There are many reasons wizards come to be in the Arena. Some seek adventure, some money, some revenge. Others seek the magical knowledge that is taught the hard way here, unable to afford any other type of schooling. Still others seek nothing but freedom, freedom that can only be won through trial by combat. Whatever the reason, tonight is another dance with death, and of the four who stand here now, only one will leave alive.

Gladiator Games in Shapeshifters

This supplement contains rules for arena combat, including a set of campaign rules for maintaining the same characters through an entire season. To play the scenarios, you'll need to download the arena map PDF (Acrobat) file; you'll also need pencil and paper to use the campaign system.

Arena Geography

The Arena is surrounded on all sides by screaming crowds, but they are too high up to reach. The walls and doors are solid stone, indestructible for game purposes. The shaded area in the center is a pool, but it is too shallow for large diving creatures to occupy (treat them as on land if someone is boneheaded enough to try it). All trees are light; there are no heavy ones.

The pool can be filled with boiling oil, in which case it causes 2 HP damage each turn a wizard ends their movement phase in it.

Magic Wards

A network of warding spells in the building prevents transformation into magical (single-creature node) creatures, such as the dragon and hydra. A similar ward blocks flying movement: flying creatures are allowed, but they can't use their flight movement mode.

At the unanimous consent of the arena bosses (the players), the transform limiter fields can be turned on which will prevent transformation into a selected kingdom.

Spells (except for flight) work normally but damping fields are available for them as well.

Dead Zones (as described in the scenario section of the Shapeshifters rules) can be added as well, but their radius is only 5 hexes.

Campaign Rules

The campaign system adds an extra characteristic, glory, to the wizard's profiles. Keep track of the wizards' current level and glory from game to game.

Each combat a wizard survives is worth 1 glory, and each kill is worth another glory. Wizards granted mercy (see below) get no glory for surviving.

At the start of a wizard's attack phase, any other wizards in the hex who are down to 1 HP may surrender. If so, roll one die: 1-3 the crowd signals for mercy, 3-6 they don't. If given mercy, a wizard may not attack or be attacked for the rest of the game, and is considered dead for purposes of ending a game. If no mercy is granted, then play continues normally. A wizard may only ask for mercy once in a game. Wizards at zero HP are considered unconscious, not dead, and are always given mercy.

Wizards with 8 glory points become thaumaturges; those with 20 become sorcerers. At 30 glory, the wizards are accorded their freedom.


1. Duel to the Death

(2-4 players)

Setup: Wizards set up in random order, adjacent to a door of their choice, with full HP and empty batteries. Wizards may not set up adjacent to the same door as another wizard.

Special Rules: Use the Arena rules, above.

Victory: The last survivor is the winner.

2. The Race

(2-4 players)

Setup: Wizards set up in random order, adjacent to a door of their choice, with half HP and full batteries. Wizards may not set up adjacent to the same door as another wizard.

Special Rules: To touch a door, wizards must spend their attack phase adjacent to it.

Victory: The first wizard who touches all of the other doors and then their own wins. In a campaign game, the winner receives 2 glory.

3. You can Run, but you can't Hide

(2-4 players)

Setup: All wizards set up adjacent to the lower left door,. with empty batteries and full HP.

Special Rules: A pain field spell is active in the arena, which inflicts 1 HP per turn on wizards who do not move during their movement phase.

Victory: The last survivor wins. Because of the pain field, note that unconscious wizards die in one turn.

For those who are about to die, we salute you!

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