Mock Conflict: Duel Combat

This Conflict example is a one on one duel of combat between somewhat equally matched opponents. It's thus treated as an opposed duel conflict. It is a first draft, so expect typos, somewhat awkwardly explained mechanics etc. I'll go over this in a few hours/days when my brain has recharged, and try to make it cleaner.

Be aware that this will not be implemented in CD10 as of today. It's just an example of narrative resolution that will inspire conflict resolution for second edition.

Situation

Having discovered the baron's treachery, the party returns to the seat of power to challenge the baron in judicial combat, once and for all proving his dishonesty. The party has chosen for the leader, Fynr, to be their champion. They do not yet know who the baron will choose as his champion, or if he intends to fight on his own.

Conflict setup

Keeper set up

The battle will be between two combatants, so the Keeper needs to do little setup here. She's already created the baron's sheet and she knows what skills and assets he holds. She has also decided that, thanks to the work of the party before, the baron has no champion to call and will fight himself.

The difficulty for the Conflict will be the baron's skill in Two-handed Weapons, in which he is exceptionally skilled: 9.

Fynr will use his spear and shield, drawing on his knowledge of polearms for this duel. Fynr is also an exceptionally skilled fighter with a skill of 9.

Conflict Setup

  • Conflict Type: Opposed Duel
  • Stake: A judicial duel is to the death.
  • Difficulty: The Baron 9, Fynr 9
  • Assets and Skills: The baron fights with magically summoned weapons and armor, both being L1 assets. Fynr fights with a basic spear (a L0 asset) and a brigandine (a L1 asset).
  • Initiative: Baron rolls 5 for a total of 14. Fynr rolls 6 for a total of 15.
  • Hero Points: The party goes into the Conflict with 9 hero points.
  • Villain Points: Keeper has pool of 7 villain points.
  • Campaign target: 12.

Round One

"We both have long weapons, right?" Fynr asks the Keeper, who nods. "Right, so no matter what, we can both hurt each other. Great. I'm used to having the longer weapon. Let's see how this goes."

Fynr

Fynr attacks using his spear, rolling 9+1d10, landing on a 4, for a total of 13, which beats the target. Since both combatants begin at a Neutral state, this pushes the Baron into a threatened position. Fynr also adds a hero point to the pool (10).

Baron

The baron attacks using his magic shadow sword, rolling 9+1d10 landing on an 8 for a total of 17. He pushes Fynr into a threatened position. The Keeper adds a villain point to her pool (8).

Keeper round 1 narration

You both circle each other, trying to find an opening. Fynr, you clearly see the baron is a much more skilled fighter than you gave him credit for. Suddenly, an opening, both weapons flash, a series of exchanges ending with both of your guards being weakened, leaving you open to attack.

Round Two

"I don't like this, but at the same time I don't want to lose tempo and try to regain my ground. I'm going to raise my weapon high to try and exposes his legs and kick him to get him off balance. I'll spend 4 points to create an 'Off Balance' circumstance".

The Keeper nods. "Since you're trying to apply a Circumstance to him, I require you to perform a contested check here." The Keeper briefly considers what skill would be applicable. Brawl would be more suited for a kick, but at the same time, such moves would be incorporated in spear training, so she let's Fynr keep using his primary skill: Polearms. The baron, in turn, will respond using his Two-handed Weapons.

Fynr

Fynr attempts to create a Circumstance by getting the baron off balance. He rolls the same as before, landing on an 8 for a total of 17. A success! Since he's trying to create a Circumstance, he doesn't make any progress towards the baron's DC. "I'm pretty sure he's going to succeed as well. He's good, so I'll spend 2 points for a bonus success here." With Fynr gaining a hero point for the success, he also spent two points, ending him on 9.

"Right. And with that, I need to actually put pressure on him, so I'll spend another 4 points for an extra action to try and not lose momentum." Fynr rolls 7 for a total of 16, successfully putting such pressure on the baron, reducing his DC by 2, if it wasn't for the baron's armor removing one success. The baron's total DC is now 8. Fynr's hero points are now at 6 from spending four and gaining one.

Baron

The baron responds with a contested roll, landing on a 7 for a total of 16. The Keeper briefly ponders spending points to resist the Circumstance, but decides to go with the flow and see where this goes. The baron has one less success than Fynr, which means the Keeper would have to spend 6 VP to make up the two missing successes. Not worth it here. Her pool is now at 9.

