There are different types of matches in jousting; each is different in a way. For example, a Grand Tournament takes place over one week and involves as many as sixty-four competitors. During the first four days, the competitors compete in ten random matches. The top thirty-two jousters are permitted to enter the next stage of the tournament. In this stage, the rules are elimination tournament style rules until the semi-finals and finals. A random match lasts 4 rounds. Unhorsing the opponent ends the match. Bribes can be used in this type of match, but they cost five times as much because there are extra judges to bribe. An Elimination match lasts five rounds. Unhorsing the opponent ends the match. Bribes can be used in this type of match. The semi-finals and finals match lasts six rounds. Unhorsing the opponent does not end the match. Bribes can be used in this type of match. They cost five times as much for the semi finals and ten times as much for the finals because the judges are greedy.
In a duel two knights of the same country have a dispute; a duel is often used as a solution. Duels are not meant to kill the other knight, and when a knight is winning by a large margin, he will usually use non-lethal damage if the opponent does not back down. Duels very rarely result in death, but if the battle ends that way, it is considered an honorable death. The match lasts until opponent is unhorsed. There is no scoring for this type of match. After a knight is unhorsed, the duel continues. Combat starts as normal with an initiative roll, neither knight flat-footed. The knight on horseback may stay on his horse to fight, but will suffer a minus four penalty to all charisma based checks with his countrymen for three months due to his dishonor. Should the knight dismount, he gains a plus two honor bonus to charisma based checks with his countrymen for three months. The duel ends when a knight is either knocked unconscious (or killed) or the knight surrenders. Surrendering requires the knight to give up ten percent of his assets (that worth in an item, land, gold, etc) or face a minus eight penalty to all charisma based checks with his countrymen for six months due to his dishonor. This penalty also reduces his leadership score if applicable. The winning knight is considered to have “won” the dispute. This means that the winner is now considered correct, even if new evidence proves otherwise.
In most tournaments, falling off the horse is an instant loss (besides the finals and semi-finals).Common courtesy dictates that if an opponent unhorses a jouster, they must provide the opponent with something of value (usually their suit of armor or their horse). The opponent usually sells this back to the knight to be polite.
The Entrance Fee ranges from eight thousand to fifteen thousand silver pieces but you can earn prizes if you win. First prize is ten times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value. Second prize is six times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value. Third prize is four times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value. Fourth prize is three times the entrance fee in either gold or an item of that value.
There is a point system that is used in jousting to determine a winner. One point is earned for breaking the lance between the opponent’s waist and neck. Two points are earned for breaking the lance on the opponent’s head. Three points for unhorsing an opponent. You can also lose five points for surrendering (Normally surrendering automatically loses the joust).
Judges for jousts come in all types: honest and fair, cynical, biased, and just plain greedy. Before a particular match, a jouster can attempt to make a bribe in order to gain a few extra points in the joust. If the bribe succeeds, the knight will gain bonuses to their score in the next match based on the bribe.
A knight may joust for a lady and he may earn a favor from her. A favor is typically given by a lady to a knight when she is supporting him in his next joust. Other more special favors are earned by defending a lady’s honor. Favors grant bonuses to jousting for either one match or every match depending on the favor earned. When a lady shows her support for a knight for a single match, she gives him a Single Match Favor. The favor lasts the entire joust, and then has no more effect. These favors have a stronger effect based on the social status of the lady giving the favor. A knight may only use one Single Match Favor per joust and it must be the first they accept (they cannot change their mind). This means if a peasant lady offers a favor for the final match, the knight accepts, and then the queen offers a favor later, the knight must refuse the queen.