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How would you handle a duel?


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#1 Mikmaxs

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:21 AM

So, it occured to me that since my next mission will be in a rather western environment, it's entirely likely that someone will get themselves into a duel. (Of the quickdraw style.) So, my question is, what should the rules be?
I'm thinking a pitted agility test, with a bonus for quick draw (Or a penalty for the lack of it). Possibly a penalty for the weight of your weapon. Then, the first to draw gets a Ballistic Skill test. If they hit, the duel is ended and damage is inflicted as normal. If they miss, their opponent shoots. And so on until someone is hit.
So...
How should I handle dodging? Should it be allowed? It doesn't fit the feel of the duel if everyone's ducking for cover and taking shelter, but how do I tell the players? If I bar them from dodging at all, it'll seem weird that they're suddenly immobile. Maybe, due to the nature of the duel, if they try and leave before it's over (Leave = Move out of the way) then they'll be shot by someone else.

I also feel like taking a page out of the Three Amigos: If they bring too small or wimpy a weapon, (Damage of D10+2 or less) someone will laugh and make them shoot with a hand cannon..m

#2 Fgdsfg

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:34 PM

This is exactly what Initiative is about. Initiative is your ability to react faster (or slower) than your opponent(s). So in a game standpoint, it's really rather easy. Simply roll for Initiative, the winner gets to move first.

Now, there are several ways you could make this more interesting, such as Sleight of Hand Tests and Awareness Tests, but by the end of the day, all it should come down to is that the winner of the Initiative moves first.

Dodging should absolutely be allowed. There's no shortage of examples of duels that had either party dodging around, or even take cover.


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#3 Mikmaxs

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:49 PM

I don't feel like that's the case. This isn't combat, there's no surprise here, it's entirely a matter of who can draw faster and shoot straighter. I can't think of a single western where two cowboys walked into the road, stared each other down, and the one caught the other by surprise, ran ten feet, and then fired a hunting rifle using quick draw to swap weapons out while the other guy dove for cover. This is entirely a traditional duel, and running it like a normal fight doesn't fit or make sense.

Note that I'm not referring to any old quick draw scenario, this would be specifically a main-street high-noon scenario.

#4 Adeptus-B

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 03:22 PM

-But game mechanics can be used for more than one thing. 'Dodge' is used mainly to avoid being hit in combat, but it can also be used to avoid falling into pit-traps, for example. There's really no better rule to simulate who draws first in DH than Initiative.


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#5 Covered in Weasels

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:18 PM

I don't feel like that's the case. This isn't combat, there's no surprise here, it's entirely a matter of who can draw faster and shoot straighter. I can't think of a single western where two cowboys walked into the road, stared each other down, and the one caught the other by surprise, ran ten feet, and then fired a hunting rifle using quick draw to swap weapons out while the other guy dove for cover. This is entirely a traditional duel, and running it like a normal fight doesn't fit or make sense.

Note that I'm not referring to any old quick draw scenario, this would be specifically a main-street high-noon scenario.

 

Initiative doesn't represent catching someone by surprise. The person with higher Initiative reacts slightly faster than their opponent. And the "two actions per round" convention is used to make combat easier; nobody ever reacts so much faster than their opponent that they get a whole five seconds of action before the other person can act, the game rules just work that way to keep the players sane.


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#6 darkforce

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:48 PM

In normal combat rules, yep, Initiative followed by single shots/aims with dodging. 

 

But nothing wrong with spicing it up using slightly different rules once in a while, no? Let's see what I can come up with...

 

1. Whoever pulls his weapon first, is considered honourless (probably). Have the opponents each make a Willpower-test, which is Challenging (+0) in the first round but increases in difficulty each time it is attempted (whether it's failed or not). If the test is failed, the failing person will reach for his gun. You can opt to fail this test on purpose, but you'll loose honour and be known as a coward.

 

2. Have both opponents make a Scrutiny-Test to gauge their opponents. Your opponent have failed the WP test in Phase 1, you can notice it now. Should none of the opponents have failed their WP-Test, return to step 1 and increase the difficulty of the test. 

 

3. Now it's time to draw. Have each opponent roll a Sleight of Hand Test. This test is modified in the following manner:

- -10 If you did not notice your opponent pulling his gun first

- a voluntary increase in difficulty by up to two steps in order to make the shots of the opponent more difficult (Dodging while grabbing your gun)

- Failing by 5 or more degrees will make you drop your gun - as embarrassing as potentially deadly!

