A duel is a contest of both speed and skill, pitting two individuals against in each other in potentially mortal combat. During a duel, the following rules changes are in evidence:
- Your AC becomes 0 – if you get attacked and fail to Parry or Dodge (explained below), you take damage. Your armor bonus and other AC bonuses (except for Dexterity) become Damage Reduction/magic.
- If you target your opponent with an attack, spell, or other action, it does not actually hit them, take effect, etc. until they have a chance to respond on their action.
- If you are struck and suffer damage or other effects from an opponent’s attack or action during your turn, your action for that turn automatically fails, although you may still move and take a single Free Action. Counter-Attack is the only exception to this rule, as it allows you to make a Concentration check.
- If you are struck by a Counter-Attack, the effects (including damage) still do not apply until your next action. Since the counter-attack happens during your opponent’s turn, you will lose your next action, although you can still move during your turn.
- New Combat Action: PARRY: When a melee attack is incoming against you, you may choose to try and Parry it. To do so, make a melee attack roll, adding all normally applicable bonuses (note that since you are not targeting a foe, no bonuses specifically related to your target apply here). If your roll exceeds the attacker’s roll, you have successfully parried the attack and take no damage. If your AC exceeds the attacker’s roll by 5 or more, you caught your opponent off balance, you may make an immediate free COUNTER-ATTACK without making a Concentration check.
- New Combat Action: DODGE: When an attack which could be reasonably dodged (adjudicated at the table) is incoming against you, you may choose to try and dodge. To do so, make a Tumble roll. If your roll exceeds the attacker’s roll, you successfully dodge the attack and suffer no ill effects. If it exceeds the attacker’s roll by 5 or more, you have caught your opponent off balance and may make an immediate free COUNTER-ATTACK without making a Concentration check. When dodging spells, treat the Save DC of the spell as the attacker’s roll.
- New Combat Action: COUNTER-ATTACK: When an attack is incoming against you (or directly following a particularly successful Parry or Dodge), you may choose to make a Counter-Attack. In doing so, you must first take any damage or suffer any effects of the attack. If those effects render you unable to Counter-Attack for any reason, your action fails automatically. If Damage renders you unconscious or dead, your action fails automatically. Otherwise, make a Concentration check with a DC equal to the amount of damage the attack dealt to you plus 10. If your result equals or exceeds the damage, you may proceed with your Counter-Attack. Counter-Attacks work just like normal attacks, except that they cannot be responded to with Counter-Attack actions, and Dodge or Parry attempts are made at -2. Note that this attack need not be a typical melee or ranged attack; it could just as easily be a spell or other action of some kind, but it must target and/or affect your opponent in some way.
- Remember that the effects of a Counter-Attack will not apply to your opponent until their turn – this means that if you successfully damage them, they will lose their next action.
Example of a Duel in Play
- Both players roll Initiative as normal. The winner may begin the duel by taking any standard action.
- Grog the Drunken wins Initiative and chooses to open the fight by charging and slashing Mim the Magical with his sword. He rolls a 15 for his attack roll.
- Mim, seeing this incoming attack, decides to attempt a Dodge. He rolls a 14 on his Tumble check and fails to get out of the way. Grog rolls 8 damage, which Mim notes on his sheet.
- Mim spent his turn trying to Dodge, so it’s Grog’s turn again. Grog decides to press his advantage by attacking again. This time he rolls an 11.
- Mim, rather miffed about getting hit, decides to take the damage and Counter-Attack with his poisoned dagger. Grog rolls 6 damage, making the DC of Mim’s Concentration check 16. Mim rolls a 17, notes the damage, and proceeds with his own attack. He rolls a 14 on his attack.
- Grog’s turn again. He just damaged Mim for the second time, but now Mim is trying to stand his ground and get in a lick of his own. Grog decides to try and dodge. He rolls a 14 and adds plus 1 from his Tumble skill, making 15. However, Counter-Attack applies a penalty of -2 to Dodge attempts so he fails and takes 3 damage. Then he makes a Fortitude save to resist the poison on Mim’s dagger. A 13 fails and Grog keels over, dead.
Hopefully that explains things thoroughly.
Back to SETTING MECHANICS.