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Mystaran Armourby Håvard
I am looking into the different types of Chariots used for combat and racing in the Hollow World and elsewhere on Mystara.
Neither HWR2 Kingdom of Nithia or HWR3 the Milenian Empire include chariots on an equipment list with cost, attributes etc, so all of this has to be drawn from the descriptive texts in the skill and class sections of the books. This is a bit annoying.
So here's what I have found so far:
- Light Chariot: Called a one-person chariot in HWR2. Does 2d6 dmg if hitting targets on fot. Mainly used by Nithians(?)
- Heavy Chariot: Called a two-person chariot in HWR2 and a War Chariot in HWR3. Does 3d6 dmg if hitting targets on fot. Milenians sometimes outfit these with spikes and blades used to attack targets on foot or other chariots (See below).
- Racing Chariot: Mentioned in HWR3, probably only one-man and rarely equipped with the extra weaponry sometimes added to the Heavy Chariot.
- Hover-Chariot (Float-Chariot): Magical versions of Chariots. These require no horses. When activated a fiery form of a beast surrounds the Chariot.
Attacking from a Chariot: A character cannot drive and attack at the same time. Attacking from a moving chariot sufers -2 to hit and half damage. Characters who posess the Chariot Combat Skill can ignore these penalties. You cannot attack from a moving chariot without a driver.
Attacking with a Chariot: A character with the Chariot Driving skill may use the Chariot to attack targets on foot or other chariots. To attack a target on foot, the driver makes a normal attack roll and does 2d6 or 3d6 dmg depending on the type of chariot. Attacking with Chariot blades or spikes attached to Heavy (War) Chariots does 4d6 points of damage.
Chariot vs. Chariot: Attacking other chariots with your chariot requires chariot blades or spikes. In order to do so, the driver must make a Chariot Driving check. If successfull, the target driver must also make a Chariot Driving check at -4 or be toppled over. If the target fails, then the attacker must also make a Chariot Driving check (no penalties) or crash too. Drivers of chariots being toppled over must make another Chariot Driving check or suffer 3d6 dmg (Havard's Modified rule: I would replace the rule for chariots being toppled over with the following. Anyone on board a chariot that is being toppled over suffer 3d6 dmg, but may make a Save vs. Wand or halve damage.)
Both HWR2 and HWR3 include more or less the same rules for these two skills
- Chariot Driver (Dex): This skill allows you to drive a Chariot and use it in Chariot Combat. (Havard's added rule: Without the Chariot Driver Skill, the character may still drive a chariot, but cannot use the Chariot to attack characters or Chariot. Also, he will be helpless against attacks from other Chariots and will automatically fail attempts to be toppled over.)
- Chariot Combat (Dex): This skill allows a character to fight from a Chariot without the penalties mentioned above. Typically attacks involve javelins or bows since Chariots will move quickly past targets, though the DM may rule that characters on foot or on chariots etc are sometimes within reach of melee weapons.
HWR2 includes a Fighter Subclass called Charioteer. However, some of the benefits of selecting this Fighter Subclass are the same as gained from the Chariot Combat and Chariot Driver skills which they then are required to spend General Skill slots on. I would seriously consider them getting these skills for free, although I would have to study the other subclasses to see if it is balanced.
CHARIOTS IN THE OUTER WORLD
I could see several cultures in the Outer World using War Chariots. Thothia, Hule and Sind seem especially likely candidates. This article on Chariots in India could be useful for fleshing out the type of Chariots used in Sind and HW's Shajapur and even mentions Chariots holding 4 people. Gaz10 mentions humanoid War Machines. Could these also similar rules? Some of such war machines are featured in the Mystara Arcade games, though my overall impression is that these War Machines are much slower and more clunky than historical chariots, but perhaps having more armor etc.
I read up a bit more on the Hover-Chariots (also called Float Chariots).
When activated, a fiery shape of a creature surrounds the Chariot.
The book contradicts itself a little, saying that anyone of the Charioteer (Figther Subclass) who can afford it will want to try to get a Hover-chariot. However, the DM's booklet says that these vessels are strictly controlled by the military.
Interestingly, the Chariot Driving skill can be used to operate these Chariots as well as non-magical ones.
Havard's Rules Suggestion: Hover-Chariots can be flipped over like regular chariots, though mundane Chariots suffer a -2 penalty on Chariot Driving checks to attack a hover-chariot. If the chariot is flipped over, it deactivates and will not activate again untill its flipped back again. Chariots moving at a higher altitude cannot be attacked by regular chariots, but also cannot attack those chariots. If two hover chariots attack eachother at higher altitude, the DM should add +1d6 of falling damage to vicitms per 10' above ground (Max 10d6 total).
The DM's booklet of HWR2 also includes the following magical vehicles that don't use the Chariot rules:
- Hover Yacht (10'-50')
- Hover Ship (50'-150')
- Hover Barge (150'-300')
- Hover City Breaker: These are barges that are fitted with powerful rams or magical weapons called Sun Burners
All hover vessels (I assume Chariots as well) are run by Pyramid magic, meaning they don't work outside the borders of Nithia.
I assume that the Flying Barges of Hule are similar except that they don't run on Pyramid Magic?