Sunday, March 25, 2018

Optional Rules: Jousting

This article only covers tournament jousting, not combat jousting. General tournament rules will follow in a later article. These optional rules were written for Swords & Wizardry, using the single saving throw rules.

In a tournament joust, the normal rules for initiative are not used. Instead, both parties are considered attacking at the same time. One normal attack roll is made by each rider during a pass. These attack rolls may be modified by any Strength modifier "to-hit" bonuses. Armor class is NOT modified by Dexterity.

Any modified roll of 11 or better counts as a touch, for 1 Point. The lance does not shatter.

Any modified roll that hits the opponent proper (die roll hits AC 2 [17]), the lance does 2d6 (plus Strength modifier) non-lethal damage, and shatters, counting as 2 Points. Any attack roll that unhorses an opponent shatters the lance, but only counts as 4 Points, not 6.

Any roll of natural 1 unintentionally hits the opponent's horse, usually resulting in paying a monetary penalty to the opponent, and possible disqualification if deemed intentional.

Any roll of natural 20 automatically unhorses the target, no Saving Throw is used.

Riders that are properly hit must roll a Saving Throw, with failure resulting in being unhorsed. Falling from a mount does 1d6 non-lethal damage.

This Saving Throw is modified (up or down) by any difference between the rider's and the opponent's Strength "damage" modifiers, plus any difference between their mounts.

Mount Modifier:
+2   Heavy Warhorse - Destrier
+1   Medium Warhorse - Courser
+0   Light Warhorse - Hobby
-1    Poor Warhorse - Rouncey

Four passes (tilts) will be made, or until one or both riders are unhorsed, whichever is first. It is possible to tie during advancement, but the final challenge to determine champion must be settled.

1 Point - A hit upon the opponent's shield (touch)
2 Point - A proper hit upon an opponent, lance shatters
4 Point - Unhorsing  an opponent, lance shatters but still only counts as 4 Points

Disqualifications occur for the following:
  • Intentionally striking an opponent's mount
  • Intentionally using a non-blunted lance
  • Not bringing one's mount up to speed (moving too slow) during the pass
  • Not presenting a proper target (funny business in the saddle like "trick riding")
  • Striking an opponent that has dropped their lance
  • Intentionally striking an opponent to kill/harm
  • The use of magic at any time
  • Healing while on the field

Tournament rules are in place for the safety of participants. The games are a matter of honor and skill, with the risk of severe injury and death reduced when possible. Participants that intentionally cheat, reduce the status of the tournament and cheapen the affair.

The use of magic is prohibited. The use of unusual or enhanced mounts is prohibited, including a paladin's special warhorse. Magical healing during the tournament is prohibited.

Participants must wear plate mail, helmet, and shield. They must also use a warhorse. These rules ensure that only properly trained mounts are used, and the participants are protected.. with the unspoken understanding that the cost of such equipment also keeps "the rabble" out of competing.

The DM may create additional rules or change rules as they wish, but MUST announce the rules at the start of the tournament.

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