In the Vanguard!
Introducing new rules for wading into melee!
While my original design intent for Champions was to have player characters as aloof observers, directing their units from afar and not engaging in the fight themselves, at times during playtests and sessions players would express interest in riding out and joining battle themselves. At the time I wanted to keep Champions distinct from other TRPGs and retain PCs as being distinct from the battlefield - if players want to narratively describe their characters riding out alongside their units that's to be encouraged, but I didn't want to incorporate mechanics for that at the time.
Now some time has elapsed, I thought: why not? I've been enjoying Mount & Blade: Bannerlord recently, which reminded me of how much I liked the central gimmick of its predecessor Warlord; that it's a strategy game where you can be in the middle of battle as well, which makes the experience much more immediate and increases the stakes. I decided to put together some quick variant rules to give players the option to go out into battle alongside their units, providing benefits and some limitations.
In the Vanguard adds a new ability which allows Champions to join a unit of their choice and add their ability bonus to unit attacks. This requires using up some combat actions, and the Vanguard ability will need some levelling up before it becomes truly useful on the battlefield. While in a unit the Champion can also take a hit on the unit's behalf, reducing damage to them but putting the Champion out of action for a while afterwards. At a pinch, you can also use this ability bonus if you want your Champions to do some duelling outside of the normal battle rules.
This variant rule is free to download with your copy of the game. I hope you have fun with it!
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