The following is a series of favorite player questions and their answers from
the game designer. All have been reprinted from the Duel2 Newsletters of
1984 and 1985.
Question -- Several references have been made in the rules and
in the newsletter to experience, skills, expert status, etc. Can you explain
more about how this works?
Answer -- Experience relates to the number of fights a warrior
has been in. Whether a warrior becomes "skilled" or not, he can learn the
lessons which experience teaches veterans. When to press an attack, when to run,
when to accept a blow which you can not parry in time (not an easy thing to
accept!), the little tricks which can save your life, and to use what skills the
warrior may have with experienced brutality.
Skills are of six types, attack, parry, riposte, decisiveness, initiative,
and defense. Each skill learned represents a new technique or series of actions
your warrior has learned about. Learning a skill requires a warrior to
discipline his reflexes as well as mentally understand a sequence of actions.
Each skill learned improves a warriors performance in the indicated area. For
example, a warrior who has learned many initiative skills will be very good at
maintaining a combat advantage over his opponent.
Expert status comes in five types -- Expert, Advanced Expert, Master,
Advanced Master, and Grandmaster. Your warrior can become an Advanced Expert in
each of the six skill areas, but it will take quite a while, and it is not very
likely. Being expert in attack when you are an Aimed Blow Specialist may be
something quite different than being an attack expert and a Bashing Attack
styled warrior. Generally, becoming an Expert allows you to surpass your foes
more common parries, to parry his good but not great attacks, etc. Advanced
experts have even more of this effect. Examples, a Lunging Attack styled warrior
who is an Advanced Expert in Defensive Action can make his foe's blows look like
inexperienced, clumsy, blundering, and novice attempts. An Advanced Expert
attack in the Bashing style will seem to freeze an opponent's movement (while
battering them about), in contrast an advanced attack expert in the Aimed Blow
style will allow his foe considerable movement while occasionally executing a
brilliant attack on a foe's less protected body locations and often making foes
known for their parry or dodge ability seem unable to do either.
Warriors who accrue Expert or Advanced Expert status in several areas may be
declared "Stylistic Masters," i.e., they have mastered their original fighting
style. Stylistic Masters who have also proven themselves to be champions via
gaining the Duelmastership, maintaining themselves in the Challenger Champion
Class for a respectable period of time, or by being a Tournament Victor at one
of the periodic Duelmasters Face-to-Face or Mail-In Tournaments, are eligible to
participate in the Advanced Duel2 games. Warriors of such caliber receive
a personal notice of eligibility at such time as they have met the requirements
for joining Advanced Duel2.
Question -- If a warrior always fights with the same weapon
will he improve faster with that weapon?
Answer -- Not in Duel2; however, in Advanced Duel2
training with individual weapons becomes very important.
Question -- Is there a benefit to trying a different weapon
Answer -- YES. Each warrior has a "favorite" weapon(s) with
which he fights better. By paying close attention you can tell which weapon(s)
your warrior seems to do better with. Vary your weapon selections in any case.
Your opponents will no doubt begin wearing armour and using tactics specifically
designed to defeat you if you use the same weapon fight after fight.
Question -- In gaining the first blow, which of the following
is most important, second most important, etc., skills gained, attributes (like
speed), weapons and armor used, offensive/defensive tactics, or fighting style?
Answer -- As in real life, the primary factors in Decisiveness
(the ability to gain a combat advantage or strike the first blow) are SPEED, and
(less so) WIT. After speed and wit, decisiveness skills, especially after having
learned 10 or more. After Decisiveness skills it becomes more difficult to say.
For some fighting styles, the lack of armor weight is very important, for other
fighting styles, the decisiveness tactic is more important, in yet other
fighting styles the weapon selection is vital, and in another fighting style the
Activity level may play a part.
And don't forget that each warrior is one of a kind, while 90% of the
warriors using a particular fighting style may think that the use of such and
such weapon and using the Decisiveness tactic is very decisive, your warrior may
Example: I have a fast Lunger "Pokei" with 13 decisiveness skills learned,
and I want to maximize my decisiveness to try hitting foes before they can even
move. Well, I better keep my ACTIVITY LEVEL up (say 8). That could reduce my
foe's chance to swing at me and besides, it comes natural to my ""Pokei" (don't
mess with the magic, right?). ARMOR, well since I will jump around a lot, I
think this is important. Better not wear a lot of it if I want to lunge quickly.
Now, WEAPONS, the Long Spear could be my best choice, it gives me that extra
couple of feet on my quick lunge, but there are lots of quick weapons we Lungers
can use. My Pokei really seems to like the Longsword. I'll use it. TACTICS,
Pokei seems to get off faster sometimes with the Lunge tactic, but not that much
faster. I could use the Decisiveness tactic, even though it messes up my overall
lunging fighting style somewhat. I would be quicker, but, naw, last time I used
Decisiveness, Pokei seemed to go out of control, 6 wild attacks in 1 minute. I
think Pokei hates the Decisiveness tactic. It's Lunging or no tactic at all.
