[Runequest] Horse Combat

David Cake dave at difference.com.au
Tue May 3 06:26:27 EST 2011

At 3:35 PM +0100 2/5/11, Trevor Ellis wrote:
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>In our group we would like for a charging horseman to be really 
>frightening - but under RQ2/RQ3 rules it really is not.
>Just adding the horse's damage bonus (say 2d60 is not really enough).
>lance 1D10 + 2d6 damage bonus gives an average 12.5 points and 
>maximum (excl specials) of 22 points.  If the guy on the ground has 
>a medium shield + 5 pts Armour + 3pts protection then 12.5 pts 
>damage has no effect and 22 points is just a flesh wound.  He can 
>then hit back at the almost totally unprotected house with a very 
>good chance of bringing it down.

	For a start, the average horse has 3d6 damage bonus in RQ3. 
So 16 pts average.

>Even a lightly armoured bowman with a high Dex, has little to fear - 
>his multiple shots will probably bring the horse down long before 
>its gets to him and, with a good dodge, can get out of the way at 
>the last moment.

	The bowman arguably should have a reasoanble chance of 
bringing an unarmoured horse down before it reaches them - it is just 
a big risk if it doesn't work. Though actually not that big a chance 
- by my reading, probably has to be lucky and either get an special 
or have two arrows strike the same location.
	Relying on dodge is a big risk (at least in RQ3 rules, where 
dodges are quite unreliable), but having the option to do so seems 
reasonable - people are slower than horses, but more manouverable.
	I figure that a horse charge isn't terrifying because it is 
hard to avoid, rather I figure it is because the consequences of 
failing to avoid it are so catastrophic.

>Some of our thoughts are
>a)      Add greater damage bonus to account for the weigh of horse 
>flesh coming at you at speed (say 2D6+6).
>b)      Against a changing horse either dodge and no attack, or 
>parry and attack.
>c)       Allow the animal to have a knockback in addition to the 
>weapon damage - thus even with a 90% parry one is likely to be 
>knocked back and unable to attack that round.
>Any thoughts?

	Go with option 3, knockback. If the knockback from the riders 
lance attack works and knocks the defender down, let the horse itself 
trample (at SR6 in RQ3). Which does 6d6. That should be enough to 
terrify most PCs.


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