mounted combat

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albjohnson
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mounted combat

Postby albjohnson » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:19 pm

help needed :oops:

we've not played for some time and first session out our first problem
when your on horse back fighting can you use your parry and dodge or only your parry to defend yourself.
Halfbat
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Postby Halfbat » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:09 pm

I've only allowed parry in the past, though I don't think it says anything anywhere. How would you dodge on a horse?
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Postby mthomason » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:56 pm

"Ha, I easily sidestepped that blow!"

*looks down at legs hanging in the air*

*looks up and notices his horse riding off into the distance*

"Oh, bugger."

*THUD*
Conan-the-Librarian
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Postby Conan-the-Librarian » Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:20 pm

Halfbat wrote:I've only allowed parry in the past, though I don't think it says anything anywhere. How would you dodge on a horse?
Couldn't you duck a blow or even perhaps use the horse as "cover"?

Also you could try a Ride check to see if you can maneuver the horse out of the way (thus taking the rider out of the way of the blow as well).

On the other hand, you could use Dodge DV and just apply the usual -2 penalty for a lack of available empty space to dodge into.
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argo
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Postby argo » Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:58 pm

Going off memory, I do not believe that this issue is addresed in the rules.

I don't see any particular reason not to allow Doge while mounted, the rider can still duck and bend to avoid the blow. If you really do have a hard time with the image then I think a -2 penalty would suffice.

Using your horse for cover is already covered under the Ride skill.

Later.
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... except in Califorina.


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albjohnson
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Postby albjohnson » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:16 am

thanks guys :D
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Postby Sutek » Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:27 pm

Don't horses have thier own Dodge bonus? You might be able to say that the player can add his Ride ranks to the Horse's Dodge if he is able to first make a Ride Skill check agains some DC. Can't think how that'd work right at the moment, but think about it and see if that feels appropriate.
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Postby Spectator » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:14 am

LOL about dodging blow and then falling off the horse!
Nonetheless, excellent point.
Gut instinct says that the benefit of the dodge should be reduced since he is kinda stuck, maybe a type of game mechanic would allow a succesful dodge to only mitigate 1/2 damage (imagine hero getting knicked in leg as opposed to spear impaling him???).

I'd be interested in how the rules Gods speak.
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Postby Azgulor » Wed Sep 27, 2006 3:21 pm

Sutek wrote:Don't horses have thier own Dodge bonus? You might be able to say that the player can add his Ride ranks to the Horse's Dodge if he is able to first make a Ride Skill check agains some DC. Can't think how that'd work right at the moment, but think about it and see if that feels appropriate.
This makes a whole lot of sense to me. Maybe +1 or +2 to the horse's dodge value per 5 ranks of Ride? Of, course I think the speed of the horse should probably provide a penalty to the attacker.

Close combat, the rider relies on parry. Crossing the battlefield, the rider guides the horse to avoid blows (Horse Dodge + Ride bonus).

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Sutek
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Postby Sutek » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:43 pm

Actually, look up the Ride skill as I just did. There's +2 Synergy for having 5 ranks in Handle Animal, +2 for having Animal Affinity and +2 for having a military saddle. To Control a untrained mount during a battle is a DC20 check, while a warhorse of other battle-trained mount is a DC10 to control. I guess that's where things go astray though, because it doesn't adress Defense except under the Cover task.

The Feat Mounted Combat states tha the benefit is to grant a Ride check as a reaction to negate a hit that is directed at that mount. The Ride check result, total of d20 + skill, becomes the Mount's Dodge Defence if iit ends up being higher than the mounts regular Dodge Defence.

This implies that blows must be directed against either the mount or the rider, meaning that the rider would use his own DV and the mount its own.

Now, that, coupled with the actual usage of the Dodge defence (that you need an open adjacent square but don't need to actually move into it) then allowing a mounted character to Dodge is perfectly reasonable. He can lean back or to the side, aided by and military saddle or talents he may have, avoiding blows directed at him. I'd further infer from this that if he managed to succeed at that Dodge and the blow misses him, then the GM would then check to see if it hit the mount's Dodge Defence, being potentially negated by a particularly masterful rider with the proper Feat.

