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I will soon join a WFRP2 campaign as an Estalian Diestro and my next career will likely be Duelist. My character is quick to anger and will often challenge people over (perceived) insults. These will either be formal duels - throwing a gauntlet, meeting at dawn etc. -, bar fights or back ally duels.

I read the core rulebook, but I couldn't find rules on non-lethal combat. As I understand Wounds, these are the amount of minor wounds a character can survive, before they sustain serious damage. This means that duels could just be normal combat. Bar fights and back ally duels will probably be fine using normal combat rules.

Since formal duels are likely to stop after the first blood has been drawn, using the normal combat rules seems a bit lethal to me, especially since I start out without any armour.

This leaves my question: are there any other, less lethal ways to resolve duels and non-lethal combat in WFRP2? We'll most likely only use the core rulebook, Sigmar's Heirs, Realms of Sorcery and The Old World Bestiary, so answers that refer to any of those books are preferred, but other answers are welcome as well.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would "until the first blood" be too lethal? I'd interpret that as "whoever suffers a wound first loses the duel". \$\endgroup\$ – nvoigt Jan 20 '15 at 14:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nvoigt correct, but since both an Estalian Diestro and a Duelist usually don't wear any armour, this "whoever suffers a wound first" can easily (d10 of 6 or higher is usually sufficient) become "whoever is heavily wounded in a single blow". \$\endgroup\$ – DvdZee Jan 21 '15 at 14:15
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Remembering that the wounds in WFRP are not like HP in D&D but represent the number of small injuries your character can take before their ability to fight is impaired. You could fight a non-lethal duel as first to 0 wounds and say both fighters are taking care not to strike to kill so no crits will be rolled.

Another method might be to fight to first blood with the fighters trading attack against reaction (dodge/parry) until one side manages to inflict 1+ wounds at which point they are the victor and honour is satisfied.

A third, slightly more risky, method is to fight with 'tourney blades', blunted weapons designed to do no serious harm. fight the combat as normal including both wounds and non-lethal crits (a tourney sword can break a limb by accident) until one character is unable to continue or suffers a lethal crit. That character has been knocked out and then have both parties regain all lost wounds but continue to suffer negatives from any crits taken in the fight.

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I think that dueling in that way should use the standard rules about combat, but with some tweaks. For examples, considering the Wounds characteristcs as a "damage threshold", a way to count how good/bad is going your combat.

A honorable "first blood" duel should stop when someone reach 0 Wounds, and get worse if the losing duelist doesn't want to surrender.

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It sounds quite realistic that a wound given through dueling might very well kill you. This probably happened quite a lot back in the day.

However, it the participants aren't aiming to murder then a simple houserule would be to say you can voluntarily lower the damage you deal because you are holding back.

(This allows for interesting behaviour because it's an optional choice, made by the opposing duelist, at the time of scoring a hit. The point where you lose, the DM rolls very high, and gives you one of those "I'm contemplating whether this NPC would really decide to only make it a fleshwound" looks.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is close to what we ended up doing. A character chose to not apply his strength bonus to his attack. \$\endgroup\$ – DvdZee Feb 4 '15 at 8:35

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