I’m running Sagas of the Icelanders for the first time. It’s a fascinating game, and my first introduction to the Sagas as well as the incredible history of Iceland. A lot to learn!
I have a question for people experienced with the game:
Given how large a role duels played in Icelandic/Norse/Viking culture, they are likely to become a focus of play in any Sagas game.
However, handling them by the rules is not an entirely obvious matter. First of all, there are the subtleties of the legalistic mindset of the Icelanders (in stark contrast to the violent anarchy that sometimes pervaded their lives, at the same time), and, second, the question of how to handle their resolution at the table. So, both the rules of the Icelandic fictional people and the rules of the players at the table must be negotiated.
- Do you distinguish between informal duels and the “holmgang” or “holmganga”?
- Under what rules does dueling operate in your game, within the fiction/setting? Do they vary from duel to duel, or are they somewhat standard?
- How do you use the game’s rules to resolve the duels?
There is some room to determine PC vs. NPC duels (most likely some combination of “accept a physical challenge” and “endure grave harm”), and some optional additional considerations in an optional bit of rules about weapons and armour. Does the MC/GM choose the moves accordingly, to colour the situation (e.g. the danger level of the duel), or bring them in at different times, or do you have a standard method?
More of a challenge is handling a PC vs. PC duel. What is your approach for those?