Below, you’ll find a Table of Contents where you can jump to specific sections of the rules. Each section contains the official rules language of the sport as well as a quick synopsis which provides a high-level summary of that section. This synopsis is intended to help players garner a quick understanding of the rules. Questions about the rules should be directed to the Duel of Fists Staff.
For information on the game mechanics, rank, associated modifiers, etc., please refer to the Duel of Fists Game Guide.
How to Gain Modifiers
Participants in the Duel of Fists rise in rank according to their success in their duels. Ranks are assigned via the following methods:
- According to the number of Wins a dueler gains
- Wins over Losses a dueler maintains (if opted into the WoL system)
- Challenge (for the Opal rank)
- Tournament (for the Opal and Diamond ranks)
Wins over Losses (WoL) will still be tracked for historical purposes, potential future changes and special events, but no longer have bearing on obtaining rank.
Those looking for an added challenge may opt into WoL, where losses count against a character’s record and will affect rank gains, by sending a Discord DM to a DoF Staff Member. In a Wins over Losses scenario, your total is the net result of your wins minus your losses. For instance, assume Dueler A has ten (10) wins and two (2) losses. In the standard ranking, this dueler would have the rank of Sapphire. In the Wins over Losses option, this dueler has a net win record of eight (8), ranking them at Ruby.
Ranks & Base Modifiers Per Rank
The highest number of modifiers that a non-Emerald can reach in regulation dueling is 5. Characters cannot make use of more than 5 modifiers, regardless of rank/mentee/other status, until they reach the Emerald, Opal or Diamond ranks.*
*Certain tournaments may permit special dispensation wherein participants are allotted more or fewer modifiers than permitted by their Standings rank; these situations will be explicitly denoted if and when they occur.
Duel of Fists cycles last approximately thirteen (13) weeks and are accompanied by a reset of the Official Standings, as follows:
- Winter Cycle (January-March)
- Spring Cycle (April-June)
- Summer Cycle (July-September)
- Fall Cycle (October-December)
The Duel of Fists Standings are considered "official" on Sundays at 6PM ET, even if they are posted earlier in the day.
Rank changes are not considered official until they are listed in the Official Standings. This means that if you are a Jade with a 4-0 record and get your 5th win on Monday to promote to Ruby, you cannot duel as a Ruby until the following Sunday, once the new standings are considered “official”.
Duelers must complete at least one (1) regulation or tournament duel in the previous three months (90 days) to remain active on the standings (see below for more information on Activity).
If a dueler goes a 90 day period without participating in at least one regulation duel or a tournament duel, their standings record will be updated with the following symbol to denote inactivity: (I). Example: JoeDueler Joe 2-0-0 2017-05-04 (I)
If an Opal/Diamond holder is inactive longer than 90 days, their position shall be considered forfeit; they will be stripped of the Opal or Diamond rank and the next standings update will reflect the rank associated with their current Wins total (or Wins over Losses if they've elected to opt into WoL). The vacant Opal/Diamond shall become a prize in an upcoming tournament or special event.
Inactive duelers may be removed from the standings at the Standings Keeper’s discretion. Typically, removal from the Standings occurs after a year has passed with no activity.
Duelers who do not appear on the standings due to voluntary retirement or inactivity may duel at their last recorded rank as shown on the Historical Record, provided they inform their opponent prior to the start of any duel of their listing and rank as shown within the Historical Record. The Inactive/Retired dueler must continue providing any new opponent with this information until such time as they are placed back on the Official Standings.
To check a dueler’s Historical Record, please send a Direct Message to the Nexus Guide with the following command: ?ranks "Character Name". Alternatively, click the "Historical Record" link within the Duel of Fists Standings.
The Inactive/Retired dueler will appear on the next Standings release after their completion of a single regulation or tournament duel.
Duelers are not considered officially reinstated/active until the Official Standings are updated to reflect activity.
There is no requirement to contact the Standings Keeper for reinstatement unless a discrepancy is found.
In terms of rank, Opal holders are slotted above Emeralds but below the Diamond. There are five (5) unique Opals available. To challenge for an Opal, a character must qualify for the Right to Challenge (please refer to the "The Opal Challenge Process" portion of the rules).
