Steed Attacks

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Toa Lewa
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Steed Attacks

#1 Postby Toa Lewa » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:57 pm

How do you deal with "steed attacks"? Do you use the fighting skill of the animal or the fighting skill of the rider?

Last night, one of my players was riding a buffalo (used the Bull stats from Savage Worlds Deluxe). They were facing some Rock People in the Slipstream setting, and they were having trouble damaging them because of a toughness of 11. My sister (looking at the Buffalo's strength of D12 +2) decided to ram the Rock Man with the buffalo. We quickly read the situational rules on mounted combat, but I didn't see anything about how to have the steed make an attack instead of the rider. I just made a ruling, and we used the buffalo's horns as the weapon (Str + d6). I figured since her character was directing the buffalo's actions, the rider's fighting would be used instead of the buffalo's fighting skill (d4). Since her character's riding was lower than fighting, we used the riding skill (d6) for the attack roll. The roll was a success, so we rolled for damage. The buffalo also moved 7", so 4 damage was added to the roll. I calculated damage as follows: Str + d6 + 4 = d12 + 2 + d6 + 4. The roll was high enough to kill the last standing Rock Man.

Did I do the above correctly?

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Re: Steed Attacks

#2 Postby Ryche » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:31 pm

We just treat trained mounts as Extras. So they go on the rider's Initiative and would use their own Fighting for the attack. Most of the time we give them the gang-up bonus from the rider. If the attack hit then, in this case it would be Str+d6. The extra bonus of 4 damage for moving 7" is huge... unless it has a Special Ability to do extra damage when charging.

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Re: Steed Attacks

#3 Postby SteelDraco » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:48 pm

Ryche wrote:We just treat trained mounts as Extras. So they go on the rider's Initiative and would use their own Fighting for the attack. Most of the time we give them the gang-up bonus from the rider. If the attack hit then, in this case it would be Str+d6. The extra bonus of 4 damage for moving 7" is huge... unless it has a Special Ability to do extra damage when charging.

That's how I would do it as well. The Fighting is the mount's, not the rider's, though I can see the logic you used. Bulls (which is the stat block he said he was using) do get +4 to damage rolls if they move at least 6" before the attack. The damage calculation (Str+d6+4 breaking down to 1d12+1d6+6) looks right to me as well.

From the SWD, Mounted Combat in the Situational Combat Rules section.

Mounts aren’t dealt Action Cards—they act with their riders. Animals specifically noted as being trained to fight (such as warhorses) may attack any threat to their front during their riders’ action. Untrained horses do not fight unless riderless, and even then usually only if cornered.

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JamesG
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Re: Steed Attacks

#4 Postby JamesG » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:10 pm

I agree that in general it should be the mount's Fighting skill that is used when the mount attacks, But in this specific instance the rider was attempting to "steer" the mount into a full speed ram. In that circumstance I think using the rider's Riding skill is a reasonable GM decision. Though I'd apply a MAP to it if the rider was performing their own attack as part of the action.

But yeah, for a more typical bite/kick attack, the mount's Fighting skill for sure.

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Re: Steed Attacks

#5 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:09 pm

JamesG wrote:I agree that in general it should be the mount's Fighting skill that is used when the mount attacks, But in this specific instance the rider was attempting to "steer" the mount into a full speed ram. In that circumstance I think using the rider's Riding skill is a reasonable GM decision.

Yeah, it's reasonable.
I might have used a Cooperative Roll instead (maybe even Riding instead of Fighting), but there are a lot of good options. Which is something I love about Savage Worlds. :D
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Re: Steed Attacks

#6 Postby Deskepticon » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:57 pm

I think the OP made the right call. There is a distinction between the mount simply attacking whatever is in front of it and the rider making a conscious decision to direct the mount's attack.

In which case replacing the mount's Fighting skill with the rider's Riding skill is more than reasonable. Glad to see it all worked out.

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Re: Steed Attacks

#7 Postby Toa Lewa » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:04 pm

I think the OP made the right call. There is a distinction between the mount simply attacking whatever is in front of it and the rider making a conscious decision to direct the mount's attack.

In which case replacing the mount's Fighting skill with the rider's Riding skill is more than reasonable. Glad to see it all worked out.


Thanks for the feedback everyone! I think in the future, I'm going to do it this way. If a player wants to make two attacks (one with the rider and one with the steed), the fighting skill used is the steed's. If the rider wants to direct his steed in an attack, he can, and he uses his character's fighting skill; however, this uses up both the steed and the rider's actions, so the rider can't attack with his weapon.

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Re: Steed Attacks

#8 Postby Deskepticon » Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:47 am

Toa Lewa wrote:Thanks for the feedback everyone! I think in the future, I'm going to do it this way. If a player wants to make two attacks (one with the rider and one with the steed), the fighting skill used is the steed's. If the rider wants to direct his steed in an attack, he can, and he uses his character's fighting skill; however, this uses up both the steed and the rider's actions, so the rider can't attack with his weapon.


I wouldn't disallow the rider from making an attack of his own. Just that if the rider were directing the steed to attack (as opposed to a trained war-mount attacking of its own volition) then the player uses the Riding skill to roll the attack. If he also wants to swing a sword or set a lance it's a standard Multi-action (remember, you can attack mid-movement, slashing as you charge by).

