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Duels nearly always occur between men, and only of a class higher than servant. As most clergy are also nobles - they may also duel. Duels are almost always fought between men of the same social class as well, anything less would be dishonourable. Duelling occurs when someone has had their honour slighted to such an extent, nothing but your death (or serious wounding) will recompense the act. When a duel is called for varies from person to person - some will let great dishonour befall them and still never ask for a duel. Some will challenge you to the death if you spill their salt.
After the offence, whether real or imagined, the offended party will demand satisfaction“ from the offender, signalling this demand with an inescapably insulting gesture, such as throwing the glove before them. ” It is up to the GM when an NPC calls for a duel. Usually the person's fitness and ability are a determining factor. There are some nobles that specialise in duelling and delight in causing challenges.
There are two methods of duelling popular in the eighteenth century - pistols, and swords.
Despite the method chosen, there must always be a second present for each party. Usually this is the best friend of the person challenged, and the best friend of the challenger. The duties of the second are:
There may also be a neutral arbiter present. The arbiter is either chosen by both parties, or one is hired.
Dawn is the traditional times for a duel. Duelling is outlawed in most cities, therefore if it occurs, it is usually secretive, and out of town.
At the choice of the offended party, the duel could be: