Jousting (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Jousting[edit]

Combat[edit]

Instead of the standard combat rules:

  • Both jousters strike at the same time.
  • The jousters will each only perform one attack regardless of their base attack bonus.
  • A blunted/crowned lance deals non-lethal damage and does not give a -4 penalty to hit.
  • Use touch Armor Class to determine if an attack roll hits. Use normal Armor Class to see if the attack causes damage.
  • "Head" Armor Class is as normal Armor Class + 2.
  • All Damage dealt is nonlethal damage.

Combat proceeds in the following steps:

  1. Each jouster declares their target: Waist-to-Neck or Head.
  2. Each jouster simultaneously rolls an attack roll.
  3. If the jouster targets the Waist-to-Neck, compare attack rolls to touch Armor Class to determine if the attack hits.
  4. If the jouster targets the Waist-to-Neck and hits, compare attack rolls to Armor Class to determine if the attack causes damage.
  5. If the jouster targets the Head, compare attack rolls to "head" touch Armor Class to determine if the attack hits.
  6. If the jouster targets the Head and hits, compare attack rolls to "Head" Armor Class to determine if the attack causes damage. The hit is an automatic critical (this does not affect the damage dealt to the lance).
  7. If the attack hits, roll for damage as normal against the lance only. A blunted/crowned lance is designed to break on impact, and has a hardness of 5 and 5 hit points.
  8. If the attack causes damage, roll for damage as normal against the lance and the oposing jouster (use the roll for both damage amounts). A blunted/crowned lance is designed to break on impact, and has a hardness of 5 and 5 hit points.
  9. If damaged, the jouster makes a Ride check DC 5 + Damage Dealt.
  10. If the Ride check fails, the jouster is knocked off. See the section regarding Getting Knocked Off the Horse.
  11. Based on the type of match determine if the match has ended. If it has not ended, continue with the next round.
  12. A Judge then decides the winner based on points (bribes help).

Types of Matches[edit]

Friendly Challenge[edit]

This manner of jousting is used by nobles who are wanting some friendly practice over a small wager.

Rules:

  • Match lasts 3 rounds. Unhorsing the opponent does not end the match.
  • Scoring is based on the standard scoring method.
  • Bribes cannot be used in this type of match.

Wager: 200-500 GP

Elimination Tournament[edit]

An Elimination Tournament takes place over several days and usually involves at least 16 competitors. Matches have different rules for the semi-finals and finals.

Rules (elimination rounds):

  • Match lasts 4 rounds. Unhorsing the opponent ends the match.
  • Scoring is based on the standard scoring method, however unhorsing an opponent is an instant victory.
  • Bribes can be used in this type of match.

Rules (semi-finals and finals):

  • Match lasts 6 rounds. Unhorsing the opponent does not end the match.
  • Scoring is based on the standard scoring method, except unhorsing an opponent more than once gives an extra point each time it is done.
  • Bribes can be used in this type of match.

Entrance Fee: 1000-5000 GP

1st Prize: 8 times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value

2nd Prize: 3 times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value

3rd Prize: 2 times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value

Grand Tournament[edit]

A Grand Tournament takes place over a week and usually involves at least 64 competitors. During the first four days, the competitors compete in 10 random matches. The top 32 jousters are permitted to enter the next stage of the tournament. In this stage, the rules are elimination tournament style rules until the semi-finals and finals.

Rules (random match rounds):

  • Match lasts 4 rounds. Unhorsing the opponent ends the match.
  • Scoring is based on the standard scoring method (meaning unhorsing an opponent does not guarantee victory).
  • Bribes can be used in this type of match, but they cost five times as much because there are extra judges to bribe.

Rules (elimination rounds):

  • Match lasts 5 rounds. Unhorsing the opponent ends the match.
  • Scoring is based on the standard scoring method (meaning unhorsing an opponent does not guarantee victory).
  • Bribes can be used in this type of match.

