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D&D Sports

By Shamus
on Tuesday Dec 6, 2005
Filed under:
Nerd Culture


Imagine the modern world, but populated by the classic Dungeons & Dragons races: Humans, Dwarves, Elves, etc.

Now: Imagine professional sports. What races would excel at various sports? Which ones would they enjoy?

Of course, hockey would be a Dwarven sport. They already enjoy wearing lots of armor. Their large mass, durability, low center of gravity, and tolerance for low temperatures make them ideal for this game.

Rugby would be all orcs, and they would probably play to the death.

Euro-football (Soccer) is fierce, but the players are lithe and speedy. This is an Elven sport. Perhaps there would be some humans in the league, as goalies.

American football would be primarily a human sport. I can imagine some of the linemen being Orcs, but runningbacks, quarterbacks, tight ends and other positions could only be filled by humans. Dwarves are too short. And elves? They would shatter a few seconds after the snap. Okay, maybe your punter could be Elven. Now that I’ve described this, it sounds really cool.

Tennis? Elves.

Golf. Now this is a tricky one. Halflings seem like the ones most disposed to this sort of sport. It’s just their sort of thing. They would be unbeatable putters. However, their limited stature and strength will hamper their ability to drive the ball. On a par 3 you’d never beat them, but on a par 5 you could out-drive them. Hmmmm. It would be interesting. Well, more interesting than regular golf, anyway.

Baseball: This might be the most diverse of all sports in our imaginary world. I could see just about any race (aside from Dwarves) finding a position that suits them. Although, if they get rid of designated hitters, then Halflings would be screwed.

Boxing: There would be a seperate boxing title for each race. If Don King had his way, there would also be a seperate belt for every alignment and weight. So, someone would have the Orcish Heavyweight Lawful Neutral Belt and someone else would have the Elven Welterweight Chaotic Good. And good luck trying to unify those belts.

When it comes to horseracing, Halflings would make unbelieveable jockeys.

What about Gnomes? Gnomes wouldn’t play sports. Gnomes are geeks. Gnomes would work at NASA. Lawful evil ones might work at Microsoft. Chaotic good ones would work on Linux variants and obscure open-source projects on Sourceforge.

Comments (28)

  1. Ava Tari says:

    Hah! You’re right about Elves and futbol – all the drama and acting and such is ideal.

    I see your point about the DH, but the strike zone on a halfling is teeny.

    Golf, well, according to Tolkein, halflings invented it.

    Another aspect of hockey that makes it a Dwarven sport is the large role that beer plays.

  2. Telas says:

    What are you thinking? Dwarves are perfect for offensive linemen. Especially the d20 v3.5 ones, with +4 vs. Bull Rush.

    A good football team would be like a good D&D party – everyone fits their role. Dwarven linemen, Half-orc linebackers, Half-Elf wide receivers, Human quarterbacks, and an Elven kicker.

    Halflings could hold for the kicker, which would make for interesting “fake punt” opportunities… “It’s a fake punt! He’s throwing the ball-holder!!”

    Of course, the Gnomes would run the cameras and referee, and Elves would be the announcers… “He’s running the same series of plays that Coach Simpson did, what was it, six or eight hundred years back. Remember that?” “Remember it? I kicked the field goal!”

  3. andy m says:

    I’ve also thought about DnD football, even tried to make some rules for it, without much success. playtesting proved it to be a long arduous process.

    But imagine this situation. The Mauraders are playing Knights in the Mega Goblet (Super Bowl), with the big uglies up by 4. Last play of the game. The Paladin quarterback takes the snap and reads the defense. A Blackguard blitzes from the outside, and the qb gets the ball off at the last moment. Because the other team is evil, the Paladin adds a holy smite attack to his pass, lobbing it deep over the middle. The smite attack seers the hands of the dark elf deep in man coverage, and the ball pops up into the air in the endzone. The monk wide receiver jumps first, then uses slowfall to ensure he still is in the air as the ball enters arm’s-length. Touchdown Knights. all is well in the world.

  4. matt says:

    The Breachgnome prestige class would be impenetrable against a QB sneak.

  5. matt says:

    Or impregnable, or something like that.

  6. Robert says:

    Actually halflings in baseball would do great at bat – their strike zone would be so tiny, they’d walk half the time. True, they wouldn’t be hitting a lot of doubles and triples, and they’d be too slow for the outfield – but inside the diamond, that skill with thrown objects would come in awful handy.

