Rules Index | GM Screen | Player's Guide

Chapter 3: Subsystems / Duels

Setting Up a Duel

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 166
Participants must willingly agree to the duel and to abide by its rules. If one of the duelists breaks the duel’s rules (and, more importantly, is caught doing so), that duelist loses, taking any penalties agreed upon when the challenge was accepted. Here are some sample dueling rules.

Compete Alone

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 166
It’s customary that each participant must compete alone and may receive no help from outside sources. However, some duels pit pairs of combatants against one another (either all together or as tag teams).

Limited Tools

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 166
The participants agree to the tools, including weapons and magic items, before the duel starts. Most combat duels that don’t involve magic limit participants to melee weapons and prohibit the use of poison. Some duels forbid the use of polearms and other reach weapons. A spellcasting duel might agree upon a roughly equal number of magic items, and a cap on the power (in game terms, the level) of the items. Some spellcasting duels might prohibit certain types of spells, such as summoning or necromancy.


Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 166
Combat duels typically last either until first blood (hitting and dealing damage) or until one of the duelists is knocked out. Most duels allow a participant to yield, which means they concede victory to their opponent, though sometimes this could diminish their social standing. Duels of talent usually involve several equal turns in which the duelists display their ability.


Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 166
Most duels are overseen by a third party who ensures the duelists don’t break the duel’s rules—inadvertently or by cheating. Where duels are legal, this is typically a constable or magistrate. In other places, a cleric or other respected figure serves as judge. Typically the GM plays the judge.