Rules for mounted chases

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Rules for mounted chases

Postby TheVor » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:27 pm

I was talking to Jean about cavalry rules and he asked me about chases so I replied...

I see, well in real life you would hunker over your saddle and be trying to get every inch of speed from you horse you possibly can, but this can make you vulnerable to obstacles, such as low branches (I can't count how many people have died because of a low branch) small holes, sharp turns, jumps, unexpected enemies, missiles etc. You can choose to ride slower more erect in the saddle and remain maneuverable, ready to turn and fight or just generally outmaneuver or lead your enemy into an area where he's outclassed from a horsemanship perspective (horse chases are one of the few things hollywood actually gets right sometimes). There are other ruses like switching horses at a run, hanging behind the saddle to get out of sight, a good general tactic is to make sure that they don't have a wide space to fan out behind you and are pushed together by the terrain. I would say you could devote your martial pool dice to roll extra movement. The system in the book is pretty good as a beginning but it doesn't take all that much fuss to get a horse going, especially if he can smell you acting like prey, but the system works. I would say once your both going flat out running (as fast as your horses profile says he can go), you can roll dice from your martial pool and add the result with modifiers (+riding skill, - fatigue, - terrain) you then get to pick the highest dice and add that to your normal roll, however unexpected shit pops up (and believe me it will) and then you have to use the dice you haven't used to try and survive the obstacle. You can also use the dice for other ruses or maneuvers. If you pace it right it could add up to a nice cinematic and pretty realistic chase scene.

Example: Jan Huss is trying to escape from his guards they set off after him full tilt, they both have the same type of horse so Jan having a slight lead would otherwise just stay there, he chooses to devote all his dice to covering the field behind him. He rolls a 12, 15, 3, 18 he chooses the 18 it's a freshly plowed field so -2, he has a riding skill of 3 so it comes to 19! a flying start! three guards also roll all their dice, the first two get 15-2
+3=16.
the next gets a highest roll of 16-2+3=17 (right behind Jan!) The third rolls a 16, 10, 9, 1 (I would say the one is a cock up and means he gets no advantage or a mishap roll, therefor going for a breakneck speed is dangerous) the last decides to use his dice to take careful aim with his crossbow, being allowed to pick from the rolled dice, he narrowly misses. Phase one over: they get into the forest, (just what Jan wanted now they'll have to bunch up and he can slip out of sight easier) The firm forest path gives them no terrain bonus. Jan decides to only use two dice (a risky choice given the dude right behind him) The rider behind him once again decides to use all his dice, the second rolls three keeping one for eventualities. The last keeps at an even speed reloading. The GM rolls/draws a card/decides to do it for shits and giggles and a low hanging branch comes out of nowhere. They all get a passive save plus any dice they chose not to add to their xtra speed. Jan gets three (his passive plus his reserve), rolls 10, 16, 3 +3 for riding skill + character's dexterity, let's say the branch save is a 25, Jan has dex 10, so 10+16+3+29. The guy behind him only has his passive save rolls a dex12+9+3=24 and get's swept off his horse. The third guy manages to evade it thanks to his wise decision of balancing his dice. Now for distance, Jan rolls 2, 6 the second guard a 4,4,20! and ketches up to Jan renches him out of the saddle returning history to it's previous course, and insuring he is burnt as a heretic.
Fatigue I would add, -1 to movement rolls for every turn of chase, possibly depending on breed, you can also at your discression say the horse starts off tired and therefor has -1/-2/

This is just my first thoughts on it feel free to suggest mechanisms to make run more smoothly
TheVor
 
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Re: Rules for mounted chases

Postby TheVor » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:03 pm

Terrain table

-0 good Road/dry field/firm forest path
-1 Sand/cobblestones/sightly muddy field
-2 freshly plowed field/bad road

if icy add a -2 on top of that, for mildly muddy a -1 and for really muddy a -2
If you guys have anymore terrain suggestions please ask

You could also add some kind of hazard mechanic for icy and cobblestones as those can be really dangerous on sharp turns. I would also say any rolls that come to a natural one or under a zero do to modifiers result in a mishap, say...
1-5 horse stumbles and you lose bonus movement
6-10 horse slips and slides trying to recover balance/rears up in front of obstacle etc. and you get some kind of heavy movement penalty
11-15 rider tumbles off
16-20 horse and rider eat dirt and both take damage
you could modify this if you wish, say... +terrain -riding skill, -horses levels (that is if your choose to make horses characters capable of gaining levels something I would most highly suggest)

