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Mounted Combat (adapted from the original version by Nathon Ashton)

Riding a horse, bear or other steed into battle has profound effects on combat. While a steed and rider are sometimes considered individually and sometimes as a unit, each member of the team limits and enhances the other's combat ability. It should be noted that these rules cover only domesticated, trained animals or Animal Companions, not wild animals.

These rules assume that a hex grid map will be used for combat. The squares of the Battle Grid are too restricting in this case and it is suggested that the Adventure Master convert to a hex grid for any mounted combat.

Stats for Common Steeds

Steed

Size (ft)

Move**

Agility

CA DL

BA

PV

Damage

Notes

Bear*

12

2/3/4/5

4

-

12

40

2 SL bite, SL + 4 claw

CO 10, EN 6, VIS 7

Horse

7-8

2/3/4/6

6

4

4

20

d8 bite, d6 claw

1000 lbs

Lion*

9

3/4/5/6

7

-

8

28

SL bite, d8 claw

BWS 6, QM 8, VIS 8

Pony

6-7

2/3/4/5

5

3

3

17

d6 bite, d4 claw

750 lbs

Tiger*

7

3/4/5/6

8

-

7

25

SL bite, d8 claw

BWS 9, QM 7, VIS 7

Warhorse

8-9

2/3/4/6

6

4

5

23

SL bite, b8 claw

1200 lbs+

Wolf*

6

2/3/4/5

6

-

6

15

SL-2 bite, SL claw

TE 8, QM 4

* Talking Animal Companion only

**Walk/Trot/Canter/Gallop - hexes per combat round

Riding Skill

Any character that mounts a steed for the first time uses the Riding Difficulty Level appropriate to the species of steed. If the rider already has a skill in riding a specific type of steed, he uses that skill level.

The Riding Skill - (RI) = (AG + 2*CA [or 1*KI] + PA + SC) / 4 – is used for normal (horse) mounts.

 

Riding skills for Animal Companions

Skill equals the LightRaider's level of his Special Character Role. For example; a LightRaider with an 8 as a WolfSoldier, he has an 8 as his wolf-riding skill.

Steed

Riding DL

Bear*

3

Horse**

4

Lion*

2

Pony**

4

Tiger*

3

Warhorse**

4

Wolf*

2

* Talking Animal Companion only

** Use the Riding Skill - (RI) = (AG + 2*CA [or 1*KI] + PA + SC) / 4

Steed Command Checks

Command checks are made whenever a rider wants his steed to attack, attempt a difficult feat, or move in combat. The rider declares the desired action and a roll is made with his Riding skill for that particular steed against a Difficulty Level specified by the Adventure Master.

If the check is successful, the action is done by the steed. If the check fails, the steed will continue with whatever it is already doing. If the command check fails badly, the Adventure Master may decide that the steed will take an action detrimental to its rider.

A character that has forged a special relationship (life-long friend, intensive training, Animal Companion, etc.) with a particular steed may give the mount verbal or sign commands at half his Riding skill when dismounted.

Steed Movement

Horses and most other quadrupeds have four rates of speed. See the stats chart above for the movement rates for each type of steed.

Walking steeds may move forwards, backwards or turn at either end with no restrictions. Tight turns or pivots are not possible at faster than a walk. A trotting steed must move forward and may turn one hex (60 degrees) every three (3) hexes. A cantering steed can turn one hex every five (5) hexes. A galloping steed can turn one hex every ten (10) hexes. A steed may never enter a hex containing cavalry stakes or characters equipped with polearms.

Injury and fatigue will reduce the steed's Movement Rate.

Fatigued

Injured

-1 hex/round

-2 hexes/round, cannot gallop

Each steed has a Load Rating, which is the maximum that it can carry without being hindered by the load. As long as the load (including the rider, his gear, and barding) does not exceed the steed's Load Rating, actions by the steed are not penalized. If the steed is overloaded, it will be subject to a movement penalty as noted below.

Steed

Load Rating (lbs)

Movement Penalty

Bear*

250

-1 hex / round

Horse

200

-1 hex / round

Lion*

150

-1 hex / round

Pony

180

-2 hexes / round

Tiger*

125

-1 hex / round

Warhorse

300

-1 hex / round

Wolf*

100

-2 hexes / round

* Talking Animal Companion only

Jumping

At times, steeds may have to jump over obstacles. At the Adventure Master's discretion, a steed may automatically be successful in jumping over any reasonable obstacle. Taller and more difficult obstacles require an Agility roll against an appropriate Difficulty Level. Bear in mind that a significant obstacle for a man afoot may not be much of a hindrance to a steed. The Difficulty Level of the jump will decrease the faster the steed is moving.

