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Crusader Kings 3 Dev Diary #51 - It’s Time to Duel

Crusader Kings 3 Dev Diary #51 - It’s Time to Duel​

Welcome comrades! Today, we’ll be talking about our final major free patch feature: single combat.

duelling01.png


Duels in CK2 have been a much-beloved feature for years, and whilst we’ve certainly got duelling content in CK3, we wanted the option to invoke something a bit more elaborate when circumstances called for it.

Following up on and improving such a feature was always going to be a tough ask, but we’re pretty happy with what we’ve got.

Plus, QA dared me, so here we are.

Ethos​

When designing the new single combat system, we had a few key points in mind to guide our implementation.

1. Duels should be dangerous​

The outcome of an in-depth duel should never be a completely forgone conclusion: a desperate rookie can still surprise a veteran master, or get lucky/play smart. If the fight would be ended before it’s even begun, it should use a simpler effect or auto-win option.

2. Duels should be reusable​

Duels should be easy to add anywhere in script, and their results should be as agnostic as possible. A detailed duelling system should be able to account for everything from strict honour duels to battlefield bouts to a knife fight in the tavern.

3. Duels should be variable​

Duels should vary in content and strategy depending on the characters involved and the location and circumstances around them. No two fights should ever be totally identical.

4. Duels should be character-driven​

Character traits, relationships, and other qualities should all have an impact on duels, not just prowess.

5. Duels should allow for both experience and intuition​

Although understanding the mechanics of the system should be rewarding and allow competent play, a newbie just guessing should still have a fair chance of success.

6. Duels should allow for both roleplay and rollplay​

It should be viable to both always play to win, and to play according to what makes sense for your character, without either totally kneecapping you. This should carry over to the AI, who should be somewhat readable based on skills and character traits.

duelling02.png


Mechanics​

All single combats take place between exactly two characters, and are fought to a predetermined end (be that a slight cut, an increase in the wounded trait, or a fatal blow), at the end of which the loser may be wounded or killed as appropriate.

Combat is divided up into distinct rounds, with first the defender, then the attacker selecting an option, before we work out whether one or the other has done enough to win or lose. All combats last between two and four of these rounds, ending automatically after the fourth (though this is a scripted value and easily changed if you prefer the possibility for prolonged, dramatic fights).

Options available are stylised as distinct combat moves, like headbutting your opponent, rushing into an all-out attack, playing defensively, and so on. At the start of your turn in each round, you randomly draw three such options from a pool of available choices, with the relative usefulness & drawbacks of each move related to your prowess skill.

duelling03.png


The higher your prowess, the more likely you are to draw good moves, the worse your prowess, the more likely you are to draw bad ones. It’s a little more complicated than that in practice, but that’s how it feels player-side.

Instead of one of your regular combat moves, you may also draw a special move. Rather than being based on just your prowess skill, these take into account traits, location, special relationships between you and your opponent, all manner of things. They range from giving a demoralising speech to your opponent to using your skill as a raider to make an example of them as you fight.

As a rule of thumb, special moves tend to either offer a better pay-off than standard combat moves, or else give secondary effects outside the duel (e.g., dread gain or stress loss) At present, we have 18 standard combat moves and 22 special moves.

The primary method of winning a bout is to gain enough Likelihood of Success. This is a sort of tug-of-war between you and your foe, representing who is currently winning the duel, with almost all moves adding to the score. The first character to get their score a certain threshold above the other’s wins.

duelling04-png.690286


However, most combat moves also give you some Risk of Injury, representing how overextended you are and how easy it is for you to make a mistake and hurt yourself or else be dramatically foiled. As this goes up, it makes it more likely that you’ll simply lose when a round ends if you haven’t managed to explicitly win.

The basic rubric for fighting is thus trying to maximise your Likelihood of Success without extending your Risk of Injury enough that you lose before you can beat your opponent.

In the penultimate round of a fight (by default, though this can again be changed easily by tweaking one number), it becomes much easier both to win and to injure yourself, and certain special moves can also adjust these thresholds.

If, after the final round of the fight, there’s still no winner, then the highest prowess skill wins.