OFFENSIVE EFFORT, I've got some warriors in other fighting styles that get out
of control at high levels of Offensive Effort. I've even seen some Lungers who
do, but my Pokei seems to eat it up. So I'll go all out, 10. I lose my parry
abilities at that level, but I figure, what I can't dodge can't hurt me, right?
KILL DESIRE, better drop it some, if I want to be quick I won't have time to
pick my shots. My endurance won't last long at 10 Offensive Effort, 8 Activity
Level, but I'm trying to end this thing quick, right?
Question -- If a fighter can carry a good amount in weapons and
armor, and normally does, would his ability to initiate and respond to attacks
increase if he went to light armor and weapons?
Answer -- YES! Very much so. Especially for the Lunging,
Parry-Lunge, Striking, Parry-Riposte, and Parry-Strike styles or for any warrior
who is quick on his feet.
Question -- When attacking an opponent, how detailed is the
damage to each individual location?
Answer -- Very detailed. Some examples, a leg wound can reduce
your movement, a head wound increases your chances to make mistakes, an abdomen
wound can cause your foe's arms to fall below his at guard position, a critical
chest wound has a higher chance to stun the warrior than other locations, a blow
to an arm can cause the arm to go numb, etc. Sometimes the effects of a blow
will remain with the warrior throughout the fight; but often if a warrior can
just hang on a minute or two he can become unstunned, or clear headed, or regain
the use of his limb, etc. Sometimes, rarely, a warrior will carry that result
with him permanently (one of the better warriors in arena 1 has an off- hand
which occasionally goes numb on him; he quit using off-hand weapons. Another
warrior in arena 3 has a trick knee, which can give out during a fight, causing
him to slow down (or fall down!) I have listed only a very partial list of the
possible effects of damage to the various body locations.
Question -- My warriors always have a 10 kill desire down every
minute of every turn, and most have very high wills. However, whenever I am
trying to kill an opponent, either it just says he can't fight anymore, or the
Arenamaster intervenes. How can I have a better chance of getting some kills?
Answer -- You can triple your chance to kill by using larger
and more powerful "killing" weapons (i.e. greatsword, etc.), by attacking either
the head or the chest or the abdomen throughout the fight (don't vary your
target), and by figuring out how your warrior likes to fight and fighting that
way when you have a 10 kill desire. Please remember, those who kill by the sword
tend to die by the sword.
Question -- Is there a relationship between shield size and
it's ability to parry, stop damage, and inflict damage? Should a fighter's size
influence his choice of shields?
Answer -- The medium shield will parry best, the large shield
can take bigger blows and take more damage, the large shield can deliver a much
larger blow, and the small shield can be used by a wider range of fighting
styles to good effect. Generally one should not use a large shield unless one is
both large and strong. If one is small, you should use a small shield.
Question -- In the Roll-up Rules you mention that odd numbers
in attributes are generally better than even ones due to round-ups. In what
parts of the system do these make a difference and when is a 10 better than a 9,
Answer -- A 10 is always better than a 9. Examples, a warrior
with a 10 Will might continue to fight a little longer, and try a little harder
than one with a 9; a warrior with a 10 Wit might avoid a mistake, not be fooled
by a feint, conserve his endurance more wisely, etc., than a warrior with a 9
wit. However, as a general rule of thumb, odd attribute increases gain a warrior
about twice as much as do even attribute increases. As a general rule
constitution is the attribute least affected by being even rather than odd.
Question -- What makes a warrior popular or unpopular?
Answer -- When a warrior makes aggressive, brilliant, or
"flashy" (leaping high into the air, leaping over his foe, a series of
breathtaking feints, etc.) actions he will become more likely noted as an
exciting, popular fighter. Making dull (standing around), clumsy, routine, or
wild actions will mark him as a dull, foolish warrior. During the fight a
warrior's popularity will affect what the crowds say (or scream). Crowds tend to
sway one way or the other during a fight, but not always. The Arenamaster's
judgment can be swayed by a lot of positive or negative crowd responses
regarding a warrior's performance, causing him to stop a fight a little earlier,
or allow it to continue longer than he would have (the Arenamaster's' judgment
is rarely swayed by the crowd, but it happens). Warriors who talk a lot tend to
be crowd pleasers (it is in your character's data file to be talkative or not.)
As a rule, Slashers, Lungers, and Parry-Lungers tend to be among the most
popular, Total Parry and Parry-Strike among the least popular, that is a very
general rule only. Winning slightly increases your popularity, losing slightly
decreases your popularity.
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