Culture Bring Back Dueling

Lord Invictus

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Indeed, first blood or until one party yielded was much more common.

People by nature don’t want to die. And a dueling culture actually incentivizes courtesy-it’s easy to talk tough, but when you see your adversary with steel in their hand or a pistol loaded, you might want to settle the issue before the first whistle.

There is no dishonor in resolving your dispute peacefully at the last minute
 

Harlock

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The issue there is that while most don't want to die, a good chunk will want to kill for whatever reason. Any situation involving three foot long bars of sharpened steel or lead shot moving at high velocity holds the potential for a fatality, even if accidental or 'accidental' ;)

It is important to distinguish between honour as a personal characteristic, and pride which is less worth getting into a fight over :)
 

Tyanna of Pentos

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I would rather an honourable life than an honourable death, something entirely within my reach without need of duelling :) There is no shame in losing to a superior opponent of course, but there's not much to be gained from it either. You risk creating a situation where someone who doesn't like you provokes you into combat and then kills you. At which point anything productive you may have done in the future will never happen. It is sadly a very effective way of deplatforming if you will.

While a decent person may risk their life for something noble, it is very easy for less scrupulous people to abuse that to put their opponents in a position where they must back down and be shamed, or stand up and die. Once dead they cannot argue their position anymore and it is discredited rather than being exalted.

The final word is what is remembered, and the winners will have it, for good or for ill.

As @prinCZess quotes for her wonderful BattleTech SI:


Lay by your Pleading, Law lyes a-bleeding
Burn all of your Studies down, and throw away your Reading;
Small power the Word has, and can afford us
Not half so many Priviledges as the Sword has:
It fosters your Masters, it plasters Disasters,
And maks your Servants, quickly greater than their Masters;
It venters, it enters, it circles, it centers,
And makes a Prentice free in spight of his Indentures.
2. This takes off tall things, and sets small things,
This masters Money, though Money masters all things;
'Tis not in season, to talk of Reason,
Or call it Legal, when the Sword will have it Treason;
It conquers the Crown too, the Furres and the Gown too,
This set up a Presbyter, and this pull'd him down too;
This subtil Deceiver, turn'd Bonnet to Beaver,
Down drops a Bishop, and up starts a Weaver.

3. This fits a Lay-man to preach and pray man,
'Tis this can make a Lord of him that was a Drayman;
Forth from the dull pit, of Follies full pit,
This brought an Hebrew Iron-monger to the Pulpit;
Such pittifull things be, more happier than Kings be,
This got the Herauldry of Thimblebee and Slingsbee;
No Gospel can guide it, no Law can decide it,
In Church or State, untill the Sword hath sanctify'd it.

4. Down goes the Law-tricks, for from the Matrix
Sprung holy Hewson's power, and tumbled down St. Patricks;
The Sword prevails so highly in Wales too,
Shinkin ap Powel cryes, swears Cuts-plutteranails too;
In Scotland this Waster, did make such disaster,
They sent their Money back for which they sold their Master;
It batter'd so their Dunkirke, and did so the Don firke,
That he is fled, and swears, the Devil is in the Dunkirke.

5. He that can tower o'er him that is lower,
Would be but thought a Fool to put away his Power;
Take Books and rent 'um, who would invent 'um,
When as the Sword replyes, Negatur argumentum?
Your grand Colledge Butlers, must stoop to your Sutlers,
There's not a Library living like the Cutlers;
The bloud that is spilt, Sir, hath gain'd all the gilt, Sir,
Thus have you seen me run the Sword up to the hilt, Sir.
 

Lord Invictus

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Pistol duels are fairly equal all things considered. Especially if they are based on European procedure. Instead of gunslinging.

Given the accuracy of modern handguns-either older flintlock pistols would be used, or instead of say twenty paces make it fifty paces.

If both parties miss, they both get one more bullet each.

You could actually make it into quite a big industry, with betting and television. Especially the melee duels.

Though that would be decided by the duelists in question. If they wanted it televised or live-streamed.
 

Abhorsen

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Pistol duels are fairly equal all things considered. Especially if they are based on European procedure. Instead of gunslinging.

Given the accuracy of modern handguns-either older flintlock pistols would be used, or instead of say twenty paces make it fifty paces.

If both parties miss, they both get one more bullet each.

You could actually make it into quite a big industry, with betting and television. Especially the melee duels.

Though that would be decided by the duelists in question. If they wanted it televised or live-streamed.
But pistol duels are also very likely to result in death.
 

PsihoKekec

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Most gunshot wounds are non-fatal, unless you are dealing with multiple gunshot wounds at pointblank range.
 

Marduk

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Most gunshot wounds are non-fatal, unless you are dealing with multiple gunshot wounds at pointblank range.
Location, location, location. Heart and CNS hits have a high chance of being fatal. Others, especially with state of art medical care available, usually not.
 