 

4. The shooting: Whoever scored the most DoS on his Sleight of Hand Test, shoots first. The BS-TEst is modified by the normal rules for lightning, distance etc etc. Another modification is the amount of how much the opponent dodged, the voluntary increase in difficulty is further making the shot more difficult (transferred 1 - 1). If you have to pick up your gun, it costs you one round of shooting

 

5. Repeat the shooting-phase until one of the opponents hits. I recommend giving every weapon the "Accuate" Bonus-Damage based on DoS, in order to keep the duel deadly.

 

Just a quick mock-up on a possible way of having an exciting duel using special rules :)


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#7 Gregorius21778

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:21 PM

I like the way darkforce goes for it.... but the "Sleight off Hand" is something most gun wielding shooty characters will not have put to much into ;)

My attempt at it (characters about 10m away from another, in the open, no cover). Make sure a player understands the rules before it starts.

 

• If one of the duellists has the quick draw talent and the other has not, the one with QuickDraw goes first. Full stop. No need to role.
• Otherwise, have a test for Initiative as regular. The characters can try to “hurry” the draw, gaining TWICE their Agility bonus but gaining a -10 penalty on the BS test to follow.
• This whole affair is a thing of nerves as much as anything else. There will be stare down, too. Ask for opposed tests (Intimidation vs Intimidation). The winner turns any two degrees of success into a -1 penalty on the Initiative bonus.
• In addition, “Nerves of Steel” allow an additional Initiative dice.Higehst dice counts

Then, the determine Initiative and give each character one shot. Since they are lined up like that and rather unmoving the BS test of both get a +30 (or +20 if they “hurried the draw”) and all “Dodge tests” are -30 (they can crouch, swing to the side, whatever..but it is unlikely to do much good). As a special rule for duel, every degree of success means an additional dice for damage. This is used as per the Tearing Rules, but it simply gives MORE AND MORE dice. A “Righteous Fury” is very likely under that conditions.

EDIT: Of course, a character could secretly decided to let the other guy go first. This does take a Willpower test, however OR the "Nerves of Steel" Talent. If the shot of the other misses, the character just draws, aims and shoots (+50). This actually happend in old , European "powder pistol duells" as some duellants realized that the shot after "turningn & fire" might very much miss...so, some took the time to aim, allowing their angst ridden rival to blow there powder first...and then just shot them.


Edited by Gregorius21778, 20 July 2014 - 11:25 PM.


#8 Fgdsfg

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 02:16 AM

I don't feel like that's the case. This isn't combat, there's no surprise here, it's entirely a matter of who can draw faster and shoot straighter. I can't think of a single western where two cowboys walked into the road, stared each other down, and the one caught the other by surprise, ran ten feet, and then fired a hunting rifle using quick draw to swap weapons out while the other guy dove for cover. This is entirely a traditional duel, and running it like a normal fight doesn't fit or make sense.

Note that I'm not referring to any old quick draw scenario, this would be specifically a main-street high-noon scenario.

Initiative has nothing to do with surprise by itself, it merely represents the winner reacting slightly faster than the loser. All actions on the board are assumed to happen at about the same time, the turn order is simply there to decide who goes first.

If you don't want to give them time to move, you simply tell the player that your opponent is ready and that they do not have time to move, and doing so will cost them their turn.

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#9 Askil

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:03 AM

Wild west duel in DH:

 

Standard combat except turns reduced to half actions.

 

Initiative for first action.

 

DRAW!


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#10 doomande

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:00 PM

The thing about using initiative in this matter is that you can use a fatepoint and get 10 instead of rolling your dice, meaning that you can get some rather boring fights because the Emberor the almighty smiles a bit more on the acolyte instead of the other guy


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#11 Magellan

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 12:34 AM

Doomande has a good point there.

 

You could check out the Deadlands rules and use a deck of cards to decide who goes first. That way, you can tell your players to literally DRAW.


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#12 Fgdsfg

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 02:44 AM

The thing about using initiative in this matter is that you can use a fatepoint and get 10 instead of rolling your dice, meaning that you can get some rather boring fights because the Emberor the almighty smiles a bit more on the acolyte instead of the other guy

So the GM says "No" to the question "Can I use a Fate Point to get a 10 on Initiative?". Or more reasonably, he asks if the other party would also wish to use a Fate Point to get 10 on his Initiative, which very reasonably could be considered nullifying eachother (assuming there are only 2 parties).

Initiative still is the best way to do it, since it takes all effects that alter Initiative specifically into account.

Edited by Fgdsfg, 22 July 2014 - 02:46 AM.

