Sometimes a character is confronted with an enemy that they must deal with on their own while their companions contend with the waves of forces that seek to overwhelm them, or a pair of companions simply wants to spar to show off their strength. When this instance occurs, the situation may potentially be resolved with a narrative duel through either magical or martial means.

Magical Duel

When a duel unfolds between two spellcasters that are fighting to overwhelm the other with their magical expertise, a magical duel takes place.

Spell Schools

When two mages fight, they call upon the power of various schools of magic to try and overpower their opponent. There are three primary schools that a dueling mage can utilize: Abjuration, Conjuration, and Evocation. During each round of the mage duel, each involved party must decide which of these schools they will utilize. Each school has a strength and a weakness, which can give their caster an advantage in the resulting struggle.

If the two parties choose the same school, no Advantage or Disadvantage is awarded.


Once each party has chosen the school of magic they will be utilizing, each should make an ability check, with Advantage or Disadvantage as appropriate. Most often, the ability check is Arcana using the character's spellcasting modifier, though the check could be Nature or Religion depending on the source of the magic being harnessed. Each party can choose to increase their modifier by expending a spell slot in exchange for an additional bonus that is equal to the level of the spell slot that was expended. For example, a 1st-level spell slot would award an additional +1 modifier, while an 8th-level spell slot would award an additional +8 modifier.

The winner of the contest strikes a blow if utilizing a strike system, or deals damage equal to the difference between the two rolls if utilizing a hit point system.

Spell Enhancement: The DM may allow a character to use their Spell Enhancement in order to further strengthen their roll. If so, the character can instead add a modifier equal to the number of mana spent to create the spell slot that was expended, but the character must then make a Constitution saving throw as if they had used the Heightened Spell enhancement on a spell of the appropriate level.


If the rolls are equivalent, the state of the contest remains the same and the process repeats.

Strikes & Hit Points

The DM will set a number of strikes or hit points depending on the nature of the contest, its lethality, and how quickly it should be resolved. A sparring match may operate with a three-strike system, while an actually lethal encounter may have a hit point amount equivalent to the hit points of the creature.

Martial Duel