[Runequest] Horse Combat

Lev Lafayette lev at rpgreview.net
Wed May 4 20:35:16 EST 2011

On Mon, 2011-05-02 at 15:35 +0100, Trevor Ellis wrote:
> 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.

> Any thoughts?

Our group ran charge a little differently; rather than basing it on the
horse's damage bonus, we used the relative acceleration of the attacker,
based on (Move/3)d4. So a human that charged (Move 3) would do a 1d4
attack bonus, whereas a horse would do 3d4. This assumes a character
must also build up sufficient momentum. This requires a mimimum of their
DEX SR plus 1 in movement. So 3d4+1d10+1.. (average 14 points)

"OK, so what?", you rightly ask, given that this is actually less than
the damage bonus given in the rules as writ (3d6). Well, the other
aspect is that the horse as well as the rider attacks - and that gets
the horses charge bonus plus it's normal bonus, just for running the
person down, and all it takes is a Riding roll on the part of the
attacker (and a trained horse that doesn't baulk at someone being in the
way). Now that's an a second attack at 3d6+3d4... (average 18 points)

Ah, but it now gets worse. As others have pointed out there's knockback
effects; and that requires a DEX*5 roll to remain standing, and there's
two attacks there that will probably cause knockback.. And you know what
a failed roll means?

Yep, the trample.

So the lance, assuming no impales, might actually be the least of the
character's worries when a 1000 kg warhorse is bearing down on them...

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