Hi there!

I go by Alen Na'Varro on this board, and by Adam just about everywhere else. I roleplayed this bearded Dark Jedi turned Sith guy for about four years, give or take, before real life took me away from my precious. Now I'm at the Royal Military College - Duntroon, studying to become an officer in the Australian Army, and realising just how precious free time is. When I have free time though, I hope to dedicate some time towards this site in whatever capacity I can. I figure a "hot tips for young players" blog might be just the ticket. And what better way to start off than with an entry regarding my bread and butter?

That being dueling. I've written a lot of duels. And yes, I do rate myself at it. No, I'm not ashamed of saying it. Yes, some of these board, general points may be pertinent to you. So sit down, buckle in, and enjoy if you care.

Rank Does Not Equal Skill
Seriously. Hear me out. A lot of RPers have had a lot of exposure to video games over the course of their lives. Some may have even immersed themselves in the world of table top RPG. What some fail to consider is that, despite similarities in other areas, video game/RPG fight mechanics =/= RP dueling mechanics. They are apples and oranges. In a video game, a Lvl 36 Nord Warrior should defeat a Lvl 10 goblin one hundred times out of one hundred. Why? The Warrior has 240 HP compared to the goblin's 30 HP. The Warrior is rocking sweet Dragonbone Armour while the goblin is naked and fixing for his next skooma score. But perhaps most importantly, the game doesn't apply real life considerations effectively. It is a skewed perception of reality. Sure, the Warrior should smash the goblin. But there are so many outliers. In effect, Warriors get killed by goblins all the time. Why? Because the following three, extremely general concepts apply to all dueling situations.

This is the seizing and retaining of the initiative and maintenance of momentum. This is obtained by correct use of angles, footwork and placement of your weapon in order to more quickly and decisively react to your enemy, and as a result stay one step ahead of him/her. All engagements are won by the combatant with superior tempo. Even those who fight defensively are waiting for an opportunity to swing tempo in their favour.

Do the unexpected. Choose the second most likely course of action. Employ a technique that your enemy doesn't know you have.

Accept Risk
In most situations, you're going to have to open yourself up to a certain regard if you're going to land anything. Trust yourself, and trust your opponent to be reasonable.

Of course, there are heaps more. But I'll detail them some other time, in the interest of maintaining some level of sanity. But those three are important. The correct application of those by a Padawan will mean victory against a Master who fails to apply them. Just because you're a Master doesn't guarantee victory, and it doesn't mean you're not a scrub either. Be mindful.

Etiquette Matters
This point will never get old. It's pretty simple. Be reasonable about your limitations, your strengths, your opponent's limitations, your opponent's strengths. Communicate. Take a hit if it's warranted. Explain (i.e. don't browbeat) why you think your attack should be a hit through roleplay, or why your opponents attack was ineffective. Caveat to that. You must be reasonable, logical, and explain things in sequentially.

Follow these points, and you'll be drama free ... or at least, blameless, when some person gets emotional about their character's imminent bisection and runs crying to the Staff, who feel obliged to at least take a look at the situation. Lol.

Basically, don't be a d-bag.

Losing Builds Character
There is only one character I've encountered who has claimed to have a dueling record without any losses who hasn't been a scrub in my estimation. Bite off more than you can chew. Get your arse kicked a few times. Battle scars build stories, and furthermore, actually develop your character. After getting Forced to death by Spencer or getting your nuts shot off by Jorus Merrill (heh), you now have an opportunity to explore how your character psychologically deals with a devastating defeat. Alen has had his arse kicked no less than eight spectacular times (hello, lightsaber in my chest). It made for some excellent RP.

It's Not About The Gear
Self-explanatory. Have sweet body armour doesn't guarantee victory, and makes your win look less impressive IMO. Also:


I'll make an entire blog about that point.

Have Fun!
Duels are not worth getting emotional about. Go outside and play for a little bit if you feel yourself getting worked up about something that isn't even real.

If that doesn't work, try playing in the microwave.

Hope those considerations were worthwhile. There will be more. There will always be more. That's just the tip of the iceberg, people.

Comments/criticism/doubtful points are welcome. Thank you for your time, team.

lots of love,

xoxo gossip gurl