Rules (semi-finals and finals):

  • Match lasts 6 rounds. Unhorsing the opponent does not end the match.
  • Scoring is based on the standard scoring method, except unhorsing an opponent more than once gives an extra point each time it is done.
  • Bribes can be used in this type of match. They cost five times as much for the semi finals, and ten times as much for the finals because the judges are greedy.

Entrance Fee: 8000-15000 GP

1st Prize: 10 times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value

2nd Prize: 6 times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value

3rd Prize: 4 times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value

4th Prize: 3 times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value

Defense of Honor[edit]

Sometimes a knight will joust another knight in order to defend the honor of a maiden. This is often done as a defense in trial in order to prove the lady's innocence (the gods will smile upon the knight if the lady is innocent).

Rules:

  • Match lasts until opponent is unhorsed.
  • There is no scoring for this type of match.
  • After a knight is unhorsed, the duel continues. Combat starts as normal with an initiative roll, neither knight flat-footed.
  • The knight on horseback may stay on his horse to fight, but will suffer a -4 penalty to all charisma based checks with his countrymen for 3 months due to his dishonor. Should the knight dismount, he gains a +2 honor bonus to charisma based checks with his countrymen for 3 months.
  • The duel ends when a knight is either knocked unconsious (or killed) or a knight surrenders. Surrendering requires the knight to give up 10% of his assets (that worth in an item, land, gold, etc) or face a -8 penalty to all charisma based checks with his countrymen for 6 months due to his dishonor. This penalty also reduces his leadership score if applicable.

Rewards: The lady will usually give her favor to the knight that defended her. See the Favors section for more details.

Duel[edit]

When 2 knights of the same country have a dispute, a duel is often used as a solution. Duels are not meant to kill the other knight, and when a knight is winning by a large margin, he will usually use non-lethal damage if the opponent does not back down. Duels very rarely result in death, but if the battle ends that way, it is considered an honorable death.

Rules:

  • Match lasts until opponent is unhorsed.
  • There is no scoring for this type of match.
  • After a knight is unhorsed, the duel continues. Combat starts as normal with an initiative roll, neither knight flat-footed.
  • The knight on horseback may stay on his horse to fight, but will suffer a -4 penalty to all charisma based checks with his countrymen for 3 months due to his dishonor. Should the knight dismount, he gains a +2 honor bonus to charisma based checks with his countrymen for 3 months.
  • The duel ends when a knight is either knocked unconsious (or killed) or a knight surrenders. Surrendering requires the knight to give up 10% of his assets (that worth in an item, land, gold, etc) or face a -8 penalty to all charisma based checks with his countrymen for 6 months due to his dishonor. This penalty also reduces his leadership score if applicable.

Rewards: The winning knight is considered to have "won" the dispute. This means that the winner is now considered correct, even if new evidence proves otherwise. The reasoning is that the gods will only allow the correct knight to win the joust and thus win the dispute.

Getting Knocked Off the Horse[edit]

In most tournaments, falling off the horse is an instant loss (besides the finals and semi-finals).

Falling off your horse requires a Tumble check DC 15 + amount failed on the Ride check in order to avoid D6 non-lethal falling damage.

Common courtesy dictates that if an opponent unhorses a jouster, they must provide the opponent with something of value (usually their suit of armor or their horse). The opponent usually sells this back to the knight to be polite.


Point System[edit]

  • 1 lance1 for breaking the lance between the opponent's waist and neck.
  • 2 lances1 for breaking the lance on the opponent's head.
  • 3 lances1 for unhorsing an opponent
  • -5 If surrendering (Normally surrendering automatically loses the joust).

Note that the lances1 earned do not stack.

  1. Points are called "lances".

Judges[edit]

Judges for jousts come in all types: honest and fair, cynical, biased, and just plain greedy. Before a particular match, a jouster can attempt to make a bribe in order to gain a few extra points in the joust.

