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Urban Brawl Rules Urban Brawl History Edytuj

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In 2022, the rumble à la mode for French street gangs who wanted to settle something was a fight between two armed teams on a patch of neutral ground. The side that scored the most goals in a simple ball game played with guns won the beef. The violent game played like a cross between "get the guy with the ball" and the gun fight at the OK Corral.

About this time the French corp, Javert et Cie., was trying to reclaim an economically dead neighborhood in return for extraterritorial rights like those granted multinationals. Javert was getting nothing but drek from the local gangs until some bright exec came up with the notion of sponcering these killer ball games that the punkers seemed to like. Cash purses, assignments in corporate security, and other goodies went to the winners.

The games really gripped the gangs' attention. They lost interest in doing dirt to Javert and concentrated on working to win the contests. Things really started cooking when a mid-level exec noticed that her fellow suits were betting like crazy on the outcome of the fights. Black market vids of the fracases were hot--the suits got a real kick out of watching the street trash waste each other. A quick check with the corp legal department was followed by some wheeling and dealing, and the next think you know, Javert et Cie. was feeding cable coverage of "Jeu de Guerre de Ville" to pay-per-view networks all over the country. Within a few months, satcasts were carrying the games all over the world.

Within months of their sports debut, the gangs organized into official teams. Non-gang players were introduced in Germany in 2024, the same year that Godiva Enterprises in Chicago adopted the game to co-opt the gangers plaguing its operations in the city's depressed zones. "City Combat Game," the English translation of the game's French name, didn't cut it as a U.S. sport name, so a brightboy somewhere dreamed up the name, "Urban Brawl."

By the 2050's, urban brawlers came from almost every social class and even include university teams. But most brawlers still come from the streets, betting survival against escape from poverty. In some corp enclaves, felons who are tough enough may be offered indenture on an Urban Brawl team instead of imprisonment or the big sleep.

The first North American championship, "The Super Brawl," was held in 2037. European urban brawl was dormant; the horrific EuroWar was giving everyone too big a taste of a real conflict for a small-scale, professional urban combat game to stay popular. When the war ground to a halt in 2042, the corps rebuilding the infrastructure of the continent channeled a lot of returning combat vets into urban brawl teams. A lot of these new brawlers were hooked on the battleboost drugs and chips that were used by all sides in the EuroWar, and this pushed the game's death rate to new heights. The first international Urban Brawl World Cup was in 2046, and has been held every two years since.

Urban Brawl Leagues Edytuj

Urban brawl teams flourish in almost every nation on earth. In North America, only the Pueblo and Trans-Polar Aleut councils of NAN and the Awakened nation of Yucatan ban the sport.

North American urban brawl falls under the jurisdiction of the North American Commissioner of the Internationaler Stadtskrieg Sport Verein (International Urban Combat Sport Union), based in Berlin. League franchises are limited to twenty-four teams, but every two years following the World Cup playoffs, the top non-franchised teams can challenge pro teams for their slots.

The ISSV uses a complicated formula to track the league standings that determine which teams compete in the biennial World Cup playoffs. National and Continental championships are subject to the rules worked out by the individual franchises and local ISSV commissioners. The North American franchise is organized into a north and a south division, which square off in a "Final Four" playoff, during late October. The contenders are chosen according to their ISSV ranking. The North American Super Brawl Championship is a face-off between the two leading teams from each division, held each year during the Thanksgiving holiday. The winning team then advances to the World Cup games, held every other year in December.


North American Urban Brawl Franchises Edytuj

(As of 2054)

The Brawl Zone Edytuj

Franchised games take place in the streets, in brawl zones selected by the ISSV before the season begins. A brawl zone measures roughly four city blocks long by three city blocks wide; official dimensions range from a minimum of 550 meters long by 420 meters wide to a maximum of 680 meters long by 510 meters wide. Open streets must bound the game area on all sides. Partly to keep people guessing and partly to cover rescheduling of games, the ISSV's top-secret list of potential sites includes twice as many zones as necessary for a given season. Brawl zones always cover a depressed area, usually an officially uninhabited neighborhood such as the local Barrens. The ISSV surveyors look for zones inhabited by SINless squatters, to avoid the hastle of moving official citizens out once the Commissioner activates the zone.

At the beginning of each season, brawl teams know what cities they can expect to play in, but they do not know the precise locations of the zones. A brawl zone is activated 24 hours before a match, at which point an ISSV team moves the area's residents out and moves in cameras and other gear needed for the game. Once the ISSV has activated a zone, franchise and network techs go to work, setting up remote cameras and relay transmitters for the flocks of camera drones used to vid the game. Though UCAS law allows any citizen in the zone to appeal an ISSV vacate notice, few do. Fat payments, luxury accommodations during the game, guaranteed reimbursement for property damage...heck, the poor fraggers love it. According to hints in pirate newsnet reports, stubborn folks tend to come to grief.

