Posted by: lordkyler | January 31, 2015

Avatar Sports: Part Two

In the last post of this series, I covered my ideas for sports that might emerge in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. In that post, I discussed a few ideas for airbending sports. In this entry, I’ll present some firebending and earthbending sports (and a combination of the two,) and in the final post, I’ll cover mostly waterbending sports.

Let’s get on with it!



Blue FIre is Best Fire, Yes?

Fireball is a game similar to baseball, in that points are scored by rounding bases. However, it also involves fire, which the current sport of baseball seems to be lacking. More’s the pity.

The game is played with two teams. The runners start in a base position, where they are shielded from taking fire, and score points by making a full round of the field. Unlike baseball, they can make a run at any time, and multiple runners can go at one time. Since the defending team must pass around a single fireball, they must prioritize and act quickly. The running team is allowed to try and dodge the fireball, but are not allowed to bend it until the teams switch places.

Batter Up. Batter fried.

An example of a typical fireball court, with stadium seats and protective shielding for spectators.

Cloverleaf just to make them run more.

An overview of the field. The sections between the red circles are the lines that have to be run. Defenders stand in the gray squares at the edges and center to try and tag runners out, sending them back to their starting position.


An illustration of runners engaged in a play. The main fireball has been passed to the center player in a attempt at a double play, but the runners may be too quick.
Note the walls that provide protection from sight and fire in the runner’s bases.


I like the effect I put on the flames here. Turned out nicely.Firefight isn’t likely to be much of a spectator sport, at least until cameras are invented in the Avatar world, but Firefight is more akin to paintball than most other things, so that likely won’t matter. The game is intended for teams of firebenders and metalbenders, but regular earthbenders could play as well with different equipment. An example court will be shown here, but courses could vary greatly in different locations.

The core gameplay is highly strategic and requires good use of teamwork. Firebenders work offense, tagging out players with short, rapid bursts of flame,and metal benders serve as the defense, controlling hexagonal shields and manipulating barriers at strategic points.

Like most games of this type, numerous objectives are possible, from simple last-man-standing battles to more sophisticated fare like capture the flag or king of the hill. Depending on the size of the arena, these could be small duels or massive offensives, and of course roles for air- or water-benders could be added, such as scouts or medics.

Took a while to design this.

An example of a large, elaborate Firefight arena, with multiple levels and symmetrical design.

Welcome to Crazytown.

An overview of the map, showing some of its features. This arena features narrow passages, multiple levels, sliding shields, tunnels, barrier points (blue lines), and a central tower with lifts.

HADOUKEN! *pew pew*

A heated conflict in a narrow passageway. Players will want some protective gear in the this game, hence the leather padding and dorky helmets.



Also known as Sand Castles eXtreme 2.0 + : Millennial EditionAt it’s heart, Fortress is a simple game, but from a few basic rules comes a wealth of tactics and strategy, where brain and brawn are used in equal measure. Like chess with flying rocks.

There are two teams on a field, each side of which has a trophy on a pedestal. All you have to do to win is grab the trophy and return to your side. However, with the defensive powers of earthbending, this is not an easy task.

In the formal version of the game, there are three players, each with a specific role. The Builder is allowed to raise defensive structures such as walls. The Wrecker can tear them down or tunnel below the field. The third player, the Tosser, is the only one allowed to throw rocks. He is also allowed to launch players into the air with a thrust from an earth pillar.  By combining these roles as creatively as possible, players  can employ a wide variety of strategies.

You are not allowed to directly bend structures on the other side of the field until you cross onto it, but you can throw rocks

This is a standard stadium for formal games of Fortress. Metal caging is used to protect against errant giant flying rocks.

Aggressive Geology

A game of Fortress in progress. The left side players have erected a standard fort defense, while the right side has gone for a slightly more maze-like structure. The Lefties are attempting a tunnel under cover of this wall, but is about to be surprised by a launched player. Meanwhile, the Lefty’s Tosser is trying to break through the walls, but is countered by the Righty’s Wrecker, who is allowed to catch and destroy flying rocks.


My least favorite of the logos, but I do like the basic idea behind itWe’ll close this round out with the game of Torches, a simple game requiring a great deal of strength and control in firebending. It is a game for two players, and is very easy to set up, though a more formal ring is shown here.

The objective is simple. You have three torches (sometimes bowls of flammable powder) behind you. Stay in your ring and keep your opponent from lighting your torches.

The traditional game is more akin to the Air Sumo of the previous post. Both firebenders unleash a river of fire, and engage in a sort of shoving contest, trying to direct the flames around each other and into the torches. This continues until one or both players run out of steam or is too overwhelmed by the fire. They take a breath, then begin again. When all three torches of one side are lit, the game is over.

Variants include opponents taking turns on offense and defense, using quick bursts of fire instead of longer bursts, or fighting to control a single flame.

Flame-o, hotman!

This a standard, if somewhat formal Torches ring. Both players must remain in their circle and attempt to prevent fire from passing them.

Not the Crane Kick.

Two players, both with a torch alight, try to best one another. The player in the foreground attempts to split the stream so they can protect the torch directly behind them, a tactic known as the Phoenix Split. The floor is made with wetted sand to prevent fires from spreading


That concludes this post. Did you like my ideas? If you had any ideas or variations of your own, I”d love to hear them. The Avatar world has a great deal of potential for amazing games.

There will be one more post in this series, mostly focusing on waterbending sports. Keep an eye on this site in the next couple of weeks, or subscribe to the twitter feed in the sidebar to get notifications of new posts when they come out. Thanks for reading!

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