Lightsaber Dueling

When Jedi need to practice with their lightsaber skills, they call upon one another to duel. When the weapon of choice is capable of carving through durasteel, Jedi must be careful not to seriously injure one another. Similarly, when a Jedi Master teaches an apprentice the art of lightsaber combat, he must be mindful of not only his own attack but those of his student, who might lack the control to attack with out harm.

Jedi in lightsaber duels check their swings, taking a – 4 penalty to their attack rolls. Any successful attack deals only half damage (round down minimum 1), even on a critical hit. (Remember to apply the – 4 penalty on the confirmation roll as well.) In addition to this modifier on attack rolls, Jedi also observe certain long-standing customs of dueling etiquette, both to preserve harmony and to guarantee the safest possible duels. Much of this thinks carries over into the day-to-day behavior of Jedi Knights.

Lightsaber duels are for practice, not for resolving disputes. The Jedi realize that the temptation to solve problems with lightsabers is often very strong, especially for younger Jedi. Thus, this rule is generally the first imparted to a Jedi when his lightsaber training begins.

Never endanger bystanders. The Jedi Council sternly reprimands Jedi who duel in public, specifically because it wants to avoid accidents.

The duel ends if someone is injured. An injured Jedi who insists on continuing a duel might not be thinking clearly. Thus, the duel ends the moment one of the participants suffers a wound. Paradoxically, most Jedi do not consider wounding an opponent in a duel a victory. Instead, it tells them that they might have unconsciously wanted to injure their opponent, which is cause for meditation. A Jedi who has injured an opponent in a duel generally does not participate in a duel again until asked. Some even wait until the opponent they have injured ask for a duel.

Always honor a request to end the duel. When a Jedi ask for the duel to end, it is considered good form to immediately do so. Customarily, the person who makes the request extinguishes his lightsaber when he makes the request. However, some Jedi Masters use this point as a test. They leave their blade lit to see whether their apprentices are unwise enough to lower their defenses against an armed opponent – even one they would otherwise trust.

Never strike an unarmed opponent. Jedi consider attacking an unarmed opponent possible evidence of the dark side’s influence. Of course, the same thinking does not apply to unarmed attacks against an unarmed opponent.

Never strike an opponent who is unprepared. Even an armed opponent may not be ready for an assault, so the Jedi customarily indicate battle readiness either with a formal salute or by adopting an “on guard” stance. Any other stance indicates that the combatant is not prepared for combat, though he could still verbally indicate otherwise. A lightsaber held to one side and directed at the floor signifies the default “at rest” stance.

Never use the Force during a duel. Lightsaber duels are a test of combat skill, not of proficiency with the Force. If a Jedi uses the Force against his opponent during a duel, it s taken as a sign of desperation. This provides a good reason to end a duel, before someone gets hurt. Unfortunately, the habits of not using the Force in lightsaber practice sometimes works against inexperienced Jedi. It does not occur to them that their opponents might not respect this custom. Similarly, using the Fore in lightsaber practice sometimes works against the inexperienced Jedi. It does not occur to them that their opponents might not respect this custom. Similarly, using the Force to improve fighting skill is allowed only if both participants agree to such beforehand. Calling upon the Force (using a Force Point), however, is considered extravagant and disrespectful to the Force.

Non-lightsaber tactics are considered fair game. Despite the injunction against using the Force, other combat tactics are perfectly legal, since lightsaber combat involves more than simply exchanging blows. Jedi frequently employ bantha rushes, disarms, knockdowns, and trips, though grapples are generally frowned upon. Attacking an opponent’s lightsaber is a gross sign of disrespect, since it damages the personal property of a fellow Jedi. Consequently, few Jedi resort to this tactic even in life-or-death struggles (except against Dark Jedi), though they feel no such compunction about attacking blasters and other weapons.

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