New DreadBall Rules

Teams are on there way. You’ll get one a day (including later today) till we’ve got the last 6 up. However, before we do that, here is a new rule I’d like to hear your thoughts on.

Actually, it’s two interlinked rules: Hacking and Reputation.

Hacking and Reputation

The intention is to add another option and some more story telling and character to teams in a league. Reputation is unlikely to be a core concern for all, but for certain types of team it provides another appropriate string to their bow. As ever, it’s about providing characterful options.

For example, if a league has two teams which both have a Ranking of 140, they can be differentiated quite noticeably if one has a Reputation of 160 and the other has a Reputation of 6. Their histories will have been very different to get to that situation.


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39 Responses to New DreadBall Rules

  1. Jon Finn says:

    Reputation: starting teams, especially ones that lose their first match, seem vulnerable to being disbanded or crippled. Result 2 (Scandal) seems particularly nasty as it hits money and reputation and costs 6mc to avoid!
    Reputation – Local Hero: What if you have no Guards on your roster?
    Reputation – Spin Doctor: Why would you ever pick a result other than 5 (Local Hero)?
    Hacking: Does a coach have to announce which hack they’ve bought to their opponent before the match? I can see that affecting play, especially Hack B. No-one would attempt an early 3-pointer if they knew their opponent could zilch it.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Ranking starts at 100, so does Reputation. A team would have to be phenomenally unlucky to randomly get disbanded without doing anything to lose Rep. Impossible after one match.

      Local Hero – changed to be just a team member. Anyone could do this.

      Hacking – good question. On balance I’d say yes, as this is the easiest to deal with. Otherwise you’d have to be writing things down in secret. If there were cards, then you could just take the relevant one, but without them…

  2. Xynok111 says:

    I like the premise of the rules but I’m not sure I like the way reputation works. In theory, it’s a great idea but I’d like to see more than just ‘you are disbanded, try again’. Maybe being able to influence random player selection, fan checks, ref checks or the like instead of just being a bookkeeping exercise to make sure your team can still play. Nobody is going to have fun keeping track of it or if they get booted because of it.

    I think the wording on “Serving their time” is a bit complicated but the hacks look to be great fun.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The problem with adding more complexity is that it’s more complex, and this is what berger (below) is worrying about. At present it’s pretty straightforward to use and provides a characterful brake on excessive hacking use.

      I’ll have another look at Serving their time.

  3. berger15 says:

    My only concern with reputation is this is going to increase the amount of work needed to track leagues. the players need to track events in game, then there’s more admin after the game – it is really starting to become more a chore and less a game.
    As for hacking – I don’t see that as needed in Dreadball. DBX *maybe*, but not DBO.

    One of the reasons I know my friends left BB and took up DB was that is was simpler to play and had less faffing around trying to find rule x which allows this while rule Y means it only affect player b, not the rest, etc. If DBO gets overly complicated it could hurt the game. Just my 2 cents.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Hacking was a specific request from Mantic, and I think it came from player’s feedback originally. Wherever it’s from, it’s optional, like everything else. Doubly so by the time we’re talking season 5 or 6 league matches. If you wanted to play a cleaner and simpler game then your league organiser could run it that way. These two rules are organised so that they aren’t integral to anything but each other, so they can be added or left out as you choose.

      I agree that too much complexity is not a good thing for DB. However, as I mentioned, this isn’t part of the core rules, it’s an expansion. Many people won’t have these and won’t feel the need for them. If you do get these seasons then you still don’t have to add the rules if you don’t think they’re adding to your fun. I think that the team you favour may make a difference to whether you feel they do or not.

      This is really part of a wider discussion about the way games creep in general, and the tension between what is good game design and what is profitable business practice.

  4. mattadlard says:

    The negative reputation could lead to only allowed to play in the eXtreme League…
    The hacking ads a fun element and could see this a fav tactic with the A.I teams. Or worse yet subject of a hack :{ would also like to see a down side such as virus or counter measures and teams being slammed for it, etc.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      If a team did get disbanded then individuals might well end up on the DBX circuit. It might be interesting to allow hacking against robot teams specifically. However, I don’t think it would balance well without being built into their rules as a requirement, rather than an optional add on. Interesting thought though.

      • mattadlard says:

        Welcome, can see the DBX option as an easier option to swallow with players who have been playing teams long term and also allow two leagues to be run one on Positive reputation and the other Negative, so having a team drop would be not so much a hardship, more gaming opportunties.

