Every few days, one to four tournaments will be held in randomly-chosen towns throughout Calradia (ask an arena master for the locations). Unlike regular arena matches, tournaments are structured, with six tiers of combat. Once you have signed up you cannot leave without forfeiting the tournament.
Once you have entered the tournament you can view the list of participants. In addition to various troop types, companions and faction NPCs will also take part (sometimes even kings). Companions entering the tournament are randomly assigned to a team, so even if a particular companion is in your party you might end up fighting against him.
The equipment combatants start each tier with is random, just like arena fights, and comes in the following categories:
- Bow (with or without horse)
- Javelins and shield (mounted only)
- One-handed sword and shield (with or without a horse)
- Two-handed sword (with or without a horse)
- Crossbow and sword (with or without a horse)
- One-handed axe and shield (with or without a horse)
- Lance and shield (mounted only)
You can also pick up some items during the battle.
Each town has a distinct pool of possible equipment. For example, a Swadian city will almost always equip its fighters with a lance & shield or sword & shield, while a Khergit or Sayannid city will offer a much wider variety of weapons to contestants.
At the beginning of a tier you can place a bet on yourself of 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 denars. The betting odds reflect how much you will win: whatever you bet, it will be multiplied by the odds for that tier. The odds against you rapidly decrease, so bets placed in the early tiers are worth far more than bets placed later on. If you constantly win tournaments the odds will lower so you can't earn too much money.
Each tier has two to four teams, and each team will have one to eight combatants. The numbers in each tier vary between tournaments, but the final tier is always a one-on-one.
At the end of each tier, some of the defeated participants are eliminated from the competition (others will continue into the next tier but will disappear if they lose that tier). If you are defeated during a tier there is a possibility that the master of ceremonies will award your prowess by giving you another chance (depends on how many enemies you defeated that round); if this doesn't happen you are out of the tournament, and you will be told who won.
Once you have made it through all six tiers you have won the tournament. If you decided to bet 100 denars before every tier you will have made 3580 denars—3980 from the bets and 200 from the prize pot, with 600 denars spent on bets. You also get 20 Renown, and your relations with the town increases by 1.
After winning a tournament you get the option to dedicate the victory to a lady currently at that town, which will improve your relationship by +4. This is also a possibility to unlock the "improve relationship to someone" option of already married ladies.