  • A Gather Information check DC 15 is required to find the judge.
  • The judge must then be bribed using a Diplomacy check DC 10 + bribe modifiers. Failure indicates the judge refuses. Failure by 5 or more means the judge spreads the word about the bribe request, dishonoring the knight and possibly throwing him in jail (DM's discretion). Being dishonored gives a -1 penalty to all charisma based checks with locals for 3 months.
  • Should the bribe succeed, the knight will gain bonuses to their score in the next match based on the bribe.


Bribes
Cost DC modifier Extra Points
1 GP +1 1
5 GP +1 2
20 GP +2 3
45 GP +3 4
100 GP +5 5
200 GP +7 6
500 GP +9 7
1000 GP +11 8
1750 GP +13 9
3000 GP +15 10
6000 GP +17 11
10000 GP +19 12
15000+ GP +21 13

Favors[edit]

When a knight crusades for a lady, he may earn a Favor from her. A Favor is typically given by a lady to a knight when she is supporting him in his next joust. Other more special favors are earned by defending a lady's honor. Favors grant bonuses to jousting for either one match or every match depending on the favor earned.

Single Match Favors[edit]

When a lady shows her support for a knight for a single match, she gives him a Single Match Favor. The favor lasts the entire joust, and then has no more effect. These favors have a stronger effect based on the social status of the lady giving the favor. A knight may only use one Single Match Favor per joust and it must be the first they accept (they cannot change their mind). This means if a peasant lady offers a favor for the final match, the knight accepts, and then the queen offers a favor later, the knight must refuse the queen.

DMs Note: Generally, let the player choose which favor they wish to have if they accept a favor. Favors are offered as a reward to players who exhibit any admirable traits outside of the joust such as bravery, loyalty, justice, honor, etc.


Single Match Favors
Name Bonus Social Status of Lady
Cloth Handkerchief +1 touch armor class peasant
Brass Charm +1 ride checks peasant
Family Crest saddle cloth +1 lance damage peasant
Fine Wool Handkerchief +3 touch armor class trades person
Bronze Charm +2 ride checks trades person
Family Crest horse dressings +2 lance damage trades person
Silk Handkerchief +5 touch armor class merchant
Silver Charm +4 ride checks merchant
Family Crest Flag +4 lance damage merchant
Fine Silk Handkerchief +7 touch armor class aristocrat
Gold Charm +6 ride checks aristocrat
Family Crest Flag and Dressings +6 lance damage aristocrat
Fine Silk Handkerchief +10 touch armor class nobility
Gold Charm +8 ride checks nobility
Family Crest Flag and Dressings +8 lance damage nobility
Fine Silk Handkerchief +12 touch armor class royalty
Platinum Charm +10 ride checks royalty
Royal Crest Flag and Dressings +10 lance damage royalty

Reputation Variant[edit]

Reputation is a major part of jousting and is the reason most joust. Reputation helps the jouster win the match.

  • Winning a jousting match gains 1 Reputation Point.
  • Losing 3 matches reduces Reputation Points by 1.
  • Surrendering reduces Reputation Points by 2.
  • Not giving a competitor a gift when unhorsed and a gift is required by courtesy reduces Reputation Points by 1.
  • Staying on the horse during a ground combat portion of a joust reduces reduces Reputation Points by 1.

Reputation Points are normally used in the Judge's decision. Reputation Points are divided by 3 and added on the knight's score for the match.

The DM can also use Reputation Points to determine other things such as who the Kings favorite Jouster is.


Aerial Jousting Variant[edit]

In some kingdoms, powerful knights ride mighty dragons into battle. These knights can participate in regular jousting tournaments on a horse, but their true passion lies in the air.

Aerial jousting follows the same rules as regular jousting except for a few modifications.

  • Jousters make Ride checks at DC 10 + damage dealt (divided by three) instead of the normal DC 5.
  • Add +1 to the Armor Class of the jousters for each 10 feet the mount has as its fly speed (a dragon with 160 fly speed adds +16 AC for example).
  • All wagers, entry fees, and rewards are multiplied by 10 due to the prestigious nature of the event.
  • Falling damage is treated as a normal 100 foot fall.

If using the Reputation Variant, the jouster must have at least 30 Reputation Points to compete.



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