After the events of Diamond Quest 100 and the subsequent search for Opal shards, the Opals returned to their physical constructs during Diamond Quest 101, trading freedom for agency and influence. They are more powerful than ever and those powers seem to have grown and stretched beyond the elements. The descriptions below just scratch the surface of what they are capable of, but beware...power from the Opals comes at a steep price. The more a dueler draws upon that power, the more costly that price may be. The Opals are no longer keen to lend their gifts to just anyone. They often demand an exchange for what they share and leave their mark upon the user in return.
Remember: magic, and power, are never free.
Opals & Powers
The Red Opal (FireStar)
FireStar’s brash and excitable personality fits neatly with its raw power. Combative, strong and eager to explore other planes of existence, FireStar constantly pushes the envelope of possibility. The red Opal's holders can call fire from the skies and manipulate flames like clay but can also, by harnessing their anger and rage, access valuable objects or creatures from other planes to do their bidding...those who use this ability too many times may find themselves consumed by unfettered fury, incapable of expressing other emotion.
The Blue Opal (IceDancer)
Methodical and resourceful, IceDancer has always been able to harness the properties of water to shield its holder, slow down an opponent, or even turn their offense against them. The blue Opal can now take this even further and manipulate any type of liquid, including that which is present in all living things. Additionally, holders can delve into the memories of water, constructing images and recreating past events. Beware though...these reflections of the past can drive a holder to obsession.
The Yellow Opal (MoonBeryl)
Perhaps the most cunning of the Opals, MoonBeryl tempts holders into using its powers with honeyed words. The yellow Opal offers its holders more than just the ability to manipulate wind and air. Holders can transcend the present and navigate the wonders of time itself... but is what they're seeing what truly has happened/will happen, or is the yellow Opal deceiving them? Delve into the timestream too often and even the most mentally disciplined holder might find themselves adrift, unable to return to the here and now.
The Green Opal (PathFinder)
PathFinder can manipulate foliage, pass through living matter, and now alter life itself, causing healthy things to decay and even restoring or invigorating the life force of plants and creatures. The green Opal's holders are also capable of altering living matter into something other than its natural state. However, these changes are demanding to bestow and more arduous to undo. Altering the natural order can far too easily sap the strength – or even cost the very life – of those who dare to reach beyond their means.
The Black Opal (ShadoWeaver)
Beyond tricks of light and shadow, ShadoWeaver excels in creating beguiling glamours as well as deceiving the senses and the mind – even that of its holder. The black Opal enables its holders to blend in with the phantoms it creates, blurring the line between illusion and reality. Its holder is capable of smooth deception and remarkable guile through speech or magical illusions, often weaving them together. Those who dig too deep into ShadoWeaver's abilities or give up too much of themselves may find their very soul forever corrupted by its essence.
Maintaining the Opal Rank
To maintain their Opal Status, the holder of an Opal *MUST*:
- Defend against a challenge per the Opal Challenge Process
- Remain active: if a dueler with the Opal rank falls into inactivity as noted by (I) on the Standings, they will be stripped of the Opal rank and revert to the rank associated with their Wins (or WoL if opted into that structure).
Only one Emerald may challenge a particular Opal at a time. If multiple challenges are issued to the same Opal by different Emeralds, only the first valid challenge received will be honored.
Duelers of Opal rank may not deny a challenge for any reason not provided for in these rules; they must fight or forfeit the title.
An Opal holder who loses a challenge match must wait until the next calendar month before receiving the ability to challenge for the Opal rank again.
Should an Opal become vacant, it may become the prize of an Opal tournament, an All-Ranks Tournament or be awarded in the Diamond Quest. The Duel of Fists Staff have full discretion in determining the fate of a vacated Opal.
The Right to Challenge
Characters challenging for the Opal rank must appear on the standings, qualify as "active" (see the above "Activity" section), and be ranked as Emerald on the standings.* Duelers who are inactive and return to active status must wait until the next standings update after their first regulation or tournament match before they can challenge.
*Sometimes, tournament prizes may offer an Opal Challenge Grant to duelers not of Emerald rank; in such cases, the non-Emerald is permitted to challenge for an Opal via use of the Grant.
Emeralds are allowed one challenge per month; challenges are not cumulative. If an Emerald does not participate in a challenge match in a given month, their opportunity will not carry over to the next.
- Example 1: Matt challenges Opal-holder Claire on December 31, fights the actual match on January 3 and loses. Matt is not able to challenge again until February 1st.
