Recently, a friend of mine asked me what in the rules was done to allow mounted combat. I told him to look up the vehicle section and remember that bikes don’t offer that much protection. He looked at me for about half a second and started laughing like a madman. He then explained to me that he wanted to run a cowboy(non-console) and there were no rules for animals in combat. Looking at Seattle it is no wonder, the squatters would be falling all over each other to try to get a free meal. However, in other parts of the world, particularly the NAN and the Slavic parts of Europe it was not only possible, but likely, that horses would be in everyday use.
Anyway, this got me to thinking about the possibilities of horses in SR2. I thought it should be possible to modify the existing combat for vehicles to include animals, not just horses. Here are the modifications I came up with, and a couple of templates that would mesh well with campaigns in the more civilized (ahem, excuse me, more picturesque) areas of the globe.
Some of the special rules at the end are usable for vehicles and animals.
Animal Combat Statistics
This is the equivalent of handling for animals. The first number indicates an animal that has been broken, the second indicates a wild animal.
This number is equal to the animals’ Intelligence + Charisma for the broken, and Body + Strength for the unbroken animals.
This is equal to the animal’s Quickness.
The cruising speed is equal to the base Quickness, the second is the sprint(max speed) number (Q x Multiplier).
This is the same as the body listed in creature statistics.
This is the opposite of vehicle autopilot. A number of dice that is subtracted from the Riding pool (see below). This number is subjective but should be equal to 1/2 of the Difficulty for broken/Unbroken animals.
Determine initiative for animals as normal unless they are being ridden by a trained rider. A trained rider is any character who has the PHYSICAL skill Animal Handling, the concentration of Riding, or a specialization in any particular animal. The skill Animal Handling breaks follows: ANIMAL HANDLING (Riding (SA), Training (SA), Teamster (SA&V). The SA stands for specific animal, the SA&V stands for a specific animal type and drawn vehicle combination. A new dice pool is also created: The Riding Pool-equal to the character’s skill in Animal Handling minus the animal’s Spiritedness. A trained rider has the following effects on animal initiative:
- Any rider with the Animal Handling skill can add one to their initiative total(the animal’s) for every two full dice they have in their skill.
- Any rider with a concentration in riding can add one to their initiative total(animal’s) for every dice they have in Riding.
- Any rider with a specialization in riding can add two to his initiative(animal’s) for every die they have in the specific animal Riding.
NOTE: All initiative numbers are based on the animal’s initiative modified by the rider’s most appropriate skill.
A rider and animal will act as one creature, i.e. the animal can take its move for half of the action and the rider can attack for the other half of the action. In this instance, both of the actions count as simple. Furthermore, all actions that are listed in the combat section are unchanged in terms of complexity. A non-trained rider can take no complex action while mounted, can take simple actions as if they were complex, can take the following free actions as if they were simple actions: Call a shot, Change Smartgun Fire Mode, Gesture, Observe, and Speak a word. It is impossible for a character to drop prone and all other actions remain the same. Note, this means non-trained rider mages will be unable to cast spells while mounted (Anyone who remembers riding for the first time will verify this).
Next, we come to control. Any non-trained character, must use his full action to tell an animal what to do. An animal will continue doing what it was told for a number of actions equal to 1/2 its intelligence rounded down. (do not let a non-trained rider try to ride a stupid animal (int 1) into combat unless you only want him yelling at the animal all combat). Also any non-trained rider takes a penalty equal to the animals spiritedness to all actions including handling tests.
Trained riders, on the other hand, act as if the animal is an extension of themselves. They can perform a move with the animals move rate and take a simple action with their other action.
Animal/rider combat turn
This turn is just like the vehicle combat turn with the Riding Pool replacing the Control pool for all tests. Fleeing, Relative distances, fight, and pursuit are handled in the exact same manner as in vehicle combat (SR2 p105-7).
1. Determine Initiative
- Resolve A and B below before initiative is determined.
- A. Allocate Riding Pool Dice.
- B. Make Position test.
