Monday, April 2, 2012

Proficiency of the Week: Jousting, plus "What I was rolling during the Jousting Practice at Fort Palladian"

Link"While you were learning to [Do some proficiency], I was learning to Joust"
-Blessing "Bess" MacIntyre, who has 5 slots in Jousting

The (delayed) Proficiency of the Week for last friday has been rolled into an answer about what I was rolling during the Jousting practice you witnessed.

Proficiency of the week: Jousting
Jousting is a two-proficiency slot general non-weapon proficiency (anyone can use it) which is a CON -2 roll. While it requires DEX and STR, to joust, surviving a joust is mostly just about being way tougher than the other guy. Jousting also conveys knowledge of the various types and point systems. Jousting has a prerequisite skill of Land Based Riding: Horse (or other mount appropriate to specialized culture.) Suggested other proficiencies for knight-type characters wanting to be all Jousty are Etiquette, Heraldry, Lance Weapon Proficiencies, Crowd-Working, Taunting, First-Aid, Brawling and even Poetry.

Jousting bestows two benefits to combat (both are in the "special attacks" section of the core rules):
1. If you have the Jousting Proficiency, you take the "related weapons" penalty if using a lance you're not proficient (weapon proficiency) in. You know, in theory, how to use a lance in combat.
2.Special Attack: Pulling a Lance, Called shots with a lance: If the character has set a lance to charge while mounted, it is generally impossible to turn the lance aside at the last moment. However, if the character is a skilled jouster (has the Jousting Non-Weapon Proficiency) s/he can pull the lance aside with a successful jousting roll. Likewise, the slow movement of a lance renders called shots impossible unless a character is either specialized in lance or holds both a lance and jousting proficiency.

What was going on at Fort Palladian with Ian MacIntyre IV (called "Four") and the less experienced Knights:

The type of practice you witnessed was a Rennenjoust. The goal is to hit the opponent in the Shield (or grand guard). If you think this makes a Rennenjoust more gentle of a sport, go watch Full Metal Jousting and get back to me. Last year's more famous match in the timeframe of the old campaign (Which was also Lord Ian's (Ian MacIntyre II, Four's and Marc's granddad, Bess' dad) last joust, and which he won on points, but was unhorsed by Bess at the end, damnit, natural 20!) was a Stechenjoust. There are different rolls for that. It is run using combat rolls+a bonus from jousting proficiency. Stechenjoust is harder to calculate, because level and strength come into account. Anything run at a tourney is going to be the Rennenjoust, you're only going to see the Stechenjoust when there is a grudge match (or, in the case of Bess and Lord Ian, two opponents with deep respect for each other agree to do so. Stechenjoust armor will always be full plate, whereas the Rennenjoust armor may be as light as field plate, or even chain-and-plate, if it is strengthened enough for the judge(s) of the tourney to allow it. Since the people in this world are working knights, you will not find anyone in armor so heavy or stiff that they cannot mount a horse with steps (no cranes.) In both forms of jousting, armor that is positive on a "detect magic" is almost always disallowed. Note that even in practice, they are going to be using heavy armor, because the other option is death.

Every NPC jousting in the yard had the Jousting proficiency, the two dice being rolled were weighted according to these rolls, so, remembering a higher score is better, but a lower ROLL is better, a character with a 20 in Jousting versus a character with an 18 has an automatic -2 to his roll. IF they'd been riding horses that were not perfectly matched, they could've had up to an additional -4 for the horse training. Assume most excellent horses available at the tourneys are -3 to score against an untrained horse, something like Bess' horse which has exceptional intelligence + is an old hand at Jousting would have a -4. (Something smarter than a horse, like a unicorn, if it wasn't illegal, would have a -5) If horses are equivalent (and most would be) just ignore them for score purposes. Remember jousters need to have Landbased Riding:Horse, too.

Once bonuses calculated, the actual scores in "Jousting" are just ignored, and the rolls are as follows: Dice are rolled simultaneously, one color for each competitor. This was assuming it was a fair joust, otherwise numbers will be different. Assume since 90% of them were LG, more than half Paladins or Paladins-in-Training, everyone was fair:
d20 Roll:
20 (regardless of adjustments to roll) Severe Technical fault of some kind, should take other guy's roll into account. If other guy has very good roll, attribute it to horse or other conditions, if other guy also has a fault, may result in severe injury. Generally roll percentiles to assess level of screw up. Assume a 98-00 results in a dead horse or rider, an 01-20 results in a miss, and everything else is inbetween. Spectators watching may boo the terrible jouster. [In points, he gets a -5, if he's not disqualified.]
19 Jouster's own actions result in his being unhorsed, unless he rolls a successful Land Based Riding Roll with a penalty of 10. Whether or not he makes it, if opponent rolls 4 or lower, he falls and must roll a CON check to get back up, and spectators will comment on how terrible his riding was.
17-18 Miss, but hit opponent illegally. May damage opponent's armor (01-20), damage opponent's armor and do 1/2 Jousting lance damage ([1d3-1/1d2-2]/2) (21-50), damage opponent's armor and do full Jousting Lance damage (51-75), damage opponent's armor, do full Jousting Lance damage and unhorse him (76-90), Do serious injury to opponent (91-95), do serious injury to opponent's mount (96-100) [Scores no points, if seen as on purpose, may disqualify him]
16 Illegal move, such as being too far from strike zone, pass doesn't count, but whoever rolled the 16 is seen as 'more' at fault.
13-15 Miss, as a result of poor lance placement, not even come close. Swoosh.
9-12 Fine hit. A 9 is perfectly on target, a 12 is only just a hit. [1 point]
6-9 Broken lance [5 points]
5 Broken lance, opponent reels but stays on horse. [5 points]
2-4 Opponent is unhorsed and gets up [10 points]
1 Opponent is unhorsed and must roll a CON check to get back up. [10 points or automatic win]

In the free lists, where his cousins were just throwing a different person at him every pass, Sir Ian MacIntyre IV (Who'll I'll call Sir Four from here on) scored as follows. The four in a row before his dad intervened were:
First Opponent:
Sir Four (-5 to roll) rolls a 6 on the dice. His opponent rolled a 13. Opponent missed and was unhorsed.
Second Opponent:
Sir Four (-4 to roll) rolls an 8 on the dice. His opponent rolled a 8. Opponent broke a lance, but was unhorsed.
Third Opponent:
Sir Four (-5 to roll) rolls a 15 on the dice. His opponent rolled a 19. Opponent fell off his horse and was injured.
Fourth Opponent (the one who was terrified and almost ran away):
Sir Four (-7 to roll) rolls a 10 on the dice. His opponent rolled a 7. Opponent broke a lance but was unable to stay on his horse.
Fifth Opponent:
Sir Four rolls a 12. His father, who has a -3 to his roll against him, rolls a 5. Opponent unhorsed Sir Four handily, even as Four touched him.

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