Trial by Combat

When a situation becomes so inflamed that it cannot be solved through words; the only recourse is action. Trial by combat must be agreed upon by both parties. Interference in the actual combat by a third party is punishable by death for the interferer.


Trial by Combat -Event Sequence

  1. The Aggrieved party makes a formal challenge.
  1. The person challenged accepts or denies the challenge.
  1. The person challenged sets the conditions of the combat and the time the combat will take place.


Conditions of Combat – must conform to the following:

  • No weapons: The combat will be fought by natural weapons (i.e. boxing etc)
  • Weapons: The combat will be fought with normal non-magical weapons. Which type of weapons used is entirely up to the person who was challenged. He may choose melee, missile or a combination there of. Strict interpretation of this would allow for the challenged to pick a specific type of weapon, such as broadswords even if the challenger is not proficient with that weapon. (It is considered cowardly to do so). If the challenged person picks just melee it is assumed that both parties may use whatever melee weapon they would like.
  • Magic weapons: Same as above but the weapons can be magical.
  • Preferred weapons: Combatants may use any weapons they wish magical or not
  • Spell Combat: Combatants fight only using spells they possess. (No scrolls, wands, or staves etc). Choosing this option if your opponent cannot cast spells is considered very cowardly.
  • Spell and Weapon Combat: Combatants fight using spells and preferred weapons.
  • Preferred means: Combatants may use any and all powers at their disposal. (Spells, magic items, weapons, psionics, summoning devices etc.)

Armor Use: The person challenged decides whether armor/shield may be worn or not.

  • No Armor: Combatants are stripped to their loincloths
  • Non-magical Armor: Combatants may wear any non-magical armor they wish.
  • Magical Armor: Combatants may wear any magical armor they wish.
  • Preferred Protection: Combatants may use any and all protective devices at their disposal. (Magic items, armor, shields, psionics, etc.)

Time of Combat: The person challenged decides the time that the combat will take place.

The Aggrieved party accepts or denies his opponents conditions.

The Aggrieved person then sets the terms of victory.


Terms of Victory:

  • First Blow: Whoever is hit first looses. (If chosen for spell combat, the loser is the first person who fails an applicable saving throw).
  • Knockout: the loser is the first one knocked out or reduced to 0 hit points.
  • Death: The loser is the first killed.

The person challenged accepts or denies the terms.

Before the trial by combat begins all of these final conditions must be met:

  • Both combatants must agree on the conditions of combat, armor use, time of combat and terms of victory then be fully healed before combat begins.
  • A trial by combat must have at least two witnesses.
  • Detection spells may be put into place to enforce the conditions and terms, if available and applicable.

Combat may Begin.


Other Trial by Combat Info:

  1. Those who win a trial by combat may not be challenged again by the person who lost. A trial by combat is an honorable one shot chance at settling a dispute. It is not a daily showdown. It is also the only legal form of dueling. It cannot be punished by law.
  1. A duel follows many of the steps of a trial by combat; however a duel does not enjoy the special protections or status of a trial by combat. In most civilized regions dueling is punishable by death.
  1. During a combat to the death a person may choose to surrender at any time, but it is up to the person’s opponent as to whether or not he accepts the surrender. (It is in very poor taste not to.) If you win a trial by combat to the death, you may seize your opponent’s property that he used during the trial. It is a right of victory and it brings no dishonor.


Optional Trial Methods:

Trial by champion is often used by the upper class (usually being too weak and cowardly to fight themselves.) as a means of settling disputes. Trial by champion follows the same rules as trial by combat with one notable exception. Trial by Champion is not fought by the people who issue or accept the challenge it is fought by others who are chosen specifically for the combat.

  1. Trial by champion must be agreed on by both parties.
  1. A trial by champion may be fought with 1 or 2 champions.
  1. The sides that people are championing sets the terms and conditions.


Examples of Trial by Champion:

  • A. Trial by champion between two armies each army sends forth its champion. (This is mainly to prevent unnecessary bloodshed.)
  • B. In defense of the weak. Such as a 10th level fighter challenging a peasant; a brave man could step forward to champion the peasant.
  • C. A posthumous challenge for a person who has died as of a direct result of the actions of another.


Trial by knowledge:

Is a non-violent form of dispute settlement that is usually used by scholars. The trial can cover any area of knowledge that the contestants agree upon. The area or areas of knowledge are considered the conditions and the terms can be negotiated such as the first person who misses “x” amount of questions looses.

Trial by Combat

A Manifestation of Chaos Leonidas300