I just received some questions, so I thought I'd make the answers public:
Three questions about Pentathlon, as I'm thinking of running a game locally:
1. Why is fencing worth so little compared to every other event? Average value in Swimming is 80, while in Fencing max is 20.
The events are scaled so that the point spread of each event is about the same because it's the point differentials that will determine final victory. If players want to add 60 points to each of their Fencing scores so it's about the same number of points as Swimming, that's fine.
2. For Show Jumping - Does each type of jump have to be used once? What happens if you roll the same number twice? Also, what is this "fixed jump" you talk about? (okay, that's three questions)
I realize now there is some confusion due to my use of the word "jump." I'll think about how to reword the rules. Below, the word "jump" refers to category you score. Each player will make a sequence of six jumps.
Each type of jump is used exactly once. Some jump are easier to score large values, and the Low and High jumps go together. It's important that each player do all 6 different jumps, not only because it will keep their scores similar, but the different jump types are designed to pull their rolls in different directions and makes for more interesting decisions of what to aim for next.
At the start of the event, roll 3 times to randomly design a course.
1) Determine the die to be used in the Number jump.
2 & 3) The fixed jump: the 2nd roll selects which jump is fixed, and the 3rd roll determines whether players must make it their 1st, 2nd, ..., or 6th jump in sequence.
In the example given in the rules, the fixed jump says that every player's 3rd jump must be the Pairs jump. They cannot make the Pairs jump elsewhere in sequence, and they cannot score a different jump as their 3rd jump.
These three rolls determine the course run by all competitors, but it still leaves a lot of flexibility. Given the above fixed jump, one competitor could go:
High, Low, Pairs, Number, Odd, Straight
while another could do:
Odd, Low, Pairs, Straight, Pairs, High
3. If you "coast along" in Cross-Country, do you take the 5 point penalty regardless of what your dice show or only if you lose? Also, is the sum of the three dice scored at all or is it just to determine penalties?
Thanks in advance; it looks like a great variation!
Coasting along cost 5 points whether you have the highest roll or the lowest. The cross-country point dice are just used to determine penalties and are never scored.
The idea is that point costs reflect falling behind, either because the player fails to keep pace with the pack (coast along) or wears themselves out trying to compete (losing the penalty number).
Enjoy the game, and let me know if you have further questions.