mounted combat rules

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mounted combat rules

Postby TheVor » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:44 am

also from talking with Jean

I think I get how the system works now, the system looks good I'd just like to add a suggest a couple of things. I'm guessing you have the option of allocating attacks to the mount One principle of mounted combat is the faster you move the less tempos (attacks) you have and (this is the crucial bit) the same is for your opponent, so the best defense is speed. Especially if you have the initiative. Mainly because he is less able to now attack you and the horse, and any attacks he makes at your horse are attacks that do not protect himself. I would also add the option of riding down an enemy, forcing him to use a movement to leap out of the way. trickiest but most intriguing of all is "giving the horse his head" meaning trusting your horse to know what to do, including how and when to move it's own body. It's very common in cutting, polo, trail, and other practical riding arts. If you trust your horse it's one more thing you can stop worrying about, last thing I want to worry about is my horse and my enemy. I personal believe the knights in general preferred this method, for allot of reasons some of them cultural, but it's a highly personal preference. Real world example: a warhorse charges a lone pikeman, the lone pikeman levels his pike, the rider realizing the threat drops and whispers "go get him buddy", at the last moment the horse swerves and jinxes past the pike getting a slight scratch on his flank, the knight comes out of his guard snaking his sword into the knight having been able to concentrate on the distance instead of when to tell his horse to swerve. The risk is that the horse might not do exactly what you think he's going to do, this is offset by A acknowledging that your horse is a sentient entity that can understand your goals and help to achieve them (it's a partnership not a dictatorship), B working to insure you know how he thinks and making an effort to show how you think. Basically spending time with your horse. Quite frankly I'm not sure how you might simulate this. One possibility would be... to perform a manouver normally you need to use a die from your martial pool, the roll for the manouver is the horses dex+charecter's riding skill against the maneuver's difficulty if you wish you can devote more dice to help succeed (he is really concentrating on getting it to work right). If you give the horse his head you make a roll baced on you and your horses intelligence/levels, if he passes he makes the maneuver. Or something in that line. Another thing that I would highly recommend is letting the horse level up or otherwise treating it as a normal character

Just a strategic note on the whole going fast versus slow, one piece of advice given in the fencing manuals is (if you're armed with a sword fighting a guy with a lance) is to come at the enemy sideways slowly, this gives you two advantages, it allows you more time to parry the lance and it means that he has more trouble hitting you, you will most likely still have the bonus of speed because it is in the interest of the guy with the lance to overrun you.

You might also want to think about factoring in whether the enemy's coming from L/R behind or L/R front, as that has an effect on how he is able to respond to you. But overall I'm thoroughly impressed with the system in general. One more thing to keep in mind, the reason why you can usually tell a riders weapon from a footman's at a glance is a rider's saber or arming sword will be the heavier one, usually because you only get (and therefor only need) one attack no matter how freaking fast you are. This is why somany riding cultures love to take maces, they may be slow on the recovery but you won't be wailing on your opponent, you'll glide past smack him in the face, ride out of the danger zone and do an abrupt turn and look for the next unwitting victim.
If you want I can make some martial feats for horseback, if you're also interested in having more possible maneuvers for the horse I could also come up with maneuvers, mainly out of the fechtbücher and surviving spanish riding school ones.
DISCLAIMER: half of what I just said about mounted combat would get me purged as heretic
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Re: mounted combat rules

Postby zarlor » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:56 pm

Considering how integral horses were to many of the most elite units on a medieval battlefield I've always felt they got the short shrift in most fantasy games. All of that sounds like some interesting ways to bring them to the back to the forefront. I'm not sure I'd want to deal with managing a horse as a full-on character, though. If this were Savage Worlds, sure, but d20 characters are a whole lot more to deal with so maybe a simplified form of character would be more appropriate.
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Re: mounted combat rules

Postby Galloglaich » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:18 pm

Yeah I agree... what would be a simple way to 'level up' a horse?

But I think it might make sense for a horse, at least a special warhorse, to have it's own martial pool.


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Re: mounted combat rules

Postby Daeruin » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:41 pm

I'm really liking these ideas.

I don't know about D&D, but in Pathfinder animal companions level up just like characters. Almost everything is preset, but you do get limited options. You get to pick feats and skill points every few levels, for example.
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Re: mounted combat rules

Postby Galloglaich » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:04 pm

How do you handle it if you don't have the animal around the whole time between levels?

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Re: mounted combat rules

Postby TheVor » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:11 pm

Normal character is an overstatement, but at least that there is a difference between an adventurers warhorse that has been through thick and thin with him and one that he just bought, like what Daeruin talked about. One way to give him Xp is just a set amount per successful dice roll and then a set amount per day on the road, a horse that is not being ridden does not get Xp it's a simple fact of fencing, riding or any-other skill if you don't practice it you don't get better at it. If you left it with a friend or paid someone to ride and train it however the GM could give it a lump sum on your return.

As far a horse gaining levels let's go to real life.

If you ride your horse allot he responds faster becomes more athletic and becomes better able to perform maneuvers, the horse also starts to know what his job is and how best to do it. Horses fight, they play fight, they scrap, they brawl the living shit out of each other and stallions really try to kill each other if there's a mare involved, fighting is not an abstract to horses, it's a skill they develop and some of them are really good at it (complete with personal dirty tricks) others just bow and grovel to the ones who are. They know where the best place is to attack without being attacked and they are not that different to the ones that a guy with a sword is looking for. A horse who fights with his rider will get better at finding those spots and maneuvering into them as well as judging the enemy and other martial skills. If you interact with your horse enough you really start to think like the other one and you interact and talk to each other in a way that seems telo-pathic to other people (but your really need to spend time in the saddle everyday something I'm not able to do), horsemanship is about the Vor and Fühlen first and foremost. An experienced horse is vastly different to a green one.

I would just say that the level you horse has is a modifier for some tests lvl 1 +0, lvl 2 +1,... and every few levels he gets to pick a skill maybe. In gaming terms it should be a shattering loss to lose a good warhorse, knights in their memoirs have been known to spend more time grieving their horse than a lost hand or comrade. As a side-note warhorses were usually trained prior to sale (one factor that made them so expensive) so they would have aready been proficient in maneuvers like rollbacks, pivots, side-passes, (possibly), levades, leaps, hairpin turns and kicking and biting the enemy. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... =1&ref=nfl this picture kind of puts things into perspective, if you could do it while siting on your horse you did.
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Re: mounted combat rules

Postby Galloglaich » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:33 pm

they already get bonuses based on their 'level' (Hit Dice) but the difficulty is simply in how to level them up. Counting successful skill checks is way too much overhead. Has to be simple - codex rule simple is better.

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Re: mounted combat rules

Postby TheVor » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:54 pm

Didn't the old DnD versions have "partners" or something like that, I'm not sure how they worked but that might work. Or just the DM gives an amount of Xp points based on what he thinks sounds right, you could add a help list (lousy 0xp, ok, 10xp,... legendary 100xp) and then just level up every 100xp. So if it was a really big encounter in which the horse did some awesome things the DM could give the horse as many points as he wants. Would that strain the DM? You would just have a really simple boiled down stat sheet with a slot for the xp that the horse has massed. If you wanted to you could do some cool things like, the horse coming to you when you whistle, a secret word that makes it run full out (the arabs are famous for this), horses that attack anybody who tries to ride them except the master, horses that cheat during tournaments (I have a horse that if he is feeling pissy will kick the other horse in the shins while riding past).
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Re: mounted combat rules

Postby drkguy3107 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:26 pm

I personally want to fix the current mounted combat rules, and have wanted to for a while now (I wrote the current set). However with no riding experience it is difficult for me to imagine how to do this. Having said that, much of what has been said seems to be too complicated. Note: I am really trying to simplify my game, not complicate it, for this reason I have already changed how movement and ranged combat works in my game.

So why not just have 3 grades of horses: green, trained, and veteran? Each one would be a slight upgrade in HP, Ride bonus, attack and damage bonus, and defense bonus.
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Re: mounted combat rules

Postby TheVor » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:10 am

That's a good idea.
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