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Potters Army Guide to Dueling

on Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:59 pm
DUELING

Being an active member on PA and never dueling is a bit like being a pirate and never getting a chance to do any swashbuckling. Yeah, it could happen, but it's all part of the fun. Most wizards would surely know how to duel, especially the graduates. In the wizarding world, there are numerous situations where your character would duel, of course. Consider that it would be a natural course of self defense, or if your character is a less savory person, it might help him get something he wants. Overall, itís a wise thing for your character to know how to do. If you're in a faction, you'll very likely be involved in faction battles or skirmishes, which can happen quite often. As for students, they're welcome to join the dueling club and duel with another student there or join a student faction and jump into action that way as well.

If you haven't dueled before, don't worry! Don't shy away from it. Give it a try! Want to learn? Just say the word to an admin, and we'll be more than happy to teach you!

Some members don't like to duel. That's perfectly fine. If thatís you, you might not need to read this thread for now. Before you do participate in a duel, though, have a look here so you know how its done here in the PA world.

Predictably, unrealistic dueling does happen, but we try our best to limit it. We're hoping that keeping everyone on the same page reduces any confusion.

DUELING RULES:

1.Please duel as realistically as possible. Recognize your magical limits according to your character's age and ability.

2.Use spells that your characters would use. Some good hearted characters, for example, would not use Crucio.. etc.

3.Respect the age and ability level of your dueling opponent. If your opponent is older and more skilled than you, then, like it or not, they are going to be better than you in dueling. So keep that in mind while roleplaying

4.Only use the spells listed in the siteís Spell Compendium. http://www.pottersarmy.net/f62-spell-compendium

5.Your character cannot dodge every spell that comes her way because itís not realistic. Nor is it fair to your dueling partner. It's fine for your character to take some damage.

6.Your character realistically can't block every spell that comes his way either.

7.Make sure you have a good understanding about what the spell does. Again, check the Spell Compendium when in doubt.

8.Use a MAX of three spells a post. Any more spells than that per post, and itís unrealistic. It overpowers your character and is disrespectful to your partner.

9 Follow all the normal rules of roleplaying during dueling. IE: no godmoding, metagaming... etc.
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ETHICS OF DUELING

A couple of fair play bits here. Playing against a partner who isnít playing fair can be frustrating and annoying, so to keep things ethical, please try to treat other players in the same way and with the same respect that you would want to be treated as a player.

Letís talk about all of that business about dodging a spell. Dodging spells happens quite often in the books, does it? Really? In many instances in the book, the spell misses. Misses, not dodged. Dodging a spell is not quite like dodging a bullet, but it is like dodging a ball pitched directly at you at a high speed. It's very hard. So having: Person 1 shoots spell. Person 2 dodges, shoots spell. Person 1 is overpowering their character and now isnít all that fun to rp with. Your character really wouldnít be faster than a speeding fireball every time.

That brings us to blocking a spell. Protego is the most overused spell in dueling and itsís easy to overuse unless youíre aware of the spellís limits. Protego blocks most spells (all except Avada Kedavra) but it weakens over time, and sometimes it only partly blocks spells (ala Harry vs. Dolohov OOTP). This happens especially when someone is way stronger than you. So you cannot completely block a spell from a wizard in a way more experienced than you.

How do you avoid be ďsplatteredĒ with spells, then? Well, much like RL battles, wizards usually use cover. This means ducking behind something which will block the spell. Think of natural cover. Got a rock to duck behind, or a statue? Visualize your environment, and use it to help yourself. Can you knock something over to shield yourself with? You donít always have to fire at your opponent. You can create some shelter for yourself. A duel is not just about offense. It is also about defense and just basically good strategy. Some of the best duels are about seeing your partner do something really creative and ďout of the box.Ē

By the way, while we're mentioning making use of your setting, you certainly can use objects in the environment, but please do it realistically. A student wouldn't be uprooting trees to launch or one ton boulders at her opponent. For more information on this, check the "Magic" thread. http://www.pottersarmy.net/t6079-magic

What about rapid fire spells, then? Your wand is not a machine gun. More than 3 spells in one post is prohibited. Maybe two, or three, but not more. Why? Because when you fire an offensive spell, it takes time to cast and fire and reach your opponent. Plus, you need to give them a fair opportunity to react and to determine how the spell affects them, and that includes their choice to return fire. Firing 5, 6, or 12 spells all in rapid fire succession just isnít realistic because by that time, your partner should be doing something about your attack. Keep it in perspective if you can.

On a last note, allow your character to get hit every once in a while. It's not like you're dueling to see who will win. You choose if you want to let your opponent win. If you feel that he used a spell well, be nice and let him win the duel. Sometimes, it is a key part of plotting for your character to lose a duel. Either way, itís always good to play fair, end fair.

Most importantly, Duels, like roleplaying, are to have fun. They are NOT contests. They arenít to be taken personally or overly seriously. In contests you can't choose who wins. Even in a one on one duel, if everything else is equal, your character still has an equal chance of losing. We think of winning as being all important, but weíve seen some top notch, well written losing posts here that have been amazingly classy. Like everything else here on PA, itís for the fun. Also, you might want to remember that while this is going on, your character has thoughts and feelings. It's important to keep that in your posts as well. It does help you sort your characterís actions when you first determine their thoughts and feelings and include them in your posts. Dueling posts are not normally 1,000 word posts, and probably, if itís a fast moving duel, your post shouldnít be chapter length. However, our word count here is 100 words and the program itself will generally not let you submit a post thatís less than that.

Thanks to all PA staff, past and present, for the information.

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