One of the things I really want in the game is a combat system that feels good and doesn't take all day. I recognize that fight scenes take more time in a movie than the fight would for a reason. They are exciting and if done well visceral. I want to bring that to the fighting in SM.
To that end I have been thinking about a system where based on humors and skills a player would get a hand of cards. There would be taunting (which I will explain after it gels a bit) then the players would fight. one player would start by placing a card into play and his opponent would try to meet or exceed the card with up to two cards to parry the blow. People who have played Dogs in the Vinyard will be familiar with this format. There are a few things added. First there would be cards for the environment. Based on the setting for the fight several cards would be played to the table allowing either player to use them in the fight. second off certain skills would allow the players to use more cards in either their attack or defense. A spanish style defense would allow three cards to be played in response. things like that.
Two points, first that this will allow both play to first touch, to the death and anything in between. I want there to be tons of fighting and few deaths. Honor is the thing to fight for. Second is that the fight will still have an effect on humors. the outcome of the fight will take a point from one and give to another same as anything else.
Taunting will be a system where your honor will take a hit if the challenge is not met. and some characters will get extra card in the fight for breaking down and starting to fight when they don't want to. If your character is hot headed this is the bonus you get for playing him against your better judgment. Like I said it isn't soup yet but I like the smell of things so far.