So revise what I said earlier. 8)
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Postby urdinaran » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:35 am

So basically, if you choose to Dodge and you succeed:

1. Check your mount's DV vs. the Attack roll and hope it's better.
If not --->

2. Make a successful Ride check. Add your Ride ranks to your mount's DV.
Hope that beats the attack roll.

Is this correct? Seems like alot of rolling vs. 1 Attack. I would just as easily assume that you cannot Dodge while on a mount; your feet are in stirrups in order to control your mount, plus the saddle, it doesn't let you be very nimble.
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Postby Oly » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:47 am

As Sutek has pointed out the "Mounted Combat" feat does imply that in combat enemies can either attack the horse or the rider, they're not one entity.

That feat also allows the ride skill to affect the horses dodge, to allow that to happen all of the time negates the point of that feat. Therefore the ride skill doesn't have any affect on dodging blows in combat unless you have that feat.

As for dodging well I'm very unsure about it. The rules say that if you don't have an adjacent square into which you can move then you suffer a -2 penalty to your dodge. If you're in a saddle do you have enough flexibility to take what is in effect a quick 5 foot step?

I'd be tempted to give the -2 to the rider if they try to dodge, I do not believe that someone in a saddle can dodge as effectively as someone on foot with space around them. However I'd also give a -1 to the attacker due to them attacking someone on "higher ground". So in effect it's only a -1 penalty, not too harsh and I think justifiable.

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Postby Krushnak » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:54 am

personally i see no problem with allowing dodge defense while mounted, just that almost awlays you'll be suffering the -2 penalty to dodge for not having enough room to maneuvor around in.

if its still such a big problem then also use the horses dexterity instead of the riders for his dodge defense.
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Postby argo » Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:18 pm

urdinaran wrote:So basically, if you choose to Dodge and you succeed:

1. Check your mount's DV vs. the Attack roll and hope it's better.
If not --->

2. Make a successful Ride check. Add your Ride ranks to your mount's DV.
Hope that beats the attack roll.

Is this correct? Seems like alot of rolling vs. 1 Attack. I would just as easily assume that you cannot Dodge while on a mount; your feet are in stirrups in order to control your mount, plus the saddle, it doesn't let you be very nimble.
I think you are mixing a few ideas here :?

An attacker chooses to attack either the mount or the rider at his discretion. There is no rule that if the attack misses one it can possibly hit the other. The only time something like this might happen is if you make a ride check to use your mount as cover against a ranged attack: in that case then the you do check the attack against the mount if it misses you by a margin less than the cover bonus provided. However note that this is not a rule for mounted combat but rather an application of the rule for Soft Cover.

Aside: once characters get above low levels it is frequently a good tactic to attack their mounts as the horse likely has a lower DV and fewer HP than the rider. Once the mount is down the rider looses many of his advantages.

Now, if you have the Mounted Combat feat and the attacker chooses to attack the mount then once per round you may make a ride check and substitute the result for your mount's DV (you do not add the result to the mounts DV but rather use the ride check if it is higher). This is a good feat because, as mentioned above, once you get much above 6th level or so mounts quickly become vulneuable to attack.

Hope that helps.
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... except in Califorina.


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Postby Sutek » Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:56 pm

Well, the only problem with that theory is that riding a mount into combat, either a warmount or a mount that is not trained for combat, both require a Ride check (DC 10 and DC 20 respectively. However, it doesn't say why you would really do that, other than to do one of the "tasks" that are listed under tha Ride skill. This, however, implies that the rider and mount are a single entity to some degree. For instance, you can do the Cover task and give yourself a Cover bonus while mounted, so then what...if someone misses you due to the cover they just miss? I'd think that they hit the mount.

The Mounte Combat feat is pretty clear about differentiating the mount and rider, stating that the mount can avoid a blow that is directed at it if the rider uses his Ride skill to supplant the mount's normal Dodoge Defense.

It's actually kinda weird, but I'd always go in favor of missed blows agaisnt the rider will hit the mount, but not vice versa. Trying to hit the mount is always easier, at least in my view. In other words, there's a bonus for the rider to hit unmounted opponents (+1) but no adverse condition of being mounted, other than people can take swipes at your mount.
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Postby Oly » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:35 pm

Sutek wrote:For instance, you can do the Cover task and give yourself a Cover bonus while mounted, so then what...if someone misses you due to the cover they just miss? I'd think that they hit the mount.
The way I usually deal with cover in D20 is that if you miss the target but would have hit had they not had the bonus from the cover then the blow/shot strikes the cover.

