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  1. #1
    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    Mounted Characters/units

    Ok, in d20/3.0/3.5, if a character is mounted on a warhorse and is chargeing and or attacking, does his horse get to do damage too? i.e. hoof hoof bite? I seem to have seen different publications hint different ways and I can't cite anything so I'm a little confused. Any help to clear this up will be appreciated.
    Regards,
    Ausrick

  2. #2
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    I tend to think, due to the info below...

    <H5 id=movementDuringaCharge>Movement During a Charge

    You must move before your attack, not after. You must move at least 10 feet (2 squares) and may move up to double your speed directly toward the designated opponent.

    You must have a clear path toward the opponent, and nothing can hinder your movement (such as difficult terrain or obstacles). Here’s what it means to have a clear path. First, you must move to the closest space from which you can attack the opponent. (If this space is occupied or otherwise blocked, you can’t charge.) Second, if any line from your starting space to the ending space passes through a square that blocks movement, slows movement, or contains a creature (even an ally), you can’t charge. (Helpless creatures don’t stop a charge.)

    If you don’t have line of sight to the opponent at the start of your turn, you can’t charge that opponent.

    You can’t take a 5-foot step in the same round as a charge.

    If you are able to take only a standard action or a move action on your turn, you can still charge, but you are only allowed to move up to your speed (instead of up to double your speed). You can’t use this option unless you are restricted to taking only a standard action or move action on your turn.

    Attacking on a Charge
    </H5>After moving, you may make a single melee attack. You get a +2 bonus on the attack roll. and take a -2 penalty to your AC until the start of your next turn.

    A charging character gets a +2 bonus on the Strength check made to bull rush an opponent.

    Even if you have extra attacks, such as from having a high enough base attack bonus or from using multiple weapons, you only get to make one attack during a charge.


    Heavy Warhorse description
    A heavy warhorse can fight while carrying a rider, but the rider cannot also attack unless he or she succeeds on a Ride check.
    ... that your mount is unable to attack during a charge. Doing a charge seems to be hard, and having your horse bucking around beneath you to attack things will certainly offer a hindrance to your charge.

    That's MHO.

  3. #3

    Cool Horses and real world capabilities.

    I realize we are talking about game mechanics, but from a realistic POV, during a charge, if someone gets in the path of a charging horse, there are a few things that can happen:

    1) Target gets trampled
    2) Target gets bumped, and if you've ever had a horse "bump" into you, at speed (15-24 mph), this will knock you off balance if not dump you into the dirt. I've seen hefty adults bowled over by shetland ponies.
    3) the horse, if the DM knows about horse psychology, may not want to step on said person and go for a hole in the ranks.
    4) The recipient of the charge has to make a morale roll to see if they can face a 700 - 1600lb animal running toward them at full speed. It is an awesome and scary feeling.

    In game context, a horse would not have time to bite, kick, or strike with it's hooves at a full gallop, other than running the poor person over or knocking them aside.

    I would tend to think though that there should be some extra damage from the impact on a ground target.

    As an aside, realistically, you couldn't get a horse up to full speed in 10 feet. Think about how big an animal a horse really is and their body length.

    I've seen horses buck down a list in real life, only the skill of the rider kept him in the saddle and he still managed to hit his target, but it wasn't a clean strike. If something like that happened in the context of a game, the DM could apply a to hit penalty and probably a horsemanship check.

    Horse attacks (such as aires above ground) would come during a melee. Once the change is over, the rider throws the lance aside and the saddle weapon of choice comes out (hammer, mace, etc...). You guide your horse with the bridle hand or leg aides (horsemanship rolls). You'd have to be a really good horseman in the context of the game to use two weapons simultaneously without controlling the horse with the bit.

    I think only at this time would your warhorse be able to apply damage of it's own. It could bite, cow kick, rear and strike with front hooves. A rider would find it difficult to strike if your horse pitched forward and kicked out with it's hind legs. Same thing is true of the Capriole. Where unless you have a spear, your horse is completely off the ground and kicks out with its hind legs, you'd have some difficulty reaching a target on the ground with a shorter weapon. If you seen the Lippizzaners of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, you'll know the move I'm talking about.

    Sorry... I'm an equestrian in the real world and it tends to bleed over into my games.
    Last edited by Rhiannon Faramiriel; 12-21-2005 at 08:04 PM. Reason: added a thought.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    but, if you were just attacking say round after a charge, then yes?
    Regards,
    Ausrick

  5. #5
    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    and the horse gets to bite as well?
    Regards,
    Ausrick

  6. #6
    After the charge, you'd have to probably reroll an initiative to re-engage your opponent, unless you get bogged down in an melee immediately after the charge.

    In which case, the horse should be able to attack any foe near its rider.

    Oh yeah, horses can bite even with a bit in their mouth.

    There's an example of a medieval warhorse who after one battle was severly injured by halberds, and survived his wounds. In every battle that he was in after that, if anyone got near him with a halberd, the horse would immediately grab it with it's teeth and yank it from the wielder's hands.

    I would say that the horse would either get to bite, kick, or strike, but not a combo at the same time.

