14 April 2012

Combat House Rules

I prefer to run combat situations quickly, cleanly, and creatively. My players are not burdened with overcomplicated tactical rules and options; neither are they prevented from attempting crazy stunts if they so desire. It does help, however, to have a few more standard combat rules than are found in the rulebooks of Basic/Expert D&D and Labyrinth Lord. Here are some of my weapon-related house rules:

Just as a mounted attacker charging with a lance causes double the normal damage to an opponent, a defender armed with a spear or pike set to receive a charge causes double the normal damage to a charging opponent.

In any clash in which a mounted attacker is charging with a lance against a defender armed with a spear or pike set to receive that charge, both attacks are handled simultaneously and any resulting damage is dealt simultaneously.

Up to two ranks of spearmen or three ranks of pikemen in a single file may attack a single foe. If there is room for multiple files and the foe is large enough (such as a large monster), additional files may also attack the same foe.

Shields are useless against flails. A shield confers no armor class bonus when its bearer is attacked with a flail.

An attacker armed with a pole arm may opt to strike with the intent of dismounting a rider rather than causing damage. A successful hit indicates that the pole arm has hooked part of the rider's armor.

And, as I mentioned previously, wielders of two-handed weapons may not use shields, but are not otherwise penalized.

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