For example a rider has a parry of 14 and uses his horse for cover. That makes his total defence 18. If his attacker hits 18 or better than he's hit the rider. However if he made a 14 or better then the rider would have been hit except for the horse so the blow/show strikes the mount.
Sutek wrote:In other words, there's a bonus for the rider to hit unmounted opponents (+1) but no adverse condition of being mounted, other than people can take swipes at your mount.
Well I'd rule that you can't dodge effectively and give the -2 penalty but that's just my take on it, it doesn't explicitly say that in the rules. However I'd also give the attackers a -1 to hit a higher target so it's only an effective -1 penalty on dodges.

So yes being on a trained horse in combat is great, until it gets cut out from under you.
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Postby Sutek » Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:15 pm

I'd also add that a DC20 Ride check is necessary when riding a non-combat ready mount into combt. You have to make that check as a Move Equivalent action (or a Full action if you fail), therefore meaning taht your movement is impeded in that case, disallowing Dodge.

This also indicates to me that the mount and rider are one unit in some situations, but two units in others, so it comes down to figuring it out on the fly I suppose.

I'll default to attack either, but blows directed at the rider can miss him bit incidentally hit the mount if the attack roll exceeds the mounts DV. This makes the Mounted Combat feat work the best, IMO.
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argo
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Postby argo » Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:58 pm

Sutek wrote:Well, the only problem with that theory is that riding a mount into combat, either a warmount or a mount that is not trained for combat, both require a Ride check (DC 10 and DC 20 respectively. However, it doesn't say why you would really do that, other than to do one of the "tasks" that are listed under tha Ride skill. This, however, implies that the rider and mount are a single entity to some degree.
No it actually states quite specifically that the rider and mount are two seperate entities. Check the section on Mounted Combat in the Combat chapter where it states
SRD wrote: Your mount acts on your initiative count as you direct it. You move at its speed, but the mount uses its action to move.
Your mount is a seperate creature which gets its full round of actions in addition to your own. The only caveat is that it acts on your initative count instead of rolling its own initative.

The ride check you are speaking of is the check to control your mount in combat. You have to make this check every round or your mount freaks out and you have to spend some of your action getting him back under control (you automatically regain control, the penalty is you loose some of your action). If you want to perform one of the other riding tricks you still have to make a check for it as well.
For instance, you can do the Cover task and give yourself a Cover bonus while mounted, so then what...if someone misses you due to the cover they just miss? I'd think that they hit the mount.
You are right that they hit the mount but again, this is not due to the rules for mounted combat but rather is an application of the rules for striking cover.
It's actually kinda weird, but I'd always go in favor of missed blows agaisnt the rider will hit the mount, but not vice versa. Trying to hit the mount is always easier, at least in my view. In other words, there's a bonus for the rider to hit unmounted opponents (+1) but no adverse condition of being mounted, other than people can take swipes at your mount.
Well, thats giving a big advantage to the infantry. They basically are getting to make two attack rolls for every on and when you consider that mid-level characters will probably have a DV higher than that of their mount there is absolutely no reason not to declare an attack against the rider every time. I think this would be a poor idea.

Oh, and as to there being no adverse condition to being mounted... yea thats prety much spot on. Even a cursoury examination of historical warfare should show that calvary have a hudge advantage over infantry 8)

Of course there is some balance to the game system. Mounts are not so good in broken/uneven terrain and are a flat out liability when indoors/undrgound (at sea or when mountain climbing is not even worth considering). And most games do not tend towards a lot of open-space combat uless the entire party is into mounted combat, so there is an opportunity cost assoicated with sinking feats and skill points into a combat style that may not see much use (trust me, I speak from experience on this one). Also mounts are expensive to aquire and mantain and difficult to keep hold of for the "typical" adventure (unless you also start aquiring hierlings to watch the mounts while you go tomb-raiding). And lastly, as mentioned, mounts make jucy targets for opposition both inteligent and non-inteligent.

Hope that helps.
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... except in Califorina.


