7 February 2019

Quick and Silly Duelling Rules

I was reading this post about duelling rules and I was thinking: What if we tried something different than dice rolls for duelling? Something that would emulate the struggle of two people who try to guess their opponent's next move so that they can strike back?

And a silly thought came: We could just use rock-paper-scissors!

Why? Because it's simple, quick and people who can read their opponent will be good at it.

Rock-Paper-Duel Rules
The players of the duelists (or GM for any NPC) play rock-paper-scissors each round of the duel. Using rock means they parry and defend themselves, paper means they feint and try to get combat advantage, while scissors mean they push their attack to overwhelm their foe. The loser of each round takes damage as per their foe's weapon.

If the round is a draw:
  • if both duelists used rock, the round is a defensive stand-off and nothing happens,
  • if both used scissors, they both take damage simultaneously (so they can theoretically achieve a mutual kill),
  • if both used paper, they dance around each other looking for advantage. Both should roll on the Feint Outcomes table below.

Normal Defense does not apply for the duration of the duel, but the duelist with better armour gets damage reduction instead. This DR is relative based on what armour both foes are wearing - chain mail versus plate mail would grant DR 1 to the one in plate mail, both in chain mail would grant no DR at all, while leather armour versus plate and shield would grant DR 2 at least.

The duel continues until one of the duelists surrenders or cannot continue fighting. Each duelist can surrender at any time after the first damage is dealt. Disarmed duelist cannot continue fighting and thus is considered to have lost.

Also note that if one of the players tries to cheat at the rock-paper-scissors, deliberately or not, you can easily treat it as in-game cheating or unfair advantage, and have the duelists' seconds and other people react accordingly.

d6 Feint Outcomes
  1. Save vs Dex or be disarmed.
  2. You gain a point of Fatigue.
  3. You are thrown off-balance. If you take damage on the next round, double it.
  4. You start bleeding from a nasty gash. You will take 1 damage per round until the duel ends. This may stack.
  5. You gain +1 DR until the end of the next round.
  6. You roll damage with advantage on the next round.

From everyone's favourite film.

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