Natural movement and other strange things :)

Hi, I thought I'd create a new thread with this question. We're touching a bit on it in the gunpowder thread. So this is about movement in general, as it is written in Art and Academe, and how it relates to the rules in Ars Magica.

First off, I really like Art and Academe. I like playing a game that now has more rules for art than combat. Not many rpgs do. :slight_smile:

But, when it comes to movement, I think I understand the concept now. Just to clarify:
A person wielding a sword will benefit from high strength because he is the initial mover.
A person throwing an axe will not benefit from high strength, but he could throw it further. Just off the top of my head, would it be better then to have the range incremeter of a ranged weapon to be modified by the wielder's strength in some way, rather than the damage?

Edit: How about the Strength of the wielder is not added to damage, but is the number of range incremeters he can throw or shoot with no penalty. If negative, he will get more penalties from the first incremeter.. or something like that :slight_smile:

Other than that, I think I have it. Strange, compared to how we see things today, but interesting. :slight_smile:


That's exactly the house rule we use, but then we are sticklers for this sort of thing.


I'm writing a set of expanded combat rules (I'll share it here if anyone's interested) since my new campaign will focus more on mundane conflict. In these rules, there's a difference between thrown weapons, bows and crossbows.

Thrown weapons use the Str of the wielder to offset the penalty for range.

Bows have a maximum Str score, and the wielder can use Str + Athletics to offset range penalties. For example, the longbow have a Str rating of 9 in this regard.

Crossbows have their own Str, independent of the wielder. But these weapons have a high load.

So in effect, since scoring a good hit really does more damage, this house rule doesn't penalize characters with high Str at all. :slight_smile:

Would be nice with a book on knights, nobles and combat. :slight_smile:


How would charging work in Mythic Europe. Without the concept of momentum, would it even make any difference? Or am I missing something here :stuck_out_tongue:


It wouldnt work, despite anyone ever having done so knowing that it does work.
Score another one for using the myths of today about medieval knowledge rather than what was.

Hmm. Charging from horseback, the initial mover would be the horse, wouldn't it? And the horse, presumably, is stronger than you. So there you go.

Please don't tell me that people in Mythic Europe wouldn't charge on a battlefield? :unamused:

I think the Mythic Paradigm mostly explains "why and how" things work. It doesn't really decide what and why people do what they do. In the Middle Ages as in Mythic Europe, people would charge on battlefields, wouldn't they. Why it's effective can be a different matter than why it's effective in reality. Point is that people would charge, and they would gain some benefit, wouldn't they?

Now what benefit could it be without the concept of momentum?

Edit: I'm very happy for the sidebar in the beginning of the chapter in Art & Academe that deals with movement and such. :slight_smile:


Seems charging would work, at least from what I read on Aristotelian metaphysics on wikipedia. A projectile would not move any faster after leaving the initial mover, but the held weapon of a charging warrior would, since he himself is holding on to the weapon, adding the speed of the charge to the speed of the strike. Therefore, in Ars Magica, a straight bonus to the Damage score of the charging character based on his speed would be best, I think. But than again, I'm no philosopher..


They do, but they don't do this for momentum. I know that sounds weird to you, but in real battles, horses absolutely refuse to charge into solid masses of enemy soldiers and thereby break their legs. They just don't do it. This is mentioned in some of the books of strategy from the period.

They will, however, gladly charge into groups of infantry that have decided that they don't want to stand around waiting to receive a cavalry charge, and have therefore broken. Cavalry is great for ravaging the countryside and hunting broken infantry formations. There is nothing even vaugely like the Roman infantry in Mythic Europe and on the few occassions infantry refuse to be intimidated by cavalry, they actually win (Grisors, for example, where spearmen take down charging cavalry).

So, the idea isn't, as we may surmise, that the horses are building up momentum: they are instead attempting to intimidate the enemy into breaking formation, or trying to cross a missle fire kill zone. If you are a knight and the other side is about to charge, the best place for you is not countercharging: it is ahorse -behind- the infantry. If they break it doesn't matter: you can ride off faster than them. If they hold, all the good, you can -then- get together a charge, or use your speed to encircle the now-pinned knights of the other side.

But won't the charging horse, footman, giant or what have you, increase the speed of the weapon being used, since the wielder is the initial mover and the weapon never actually leaves contact with it, thereby increasing it's damage potential? It's constantly being pushed, faster and faster, unlike a missile weapon?