  7. Gahazakul says:

    these are old posta and wat not but het, warahmmer offers a tabletop game for this! its the bllod bowl, it has been discontinued now but u can still get it, i still bust out my orc team to throw down the field and stomp the official…er…opponets team

  8. chitzk0i says:

    Elves would dominate every sport. Why? They’d spread out and specialize.

  9. DMCain says:

    Actually, use halflings for pitchers in baseball… they do get taht nifty bonus to throwing stuff.

  10. Brackmaar the Siffredian says:

    Sounds like Shadowrun, neh ?

  11. Kenny says:

    I think dwarves would make great catchers.

  12. Hitonagashi says:

    I like thread necromancy….Have you heard of Bloodbowl? Kinda like American Football(yep, I’m British) crossed with Rugby, with fantasy races such as elves, dwarves, orcs…it works really well, and tis great fun :)

  13. Marty says:

    Dwarves are perfect for offensive linemen.

    How is a Dwarf going to protect the QB when the defense can just hop over them?

    The Bullrush bonus doesn’t really help because the purpose of the defense is not to tackle the offensive lineman, but to circumvent the offense to get to the QB… Granted, I know the statement was intended more as a pun on “rush”.

    One would really need two leagues — one for the under 5′ races and one for the larger races.

    With troll, ogres and giants, “tossing the pigskin” might actually involve live pigs. The game would certainly be a little more interesting if the ball were mobile.

  14. Dovyenda says:

    You forgot quite a few sports but most arnt mainstreem ones but here are a couple of ones that are…Giants would so dominate basketball, while elves with the higher dex would do well in nascar.

  15. imp No1 says:

    elves in cars… god help us all

  16. mocking bird says:

    I disagree – dwarves would love rugby as well. Imagine the party afterwards…

    Gnomes would also be all over baseball – lots of meaningless stats.

    imp – elves wouldn’t go near NASCAR. Apart from the fanbase, the helmets would mess up thier hair. Besides, who would want to watch the Indianopolis 5000?

  17. mocking bird says:

    Forgot to add – dwarven hockey? No black ice for sure. It might take some serious convincing that the ice is only 6″ thick and that there isn’t any water beneath it.

  18. William says:

    Some friends and I were discussing fantasy football, and we had a similar line of thought going, but with the character classes (this image: http://www.bustedtees.com/bt/images/BT-fantasyfootball-gallery-1354.jpg is what inspired the discussion). After setting down some of the necessary precautions to make the action a sport rather than a bloodbath (various powerful enchantments and whatnot to make all damage subdual, ability/lvl. drain temporary, etc., so that noone’s permanently harmed from a game), we then tried to figure out the various actions members of a given class would do, and the effect that magic in all its forms would have, often by describing from the announcer’s viewpoint:
    “…and the kicker is lining up for the field goal… he’s running up… and… oh my god… I can’t believe this folks… the entire defensive line had Blinked behind the offensive line and set to receive charge as the kicker ran forward for his kick….”
    The thought made us giggle.

  19. God of Awesome says:

    You really need to write the rules for that. It would be awesome.

  20. Kizer says:

    Here’a barrel of monkeys: half-races. Where do they fit in the wide world of sports?

  21. Arquinsiel says:

    Elves play Hurling, clearly. Look it up.

  22. Gabe says:

    This thread reminded me of the time my eight foot tall draconic monk and the half-orc barbarian played soccer with some little kids. I knocked the goalie and we ran the hell away. By the way monks would dominate all sports, especially the eight-foot tall draconic kind.

    (A little late I know)

  23. Sydney says:

    Of course, the wrestlers would all be dwarves.[/incrediblynerdyreference]

  24. Andrew B says:

    Can I just add, (while trawling the archives) BloodBowl? Just a shame that this is an ancient post, so no-one will ever see this.

    Oh well.

  25. SheWhoCopiedOffOfVoldemort'sName says:

    I think volleyball would be a mix sport. Halflings would make wicked liberos and humans and elves could play easily together. Elves would make a good front middle or spike-ers. Humans would be good back-row people, or front row-ers. Orcs and trolls… not a good mix. Goblins would suck too.
    Goblins would be the video game programmers. Orcs and Trolls would be a mafia.

  26. TooOldButStillNerdy says:

    Dwarves as baseball catchers. Fewer errors from a deflected ball going around them. Don’t even try to slide into home. And best of all, they don’t even have to squat down.

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