The AI selects combat moves and strategy based roughly off of personality, meaning that not only can it change as they gain prowess-related traits, but different characters will often fight differently even if they share identical prowess.

Finally, we have the duel edge system. As you duel, certain moves by you or your opponent may accrue duel edge bonuses and maluses for one or both of you, helping or hurting your prowess skill for the duration of the bout. This helps to keep things risky, and means that just because you entered a fight knowing who had the best prowess, it won’t necessarily stay that way for the whole combat.

duelling05.png


Duelling in Context​

Since one of our prime goals with the new duelling system has been to make it useable in as many circumstances as possible, setting one up is nice and easy. We have a single effect that configures the circumstances of the bout, and every use of the effect requires two small follow-up events. One tells the duel what happens if it invalidates for some reason (usually we just send out toasts informing the affected parties), the other processes the after-effects of the duel itself, be they losing a bet or gaining a friend.

duelling06.png


And… that’s it. It can be dropped into any effect block, any interaction, decision, or event, with whatever net results or criteria you like. Complex fight sequences with no muss, no fuss.

There are several ways we use this system in-game at the moment, with the most noticeable being an interaction to duel your rivals now unlocked by the Chivalry lifestyle tree’s Stalwart Leader perk (pictured a ways above). We also use it in several paid events in 1.3, and, of course, the all-new [REDACTED] interaction.

duelling07.png


Over time, we hope to improve the combat system with general QoL tweaks, dedicated UI, and, last but not least, more combat moves. We also intend to pepper it throughout future content, as well as rework certain elements of old content on an on-going basis to use these more elaborate duels as appropriate.

Stick ‘em with the Pointy End​

Let’s have a bash at using the single combat system in anger, shall we?

Here’s me, as High Chieftain Waththab, fighting my son and rival, Musa, in a non-lethal bout.

duelling08.png


Skills-wise, my son out-matches me quite drastically. I’ve got a fairly low prowess rating, whilst he’s at the upper end of average.

duelling09.png

duelling10.png


This means that he’ll be rolling average to excellent moves, and I’ll likely be rolling terrible to average moves. Both of us lack most traits that would grant special combat moves, and we have no extraneous circumstances that would give us any either (though we’ve got some special dialogue in places due to be related).

That said, there’s still a strategy here. I can see that my son is deceitful and craven, so overall, he’s likely to pick combat moves that are cautious or cunning. This means he’ll probably play it safe on trying to win via Likelihood of Success, and instead wait for me to injure myself with my blunders. If I can overwhelm Likelihood of Success before my Injury Risk gets too high, then I might be able to beat his superior skill.

I have three combat moves available to me:
duelling11.png

duelling12.png

duelling13.png


Welp, we’re going all-in, so Unstable Foundations does nothing for me and Onslaught is basically playing it safe. Enthusiastic Onslaught it is!

duelling14.png


Alright! That went… so-so. I launched an attack, he launched an attack, and the text at the bottom covers our relative Injury Risk and the current status of Likelihood of Success respectively. In short, I’m very close to injuring myself, but we’re actually neck-and-neck on Likelihood of Success.

That should have gone better, but:
duelling15.png

It looks like my son is playing it a little less overly-safe than I thought. Rather than purely waiting for me to hurt myself, he’s putting up just enough of a fight to make it difficult to steal a win. His deceit is winning out over his cowardice, it seems.

Our new hand of combat moves has a new combat move available:
duelling16.png

Damn, this actually would have been really useful last round, when we could have headbutted him to reduce both of our prowess a fair bit. We’re already stuck rolling poor moves, so it would only make us marginally worse, but as he’s got access to the higher move sets, reducing his prowess for the duration of the bout could have really helped us.

Looks like we’re in a bit of a tricky situation where I might get embarrassingly defeated by the AI >.<. We’re committed now, though, so let’s just hope he slips up and launch into another Enthusiastic Onslaught!

duelling17.png


duelling18.png


Haha! The Devil take you, coward!

Ok, so we got lucky there, as Musa played it safe rather than pressing his advantage and we managed not to injure ourselves, but it’s now round #3 and this single combat will almost certainly end here. Either my injury risk catches up with me or I manage to push through that last little bit of threshold to win.

