Charging Attacks and Charge Talent

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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Bonhumm
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Charging Attacks and Charge Talent

Post by Bonhumm » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:01 pm

I'm getting a bit lost concerning the Charging Attacks game mechanic and the Charge talent itself and would appreciate help.

1-If I understand correctly, the Charge talent by itself is 'nothing' as it just increase the damage of the Charging Attacks mechanic; in other words, someone who are using the Charge talent is still using the Charging Attack mechanic to HIT, without any differences. Charge only changes the DAMAGE. Am I right?

2- For someone using ONLY the Charging Attack mechanic (i.e. who do not have the Charge talent/skill), the rule states that charging 'adds the mount’s Strength Step to the Damage Step'.

My understanding of 'Damage Step' is the [Adept's STR + the weapon damage step] and, therefore, in the case of charging the DAMAGE would be:
[STR(Character)+STR(Mount)+Weapon's damage step]. Am I right?

3- For someone also using the Charge talent, the rule states that 'The adept increases the effectiveness of a successful Charging Attack, using his
Charge Step in place of his Strength Step for the Damage test
' and, therefore, the DAMAGE would be:
[Charge_Rank+STR(Character)+STR(Mount)+Weapon's damage step]. Am I right?


4- THUS, A Cavalryman with:
- A STR Step of 9
- A mount with a STR Step of 11
- A Charge talent Rank of 4
- A Weapon with a damage step of 5

would, on a successful Charging Attack WHILE using the Charge talent, make a damage test with a Step 29 (!!).

While the same character WITHOUT the Charge talent would have a damage step of 25.

Is that right?


Thank you very much for your help.
Last edited by Bonhumm on Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

Mcgarnagle
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Re: Charging Attacks and Charge Talent

Post by Mcgarnagle » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:37 pm

That's how I handle it. I think the key thing to remember is that, in order to use a charge, the mount must move more than it's movement rate towards the target, which is another way of saying it takes 2 rounds to initiate a charge (unless there are other talents or magical effects, such as Wheeling Attack, that increase the mounts movement).

Cavalryman do get a big bonus to damage from a charge, but it can generally only occur every other round. Then, there is also the chance of being thrown from your mount or dropping your weapon after each successful charge so I think the trade-offs do balance it out.

Panda
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Re: Charging Attacks and Charge Talent

Post by Panda » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:17 pm

Greetings,

That is correct.

The difference between a charge and a normal attack is the mount's Strength Step. For damages adding talents, Charge is available earlier, but has the limitation of a the whole charging business.

For the presented example, what seems to be an obsidiman on a thundra beast, has issues in any area where a thundra beast cannot get up to speed or has room to maneuver. This is why a windling on a zoak is the more common and practical Cavalryman in my experience with associated reductions in damage.

The same character as a windling has STR Step 4, mount with STR Step 4, weapon Damage Step 3, and Charge rank 4. All told, Damage Step 15. Which the same obsidiman gets with a troll sword.

Yes, cavalry can do obscene damage with a charge, but there are limitations to go with that.

Hopefully this was helpful.

Best regards,

Morgan

JetBlackJoe
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Re: Charging Attacks and Charge Talent

Post by JetBlackJoe » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:25 pm

Bonhumm wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:01 pm
THUS, A Cavalryman with:
- A STR Step of 9
Play a lot of Obsidiman Cavalrymen? ;)

That being said, I read the rules the same way you do. Cavalrymen can make devastating charges, but generally only every other round. Seeing as that’s their one main trick and they have other, serious limitations as part of a group, I don’t think it’s that bad.

If you want to tone it down a bit, a sensible house rule would be to use the mount’s STR instead of the rider’s.

Edit: Ninja’ed by Panda.
"Mind over Body. Body over Mind."
- Verron Vittraxi, Wizard Extraordinaire

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Charging Attacks and Charge Talent

Post by ChrisDDickey » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:09 pm

Yes, an Obsidiman on a Thundra Beast is a terror outdoors, and would make a really excellent inclusion in any group of NPCs to challenge the PCs any place where he has plenty of charging room. But there is a reason Scorchers are usually encountered outdoors.

