The Contest of Fun

Player versus player interactions can be tricky to navigate as a dungeon master. This guide will help you understand how to handle these player engagements and provide a safe outlet for these aggressive feelings through the Contest of Fun – a friendly combat tournament. Check out variant rules to make arena combat more exciting and engaging.

Contest Rules

Detailed guidelines to create an exciting but friendly atmosphere for your gladiatorial debut! Example:


  • Characters should be given the opportunity for a long rest before the Contest of Fun.
  • Any non-permanent buffs are removed from characters when they enter the arena. This includes spells such as Mage Armor, consumables such as Potion of Speed and others such as Bardic Inspiration.
  • Characters roll initiative, and the lower initiative character selects their starting location – either the blue, purple, green or red marker. The other character begins on the opposite diagonal marker.
  • Before combat begins, the characters have a single preparation round. Characters may not move from their starting marker during this round, but they are otherwise free to utilize abilities or items and perform any standard activity, including casting spells and readying actions.

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