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In another thread, Hzark10 mentioned those recurrent long, long combats in which two knights fight for hour after hour.  I imagine this has often come up here, or on the old forums, and I know that the old suggested rule in which tied criticals caused 1d3 damage to both characters was partly aimed at this.

So I hope I am not reopening something which has been done to death, but I’m interested in seeing what people think of a little house rule that I’m considering adding to represent those situations, and, especially, if there are possible problems that I’m not seeing.  And I’m also very interested  in hearing about other things people have done with an eye to this.  

Obviously, you can handle it with narrative alone - just declare when two knights of great prowess are going at one another that the combat round represents an hour or more of real time.  

But given how prominent single combat is in the literature, I sort of feel that one-on-one combat between knights deserves some special mechanics at least as much as battles do.

So...

 

Tied criticals in single combat:

When two knights (only) engage in single combat on foot (only), then tied criticals have a special significance.  (This assumes that both knights are fighting with swords, or that neither is.)  Tied criticals indicate that the exchange of blows lasted for a long time, at least several hours.  (If it matters, roll 2d6 hours.) The following then happens.

- Both knights roll their damage rolls once, and this damage (after subtracting for armor, not including shield) is inflicted on the other knight.  Major Wound rules do not apply to this damage, which represents many small wounds taken over the course of the fight.

- If both are alive and conscious, the two knights also make opposed Energetic rolls.  What happens depends on the results.

Win or tie.  The knight’s vigour and ardour for combat is undiminished.   Nothing changes.

Partial success.  The knight can still summon the strength and determination to keep fighting, but his opponent is wearing them down.  Until they can rest, the knight is at -5 to all rolls.  This result may repeat in subsequent rounds for additional -5 modifiers (-10, -15 etc.).

Failure: The knight (possibly both knights) collapse with fatigue brought on by their great exertions.  If there is no convenient person or object nearby on which to lean, they end up prone on the ground.  They can no longer defend themselves.  This lasts until they are rested.  

Something may interrupt the fight and prevent it from continuing.  If not, knights who are able to continue fighting may not necessarily choose to do so.  Player knights should be asked what they want to do before proceeding to the next combat round.  

For instance, a chivalrous knight who sees that his opponent is tiring (that is, will now fight at at -5) should probably at least offer them an opportunity to rest before resuming the combat.  Or, again for example, perhaps the two knights want to express admiration for one another’s prowess and ask each other’s names, and so discover that they are in fact cousins.

 

Thoughts?  I do want the bit about taking damage minus armour, but I’ve gone back and forth in my head over whether I want the shield to apply to it or not.

Edited by Voord 99
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I think that would work quite well. I do like the fact that Energetic plays a role, although an argument could be made that it should be CON instead (physical stamina rather than a mind set). In the older editions, this is what happened when both combatants chose Defensive: the fight is resolved normally but the round takes an hour or so. It still doesn't counter tink-tink-boom effect, although at least it moves one tied criticals into a some kind of resolution.

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I like it!

It’s fine as it is, but I think I would want to tweak it a bit:

I would let both do critical damage (6th ed crits, though, and no major wounds unless they go unconscious), to make sure that they actually take damage, but give them armor from their shields.

This way it’s possible for them to reach their unconscious rating and take major wounds simultanously, like Ector and Percivale in the woods before the grail heals them, or even kill each other, like Arthur and Mordred.

If they didn’t get armor from their shields, then that seems like an unfitting advantage for a knight using a twohanded weapon.

 

 

Edited by Baba
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