- Example 2: Kheldar challenges Opal-holder Jaycy and the match is fought on December 31st. If Kheldar loses the challenge, he can submit another Opal challenge on January 1st.
Challenges must be posted on the Public Message Board. The subject line of the post must indicate the post is a challenge and specify the Opal under challenge. For example: "Challenge for ShadoWeaver" or "Looking to Burn - FireStar Challenge".
In the body of the challenge post, you must clearly indicate if you are issuing a challenge using a Challenge Grant/Cyclical Prize (such as a special tournament prize.) Otherwise, we will assume you are using your monthly Challenge Right.
Challenges, if not properly served, will be voided by a Duel of Fists staff member. In the case of a voided challenge, the Challenger will have their challenge rights stripped for the remainder of the cycle. This penalty will not take effect if the challenge is withdrawn before voided by Staff.
Responding to a Challenge
A valid challenge MUST be answered by the Opal holder; an unanswered challenge will be considered an abdication of the rank.
All challenges must be answered within one week of validation (by the date and time the validation notice is sent out) and dueled within two weeks of the response. Any form of response to the challenge thread by the Opal holder, after validation, is considered an acceptance. Any challenge not responded to within one week of the validation timestamp will be considered a forfeit on the part of the Opal.
If an Opal holder is challenged within their grace period and is willing to waive that grace, the Opal holder must waive grace via a response to the challenge thread before the challenge is invalidated by the Duel of Fists Staff.
Arranging the Challenge Day, Time & Caller
It is the responsibility of the challenger to secure a caller. The Opal holder has first preference on dates, times, and choice of caller, but consensus between the Opal, the challenger, and the caller must be reached. Please refer to the Duel of Fists Challenge Caller List.
The challenger must also respond to the challenge thread and post the following information:
- The day and time of the match
- The name of the caller who will oversee the match
Details regarding the day, time and challenge official must be posted no later than 24 hours before the challenge is scheduled to begin. Failure to post these details or posting late may result in the challenge being invalidated and the challenger losing their challenge right for the month.
In the rare instance where a challenge is issued, validated and scheduled to be fought in less than 24 hours, the scheduled time, day and caller information must be posted by the time the challenge is scheduled to begin.
Opal Challenge matches are held in a best-of-three format and all duels will be fought until a winner is declared; no ties are permissible. If a duel reaches 15 rounds and neither dueler has a one (1) point lead, the duel will continue until a dueler gains the one (1) point lead necessary to win the duel.
Duels that are part of Opal Challenge matches will not apply to either dueler's Standings record.
The date a challenge is scheduled to begin is considered the official date the title is defended/obtained.
Both duelers are expected to arrive on time and be prepared to duel by the scheduled start time. If one of the duelers fails to show within ten (10) minutes after the match was scheduled to begin, the dueler present will be asked if he or she would like to continue to wait. If that person agrees to wait, the match will be held up for another ten (10) minutes. If after that time the missing dueler fails to show, the match will be rescheduled.
If the same person is more than ten (10) minutes late to the rescheduled match, they will be held in forfeit and no additional rescheduling will be allowed. The person who failed to show for two matches will be disqualified and their opponent declared the victor. At the discretion of the Duel of Fists Staff, the dueler held in forfeit may also lose their challenge rights for a period of time.
Victory by the Opal
Upon a successful defense, the incumbent Opal holder will retain the rights and privileges of the Opal rank. The holder does not have to accept another challenge for a grace period lasting thirty (30) days.
If another challenge is issued to that Opal within that time frame, the Opal holder may waive grace and accept the challenge. However, the Opal is not required to accept a challenge during their grace period. If multiple challenges are issued to an Opal during the grace period, the Opal may elect to waive grace for one challenge and decline the other(s), regardless of the order in which they were issued. Remember, in order for a challenge to be considered valid during a grace period, the Opal-holder must waive grace; this must be done prior to the challenge being invalidated by the Duel of Fists Staff. Once the thirty (30) day grace period expires, the Opal must accept the first valid challenge issued.
Victory by the Challenger
If the challenger defeats the reigning Opal, the following things will happen:
- The defeated Opal loses the title once the challenge match ends; the next Standings update will reflect that dueler's rank according to their Wins total (or Wins over Losses if they've opted into that format).
- The new Opal will have a seven (7) day grace period, starting from the date the challenge was scheduled to begin, where they do not have to accept a challenge. This seven-day grace period applies regardless of the method of acquisition of an Opal (challenge, tournament, or otherwise).
