Assassination, Violence and Duelling

Updated: Mar 29




Freeform Violence/Scuffling


Freeform violence is frowned upon in the court.

Brawling and open swordplay often escalates into uncontrolled mess and damages.

Characters are free to enact combat as they see fit (safely) though we would ask that people are respectful of things like de-escalation mechanics for people who do not want to be involved.

Brawling and roughhousing is assumed to do no harm and characters are free to use this for dramatic effect to instigate feuds and duels.

Freeform violence with intent to do harm is resolved by weight of numbers and abilities. In a straight fight the number of combatants dictates the victors. If the number of combatants is reduced to equal numbers then the conflict should fizzle out as a draw.

A blooded character is significantly tougher and better trained than most people and a dangerous opponent in freeform violence able to defeat three untrained characters with ease.

Due to the uncontrolled nature of freeform combat only certain magic and abilities with clearly documented simple effects can be used these are all documented in the magic and abilities sections.

Losing in freeform violence usually inflicts a minor setback for each losing character unless abilities or items are used which increase the effect - characters will have Cards detailing this.

We appreciate that sometimes situations escalate in play but we would ask that if the intent is that combat will result in a fatality the situation is escalated as per assassination mechanics for safety and control and to ensure ref presence for any queries or disputes.

As rule we would hope combat would be dramatic and thematic rather than counting hits however for simplicity of resolution for the game team; an un-parried melee hit to the body is the defining strike required in a combat. Firearms or magic effects cannot be blocked except via other magical effects or abilities. The head is not a valid location for melee strikes.



Duels

We would like Duels to be heroic and cinematic - duels can take on any form or theatre the participants wish from dance, to swordplay, to pistols or brawling.

Both players should be comfortable with the format

  • The Challenge: One character must, of course, challenge another publicly to a duel.

  • The Acceptance: The other character must accept! If they don’t, then the duel will not happen; even if the two of them fight, it’s just scuffling, and there’s no prestige to be earned by the duel. They should nominate seconds, and arrange a time.

  • Determining the Result: The two seconds should have a quick conversation.

If one of the duellists wants to take a dive for any reason, or there’s some other simple way of agreeing on the outcome, then great (one of the duellists is blooded for example)! Special abilities or relevant keywords should be put forward at this stage.

If your seconds can’t agree, and neither participant has any way to win, a character can choose to spend an essence to win, (greatest amount spent wins) if not the duel will be a dramatic tie as they are both wounded, shot simultaneously or otherwise fought to a standstill.

  • Playing out the duel: The seconds inform the duellists of the outcome, privately. Then the duel can commence!

  • It can be as wide-ranging and dramatic as you like, with plenty of reversals; but must end, at last, in the predetermined result. Make it a good show!

It is usual to receive a setback as well as any agreed terms or pacts if a character is defeated in a duel.

If anyone else joins or interferes in the duel then it defaults immediately back to the scuffling rules.


Assassination

Assassination is the purposeful killing of another character without their consent.

There are few ways to achieve this in the game by design as we wished to have a high drama setting.

Generally via normal means characters are very hard to kill unless they wish to die.

There are however a few ways to kill a character against the players wishes.

Special items - there may be rare items that specify that if used on a certain type of character or in a certain way will lead to the characters death. These will require a member of the game team and will be explicitly worded.


Rituals - ritual magic can drain all the essence from a character this will destroy their story but is not a quick process. This will require the ritual caster to inform the game team and get the ritual costed appropriately.


Execution - the throne of ascension has the power to return a characters essence to the pattern of magic. This will destroy the creature utterly. It is considered the most harsh of punishment that can be invoked. Each of the courts has an appointed Knight or Justiciar who can request an execution.

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