  5. Chris says:

    Not too sure about the Reputation aspect. I would love to see some sorry of benefit that allows a player to level up come out of it. Also, I think I would rather see a 2 dice roll for effects which would allow for more variety to come from it.

    I really like the concept of the Hacking attribute and think that again, you could easily add a few more options and allow a 2 dice roll for what occurs. I do also are that it feels more DBX, but I also think this is a great concept for smaller leagues that are looking for more variety between matches.

    One hack that could be added is the exploding ball event possibly, which would be easy to put in. Also, maybe one could be that an opposing player has his equipment sabotaged at the start of a game which results in him going to the injury box for 1-3 rounds, which could change things up dramatically. These are just quick thoughts off the top of my head though.

  6. theearthdragon says:

    I like the base ideas, though I hope the charts won’t be so stagnant in the final iteration (1 is always strikers with alien triplets. Why couldn’t a guard be accused of murder, or an assistant coach for illegal bets). It would be nice to see it expanded a little.

    Also, as one of those clamoring for “something going on in the aftermath of the match” to Mantic, I was more thinking in the lines of a win chart and a loss chart.

    Win chart would have results like:
    We need him!! – The front office got it offer it couldn’t refuse. One of your players who gained experience last match (chosen at random) was just traded off for two random Rank 2 players.


    It’s all about me – Your MVP from the last match wants a bonus or he walks. Pay 1/4 of his value (rounded up) in mc or remove him from your roster.

    And things that could be on the loss chart:

    Clean house – Your sponsoring body demands change. Remove players from your roster of your choosing down to 6 and all assistant coaches. You are awarded MC equal to the value of the removed players and coaches which can be spent immediately on new players and extras. If you have no assistants and 6 or less players, ignore this result.


    Make changes or I walk – your highest values player is upset that he doesn’t help. Remove or hire any player of your choosing or remove the highest value player (if there is a tie, it is chosen at random).

    This sort of idea wouldn’t add any extra tracking. These are also more of your extreme results. As mentioned before, I’d like to see more of a 3d6, 4d6, or d66 type chart for these sorts of things. It shouldn’t be every league you get the clean house result. That’s something that is rare and could really put you on a good path of you had played a few games already and had a pair of rank 3s to anchor the overhaul around.

    Thanks for the updates Jake and looking forward to seeing more!!

    • theearthdragon says:

      I hate that this thing doesn’t have an edit…..ggggggrrrrrr:

      Win chart would have results like:
      We need him!! – The front office got an offer it couldn’t refuse. One of your players who gained experience last match (chosen at random) was just traded off for two random Rank 2 players. Select them at random as if you were buying new players, then rank them up as normal using applicable chart for their position.


      It’s all about me – Your MVP from the last match wants a bonus or he walks. Pay 1/4 of his value (rounded up) in mc or remove him from your roster. If your players didn’t earn mvp, the entire team wants a bonus, Pay 1mc per player or until you are at 0mc in your bank.

      And things that could be on the loss chart:

      Clean house – Your sponsoring body demands change. Remove players from your roster of your choosing down to 6 and all assistant coaches. You are awarded MC equal to the value of the removed players and coaches which can be spent immediately on new players and extras. If you have no assistants and 6 or less players, ignore this result.


      Make changes or I walk – your highest valued player is upset that he doesn’t get any help. Remove or hire any player of your choosing or remove the highest value player (if there is a tie, it is chosen at random).

      There….that makes these a little easier to understand!!

  7. mattadlard says:

    Could see positive/negative ratings impacting possible purchase choices as n one wqants to be associated with that team, but on the DBX side you have players who do wanted to be associated with that team.

  8. theearthdragon says:

    Another thought for Leagues Jake:

    With new skills and teams pushing the envelope to where 4+ results from slams, it might be nice to get a little chart for players in league of what happens to them:

    Roll a d6:
    1 – Player was winded but able to play next game
    2-3 – Player was injuried badly and will need another game to recover
    4-5 – Player sustained serious injury requiring surgery. Player misses the next d6 games
    6 – Player was Killed by their injuries.

    Add +1 to the roll for every point over 4. So if your Hulk really wallops someone and 6 damage gets through, the player would roll on the chart with a +2 result.

    • theearthdragon says:

      I meant to say “pushing the envelope to where 4+ results for slams are more common”

      Sorry….You’d think I’d have learned how to type by now.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Recovery tables are a real Marmite issue.

      • theearthdragon says:

        You’ll have to forgive me, I’m not sure what the marmite issue is so that’s a foreign explanation.

        I was more thinking that a slight differential in whether players were permanently gone or temporarily gone would help with the game developing more skills to aid in players to slam more effectively. They are already coming it seems (skills assisting slams) and as a result, players might be dropping to easily.

