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Vampires can get scary old. In fact, in the society of the Camarilla, it is seen as somewhat noble to have been born before the age of industrialisation, and some of its leading cadre literally had been landed Knights and Ladies from the Dark Ages.

Now, some of these old gentries might have fought for or against the Saracens (and their Assamite leaders) in the crusades. In Agincourt, the height of nobility was lined up to charge and some of them did end the night becoming vampires. Others learned the art of cavalry charge when they were charging down Lancastrian troops before the first death, and earned their embrace later. Yet others again were with the Winged Hussars in the charge against the Ottoman Army and were kissed into the afterlife. In any way, many of these old relics were accomplished users of the mighty spear from horseback.

While many things never change in the Camarilla since the Convention of Thorns, some human innovations are just too good to not be used. Electric light for example. But also mechanical steeds that drink the Oil of Peter [Petr-oleum] and don't fear the undead. So back to the old days of lancing and jousting, yes?

Well, the Dark-Ages Vampire rules (1) provide to substitute the vampire's strength with the ride's strength and add more damage for charging... The baseline now looks something like 7+/L (2) for using a properly trained horse, but a modern Vampire of course uses a Motorcycle of various types. This of course leads to the question:

What is the strength value of a motorcycle dashing down the highway? Provided that we just substitute Pilot for Ride and otherwise keep the rules the same.


1 - Vampire: the Dark Ages - 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 389
2 - Vampire: the Dark Ages - 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 349

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can't comment on strength value, but from the post-apocalyptic LARP events I can tell you that if you want to hit something with a two-handed weapon while riding a motorcycle, you fall. With one-handed weapon, you usually fall. Seen it happen. It's just to hard to keep balance. Horse is superior because it has 4 points of contact with the ground and is self-steering if trained properly. This is not what you asked for so I do not post it as an answer, but I can convert it to one if you feel it would be helpful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 23:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ From a pure power-output perspective, a heavy duty motorcycle can have more than 200 horse-power, a middle sized one around 50 horse power -- and that while a real horse only delivers ~0.7 horse power over the long run (although it can up to 15 in a sprint effort situation). But I think Molot is right, this will not translate into more damage using the same kind of skill check: it would be next to impossible to not crash when such a force suddenly impacted you while riding a bike. You cannot really make use of all that extra speed. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 9:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot unless you have a sidecar and one steers while the lancer sits in the sidecar. Still not easy, but the sidecar passenger has their hands free. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 15:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ While these comments are very relevant for humans doing lancing on motorbikes... Vampires tend to be stronger and more agile in this setting, right? Especially ancient scary Camarilla vampires, who might have been practicing their bike-lancing for decades at this point as a hobby. It may be really hard, but so is moving so fast you dodge bullets or punching through steel panels or whatever else vampires are doing to show off nowadays. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 17:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ben I don't buy it. No amount of training can improve your control if you have no control at all to improve. Kinda like no amount of dexterity would allow you to walk on a thread that can't support your weight etc. With some disciplines, maybe... But not just dex. But it's your game, I guess. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 21:14

2 Answers 2

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Short Answer: At least 10

If we apply this link, even the smallest motorcycle has 3 Horsepower (HP). That's the equivalent of 2,200lbs (1 Horsepower = 550 lbs moved one foot over one second). Going by the Lifting/Breaking table on pg334, we see that 1HP (~250Kg) falls between a strength of 4-5.Low and behold, a horse in V20DA has a strength of 4! But if that holds true then... Uh oh. That puts the smallest motorcycles at a Strength of 10 by that logic - 1650lbs (~748Kg)

However! Without some very special circumstances, this would not be mechanically possible.

Movement rules say on pg333

Taking another action while moving is possible, but each yard/meter moved subtracts one from the other action’s dice pool. Note that injured characters cannot move at maximum speed. Also note that Celerity modifies the character’s movement speed.

Arguably the mounted combat works because the horse in question is doing the movement and the character is just doing a "weapon strike" or "Great Blow" maneuver at the end of it. Thus you are also taking a Multiple Action penalty on top of the above.

They also don't do the kindness of giving horses a speed, which means I can only rely on the basic Dex (2) x3 +20 meters/turn (appx 3 seconds) in combat, making a horse move 26m at a dash which I think we can all agree is far from realistic. Going by this link, your average horse at full gallop is about 30mph.

Using this link for its nice and neat tables and comparing to the chart on page 259 in the V20 core book, we can assume you can go up to the safe speed without penalty is 70mph with the smallest bike. While this isn't RAW (really no rules for vehicle based anything other than rough conditions for a Ride/Pilot check), I would argue that this means you would get two dice added to damage per turn (70 / 30) for "building speed" per the Mounted combat rules.

Tagging back to the movement penalties, 70mph is about 30mps. Since a combat turn is supposed to represent 3s, that means you would be coming out of the gate with a -90 penalty to your dice pool.

Last but not least, we can also discuss how many hands to have/need to do what you're trying. Without something like Obtenebration 3 or Vicissitude 5 you need at least one arm to "pilot" and another to wield a weapon. Ideally you'll need two hands for the vehicle. I personally see this as where the Multiple Action penalty comes in, but it is a logical consideration before we get to mechanics.