Let’s take a look at the new moves we’ve rolled.

duelling19.png


duelling20.png


Wow, ok, not much competition here, is there? Pure aggression has brought us this far, let’s keep the medieval-equivalent of the pain-train a’goin’! Put the boot in!

duelling21.png


Phew! Ok, not gonna lie, that was a little more tense than I’d have like it to be for the demo fight. Not as embarrassing as when I got a prowess 100 character killed by a prowess 0 character during testing, but still.

Needless to say, this is just one fight, one way of playing, and adapting your strategy and preferred moves based on the personality, skill, and experience of your opponent are all necessary to reliably win repeatedly.

If we played this fight again as Musa, we’d probably want to take a similar strategy to how he fought in the early rounds, letting our inferior opponent open up his guard whilst putting up enough of a fight that he couldn’t easily score a victory.

Two very skilled characters fighting each other becomes a mind-game of who can work out the best route to victory first, an incredibly inferior character verses a drastically skilled opponent turns into lots of desperate gambits to even the prowess ratings or exploit their personality, two very aggressive characters becomes a pure slug-fest that often comes down to sudden death, and so on.

Our hope is that, though all fights are relatively short and the mechanics aren’t too intricate, each and every fight has the potential to be memorable if you want it to be.

So Many Ways to Say “You Lose”​

You know what’s fun? Fight loc. Let’s look at some single combat results. Vanity-me, to me!

duelling22.png


duelling23.png


duelling24.png


duelling25.png


duelling26.png


duelling27.png


Fun-fact: putting the location trigger on crocodilians turning up in fatal [REDACTED] duels was stuck on my to-do list until quite late in development. This means that, for the vast majority of time spent internally playtesting, crocodiles would tend to turn up in any fight that wasn’t explicitly indoors. Taiga, steppe, European farmland, Tibetan mountain, the middle of the Sahara. None were safe from the surprise crocodile.

Accusations that this was left intentionally because certain elements of the dev team found the confusion entertaining are salacious and unfounded.

Anyhoo, that’s almost all for this dev diary folks! Let’s round things out with some more patch note excerpts.

###################
# Free Features
###################
  • Enhanced the hair & beard inheritance gene system. Instead of inheriting specific haircuts from your parents, you now inherit a ‘hair type’ gene such as ‘straight’, ‘wavy’, ‘curly’ or ‘afro’. The actual haircut a character uses is now based upon their culture. This means that rulers won’t use inappropriate hairstyles/beards just because one of their grandparents happened to be of another culture!
    • NOTE: Existing characters from save games made before 1.3 might get a new haircut or become bald, and old ruler designer DNA data will not have hair/beard.
    • This system does not affect the Barbershop or Ruler Designer, where you’re still able to choose whatever hair you want.
  • Added the ‘Chin Goatee’ beard variant
  • Added new Special Buildings in [REDACTED] and [REDACTED], including the [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and more!
... and many more [will be posted in future DDs]

###################
# Balance
###################
  • As the Patron of a holy order, you can now hire it even if it is already hired by someone else (except another player). You pay the full piety cost to the person who has already hired it, rather than the usual hiring it for free
  • Reduced acceptance bonus on Offer Vassalization from 'wide difference in rank' and 'rightful liege'
  • Reduced fascination gain from learning from +2 to +1
  • Blocked joining a tyranny war if you can't join a faction against your liege
  • It is now possible to recruit children from prison as long as they're not heir to one of their liege's titles
  • Reduced inherent health penalty on flagellant from -0.5 to -0.15
  • Reduced chance of characters randomly contracting lover's pox & great pox
  • Improved the candidate selection for republican mayors: they can be of the province culture as well as their liege’s culture, will prefer to be succeeded by members of their court, and women can be selected when it makes sense
  • Being more than 5000 men above the supply limit now causes you to lose supply faster, will scale from 5/month at 5k to 10/month at 10k
  • Buildings in holdings in the domain limit grace period are now disabled entirely
  • Creating a Head of Faith title now requires 1 more holy site (2 for Spiritual, 3 for Temporal). Creating a Spiritual HoF title now costs 300g rather than 50 to 300g based on your income
  • Imprisoning and Executing characters of no particular status (i.e. lowborns) now yield much less tyranny
  • Non-republican Barons now get married and produce a family more consistently
  • The Pope is now more willing to lift excommunications, but doing so costs the excommunicated a Level of Fame
  • When a Claimant Faction succeeds in their goal, they will free their Claimant from prison if they were a prisoner of the old title holder
... and many more [will be posted in future DDs]