        The OTHER thing it does is indeed assist the narrative and value of certain skills. Quick Recovery can give you a -1 to the roll. There are some possibilities here. Doesn’t have to be too crazy, but anything that adds depth with minimal additional bookkeeping (I think the main problem some have with reputation) is something to be considered. The big thing that was suppose to add some depth, MVP auctions, has largely been ignored sadly.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Marmite is a yeast extract spread that is largely marketed as being something you love or hate. It’s become a shorthand for that concept in the UK at least 🙂

          Unfortunately you’re right about the MVPs. I’m working on some alternate rules. A real shame in my view, but there you go. Sometimes people just want the same white bread they had yesterday.

  9. Charles says:

    I sort of feel like Xtreme is being left by the wayside. After the core game box release we’ve seen season 4 for DBO, but nothing about Xtreme other than the bag of figures included in the spring shipment. One of the figures that came in that package was another sponsor. I’d love to have rules for her, but so far there’s nothing available for Xtreme beyond the core game box.

    I run a league for DBO and I love it, but I’m sad to see that the Xtreme KS campaign iseems to have become a series of expansions for the original game rather than a truly new game with expansions of its own.

    • theearthdragon says:

      I get what you are saying, but I also feel that for Xtreme to get finished, they needed to have all the DBO teams fairly fleshed out to begin with. Just gives you are starting place for all the figures and positions. The DBX handbook seems like a pretty big undertaking that just wasn’t gonna shake out easily. In retrospect, we should have seen this kind of delay on that project with all the stuff Mantic loads on Jake.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Rules for that sponsor are in the expansion (if it’s the one I think it is). Can’t recall her name.

      DBX is far less of a trial to balance as the players don’t work in fixed teams. With their value changing depending on the Sponsor involved, and this compounding because all of the other players for that Sponsor may change too – and change differently.

    • darkson01 says:

      I’m with Charles on this. I backed DBX for DBX, the DBO functionality was (is!) an added bonus as far as I’m concerned. However, the lack of visible movement of DBX after the initial box (that I collected at the Open day) has meant it’s been relegated to the back of the cupboard after just a few plays – the initial buzz of the game has diminished.

      As for the Hacking and Rep rules, not a fan as I see them now. A team goes on a losing streak (especially if they lose players) and either has to waste their winnings on keeping their rep up (so not losing more players) or buys players and risks losing them. Also seem unfairly balanced – Orx for example have nothing to fear from #1. Add in the added post-game time and it seems a lot of effort for minimal return. I’m (still) a big BB fan, but the short post-game phase was a plus point for DBO.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        DBX has been quiet, but it’s not been forgotten. In fact, I think it’s all done. Certainly, it’s no longer on my desk 🙂

        It seems a shame that you need us to constantly jump up and down about something for you to consider playing it. The rules won’t be better or worse if I’m discussing it. Crates still go boom… 🙂

        • darkson01 says:

          It’s not about jumping up and down, it’s about backing a Kickstarter for “Xtreme”, not backing a “DBO II” Kickstarter. And yet I’ve received more DBO stuff from the KS than I’ve had DBX – I’ve got a sponsor model that there are currently no rules for. It would have been nice to see some rules for including the models already sent out to backers for DBX by now, even if they were early betas.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I actually thought that Mantic had sent out all the rules for this stuff digitally to the KS backers ages ago. Apparently not.

          I’ll have a word with them and see what’s going on.

  10. Jason Newell says:

    The reputation thing, I could take it or leave it. I can see how it would work and being optional is fine, but it just doesn’t thrill me. For something that story oriented it really needs a lot more reputation results than the six in the pdf (thoughts stirring of the D66 tables from necromunda)
    The hacking rules I thoroughly dislike. They come across as a needless complication to an elegant rules set. As an optional extra I would never use them.

  11. Chris says:

    If you are going to do this, it does need more depth. A D66 chart, or a number of sub charts. I would suggest any league that uses it makes the roll compulsory. You also need to balance against it reinforcing the success of teams who are making money faster than the other ones.

  12. Gareth says:

    I like the basic idea of reputation and hacking, but at the moment it feels like a lot of awkward moving parts and tedious bookeeping. It took four read through for me to get the idea. Rather than have reputation represented by a three-figure number, why not represent it as a figure between 1 and 10 ‘corruption’ points, and when you get to ten, rather than your team being disbanded, a random unfortunate event happens, like one of your players gets ‘clutz’, or you lose a coaching dice, or your highest ranked player gets a three match ban; and then your corruption resets to 0.