  7. #7
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    Anatomy of a mounted charge
    (culled from the PHB 3.5)

    A rider decides to charge an opponent on foot, and spurs his horse to move the requisite 10+ feet to do so. Both the mount and the rider suffer the +2 penalty to their AC, but both gain the +2 bonus to their attack rolls. The rider, being of higher elevation than the target will get an additional +1 bonus to his attack roll for 'higher ground'. The mount, being on the ground, will not.

    If the rider successfully makes a DC 5 Ride check, he can use both hands in combat, to (potentialy) gain a shield bonus to his AC or to wield a 2-handed weapon. If he makes a seperate Ride check at DC 10, he can fight in addition to his warhorse, else only the warhorse can engage in combat.

    This means that yes, a mount would get an attack, but only a single attack, since it moved when executing the charge. Since the Hoof attack is what is listed first (and has the highest attack bonus) for a Warhorse in the Monster Manual 3.5, the single attack would be a hoof strike at the target. Note that the horse will always get an attack, but the rider may not.

    Things get a bit more complex when the rider has Trample and attempts an overrun. Following the steps outlined on p. 157 of the PHB 3.5, tho opponent has no option to avoid the charge, and according to p. 102 under Trample,
    "Your mount may make one hoof attack against any target that you knock down, gaining the standard +4 bonus on attack rolls against prone targets."
    As a DM myself, I would rule that the mount would get an additional hoof attack, bringing the total attacks to two in this case.

    The Ride-by Attack feat allows you to continue moving after you do all this wonderful nastiness to your target and sets you up for a repeat performance on the next combat round...

    In the case of a combat round where the horse and rider did not move, the horse would get a full attack (hoof/hoof/bite) and if the rider made a DC 10 ride check, he too would get a full attack.
    "It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion -- and usually easier."

    - R. A. Heinlien, from The Collected works of Lazarus Long

  8. #8
    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    fun mechanics point:

    Trample [General]

    Prerequisites: Ride skill, Mounted Combat.

    Benefit: When the character attempts to overrun an opponent while mounted, the target may not choose to avoid the character.

    If the character knocks down the target, the character's mount may make one hoof attack against the target, gaining the standard

    +4 bonus on attack rolls against prone targets.


    As to what you were saying about being hard to still attack and have the horse attacking and thrashing about, thats why there is a ride check associated with it, I can't remember how high it is but I think I recall it being DC 20, meaning that a level one rider skilled all the way up in ride would have to roll depending on attributes 12-16 on a d20.

    What I wonder though is that a Heavy War Horse packs quite a wallop if it gets a full attack (i.e. doesn't move more than 5ft in the round), I'm not sure if getting the double damage with the lance and a +2 to hit at -2 ac is quite worth not getting to hit anything with the horse, which I would assume as Rhiannon said, is a very heavy fast moving weapon in and of itself. But what it comes down to is what the developers of the d20 system intend. I would honestly think that maybe the horse gets one attack as well? IF the rider only gets one attack no matter how his/her multiple attacks are figured, then maybe the horse would get only one attack, as they are technically individual creatures working in tandum of a sorts. so you could say the horse is chargeing, AND the rider is charging, sharing the same movement speed and initiative. I don't know I'm just rambling now.

    Another thing I would think is if your morale failed while you were being charged by a war horse, you would be more screwed than if you stood fast. The horseman could, with his faster movement and already charging momentum, run you down from behind.

    If any of you have the "Cry Havoc" d20 mass combat suppliment, this is what does not make sense about their cavalry unit chargeing a ground unit morale ruleset. They basically say if a cavalry unit during its turn charges a foot unit, that foot unit has to make a morale save before damage is dealt and if it fails it immediately routes a full move. The cavalry, if they have moves left can pursue, if they reach the foot unit again in the same turn the foot unit must make another morale check, or route another move. This continues until the foot unit stands firm or the cavalry runs out of moves.

    To me this is BS, I've always understood that one of the great attributes of cavalry was the ability to run down fleeing but slower moving combatants. and in this scenario, you could almost in one turn chase a unit all over the entire battlefield until your cavalry got tired and still not engage a single one of them. I rarely have such a "thats crap" attitude about a printed rule, especially one printed by someone so respected for his books in the RPG community, but maybe I'm just missing the point of that morale vrs cavarly charge rule.
    Regards,
    Ausrick

  9. #9
    Senior Member ausrick's Avatar
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    My previous post makes much more sense and sounds a lot less ignorant if you read it BEFORE Athos69's reply, Dang it takes me too long to type and press submit.
    Regards,
    Ausrick

  10. #10
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    When you charge you no longer get to do a full attack action and are limited to a single attack.

    The warhorse's primary attacks are its hooves with its bite as a secondary attack (order they are listed in the MM).

    So on a charge the horse could reasonably make an attack with a single hoof following all of the normal rules for a charging.

    Once in melee both rider and horse can perform full attacks if not moving. The rider is using the horse's move instead of his so he can perform full attack actions when riding.

    But in order for the rider to make any attacks on a warhorse (the animal can attack) he needs to make a ride check DC 5 as a free action.
    Duane Eggert

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