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  • Riding Edges

    I doubt I'm the first to bring this up, but I was wanting some Edges to flesh out horsemanship for a setting wherein such is prevalent. So I figured I'd bring some ideas here and see what might stick.

    Anyway, the obvious first step is a Riding equivalent to the Ace Edge. The easiest thing there is duplicating the edge, just giving the advantages to Riding and mounts.

    Another idea is an Edge building off of the Fast Targets rule to give a -2 to hit the rider for every 10" of movement. Maybe also an Improved version that reduces the number of inches that have to be moved, or some other bonus?

    Perhaps an Edge to give a bonus to parry while mounted, or avoid the free attack from moving away from melee?

    A Horse Racer Edge, that lets a character pull extra speed from their mount, basically granting it an equivalent of Fleet Footed?

    A Mountain Rider Edge to reduce the penalties for difficult ground?

    Maybe some sort of Parthian Shot Edge? No idea how that might work though.

    Any and all input welcome.

  • #2
    Some things to keep in mind:
    Mounts are creatures, and can make Soak rolls of their own if they have a benny supply (including the GM supply that can be spent on any NPC).
    As animals accompanying the character, mounts benefit from the Beast Bond edge.
    As NPCs, a particular mount can have its own Edges, Hindrances, and Traits.

    That said, if mounted combat is supposed to be a big deal in the setting, than an Ace edge of some kind (which can be as simple as expanding Ace to include the Riding skill) is very appropriate.
    A Setting Rule that lets mounted characters benefit from the Fast Targets vehicle rule is pretty good.
    A Setting Rule that expands Beast Bond so that edges like Dodge and Block can benefit the mount as well as the rider may be a good idea. This could be in addition to, or in place of, mounted Ace.
    For horse archers, Steady Hands becomes an essential edge. Quick Draw is a popular one for being able to shoot as long as possible.
    You may want something like the Charge edge in Rifts, but for mounted combat. If you make a Fighting roll then you can ignore the MAP for making your horse Run during your turn. I would not do a ranged version, simply because ranged combat is already advantageous over Fighting combat in any sort of cavalry situation.

    You'll probably want to work up several different types of horse - chargers for heavy cavalry, hill breeds for mountain tribes, etc. The existing Riding / War division provides a really solid starting point.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sgt Anjay View Post
      I doubt I'm the first to bring this up, but I was wanting some Edges to flesh out horsemanship for a setting wherein such is prevalent. So I figured I'd bring some ideas here and see what might stick.
      If horses and mounted combat are very prevalent in the setting, I would suggest an actual Setting Rule that specifies certain Edges apply to mounted combat as well (Block, Counterattack, Dodge, Extraction, etc.). I would even expand Sidekick to apply to a heroes dedicated mount, turning it into a full-blown Wildcard.

      Another idea is an Edge building off of the Fast Targets rule to give a -2 to hit the rider for every 10" of movement. Maybe also an Improved version that reduces the number of inches that have to be moved, or some other bonus?
      The fast targets rule is meant to simulate real life stituations where relative speed is a factor. Whether this applies to mounts is questionable. I can certainly see the benefit applied if it is Trapped as skillful maneuvering, though, and not necessarily as speed. But then Dodge does a good job of simulating that, and I would be careful of allowing too many "stackable" Edges.

      Perhaps an Edge to give a bonus to parry while mounted, or avoid the free attack from moving away from melee?
      Let players use Block and Extraction for mounted combat.

      A Horse Racer Edge, that lets a character pull extra speed from their mount, basically granting it an equivalent of Fleet Footed?
      Sure! That Other System 3.5 had a Spur Mount "edge" that dealt damage to the horse to increase speed. I think you can get away with it without hurting the creature, though.

      A Mountain Rider Edge to reduce the penalties for difficult ground?
      That might be more of an Edge for the horse, rather than the rider. I like Val's idea of having multiple breeds. This can open the door for other narrative elements... breeds without hairy fetlocks might be at more risk of frostbite if taken into snowy regions; draft horses might have a lower Pace overall but can move through mud and up inclines without much issue, etc.

      Maybe some sort of Parthian Shot Edge? No idea how that might work though.
      I'd hate to sound like I'm stiffling creativity here, but there's nothing in the rules that really prevent you from doing this normally. I guess you can call for an Agility roll first if it really bothered you, but I personally wouldn't worry about it since I can't think of any real obvious benefit that warrants an Edge.

      Good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        There's Trained Rider and Trick Rider on my website.
        My blog: Savage Stuff. I've also written some free tools and supplements.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
          Some things to keep in mind:
          Mounts are creatures, and can make Soak rolls of their own if they have a benny supply (including the GM supply that can be spent on any NPC).
          As animals accompanying the character, mounts benefit from the Beast Bond edge.
          As NPCs, a particular mount can have its own Edges, Hindrances, and Traits.

          That said, if mounted combat is supposed to be a big deal in the setting, than an Ace edge of some kind (which can be as simple as expanding Ace to include the Riding skill) is very appropriate.
          A Setting Rule that lets mounted characters benefit from the Fast Targets vehicle rule is pretty good.
          A Setting Rule that expands Beast Bond so that edges like Dodge and Block can benefit the mount as well as the rider may be a good idea. This could be in addition to, or in place of, mounted Ace.
          For horse archers, Steady Hands becomes an essential edge. Quick Draw is a popular one for being able to shoot as long as possible.
          You may want something like the Charge edge in Rifts, but for mounted combat. If you make a Fighting roll then you can ignore the MAP for making your horse Run during your turn. I would not do a ranged version, simply because ranged combat is already advantageous over Fighting combat in any sort of cavalry situation.

          You'll probably want to work up several different types of horse - chargers for heavy cavalry, hill breeds for mountain tribes, etc. The existing Riding / War division provides a really solid starting point.
          I did almost forget about beast bond, though I'm not surprised since for the case of a rider and mount specifically it feels anemic compared to Ace. So I'd agree something that expands or replaces beast bond would be in order. And yes, a creature can be customized which is an option I should keep in mind; I guess my question there then turns to good guidelines for when/if an extra should get an advancement, specifically in terms of a mount.

          Totally agreed Steady Hands and Quick Draw are going to be front and center.

          I don't 100% understand why someone riding a motorcycle that moved 10"+ would be -1 to hit but someone on a horse at a gallop that moved 10"+ wouldn't be, so yeah I would explicitly include cavalry in the Fast Targets rule explicitly in any setting, doubly so where cavalry are supposed to be important. But maybe I just think a dude riding through even a modern or futuristic setting and raising hell is cool, so my Rule of Cool filter is on. :P

          My only quibble with the Everything is a Setting Rule approach is that it isn't, say, a Steppe Nomad setting where everyone rides before they can walk. Riders are a significant group and important, but aren't universal and stand apart from the dedicated "foot". So creating tools to engender that "stand apart" feel is part of my motivation. Would an Edge that gives a "Your mount can benefit from this list of Edges if you have them" benefit be appropriate? That would indeed cover most of the bases.

          And yeah, getting into the weeds of several horse breeds will definitely be a must for that feel.

          Comment


          • #6
            As a setting rule, allow the Leadership edges to apply to the mount.
            'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'we're all mad here.'

            The Order of the Dice... OF DOOM!

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            • #7
              Heh, a lot of what I wrote above applies here too, but you also bring up some good points soo....
              Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post

              If horses and mounted combat are very prevalent in the setting, I would suggest an actual Setting Rule that specifies certain Edges apply to mounted combat as well (Block, Counterattack, Dodge, Extraction, etc.). I would even expand Sidekick to apply to a heroes dedicated mount, turning it into a full-blown Wildcard.
              See above for my thoughts on the Setting Rule route, with an Edge to designate "You are one of The Riders and so these Edges also apply to your mount/mounted combat".

              A mount as a Sidekick is a cool concept, though of course it opens you up to the burnt Edge for a dead Sidekick thing. Building a mount using character rules has got to be pretty interesting though.




              Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
              The fast targets rule is meant to simulate real life stituations where relative speed is a factor. Whether this applies to mounts is questionable. I can certainly see the benefit applied if it is Trapped as skillful maneuvering, though, and not necessarily as speed. But then Dodge does a good job of simulating that, and I would be careful of allowing too many "stackable" Edges.
              I think there have been quite a lot of generations of real life foot soldiers, foot archers, and even mounted archers who would agree that relative speed was very much a factor in their lives. And again, I don't see how, mechanically, a motorcycle rider and a horseman should rate differently.

              But how about this question, taking the horse aspect out of it: If, you are commonly a rider on a vehicle for which Fast Targets applies, would Edges to improve the Fast Targets benefit like I suggested be a worthwhile avenue? Increasing the penalty to hit, and/or decreasing the minimum distance that must be covered?



              Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
              Let players use Block and Extraction for mounted combat.
              Yeah, Block and Extraction were what I had in mind when I brought those ideas up.



              Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
              Sure! That Other System 3.5 had a Spur Mount "edge" that dealt damage to the horse to increase speed. I think you can get away with it without hurting the creature, though.
              Cool. So then, my next question would be what are logical Prereqs. Agility and Riding d8? Or maybe Knowledge (horses) and Riding d8? Just Riding, but maybe at d10? Also, it would probably make sense to have the Edge require the horse have a light load at the most to be effective, I would think.


              Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
              That might be more of an Edge for the horse, rather than the rider. I like Val's idea of having multiple breeds. This can open the door for other narrative elements... breeds without hairy fetlocks might be at more risk of frostbite if taken into snowy regions; draft horses might have a lower Pace overall but can move through mud and up inclines without much issue, etc.
              Yes, there's a lot that can be done with horse breeds, and I do need to keep that in mind. So I need to keep that in mind. On the other side of it, of course, is that people who live in the mountains probably have skills and experience with dealing with the mountains, in addition to using horses that are good in the mountains; or, to put it another way, they will be better at riding in the mountains regardless or what horse is being used than someone from the plains. I'll grant that might not be worth an Edge, though, especially if there is an Edge already in play that lets a rider apply certain Edges to their mount.



              Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
              I'd hate to sound like I'm stiffling creativity here, but there's nothing in the rules that really prevent you from doing this normally. I guess you can call for an Agility roll first if it really bothered you, but I personally wouldn't worry about it since I can't think of any real obvious benefit that warrants an Edge.
              Nah, that's fine, I was just trying to think of notable historical cavalry techniques. Fact is most can probably be replicated through basic play or at most a Riding application of existing Edges or Agility Tricks.




              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Zadmar View Post
                There's Trained Rider and Trick Rider on my website.
                Oh, nice. Trained Rider covers a Riding version of Ace pretty well, thumbs up, and the Trick Rider is both useful and adds to the RP feel of it all. Consider them used.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SavageErica View Post
                  As a setting rule, allow the Leadership edges to apply to the mount.
                  I could like this as a Setting Rule. Leadership is a whole bunch of related Edges, and I don't know how I feel about adding that whole lot to a "these Edges apply while mounted" Edge.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sgt Anjay View Post
                    I could like this as a Setting Rule. Leadership is a whole bunch of related Edges, and I don't know how I feel about adding that whole lot to a "these Edges apply while mounted" Edge.
                    They'd be pretty balanced. Look at what the edges actually do: bonus to recover from Shaken, +1 Toughness, +1 Fighting damage, and stuff that's irrelevant to a horse with a rider. It would reward a commander with more effective mounts for his unit (and self) without being overpowering.

                    Having an edge that only allows other edges to apply to a mount is a waste. That's why I suggested expanding Beast Bond - by itself, Beast Bond isn't very good, but if it is also the gateway edge for allowing some Combat edges to apply to your mount then it is suddenly the Natural Horseman edge. It is good, but not required, for a cavalry focused character, which is where such an edge should be.
                    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Zadmar View Post
                      There's Trained Rider and Trick Rider on my website.
                      My only issue with Trained Rider is the +2 to Riding rolls is also added to the Soak rolls; which I think is a scosche overpowered. I am now thinking of Born in the Saddle from the Stone and a Hard Place PPC; which grants +2 to Riding rolls and lets Riding (with a -2 penalty to offset the normal bonus) be used to soak for the mount. Beyond that, maybe come up with an Edge which allows the rider to share their Combat Edges with their steed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sgt Anjay View Post
                        See above for my thoughts on the Setting Rule route, with an Edge to designate "You are one of The Riders and so these Edges also apply to your mount/mounted combat".
                        Yeah, that works.
                        An Edge than basically "unlocks" all the other Combat Edges to be available while mounted. The player would still need to buy the other individual Edges though, so the requirements for "primer" Edge should be fairly entry level (e.g., Novice, Fighting d6, Riding d6)

                        A mount as a Sidekick is a cool concept, though of course it opens you up to the burnt Edge for a dead Sidekick thing. Building a mount using character rules has got to be pretty interesting though.
                        I think using the Chargen rules is a bit much. I would just increase a trait or two, give it a horsey Edge, 3 wound levels, and call it a day. If the horse dies you can apply the Edge to a replacement horse after X amount of time.

                        I think there have been quite a lot of generations of real life foot soldiers, foot archers, and even mounted archers who would agree that relative speed was very much a factor in their lives. And again, I don't see how, mechanically, a motorcycle rider and a horseman should rate differently.
                        From a practical standpoint, a horse has Pace 8, d10 run die... so it's maximum Pace is 18. The best you would ever get out of Fast Target is -1. If that's worth it to you to try and compare angles, movement, and relative speed each round, that's fine. I won't armchair your game.

                        But how about this question, taking the horse aspect out of it: If, you are commonly a rider on a vehicle for which Fast Targets applies, would Edges to improve the Fast Targets benefit like I suggested be a worthwhile avenue? Increasing the penalty to hit, and/or decreasing the minimum distance that must be covered?
                        Fast Target is a rule that applies penalties based on a difference of movement rates. What sort of Edge do you think should increase that penalty besides Edges that literally increase the speed of the horse?
                        And if the horse is moving less than 10" in a round, doesn't that mean that it isn't moving fast anymore. What sort of Edge would allow you to benefit from a slow moving "fast target"? I mean, unless it based of off maneuverability and not speed...

                        Cool. So then, my next question would be what are logical Prereqs. Agility and Riding d8? Or maybe Knowledge (horses) and Riding d8? Just Riding, but maybe at d10? Also, it would probably make sense to have the Edge require the horse have a light load at the most to be effective, I would think.
                        Depends on what the actual benefit is. Fleet-footed should be an Edge the horse itself takes, not something the rider takes. So if we want to spur the mount for a short burst of speed, what would that look like and what would be the benefit?
                        Deciding what the requirements are before you even have an Edge written out is like putting the cart before the, um... uhh...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you're spurring a mount then you're making it Run. If a rider is really consistent at making a horse run faster then an ability that adds a constant to the running die makes sense. Maybe it increases all of your mount's running results by +1 (consistently better and objectively faster top speed), or maybe the mount's running die is replaced by a die that is one step lower but has +2 (so a Riding Horse would have Running d8+2 for this rider, and a War Horse would have Running d6+2) representing a rider that consistently gets the best performance from mounts without actually making mounts faster.
                          I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post

                            They'd be pretty balanced. Look at what the edges actually do: bonus to recover from Shaken, +1 Toughness, +1 Fighting damage, and stuff that's irrelevant to a horse with a rider. It would reward a commander with more effective mounts for his unit (and self) without being overpowering.

                            Having an edge that only allows other edges to apply to a mount is a waste. That's why I suggested expanding Beast Bond - by itself, Beast Bond isn't very good, but if it is also the gateway edge for allowing some Combat edges to apply to your mount then it is suddenly the Natural Horseman edge. It is good, but not required, for a cavalry focused character, which is where such an edge should be.
                            Ok, I totally follow the logic of that. A "these edges apply to a mount/mounted combat" is not enough, neither is just Beast Bond. So put them together and make a Natural Horseman Edge. At that point. That does invalidate the usefulness of "roll soak for your mount" of Ace/Trained Rider, though, doesn't it? Would that make that Edge not worth it anymore?

                            Ugh, I would have thought I'd be better at gauging Edges but sometimes I feel like they can be really subjective.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hmm, looking at the book, it says a Riding Horse has Pace 10, d8 run die, not Pace 8 d10 run die. So even without running you can get that -1 against a relatively stationary target. And that's assuming base riding horses, as opposed to more specialized horses, or of course fantasy/magical breeds; the Elven Horse from Fantasy Companion, for example, has a d12 run die, which is enough to get a -2.

                              I do take the point about a bonus from going fast increasing without actually going any faster being...unintuitive. It would take agility/maneuvers, which is covered by Dodge.

                              As for a proposed Horse Racer edge, my gut would be the static +1 to Running rolls, higher average better top speed. That sounds like a winning jockey.

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