The Sloggers & Sledgers cricket role-playing game

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The Sloggers & Sledgers cricket role-playing game
By Dan Liebke • Issue #16 • View online
Introducing the Sloggers & Sledgers cricket role-playing game, a fantastic, exciting and imaginative game of role playing for adults 10 years and up.
This game requires no game board because the action takes place in the player’s imagination with cricket adventures that include bouncers, switch hits and sledging.

Sloggers & Sledgers Basic Set
Sloggers & Sledgers Basic Set
Introduction
Sloggers & Sledgers is a fantastic, exciting and imaginative game of role playing for adults 10 years and up. Each player creates a cricketer or cricketers who may be bludgeoning batters, wily wicketkeepers, admirable all-rounders, questioning quicks or sneaky spinners. The cricketers are then plunged into a touring party exploring a strange, far-off nation and facing a variety of challenges presented by another player: the referee, often called the Tour Manager. The tour is filled with fearsome opponents, probing journalists, baying crowds and other frightful perils.
As the players engage in tour after tour their cricketers grow in experience and ability: the batters learn more shots, the spinners increase in cunning and ability, the quicks bowl with more deadly accuracy and are harder to hit. Soon the players are daring to tour more distant and challenging nations, battling more terrifying opponents, and, of course, being rewarded with fame, prestige and perhaps even a domestic T20 franchise contract! The game is limited only by the inventiveness and imagination of the players, and, if a group is playing together, the cricketers can move from tour to tour within the same cricketing universe.
The Tour Manager (usually the most fastidious player or one most inclined to read all the rules) designs the tour and carefully plots out the schedule and the opponents. Sometimes the toughest opponents may even come from within the squad, with struggles for spots in the starting XI and factions working against the captain or coach! The players can never be certain what dangers they will confront until the game begins and their plane lands in the nation they’re touring.
While only paper and pencil need be used, it is possible for the cricketers of each player to be represented by miniature figures. These can be purchased inexpensively from hobby stores, borrowed from the Test Match board game or repurposed from an old Star Wars action figure (we recommend a Luke Skywalker The Empire Strikes Back Bespin Fatigues edition). The results of a match, net session, press interview, etc, are resolved by rolling 6-sided dice (abbreviated to ‘d6’ and not included with this game).
How To Use This Book
The game requires at least two players (one of whom is the Tour Manager and has prepared the tour), a set of dice, pencil and paper for keeping records and scoresheets, and optionally, the miniature figures mentioned above (if you have access to Cricket Smurf then that’s hard to resist, surely).
Read the rest of the Sloggers & Sledgers rule book through, except for the Sample Tour section at the end. After one player has been chosen to be Tour Manager, he or she should then read through the description of the sample tour. (The Tour Manager may also wear a leather bomber jacket with the letters TM monogrammed on the back if that takes their fancy. Such is the power they wield.)
The other players then create a cricketer apiece and equip the cricketers with their special skills, all as described in the relevant sections of this rule book. Once they’ve completed this, the players’ cricketers (PCs) are ready to venture into the confronting travails of the world of cricket tours!
Behind The Scenes
Okay. This is something I’ve been thinking about and working on for a while. As a kid, I always loved role-playing games - Dungeons & Dragons, of course, but others too (superhero role-playing games, James Bond role-playing games, science fiction role-playing games). I was always the Dungeon Master (or equivalent) and still am today whenever I dabble in such things. So I usually had a pretty good handle on the rules of the games.
It occurred to me a while back that I could create a set of rules for role-playing a cricket tour. Players visiting far-off lands, fighting powerful foes, gaining experience. All the usual tropes of an RPG mapped nicely to cricket.
Plus, you could use the format of the rules to satirise the sport.
So I set out to do that. What’s included in here is just the introduction (still in earlyish draft stages, if not quite the Monday First Draft this newsletter promises). The rest of the rule book includes rules for all aspects of the game I thought might be fun: creating a player, playing matches, determining how that player is treated by the media, or the general public, or their team mates. And, of course, I get to invent far-off, mysterious fictional nations to tour. Some of these imaginary nations may seem familiar when you get to read them, but I assure you that any perceived similarities to existing cricket nations are purely coincidental.
I’m in the final stages of polishing up the rules so that it’s intelligible to anybody else who wants to play the game. If that’s you, then stay subscribed (or subscribe if you haven’t already). This will be where I first tell people about the full rule book once it’s ready to release.
Post-Mortem on Previous Weeks’ First Draft
Last week saw the return of the Can’t Bowl, Can’t Throw podcast. Cat and I have decided to see if we can get back to recording our podcast weekly.
The natural constraint on doing a regular weekly podcast is not so much finding the time to record it, as finding the time to prepare for it. We’ve tried to minimise preparation time by doing a more cut-back version of the podcast - just a topic or two to discuss. Get in, make our jokes, get out. We’re going to ignore a lot of stuff in favour of being more reliable in getting episodes out.
That’s the plan anyway.
Prospects for a more polished version: Shrug emoji. That’s about as polished as we get.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Dan Liebke

Every Friday, I go through my big list of cricket ideas, and churn out a first draft of something I've got in there. It won't be polished. It may not be interesting. I make no promises. But I'm going to throw something up and see what works and what (infinitely more likely) does not.

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