>>>It does happen, depending on who (official ISSV detachment, paramilitary squad, corp security ops, 'runner team, street gang, etc.) is hired to clear the zone. >>>Fenris (15:02:26/9-17-56)

Once the ISSV has activated the zone, the brawl teams study city maps, blueprints, and other records to try and recon their side of the arena. Before starting play, brawlers can go anywhere in the zone that they can reach during the game: inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs, or anywhere else they can think of. The more detailed knowledge a brawler has about the playing area, the more edge he has once the whistle blows. Shadowrunners can pick up hefty nuyen doing covert scouting runs into one of the other team's turf. Of course, shadowrunners can also get dead mixing it up with ISSV security.

>>>Been there, seen that, too. >>>Fenris (15:06:45/9-17-56)

Twenty-four hours after the zone is activated, the game begins.

PLAYING URBAN BRAWL Edytuj

Played by two opposing teams of thirteen players each, urban brawl looks like a crazy combination of football, soccer, and a gang rumble. Each team tries to score by getting the(ir) ball into the other team's goal area, and within the few limits set by internationally accepted rules, can cause as much mayhem and destruction in the process as the team members are capable of. Players use melee weapons, armor, firearms, and a single motorcycle to battle their way through the streets of the urban brawl zone, as each side fights to score off the opposition.

The Brawlers Edytuj

Thirteen brawlers go into the brawl zone at the beginning of each quarter, with replacements for downed players made between plays. An urban brawl team has eleven offensive players and two non-offensive players. Under the official ISSV rules, players can use any cyberware they can cram into themselves: limb modifications, body weapons, smartgun links, skillwires, you name it. There is no official ruling yet on biotechnology.


>>>Unless they need a convenient excuse to cut a player from the team.


When a hot brawler on a small-time team shows up sporting the latest cybertech, it's a safe bet he's being groomed to move into the majors, and that his prospective team is slotting the credstick for his new cybertoys. Urban brawl teams can go through a lot of personnel in a season, so this kind of prospecting for players happens fairly often.

Offensive Positions Edytuj

Any brawler in an offensive position can carry the ball. The listings below contain the number of players in each position on the team, and the gear they carry.


  • Scouts: Four per team. Scouts wear light armor (ballistic 3, impact 2, plus helmet) and carry a personal sidearm.
  • Bangers: Four per team. Bangers wear medium armor (ballistic 4, impact 3, plus helmet) and carry a personal sidearm.
  • Heavies: Two per team. Heavies wear medium armor (ballistic 4, impact 3, plus helmet) and carry a personal sidearm, plus the brawler's choice of an assault rifle, SMG, or shotgun.
  • Blaster: One per team. The blaster wears light armor (ballistic 3, impact 2, plus helmet) and carries an LMG in a gyro-harness mounting (rating 2).

Non-Offensive Positions Edytuj

These two brawlers cannot carry the ball. Each entry below describes the position and the gear the player carries.

  • Outrider: The outrider wears medium armor (ballistic 4, impact 3, plus helmet), rides a motorcycle, and packs a cycle-mounted assault rifle, SMG, or shotgun. He or she also carries a personal sidearm. In addition to fighting, the outrider can also carry any other brawler on his cycle except the ball carrier.
  • Medico: The medico wears heavy armor (ballistic 6, impact 4, plus helmet) painted a bright, glossy, white. In lieu of weapons, the medico carries a well-stocked medical kit. The medico cannot engage in combat, and the players who deliberately attack him get slapped with a hefty penalty, unless he is riding on the outrider's cycle. The outrider's bike and its passenger are always fair game.

Weapons Edytuj

Personal sidearms include any single-action, double-action, or semi-automatic weapon up to heavy pistol class, including short-barreled combat shotguns such as the Remmington Roomsweeper. Brawlers can carry almost any other melee weapon, either external weapons or cyberware. Only monofilament and electrically charged weapons are illegal.

A brawler can pick up any discarded melee weapon and use it during play. Any weapons improvised from materials found in the brawl zone are also legal, except for firearms, monofilament, or charged weapons that players might happen to find.

Armor Edytuj

Each franchise team registers a color and pattern to which its players must conform. Because they obscure the surrender lights woven into the armor, yellow and gold are not allowed. ISSV rules require each pattern to contain at least one dark and one bright color to minimize camouflage benefits conferred by any particular pattern.

