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  • Jousting Questions

    I've got a tournament coming up in the next adventure for my players, two of whom are Knights and plan on jousting. After reading through the rules on this a few times (both in the regular and GoT edition), there's a few things I'm not entirely clear on.
    1) What size shields are generally used for a Joust?
    2) Do the shields actually do anything for you, other than add to your Bulk? The book says it's a test between Fighting (bonus for Spears) -1D for the Charge against the target's passive Animal Handling (bonus for Ride). No mention of whether or not a shield helps here.
    3) Under the section on Cheating, I noticed the book states "This attack deals normal damage, as if in combat, potentially killing the rider or mount, though important characters can choose to suffer injuries or wounds to limit the damage and use Destiny Points to evade death." Normal damage?? Did I miss something somewhere? Does a standard non-cheating hit deal some sort of other-than-normal damage?
    4) Also, I assume from the Jousting Results table that a hit of two or more degrees of success inflicts damage on the opponent. It states further on in that section that the individual takes "base damage" if unhorsed. So that's an extra Animal Handling+3 in addition to the hit he already took? Ouch!

    I ran a simulation between the two Knights and came to the conclusion that the contest would be a pretty quick one. Average damage is 10 points, with an average of 2 degrees of success, making for 20 points of damage per pass. Armor soaks up half of that, leaving one with roughly 2 Health after only one hit (plus a few after from taking a Catch Your Breath action). It seems someone is destined to be KO'd on the second hit, regardless, unless they take an Injury or a Wound...

    Hopefully someone here can either set me straight, point me to the right place in the rule book, or offer some useful house rulings.

  • #2
    Re: Jousting Questions

    Originally posted by Number 6 View Post
    I've got a tournament coming up in the next adventure for my players, two of whom are Knights and plan on jousting. After reading through the rules on this a few times (both in the regular and GoT edition), there's a few things I'm not entirely clear on.
    1) What size shields are generally used for a Joust?
    2) Do the shields actually do anything for you, other than add to your Bulk? The book says it's a test between Fighting (bonus for Spears) -1D for the Charge against the target's passive Animal Handling (bonus for Ride). No mention of whether or not a shield helps here.
    3) Under the section on Cheating, I noticed the book states "This attack deals normal damage, as if in combat, potentially killing the rider or mount, though important characters can choose to suffer injuries or wounds to limit the damage and use Destiny Points to evade death." Normal damage?? Did I miss something somewhere? Does a standard non-cheating hit deal some sort of other-than-normal damage?
    4) Also, I assume from the Jousting Results table that a hit of two or more degrees of success inflicts damage on the opponent. It states further on in that section that the individual takes "base damage" if unhorsed. So that's an extra Animal Handling+3 in addition to the hit he already took? Ouch!

    I ran a simulation between the two Knights and came to the conclusion that the contest would be a pretty quick one. Average damage is 10 points, with an average of 2 degrees of success, making for 20 points of damage per pass. Armor soaks up half of that, leaving one with roughly 2 Health after only one hit (plus a few after from taking a Catch Your Breath action). It seems someone is destined to be KO'd on the second hit, regardless, unless they take an Injury or a Wound...

    Hopefully someone here can either set me straight, point me to the right place in the rule book, or offer some useful house rulings.
    1. Whatever size the jouster wishes, but...
    2. They have no game effect - as you note, the test is vs passive Animal Handling, not combat defense.
    3. Cheating or not deals the same damage. Cheating allows you to opt to strike the mount, rather than the rider (and gives the ability to try to conceal that the attempt was deliberate). Alternatively, you can "strike a more lightly armoured area of his opponent", although there are no specific rules or game mechanics around that that I know of (the Peril at King's Landing version of the jousting rules doesn't specify any; I don't know if they added any when they ported them into the Game of Thrones edition of the rule book) - *my interpretation* of this is that the difficulty used is the target's normal combat defense, rather than their passive Animal Handling (which is likely much lower), but I have nothing to base this on.
    4. Yup, very ouch. However, you can always opt to just take it all as normal damage (you've lost the joust anyway, so your opponent already chooses the outcome - typically unconsciousness for a while), so don't bother with Injuries or Wounds, and all the damage clears on its own by the time you wake.

    Not sure what stats you used for the knights in your simulation, but let's throw out a potential typical secondary character jousting knight- Fighting 5 (Spears 2B), Animal Handling 4 (Ride 2B), Endurance 4, Athletics 3 (Strength 1B) + plus three others at 3 (for flavour). Factoring the bonus dice equal to your Animal Handling rank for being mounted on a steed trained for war (you don't just on a riding pony), that gives 5D+5B on the Fighting tests which has an expected value of 24. Animal Handling 4 (Ride 2B) gives a passive result of 18. Normally, that'll be an expected 2 degrees of success, with a war lance doing 9 base damage. Our sample knight has 16 Health, and with half plate, can take that all as normal damage, reducing him to 7 of 16 Health. He takes a Catch His Breath action, restoring an expected 3 Health, which leaves him at 10 Health, or enough to soak another 2 degrees of success hit still without looking at Injuries or Wounds. That lets a joust go for a couple of tilts, which seems reasonable, given that higher numbers of tilts are spoken of as being quite rare.

