Dungeons & Dragons Online

A game for two magic users: Knock

"Friend or foe, have no woe, a game have I for you. 'Tis only a game you and I could play, would you stay for a spell or two?"

(Heads up: Reddit's formatting is on the fritz so forgive any weirdness.)

The game revolves around a magical steel ball (naturally called the Knock ball). The ball is enchanted such that, when the above poem is said aloud and someone agrees to play, both players are bound to the rules of the game. For Eragon fans or other DMs that prefer all magical power to come from one source or another, assume the Knock ball draws its power from the very threads from which all planes of existence are made. For this reason, the Knock ball itself is utterly immune to the presence of nul magic fields, and cheating by simply overpowering the Knock ball is a bit of a cumbersome task.

In the examples I'll use, we'll assume an average human named Knucker is facing off against Cthulhu. Knucker is the first magic capable person of his bloodline and can sometimes sense magic. That's it. That's the full limit of his magical capabilities.

The rules are as follows: 

1.) The following items are required for play. If they are not readily obtainable, the Knock ball will summon them as close as it can without displacing any solid object or living entity.

•Three steel balls physically identical to the Knock ball. If they're "close" but have some physical marring that makes them discernible, the Knock ball would sooner correct this rather than summon new ones. The effects of this correction are undone when the game ends. •A table. If summoned, the table will be no taller or wider than what the shortest player can comfortably see over, and appears to be made out of wood. 

Note: All summoned objects are instantly un-made whenever the game ends.

2.) The player that recited the poem goes first. If consecutive games are agreed to, this will alternate.

3.) In turns, players may enchant any of the three balls to either set it on fire, drench it in water, or cause it be suddenly overgrown with moss.

Note: You can enchant an already enchanted ball to either strengthen or weaken its current state.

 •Enchanting a ball with the same enchantment it already had naturally strengthens it. Fire changes color, water changes to slush, then snow, then ice, then blue ice, moss becomes more overgrown. Doing so is declared as "raising its form" say from first to second form, second to third, and so on. •Enchanting a burning ball with water will weaken the flame by one form or extinguish it if it's already in first form. Fire is strong against moss, moss is strong against water, you get the idea. •You cannot enchant a mossy ball with water, a wet ball with fire, or a burning ball with moss. 

Note: The Knock ball will provide the necessary spell slots and power to place the enchantments; no need for a long rest after a hundred consecutive Knock games…. save of course to stave off physical exhaustion. The Knock ball will also provide an "instinctive urge" to any new players which alerts them as to how to place such enchantments and that they are able to do so. It doesn't tell them which they should do of course, just that they can and how. Hence Knucker has all the same pow'r as Cthulhu within the bounds of the game. For this reason, a game of Knock can be used to teach aspiring new magic users all of the spells used in the game- they'll keep the knowledge they pick up even after the game comes to a close.

4.) Each player can only place five enchantments, at LEAST two of which MUST be on at least one of their own balls.

Note: The game element, gutterbrain.

5.) Once all enchantments are placed, players may direct either of their own balls to attack either of the enemy's. Doing so weakens the ball being attacked, naturally.

•If the attacking ball is the same element as the ball being attacked, it will weaken the defending ball by one form. •If the attacking ball is strong against the element it is attacking, it will weaken the defending ball by two forms. •If the attacking ball is weak to the element it is attacking, both balls will be weakened by one form. 

6.) Once a ball is reduced to "form zero", it is removed from play. Players take turns attacking until one or the other is left with no enchanted balls remaining.

This next set of rules is enforced by the Knock ball in the interest of fair play.

1.) Neither player can harm the other player or, through inaction, allow the other player to come to harm during play. This protection does NOT extend to anything which might occur after the game concludes.

Note: Entities NOT playing the game are not affected by the Knock ball at all. If a thief shoots Knucker in the back of the head and Cthulhu legitimately has no way to protect Knucker…. somehow…. then the game ends without consequence enforced upon any entity. If Cthulhu CAN protect Knucker, however, he will be forced to do so the same as if he'd been subjected to the will of a more powerful entity commanding him to do so.

2.) Neither player can place any bet or stakes reliant on any aspect of the game. If such terms were agreed to beforehand, both players will find themselves incapable of enchanting or disenchanting any game element whatsoever until the terms are agreed upon to be no longer valid or in effect. The Knock ball cannot see into the future, however, so if someone later decides to do something because a Knock game was won or lost then there's really no helping it. If the two are in a bar and two non-players decide to take bets, that's their business.

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3.) During play, neither player can use magic in any manner which does not effect a game element specifically in the manners described above OR defend themselves/the other player from harm during play. If one or both players require magical power to remain alive/sentient/able to play, the Knock ball will provide the required energy for the duration of the game.

Note: The Knock ball will NOT provide physical material for consumption during play. If a damn breaks, floods the bar the game is being held in, and Knucker drowns (again with Cthulhu SOMEHOW unable to stop any of this) then Knucker clearly forfeit the match by hosting the game in an area prone to flooding. With that said, Cthulhu also can't cast any spell that would cause the dam to break (even through some convoluted chain of events) as it's not part of playing the game and wouldn't be an action to defend the players' lives.

Also, if Knucker's friends somehow pose a threat to Cthulhu, Cthulhu can't bring Knucker's friends to harm until they pose a threat to Cthulhu during the duration of the match. If a wizard launches the last fireball necessary to kill Cthulhu, but it's traveling a great distance and won't arrive until after the game is over, Cthulhu can raise a magic shield or barrier around himself but he can't kill the wizard to stop the attack- wizard still doesn't pose a threat to Cthulhu's pointless game playing. If an ant is about to bite Cthulhu DURING the match, however, Cthulhu can summon armies of Mordor from an interdimensional portal, turn the skies to clouds of acid rain, bring the moon crashing down on the poor fool from above and collapse the entirety of the dimension….. just so long Knucker never comes to harm in the process.

4.) A game-relevant action must be taken at least once every ten minutes, or else the game ends and the player who failed to move on their turn is considered to have forfeited the match.

Example: If Knucker out-smarts Cthulhu and is sure to win on his next move, Cthulhu can't just refuse to move for a thousand years and claim Knucker forfeit on account of old age. Worthy to note though: If Knucker matched against a pixie that only DOES live for ten minutes, Knucker can win by stalling and make the exact same claim.

5.) Any balls that leave a 5m radius of the table are instantly teleported back to its surface. Furthermore, if either player is unable to perceive any game element, the Knock ball will give them a mental image of exactly where it is and what state/form it's in. If any game elements are destroyed aside from the Knock ball, an exact replica will be re-summoned which will vanish when the game comes to a close. If the Knock ball itself is destroyed, all effects of the Knock ball are of course nullified and all summoned game elements naturally vanish.

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Now you may be wondering: "Why would anyone bother to play this?". Well aside from passing time, inventive players might be able to exploit this a bit.

If no table is present, the Knock ball will summon one. It isn't anchored place, so you could place the table over an explosive trap to hide it. Can't reach the top shelf? Challenge the group's Warlock to a game of Knock! Just be careful not to slip on the balls. Goliath barbarian in the group? Tables make for great improvised weapons. Especially ones that reappear- undamaged- when you break the old one o'er somebody's skull. Cover from arrows, use the balls to trip people within 5m of the table (the Knock ball only makes the players aware of the game elemets' locations, not anyone else), the list goes on.

Source: reddit.com

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