Thursday, April 18, 2013

Jousting for Glory

I wrote a while ago about new house rules I was going to implement for Jousting in my GPC game.  Well, I finally got to test it out this past weekend as my group found themselves at the Roman Tournament.  Three characters entered the joust and all three managed to make it to the 4th round before being defeated.  Not to toot my own trumpet, but I think the new rules worked rather well.  At least one contest was decided by a single point.  A few NPC knights were forced to retire due to injuries, thanks to some crits by the Player Knights, but for the most part this joust has quite the sporting feel.  I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see a PK vs. PK joust, but as we’re quickly coming to an end of the Conquest Period, I’m sure that will show up soon.  I’d love to hear of any other experiences with these rules, or if anyone has any other variant rules for doing jousts.


  1. My only concern is that two things are going to occur:
    1. Famous knights (and The Golden Boy in particular) are going to be inflicting mucho damage since they will have 20+ Lance skill and be inflicting real damage. This exists in the one pass variant - but with 3-4 passes it makes such much more likely.
    2. Combined with #1 the larger horses (Andulusians and destriers) will increase the issue even more since the extra d6 (or 2) of damage is generally going to exceed the improved armor coming out.

    Now an NPC can be judged to be reining their skill in to be more "sporting" (citing the recent RPG Corner Solo GPC posting), but maybe instead there should just be a tweak to reduce the chance of mangling damage that does not appear to "historically" happen in the final joust rounds.

    Though I was one who benefited from opponents withdrawing due to taking serious (but not major wounds). It could just boil down to risk assessment, but the wrong side of a high 8d6 damage roll is simply going to ruin one's day.

  2. I was thinking about that and there are a few options. First is your suggestion that there could be Jousting Armor, which would not be useful anywhere else, amd would provide 6 extra points of protection over standard armor. This wpuld increase as the tech increases.

    Second would be to roll damage as normal on a crit but only half is "real" damage. The full amount counts for Knockdown, of course. This would not work is someone is using a spear in place of a jousting lance.

    Third, crits are rerolled. It still counts as a 20 and a success, but you roll a d20 again. If the second roll comes up as a crit, it's "real" damage. If not, just Knockdown damage.

    I think we'll have to discuss what makes the most sense. Maybe a combination of them.

  3. My presumption is that all of this is using jousting lances. Once a spear is in play (even blunted) than any sort of tweak won't be in play - and it allows for dastardly action.

    There is a rule IIRC for "pulling blows" and reducing damage, which would support the 1/2 damage option and still allow full Knockdown. (Though you can complicate that argument in various ways - but not worth going into.)

    To keep the threat of mayhem there can be the minor complication that the recipient needs to be properly positioned even then. If they fail their Lance roll (or worse, Fumble it) while the opponent gets the Critical Hit than inflict the full damage since the target was off-balance or otherwise much more vulnerable.

    Which would tend towards the less-experienced knights taking serious knocks, but if they are often facing equally inexperienced knights the Critical-Fail combination is less likely to occur, and would happen less often in the later rounds as the more experienced knights face each other.

  4. That might be the most fair option. We'll just have to try some variants and see what happens.