Remember: guns don't kill people, monkeys with guns kill people! /^o^;
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Postby Oly » Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:40 am

argo wrote:
For instance, you can do the Cover task and give yourself a Cover bonus while mounted, so then what...if someone misses you due to the cover they just miss? I'd think that they hit the mount.
You are right that they hit the mount but again, this is not due to the rules for mounted combat but rather is an application of the rules for striking cover.
By "misses you due to the cover" do you mean that the only miss because of the bonus that the cover gives you and would have hit otherwise? Or do you mean that they just miss?

I've had a check in my D&D 3.0 book and that does state that if you miss due to that cover bonus then you hit the cover. There's then some additional fluff about how you might actually end up hitting the target anyway, can't quite get how that works though....

I don't recall seeing any similar rules in the Conan book but it's how I've always done things in D20.
argo wrote:Well, thats giving a big advantage to the infantry. They basically are getting to make two attack rolls for every on and when you consider that mid-level characters will probably have a DV higher than that of their mount there is absolutely no reason not to declare an attack against the rider every time.
Consider a rider with a parry DV of 14, he takes cover on his warhorse (Dodge 13) to give him a DV or 14+4.

An infantryman wants to attack him.

If he attacks the rider then on an 18+ he'll hit the rider and on a 14+ he'll hit the horse. However he takes an additional -1 to hit a higher target.

To hit the horse he just needs to get 13+, an easier hit. The more skilled the rider becomes the harder to hit he will be where as the horse will be constant at 13+.

So I do see a reason to declare attacks against the horse rather than the rider, it could well be slightly easier. That said factoring in the mounted combat feat (if the rider has it) means that the first hit on the horse will probably then miss but if the infantry has multiple attacks or can mob the horse then it's not a problem.

Extending the debate somewhat does anyone consider giving weapons like the bill a bit of a bonus against mounted targets? Maybe removing the -1 for attacking a higher target? IIRC the bill was designed for pulling mounted knights off of their horse so the mob could kill them, well I've got this feeling that that's part of their purpose.
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Postby Sutek » Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:53 pm

argo wrote:[...] it actually states quite specifically that the rider and mount are two seperate entities. Check the section on Mounted Combat in the Combat chapter where it states [...] they [can] hit the mount but again, this is not due to the rules for mounted combat but rather is an application of the rules for striking cover.
This is the vague cantradiction I'm referring to, argo. If a mount can be hit as if it were cover, then why not if I'm shooting arrows at the rider/mount combo? How about swinging a sword? I mean to say that it's reasonable to asume that a mount can be hit by a strike that misses its rider, but the vague allusion to rider and mount being one in the Ride skill (and it is there) is contradicted elsewhere, but not not spelled out in other places where it needs to be. It makes for a confusing set of mount rules. Not terrible, just confusing.
argo wrote:
sutek wrote: It's actually kinda weird, but I'd always go in favor of missed blows agaisnt the rider will hit the mount, but not vice versa. Trying to hit the mount is always easier, at least in my view. In other words, there's a bonus for the rider to hit unmounted opponents (+1) but no adverse condition of being mounted, other than people can take swipes at your mount.
Well, thats giving a big advantage to the infantry. They basically are getting to make two attack rolls for every on and when you consider that mid-level characters will probably have a DV higher than that of their mount there is absolutely no reason not to declare an attack against the rider every time. I think this would be a poor idea.
You seem to be getting overly irritated here, so I'll mind my words, but I never suggessted multiple attack rolls. The single attack roll would be compared to the initial target, be that the rider or the mount, but then compared to the other shoudl a miss occur.

Usually, the mount will have the lower DV, and so the Mounted Combat ffeat goes a long way toward making the calvary soldier that historically fared so well for centuries. However, all it took was crafty infantry leaders using more "guerilla" tactics, and hacking a horse's legs out from under it became a fantastic option for eliminating what ammounted to a tank in the "sword ages".

Not to mention the advent of pikes and other pole arms specifically to dismount or combat mounted riders.
argo wrote:Oh, and as to there being no adverse condition to being mounted... yea thats prety much spot on. Even a cursoury examination of historical warfare should show that calvary have a hudge advantage over infantry
Now that's just not true. Once horse got into infantry lines, if those lines didn't break, it was just bogged down in a morasse of line infantry, pulling the rider down or killing the horse. That may have been why the English didnt' do so well in 1066.

As for all the meta-gaming comments, that's always been my group's reason for not buying horses in D&D campaigns - they dont' last more than about 20 minutes before they wander off, get stolen or get killed. (lol).
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