PsihoKekec

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But this is out of cover, with people aiming for the chest. I expect that these could easily be fatal. And both people will be trying to kill to stop the other from shooting them.
Accuracy tends to go to shit under pressure and chest shots are survivable, unless heart, artery or spine are hit. Or if you are using heavy caliber weapons for dueling.

 

Marduk

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There is also the issue of medical costs in all dueling or related (like commercial gladiatorial sports) ideas.
In history there wasn't much in the way of medicine, so besides some first aid on spot generally the participants eventually either died or rested back to health on their own.
But now, there is potential for liability going into 6-7 figures in USD.

To take that in account, this problems favors something similar to HEMA. Weapons limited to swords, everyone wears chain/plate. Barring freak incidents with lucky thrusts (which with would be unlikely to hit medically troublesome locations anyway), most fights would end with one side being too tired and/or bruised to continue.
 

Lord Invictus

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I wouldn't mind duels to first blood or until a party yields at the youth level. Could be used both for sport and as a means of resolving disputes.

Get into a fight at school? Call a duel to first blood for everyone to watch, and duel with rapiers. Winner gets praise, women, and accolades, loser gets a trip to the doctor.

Duels to the death would require the informed consent of both parties, and the promise of families/parents/dependents not to sue in the aftermath as ensured by law.

In essence-if you step into a dueling arena-for the duration of the duel you are not subject to legal protection or retribution-if you die the law will not prosecute the offender, and your surviving relatives can not sue/press charges, if you win-you are immune from homicide charges.

This would be a very solemn decision-and likely one fraught with hoops and paperwork, mental health evaluations and multiple questions of "Do you understand what you are getting into?". For regular duelists-this paperwork would already be taken care of.
 

Emperor Tippy

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Dueling is generally a really stupid idea, and honor culture is frankly an abomination against sanity (honor before reason is a saying for a reason).

That being said, I strongly believe that consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want with their own bodies and the state should only become involved when it involves non consenting parties or the state is invited in; so if two people want to sign a contract and duel each other to the death then I think it should be 100% legal and allowed.
 

Tyanna of Pentos

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Dueling is generally a really stupid idea, and honor culture is frankly an abomination against sanity (honor before reason is a saying for a reason).

That being said, I strongly believe that consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want with their own bodies and the state should only become involved when it involves non consenting parties or the state is invited in; so if two people want to sign a contract and duel each other to the death then I think it should be 100% legal and allowed.
You do realise that would create an entire new class of "Dueling Law" Lawyers, correct?
 

Es Arcanum

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I think a legally sanctioned duel that is voluntarily agreed to by both parties (with no penalty for refusal to take up the option) has merit as an option for civil trials.
 

Battlegrinder

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Ok, so let's say I'm Steven Crowder, and I make fun of that lispy guy at Vox for being a pathologically dishonest soyboy idiot, which he is. He is upset by this and challenges me to a duel. What incentive should I have to actually show to that duel, instead of making fun of him for being a pathologically dishonest soyboy idiot that's also so thin skinned and emotionally disturbed that a fairly mild insult drives him into a murderous rage?


Like, I agree with your overall premise that the world is full of unpleasant people constantly saying and doing unpleasant things, secure in the knowledge they will face no consequences for thier actions, and that it would be great if there were fewer of that sort of person around, but I fail to see how this will actually address that issue.
 

Lord Invictus

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Ok, so let's say I'm Steven Crowder, and I make fun of that lispy guy at Vox for being a pathologically dishonest soyboy idiot, which he is. He is upset by this and challenges me to a duel. What incentive should I have to actually show to that duel, instead of making fun of him for being a pathologically dishonest soyboy idiot that's also so thin skinned and emotionally disturbed that a fairly mild insult drives him into a murderous rage?


Like, I agree with your overall premise that the world is full of unpleasant people constantly saying and doing unpleasant things, secure in the knowledge they will face no consequences for thier actions, and that it would be great if there were fewer of that sort of person around, but I fail to see how this will actually address that issue.
Duels disincentivize such behavior. Your not going to change their character or much reduce their numbers-but shit talking people on the internet and generally being an ass, now comes with a higher risk asterisk. If your Steven Crowder-you say yes, secure in the knowledge the Vox dude will likely chicken out and apologize, sure he might go and say "I didn't engage in toxic masculine expectations" or whatever-but outside of his bubble, that's going to be read as, "I'm a total pussy and I can throw shit but can't take it, I'm also a coward."
 

Battlegrinder

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Duels disincentivize such behavior. Your not going to change their character or much reduce their numbers-but shit talking people on the internet and generally being an ass, now comes with a higher risk asterisk. If your Steven Crowder-you say yes, secure in the knowledge the Vox dude will likely chicken out and apologize, sure he might go and say "I didn't engage in toxic masculine expectations" or whatever-but outside of his bubble, that's going to be read as, "I'm a total pussy and I can throw shit but can't take it, I'm also a coward."
But why should I say yes and maybe be able to make fun of him when he backs down but also maybe get shot, vs say no and always get to call him a thin skined psychopath and also definitely not get shot? One of those moves sounds way less risky.
 
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