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The Trial of Arms is a non-armored weapons skills and proficiency tournament based around a gladiator-style format. The purposes can vary from simple entertainment, determining a chapter Champion, a chance at awards during a Coronation event, to any various reasons. Awards given for the Trial of Arms tournaments are restricted, however, to either Championship Qualification Events or Coronations.

A typical Trial of Arms starts by drawing up a square that is forty (40) feet to a side and bringing out two solid opaque items to draw names from (tins work well). Each participant puts his or her name on a slip of paper and gives it to the Officer of the Field. They then get their weapons and take their places lining the square evenly. The Officer of the Day then announces which weapons will be used for the first round (generally two short swords), and picks a pair of names from the container holding the slips of paper. The two combatants enter the square, touch weapons together, and begin to duel. When one defeats the other, the winner is noted on a separate sheet, the names are placed in the second container, and two new combatants are selected.

This continues until all weapon combinations have been completed by all participants. The player with the most wins is considered the winners of the Trial of Arms. In the case of a tie, the two combatants write down a weapon combination of their choice and hand it to the Officer of the Field. The Officer then adds a third combination of his own, shakes the tin, and allows the two fighters to pick one of the pieces of paper. The weapons listed are what they will fight with until a winner emerges.

Typical Weapon Groups for Trial of Arms:

Dual short swords

(Alt): Short and dagger

Florentine (1 long, 1 short)

(Alt): Dual longs

 Shield and sword (short)

(Alt): Shield and flail

Spear and shield

(Alt): Pole arm and shield

Pole arm

(Alt): Single short

Madu and dagger

(Alt): Spear and dagger

There are several variants of the Trial of Arms. In some tournaments, you will be required to participate in either a two man or five man event. These are similar to a regular Trial of Arms, with the following changes:

1:         A multi-man event may be run with all participants using the same weapon groupings, or each individual may have to draw his weapon combination from a tin.

2:         The winner of any multi-man combat is the team with players alive after the other team’s players have all been eliminated. In the case of a simultaneous elimination, the final two players start over again.

3:         The final round for a five-man tournament during any event is player’s choice for weapon groupings. Each captain picks his weapons, and then each player picks his, alternating team by team, until all players are armed. Combat is as normal.