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Rat King's Revenge III:
To Kill a Mocking Rat

The Sacramento Historical Fencing Academy is pleased to announce the return of the Rat King's Revenge our student run and organized randomized weapons tournament. The third incarnation of this event "To Kill a Mocking Rat" will feature a custom rule set designed to simulate a Duel to the Death!


Saturday May 11, 2024

Doors Open at 10am

Event begins at 11am


The Sacramento Historical Fencing Academy


Because the Rat King has decreed it is time.

How Much:

Free for Members, $30 for non-members.

To Kill a Mocking Rat Rules

Participants in the Rat Kings Revenge will receive a bag of gold coins at the start of the event. These coins represent your score and ability to continue within the competition. There are no pools, there are no brackets, these things bore the Rat King, and if there is anything we don't want, its a bored Rat King. Instead it is up to the fencers to find a person they wish to challenge to a duel. A challenge cannot be denied, however the challenged fencer may set the ante value, both their own and that of their challenger. The dueling fencers will then fight for the Rat King's amusement. They will be begin with randomly selected matched weapons. After "First Blood" is drawn (see below), should both fighters survive and choose to continue the weapons will again be randomly selected. If the fight continues to a Duel to the Death (see below) the weapons will again be randomly selected. 

Fencers who are out of gold coins are out of the event. Coins will be redeemable for prizes when the event ends. In addition to being used as an Ante between opposing fencers they may also be used for side bets. Any and all types of side betting are allowed and encouraged, the Rat King is nothing if not corrupt. Indeed side bets may be entered into with the Rat King, but beware he is known to cheat when things aren't going his way. 

Detailed Rules

Starting Gold: Each fencer begins with a bag of gold coins. The Rat King guarantees that all bags have the same number of coins, he counted them himself. 

Challenges and Ante: Fencers challenged to a duel must accept. The challenged Fencer determines what the Ante from their challenger is to be. They are not required to be equal. 

First Blood, and Targets

The duel begins only going to "First Blood" which is defined as a hit of sufficient quality against a valid target. Valid Targets are Arms, Legs, Torso, and Head. Upon receiving any hit the struck fencer faces a Chance of Death.

Chance of Death

Fencing is dangerous and the human body fragile. Upon being struck with a sharp sword there is always a chance that a person could go into shock, bleed out, and die. These rules seek to emulate that possibility. Each valid target has a different Chance of Death probability. A strike to the arm has a 5%, a hit to the leg, an 8%, a hit to the torso 10%, and hit to the head 17%. After a blow is landed and the match halted a calculation will be run to determine if the strike was fatal. This will occur before the match can continue. More detail will be described below.

Double or Nothing: The Higher Bleeding Wound

After receiving a blow the struck fencer, assuming they were not "killed", may chose to concede the match and forfeit their ante. Or they may challenge their opponent to "Double or Nothing". New weapons are determined and the struck fencer doubles the amount of gold coins they have anted and their opponent offers them a number of exchanges, between 1 and 5, to attempt to land a higher bleeding wound. For each offered exchange the opponent must also increase their current ante by the same number. 

During these additional exchanges the struck fencer must land a strike on a higher value target (one with a higher Chance of Death percentage) to win. Note that strikes to lower value targets will not end the match, but will still result in a Chance of Death to the struck fencer. 

When a valid scoring strike is landed on the fencer who won the First Blood they may concede their ante or demand a Duel to the Death!

Duel to the Death!

If both fencers have been struck, one as "First Blood" and the other with a Higher Bleeding Wound, the duel can proceed to the Death. The fencer with the lower Ante increases it to match the amount of the higher ante. Weapons are randomized and both fencers will then continue until a death occurs. This is a good time to mention the Increasing Chance of Death that has been occurring the whole time. 

Increasing Chance of DEATH!

Each time a fencer is hit but not killed, their number of Chance of Death calculations increases by 1. This means that instead of there being a single calculation, a fencer who is struck a second time will have 2 Chance of Death calculations occur. 3 hits on you, 3 Chance of Death calculations, etc.  I should also probably mention that Thrusts also have an effect on your Chance of Death...

Thrusts are Deady, yo

If a fencer is hit with a thrust, their Chance of Death is temporarily doubled for the death calculation of that specific hit. So a thrust that strikes a fencer during the First Blood will have 2 Chances of Death calculated, but a cut during the next exchange against that fencer would only have 2 chances as well. However if the second hit was again a thrust there would be 4 chances for that second strikes calculations. 

So you Died, what now?

Restitution and Re-entry

Upon a fencer's death restitution must be paid to the Rat King from their remaining purse. You will give half of whatever you have left to the Rat King to buy his favor and allow you to continue. If you have an odd number of coins you will round that amount up. So you have 5 coins left? The Rat King demands 3. If you have no coins left, you cannot continue, but you may watch.

Death During the First Blood

The Rat King does not enjoy watching people die, well he does, but not during an initial exchange. Should a fencer be killed during the First Blood phase of the match the person who delivered the blow does not receive their opponent's Ante, instead it is forfeited to the Rat King to appease him. The killed fencer must still pay restitution to the Rat King as an apology for being so weak and dying in such an unsatisfying manner. 

Double Kills, Afterblows, and All that Jazz

If you double, you are struck, you don't please the Rat King with your fencing and must keep going, oh and both peoples Chance of Death goes up, assuming your survived the double of course. If you land an afterblow, you get nothing, the other person's hit counts, but you both get Chance of Death calculations made and values go up, assuming you survive. If the person who delivered the afterblow survives but the opponent doesn't? Well as long as its not the First Blood period congratulations, you live and therefore you win. 

Something I've missed in the rules or otherwise haven't included? Probably, but the Rat King will make sure you know if and when that information is relevant to you. 

So, are you in?

So you want to learn to use a sword?

So you want to learn to use a sword?

Swords are iconic, sword fighting is fun. At the Sacramento Historical Fencing Academy there is nothing we love more than sharing this art with other people. We offer training in a variety of historical fencing arts and would like to invite you to come out and take a free class with us. Just let us know what type of sword you'd like to learn to use!

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