###################
# Bugfixes
###################
  • Children should no longer incorrectly become Lowborn if at least one of their (known) parents carry a Dynasty
  • The Pope will no longer grant himself Rome every year, and gain Piety for it
  • Fixed several instances of wounds being applied using the wrong effect, causing them to never heal
  • Fixed Great Holy Wars invalidating rather than changing target if someone for instance takes the target's primary title
  • Fixed prestige and piety gains in extremely large battles (hundreds of thousands of troops on both sides) sometimes having an overflow issue causing them to go negative
  • Fixed the Controlled Territory Defender Advantage modifier only working for provinces you personally control, and not those of your vassals
  • Fixed the Diplomatic Range modifier not having any effects. Now range between two characters is based on the highest Diplomatic Range modifier of the two
  • Fixed the loss of your pet spoon removing your pet stone instead
  • Characters under 18 will now hold council props
  • Fixed an issue where vassals created additional holdings throughout a liege's realm when becoming feudal or clan. They should now only create holdings within their own sub-realm.
  • Hostile schemes are now invalidated when the target isn't within the owner's diplomatic range
  • It is now much harder to imprison a claimant that has the support of a faction that has pressed demands
  • It's now easier to imprison your own young children if they're unfortunate enough to be in your court
  • Removed the secret tunnel between Cherchen and Gomoco, allowing armies to pass through the Kunlun Mountains.
  • You can now send your kid off to university properly and easier
  • The AI can now occasionally attempt to escape from prison
  • Subjugation wars now return their prestige cost when invalidating
  • Tribals can now adjust tribe-valid succession laws (i.e., gender, mostly) at limited tribal authority instead of needing to reform to feudal
  • Fathers of secret bastards can now realize that they are the real father even when the mother is married
  • Characters can now rip their shirts off without exposing their crotch
  • Ended the Crocapocalypse
... and many more [will be posted in future DDs]

If all this isn't enough or you would like more, make sure you tune in for our Paradox Insider this Saturday, March 13th at 11:00am PT (8:00pm/20:00 CET) where we will be chatting and discussing things.
 

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Karlington

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Looks very fun :)
There's a typo in one of the images: you wrote "Taste the wroth of Allah," when it should have been "Taste the wrath of Allah."
:D Wroth is an archaic variant of wrath, and one I've always much preferred, I'm afraid. Good eye, though!
Sorry, @Wokeg, but @aantia is right on this one. Wroth is an archaic adjective, not a noun, so wroth is to wrath as angry is to anger. The text is basically an archaic form of "Taste the angry of Allah," which while pretty amusing is probably not correct. :)

Now if someone told me my conception of a word was wrong then my first reaction would probably be to smile in amusement and ask them for their sources, so I should probably provide some for my claim. If you prefer a professional dictionary there's Merriam-Webster, if you want a web-based one there's Dictionary.com, and if you prefer a crowd-sourced one there's Wiktionary.

It's a commonly misused word these days. Personally I blame GRRM, who loves to use "wroth," incorrectly, as a noun in his books.

-----

I also want to add that while this post probably comes off as a bit "smart-assy," I don't mean to be harsh. I'm very happy with what we've heard in the last EDIT: two three dev diaries. I really appreciate both the diaries and your eager and open engagement with the player base, @Wokeg, and as far as I'm concerned right now you're God's gift to us players. :) And I don't give praise like that quickly or easily, as my posting history will show my criticisms of Paradox's lack of communication have been legion, and praise rare.

