Friday, August 17, 2012

Effects Using Polearms

This is a woodcut showing an unhorsing during a joust!

I like the shattered lance that the unhorsed guy got on the opposing knight. If he hadn’t gotten unhorsed while doing so, he would have won the round for the fact that his lance splintered striking his opponent.


Draft of Custom Attack Style(s) and Effects Using Polearms for RuneQuest 6 (and similar percentile rulesets) by Jeffrey Osthoff

Factors that affect the game mechanics of using polearms against an opponent in combat:

1. The polearm has what is called a Very Long reach.

2. When parrying against a hitting attack by a polearm, a successful parry with a Medium-sized weapon deflect half damage; Short weapons deflect none. Weapons of Large size or greater deflect all damage that a polearm would have inflicted.

3. A successful “attack” with a set polearm causes doubled damage to a charging opponent.

4. An attack with a polearm against a mounted opponent that is a critical success is eligible to have the Effect of “unhorsing” or dislodging the mounted opponent from their mount if the attacker so desires. This is done by hooking the opponent with the polearm, concussing the rider, etc. as the attacking character chooses.

5. However, the mounted character with a remaining action point can attempt to parry with a Large-sized weapon or great er OR uses a Dodge or similar manoeuvre can avoid the forced dismount if they are also critically successful. Damage done during the attack is treated as per #2 above.

6. A fallen rider also takes any applicable falling damage caused by the forced dismount.

7. Any remaining actions that a fallen opponent has are lost for the rest of the combat round.
8. If charging with a polearm or using it set, any damage caused to the weapon by a shield, parry, etc. counts against the weapon's own hit points and may cause it to break. Damage caused to an opponent by impalement may also cause further Incapacitation as per the Impalement Effects Chart on p.147 of the RuneQuest 6 rules book.


This is just a draft and there are a few things I want to add, remove and refine about it. Any comments, criticism or help is appreciated!



  1. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    A while ago I put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's mostly short stories, with some obvious gamer-interest material. For example I have a story inspired by OD&D elves, as well as poems which retell Robert E Howard's King Kull story The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune and HP Lovecraft's Under the Pyramids.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog (either a normal book review, or a review of its suitability as gaming inspiration).

    If so, please email me: Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy.

    You can download a sample from Smashwords:

    I'll also link to your review from my blog.


  2. Thanks. I've emailed your review copy.