Random obstacles (feel free to juggle the probabilities with different events depending on where you are, say in a city you're going to get allot more pedestrians and fewer potholes or fences)
1-4 low hanging/branch sign post/tavern sign: 25 (I don't know the average dex and riding skills of characters so tell me if the benchmarks are too high)
5-9 sharp turn 40 dexhorse+dexrider/ridingskill+roll if you fail you roll a d20 against the your speed roll and subtract it up to a value of 0
9-12 pedestrian: 25 (+2 to your role if you choose to ride down the poor granny) if you fail you role on the mishap chart.
12-15 fence/log/cart/stream 40 (this roll is made with both the dex of horse and rider) if you fail you take a roll on the mishap chart
16-18ambushing rider, dexhorse+dexrider/ridingskill+roll against the same roll of the NPC. If you fail you lose all movement bonuses and are engaged with the enemy
19-20 It's a trap! A line of defenders, long-bowmen, a spike trap, a rope across the way or some other kind of fiendish trick

if you want you can think of even more random stuff to throw in there, just remember if the horse has to react too his dex should also come into it.
TheVor
 
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Re: Rules for mounted chases

Postby Galloglaich » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:16 pm

Great stuff! Love it! Can you also post some of the other cavalry related stuff from our discusssion? Im gonig to go through this and try to use it to expand the cavalry section. Other guys, regulars here, please chime in as you see fit.

G
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Re: Rules for mounted chases

Postby Galloglaich » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:22 pm

One initial observation. Obstacle tables would have to be more specific to terrain, and things like ambushes and enemies would be situational (i.e. planned by the DM or whatever).

What I'm thinking is like a table for steppe, light forest, heavy forest, marsh, farmland, so on and so forth. Maybe winter and summer tables too.

G
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Re: Rules for mounted chases

Postby TheVor » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:37 pm

Sure, why don't you guys brain storm and I'll help you work out the points that have more to do with horses. I'll think of some more generic stuff tomorrow, it's getting late here.

Steppe unless there's heavy snow is really not much of a problem except unseen pot holes that can brake your horses leg, if it was the prairie I'd also say snakes.

light forest, roots low hanging branches sudden turns, logs

heavy forest, low hanging branches, roots, logs all of that stuff just allot more of it

I tried to right the terrain to be applicable in general a pedestrian might be a rock in the middle of nowhere, and even in the steppes or farmland there are trees, as you say the trap and stuff is more the DMs thing, feel free to find better obstacles.
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Re: Rules for mounted chases

Postby Galloglaich » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:44 pm

How about gullies, soft spots (soft sand or gravel?). Ponds, marshes.

In winter, thin ice...

Urban settings as you mentioned, cobblestones are dangerous...


I remember once driving a 3 wheeler aross this big field, I was working at this job in the country near Lafayette and was having a celebratory drive after the work day ended and the boss left... I didn't see the ditch I hit at about 40 mph due to the low light. Man that hurt.

G
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Re: Rules for mounted chases

Postby TheVor » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:25 pm

True, ditches are kind of a thing, you either jump'm, swerve, stop or face-plow, horses are not big on the last so it's going to be one of the other three, which one depends on the ditch. I tried to do the list based more on how you react than what it is. The real shit-daster is prairie fires, which are most likely also present on the steps, you can also get sudden cliffs and scree in more hilly regions, marsh is an interesting one, movement debuff and a danger of getting sucked in in is the easy solution. I'll definitely be doing a few different tables for different zones though. Anybody else's thoughts on the mechanics?
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Re: Rules for mounted chases

Postby drkguy3107 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:33 pm

I don't see why you need one. Just discuss the possibility of such terrain in the book, and suggest some ride dc's for the GM to use.
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Re: Rules for mounted chases

Postby zarlor » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:55 pm

drkguy3107 wrote:I don't see why you need one. Just discuss the possibility of such terrain in the book, and suggest some ride dc's for the GM to use.


This. I don't think you really need to get caught up in tables. Work out some guidelines for what might be a simple bonus or penalty to the roll and/or the MP and I think you're good to go from there.
Lenny Zimmermann

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Re: Rules for mounted chases

Postby drkguy3107 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:46 am

Also maybe a random terrain table for DM's who want them.
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