Giant Octopus - The Game

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Giant Octopus is a game of skill, reflexes, and wit. It was invented by u200300 and a collection of friends 4th grade primary school.  It was based off schoolyard handball but quickly evolved into a completely different game.

The game is called Giant Octopus because of three main reasons:

  1. The first is that it is played with eight people in an octagon.
  2. The second is that to play the game properly you really need eight arms, but as a bipedal human you don't, thus making it a challange.
  3. And the person in the lead is called the Octopus. (see ranks and scoring).

Playing the Game: Eight players and a ball are required to play this game.  Preferably a tennis ball or a eight sided ball, if you can get one.  (Currently, there is no established standard of the ball size shape, weight, etc.)  Also needed is a eight cornered shape (octagon for preference) with lines leading to the middle from each corner.  A player should stand, ready, in each of the produced triangles.  The players start with no octopus leader, but this is changed after the first round.

Rounds: Each round ends when a player either steps out of his or her triangle or fails to hit the ball when it bounces in his or her triangle.

Hits: A ball has to be hit, or put in play, at the start of the game.  The ball must traverse to another player's triangle before hitting the ground. If the ball hits a line, see rule lines. The king is the only player who can hit the ball before it hits the ground, this is his player power.

Lines: When the ball hits a line after being hit it is considered still "in" and in the possession of the player whose triangle it's currently in.  See possession.  However, when a ball hits a line after a bounce it is considered "out" and the player who last hit the ball or whose triangle it's currently in (if they are not the same, then the player who last hit the ball does not take a negative score) takes a negative score.  See scoring.

Possession: The player who last hit the ball is considered, in the rules, to be in possession of the ball until it bounces in another person's triangle.  No two players can be in possession at the same time.  The ball is also considered to be in the possession of the player if the ball bounced in their triangle.

Scoring: In much the same way that schoolyard handball is scored, or ranked, the players each have a position.  The start of the game is always played with the youngest (or the winner of the last game) at the Ø (octopus) position. There are eight positions that have a name, rank, and purpose in the game.  Each also has a special power that lets them break the rules a bit. The winner of a game is the person who held the rank of Ø (octopus) the longest.  Scoring is done by means of chalk, in the school yard version; however, a independent observer may be called in for rule violations and checks in a more formal game. The score is the cumulative progression of the ranks a person holds times by the number or rounds they held them divided by the number of players. Points for a challenge are worked out as your rank times the other persons rank. You will notice each rank has a number assigned to it. For example: Jim holds the rank of novice and gets to go up all the ranks to octopus in 8 rounds then goes to queen an wins a challenge against the novice before the game ends. So this would look like on a score sheet:


1/64 + 1/32 + 1/8 + 1/4 +1/2 + 2/3 + 1 + 2 * (1/2 * 1/64) = 5/3.

As you can tell the points system is staked so that winning a challenge for the novice is much more profitable than for anyone else were as staying in high rank is also profitable. Winning the game is generally a mixture of these two things.

Ranks: Ranks are given for each of the eight positions for the octagon. Each player in a rank has a special power (that lets them break a rule) and a name that they sometimes must invoke to call on there power.

1/1 or Ø Rank. Name: Octopus The highest rank, invokes the least power.  This is because those who are the octopus are the least in need of a power.  The only power they may invoke is a single bounce rule violation in their reign.  Once used they cannot use it again unless they demote a rank.  Being octopus they demote automatically to the rank of N and must climb the ladder again unless a challenge occurs.  See challenge.

2/3 or B Rank. Name: Bishop The second highest rank.  Stand to the right of the person in Ø rank.  This player in this rank has the power to challenge a player to a match.  He may use this power at any time. See challenge.

1/2 or Q Rank. Name: Queen Standing to the left of Ø, the queen, like in chess, it is generally considered the most powerful position in the game.  This is because of her power to overrule any rule other than those called but the Novice or the Octopus.  She can even overrule a challenge called to her by the bishop.  This power may only be used once every three times a power is used.

1/4 or E. Name: East Standing to the left of the Bishop, the player is able to call on the power of the forced octopus power.  He may hit a ball to another player into his triangle and he must hit it back to the player in the position of Octopus and take the octopus on in a challenge.  He may not hit it to himself.

1/8 or W. Name: West Standing to the right of the queen, the player in west is special as he has no powers.

1/16 or D Name: Duke Standing to the left of the person in East, the duke has the power of Coup De Tar. This means he can become octopus for one round.  If the ball goes out and the octopus is not demoted, he is demoted to Novice.  If the ball goes out and the octopus is demoted, he gets a extra bounce violation in his reign.  These do not stack.

1/32 or K Name: King Standing to the right of the person in West, the King is the second lowest position in the game.  The player is allowed the power of hitting the ball in his triangle before it bounces.  This power can be used at any time.

1/64 or N Name: Novice Standing directly the opposite of the person in the Ø position the Novice has the best power in the game.  That is that he can use the power "service".  A Novice calls for service from any player, meaning that the player in that rank gets the ball "served to him" at the start of the game, or the person directly after him must hit the ball to that player.  This can be a hard thing to do. The Queen may find it hard to serve the person in the King position for example.  This power is lot more useful than some give it credit for as it can be used at all times.

Going up ranks: A player goes up ranks in the manner of going to the person who is the the triangle that has the next largest point value except in the case of a challenge. See challenge.

Challenge: A challenge is special power called on by the Bishop (sometimes the Novice). It means that he and another player of his choice, or two players of his choosing, must have a match between each other starting immediately.  During this time, no other triangles may be occupied. A challenge called by a Novice MUST always include the novice.  The ranks of the two people "swap" if the challenger (person with lower rank) beats the master (person of higher rank).  However if the challenger loses, he is demoted to the rank of Novice and the other player ranks higher in the numeric order.

Related BBCi Links

  • And if you want to find some other games see BBCi Games.


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