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Old 04-18-2020, 08:18 PM   #31
aesir23
 
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Default Re: Duelling in Spaaaaaaace!

Generally, duels in history were fought with weapons that were actually in use, either for self-defense or in war. (The notable exceptions being some of the specialized dueling swords of the 19th century, like the Epee du Combat--but that was clearly a legacy from when swords were carried in public and useful in self-defense).

One of the purposes of the duel is to prove your courage, honor, and formidability. Courage and honor are demonstrated by showing up and risking your life, formidability is demonstrated by winning a fight with a culturally significant or useful weapon.

I imagine in the future, these reasons would remain. Soldiers would duel with a weapon they use in war (probably a secondary weapon or side arm, though to decrease lethality somewhat). Civilians would likely duel with a weapon they carry regularly and could use in self-defense.

In both cases, that might mean duels fought unarmed, but there would have to be strong cultural reasons to use an extremely specialized weapon with no use outside of dueling.
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Old 04-18-2020, 09:45 PM   #32
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Default Re: Duelling in Spaaaaaaace!

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
Generally, duels in history were fought with weapons that were actually in use, either for self-defense or in war. (The notable exceptions being some of the specialized dueling swords of the 19th century, like the Epee du Combat--but that was clearly a legacy from when swords were carried in public and useful in self-defense).

One of the purposes of the duel is to prove your courage, honor, and formidability. Courage and honor are demonstrated by showing up and risking your life, formidability is demonstrated by winning a fight with a culturally significant or useful weapon.

I imagine in the future, these reasons would remain. Soldiers would duel with a weapon they use in war (probably a secondary weapon or side arm, though to decrease lethality somewhat). Civilians would likely duel with a weapon they carry regularly and could use in self-defense.

In both cases, that might mean duels fought unarmed, but there would have to be strong cultural reasons to use an extremely specialized weapon with no use outside of dueling.
German dueling shield fits into this model how?
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:52 AM   #33
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Default Re: Duelling in Spaaaaaaace!

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German dueling shield fits into this model how?
A fair point. I did say, "generally." :) Dueling shields are something of an exception, for sure.

I should have also specified that I was referring to *duels of honor*, rather than *trial by combat* or *judicial duels*.

When the motive shifts from "proving your manly prowess" to "let God decide who is right by aiding the victor" everything I said goes out the window. Same with the husband and wife combat from Talhoffer's fectbuch (where we also see a depiction of dueling shields), where the man stands in a hole with a stick and the woman has a rock in a stocking--no one took pride in being a particular good at fighting his wife from a hole in the ground.

I believe dueling shields were used primarily in the "judicial duel" context rather than the honor duel context. Even so, fighting with shield and a mace (or sword) isn't that far removed from what would qualify as "martial prowess" in the 15th century, no matter how long and spiky that shield is.

Last edited by aesir23; 04-19-2020 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 04-19-2020, 11:14 AM   #34
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Default Re: Duelling in Spaaaaaaace!

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
Generally, duels in history were fought with weapons that were actually in use, either for self-defense or in war. (The notable exceptions being some of the specialized dueling swords of the 19th century, like the Epee du Combat--but that was clearly a legacy from when swords were carried in public and useful in self-defense).

One of the purposes of the duel is to prove your courage, honor, and formidability. Courage and honor are demonstrated by showing up and risking your life, formidability is demonstrated by winning a fight with a culturally significant or useful weapon.

I imagine in the future, these reasons would remain. Soldiers would duel with a weapon they use in war (probably a secondary weapon or side arm, though to decrease lethality somewhat). Civilians would likely duel with a weapon they carry regularly and could use in self-defense.

In both cases, that might mean duels fought unarmed, but there would have to be strong cultural reasons to use an extremely specialized weapon with no use outside of dueling.
True but the fact that a weapon once was used for dueling is enough to establish it as honorable enough to use as a duel long after it is obsolete in other circumstances. As late as 1967 Gaston DeFerre and Rene Ribiere settled an insult with swords. Probably for no other reason than that everyone knows that swords are used in duels.

There are no reasons why archaic weapons like Lirpas, and Batlithes, and Minbari staffs cannot be used for dueling. They presumably got a tradition attached among their respective cultures. The use of them in actual war, as was pictured in DS9 is kind of silly but it is cool.