    Alternatively, you could opt for the Athletics 4 (Strength 2B), Endurance 3, which ups your war lance damage to 10 and drops your Health to 9, but that switch leads to needing Injuries or Wounds on the first 2+ degree of success hit, and you go on a downward spiral from there.

    The telling factor, in my opinion, comes in when using the rock-paper-scissors-like jousting options (Aggressive, Braced, Defensive, Eyes Fixed, and High in Saddle); catching your opponent with the right (or wrong) combination can swing the hit by a degree in either direction, which adds a bit more drama to even two clones tilting with each other.

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    • #3
      Re: Jousting Questions

      For inspiration, it's the 5th episode of the first season..."The Wolf and the Lion" for the Tournament for the Hand.

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      • #4
        Re: Jousting Questions

        Alongside coldwind's much fuller and helpful answer, remember that characters in a joust are charging, and take -1D to their fighting roll (taking a few points off the "expected value calculated above).
        Last edited by Harlath; 11-11-2014, 02:58 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Jousting Questions

          Originally posted by Harlath View Post
          Alongside coldwind's much fuller and helpful answer, remember that characters in a joust are charging, and take -1D to their fighting roll (taking a few points off the "expected value calculated above).
          Oh, right. I forgot the charging part. -1D on the attacks but +2 on the damage.

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          • #6
            Re: Jousting Questions

            Many thanks for the prompt and helpful replies, folks. I had noticed the -1D and +2 damage from the Charge attack. Does the +2 get factored in before Degrees of Success multiply the final damage - or after? Example: Ser Not-Appearing-In-This-Adventure (Animal Handling 3, Ride 2B; Athletics 3, Strength 2B) scores a hit with two Degrees of Success from his jousting Charge. Is his damage inflicted 8 x 2DoS = 16 +2 Charge bonus (total of 18) or 8 + 2 Charge x 2DoS = 20?

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            • #7
              Re: Jousting Questions

              Originally posted by Number 6 View Post
              Many thanks for the prompt and helpful replies, folks. I had noticed the -1D and +2 damage from the Charge attack. Does the +2 get factored in before Degrees of Success multiply the final damage - or after? Example: Ser Not-Appearing-In-This-Adventure (Animal Handling 3, Ride 2B; Athletics 3, Strength 2B) scores a hit with two Degrees of Success from his jousting Charge. Is his damage inflicted 8 x 2DoS = 16 +2 Charge bonus (total of 18) or 8 + 2 Charge x 2DoS = 20?
              Before. It adds to base damage.

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              • #8
                Re: Jousting Questions

                Coldwind about the catch your breath action, that's a lesser correct? Doesn't controlling a war trained mount in combat require a lesser action? For that matter, how does charge work if they've taken a lesser action? Am I missing something?

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                • #9
                  Re: Jousting Questions

                  Not weighing in on the subject of jousting, but Catch your breath is in fact a Greater action.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Jousting Questions

                    Originally posted by Addicted2aa View Post
                    Coldwind about the catch your breath action, that's a lesser correct? Doesn't controlling a war trained mount in combat require a lesser action? For that matter, how does charge work if they've taken a lesser action? Am I missing something?
                    A joust isn't resolved like a normal combat; there is no initiative and no 'actions' per se, and both attacks are simultaneous. Peril at King's Landing has expanded jousting rules (most, if not all, of which were brought into the GoT edition rules) noting that between passes, there's enough time for each jouster to use Catch Your Breath.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Jousting Questions

                      Indeed, as Coldwind says the "Game of Thrones" Edition of the core rulebook adds this rule (introduced in Peril at King's Landing) on p169, beneath "Between Passes".

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                      • #12
                        Re: Jousting Questions

                        The only problem I see with the jousting rules is you really need to have a high score in Fighting/Spears or you will have no chance to ever hit your opponent due to the Charge penalty.
                        Say you are a young knight with 4 in Fighting and no Spear speciality but you are forced to participate at a tournament, any opponent with Animal Handling at 4 will be out of your reach or close.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Jousting Questions

                          That is true. Even with the spear specialty, seeing that someone with animal handling 4 typically have a bit of ride dices also.

                          There's destiny points though. As are options such as high in the saddle.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Jousting Questions

                            Indeed, the options can make a big difference!

                            On top of the previous good suggestions, you could also try the rule we used in the Southron Ambitions play by post game - each round after the first, your passive ride AND your check to stay in the saddle if hit both got a -1 penalty. This was cumulative for each later round!

                            This forces a conclusion - you can always slow it down by making it kick in after a number of rounds equal to your endurance.

                            That said, a tied joust can be an honourable thing, and allows judging shenanigans - tourney judge put through his lord/boyfriend/someone he wants to curry favour with etc. It can add drama and create a grudge!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Jousting Questions

                              Nah, the -1 thing doesn't so much force conclusion as to put the worse rider at a greater disadvantage than he already is.

                              Keep in mind that marginal failure still means broken lance, and with the number of bonus dice you receive from animal handling, you can fairly reliably achieve that with equal fighting as your opponent's animal handling.

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