However, the official rules aren't very clear on this particular circumstance, and there are many "correct" interpretations. It may be that the steed simply uses it's own Fighting die and the rider can also make an attack normally. But to me it feels like if you are causing your mount to charge as a prelude to attack it falls under the realm of "tricks."

But to each their own.

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Re: Steed Attacks

#9 Postby JamesG » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:33 am

Toa Lewa wrote: If the rider wants to direct his steed in an attack, he can, and he uses his character's fighting skill.
(emphasis mine)

Did you mean to say using the character's Riding skill? Because while I feel that circumstances can lead to that being a good GM call, I can't think of many circumstances where I'd let the rider substitute his Fighting skill.

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Re: Steed Attacks

#10 Postby Brickulos » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:34 am

JamesG wrote:
Toa Lewa wrote: If the rider wants to direct his steed in an attack, he can, and he uses his character's fighting skill.
(emphasis mine)

Did you mean to say using the character's Riding skill? Because while I feel that circumstances can lead to that being a good GM call, I can't think of many circumstances where I'd let the rider substitute his Fighting skill.


If a mounted warrior is supposed to use the lower of their Fighting or Riding when attacking, then that should, at the very least, be the same standard for attacking with their mount.

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Re: Steed Attacks

#11 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:52 pm

"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

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Re: Steed Attacks

#12 Postby Deskepticon » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:37 pm

Thank you ValhallaGH for doing the legwork on those links.
Which brings a question to mind: does anyone know of any mount-specific Edges out there? I'm thinking a Professional Edge might be in order.

I'll poke around on my own, but figured I mention it in case anyone had actually written one up or knows of one.

<edit>
Well, naturally Zadmar had a couple:

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Re: Steed Attacks

#13 Postby JamesG » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:12 pm

Deskepticon wrote:does anyone know of any mount-specific Edges out there? I'm thinking a Professional Edge might be in order.

Surprisingly even the Fantasy Companion had no Edges for mounted combat. (Unless I missed something). The Knight Edge requires Riding d8 but does not actually give any benefit to Riding or mounted combat.

Deadlands Reloaded has the Texas Ranger Edge that requires Riding d6 but again offers no benefits to Riding or mounted combat.

The Steady Hands Edge in the core rules is helpful to mounted warriors utilizing Ranged attacks.

There are some Edges in the Shaintar setting that improve Riding and/or Mounted Combat.

That's all I could come up with, but I don't have every setting.

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Re: Steed Attacks

#14 Postby ValhallaGH » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:17 pm

Useful "riding" edges in the core rules:
Steady Hands (mounted archery or ranged combat), Beast Bond (share bennies with mounts), all Leadership edges (assuming the GM allows them to apply to Animal intelligence followers). All of those benefit cavalry but have uses for other character types.

A few people (including myself) have proposed a mount-equivalent of Ace, but I'm unaware of any that have been published.

The only "mount specific" edge I'm aware of is Pale Horse from Deadlands: Reloaded. A Legendary edge that provides a unique Wild Card riding horse to the character, one capable of gaining Advances, much like the Sidekick edge provides a Wild Card human companion capable of advancing.
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Re: Steed Attacks

#15 Postby Snate56 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:15 pm

There are Trademark vehicles... why not a Trademark mount?



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Re: Steed Attacks

#16 Postby Freemage » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:16 pm

Actually, I kind of like the idea of building a mount as a Sidekick. You'd have to dig into the custom race rules, but it shouldn't be impossible to work out stats for a horse 'race' that way. Hm...

Hollywood Horse
Advantages (+12)
Mighty Sinews: Increase Strength by one die-type (+2)
Beast of Burden: Brawny Edge (+2)
Leaper: Double Jump distance, add +1d6" w/Strength roll (+1)
Hooves: Str+ d6 damage (+1)
Size +2 (+2)
Pace 12, Run Die d12+1(+4)
Disadvantages (-10)
Animal Intellect: -2 to all Smarts rolls (-3)
Uneducated: -2 to all Common Knowledge Rolls (-2)
Whinny & Nicker: Cannot Speak (-1)
Trusty Steed: Loyal (-1) OR Ornery: Stubborn (-1) OR Bucking Bronco: Mean (-1)
Horses Don't Read: Illiterate (-1)
Outsider (-1)
Minor Phobia: Snakes (-1)


Okay, that was silly, but I kind of like the outcome. Note: If this was for a setting with Arcane Backgrounds, the "Barred Path" drawback could be taken, using any points gained to add to Pace further.

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Re: Steed Attacks

#17 Postby Jounichi » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:29 pm

JamesG wrote:
Deskepticon wrote:does anyone know of any mount-specific Edges out there? I'm thinking a Professional Edge might be in order.

Surprisingly even the Fantasy Companion had no Edges for mounted combat. (Unless I missed something). The Knight Edge requires Riding d8 but does not actually give any benefit to Riding or mounted combat.

Deadlands Reloaded has the Texas Ranger Edge that requires Riding d6 but again offers no benefits to Riding or mounted combat.

The Steady Hands Edge in the core rules is helpful to mounted warriors utilizing Ranged attacks.

There are some Edges in the Shaintar setting that improve Riding and/or Mounted Combat.

That's all I could come up with, but I don't have every setting.

If the horse is allowed to take advances, either as a Wild Card in Deadlands or as a companion via Beast Master, then the Natural Warrior chain is an option.

And going back to Deadlands for a second, Born in the Saddle from the Stone and a Hard Place player's guide adds a flat +2 to the Riding skill.
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