But I do believe in giving praise when it's deserved, and here it is. Thanks, @Wokeg, and please keep up the excellent work! :)
 
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Wokeg

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What about the case of children being challenged by adults? Are kids, too, hard blocked from being challenged?
During events, they simply shouldn't get the option, for rivalries, children can neither challenge nor be challenged, and for [REDACTED], they [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED].
Wait... are you a crocodile?
No comment, though I do enjoy sliding into good vibes in my free time.
Right, but I mean it would be nice if the system didn't give you two versions of the same move (or if moves weren't strictly better or strictly worse than one another), so that there weren't clearly wrong options to fall into.
Ahhhh, I follow you. Hmmm... we could sort that, but script-wise it'd mean making duels slightly harder, since we'd basically have to make you less likely to roll a better version of anything you've already rolled and you roll from lower move sets first. That said, it would be undeniably better UX. I'll have a think, thanks for the note!
1) Do the blademaster traits give special options, and can they be gained or leveled from fighting duels? In addition, do you get prowess boosts when you win from the experience you gain?
2) What does the berserker trait do? Massive boosts to wound for both sides?
3) Can non-fatal duels have a chance of turning fatal? I love how every duel isn't to the death anymore, but when swinging around sharpened pieces of steel there's always a risk.
  1. They do indeed, though it's a single option for all three ranks. That said, it is one of the best combat moves available. Fun-fact: the loc for that was patterned off of our very own @Enfield_PDX, who enjoys his meatspace swordplay.
  2. Berserker is another extremely good combat move. It's quite a rare trait, generally much harder to get than blademaster, so it's commensurately about as powerful, and gives a rather heavy amount of stress loss on the side. Nothing more relaxing than ripping the frustrations out of your opponent's spine. They also have some of my favourite gory duel locs.
  3. Ah, I'm afraid not. I've mentioned it elsewhere in the thread, but this was a deliberate decision to keep the script streamlined, since otherwise it's an edge-case that any given usage of the effect would need to account for. That doesn't mean it's not something that we could sort happening as a result of duels, but we'd need to sort it on a case-by-case basis. :D Still fun, and still good drama!
Is "Risk of Injury" the same? A score that's accrued each round of the fight? And then you lose automatically if the scrore reaches some threshold?
:) RoI is a score matched against an individual threshold. If you exceed it, you make an invisible roll (with the percentage chance being the amount you exceed it by), and if you goof the roll, you lose the match. So, from the player's perspective, more risk is always risky, no matter how much risk you've accrued so far.
 
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megamanx06

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:p During development, we left the location trigger on crocodiles turning up in lethal duels until very late. This meant that crocs tended to turn up in any fight that wasn't explicitly indoors, which bemused the hell out of playtesters.
If a "fantasy" game rule is ever added for immortality/witches/whatnot I really hope Crocapocalypse makes a return :p
 
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It was a very interesting and satisfying to read Dev Diary! Tbh one of the best I have seen lately!
But please for the love of God, give us a save game rule button, and please fix the AI not hiring or using Physicians, since that's crippling the AI's characters immensely!

Can't wait for the next DD.
Please keep up the excellent work!
Cheers, guys!
 
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Nice update! I hope there will be duels within battles, it seemed like having high prowess didn't really mean much before.
 
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Bobwoodword

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Not in love with the idea of a 100 guy losing to a 0 guy. I get there should be a chance for guys to punch above their weight, and from a pure realism perspective there is always a fraction of a chance a far superior fighter loses, but from a gameplay perspective it's not ideal. Now admittedly we don't know all of the context of how that happened, but even if I was the luckiest man in the world, I'm not beating Khabib Nurmagomedov in a fight 999/100 times. I think this comes down to a philosophical difference with the devs. They want tremendous range of outcomes in fights. If my experience in CK2 taught me anything, it's that this type of extensive range only leads to frustration and for me to be hyper cautious in order to avoid the horrors of RNG roles. We will have to see how it all plays out of course but a mod regarding dueling seems to be in my future.
 
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Not in love with the idea of a 100 guy losing to a 0 guy. I get there should be a chance for guys to punch above their weight, and from a pure realism perspective there is always a fraction of a chance a far superior fighter loses, but from a gameplay perspective it's not ideal. Now admittedly we don't know all of the context of how that happened, but even if I was the luckiest man in the world, I'm not beating Khabib Nurmagomedov in a fight 999/100 times. I think this comes down to a philosophical difference with the devs. They want tremendous range of outcomes in fights. If my experience in CK2 taught me anything, it's that this type of extensive range only leads to frustration and for me to be hyper cautious in order to avoid the horrors of RNG roles. We will have to see how it all plays out of course but a mod regarding dueling seems to be in my future.
A fight with weapons is different than a ufc fight. One lucky stab to the torso can be fatal very quickly even if the wound is only 2 inches deep.
 