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#13 Askil

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 04:12 AM

The thing about using initiative in this matter is that you can use a fatepoint and get 10 instead of rolling your dice, meaning that you can get some rather boring fights because the Emberor the almighty smiles a bit more on the acolyte instead of the other guy

 

So?

 

If you want to take issue with Fate Points I'd pont out you can burn a FP to survive the duel no matter who shoots first, where they hit or how much damage it does.

 

This kind of thing is what Fate Points are intended for, giving PCs an edge in their horrendously lethal world.

 

Pointing out their being able to do so as a fault is inherently nonsensical.


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#14 Adeptus-B

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 07:47 PM

The thing about using initiative in this matter is that you can use a fatepoint and get 10 instead of rolling your dice, meaning that you can get some rather boring fights because the Emberor the almighty smiles a bit more on the acolyte instead of the other guy

 

Why do you think the hero always wins the quick-draw in Western movies? Fate Points, of course!


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#15 Angel of Death

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 07:50 PM

Dodge doesn't mean diving behind cover it can mean in a gun fight, leaning away from the bullet Matrix style.


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#16 Mikmaxs

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:23 PM

Dodge doesn't mean diving behind cover it can mean in a gun fight, leaning away from the bullet Matrix style.


That *also* never happens in cinematic movie duels.

#17 Askil

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 01:59 AM

 

Dodge doesn't mean diving behind cover it can mean in a gun fight, leaning away from the bullet Matrix style.


That *also* never happens in cinematic movie duels.

 

 

Nonsense, there are plenty of films where duels lead to an all-out gunfights with people in cover all over the show.

 

Also just because the archaic practice of duelling exists in the grim darkness doesn't mean that everyone involved thinks it's a good idea stand around getting shot.

 

I can just picture the unbeaten gunslinger terrorising a little frontier settlement finally being undone by a player smart enough to:

 

A) Wear a refractor field.

 

b) Throw himself to the ground/into cover.

 

c) Get his teammates to snipe the bugger's head off from a safe distance while he's distracted by the duel.


Edited by Askil, 23 July 2014 - 02:03 AM.

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#18 Fgdsfg

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 04:00 AM

Dodge doesn't mean diving behind cover it can mean in a gun fight, leaning away from the bullet Matrix style.


That *also* never happens in cinematic movie duels.

 
Nonsense, there are plenty of films where duels lead to an all-out gunfights with people in cover all over the show.


Pretty much what I was thinking, too. In fact, I can think of only very few films where duels are carried out standing straight in front of eachother and one of them immediately dies, is shot and incapacitated, or where they stand and shoot at eachother several times before hitting.

Most duels are either over very quickly, or very quickly devolves into ducking behind wells and barrels.

Anyone that says that they haven't seen a hero (or villain) dodge a shot by tilting his head quickly to the side while taking cover behind a barrel obviously haven't seen enough westerns to qualify for GMing a western duel. :P
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#19 Spacebatsy

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:46 AM

I might be remembering wrong, but I though one could not dodge ballistic attacks, only melee?

 

This is how we had duels one session:

- The participants started with their backs turned to each other, twenty paces apart.

- The duel was signaled to start.

- This showdown had an audience and turning first would mark you as a coward, just like in Darkforce’s scenario. Therefore it started with a willpower test.

- If succeeded the participant would roll awareness (based on hearing) to pick up if the opponent started to turn.

- Making the check, both rolls for initiative (the one starting to turn last winning the favor of the audience), failure meant the participant rolls a d5 instead of a d10 for initiative. Failure by three degrees or more meant the participant notices nothing, does not roll for initiative, counts as helpless and most likely gets shot in the back.

- Whoever wins the initiative shoots first and rolls to hit. If both misses the initiative is rolled as usual until either first or second blood or death depending on the gravity of the events leading up to the duel.

 

In between willpower and awareness it was possible to do things like:

- Intimidate (by every creative means necessary to psych their opponent, for example humming, clicking their weapon etc), forcing an extra willpower test.

- Blather to confuse the opponent and making either their willpower or awareness check harder

- Deceive, to make their opponent think they are turning when there’re not, pitted against his/hers scrutiny.

- Sleight of hand or Silent move to turn without the opponent noticing making his/hers awareness test harder by every degree of success.

- Or if the player comes up with a reasonable trick of their own.

 

I think it went fairly well, one player won, one lost but none of them turned first giving them a bonus when interacting with the crowd afterwards.



#20 Askil

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:42 PM

Seems far too complex for a basic combat interaction to me, but hey that`s people for you, we can`t agree on anythng.






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