Regulation armor must be equipped with ISSV-approved penalty circuits. Brawlers are equipped with two-way radios, powered down to limit their effective range to the size of the brawl zone. Before play, officials inspect each brawler for implanted comm gear that might allow a player to get information from ovservers outside the brawl zone. Anyone carrying such gear must allow officials to neutralize it or else be banned from playing.

Outrider's Cycle Edytuj

The outrider may ride any class of motorcycle, and the rules allow the use of a vehicle control rig. The Harley-Davidson Brawler remains the most popular vehicle among urban brawl players.

The Ball Edytuj

A regulation brawl ball is sphere-shaped, 65-70 centimeters in diameter (about the size of a soccer ball), and weighs 500-600 grams. Made of dense plastifoam, it is coated with bright gold or yellow glo-paint that makes it clearly visible at a minimum distance of 50 meters as required by ISSV rules. The players may carry the ball in the hands or tucked under one arm. Each side has their own ball.

Officials Edytuj

Two to four officials cover each city block of the brawl zone. Oficials wear Partial Heavy Armor coated with white glo-paint and marked to show their status as referees, technicians, or biotechs. The armor is wired with a wizbang set of pickups that let the officials scan the zone through any of the fixed-mount cameras set up across it, or any of the hundreds of surveillance drones that buzz through the zone catching the action for the folks at home. Officials also carry tasers to defend themselves from the occasional crazed brawler.

GAME STRUCTURE Edytuj

An urban brawl game is divided into four quarters, each lasting thirty playing minutes. each play lasts a maximum of five minutes or until it meets one of the followig conditions:

  • One team scores a goal.
  • The clock runs out on a quarter.
  • An official declares the ball dead.
  • A wipeout takes place.

If one team scores a goal or the clock runs out on the play, both sides begin the next play back in their home goals. If the ball goes dead, the opposing side (the side whose ball did not go dead) has the option of starting over at their goal, or resuming play with all their brawlers staying in their present locations. In this case, the opposing team starts back at its home goal. If a wipeout ends play, the team making the wipeout wins hands down. The clock stops between plays to give the players enough time to walk a couple of blocks, clear casualties to aid stations, start or maintain medical treatment, reload weapons, and so on. The rules call for a team to resume play five minutes after the previous play ends. An average game of urban brawl runs about four to six hours from start to finish, including a ten-minute rest period between quarters and the fifteen-minute halftime break.

Scoring Edytuj

A circle four meters in diameter, marked by colored Neolux and glo-paint, appears somewhere on the street at each end of the brawl zone. This circle serves as the goal. The block of the street it lies in becomes the goal block. A team may move its goal to a diffrent block on the same street at the beginning of each quarter, to keep the opposition guessing where they want to hit the street when each new quarter starts.

A team scores one point if a ball carrier gets the ball into the opposing team's goal. The ISSV's rulebook restricted goals to live ball carriers until the 2044 season, when six disputed decisions over wheather the carrier was still alive when he entered the goal circle, caused the ISSV to change the rule. Current rules state that as long as the ball is in the brawler's hands or somehow attached to his body when he reaches the goal, he may be either alive or dead. A curious incident in a 2053 Boston-Seattle game caused a second amendment; ISSV rules now count goals as valid whether the scoring player reaches the goal under his own power or not. In the 2053 game, a player was blown ten meters across the pavement by the opposition's blaster and hit the goal in two pieces. Because one of the pieces remained in contact with the ball when it hit the circle, officials counted the goal.

Offense vs. Defense Edytuj

The traditional offense versus defense used in other sports does not work in urbal brawl; both teams play offense and defense at the same time. Each team carries a ball and tries to score while preventing the other side from scoring. Once play starts, each team has thirty seconds to get the ball out of its goal block. If they fail to move the ball beyond the goal block, the entire team earns a freeze penalty. After the penalty expires, the team has another thirty seconds to get the ball out of the three blocks adjacent to their goal block. During the remainder of the play, if the ball stays in the same block for more than sixty seconds, or a player carries it back into his own goal block for any reason, the team earns another freeze penalty that lasts until the ball carrier moves into a legal block.

A team must decide how to divide its forces to protect the ball as it travels through the brawl zone toward the opposing goal, without leaving their goal wide open. Split the team evenly, and risk succumbing to a heavy offensive push? Leave the ball or the goal more lightly defended? Such questions of strategy take the ability to think things through, predict the flow of the game a few plays ahead, and react fast.

