Microgame of the Month: SPORTS MUTANTS
A Sci-Fi One-Page by Noah Eadie
The Big Game was once a cosmic hallucinatory miasma (weird space cloud), which one could stare into and see cool sports things happen. Broadcast satellites fed footage from The Big Game into homes across the galaxy, providing entertainment for billions. It brought people together and gave them a sense of community.
...Then, one day, The Big Game got too big.
The memetic nature of The Big Game caused it to grow to critical mass, absorbing the galaxy and corrupting its lands, its fauna, and its denizens. The Big Game now permeates the known world as a general presence of sports energy. Every landscape is a playing field, every person an athlete. Society has adapted to highly value athleticism in all things. Hyper-corrupted Sports Freaks are a pox upon the world, further mutating their surroundings by their mere presence, terrorizing the people with their sheer sports dominance. Challenges await the adventuring athlete, unlocking strange secrets and unfolding new sport-realities.
The party is a ragtag group of mutated sportspeople seeking the coveted Big Trophy. The Big Trophy allows one to bend all sportskind into their image. With it, one can forever return the world to its former state… or thrust it into an epoch of unrelenting sports glory.
Choose the sport that your character manifests. It can be any sport. Some examples: baseball, football, soccer, skateboarding, lacrosse, hockey, bowling. We recommend picking a sport you are somewhat familiar with. Your character is equipped with whatever an athlete of that sport would use. Everyone should pick a different sport.
Choose one or two Sports Mutations your character has sustained. These are different ways that The Big Game has corrupted your body. These should pertain to your sport somehow. Some example mutations: baseball skin, hockey stick arm, able to shoot footballs out your chest, unnaturally talented dribbler, elbows and knees covered with pad-like armor, able to smell a golfball from fifty miles away.
Once everyone has made their character and the session begins, you are barred from doing any research about any sports chosen by party members. You cannot have a word bank of terms open, not even one that you made.
Everyone in the party comes from the same hometown (or was traded into the stable for the hometown). The party works together to decide the team’s hometown, mascot, and colors.
With any given challenge, the Referee (Game Master) chooses a number correlating with the difficulty of the task at hand. Some reference points: shooting a three-point shot is 3, hitting a home run is 6, getting a hole-in-one is 9 (Pro League: double these numbers if playing with especially sports-savvy people). If the task involves your sport, reduce the number by 2. Reduce the number by 1 for each of your Sports Mutations that are relevant to the task. In certain situations where the difficulty is not immediately apparent - like attacking a foe - the referee might keep the number secret. Once the number is settled and the referee says “go”, the challenge begins.
You have thirty seconds to name a number of sports terms specific to your sport off the top of your head, equal in number to the challenge rating. You can only use a given term once per session. You cannot use the names of specific players or specific playing fields for that sport. You can name terms that are shared with similar sports, as long as everyone agrees the term is strongly related to your sport. For example, baseball players can use terms also used in softball, and mini-golf players can use terms also used in regular golf. You cannot use overly generic terms (all-star, season, catch, et cetera). After the time limit, explain any term that people might be unfamiliar with. If you name enough terms, you succeed. Succeed with benefits if you name more than needed. If you don’t name enough terms, you fail, with consequences scaling by how many you missed the mark by.
When someone is performing a challenge, you can assist them by also naming terms for their sport. Two terms from you equal one term towards the count. You share the consequences if you still fail.
Invoking The Big Game
When you’re given a challenge, before the timer begins, you can choose to Invoke The Big Game. When you do this, you will automatically succeed the challenge, regardless of how many terms you named. However, for each term you missed the mark by, you will sustain a new Sports Mutation chosen by the Referee. Once you take a total of six mutations, you become a Sports Freak, and relinquish control of your character to the Referee.