Fantasy sports can be a fun way to add depth and cultural to a campaign world. One of my players in Uprising & Rebellion is playing a character from Mehmd and invented the sport of Goltoppa. He adapted some of the cultural touchpoints from the hidden empire, placing them into the common state of the game and has asked for it to be featured in a session soon. The character in question is not a Goltoppa player or coach.
The game is played on an open, flat, dirt field, generally free of rocks & debris, that is 360 feet long by 144 feet wide. The field is split lengthwise down the entirety of the center into 72 feet wide halves, and crosswise at 120 feet intervals. These six resulting areas are marked off with white paint borders. Particularly enterprising/wealthy teams have been known to pay to have the sections magicked to different colors. Straddling the centerline at each end of the playing field is a netted goal, 9 feet wide by 3 feet tall. One narrow end of the field is to be facing North, indicating the “head” of the field. Three referees patrol the playing surface to control the action during the run of play.
Goltoppa is played by two opposing teams, consisting of 9 starting players on each side. Teams are permitted to ‘dress’ 3 bench players for each contest, to be subbed into the game in the event of injury. Players may not be subbed into the game for strategic reasons or in the event of a player’s expulsion from the contest. A player’s uniform shall consist of a sleeveless tunic, belted at the waist & extending to mid-thigh, in the primary color of one of the six teams currently representing the league’s six social strata: Noble (violet), Military (red), Religious (white), Artisan (gold), Farmer/Fisher (green), Merchant (blue). Note that players are recruited to represent these strata, and need not be members of them. Additionally, players shall wear sandals that wrap up around their calves, with linen padding over their shins. Each team dresses one Left & Right “Slasher,” designated by a black sash that goes diagonally from either left or right shoulder to opposing hip, with the shoulder covered indicating which side of the field they may patrol. Players may wear short pants as well.
The game is played in two 36 minute halves. At the start of the game, a coin toss determines initial possession, which begins via kicking a ball onto the field from a position to the left of the goal which the possessing team is defending. The ball is traditionally made from a treated cow’s stomach filled with air, or a leather ball of approximately the same size . There are no goalies; all players may attempt to kick the ball toward or away from the goal, or to a teammate. Additionally, each team’s Slashers are allowed to catch the ball on the fly in their hands and run with it to the border of whichever section of the field they currently occupy, at which point they must kick the ball themselves unless trying to place the ball in the opposing goal. A Slasher with possession of the ball may be leg tackled by the opposing team. A successful leg tackle means the Slasher must kick the ball to a teammate (only) from the spot of the tackle. Tackling with one’s arms, striking a Slasher above the waist, or attempting to strip the ball from a Slasher’s hands by a player other than an opposing Slasher is not allowed. A ball that goes out of the field of play results in a change of possession, with the new possessing team kicking the ball into the field of play from the sideline spot where the referees determine the ball crossed out of the field.
A score happens whenever the ball is put into the net during the run of play, A ball kicked into the net scores 2 points; a ball placed into the net by hand scores 5 points.
Rough Play: Arm tackles; deliberate leg tackles of a non-Slasher; headbutts; intentional hands to the face or back of an opponent – Offending player off the field for 3 minutes.
Stripping: An attempt to pull the ball from the hands of a Slasher by a non-Slasher – Offending player off the field for 3 minutes.
Catching: Non-Slasher making deliberate contact with his hands to the ball, especially with an effort to control the ball – Offending player off the field for 2 minutes.
Scooping: Slasher attempting to pick the ball up off the field, rather than catching it on the fly. This includes a ball that bounces before being caught – Offending player off the field for 1 minute.
Offsides: Slasher maintaining possession of the ball beyond the area of the field where he caught it, or crossing from his designated half of the field – Change of possession from the spot; no kick to inbound the ball needed.
Belligerence: Fighting; intentional physical contact/intimidation toward a referee – Offending player ejected.
Playing Goltoppa at the table
There will be a series of contested checks to determine scoring. These will use the Tool Sports: Goltoppa and have a few skills that can connect to them.
My first thought is a way to generate scoring similar to what is described by JayDubTheGamer would be to have five contested checks by half. That’s a lot of rolling, but provides some variety of results and capability of multiple players participating.
Winning a check by 1-5 results in two points. Winning a check by more than 5 results in 5 points. Winning a check by more than 10 results in seven points and winning by 15 or more is good for nine points.
Losing a check by less than 5 results in two points for your own team. Any natural 1 means that you have given up a five-pointer or have committed a foul, rolling their next challenge at Disadvantage. Any natural 20 means that you have scored a five-pointer.
This should generate scores that look a bit like early 20th century American football or current rugby.
Acrobatics and Athletics will be the most used skills, most frequently connecting to Dexterity and Strength. It would also make sense for someone in a coaching position to use Intelligence with one of those and for a character playing the captain to use Charisma.
I would allow up to one role to use Deception in order to get away with a foul. That team would have Advantage on the next check, but if they lose that roll their next roll would be at Disadvantage.
|Violet team||Blue team||Score|
|13||7||Violet 5: Blue 0|
|16||20 (natural)||Violet 2: Blue 7|
|9||15||Violet 0: Blue 5|
|12||12||Violet 2: Blue 2|
|4||15||Violet 0: Blue 7|
|1st half||9 points||21 points|
|2||9||Violet 0: Blue 5|
|20 (natural)||7||Violet 12: Blue 0|
|14||11||Violet 2: Blue 2|
|18||6||Violet 7: Blue 0|
|3||9||Violet 0: Blue 5|
|2nd half||21 points||12 points|
|FINAL||30 points||33 points|
Yes, that’s ten rolls for a non-combat encounter. Which feels like a bit, but the descriptions are at most two sentences, show the shifts in momentum, and feel like watching a sport when including those descriptions especially around the nat 20s.
We’ll see how it runs at the table.
2 thoughts on “Goltoppa, a Mehmdian sport in the World of the Everflow”
This is fun. I’m going to need to swing back after work to take a closer look and really absorb everything. Something like this would be great for a festival in a big city, to help make the place feel alive.
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