One Touch Tournament

This tournament is called both the One-Touch Longsword tournament and Real Deadly Longsword scenarios. Both of these names correspond to this document and to each other.

The idea for this format came through a synthesis of reading historical accounts of informal fights, duels, and brawls, and the laws of social violence. Along with my personal participation and admiration of others’ experimental work with scenario play in HEMA and broader marital arts. The intent of this tournament hits on a few specific details and more broad strokes. First and foremost of which is to play with murkier definitions of winning, losing, and use of violence than a simple tournament can provide, and to have fun while doing it! I think that our current tournament landscape is pretty okay for the most part, but only really represents this weird place between historical fencing tournaments and overly fantasized violent confrontations, that certainly were much more complex, or, way more simple than we could understand or have discovered information for. What this is, is still more of that exact same split of course, but an attempt to “desterilize” what is present in the typical tournament, and provide some good fun as mentioned above. There is no “real” way to get an exacting picture of the social and asocial mores of medieval society in the small scope of this event, but we can try to use scenario play to bring us a step closer maybe (it wont), but in the end, any ideas, conclusions, whatever, to be drawn from this should be taken with extreme grains of salt and the idea that this is all for fun.

Most of the pemac clubs are focused on the late medieval to early renaissance sources of the italianate city states and the HRE with a few jumping forward a few hundred years to the 18th and 19th century sabre sources. But many of these later weapons are of equivalent lengths and proportion to their earlier forms although they are used differently and the tactics change. With this in mind, all of the scenarios are geared towards the earlier periods of history and ideally you’ll have weapons that fit that, or you will be provided one if you so wish. With that said, we will progress to the rules, and methods the tournament will follow. Please remember that this only works well if you are down to buy into the scenario, this will require a bit of roleplay.


All fencers have 2 lives; if you are out of lives, you are out of the tournament.

All hits with the edge and point are worth 1 “kill”.

Hits with the flat result in a “win”, a halt in the action, and the other fencer losing half a life.

In scenarios where the win clause for a fencer is a flat hit followed by an escalation of force to more lethal methods of attack, the Director and Judge who will be aware of this ruling, are meant to allow the action to continue, If a fencer struck by a flat blow clearly stops after receiving the hit, the action will be halted as the fencer succeeded in stopping his opponent’s continued assault, and they will receive a win, but not take away a whole life from their opponent.

Should an attack be delivered that is outside of the fencers lethality parameters: (Example: Fencer who is only allowed to deliver blows to “less-lethal” targets e.g. extremities stabs opponent in the face) the offending fencer will lose a life, the other a half. If both break this rule, they both lose a full life.

If a Fencer acting as a companion is hit while backing up their primary: Unless otherwise stated in the scenario, they will not lose a life, don’t be so sure you are safe if you’re a second.

“Armor” Negates the target from play: Any place where the armor is present removes the target from being cut or thrust unless stated otherwise, this armor will not be announced to the other fencer as it is simulating concealed armor, save for the “all” which will be clearly stated. If the armored section is hit, fencing will not be halted.

Wrestling and throws are allowed unless one of the fencers does not feel comfortable, they will be asked everytime before the scenario begins, throws do not stop the action, but pins with sufficient time allowed will and result in the loss of a point for the pinned.

I want to make it abundantly clear, if a fencer appears to do anything dangerous or reckless in a grapple they will be reprimanded or removed immediately.

Three “stats” will be tracked during the tournament:

Deaths: You only have 2 lives

Kills: the use of “lethal” force against an opponent

Wins: when you successfully made it through an encounter/pass without killing the other person

If everyone dies, there is no “winner”.

The person who has scored the most kills and is still “alive” will be given the title worlds best murderhobo.

If a person survives with more wins, but with less kills than that person, they will be crowned winner and the murderhobo, the loser.

Safety Exclusions + Cardable Offenses

If a competitor at anytime before the match begins feels uncomfortable with the scenarios drawn, they may ask for a reroll, fencers get 3 rerolls for the event.

