BV Duel of Wits

With all of the talk lately about the value of Bloody Versus and Judd’s post about using BV for mass combat, I started wondering about a “mid-way” mechanic between versus social tests and the Duel of Wits.

So, what about a mechanic that has the speed of a versus test with the compromises of a Duel of Wits?

You could simply do a regular versus social test with FoRKs, help, etc., just like a normal test. The player with most successes wins, but then you divide the loser’s successes by the winner’s successes to give you a percentage that determines compromise:

0-33%= minor compromise
34-66%= compromise
67-99%= major compromise

I know, I know. Duel of Wits isn’t that hard, but what do you think?

I think the main point here is to keep the DOW’s for the things that really matters. Otherwise, just use a simple vs test. I know i get off the topic here but that’s why i was confused about de BVT mecanic. Acctualy, when it comes to the very live of a character, it may be necessary to have a more nuanced “mid-way” mechanic for things to be resolved faster when you don’t want to slow down the pace of the game with a full rules fight. Usually, DOW are very short in time lenght. It makes the game even faster since in many other RPG’s, you don’t have any social combat system witch result, most of the time in very long dicussion between players and/or DMs. Even worse when everybody disagree on something… If you need to convince a guard to let you pass the gate during the night, i don’t think there is enough meat to get a compromise from it: use Vs test.


Aramis talked about this a few years ago, it’s a great idea. We break it out every so often.

I was hoping for something like this last week. There are some suggestions on this RPG Stack Exchange answer that are very similar to yours: make an opposed roll and then use the difference to determine compromises. For example, here’s Aramis’ suggestion:
Use the compromise page in the book.
Original body of argument = winner’s successes.
Body of argument remaining = winner’s successes - loser’s successes.


One thing I like about BV is the way that, sometimes, it’s a couple of rolls. Like you’ll circle around each other trading wary attacks on the first go, and then end up wrestling or trying to wear each other down or whatnot. I’d love to see a Witty Versus that has some element of that as well.

A couple ways to get it to 2-3 rolls like a BV would be to make it a Linked Test, perhaps with the first round a versus social (or other) test trying to gain advantage (+1D). Also, if there is a tie (assuming you have 2 aggressors), you could go to round 2 using different social skills.

Also, I like Aramis’ method for compromises better. Less math. :slight_smile:

There already is a kind of mini-Duel of Wits. Just use the “Not a Big Deal” rules. You should have results in 2-3 rounds at most.

“Not a Big Deal” does make it easier to end the DoW with one big lucky roll, but honestly so far I haven’t found that it reduces the times that much.

This is mainly from the perspective of characters with low or untrained skills, at least.