- 2. Resolve Actions
- 3. Begin New Combat Turn
- 4. Make Escape Test
Crash tests are handled the same way as for vehicles except, the test must be made any time the animal takes Moderate damage, Terrain has no effect on the test target, and the damage category is increased by 1 level for the rider(s) in crash tests. i.e. at speeds between 1 and 20 the rider would take Moderate damage while the animal would only take Light damage. Ramming and escape tests are handled the same way as they are handled in vehicle tests with standard modifiers for terrain. Furthermore, any untrained animal will “spook” when it takes damage equal to it’s Intelligence. This requires a test just as if it had ran into something.
Damage is standard for animals. With the normal modifiers to target numbers (all actions taken by both animal and rider), and initiative.
>>>>>[ I know a dude in Austin who can custom-make y’all saddles and tack out of Kevlar (with side plate for a 5/3 armor rating). Contact J.D. at 30583 (26-9269) (that’s COWBOY, for you numerically impaired Yankees).]<<<<<
- Sir Galahad (11:24:17/10-02-56)
>>>>>[ Secure-Tech also supplies customized barding at five times the cost of equivalent clothing, allow 2 weeks for delivery, and 23.95 Y for shipping and handling (twice that to deliver to anywhere west of Dodge City, Ks.]<<<<<
- D.D. and Nell (01:55:41/11-15-56)
Using melee weapons from a mount/vehicle. When using a weapon from a mount or vehicle certain bonuses and restrictions apply.
First, all target numbers are increased by 1 for every full 30 that the animal or vehicle is moving this action. Second, all attacks made from a moving mount are modified as to the amount of damage they will do based on the relative speed of the two moving objects. For every relative 10 that the attacker is moving add 1 to the power of the attack, treat this as a burst, i.e. for every +3 increase the damage level by one. Relative speed is calculated as follows: if they are moving toward each other, the speeds are added together for all calculations. If they are moving the same direction the absolute value of the two speeds subtracted is used. If they are moving perpendicular to each other, then use only the speed of the animal or vehicle that the rider is on.
The charge is a variation on these rules, where the attacker is moving toward the defender, and the defender is either stationary or moving toward the attacker. If the defender is not moving toward the attacker and the attacker has the reach advantage, the attacker may attack as usual, but the defender may not counter attack, only parry. (the infamous lance charge from horseback).
Any weapon used from a mount MUST have a reach of at least 1 to reach anyone on the ground.
The Lariat is the gaucho’s best friend. To use a lariat a character makes an attack test that is resisted as normal, except, no armor is allowed and the target character must resist with only Quickness target number of 4 (6 for heavy rope).
The number of net successes achieved by the attacker serves as the initial power of the entangle attack. Characters can attempt to break free of the lariat by making a Strength test target (2 x # of successes-1 per round spent struggling) To break free the entangled character must make a number of successes greater than the power of the entangle. Entangled characters cannot take any action other than speaking or trying to break free.
The following are some templates that take advantage of these new rules. By the way a horse in 2053 costs 3-7K nuyen depending on supply and demand.
The UCAS Mounted Police
A) skills, B) attributes, C) resources, D) magic, E) race
Commentary: The mounted police have had a long and colorful history. After the merger of the US and Canada, the mounties were a police without a country. As was typical for disbanded military units, the mounties continued what their last duty was-Protecting their country. This territory was expanded south and many of the mounties began to defend their new country with the vigor they had defended the old one. Of course without official sanction, this meant they had to enter the shadows…
“Yes, that is correct, I am a man of honor. Any agreement that we reach will be confidential.”
“Stand back, he has not eaten today, and that makes him a little ornery.”
“Mounties do not take bribes sir. We are however open to payment for off-duty services.”
