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Homebrew Jousting Rules

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  • Homebrew Jousting Rules

    I recently had a tourney in my Westeros-set campaign, so I had to homebrew some rules for a joust that I wanted to share.

    Narratively, I said that the master of games declared that joust would last until one was unhorsed, however many clashes that took. Mechanically, I set it up as an opposed advanced test, with every successful test representing a hit to the shield or shoulder, testing the defender's resolve and getting closer to unseating him.

    I created four stats for each contestant based on their character sheets. In some instances, I gave bonuses for talents that I thought seemed relevant but wouldn't normally mechanically come into play since it was an advance test and not full combat.

    Attack: This is the primary 3d6 modifier for the test. It's basically the character's Fighting (lances) stat, but I also gave +1 bonuses for mounted combat talents.

    Power: On successful hits, this is a bonus to add to the test total in addition to the stunt die. I gave +1 for a Strength (might) stat of 4 or more and for strength-based talents like Mighty Thews, and the Knight specialization since that normally increases mounted damage with lances.

    Defense: This is the target number for the opponent to hit with attack rolls. But I didn't just take the character's defense. It's 10+Dexterity (Riding). This is because I didn't want to take shields into account--a hard hit to the shield could still unhorse you. I also gave +1 bonuses to talents in horsemanship.

    Resistance: This is the test total that your opponent needs to reach to unhorse you. It can be thought of as analogous to health (and I found it easier for the character being hit to keep track of it, just like damage). I set this as level+constitution+dexterity (riding) with +1 bonuses for talents in armor training and weapon and shield. Note that armor doesn't reduce how much "damage" gets through here.


    I also allowed the use of certain stunts at their normal value, with slightly different effects.

    Might Blow: +1 to Power on this hit.
    Defensive Stance: +2 to Defense for this clash.
    Lethal Blow: +2 to Power on this hit.


    Here are stat blocks for three knights designed to be easy, achievable but challenging, and difficult for a level 8 character.

    Hedge Knight
    Attack: +5
    Power: +1
    Defense: 13
    Resistance: 10

    Household Knight
    Attack: +7
    Power: +2
    Defense: 14
    Resistance: 16

    Landed Knight
    Attack: +8
    Power: +4
    Defense: 15
    Resistance: 20


    I ran this yesterday and it worked really well. But I should say that I asked my PCs to give me their character sheets ahead of time and I generated their jousting stats ahead of time, but once they had them it was pretty easy to explain how it was going to work.
    I will say that I had no plan for what happened if there was a tie, which was very possible since the opposed tests were happening simultaneously. Fortunately it didn't come up!

  • #2
    Re: Homebrew Jousting Rules

    Pretty cool. Maybe on a tie, both riders get unhorsed at the same time. I remember seeing this happen in a movie or two.