Dust Pan Game Resource Pages

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Game of the realm, Phase Ball. A description from an insider.

"Phase Ball as told by by Sid Hoofnaggler, former Phase ball conference commissioner: 

First ye need to know yer field. It's grass, usually  low cut and tightly gown, so the ball can move about.  Tis called the field, or the  sand box, depending on how rural you are. Some dwarves play on  gravel or stone, but  they are as a rule, crazy.
 To start each team takes a ball and  bowls it from the bonus ring. Whichever team bowls closest, starts with the ball.

Players can run whit the  ball. but they can also get tackled. when a player with the ball is brought down play stops, all players stand where they are. A tackled player may pass the ball but only to a player behind the  bonus ring and the ball my not cross the restricted zone. In effect once a tackled player stands up he may  only throw the ball behind or to his left or right, not forward. If the tackled player can not pass the  ball he must had it over to his tackler who may them pass it to any team mate. Play resumes when the pass is made. These after tackle passes can be intercepted as play resumes as soon as the  ball leaves the passers hand. The means these passes are seen ans very dangerous and most players will simply make a shot or a bowl as they are being tackled rather than chance loosing the ball in a bad position.

The ball may never be kicked. It's as simple as that, this is a hands game. If a player kicks the ball the other team gets possession out at the bonus ring straight away.
Scoring is like this. A bowl from inside the  bonus ring is worth  1 point, a shot from inside the bonus ring is worth  2 points. A bowl form anywhere beyond the bonus ring is worth 3 points. While a shot from anywhere beyond the bonus ring is  worth  4 points.
The game ends when one team scores the leagues requisite number of points. fast play leagues play to six, but I have seen some leagues go as high as 20 or even  30 point matches. 
Yer field made of 2 concentric circles with  a shallow hole at the center. The hole is 18 inches in diameter around and  2 feet deep, called the the goal. The first circle has a radius of 6 feet from the  center point of the goal. This is the restricted zone. The second circle has a radius of 15 feet from the  center point of the hole. This is the bonus ring. We use a 15 foot length of chain and a spike called the  digger to mark out the  circle. We move the digger down to the 6 foot link and  mark out the restricted zone, easy peachy, ye can have a field in no time.
Each team has three or five players. A three vs three man game is called a test, a five vs five man team is called a match. Most pro games are five versus five, but some professional and almost all amateur leagues maintain a three man division.
From there the object is to get the ball into the goal, simple really. Well sort of. First off a player may never run in the restricted zone. IN fact, if the ball stops is the restricted zone with out  going in the goal the  other team gets the ball out near the  bonus ring. So a player gots to throw the ball in called a shot, or roll the ball in, called a bowl. min ye a shot has to go in  with out rolling or bouncing, once that ball hits the  grass it's becomes a bowl. So shots gotta be clean. An attempted shot that dribbles or bounces into the goal is said to have "gone on the bowl" as it were.
Any time points are scored a player form the non scoring team must retrieve the ball and pass it back out to a team mate at the bonus ring and play immediately continues.
A loose ball is any ball that no one has claim to. If a ball was shot at the goal and rolls back out of the restricted zone, it's loose. If a ball is whacked out of a player hand, it's loose, finally if a ball is swatted out of the  air during a pass or a shot it's loose. A loose ball goes to what ever team picks it up first.
If two players are wrestling over a ball on the  ground or while standing even, the team with the least points will get the ball back out at the bonus ring. In the case of a tie game, the ref flips a coin and  grants the ball out at the  bonus ring. A good ref will usually break up a struggle over the ball after a second or so. It slows the game down and is considered bad sportsman ship, even among orcs and the like. Most players say, "If the ball wont come loose with a good slap then leave it be. Sloppy, careless play should be  taken advantage off, but no one wants to see two men wrestle over a ball like puppies over a teat." Or at least they say something like that.
Players may push and shove for position, in fact they are encouraged to.
three man games are a scrambling athletic affair. Often there are not enough players to cover all the  ground. Many coaches will put one player just to guard the  restricted zone and  block incoming  shots. This is called playing the  hole or deep position. While other teams will play strictly man to man , with each player guarding another player for the other team. This is called man  to man play. Regardless often three man play is defined by scrambles for the ball after missed shots and quick recoveries on defense.
The five man game is more strategic. Often a coach will put the best shooting  and passing player permanently beyond the bonus ring. This player shadows the ball so he is always in position if the  ball handler gets tackled. This is called the "pin" position as he is the  lynch pin of the offense. Keeping possession of the ball and making smart passes or quick shots after tackles. some of the greatest players in pass ball history have been pin players, often the difference makers on fine teams.
So that's phase ball, every one plays it. From your neighbors children snotty nosed and ragged paying on a hand marked sand lot. To the  highest nights ion manicured courts. If'n you don't mind me saying I think it's the  finest game of them all.



Thanks for reading
-Mark.



Friday, March 25, 2016

From the Tool Chest: A strange artifact from my DM's toolbox

This may be a series about  books that I have found off label RPG uses for over the  years.
Or it may be the only time I bring it up ...
Time will tell.

Enter the Toolbox:

I may have mentioned this before..
I hope I did ..
Eventually players get to such a level that they want stuff.
Stuff for the keep, stuff for the temple, stuff for the waggons. "Those retainers need a place to live" and so on.
At the time I had a hard time pricing things. If a player said "I want a great big desk for my wizard's study," I had  no idea what to charge them. Worse yet I had a hard time pricing things relative to each other.. What was the price difference between a plain set of woodworking tools and an expensive one?
Then one day while perusing the bargain table at Barnes and Noble (I used to indulge my fetish for  referance books far more often than I do now,) I found this:


http://www.amazon.com/1897-Sears-Roebuck-Co-Catalogue/dp/1602390630

It's as it says on the tin a reprint of the 1897 Sears Roebuck and Company  full sized catalogue.
ONe could find just about anything listed within its pages and  all with hand prices which can be easily and usually  directly correlated to "gold pieces" which at the time I used as the standard in my game. Fine illustrations accompany most entries, and the brief descriptions are perfect for  around the  table.

I codified each section of the catalog as a type of  "shop" that might be in an area the players visited. If they went to a smith they could buy iron implements and  tools, a furrier might have fur lined coats and jackets for cold weather travel. A dress maker might have finer clothing for  ladies, each with their own catalog section I could reference.

The nice part for me is that each item had a price. The finer items are naturally more expensive. If a player asked for a fine fur coat for traveling in style I could give the player a price that would be somewhat realistic when compared to the price of a fur lined hunters jacket,  some silverware, or a set of  blacksmiths tongs.

It quickly became one of the most used and  referenced books in my collection.

Now like 90% of my gaming material it sits boxed up in my attic, but who knows. With the 5th edition player's setting up a keep of their own and starting to actively trade with the  neighbors, it might see the light of day again.

Thanks for reading.
-Mark.