The baron hasn't spent his own action, so being in a threatened state, and taking DC hits, after Fynr's second action, he attempts to push back, rolling a 9, immediately pushing back to neutral state. He re-rolls, landing on a 3, which would've been 12, exactly landing on the Target, if it wasn't for the newly created Circumstance. The baron is reeling after a strong kick to the legs, so he is at -2. His total ends up on 10, leaving him with no success. He remains at neutral without pushing Fynr further and the Keeper's pool is at 10 after that one bonus success.

Keeper round 2 narration

"The baron stumbles from the forceful kick, and you take the opportunity to put the pressure on him, forcing him to desperately defend himself. He bashes your spear to the side and for an instant, the sword swishes past your head. Feeling you've overcommitted, you step back, allowing both of you some breathing room. The baron is no longer threatened, but you have overcommitted. The baron has a solid guard, but you feel your own is faltering."

Round Three

"It feels like I'm making no progress, but I know I am. I can see him stumbling. I'll take the opportunity to push him further." Fynr ponders his options. He doesn't have a lot of points to spend, and spending any on extra successes when the baron isn't threatend is subpar, since it would lead to only a single extra success, rather than two. He decides to bide his time until the baron is solidly in a threatened state before putting his everything into finishing him off.

Fynr

Rolls 0, providing a Complication. Fynr curses silently under his breath and rolls again, this time landing on an 8, for a total of 17. That's a success, enough to put the baron back into a threatened state and add another point to the pool, leaving the party at 7 hero points.

Baron

The baron is still off balance, not having had a chance to regain his footing properly, and still being pressured by the savage Fynr. The Keeper has a decent pool of points to draw from. She decides to at least get rid of the Circumstance, spending 2 of her villain points to allow the baron to regain some of his footing and leaving her pool at 8.

The Keeper looks over the baron's sheet and his traits in particular. He is greedy, impulsive and obsessed with power, so while the optimal move for him here would be to push himself out of a threatened state, the Keeper decides that his impulsivity and obsession drives him into a thoughtless rage and attacks Fynr, trying to gain progress against him in his threatened state too. The baron rolls a 2 for a total of 10, which is not a success. He is still at -1 from being 'Off Balance'.

Keeper round 3 narration

"As you exhange blows, you suddenly feel a sharp pain. You're so full of adrenaline that it doesn't bother you much at this point, but you briefly think that you've been injured." the Keeper narrates. Fynr nods and confirms that he won't be ignoring the Complication. If he wanted to do that, he would've had to say so immediately after rolling the 0. "The baron fights with an almost obsessive fervor, making wild lunges at you, almost completely forgoing any defense. He finds his footing and jabs wildly at you with his sword. You see so many openings in his guard".

Round Four

"It's time to end this." Fynr says and rolls.

Fynr

Rolls 0 for another Complication. "Goddamnit!" The reroll lands on 7 for a total of 16. Another success! "I'll spend six points for two more successes" Fynr says. The Keeper nods. With Fynr's spear being a L0 asset, it provides no bonus successes. Fynr's successes against the baron's DC is therefor his two successes from hitting the target, and the two bonus ones he added with hero points. The baron is wearing a L1 asset, his magical suit of armor, which takes away one success, leaving his DC at 5. With that successful attack, Fynr adds another hero point to his pool (2).

Baron

The baron is wildly flailing against his opponent, rolling a 7, still modified by being off balance slighty, for a total of 15. He successfully makes progress against Fynr. The Baron's blade is a magical L1 asset, providing a bonus success. His successes are therefore +3. However, Fynr is wearing a professionally made brigandine that reduces successes by one. Fynr's DC drops to 7. The Keeper's pool increases by one (9).

Keeper round 4 narration

"You savagely dive right into his guard, bashing through and leaving him completely open. Your spear rings against his armor and it's only through sheer force of will he avoids becoming skewered. However, during your flurry of blows, another sharp sting of pain rings in the back of your head and a solid metal clank from your brigandine let's you know that you may be pushing yourself too hard."

Round Five

"I really, really don't like his armor. It's making this fight a lot more difficult than it has to be." Fynr complains. "There's no way I can deal with that, is there?" "Not unless you know how to dispel shadow magic" the Keeper replies. "Didn't think so."

Fynr

Fynr is feeling desperate. He's low on hero points and the baron is still far from defeated. He rolls an 8 for a total of 17 providing two more successes and a hero point (3). The baron's armor reduces that down to one, dropping the baron's DC to 4. "This might be dumb, but I'm going to spend two points for a bonus success. He needs to die." The Keeper nods and drops the baron's DC by another point down to 3.

