Sunday, January 12, 2020

Arena Ranks by Aquatic Creatures

This is a list of positions and the rough level of prestige/power each rank of gladiator has. Usually a rank is placed against a fighter of a rank one or two higher to 'advance' in rank. Every level can face off against lower levels, they just don't give the prestige necessary by either the crowd or the association to consider it a “placement” match.

If the rank titles and concepts here are too specific/flavorful for you, then use more generic ranks like “rookie”, “squire”, and “champion” and use these names for a Merperson arena instead or something.

Arena Ranks & Their General Standing

Minnows are the virgin fighters. All of their fights are advancement fights. They are usually pitted against common animals like boars, or in small groups against a single, pitiful looking starved lion. Occasionally, a more experienced fighter will be fought against several minnows at once, which is an advancement match for both groups- winner take all.

Clownfish. Not a real rank. It is a diminutive name used for those who hug the walls or barricades and avoid fighting as much as possible during their matches. Mocked and spurned by the crowds.

Jellyfish are second rank fighters. Usually so named because they lack a consistent “form”. They may cycle through several matches, even wear masks to take on several new personas. Arena coordinators may invent several conflicting backstories for them until they earn enough fighting skill and crowd appeal to actually be memorable.

Eels are the common “support” fighters. Eels tend to constantly slip into random matches or exhibition bouts to try and get a little fame. They may act as the archers during a gauntlet match, or drive the ships in a flood arena battle royale. Eels are sometimes recruited and cycled from the normal arena rotation, or some never leave this position. It's slightly less dangerous then being a normal arena fighter. Also a common name for chariot racers of low to mid rank.

Trout are the mainline fighters. Usually among the most common members of an arena's stable. So named because they all look and act the same. They constantly jockey for position in their own circle. Due to lacking individual prestige groups of them are sometimes set up to fight in huge battles or act as the “rival” racers in chariot races.

Gulls. Not a real rank. Term used for mercenaries or solo adventurers who are experienced or famous enough to get placed into moderate matches for a few short fights- usually done to drum up some press or get a little short term wealth while staying in the arena's city. So named for the diving birds only entering the sea for a short period to snatch one fish.

Barracudas are standard, trout rank fighters who are now considered above average. Connotation of being an expert at 1 on 1 duels over spectacle fights.

Urchins are the prickly, asshole fighters nobody likes. Tend to be ugly, brutally efficient, or have an annoying voice or personality. They tend to be about this rank, as they are too good to get killed off by the arena coordinators by normal fighters. Can eventually win the crowd over just by being so damn stubborn and hard for the coordinators to kill off. In such cases, they are sometimes named by the meat inside of an urchin or clam, or given the name Barnacle if they get old.

Penguins are the same as gulls, but are part of a professional company that sells its services as temp spectacle fighters and showmen for heavily depopulated or failing arenas. They only hire the best warriors who can win and keep a crowd. Heavy connotations of professionalism and high skill.

Sharks are the big boys. Battles against sharks are highly celebrated and advertised as the 'main events' of the evening. Long rivalries are established between the shark personas, like the scars of an actual shark as well. Also so named for the feeling of dread one may feel if a shark enters the arena with your favorite rookie fighter.

Turtles are the name given to "Shark" rank fighters who fight in an overly defensive, boring way. Negative connotation. Sometimes further mocked by being named "Tortoise", they are avoiding the competition but not even going in the water. If they occasionally lash out and totally destroy someone, then they're given the moniker of "Snapping Turtle" and are less disliked.

Dolphins are of the “shark” rank but are the most popular fighter of that level. Not quite a champ, but still very much beloved. Have a connotation of being the “face” fighters, who spare opponents the most (to keep the profitable rivalries going) and generally playing the crowd. The occasional murderer or anti-hero that steals the hearts of a very brutal crowd can also become a “black dolphin”.

Mako are of the “Dolphin” rank, but only for chariot races. AKA Number one racer. Very similar to a medieval NASCAR driver, but back in the early 2000s when NASCAR was actually popular.

Manatee. Not a real rank. It's a joke term used to describe the hypothetical idea of a fat noble falling into the arena and being forced to fight for their life. It's happened once or twice.

Octopus. Very uncommon rank given to high level fighters who act as the “jellyfish” rank- changing styles constantly or knowing many skills.. Also so named for any high skill masked gladiator, who will tear off their mask at the last moment to reveal their true identity, usually as part of the drama.

Kraken is a colloquial term for the current reigning champion of the arena. Also sometimes called “Whale Shark” or “Swordfish” depending on the culture.

Whales are the old champions. Similar to dolphins but with less flavor of the month. Also so named for their rarity. Coordinators are very hesitant to put an older, retiring whale in the ring with a younger and more ambitious fighter in case they lose one of their big names. There are a few minor sub ranks here, like the “Killer Whales” who are only brought in to kill off popular smaller characters as well as the “White Whale” who never technically reached champion status or beat the current reigning champ but are as popular as ex-champions.

1 comment:

  1. Cool ideas Manse, pretty inspiring!

    CRABS are fan-favorite nasty boys. Extraordinary popular heel characters about the rank of Shark with a habit for fighting dirty and using cheap tricks. Frequently put in matches they severally outclass with well liked lower rank fighters or There Are No Rules team matches all in order to draw in more hate.