True instances of Magical Combat are rare indeed. In fifteen years of active magical practice I have only been attacked by other magicians three times - and in each instance, was able to do something about it. I daresay there have been more attempts, but seeing as I haven't noticed them, they've either been extremely subtle or, as is more likely, have failed utterly.
To be effective in Magical Combat situations, you need to have
developed the following skills:
All these skills are useful in other areas, and what I am proposing here is that a structured Combat System can test out these skills in a 'live' situation.
Doing this as a Magical Exercise necessitates that a minimum of three individuals be made aware of the situation: the two opponents and a moderator. The test can take place between members of a group, or individuals across time & space. Co-operation and strict honesty on all parts must be stressed.
Involves appearing in opponents' dream-world and executing a specific action or message (as given to moderator) - such as blowing a rasberry, 'mooning' or delivering a ribald message.
Involves sneaking a specifically-programmed Servitor in past opponents' local defences, and having it execute some 'harmless' task such as waking them up in the middle of the night several times consecutively.
Involves hurling bolts of magical energy at opponent, which, though not destructive, do effect them - bolts of sudden inspiration, for example.
Passing the P-Runes
Involves passing opponent a physical object which is charged (for example, using a sigil) so as to affect them in a given way. Hidden 'watermarks' in paper or underneath picture files are another way to do this.
Invoking from a Distance
Involves invoking an entity upon opponent from a distance -- to cause a change in behaviour.
Any other combat Forms which the opponents, in consultation with the moderator, may devise.
Within the Combat, it is permissible for opponents to resort to information-gathering strategies to check on each other, such as scrying, tarot, runes, or oracles.
It is NOT permissible to 'attack' opponents by going via other people around them, except in those instances when entire groups of magicians are entering the period of Combat.
Once the Combat moderator has declared the Combat period elapsed or declared in favour of one participant, then opponents must cease all related activities. It might be beneficial for the moderator to bring both participants together for a formal 'closing' rite, followed by divers revels and merriment. The 'winner' may be awarded some cheap token of 'marksmanship' followed by the moderator setting them some small task to perform for the 'loser' (like washing socks, for example). Thus balance is maintained.
Feedback and Correspondence Welcome:
Phil Hine: firstname.lastname@example.org