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Jousting match - how would you handle it by RAW?

Rules Questions

we have 2 mounted fighters on horses, charging each other with lances.
outcome can be: miss, hit and damage, hit and no damage, hit and unhourse.

how would you handle it with the game rules?
there would be need to be some sort of ride check, I'm sure, and attack... but how exactly ?

I think a 3rd level warrior with with +10 to ride, should win against a 10th level fighter with no ranks in ride...

how would you accomplish that?

Well, mounted combat is covered pretty well, there is a feat called unseat, and if you want you can always change the rules to mean winning init means your ride by hit is resolved first, since it sounds like you want them to be simultaneous, and use blunted lances that deal non lethal damage.

good tip.
ok, I came up with a set of rule that gives a significant advantage to character specializing in mounted combat: what do you think ?

Jousting Match rules:

1. charge: ride check 15, if fails get -20 to all of the next rolls.
2. attack: to hit opponent’s shield: AC 15, * if hit, gain 1 point in the game.
3. Dismount: Player with the ‘dismount’ feat can try a bullrush to dismount opponent.
Player without the feat can try a strength check against opponent CMD (much harder).
* Successfully dismounting counts as 2 points.
4. reprocation: if he was hit, the player get’s a cumulative -2 to all checks, dismount: -4 to all checks.
5. Repeat until 1 player achieve 3 points.

A level 5 fighter with good feat selction and equipment can get the +15 to ride - thus always suceed in the ride check, and has about +10 to hit - needing to roll only 5 to score a hit.
A level 10 warrior with no ride, may often fail the ride check, gain a -20 to hit, for a total of about -2\+2 - will have much ahrder time to hit and\or dismount.

There is a jousting match in the second-to-last part of Kingmaker.

I forgot how the rules worked there. I wonder if I should use the ones Iron here has instead.

For those without the unseat feat I'd say just a simultanous bull ruch attempt that doesn't provoke even if one doesn't have imp. bullrush.

If you fail by less than 5 you hit and the lance breaks but you fail to unhorse the other one.

Those with the unseat feat can attack to deal damage and if they hit attempt bull ruch as per the feat but doing so is considered unsportsmanlike and can have consequenses.
On the other hand hitting AC and dealing damage will shatter your lance even if you fail your bullruch by more than 5, giving you at least a one point.

Normally I think a broken lance nets 1 point, a unhorsed opponent nets 3 points.

I think those rules work well, because it allows a lot of specialisation, because imp. bullrush gives +2 to CMB and CMD, some classes or favored class bonuses can add to either or the other so a dedicated jouster will most likely win most of his matches.

I think we are talking about a non combat situation like a knights tournament. For a combat there is a lot of RAW.

For a tournament this suggestions maybe help:

- Roll initiative for every round
- Replace the BAB with the riding skill for attack, CMB and CMD
- Roll attacks in ini order with the modified attackbonus
- Roll damage normally on a hit
- See every hit as a bullrush attempt
- If you exceed the CMD by 5 or more the opponent drops to the ground
- Use the RAW for stay in the saddle with a DC of 10+damage

Due to the fact that a tournament has rules you dont need movement, actions etc. It is more like a skill check against each other.

- absolutely a houserule -

Unfortunately, the rules do not adequately model simultaneous charges. This has been debated before Without solving the whole 'how do we have two charging people who simultaneously move and attack' resolved the rest of a joust is moot.

- Gauss

Sovereign Court

I think Eridan's onto something here. Formal dueling is quite different from combat. Be prepared to deviate from the normal combat rules a bit;

If you want an exciting 1:1 fight, you should be rolling initiative every round. Yeah, Improved Initiative is pretty strong here.

Both participants always charge each other, with all the appropriate to-hit/AC/damage effects. They meet in the middle, but the better initiative's attack is done first, and if it unseats, the other attack doesn't go through. Precisely equal initiative means resolution simultaneously; may result in participants simultaneously unhorsing each other. The likelihood this will actually happen is quite small.

Riding skill should definitely be a factor, but shouldn't totally replace BAB. It makes sense to be that a trained warrior should have against a wizard with equal points in Ride.

I'd use Ride skill (including class bonus, Dex etc, but no roll) +10 as CMD. That results in pretty high CMD, but that's intentional.

Every attack is a bull rush; success unseats. It's unlikely that equally skilled combatants will unseat each other on the first attempt.

However, if you miss by 5 or less (maybe 10 or less; needs playtesting), you inflict nonlethal damage. I think a jousting lance had a 1d3 base nonlethal damage in some edition, but that can rapidly rise with STR, weapon training, specialization and Spirited Charge and all that.

Nonlethal damage taken in this way doesn't threaten unseating directly, but it does reduce your CMD by 1 per (1? 5? playtest this) nonlethal damage taken in previous rounds. This simulates that after sustaining a couple of hits, people aren't as steady in the saddle as they were at the beginning of the match.

It's possible to actually knock someone unconscious through nonlethal damage (possibly combined with falling damage after unhorsing), but then, tourneys aren't entirely risk-free.

I'd say that if you take time rest up between matches, you only count nonlethal damage taken in the current match for reduction to CMD. However, you could still end up knocked unconscious if you get hit a lot during the day.


Obviously, someone with lance and ride skills/feats is going to cream people without them.

What this system lacks is bonuses for unusually impressive mounts (cavalier, ranger, paladin). There's something to be said for those. OTOH, sportsmanship may demand that people use third-party horses to level the playing field, which would make this point moot.

I agree that initiative is a factor here - if you unseat someone first - he doiesn't get to attack you

From Kingmaker: "Both jousters make Ride checks to determine the order in which they attempt to unseat the other—the jouster with the higher Ride check goes first. In the result of a tie, both strike simultaneously, possibly unseating each other in a dramatic clash. When attempting to unseat a foe during a joust, resolve the attempt as a bull rush. These bull rushes never provoke attacks of opportunity from the opposing jouster. If the first jouster fails to unseat her foe, then the second jouster gets a bull rush attempt against the first. If neither jouster is unseated, they replace their lances and shields."

If you don’t like that, then I suggest making ride checks for initiative and normal attack rolls. Beating the touch AC but not the normal AC is 1 point. Beating the normal AC by less than 10 is 2 points. Beating the normal AC by 10 or more is 3 points and an unseating. Or something like that.

Grand Lodge

Nawtyit wrote:
If you don’t like that, then I suggest making ride checks for initiative and normal attack rolls. Beating the touch AC but not the normal AC is 1 point. Beating the normal AC by less than 10 is 2 points. Beating the normal AC by 10 or more is 3 points and an unseating. Or something like that.

Ride + BAB for attack rolls and this sounds great!

Scarab Sages

There are detailed jousting rules in The Very Last Book About Mounted Combat from Dire Destiny Books. It's treated as performance combat.

Grand Lodge

You'd have thunk they'd put it in UC or at the least Knights of Golarion...

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