This point should not be underestimated or downplayed in any medieval recreation that attempts to model real medieval Europe.

Medieval strategy featured attrition, with lightning hit and run cavalry raids against enemy supplies, peasants and crops. Why fight an enemy and risk casualties if you can destroy his ability to fight without risk?

The Authority is Publius Flavius Vegetius "destroy the enemy by famine" Renatus, and the work is "De Re Militari."

Of course, real chivalry and mythic chivalry might not mix very well.



That would mean completely disregarding any knowledge or experience gained from all those people practising charging, and of course any 1 on 1 tournament would quickly show up exactly why its a GOOD idea to gain momentum.

The basic advantage beyond momentum is fear. But any as almost any even halfdecent text on military at the time will tell you, momentum was not something unknown. Far from it, it was well known and exploited even if its mechanics might not be correctly understood.

Why does it need to be different? We always base things on reality and then ADD the "mythical" stuff, it keeps things much simpler and much more "believable". And its also closer to the actual beliefs from the period rather than todays commonly very skewed belief of what was believed then.

Well, I'm sticking with a rule I made together with rules for movement. For every 5 pace the charging person moves before the attack, he gains a +1 to his damage. He's still the initial mover through the charge, so... :slight_smile:

And as for fear and awe, well, that bonus is reason to fear the charge. :slight_smile:


Should work well enough i expect.

Just dont forget to cap it by something, preferably something depending on the "damager", like top speed or whatever...
Otherwise you will have the funny rules exploit where people go charging from a few km away from the target and makes total shishkebab of it in a single hit, even if its a huge stonegiant or something. 8)

Well, it's limited by the movement in the same round. This is calculated like so:

Quickness + Athletics + Size - Encumbrance +5

This is multiplied by 2 for for four-legged and water-creatures (including water mammals), and by 5 for flying creatures.

The movement can also be doubled, but that comes with a Fatigue check every round. A rider can also push his mount to go even faster. Ease Factor is 3 for 5 extra paces, +3 for each extra 5 paces. Ease Factor must be decided in advance, so it's a gamble, because the mount must then to an extra Fatigue check against the same Ease Factor.

These movement rates are consistent, as far as I know, with the speeds of real horses. That is, if I did the match right. :slight_smile:

So, destrier (Qik -1, Athletics 5, Size +3) moves for 24 paces in a round, 48 in full gallop. Since the pace is 1.48m, as the Romans saw it, at least, and a round is about 6 seconds, this is about right for a horse. A charging destried would give a +9 to the Damage Total, without calculating the Encumbrance.

As it reads in Art & Academe, speed of a weapon gives more damage. Aristotle only said that a hurled object didn't go any faster, because it left the initial mover. In a charge, or the person, is the initial mover, moving the weapon faster and faster. Therefore, a +1 to damage for every five paces seems reasonable and easy to calculate.

So there's my take on charges :slight_smile:


Hehe. A falcon suddenly becomes a nice assassin's tool with those calculations.

Let's see.

Quickness (+6) + Athletics (5) + Size (-3) - Encumbrance (0) + 5 = 13

... multiplied by 5 for flying
... divided by 5 to find charge bonus

... so a swooping gyrfalcon suddenly does (-4) + 13 = +9 damage with its talons. Impressive. :slight_smile:

(edit: ok, +13 instead of +15, but still.)

Better recheck that with your calculator my friend :wink:

The actual result is still worthy of a wow, though.

Well, considering such birds are certainly intelligent enough to go for the eyes/face of a human target, I'd say that it sounds about right as a damage modifier (if not more), especially in a full speed diving attack.

Yes, falcons doing dives are pretty impressive, taking down much larger prey than themselves. :slight_smile:

Also, remember that a Falcon has a -4 Damage to it's talons, making the Damage Total +7 if it dives straight for the eyes of someone. Better wear that helmet :slight_smile:

Edit: Well, I haven't played Assassins Creed (I want to, though), but the main character in that game seems to be way ahead of us: ... donihs.jpg



The -4 is already counted in my calculations.

BTW, I would suggest an opposed Athletics/Ride roll in order to bring the charge to bear on the enemy you want. He's not likely to stay rooted to the spot. (Or perhaps just a Ride roll vs ease factor in case of a tight formation holding together)

In the meantime, I'll suggest to my sodales that staying away from swooping griffins/dragons/giant eagles is sounding better all the time.