The above is using only rules in V20, but we can also step into another game of the same system - Mage 20.

Falls and Impact > Ramming and Slamming (Mage 20 Core, pg439)

Ramming into, or being rammed by, other characters or solid objects (walls, tables, vehicles, etc.) may – at the Storyteller’s discretion – inflict one die of bashing damage for every 10 feet (or three yards) of velocity at the time of impact. A dude who runs 20 feet before slamming into a wall, for instance, might take two dice of bashing damage from the impact. If that object’s Durability Trait is higher than the character’s Stamina Trait, he may take an extra automatic bashing health level from the impact. A car that had traveled 40 feet within the previous turn, for example, would inflict four dice of bashing damage for its velocity, plus one health level of automatic impact damage to whatever it hits because… well, it’s a car. If that impact exceeds both the object’s Durability and its Structure, however, then that object could be destroyed, at the Storyteller’s option. Objects or characters that smash into each other at roughly equal velocity take the total of both impact dice pools, plus one additional automatic success for each turn they were traveling before they hit, to reflect the cubed effects of colliding velocity and mass. A flying object loses one die of effect after the first 20 feet unless it’s self-propelled or aerodynamic, two dice after 30 feet, and three after 50 feet. A thrown table, for example, loses momentum thanks to its mass; a motor-powered car, however, does not. Armor, because it’s designed to protect against impact, reduces ramming and slamming impact by the usual amounts. These impact rules do not affect weapons, as impact damage is already figured into the weapon’s normal effects.

And Vehicle Systems > Ramming and Collisions (Mage 20 Core pg459)

In order to avoid absurdly complicated rules, assume that a vehicle ramming a character inflicts that vehicle’s Durability in bashing damage, plus one die for every 10 MPH (14” per turn) that the vehicle was traveling at the time. Thus, a crotch-rocket motorcycle ramming someone at 50 MPH inflicts eight dice of bashing damage, but a limo going at that speed inflicts 10. Certain vehicles inflict additional dice of damage simply because they’re bigger and harder than a character is. The limo in question actually inflicts 13 dice of damage because it hurts to get rammed by a limo. (For additional levels of damage, see the charts below.) Passengers inside a colliding vehicle take the usual damage, minus that vehicle’s Durability rating; if they’re strapped in, halve the damage they would normally suffer. In many cases, the Storyteller can simply employ the cinematic trope of having important characters more or less unharmed and unnecessary characters incapacitated or killed in a crash.

With that in mind, it converts the extra die to the pool into an auto success per round building speed, but the rider of the motorcycle is quite likely to hurt themselves in the process. It also still caps the dice pool based on maneuverability, and may still require penalties for not being solely about the attack or the driving alone.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you don't have a hand on the handlebar, you cannot control throttle. The best I was able to get without using throttle was about 30km/h ≈ 18 mph ≈ ⅔ of a horse speed. Engine braking slows you down to that speed rather fast. You could use clutch to prevent that but it's also on the handlebar. So I find this part of your analysis incomplete. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 11:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot : I saw your comment on the initial post, and it's a great insight. I would factor that under either the penalty for moving fast and/or multiple actions. \$\endgroup\$
    – CatLord
    Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 12:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Makes sense. My comments under Q was about steering, here it's about speed :) but it's all connected, kinda. And I'm glad my motorcycle instructors let us, and required us to try out things on the track and find out vehicle limits firsthand before we even attempted to ride on the road. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 12:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot : I made an edit to reflect your suggestion. \$\endgroup\$
    – CatLord
    Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 12:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ What about the Stuntdriving damage calculation from Mage 20, page 459 for being run over by a car? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 14:09
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This isn't an official answer backed by specific rules-as-written, but my game's house rules for motorcycle jousting in V:tM 20th might be useful to others as a template:

Attack roll

Jouster must split attack dice pool between two rolls to represent how one hand is holding a lance and the other is holding a handlebar

  • Dexterity + Drive (aiming/accelerating motorcycle)
    • Drive offensively: extra successes add to damage
    • Drive defensively: extra successes subtract from opponent’s successes
    • On failure, the attack misses
    • On a botch, you’re thrown from the motorcycle and take an unsoakable level of bashing damage
  • Dexterity + Melee (aiming lance)
    • On failure, the attack misses
    • On a botch, the lance drops low, flips out of the attacker's hand, and breaks

Damage roll

Damage dice pool is Distance + Lance + Drive

  • Distance = How far apart the riders are in feet ÷ 20, rounded up
  • Lance = Extra lance roll successes
  • Drive = Extra driving roll successes - defensive-driving opponent’s extra driving roll successes

Damage is bashing if the lance is blunt, or lethal if the lance is sharp.

Staying on the bike after getting hit

If damage is taken (after soak roll), roll Dexterity + Drive, difficulty equal to the amount of damage taken × 2.

  • On a success, the rider stays on the motorcycle.
  • On a failure, they’re thrown from the bike and take a (soakable) level of bashing damage.
  • On a botch, they’re thrown and take an unsoakable level of bashing damage.
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