From Freebooters to Freebasers - a look at performance
enhancing drug use in FUMBBL.
Doc Pain of Doc Pain's Mean
Machine has come under the watchful eye of the recently formed FUMBBL
Oversight Committee for Substance Abuse with his so-called "growth pills."
Although prohibitions on magic have been strictly regulated and only
recently have anything other than necromancers been allowed near the pitch
with wands in hand, the regulation of potions, pills and elixirs have
historically escaped the attention of FUMBBL referees. Of course, lots of
things escape the attention of the refs, like the odd boot to the skull and
the occasional chainsaw, but hey - it's all part of the game, right?
Turns out that growth pills (also known as performance enhancers, or
steroids in the alchemy community) have started to see increasing
circulation among the players of Blood Bowl teams. Some coaches, like Doc
Pain, make no bones about giving their players an extra edge on the field
but others (while certainly making bones) attempt to be much more covert
about their use of so called performance enhancers. Take for instance Mr.
Moonlight, star Zombie of the Killers of Mr.
Moonlight. His stat sheet claims his strength is about that of
an average Chaos Warrior (already formidable for these shuffling blocking
dummies). On the field he can stand toe to toe with a Mummy. Clearly, his
coach has something to hide. It may be possible for strength training to
show some improvements, but there remains an upper limit for Zombies
(typically when the weight snaps the arms right off of their rotting
Performance enhancers are not just in use by Undead teams however, and
coaches may not be the sole source of blame. Peer pressure appears to be a
strong force behind the closed doors of the League Of
Extraordinary Gentlemen locker room. Star catcher Busta has
been accused by opponents of taking a designer steroid for years and
recently Cube and Aragorn
seem to have joined him. When asked to comment on the activities of his
players, owner Saruman The
White held up his hands and said "What can I tell you? I've had ten
players from various teams I own show up at training camp with some
extraordinary increases in strength. I don't dictate how they improve, all
I do is offer an incentive structure."
* * * Did you know...
One of the more brazen feats of drug-taking on FUMBBL happened on the night before a game involving the Terrifying Anarchists of Naggaroth
. Star blitzer Nestor Wakhno
, who has his fair share of niggling injuries, took his team's anarchistic creed a bit too far when he ingested some pills he had bought at an underworld bazaar from a seedy-looking chaos beastman. Instead of curing his niggles, as Nestor had hoped, when he woke up on the morning of the game he had suddenly grown a healthy crop of tentacles... but they were growing from his groin! Needless to say, he locked himself in his room in mortified embarrassment, telling coach EvolveToAnarchism that pain from his injuries was preventing him getting out of bed. The story has a happy ending, because although the tentacles did eventually disappear from view, Nestor has mysteriously become a big hit with the witch elves...
Indeed, in the high stakes world of Blood Bowl there is tremendous incentive
for players to gain an edge. Some who are open users of these performance
enhancers pull down three and four times the salary of starting position
players. Whether the pressure comes from owners, coaches like Doc Pain, or
fellow teammates like Busta this is a phenomenon reaching epidemic
proportions, with some potential for long term impacts on players who use
The side effects of performance enhancers are a subject of continued debate.
Some experts cite that members of Undead teams report more sluggish
movements, an inability to sleep, loss of what little flesh they have left,
and reduced reproductive capacity as benchmarked against their former living
selves. Others claim that this research is comparing "apples to oranges"
and refer to the unspeakable evil that has restored a sham of life to their
corpses as the source of many of these complaints.
As FUMBBL considers a rules revision and the oversight committee examines
some of these issues, players are already planning ahead. Some Ogres have
already discussed strapping Goblins to the inside of their thighs for the
proposed mandatory urine testing, getting their small "clean" friends to
lend them a necessary sample.