Body 5(6) Quickness 4 (6) Strength 6 (8) Charisma 2 Intelligence 4 Willpower 3 Essence 2.25 Reaction: 5 Initiative 5 (19)+1D6
Combat 6 Riding 8 (-1 for Spirit)
Animal Handling 4 Riding 6 Horse 8 Firearms 5 Negotiation 6 Biotech 4 Military theory 2 History 4 Mountie 6 Etiquette (corp) 4 Armed Combat 5 Athletics 4 Psychology 2 Deviant Behav 4
Muscle Replacement (2) Dermal Plating (1) Smartlink Radio Receiver
Choose (4) contacts
Horse, Fine Qual 1d Spirited Mountie Uniform Riot Shield, Small 1/2 Armored Jacket 5/3 Lined Coat 4/2 Pocket Secretary Earplug Phone w/Booster Doc Wagon (tm) Contract Gold Binoculars (lowlight & thermo) Restraints Metal(2 sets) AZ-150 Stun Baton Ares Predator -100 rounds APDS -200 rounds gel Ascent/Decent Kit Rappelling Gloves 50 ft Rope
>>[Word of warning chummers: If its a fight, do NOT let that man get on his horse, and NEVER insult that horse in front of that Mountie.]<<
- Rustler (17:51:14/06-06-56)
>>[You ain’t still sore about that, are you, Rustler?]<<
- Pale Rider (21:30:01/06-24-56)
>>[Nope, Doc finally gave me somthin’ for the pain.]<<
- Rustler (01:06:33/07-01-56)
Atzlan Renegade Gaucho
A) attributes, B) skills, C) resources, D) race, E) magic
Commentary: The Gaucho is one of the people they make fettuchini westerns about. He lived his life free and wild until Atzlan decided that they did not like the way he violated the borders of their country without the proper paperwork. So they did the worst thing they could, they exiled him to the UCAS, Gringo-ville. Now he makes use of the talents he learned to survive in the shadows of the UCAS.
“Si, the price is agreeable. What is the name of the hombre you want geeked?”
“Hablas Remington Roomsweeper, pindejo?”
Body 5 Quickness 5 Strength 5 Charisma 6 Intelligence 5 Willpower 4 Essence ? Reaction 5 (7) Initiative 7+2D6(10+1D6)
Combat: 7 Riding: 7 (-2 for spiritedness)
Animal Handling 5 Riding 7 Firearms 6 Armed Combat 5 Lariat 7 Etiquette (Street) 4 Stealth 4 Language-English 3 Native Language Spanish (5)
Wired Reflexes (1) Smartlink Cybereyes (Flare comp, Low-light, Electr Mag 3)
Choose any (2) contacts
Doc Wagon (tm) Basic Remington Roomsweeper (smart) -100 rounds flechette ammo 2 Ruger Superwarhawks (smart) -200 rounds standard ammo Knife 50 Feet Rope Armored Vest 2/1 Secure Long Coat 4/2 Harmonica Survival Kit Horse (2D spiritedness)
A) resources, B) magic, C) race, D) attributes, E) skills
Commentary: The Tir Paladyne is an anachronism. A mighty warrior, with a code of conduct and morals that belongs in fourteenth century France, not the streets of the sprawl. Flamboyant, daring, and impetuous, the Tir Paladyne was cast out of her society for attempting to become a female Paladin in the sexist Tir. The paladyne brings an air of mystique and honor to the otherwise gritty and fetid modern sprawl. And, she has the ability to back it up…
“My sword and lance shall stave off these foul demons m’lord.”
“Chrome is no replacement for a brave heart and bright steel.”
“If your life means so little to you, then by all means continue.”
Body 4 Quickness 5 Strength 4 Charisma 4 Intelligence 3 Willpower 4 Essence 6 Reaction 4 Initiative 4+1d6 (29+1d6)
Mild, platinum (+3 skills) Moderate, plastics (+4 attr)
1 4d animal handling 2 +4d armed combat 1 Restore Life(White Wolf 38) 2 Animal Control (W.W. 38) Note: Above assumes GM approval If not, replace with: 3 Inc Combat pool +2d
Combat 6 Riding 12(-2 Spirit)
Animal Handling 4 (8) Riding 6 (10) Unicorn 8 (12) Firearms 4 Armed Combat 6 (10) Etiquette(corp) 5
Choose any (2) contacts
Greater Unicorn, companion Level 1 Lance Weapon focus, reach +3 Level 3 Sword Weapon focus, reach +1 Unicorn Barding (5/3) Tir Plate Mail (10/7), no Quickness penalty -Helm: Smartgun, 10 channel radio, 10 X magnification, -Ultrasound II optics Morrissey Alta pistol, internal smartlink, Ultrasound sight -50 rounds standard ammo Gold DocWagon(tm) contract 1 month Medium Lifestyle, prepaid