Baron

The baron keeps savagely attacking, rolling a 6 for a total of 14, still not quite balanced. It is, however, a success and when accounting for asset levels, he reduces Fynr's DC by another two, leaving Fynr at 5. The villain pool increases to 10.

Keeper round 5 narration

"The baron's face is alight with a savage grin. He can feel his own strength. He knows he's winning. Both of you are breathing heavily, pushed to the brink of your physical capability, blood from small wounds flecking your armors."

Round Six

"You are nothing but a traitorous, power-hungry child!" Fynr snarls.

Fynr

Fynr rolls, exasperated. He rolls a 9, cheers and rolls again. Another 9! He rolls an 8 finally, leaving him at a total of 17. That's four successes! Fynr does some quick thinking in his head. The baron is at 3 DC, one of Fynr's successes is going to be consumed by the baron's armor. That's too close for comfort. With the newly gained hero points, three in total, Fynr is at 6 and spends all of them to gain two more successes.

Baron

The baron rolls a 4 for a total of 12, still being off balance. The Keeper ponders her options. This is a main villain, a nemesis, if you will. Six rounds of combat is rather long, and while she has more points to spend, they're not enough to save the baron. The baron, based on the rolls of Fynr, is at -2 DC. In order for him to resist this, she'd have to spend 6 points to get him to 0 and another point to make him resist defeat, probably to have him fall in the next round.

He is a main villain of the story, so she decides to give him a bit of a sendoff by doing just that. She spends 7 villain points, leaving her at 4. Six points are for getting the baron to 0 DC and the other point is to make him resist defeat. Had Fynr had a better weapon, she might have had to spend more, as you must also spend enough to negate the asset's level.

The baron also manages to land a blow on Fynr with that roll, and Fynr's DC, after accounting for assets, is down to 3.

Keeper round 6 narration

"With a brilliant combination of feints and attacks, you erode what's left of the baron's already lacking defense. Your spear showers his armor with blows, leaving him stumbling and disoriented. A sickening crunch is heard as you find a gap in the armor and wound him. With blood trickling from the corner of his mouth, he stares at you with endless hatred. The baron lets loose a defiant roar, rips your spear from his chest and throws you back. He's not so easily defeated!"

Round Seven

"I slowly walk towards him, almost casually and say 'I have had enough of you and your treason, baron. Consider yourself deposed!'"

Fynr

Fynr is confident. He only needs to win once more. Even a single success is enough, since the baron's assets can't reduce successes to zero. Maybe if the Keeper has more villain points, he could hold on, but Fynr suspects she's running dry. He rolls again, landing on a 6 for a total of 15. A wicked grin forms on his lips. The baron is at 0 DC, technically already defeated. His armor takes one for the team, but the remaining success takes him back down to -1. He is done for. Fynr also gains one hero point for the pool.

Baron

The baron, being last in the initiative order has no response. He is defeated. The Keeper can do nothing but let him die. She couldn't even spend the 3 points to get him back up to 0 and resist defeat, since she did that already this scene. The baron is defeated, and with the stakes involved, dead.

Keeper round 7 narration

"Reeling from your onslaught, the baron bares his fangs and throws his everything at you, his blade crashing into your shield. He is open! How does he die?"

"He may be a traitor and I'm really angry. Heck, I even have the Rage trait. Should I give him an honorable death?" Fynr thinks for a second. "Sure, why not? As he swings at me, I effortlessly block his swing with my might shield and meet his body with the tip of my spear. His magic armor no match for my skill. I let him fall to his knees before pulling my spear out."

"As he falls to the ground, his magical armor and sword dissolves into purple smoke, leaving him sitting there in his bloodied and torn noble jacket. He stares at you, defiantly, trying to hold back death for as long as he can."

"A draw the blade I got from the enforcer and cut his head off."

"The baron...is dead. Your nemesis for months, a traitor to everything you believe in, a traitor to the crown...is dead."

Conflict Resolution

  • Hero Points: The party ends with a single hero point, as Fynr spent the last points to make sure the baron would die.
  • Villain Points: The Keeper started out with 7 points and leaves the scene with a pool of 4.
  • Resolution: Success! A story-heavy duel between savage rivals has ended with party victory. A hard fought victory at that. Who knows what would've happened had Fynr not lucked out and rolled 9 twice in a row? In addition, Fynr leaves the combat with two Complications, which means he's more seriously wounded than he first thought...


Cover image: C2D10 Cover by Tobias Linder

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