Rate

Jump DL

Walk

no modifier

Trot

-1

Cantor

-2

Gallop

-3

Stumbles

A steed may stumble at times. The chance of a stumble increases with the steed's rate of speed. Roll a Shadow Stone and add the appropriate modifier from the chart below. If the number is less than or equal to the steed's Agility, then the steed has not stumbled. If the number is greater than the steed's Agility, then the steed has stumbled and may have been injured. If the number exceeds the steed's Agility by four (4) or more, the steed has broken a leg. Assign a die roll to see which leg is broken. If the number exceeds the steed's Agility by seven (7) or more, the steed has broken two legs. Assign a die roll to see which legs are broken.

A steed that stumbles will unhorse its rider, but it may rise immediately if it is uninjured and may gallop away (at the AM's discretion). The Adventure Master should decide if the rider was injured or if any equipment was damaged in the fall.

Rate

Stumble

Walk

+1

Trot

+2

Cantor

+3

Gallop

+4

Combat

Steed Attacks and Defense

A steed may attempt to kick an adjacent (front or behind) opponent, or to bite or claw an enemy who is adjacent to the three hexes to its front. The steed must choose its target, whether another steed or its rider. A steed and rider defend normally.

When the steed wishes to defend yet move towards the attacker to push him back, he may attempt to Block. To resolve such a contest, each contestant rolls a StarLot and adds his Battle Ability; the higher result wins and moves into the hex. The loser must immediately move one hex backwards (even if this means dropping over a cliff) and must make a Stumble roll at +4.

Rider Attacks

The rider may make a weapon attack against an enemy, though he must choose between rider or steed. The Adventure Master may restrict the hexes that can be attacked by the rider according to the length of weapon and hand used. A typical 3 foot long weapon held in the right hand should be able to attack the three hexes to the right of the steed, and one hex (the central one) to the left (it is harder to make a cross-body strike on a horse). A missile weapon may not be used to attack hexes directly behind the steed's head if the steed is any kind of horse. Otherwise, weapon attacks are resolved normally.

Mounted Charge

A mounted charge is basically a steed moving to engage at canter or gallop speed. The distance of the charge may not be less than a full canter move or more than a gallop move. That is, the steed passes next to an opponent zone, and continues to move until it has covered the minimum distance of a full canter move.

A mounted charge is executed one hex at a time. Reasonable obstacles may be jumped but the steed must make a stumble roll for each obstacle. Unless the steed stumbles, it will continue moving until the full charge is completed.

While charging, the steed may attempt to trample or gore one opponent by passing through the hex he occupies. The rider may make a weapon attack on each adjacent opponent passed. In either case, the attacks are treated normally except the damage of all hits is increased by 3.

If the rider achieves a hit with a non-missile weapon, he must also make an Agility roll at Difficulty Level equal to his mount's speed to determine if he has dropped the weapon.

Note that horses and similar creatures are extremely reluctant to charge towards each other; such charges are rare except in organized tournaments. In most cases, a mutual mounted charge can only be executed if both steeds are separated by a short wall and/or are blindfolded. Otherwise the steeds will veer apart beyond the range of most non-missile weapons.

Unhorsing

Falling off a horse can be hazardous as the damage is determined by the steed's rate of speed, modified by the chart below. The rider checks his Riding skill against a Difficulty Level noted in the chart, modified upwards by the Adventure Master if necessary (the rider may fall on something that will lessen or worsen the fall, or, the rider may fall off a bluff or cliff - see Falling Damage).

Rate

DL

Damage

Walk

2

Shadow Stone

Trot

3

Shadow Stone + 2

Cantor

4

Shadow Stone + 4

Gallop

5

Shadow Stone + 6

Rider Defenses

Two mounted opponents attack and defend against each other as in normal melee combat. A character afoot may attack the rider or the steed, although his targets may be limited at the Adventure Master's discretion. When attacked, a mounted defender may choose any of the following defenses. A mounted character gets a +1 to hit any opponent (except giants, dragons, and similarly sized creatures) on foot.

Parry

The rider may attempt to parry an attack on his steed provided he uses a weapon over three feet long. The steed receives an extra roll of the StarLot to add to its defense. A parry can be made with a shield only if the attack is on the side where the rider is currently holding his shield. The rider cannot apply the shield bonus to his own defense for that round of combat.

Grapple

A grapple defense happens when a rider leaps from his mount to wrestle with an opponent on foot. The rider makes an attack using his Hand-to-Hand skill with a + 1 to hit bonus. If the rider gains a hold of his opponent, it is assumed both parties end up grappling, are prone on the ground and the rider does normal damage. If the rider fails to gain a hold on his opponent, he is unhorsed and much check for damage from the fall.

Initiative (Optional)

Initiative determines who moves first in a combat round. The Initiative of a rider-steed combination is the sum of Rider Initiative and Steed Initiative. Hence, most steed/rider teams will move before any riderless steeds or characters on foot.

Steed

Initiative Roll

Bear*

d6

Horse

d8

Lion*

StarLot

Pony

d6

Tiger*

StarLot

Warhorse

d6

Wolf*

StarLot

* Talking Animal Companion only

-End of File-

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P.O. Box 0089
Bath, OH 44210-0089
All Rights Reserved.