Dueling and space battles are an inevitable part of roleplaying on a Star Wars board. Sooner or later you will be dragged into one, and that's totally okay. Star Wars doesn't revolve around peacefully mediating disputes and holding hands. There are battles, wars, and it gets ugly. Some of the most pivotal moments in a character's history center on the outcome of a duel or battle.

So why then are they such a sore spot for people?

We've all had that experience, or heard about one. You're going along, being reasonable and taking measured hits and injuries as the fight goes on. Your ribs are broken, your fighter is smoking. Meanwhile, you opponent is pristine. Their hair is perfect, they just scored their 40th downed fighter. In short, they're perfect. And it's frustrating.

The problem is two-fold. The first, and most easily identifiable problem, is the fact that (as a general statement) no one wants to lose. They want their character to be the hero all the time. They have to propose the solution to save the day, they have to disarm the bomb, they have to lead the grand armies against their enemies. And at the same time, they never lose. Oh, they'll say they lost that one time, but you can never find it. This has a simple, if time-consuming, solution. We have to, as a community, learn that sometimes its okay for our characters to lose. Losing does not equate to death. Simply fleeing a duel is marked as a defeat, yet that never seems to be the case when people talk about it. It's always "It's life or death!" when the duel is happening. Wonderful things can happen when we take a step back and let someone else be the hero.

The second problem is more difficult to target and rectify. Star Wars is something that's more than 40 years old now. It's had a lot of different media portray stories, and things have changed a lot as time has passed. When Episode IV first came out, there wasn't anything that said how a lightsaber worked. There was nothing that blocked it. It just was. Now we have whole manuals that detail the inner workings of a lightsaber and what all materials will stop it. So when one person pulls from one era, and another person pulls from another, you get WWI biplanes versus modern day F22 Raptors.

Solving this problem is a complicated affair, because everyone has their own idea of what sort of power level things have. One person might think that a Padawan can hardly manipulate three stones at once. Another might think that it's fine for a Padawan to be throwing tanks. This issue is (at least minorly) solved through the Factory. By creating a way to compare items side by side, we can say "These two things are equivalent." Of course, this does nothing for the aspects of the Force. And that leads me into the next part.

The crux of this is simple. I will let you, before the first post has ever been made, declare yourself the victor. This means that, however the fight goes, ultimately Ayden will be defeated. However, this does no preclude the possibility of injuries on your part (One does not fight a Master without a few nicks and bruises), nor does it mean that he will beaten effortlessly. An agreement to lose a fight is not the same as saying "Your character is better than mine". Story matters. As well, if you call your auto-win, you will not get to kill him. This clarification is necessary, as I leave the possibility open of Ayden's death in free circumstance if I feel it's well played. So you have the chance to kill Ayden, but you'll have to work your butt off for it. Or you can forfeit the right to try and kill him and simply claim victory.

In turn, once you have invoked this rule, I lay claim to the right to do the same to you, with all the above considerations. So if I claim my auto-win, it does not matter if you've pissed on his wife's grave, raised his children from the dead, and made a parody puppet theater. At worst, you will be beaten senseless. But you will be left alive.

The biggest thing though is dialog. Talk to me, and I will do everything I can to make your story happen. Within reason. Am I about to agree to having Ayden striped and publicly humiliated in front of the galaxy? No. But will I agree to fights and losses for the sake of a story? Absolutely. At one point, I was even laying plans to lose a major planet in OP territory. Why? Because it would have made for a great story. Want to raid a military base and make off with something? Hit a minor world first. Don't roll up to a planet like Fondor or Corellia and expect things to be a cake walk. Respect what I've helped build, and I will respect what you're trying to build.

So before we go out and start throwing our egos against one another and bitterly remarking about how unfair things are, let's remember that we're a community. Let's talk to one another and treat each other with respect. We can have our victories, and our losses. Sometimes, it's okay to let someone else be the hero.