Apr 22, 2019

Mounted Combat Damage in Mythras

"A mounted warrior may, when charging with a braced weapon, substitute his own Damage Modifier for that of his mount." (Page 104 of Mythras)

Superficially, this seems to say that you can use your own Damage Modifier instead of your mount's when you charge while mounted. I think this is confusingly worded, but actually means you can substitute your mount's Damage Modifier for your own. Even if it's not what this passage means, it is what should be the rule.

My reasoning:

The average human has a Damage Modifier of +0 and when charging, this goes up to +1d2.

The average horse has a Damage Modifier of +1d12, and this goes up to +(1d8+1d6) when charging.

These are not aberrations in the rules, but rather almost all mounts are stronger than their possible riders, and because of the doubled bonus to Damage Modifier increases that quadrupeds receive when charging, they will almost always have a higher Damage Modifier than their riders.

The mounted warrior normally makes the attack when the combined unit charges, not the mount.

I can see no situation in which someone charging would want to substitute their Damage Modifier for their mount's, and for the situation to even make sense, the mount itself would have to be making the attack on the charge, which is a nonstandard situation itself.

Therefore, it seems sensible to assume that the preposition "for" is being used in a slightly odd way here, and what the rule is asserting is that a rider can use their mount's Damage Modifier when they charge (which makes charges that hit super powerful).

As a further piece of evidence, I ran a one-shot for Lawrence Whitaker once, and someone got charged by a mounted foe, and we used the interpretation of the rule that I'm elaborating here at that time without complaint.

I'm doing a big review of Mythras combat in preparation for a Dawnlands campaign I'm starting up with my D&D 3.5 crew come mid-May. I'm spreading the good word, getting some experienced roleplayers but newcomers to Mythras to try it out and see how they like it compared to D&D 3.5.

This line struck me because I thought I knew Mythras combat reasonably well, and yet suddenly I thought that I had misunderstood a situation that I've adjudicated many times. I'm posting this at least partly so that no one else undergoes the confusion I did.

(Also, happy Easter)


  1. It's oddly worded, but the should read: "A mounted warrior may, when charging with a braced weapon, substitute his own Damage Modifier *with* that of his mount." Conversely, someone bracing a spear on the ground to receive the charge can also use the mount's damage modifier against it. It was thus in older RQ editions as well.

    1. Yeah. On a related note, it's unclear in the rules that bracing (the proactive action) to resist knockback is the same as bracing your spear since the action doesn't mention anything about resisting charges, but I treat them as identical - once you've "braced" you get the benefits of both resisting knockback and using a charging attack's mount's Damage Modifier on your counterattack.

  2. How do you brace your weapon while charging? Does this mean simply the right saddle and stirrups or did knights have some further way to brace a lance.

    I think the old version of RQ avoided the 'brace' question and just gave the advantage to anyone charging while mounted the way Apocryphal Chris said, that and some kind of improvement on the hit location chart that encouraged hits to the upper body.

    1. Mechanically, I think you would spend an action to take the "brace" action (a distinct action in Mythras), but in practice I've always ignored the need to brace and just assumed any preparation was part of the charge action itself.