Civilian weapons today don't lend themselves to dueling. Tasers would work if they were shaped differently and had more of a panache. And if they involved something more than just pushing a button (that same problem is something I rather dislike about using pistols: they are to mechanical to give satisfaction). Kubatons require a bit of skill to use properly. Firearms obviously were used in duels but traditionally they were single shot flintlocks. The formalized High Noon quick draw is a Holywood creation. Insofar as it existed it was in the mundane fact that being able to draw quick was an obvious advantage if a brawl escalated to much. However the fact that it was implanted into Hollywood can make duelists, who after all use artificial rules, adopt the idea for real. In any case modern firearms are more advanced, possibly to advanced to use for dueling.

In any case there is no reason a sword cannot be used for dueling now assuming we had a dueling culture.
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Last edited by jason taylor; 04-19-2020 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:45 AM   #35
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Default Re: Duelling in Spaaaaaaace!

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Firearms[...]
I just remembered something I saw a 19th-century Italian book detailing rules and etiquette for dueling that I think is relevant to this discussion. (I wish I could remember the source, it was something a friend in my HEMA club brought to class on day).

It listed three appropriate dueling weapons and, interestingly it listed them in order of lethality. From least to most lethal:

1. Smallsword
2. Saber
3. Pistol

The manual specified that the choice of weapon lethality must be appropriate to the severity of the insult.

A similar thing seems like it would work rather well in a SF setting. If it's a minor insult, you can settle it in the ring with some shock gloves. If it's a major insult, then you can face each other with blades (or, if you're in the glactic navy, they have a quaint tradition of EVA dueling in the vacuum of space with a vibroknife just powerful enough to puncture a spacesuit)--either way extremely dangerous, but probably not deadly with a med-bot on hand. Only in the most extreme cases, where the insult is truly unforgivable, is a duel with plasma pistols (specially modified to fire only a single shot) at 50 yards appropriate.
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Old 04-29-2020, 08:40 AM   #36
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Default Re: Duelling in Spaaaaaaace!

One thing that comes to mind with decorum and general consideration for the rest of the ship's crew/passenger wellbeing is none of that "pistols at dawn" nonsense if the firearms are strong enough to potentially cause a breach in the air seals (or maybe other important stuff like air tanks, electric grids), depending on how strong weapons tend to be vs the walls of ships.

For that reason, maybe weapons would be restricted to melee, or else come up with some kind of ranged weapon deadly to organics but which doesn't risk ship integrity.

Or maybe some kind of specialized dueling room with reinforced walls so you could use more dangerous weapons.
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Old 04-29-2020, 10:17 AM   #37
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Default Re: Duelling in Spaaaaaaace!

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One thing that comes to mind with decorum and general consideration for the rest of the ship's crew/passenger wellbeing is none of that "pistols at dawn" nonsense if the firearms are strong enough to potentially cause a breach in the air seals (or maybe other important stuff like air tanks, electric grids), depending on how strong weapons tend to be vs the walls of ships.

For that reason, maybe weapons would be restricted to melee, or else come up with some kind of ranged weapon deadly to organics but which doesn't risk ship integrity.

Or maybe some kind of specialized dueling room with reinforced walls so you could use more dangerous weapons.
In any case pistols are to mechanical to give satisfaction. If the idea is a ritualized way to work off a grudge you should be in each others' face and do things to each other. Swords work though they take some training. Or you can just beat each other to a pulp with Good Old Fisticuffs. That is not exactly the same as a gentleman's duel but it can be arranged formally enough to keep others from interfering. Other options are cudgels, etc.
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Old 04-29-2020, 10:22 AM   #38
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Default Re: Duelling in Spaaaaaaace!

I could see culture mattering in whether or not you could use ST-based physical weapons, or stuff like beam sabres where ST isn't going to play a role and it's the DX/skill guys who hold the advantage.

Whether using crushing/cutting/impaling/burning also probably matters in designing the scenery of the duel if you have some decent rules in existence on accidentally slashing walls/floors/ceiling on misses/dodges/deflections.

Terrain-based rules on accidentally hitting stuff around you and possibly compromising your weapons or follow-up attacks would be super cool for duels and bar brawls. The lack of focus on this tends to give much of an infinite featureless plain feel. There's elevation rules which somewhat detract from that, but slops aren't the same as obstacles to trip over or yet your weapon stuck in.
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