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jagerfury

Combat Rules Question

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A person on horseback receives a +20% to attack while the person on the ground receives a -20% defense, so a net 40% swing? Just seems a little steep to me. A flat 20% is more in line?

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I could see +10% for the attacker and -10% for the defender being a reasonable alteration, but on the other hand Cavalry was pretty devastating, particularly if you're talking about a lone defender trying to stand up to a charging horse and not a mass of pikemen.

I grew up around cattle and horses throughout most of my childhood and teenage years, I can say pretty flatly I'd never want to be on the receiving end of somebody bearing down on me with a sword or a lance while I'm on foot. Half of the -20% penalty to defense is probably from trying not to soil yourself. ;) 

Edited by Nick J.
grammur
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The movie Excalibur comes to mind when Arthur, unhorsed, is so easily overmastered by a mounted Lancelot that it is only good sportsmanship for Lancelot to dismount and continue the battle on foot.  It is a great disadvantage for a man on foot to fight a man on horseback given the speed, height and weight differences.  The Aztecs, when they first encountered Spanish horsemen, thought they were fighting centaurs; horrible monsters half horse, half man!

Weapons like the pike were developed to counter cavalry charges.  Perhaps a formation of pikemen would negate the unfair advantage a horsed opponent would otherwise have.

Missile weapons such as the long bow (witness the flower of French chivalry slaughtered at Agincourt by English yeomen) have ever been the bane of cavalry; what a target someone who stands out above the crowd presents!  It only got worse with firearms, cannon.  Witness The Charge of the Light Brigade (Charge for the guns, he said/Into the valley of Death/Rode the six hundred).  So perhaps t'is better for an unmounted opponent to take cover behind a rock and let fly!  A few close combats under the existing rules would doubtless convince survivors of the wisdom in that tactic when facing mounted foes.  

That said, the Latin phrase Cuius regio, eius religio ("whose realm, his religion") was applied to a ruler's right to determine the religious practices of his loyal subjects.  This applies equally to game masters and the rules of the house, of course, so I would by all means modify the rules of your domain to suit!

Edited by Julich1610
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 thanks for the input. I like to stay true to the RAW if I  can.  These  are  good  rationales so I  can  work  with it as written. 

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On 7/7/2017 at 6:35 AM, jagerfury said:

A person on horseback receives a +20% to attack while the person on the ground receives a -20% defense, so a net 40% swing? Just seems a little steep to me. A flat 20% is more in line?

You could alter the bonus/penalty, but I wouldn't, at least under normal circumstances. I would, however, alter the footman's penalty depending upon how they were armed. Armed with a normal spear (or pole arm of similar length), I would reduce the penalty to -10%; with a 2-H spear or long pole arm, negate it completely.

If a footman is facing off with a cavalryman alone, and armed with a pike, then I would increase the penalty back to -20%. The reason being that the pike is NOT a melee weapon, it is a battle/formation weapon. I would also reduce the cavalryman's bonus to +10%, because the point of the pike is still an obstacle (or perhaps force a DEX or Ride roll to get around and close).

SDLeary

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Question #2: Unopposed attacks "Move straight on to damage resolution."

Does this mean automatic hit and damage? Or should it be read as "3. Damage ResoIution, If the attack is successful, damage is rolled."?

Thanks, Jay

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9 hours ago, jagerfury said:

Does this mean automatic hit and damage? Or should it be read as "3. Damage ResoIution, If the attack is successful, damage is rolled."?

I don't know the official answer... but if the target is just standing there, not dodging/blocking... a sleeping baby... I wouldn't ask for an attack roll. Unless some other factor is present to make the attack difficult.

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Yes, hence my confusion because the target is not just standing there. The target is actively attacking and defending. Mechanically the target has lost their ability to turn the attack into a contested roll, but there is no follow up on how the attacker is thusly affected. For now I believe the attacker still has to roll a hit roll giving the chance of crit/hit/miss/fumble. Hoping for the "official" answer from the fine folks at C&W! 

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On 9/21/2017 at 10:36 AM, jagerfury said:

The target is actively attacking and defending. Mechanically the target has lost their ability to turn the attack into a contested roll, but there is no follow up on how the attacker is thusly affected.

I'm missing something... if the target is 'actively defending' then the attack is opposed... yes? The target can parry or dodge.
Or do you mean something like the target being busy fending off other attacks... leaving him open/unaware to an attack from his flank?

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11 hours ago, jagerfury said:

I'm saying even though the target is not using a parry or a dodge the attacker still has to roll to hit.

Yeah, I see what you're saying. Even if somebody is completely defenseless, it's still possible for an attacker to completely whiff and foul up. I remember plenty of snowball fights as a kid where somebody would have his back turned and another kid would come in for the "kill" and sail it a few inches past their head :) 

If you want to add an extra level of granularity, maybe the attacker in such a circumstance only fails on a fumble, or if they roll in the automatic failure range of 96-00? Alternatively, you could port in a rule from another d100 game. Magic World grants a +50% chance to the attack roll vs. a helpless character (asleep, bound, etc.) while it's a +25% bonus against an unaware defender (and no opportunity to dodge or parry).

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Question 1: Pirates & Dragons clearly states that both the +20% for a mounted attacker and the -20% for a non-mounted defender apply. Horsemen are scary! Having been on the recieving end of horses and cattle this seems about right to me.

 

Question 2: Given that the staement about unopposed attacks moving straight to damage resolution comes after attack resolution, in the section on reactions, I would think that a successful attack roll is needed.  The sentence is perhaps a bit redundant, as if the attacker hits and the defender does nothing moving to damage resolution is the next logical step.

An attack against a helpless foe is an automatic critical however. Ouch!

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Regarding Q2, maybe we could borrow a handy tool from other game systems for an unopposed attack: Advantage. So that would mean that I role 3 D10 instead of two. 2D10 determine the 10s, 20s, 30s (picking the better roll) and the third one the single digit numbers. If you have different color dice, that shouldn't be a problem. Don't the new (7th edition) Call of Cthulhu rules have that as well?

If you wanted to, you could apply the same principle to Q1 and give advantage to the man on horseback and disadvantage to the person on foot.

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