Contact made with the following parts of the sword are not allowed:

  • The “strong” of the blade (crossguard to the middle, steel only) [Yellow Card]
  • The crossguard [Red Card]
  • Striking with the Pommel [Red Card]

The following body parts are considered off target:

  • The back of the head [Yellow Card]
  • The spine [Yellow Card]
  • Groin [Red Card]

Offenses resulting in a card:

  • “Rhino hide-ing/head-hunting”- A fencer repeatedly tanking strikes to low priority targets to land a strike on higher value targets [Yellow Card] 
  • Excessive Celebration- [Yellow Card]
  • Arguing or interjecting with 
  • Judge/Director decision- [Yellow Card]
  • “Hand shielding”- *Intentionally* covering a higher value target with a lower value target [Yellow Card]
  • Excessive Force: [Red card]
  • Excessive Tilting: [Red or Black card depending on Severity]- should a fencer get unreasonably upset with rulings, losses, or cardings and throw equipment, yell, or get agitated to a nonsensical degree or repetitively through the course of a match or the tournament as a whole.


  • Warning
  • Yellow Card: -1 life
  • Red card: – 2 lives
  • 2 yellow cards = 1 red card
  • Black Card = Ejection

Cards follow the player.

How are Scenarios and armaments chosen and implemented?

After fencers are called to the match they will report to the table staff where the judge and referee will first roll 2 percentiles (A d100 and a d10) to determine their companion weapon and hidden armor. Once that’s done, the staff will roll for starting position, lethality, and scenario, this will be written down for the table staff and the judge/ref should make sure they know who has what. The fencers will walk to their side of the ring, and be directed to face away from their opponent and close their eyes, only after this happens will they be given their companion weapons and told the lethality they are allowed to use. In the event the fencer draws a buddy after 10 seconds, they will not be told a buddy is coming. After the fencers are aware of everything, they will be moved by the judges, still with their eyes closed and facing away from the opponent, the ref will then read out their scenario, ask if the fencers understand, then turn them around, have them open their eyes, and run the scenario, if the fencers start gripped up, they will be positioned this way after the scenario is read.

Companion Rules:

We will attempt to have all companion weapons at the ready for our fencers to use, but we HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to bring all companion weapons you might have with you.


If you intentionally punch with it, you will be red carded.

Parrying Dagger:

Can score with cut or thrust.


Should you roll a second, you may have your choice of second amongst the available competitors, priority in selection should go to fencers who have already been eliminated from the tournament or npcs. If you cannot find a second, one will be appointed to you.


You will just use a longsword.

Case of swords:

A buddy will be carrying your second sword, draw it, pass it off to you, then run away.


Is Gonne, don’t get hit by it.


Only for parrying, no bonks.

Rotella/Large Shield: 

Congrats, you’re either a rodellero/infantry occupying a city and you’ve been attacked in da streetz. Or you are absolutely a murderhobo carrying this shit around. Imbracciatura’s spike will score.


When the cloak is sufficiently wrapped around the arm, it makes it impervious to cuts, but not thrusts.


Surprise, surprise, the real world is not D&D and most folks intrinsically don’t want to murder each other. In conjunction with this, there are contexts where the law makes the use of violence in self defense justified or unjustified, and even when it is, do you want to have taking another person’s life haunt you? This is where the lethality roll comes into play, If you act outside of your lethality roll, you lose a life.


Cuts, and thrusts are the name of the game. 

You have the option to use lethal force against your opponent, most critically, the option to stab. But will you?


Whether it be morals, law, or just feeling bad for the other guy, you don’t want to kill him. The option of thrusting is removed entirely, cuts to the head can only be done with the flat, and blows to the extremities and torso are to be delivered sparingly. You can be creative with this one.


Only targeting the most disfiguring of targets with the point or edge. Hands, knees, and face.

Cuts Only:

Bash the person upside the head and body however you like, but stabbing? No, no, not allowed.


You gave them one good chance to chill, but they didn’t stop, and now in accordance of the law you can stab that dastard.