Ophidian Information Guide
Welcome to the Ophidian Gladiator League. For a fan new to gladiator combat, or for you Justich league fans just getting into Ophidian, the rules and procedures that govern the Ophidian Gladiator League may seem daunting at first. This guide will tell you almost anything you need to know to follow the games just like a pro. You will learn the history of the Ophidian League, the makeup of the Ophidian League system, the Circuit, the ranking system, the traditional Ophidian team makeup, the Championship circuit, pre-season events, and rules on death.
History of the Ophidian games:
In 2195, the Bracius system was on the verge of civil war between the two warring planets of Yashrad and Meagred. Ophidians, being a neutral race in the center of Bracius, were assigned as arbiters in the hopes of avoiding the bloody war set to tear the system in two. The Ophidians ruled that a gladiator match between four of each side's best fighters would determine the succession of power and that a similar event would be held every four years to determine a new leader. They also divided Bracius into two sections, to be reunited at a future point when all tensions would be fully resolved.
In 2196, drawing ratings larger than any other recorded event in the history of both the Bracius and Justich Systems, the first sanctioned Ophidian Match is a huge success, and the Bracius leaders honor the decision. The two Bracius systems are named after the heroes of the match on each side; Septis for Yashrad and Prelumis for Meagred. Septis wins the match and is placed in charge of the combined Bracius council. The Ophidians are honored, and placed in charge of all Gladiator games in the Bracius system and the succession match, which is still held every four years.
The Ophidian Gladiator League is the oldest League and is built on the principals of honor and fairness. Many of the rules practiced to this day are based on the traditions and ethics of that first match held many years ago.
Ophidian League System:
The Ophidian League is the highest pinnacle of the gladiator League system. Under the Ophidian League are the System Leagues. There are currently eight system leagues (Sept Bracius, Justich, Tarn, Matricc, Leonide, Raskelon, Garina, and Prelum Bracius). Under the System leagues are the Planetary Leagues. Under the Planetary Leagues are the numerous smaller city Leagues.
In order to qualify for the Ophidian League a gladiator must work their way up from the bottom or be lucky enough to enter an Ophidian training program.
Gladiators may enter these elite training programs for any number of reasons including extremely meritorious or nefarious records in other fields (usually military or criminal), being a second generation or greater gladiator, placing in an open event, being discovered by scouts, or for other more select reasons. When a gladiator enters the Ophidian League they are given a temporary rank based on performance in trials and in other league systems.
In order to make it to the Ophidian Leagues a Gladiator must be the best of the best in the galaxy, and to be the best in the Ophidian League is to be as near to a god as mortals can be.
The Ophidian Circuit winds its way through all the systems in the Ophidian League. Each planet on the circuit hosts a number of events before the League moves on to its next destination. The Ophidian circuit starts at Sept Bracius and ends in Prelum Bracius. During the Coarse of a season the circuit will be run twice, first for the normal season and then repeating for the Champions tour in which all the major events are held culminating in the Playoffs and Championship duels. The Ophidian homeworld of Sysslanth is only entered at the end of the tournament to host the final championship event, unless a special destination is selected instead. No other events are held within Ophidian space.
Each gladiator is ranked individually as well as being ranked based on team performance. The Ophidian standard ranking has four levels. The ranking system is called VP for Victory Points, which are explained more in the following two sections. The underlying point system is more complex, however the 1-4 VP system categorizes scores into four main groupings that determine positioning within a team environment. A gladiator's ranking can fall as well as raise, however, rankings are usually not changed during a season.
Ophidian Traditional Team Composition:
Based on the first Ophidian Sanctioned Gladiator event on Bracius, a team consists of four Gladiators and each team fights in one on one competition against a rival team. In more recent revisions based on the Gladiator VP system, a team consists of 10VP. The standard team is four Gladiators, one gladiator from each of the four VP ranks, however the updated VP system allows more flexibility, including the possibility of three Gladiators on a team. The system was imposed to insure a fair and balanced match of abilities throughout the teams and is the adopted standard of modern competition and of the Ophidian Championships. Other forms of competition, however, are also common and many Gladiators fight in a number of different formats.
In order to score matches fairly, each gladiator is worth their VP amount when they are eliminated. Most matches end after the forth wave, with VP deciding the winning team. Another common format is full elimination, which only ends when all teams but one are completely eliminated.
Injury and Death:
Not every match has the same rules on injury and death. There are three main designations a match may have; Massive Injury, Limited Death, and Full Death
Matches designated Massive Injury eliminate Gladiators after they have taken near fatal injuries. Ophidian Keepers are standing by to prevent and limit fatalities. Gladiators are encouraged to use necessary but not obscene force when eliminating gladiators. If a gladiator violates these rules they can be subject to fines, suspensions or even more serious penalties. Most contracts provide for revival and cloning procedures resulting from death in a Massive Injury match. Most pre-season matches are Massive Injury.
Matches designated as Limited Death eliminate gladiators after they have taken fatal injuries. Ophidian keepers are standing by to prevent dead gladiators from further injury after death has occurred. Overzealous gladiators who provide further harm to a dead gladiator are subject to fines, suspensions and a various other penalties based on the level of unnecessary destruction involved. Contracts may provide for revival and cloning procedures resulting from death in a Limited Death match. Most regular season matches are Limited Death.
Matches designated as Full Death have no limits on the amount of injury a Gladiator can sustain and will allow for additional injury after a gladiator has been killed. It is possible for gladiators to be unrecoverable as the result of some severe deaths. Gladiators can be fined, suspended or subject to other serious penalties for not inflicting maximum injury during Full Death matches. Contracts may provide for revival and cloning procedures as the result of Full Death matches. Because of the severe nature of full death matches only special matches such as grudge matches are Full Death.
Off-Season and Pre-Season:
The off-season or Championship season runs at the same time as the Ophidian Championship Circuit. A number of major championships are fought during the off-season including the Ophidian Singles Championships.
The Pre-season runs for the two months leading up to next year's season. Much like the off-season, many specialty events are held focusing on diverse areas of combat. Many fans' choice and grudge match events are also held.
Intersystem Games and System Championships:
A number of intersystem games are played in the off-season. In addition, the system championship games are usually scheduled on the off-season to increase viewership and to keep them from coinciding with the Ophidian Championships. Many of the great up and comers can be found competing in these events.
Following the regular season, the 8 highest ranked teams are entered into the finals. After the first round only four teams will remain. After the second round only two teams will remain. The last two teams will compete in the championships with the winning team declared the Ophidian champions.
Ophidian Singles Championships:
During the Championship Season, the 8 best fighters from each division may enter the singles championships. The winners from each rank will then fight in a four-way elimination to determine the singles champion. The singles championships are one of the most popular of the off-season events. The Ophidian Singles Championships are Limited Death.