DBX Details: What Do Sponsors Do In Game?

Sponsors organise the games of DreadBall Xtreme, and put together the teams that play in them. But what do they do once the game has started? Well, it’s not all champagne and caviar.

If you read the beta rules you’ll see that Sponsors continue to scheme throughout a game, doing whatever they can to gain an edge, both on the field and in a league. Each Rush you get to pick one dastardly scheme. The options they have are:

  1. Intimidate: gives you an extra Coaching Dice for this Rush (use it or lose it).
  2. Nobble: threatens or blackmails an opposing player in to performing badly in their next Rush. They get -1 to all their tests (except armour).
  3. Bet: puts on a side bet that you will win. If you do then you get more cash at the end.

Each of these is useful in a different circumstance, and different gamers I’ve watched prefer different options.

Bet is only worth doing in a league match. Money doesn’t matter in one-off games and so this is irrelevant. When you are in a league match Bet adds a longer term choice to other options which are both very much immediate game effects.

Nobble is most useful if the other side has a single important player. Perhaps they have the ball at that moment, or look like they might be making a run to strike. Maybe it’s their only remaining Striker or Guard. Whatever the target, this is most obviously useful if the opposing team has a clear choice of player for a task. Mind you, if they have two to pick from then you could use this on one and then Slam the other out of the running.

Gaining an extra Coaching Dice with Intimidate is always useful, and becomes the default for many players as it’s so easy to use. Don’t forget it only lasts for this Rush though!


A Bigger Picture

These options are not only different in detail, but focus on different styles of play. The first boosts your own team, the second hinders your opponent, and the last looks at the bigger picture.


On The Board

The main use of the Sponsor model is to show which of these schemes is in operation at any one time. The hexes in the Subs’ Benches each identify one or other of these choices. When you pick one you place the Sponsor model in the appropriate position. This means that you can tell at a glance what’s going on.


Future Sponsors

These options are the basic ones. One of the things I’d like to do with future Sponsors is to look at these schemes and see what else we can come up with. The three “big picture” categories will remain as I think they’re a good framework, but there’s more than one way of helping your own side or hindering the opponent. These will be listed as Sponsor abilities and are another way to define the unique character and style of the many different Sponsors.

I have a couple of pages in a notebook dedicated to wacky Sponsor ideas, but I’m sure I’ve missed some good ones. What do you think would be fun for them to do?

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16 Responses to DBX Details: What Do Sponsors Do In Game?

  1. Daemon says:

    Assisting one’s own team: A sponsor who may aid all players in need during the Recovery phase, maybe granting an extra dice. Through remotely monitoring life signs and adjusting chemical levels, or by chanting ancient battle hymns to inspire, or by simply pulling a face that makes it absolutely clear that if players don’t get up now they need not bother getting up after the game.

    Bigger picture: A sponsor who, through thorough planning or a sufficient network of bribes and counter-bribes, ensure that the traps on the field go their way this Rush. Whatever a booby trap turns out to be can be influenced by a Sponsor who has put the work in in advance, or has a remote device to scramble or set off the right frequencies.

    Hindering the other team: Bigger, badder and has seen it all, a sponsor who counters whatever the OTHER sponsor wants to try and achieve during the next Rush.

    I’ll think of some more later, maybe.

  2. I echo the above, plus maybe something harsher than nobble, such as an immediate knock down on a 6+ test, or 3dice test, success = the number of players knocked down.
    Frenzy power (a bit like bane in the batman comics) that again as above grants the number of successes an extra dice to slams and force an additional armour save.

  3. Torkel says:

    – Hinder entry onto the pitch for enemy players.
    – Get a spectator to put a threat zone on an enemy player (or just have a spectator perform a slam on a chosen target).
    – Retrieve a downed player back to the reserve bench for immediate (or aided) recovery.
    – Bribe a specific enemy player to not slam a specific player of your own for the next turn.
    – Reroll one whole dice roll for a jack during next turn.
    – When drawing cards, draw two and pick one of them.

  4. Doug says:

    Nano-bomb implant
    (once per game)
    A random opposing player has had a bomb slipped into their protein shake. May be activated at any point (treat as a Running Interference card). Make a 3 dice 4+ test. For each success the target suffers an injury token and falls prone one the hex they currently occupy.

    One friendly player chosen by the sponsor gets a stimboost when they perform an action. They gain +1 dice to any tests performed from that point on until they fail or lose a test. Once they fail they count as ‘Worse for Wear’ for the rest of the game.

    booby trapped ball
    (once per game)
    The ball explodes (treat as the ball shatters). Resolve this as if the sponsor had detonated a bomb collar on the ball handler. Immediately relaunch the ball.

    One opposing player chosen by the sponsor during their own rush counts as a member of the sponsor’s team for that rush.

    The sponsor activates a plant in the crowd to sabotage any good will the opposing team might generate. When the opposing team gets a fancheck the sponsor can try to negate it using coaching dice. This is a X dice (1) test succeeding on a 4+. You may use any number of coaching dice to attempt to negate the fancheck,

  5. mattadlard says:

    While one enjoyed Origonal Dreadball games this one seems to have more of a complex stratergy behind the mechanics.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The rules themselves are largely the same. The points of difference (mostly the pitch and the sponsors) are what sets this apart. These are not difficult rules, but they do offer more choices. It’s these extra choices that make it seem more complex.

  6. Chef Grumpie says:

    An Sponsor that goes to opposing bench and takes the matter by his own hands, like the wrestling

    An sopnsor to a team that uses drugs that could improve the target number for one turn on player and then as the chemicals are experimental the player goes down d6 turns, obviously if it god down 4.6 turns it goes out of the pitch

    An sponsor that gives abilities to the players on the pitch, through XP he learns the abilities and each rush he gives one of the players the ability

  7. Quirkworthy says:

    Some good ideas there from everyone. Keep ’em coming!

  8. Bjorn Bonten says:

    I’d love to see a Sponsor who can “rig” the outcome, basicly having a player on the pitch “under his protection” so other players will not touch him (atleast not as obvious as to have him see it). Maybe a protegé or sort of personal Henchmen. Basicly like Nobble but the other way around and chosen from the start of the game towards a certain “pet player”.

    • Bjorn Bonten says:

      Also “advanced/league” sponsors who give you an extra set of Cards with special things that make this league/illegal circuit even more spectacular.
      For instance Mister Big B. is known for the most bloody games and as such brings to the field an entire weapons cache that gets handed out to the fans. This would give players a chance to get crowd-funded by their fans by throwing a Chainsaw onto the pitch etc.

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  12. Damian Te Tuhi says:

    You should be able to bet against yourself too!

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