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Wokeg

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Sorry, @Wokeg, but @aantia is right on this one. Wroth is an archaic adjective, not a noun, so wroth is to wrath as angry is to anger. The text is basically an archaic form of "Taste the angry of Allah," which while pretty amusing is probably not correct. :)

Now if someone told me my conception of a word was wrong then my first reaction would probably be to smile in amusement and ask them for their sources, so I should probably provide some for my claim. If you prefer a professional dictionary there's Merriam-Webster, if you want a web-based one there's Dictionary.com, and if you prefer a crowd-sourced one there's Wiktionary.

It's a commonly misused word these days. Personally I blame GRRM, who loves to use "wroth," incorrectly, as a noun in his books.

-----

I also want to add that while this post probably comes off as a bit "smart-assy," I don't mean to be harsh. I'm very happy with what we've heard in the last two dev diaries. I really appreciate both the diaries and your eager and open engagement with the player base, @Wokeg, and as far as I'm concerned right now you're God's gift to us players. :) And I don't give praise like that quickly or easily, as my posting history will show my criticisms of Paradox's lack of communication have been legion, and praise rare.

But I do believe in giving praise when it's deserved, and here it is. Thanks, @Wokeg, and please keep up the excellent work! :)
View attachment 690383
TIL! Tbf to GRRM, I suspect that it's my love of 40k doing me in here.

:oops: Well, thank ye kindly for the kind words! Both this and the poetry DD have been absolutely lovely threads to chat to people in, which has made it very easy to talk about things where I'm allowed. It's been really heartening to see not just a lot of enthusiasm for our upcoming content, but also earnest and politely presented feedback and queries. Generally, as devs, we really do like to reply to and engage with people, but it can be a daunting task when a few bad apples cross the line into just being rude, mean, or otherwise callous. :) I'm extremely thankful to everyone we've had in this thread so far just being fundamentally decent people, even/especially the folks who've said that it doesn't sound like this is the feature for them, or have concerns they'd like to air.

^^ It may take us a while to get through all the feedback we're getting both now and in the future, but I'm very much looking forward to iterating on single combat to make it more immersive, intuitive, and responsive to niche situations in future updates.

... And I'm not just saying that because someone a couple of pages ago suggested a special move involving the prison spoon and now I can get that out of my mind.
I just want a white killer rabbit. 100% win chance.
I personally believe very strongly in an upper limit of one Monty Python joke per DLC. I have no way to enforce this limit, save bringing it up to the team constantly.
If a "fantasy" game rule is ever added for immortality/witches/whatnot I really hope Crocapocalypse makes a return :p
Yessssssss.
 
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I wouldn't have expected a card game to be built into ck3, and yet it works!
The question now is: What's everyone speculating for the stewardship, intrigue and learning improvements? (given we've seen diplomacy, and now martial improved)
I haven't got many ideas myself, but I've mostly played martial-focused characters so far, so I haven't seen many gaps
 
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Nice system, but I hope there are some combat options that tie to other systems. Like an option to flirt with you opponent, starting a event chain that can result in a lover, if the participants are attracted to each other. Or even a simple piety or fervor gain for defeating some one of a hostile religion, showing whose god is better
 
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Wokeg

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Not in love with the idea of a 100 guy losing to a 0 guy. I get there should be a chance for guys to punch above their weight, and from a pure realism perspective there is always a fraction of a chance a far superior fighter loses, but from a gameplay perspective it's not ideal. Now admittedly we don't know all of the context of how that happened, but even if I was the luckiest man in the world, I'm not beating Khabib Nurmagomedov in a fight 999/100 times. I think this comes down to a philosophical difference with the devs. They want tremendous range of outcomes in fights. If my experience in CK2 taught me anything, it's that this type of extensive range only leads to frustration and for me to be hyper cautious in order to avoid the horrors of RNG roles. We will have to see how it all plays out of course but a mod regarding dueling seems to be in my future.
Ok, ok, ok, so, how could this possibly happen, right? Like, I wasn't even trying to lose, and my 100 prowess test character lost to the 0 prowess opponent I'd deliberately picked? Welp, I'll tell you how.