- The new Opal holder may elect to waive this grace period.
- Once the seven (7) day grace period has passed, the Opal must accept the first valid challenge issued.
Day 1 of the seven-day or thirty-day grace period begins at midnight the day after the challenge was scheduled to begin or the Opal was acquired (including tournament start time). The grace period ends at one second after midnight ET of the eighth or thirty-first day.
A challenge or tournament is considered to begin at the day and time listed on the message boards. If a challenge or tournament was scheduled to begin at 11:45pm EST but does not actually begin until 12:01am EST the following day, 11:45pm EST is still considered the start time.
- Example 1: A challenge or tournament begins at 9:00 pm EST on January 2. The Emerald wins and enters into 7-day grace. The grace period begins at 12:00 am on January 3 and ends one second after 12:00 am January 10th.
- Example 2: A challenge begins at 9:00 pm EST on January 2. The Opal wins and enters into 30-day grace. The grace period begins at 12:00 am ET on January 3 and ends one second after 12:00am EST on February 2.
The Duel of Fists will hold at least eight cyclical tournaments per year: 4 Diamond Quests and 4 All-Ranks Tournaments.
Players may not have more than one (1) character participate in any given tournament event (e.g. Diamond Quest, Opal Tournament, ART, MegaBrawl, etc.).
If a person has to leave a tournament before they are eliminated, then they will forfeit their current match (or their next match if in-between rounds). This forfeiture will count as their second loss towards elimination (in a double elimination format). In a round robin format, the current match will also count as a loss; the dueler will be removed from the tournament and ineligible to continue should they return later.
All Ranks Tournaments
Characters of any rank may enter the All Ranks Tournament; the tournament format will be determined by the previous ART winner. A variety of prizes will be offered in these events, including Fistmelda's Tusk.
All Ranks Tournaments will typically be held halfway through a cycle.
Victory in the Diamond Quest is the only way to obtain the sport's top rank. Tournament format will be based upon the number of participants and may vary from cycle to cycle, but is typically Double Elimination.
Diamond Quest Participation
All duelers with at least 15 wins may participate in the Diamond Quest and a notice for the event will be posted on the Outback Message Board.
If a dueler earns their 15th win during the week leading up to a Diamond Quest (meaning the latest standings do not reflect the updated win total), they may enter the tournament as long as they provide proof to the tournament organizers of at least a 15-win total before the tournament begins.
Duelers need not be active on the Standings in order to participate in the DQ; participation in the Diamond Quest will count as an activity duel.
The Diamond Rank
The winner of the Diamond Quest will be awarded the Diamond, which they will hold until the conclusion of the next Diamond Quest. This means that the Diamond is permitted to use all 7 available modifiers in their Diamond Quest duels.
The Black Diamond
After the events of Diamond Quests 100 & 101 and as a result of its role in fragmenting and re-forging the Opals, the Black Diamond was formed. This gem gets passed from Diamond to Diamond to hold while they maintain the rank. The Black Diamond can absorb and release energy gathered during a fight; duelers of Diamond rank may discover how to use this ability to make their attacks stronger and more powerful.
Additionally, the Black Diamond can absorb echoes of the Diamond's personality as it is passed from person to person. Over time, it seems as if the Black Diamond may use these echoes to form a sentience of its own. The Black Diamond may have other abilities yet to be uncovered as well.
Diamond Quest winners will continue to receive a commemorative diamond gem to keep as a symbol of their accomplishment.
The Duel of Fists has a mentoring program for duelers. The DoF Mentor Program Info! (Pairings Now On DoF Standings) thread provides the specific details on mentorship.
Please note, the total number of modifiers for duelers not ranked Emerald, Opal or Diamond caps at 5. Characters cannot make use of more than 5 modifiers in a given duel, regardless of rank/mentee/other status, until they reach the Emerald/Opal/Diamond ranks.
*As noted previously in the rules, some tournaments may permit special dispensation wherein participants are allotted more than 5 modifiers; these situations will be explicitly denoted if and when they occur.
1. Interpretations of rules that are not clearly covered shall be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Duel of Fists Staff.
2. Any dispute that is not clearly covered under the preceding rules shall fall under the jurisdiction of the Duel of Fists Staff. In extreme circumstances, disputes may be addressed by the Membership Board.
Rule Changes, Updates, and Clarifications can be found in this thread!
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