Any ball carrier can pass or hand the ball to any other offensive brawler at any time. If the ball hits the ground, the team has ten seconds to recover it. If they fail, the ball is declared dead. It also goes dead if picked up by an offensive brawler on the opposing team.

Brawler Down Edytuj

A brawler keeps playing until disabled by his wounds or until he surrenders. Surrendered or disabled players are considered "down." Brawlers who surrender too easily end up seeking other career opportunities. If a court conviction forced a player into urban brawl, too many surrenders may get him or her shipped back to the slam for execution or a jail sentence. Given such circumstances, few brawlers have incentive to surrender.

A brawler can trigger his surrender switch any time during play. The switch activates a pattern of bright Neolux tubing woven through the player's uniform. (Natch, a particularly broad pattern of yellow 'lux runs up the spine.) The surrender switch also triggers the brawler's penalty circuit, and he remains under a kill penalty for the rest of the play. He may re-eter the game on the next play.

Keep in mind that a surrender has the same effect as being taken down. If all the brawlers on one side get taken down during a single play, by wound or through surrender, that team is the victim of a wipeout. If this happens, the other team wins regardless of the score.

The medico can attend disabled brawlers where they fall. However, he cannot transport them until combat in that block of the brawl zone ceases, either bby moving elsewhere or stopping at the end of a play. Once an area is safe, pickup teams move in to evacuate any wounded brawlers.

Wounded brawlers can get first aid at aid stations located just off the field at the ends of each team's goal street. Typical field measures for wounded brawlers consist of dressings to control bleeding and fractures, plus heavy doses of painkillers and stimulants to get the players back into action for the next play. Teams can replace any brawler evacuated to a hospital on the next play. Only the on-duty physician, who reports to the ISSV, can order an evacuation. A player not evacuatred who cannot or will not re-enter the brawl zone at the thirty-second warning warning before the next play, cannot be replaced on that play. His team can replace him on the following play; however, if they do, the wounded player stays out for the rest of the game even if his wounds heal.

Magical healing remains rare. If a team has a contract with a magical healer, once he or she applies curative magic to a player, that player cannot re-enter the game and must be replaced. Most brawl teams only retain magicians when a game takes place in a local jurisdiction that threatens legal action unless severely wounded players receive immediate magical aid.

Penalties Edytuj

Penalties are rated as freezes, wounds, or kills. A freeze penalty affects an entire team or subteam. Wound or kill penalties affects individual brawlers.

A freeze penalty lasts until officials decide to end it. Most teams receive freeze penalties for minor errors, such as failing to get the ball out of the home goal block within the first thirty seconds of a play. A wound penalty immobilizes a piayer for the rest of the play.

Most wound penalties apply to rules infractions more serious than those earning a freeze penalty. A severe rules infraction earns a brawler a kill penalty. He is kicked out of the game, and any death or injury he caused may be prosecuted as a criminal act in some jurisdictions. Where players given wound penalties can be replaced by teammates on the next play, a player given a kill penalty cannot be replaced until the beginning of the next quarter. If all functional players on a side receive kill penalties during one quarter, their team forfeits the match.

Urban brawl uniforms are wired with a regulation penalty circuit that gives any brawler who moves while under a penalty a disabling jolt of electricity. Any attempt to disable a penalty circuit earns a player a kill penalty. Before a penalty takes effect on any brawler, all brawlers hear a ten-second countdown over their radios. After the countdown ends, the offender's penalty circuit kicks in and his surrender lights blink on and off for the duration of the penalty.

The penalty circuit for a "frozen" player stays on for the duration of the freeze penalty. A wounded player's penalty circuit stays on for the rest of the play in which he received the penalty. The penalty circuit of a player awarded a kill penalty stays on until an armed ISSV security detachment arrives to escort the player out of the brawl zone. Because medicos do not suffers wound, kill, or freeze penalties, medico uniforms carry no penalty circuits. A medico who violates the rules gets kicked out of play, but his team may replace him immediately instead of waiting until the next quarter.

If officials call a freeze penalty on a team, that penalty cancels any wound or kill penalties in force against the opposing team. If all the active brawlers on a team earn penalties simultaneously, except for kill penalties, the team does not suffer a wipeout. Instead, the penalized team's ball is called dead and the other team chooses from the standard options to begin the next play.

Specific Penalties Edytuj

  • Arson: Deliberately setting a fire in the brawl zone earns a kill penalty, and means an automatic loss for the team if the game must be cancelled. An unfortunate incident in Buenos Aires gave rise to this rule.
  • Deliberate Attack on Disabled/Surrendered Brawler: This earns a kill penalty.
  • Deliberate Attack on Brawler Under A Penalty: If the attack misses, the player earns a wound penalty; he earns a kill penalty if it succeeds.
  • Illegal Intelligence: Any team receiving information from outside the brawl zone during a game, forfeits that game. The ISSV can jam almost all technological means of cheating, but magic posses a problem. An astral magician, or even a spirit, may relay information to brawlers. Though the ISSV employs astral security firms to prevent such spying, certain ISSV officials indulge in a paranoid fantasy that overly skillful or lucky teams owe their achievements to reports from astral space that help them find (or avoid) opposing brawlers. (In the history of urban brawl, the EBMM scandal in Bonn in 2043 remains the only verified case of magical cheating.)
  • Insufficient Offense: If the ball carrier remains in his own goal block sixty seconds after the game begins, a freeze penalty is called on every member of the team except the ball carrier. The penalty stays in effect until the ball carrier leaves the goal block. The penalty also applies if the ball carrier is in any of the three blocks adjacent to his goal block two minutes after the play begins. If the ball carrier spends sixty seconds in the same block, his team suffers a freeze penalty until he moves into a different block.

An official can also call insufficient offense if he believes the ball carrier is not making sufficient effort to get the ball to the opposition's goal block. Though loosely enforced, this rule prevents ball carriers from going to ground in basements, or skipping back and forth between the two same blocks in an effort to avoid contact with the opposing team.

The clock stops on insufficient offense if the ball carrier is enagaed in combat. For example, if a ball carrier spends thirty seconds in a block and then gets caught in a fight, the clock stops until the ball carrier gets out of combat. At that point, he has thirty seconds remaining to vacate the block.

Leaving the Brawl Zone: Leaving earns the guilty player a wound penalty.

Roughing the Medico: Deliberately attacking a medico earns a kill penalty. If the medico is wounded or disabled, his team sends in a replacement medico immedaitely.

Roughing Officials: Any official who attacks an official earns a kill penalty.

Unauthorized Ball Carrier: If the medico, the outrider, or a player mounted on the outrider's bike takes possession of the ball, or the ball carrier mounts the outrider's cycle, the ball is called dead. The opposing side may choose from the usual options to begin the next play.

Unnecessary Destruction of Property: This penalty rule is designed to save the ISSV money by cutting down on damage in the brawl zone. Shooting at a car because an opposing player is using it for cover is fine. Doing it just for the frag of it draws a wound penalty from the brawl officials.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: This type of action earns either a wound or a kill penalty, at the discretion of the referees. Unsportsmanlike conduct includes arguing with a decision, interfearing with a media device, and so on.

Use of Unauthorized Firearms: Picking up someone else's gun or a proscribed firearm such as an electrically charged gun earns a wound penalty.

Arena Brawl Edytuj

Though the ISSV franchises pull in enough cred to pay for street games, only the most lavishly funded non-franchised teams can afford them. Lacking funds to do otherwise, they stage games in arenas or mock-ups of street zones, using non-lethal ammo (stun and gel rounds), reduced armor values (ballistic 1, impact 1), and dummy melee weapons that stun rather than kill. Players still risk injury, but suffer few fatalities. Arena brawl is fought in scaled-down game zones, in the same playing area used in combat biker (150 by 50 meters). Each mock-up building stands one story high, with doors and windows at random along the walls.

Most urban brawl aficionados consider arena brawl second best. Fans cannot follow the action from their seats half as easily as when watching on trid, and the compressed playing area can play hell with tactics. Most brawlers hate to play in arenas, because they run out of dodging room much too fast in sych a confined space.

>>>THAT's chip-truth!!


Trid rights for arena games sell for far less than broadcast rights for street bralws, because arena games simply have less action than professional urban brawl games. Urban brawl is a child of the streets, and the game does not transplant well to other settings.

Shadowrun Rules for Urban Brawl Edytuj

In addition to the rules presented above, the gamemaster can play Urban Brawl using Shadowrun rules.

>>>or DMZ rules...

If he chooses to do so, the gamemaster must adjudicate almost every pass of the ball, block, take-down, and scoring attempt. In general, use a Target Number of 4 for most Skill Tests, applying a difficulty modifier as circumstances warrant. Direct conflict (ball stripping, and so on) requires an opposed test pitting a brawler's Skill or Attribute against the similar characteristic of the opposing player.

Of course, because an urban brawl game technically takes four to six hours, resolving such a game using the Shadowrun rules (or even the faster DMZ rules) is not recommended unless the gamemaster and the players have nothing to do for a week. Any gamemaster or group of players tempted to spend that much time on a game of Urban Brawl might want to think seriously about finding an additional hobby.

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