Unless you know the GM is mostly going to be running an outdoor / wilderness game, an Obsidiman Cavalryman is a poor choice for a PC adventurer who spends a fair amount of times adventuring indoors or underground. A cavalryman on-foot is a sad and pitiful thing.

As Panda said, a windling on a zoak is better for places with low ceilings.
I personally have always considered that a Dwarf mounted on a Trojian can go most places a human can walk upright, but I think that is about the biggest/strongest combination that could reasonably go mounted indoors into ruins or tunnels though regularly sized corridors.

Bonhumm
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Re: Charging Attacks and Charge Talent

Post by Bonhumm » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:54 pm

Thank you all for your answers but one of those answers is confusing me a bit:
Mcgarnagle wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:37 pm
the mount must move more than it's movement rate towards the target, which is another way of saying it takes 2 rounds to initiate a charge

My understanding is that since 'Movement' in 4th Edition is the equivalent of the old 'Combat Movement', thus; this would only mean that the mount would have to use is 'full' movement (i.e. not having an action afterward), NOT that it would take two rounds within the caveats that the target needs to be at least a bit further away than the mount's 'combat' Movement before starting the charge (in a relatively straight line). Therefore, if those conditions are met; the Charge and the Attack happens in the same round.


So NEW QUESTION:

I have a mount with (example) 15 Movement Rate (i.e. 'Combat Movement'). If I want to attack some guy:

1- Said guys needs to be at least 16 yards away from where I begin to charge (in a relatively straight line).
2- The mount will use twice its movement (i.e. the old 'combat movement') and therefore not have a Standard Action at the end of the round (the MOUNT won't have an action, the rider still have one). Therefore the 'run' and the attack happens in the same round.
3- At the end of this round, the mount/rider are 'standing' beside the target (unless they used Splitting Movement Combat or Wheeling Attack).
4- Next round, the Rider options are:
  • 'Waste' one round riding away at least 16 yards away from the target, getting in position to charge him again next round (thus, would it mean that if the target spend HIS action running TOWARD the rider, this would prevent the rider from charging him again next round?
  • Change target to someone/something at least 16 yards away from him and, again do the charge and the attack in the same round.
  • Attack the same target again if said target moved at least 16 yards from him during his own action.
Am I right?

Thank you again

P.S. The examples I gave in my original post was just random numbers to make sure all numbers were different from one another, not for a race or mount in particular.
I am also aware (and totally agree) that Cavalryman is, generally, a 'difficult' Discipline (except for windlings) but this is not for me, and a good roleplayer can pull off any Discipline :-)
Last edited by Bonhumm on Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Charging Attacks and Charge Talent

Post by ChrisDDickey » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:23 pm

Yes, I think you have an excellent grasp of it.

The comment that it takes 2 rounds to initiate a charge was mistaken, the rider must command his mount to make a double-move. A more accurate statement would be that it is often difficult to pull off a charge more than every 2nd round. And you are correct that clever and mobile opponents might be able to keep Cav from charging, Obstructions or rough terrain can also prevent charges.

Rather than just 'waste' a round just riding away, if a Cav starts next to an opponent, they would likely make a normal (non-charge) attack and then have their mount double-move away, hopefully setting up a charge for the following turn.

If, before initiative is rolled, a Cav is next to an opponent, the Cav might want to declare a split movement just in case the opponent wins initiative. That way if the opponent wins imitative, attacks, and moves away, the Cav can use Split movement to close, attack, and move far enough away to charge the next turn. The Cav needs to always be trying to set up his next charge, and the opponents ought to always be trying to prevent the opportunity. A Cav has a lot more scope for tactics than most fighters, who just want to close and bash.

Mcgarnagle
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Re: Charging Attacks and Charge Talent

Post by Mcgarnagle » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:13 am

My bad! I stand corrected regarding the “charge every other round.”

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