I picked an arrogant bastard to play, and because I was testing, I wasn't really reading any of the combat options I'd painstakingly written. Just wanted to test something in the victory screen, so I just clicked buttons at random, only half-processing what I was doing. And, because of the type of character I was playing, every round, I rolled one of the various "you suck and I'm the best" speech options, and, by chance and my own stupidity, selected that.

I was stabbed in the neck whilst on round three of my evil monologue about my skill and greatness, because I'd managed to not actually really fight my opponent all duel, instead just vaguely assuming I'd win.
 
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Nice system, but I hope there are some combat options that tie to other systems. Like an option to flirt with you opponent, starting a event chain that can result in a lover, if the participants are attracted to each other. Or even a simple piety or fervor gain for defeating some one of a hostile religion, showing whose god is better
There are indeed! We've got a couple of dozen special options that tie in like this, including a special option for Zealous characters that does, in fact, award piety based on your hostility in relation to the faith of your opponent.
 
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Looking forward to seeing this new system in practice, looks very promising.

Unrelated note: It kind of bugs me how the "maimed" trait always shows up as the character missing their left arm. I think the way it is represented on the character model should be something a little more generalized, because 99% of the time, the missing arm makes no sense in the context of the event.
 
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Aside from character things already mentioned (adult, not blind, not pregant etc), what determines who you can challenge to a duel?

Do they have to be in your court? In your realm? Within diplomatic range?

Can you challenge you liege? Your vassals? Can you challenge the Pope?

Can they be a neighbouring ruler?
 
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Bobwoodword

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Ok, ok, ok, so, how could this possibly happen, right? Like, I wasn't even trying to lose, and my 100 prowess test character lost to the 0 prowess opponent I'd deliberately picked? Welp, I'll tell you how.

I picked an arrogant bastard to play, and because I was testing, I wasn't really reading any of the combat options I'd painstakingly written. Just wanted to test something in the victory screen, so I just clicked buttons at random, only half-processing what I was doing. And, because of the type of character I was playing, every round, I rolled one of the various "you suck and I'm the best" speech options, and, by chance and my own stupidity, selected that.

I was stabbed in the neck whilst on round three of my evil monologue about my skill and greatness, because I'd managed to not actually really fight my opponent all duel, instead just vaguely assuming I'd win.

Thank you for taking the time to explain. If the mechanical take away from this is that the 100 fighter only lost because the players willful decision to allow it (intentional or otherwise) then I am encouraged. I guess I have just been burned by the unmodded CK2 dueling enough times that I am suspicious when it comes to a broad range of duel outcomes. Though one fundamental difference in CK3 is that duels are not predetermined so it stands to reason that the additional player control will help cut down on that effective range, even if the total range of outcomes still exists. Anyways, thanks again for adding some context.
 
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Wokeg

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How many months will the average duel take?
In single-player, they should be instantaneous. In MP, I'm afraid they go at the speed of the slowest involved player depending on game settings: you can conceivably finish them in a week or so if both players are quick and know what they're doing, or otherwise likely a couple of months.
Unrelated note: It kind of bugs me how the "maimed" trait always shows up as the character missing their left arm. I think the way it is represented on the character model should be something a little more generalized, because 99% of the time, the missing arm makes no sense in the context of the event.
As a left-handed person, I would certainly appreciate the ability to lose my right hand instead.
Aside from character things already mentioned (adult, not blind, not pregant etc), what determines who you can challenge to a duel?

Do they have to be in your court? In your realm? Within diplomatic range?

Can you challenge you liege? Your vassals? Can you challenge the Pope?

Can they be a neighbouring ruler?
This depends on the type of duel being set up. [REDACTED] use very specific requirements that I'm afraid I can't go into here, event duels currently tend to mostly use characters created within that event (though that's just what we've got implemented, not all that's possible), and duelling your rival through the Stalwart Leader perk's interaction requires a rival within diplomatic range who you are neither at war with nor have a ceasefire with. Neither of you can be imprisoned.
 
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