Info and data for fans of the play-by-mail games Duel II, Forgotten Realms, and Hyborian War from Reality Simulations, Inc

Blood on a Purple Robe: A Bloodgames Primer

by One Armed Bandit

Twice a year, there is a great gathering. These tiny men with their stained clothing and great intellects do not look like your traditional gladiators, but they will meet and compete for a chance at Duel2 immortality. No, no, I’m not talking about the managers at the Face-to-Face. I’m talking about the murderous dwarves at the Bloodgames.

Its probably the worst advertised event in Duel2 history. It happens twice a year, every year, and you don’t have to fly across the country to participate. For some, the Bloodgames are just a distant memory of a t-shirt that never arrived, newer managers may have never even heard of it. For others, though, it is a way of life. And it can be your way of life, too.

The cost: $10 to roll up the team, $49 to run them. At each Face-To-Face tourney, two Bloodgames arenas are run. One of them (called the FtF Bloodgames) gets run round-by-round for ten rounds, and warriors are allowed to change their strategies, avoid, and make Bloodfeud challenges. For the other arena (called the Mail-In Bloodgames), there are no bloodfeuds or avoids and each warrior must use the same strategy and train for all ten rounds. You can participate in both even if you don’t attend the FtF, but you’ll be at a slight disadvantage in the FtF Bloodgames (the Mail-In Bloodgames is a perfectly level playing field).

The teams: Each team consists of TEN warriors, one of EACH style. You can design each warrior however you want, as long as the stats add up to 84 points and no stat is lower than a 3 or higher than a 21 (referred to as DYOs or design-your-own warriors). Simply write down the following information on a piece of paper and mail it to RSI (or email it to your name, your account number, the words “Mail-In Bloodgames” or “FtF Bloodgames”, the team name, and all ten warriors (name, style, gender, ST-CN-SZ-WT-WL-SP-DF). If you submit them early enough you will probably get a chance to see the overviews before sending in strategies for each of them (using a normal strategy sheet, remember only one strategy and train for the entire event). If you want to play it safe, however, you can submit strategies along with the team information, just write “NEW” in each of the Warrior ID spots and either “MI BG” or “FTF BG” in the Game # spot. Some managers who are especially hard-core will roll up each team more than once, and look over the overviews to determine which team had the best luck in the roll-up process. Just remember, it costs $10 each time you roll them up.

The rules: So what’s the catch? $59 for 10 design-your-own warriors? Not so fast, buddy. At the end of ten rounds, the top three warriors of different styles from each arena will be granted immortality, trained up to the minimum ADM requirements, and will graduate to ADM. Every other warrior will be gone forever. Executed, freed, or retired to a quiet life on the farm like your childhood dog Buster, whatever helps you sleep at night. If the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranked warriors are a LU, a WS, and an AB, then those three will win the prizes. However, if the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranked warriors are a LU, a LU, and a WS, the 2nd place LU is out of luck, his prize will drop down to the highest ranking member of a style that isn’t LU or WS. So what does it take to be one of the top ranked warriors? Warriors are ranked based on number of kills, first and foremost, with their record and recognition points being the tie breakers. Oh, did I mention that the chances of dying are FIVE TIMES that of a normal arena?

What to expect: You will run into many opponents who are SZ 3, who have 21 WT and 21 WL, who are using a 10 KD and aiming for the vitals, who are using unusual weapons that Duel2 folklore says have a greater chance of delivering that killing blow, such as the Battle Axe. You may run into such classic archetypes as the 17-3-3-21-21-8-11 ST or the 17-16-3-3-21-3-21 AB.

So why should you play? There are many reasons. You don’t have to feel guilty about killing your friend’s warrior, for starters, because that’s the whole objective. Unique kill text make it all the sweeter, too. You won’t see anyone get “pierced completely through” or “skewered through their vital organs” anywhere else (at least I hope not). Not only is it exciting to read, but my most rewarding warrior came from the Bloodgames and yours could, too. Whether you are a tournament player or an arena player, if your warrior is tough enough to survive the Bloodgames, he’s tough enough for whatever task you set him to. My first Bloodgames graduate was a warrior named Sushi Slinger of Sea Dogs: 17-3-3-21-21-12-7 SL. He left Old Valamantis with a 10-0-3 record and immortality. Since then, he has been a Tournament Victor in the Freshman tourney, a Runner-Up in the ADM tourney, and a three-time Tournament Victor in the Eligibles tourney. He is now fighting in Primus against the best of the best and holding his own. Your Bloodgames graduate could join him in Primus, too.

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