    And I agree, there needs to be more variety of events to engage the storytelling aspect, but I would have multiple tables for teams depending on the level of reputation, with teams in lower brackets being involved in dodgier and dodgier stuff.

  13. mattadlard says:

    One could see these extras working better in leagues with one dedicated player running the whole league and using the extras as a sort of GM/League Manager facility.

  14. Don Squires says:

    In early league matches both of these rules could really hurt the poorer teams. If I lost by landslide week 1, then I’d get no money. A couple of bad rolls later, my team could be in bad shape. Sounds like it could be fun, but I prefer to keep it simple.

  15. Lee says:

    Reputation can be fun and worthwhile as an optional rule. There doesn’t really need to be a large set of initial events, just a few generic options that let the players provide extra narrative to their campaign. That said, it may well be worth adding an additional roll to see if there is an event in the first place.

    After the match and any PR expenses, Roll a dice.

    On a roll of a 1, the Team is caught up inn some negative publicity…roll on the Negative Publicity table…..which would have Outrage, Scandal and one other negative event. (You know, might be fun to have a team with a support coach make a “support play” roll to mitigate the damage of the negative PR….its kind of a part of their job!)

    On a 2-5, nothing news-worthy makes the feeds.

    On a 6, the Team gains a boost in popularity from Positive PR, Roll on the Positive Publicity table…which would have Charity Work, Local Hero and maybe a slight variation on Spin Doctor.

    Also, consider other options for adding to Reputation. A Landslide Victory could provide a team with a small Rep bonus as they demonstrate their prowess on the pitch. Winning a League Championship could also add a Rep bonus. I am sure there are opportunities in further expansions that could create more tables or bonuses for those interested in that sort of thing. Heck, Achievements should add to Reputation too….highlight reels on the Sports shows help with PR too!

  16. Seb says:

    Love these rules! I was working for Notoriety for my own league, and you made it real!

    So, here the french translation for these new rules! (as always, not the final translation, I could make some changes for the official publication ^_^ )

    Entre chaque match, après avoir calculer les gains, l’expérience et tout ce qui a besoin d’être calculé, les Coachs pourront choisir de dépenser une partie de leur gain sur la publicité de leur équipe.
    Pour toute tranche de 3mc dépensé par le Coach, il peut ajouter +1 au résultat du lancer de dé suivant.
    Une fois que chaque Coach a choisi son degré d’investissement, ils peuvent lancer un dé pour leur équipe respective (avec les modifications qui s’appliquent) et consultent les résultats suivants :
    1. Outrage.
    Deux des Strikers de l’équipe ont été pris en flagrant délis avec une triplé extraterreste le jour précédent une attaque contre une usine médicale de la Corporation par la même race d’extraterrestres, où toute l’équipe médicale a été massacrée. Film à 23h
    Le Coach de l’équipe doit choisir de virer un de ses Strikers ou subir une pénalité égale au résultat de 2 Dés à sa Réputation.
    Si l’équipe n’a pas de Strikers, alors elle gagne 1 Dé à sa Réputation, vu que l’équipe a été clairment victime d’une campagne de manipulation.
    2. Scandale.
    Un journaliste secret pour le Réseau de Nouvelles de DreadBall secrètement films un des joueurs prenant dessous-de-table pour fixation de match. Au moins, c’est ce qu’il dit. Le joueur dit que c’était une configuration.
    L’équipe est condamnée à une amende 2 Dés de mc. Une équipe doit payer comme une grande partie de cet argent comme il peut. Si l’équipe n’a pas tout l’argent alors il perd 1 point d’équipe la Réputation de chaque mc qu’il ne peut pas payer.
    3. Aucun évènement.
    L’équipe réussit à se rester hors des gros titres, continuant tranquillement ses activités sérieuses de formation pour son match suivant.
    4. Travail caritatif.
    Certains des joueurs posent pour une image ou deux en donnant un coup de main le match de oeuvre de bienfaisance(de charité) d’un enfant et il va viral.
    L’équipe augmente sa Réputation par le total d’un lancer d’1 Dé.
    5. Héros local.
    Un du membre de l’équipe déjoue une tentative de vol tandis que des achats.
    L’équipe augmente sa Réputation par le total d’un lancer de 2 Dés.
    6. Conseiller en communication/marketing.
    Le département marketing de Votre équipe a fait un travail remarquable(en suspens).
    Vous pouvez choisir n’importe quel résultat de cette table.

    Quelque soit la part de vérité, tout ce que l’on tient pour sûr, c’est que le piratage est rapidement devenu un nouvel outil de l’arsenal de tout coach qui se respecte. Un Coach peut payer jusqu’à une des six options suivantes avant le début d’un match. C’est un bénéfice unique qui affecte le match qui va débuter. Une piratage coûte 3mc et réduit la Réputation d’une équipe du résultat d’un Dé (voir page XX pour plus de détails sur la Réputation).
    A: Par où on commence ?
    Votre expert pirate la gestion de l’équipe adverse et change leur liste de départ.
    Vous choisissez les six joueurs de l’équipe adverse qui commenceront le match. L’Entraîneur adverse choisit le positionnement de ses propres joueurs.
    B: Y a pas eu Strike là ?
    Les ordinateurs de buts de l’arène sont la cible de ce piratage. Ceci est une chose si évidente qu’il va de probablement être découvert assez rapidement.
    Seul le premier strike sera modifié. La première tentative de Strike dans le jeu, par l’un ou l’autre camp, est enregistrée inexactement par l’ordinateur indiquant le score.
    Si vous avez effectuer la tentative, alors il enregistre un Strike à 2 points, que la tentative ait été réussie ou non. Votre Rush est terminé. Une nouvelle balle est lancée, et l’ancienne balle est enlevée au début du Rush de votre adversaire.
    Si c’est l’équipe adverse qui a fait la tentative de Strike, alors il enregistre un échec, que la tentative ait été réussie ou non. La balle est dispersée depuis l’hex de Strike si le Strike a été marqué. Le Rush de votre adverse se termine, sauf si le tir a été raté et qu’un autre coéquipier de la même équipe récupère la balle.
    C: Tout le monde a gagné.
    Les gains calculés après un match sont modifiés pour améliorer votre trésorerie.
    Les gains d’équipe sont calculés comme d’habitude, et ensuite vous obtenez un 2 dé supplémentaire mc supplémentaires.
    D: Où sont tes specificités, Arbitre ?
    Le réseau neural complexe de l’Arbitre est la cible de ce piratage.
    Chaque fois vous appelez une Faute contre l’équipe adverse, le test d’Arbitre s’effectue avec +1 Dé. Ceci continue jusqu’à la première fois qu’un des joueurs adverses est explusé comme le résultat d’un de ces contrôles, moment où les effets de ce piratage s’arrêtent.
    E: Purger sa peine.
    Un piratage plus subtil doit changer les minuteurs sur les moniteurs de pénalité et les ordinateurs médicaux afin qu’ils gardent des joueurs opposés plus longtemps.
    Lancez un test de Force à 3 dés (1) pour chaque joueur dans le Banc de pénalité adverse à la fin de leur Rush, alorsq qu’ils devraient se déplacer normalement d’un espace vers le Banc des Remplaçants. Si le test échoue, le joueur n’est pas déplacé. Si le test réussit, il est déplacé d’une case comme d’habitude. Si le test est doublé, alors le joueur est déplacé de deux cases (le piratage n’a pas été parfait, après tout). Si aucun des joueurs lors des déplacements du Banc des Pénalités n’est déplacé à la fin d’un Rush, alors le piratage est découvert et celui-ci n’a plus d’effet. Les déplacements du Banc des Pénalités revient à son fonctionnement normal dès le Rush suivant.
    F: Rien ne va plus !
    Le minuscule Gyro-stabilisateur de la balle peut être attaqué à distance, afin de le rendre hors de contrôle. Ceci ne fonctionne pas souvent, comme ces balles sont protégées contre précisément ce genre d’attaque, mais une technologie vraiment intelligente peut passer à travers les défenses cryptées de temps en temps. Ceci est une petite modification, et cela ne fonctionne que si la balle n’est pas tenue fermement par un joueur.
    Une fois par match, à la fin de n’importe quelle Rush, dispersez la balle si elle n’est pas tenu par un joueur.

  17. John McLeish says:

    I’m not sure I’d ever voluntarily use this, not with everything else that already needs tracking.

    Why would you not use ‘every one a winner’ after every game? 3MC for at worst a 1MC loss or 9 MC gain? You can lose up to 3D6 Rep every game (doing as above) so can play 5 games without any stress, at least. On average you can play 9 games before actually risking getting kicked out, all for a potential 81MC extra from playing. And that assumes you hit ‘outrage’ or ‘scandal’ after every game…

    • John McLeish says:

      Oh and the ‘on a 6 pick something’ isn’t really a choice when you have 1 result that benefits you more than the others. It works for player advancement options, not for this.

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