the game. Play continues like this until only one person remains.
This game is played with a dagger or short sword and is one of the few which allows draw cuts and grappling. The single weapon is placed between the two combatants which are equally distant from the weapon, usually 20 feet on either side. In order to win you and your opponent grapple over the weapon and must cut the hamstrings (in either order) THEN the throat to win the bout. Allowed holds are discussed before the bout and the marshal (or a judge) must be present at all times to ensure the safety of the combatants.