Thursday, March 24, 2011

“Horses! Get yer Horses here!”

Want to make the horse-buying process something more than just subtracting gold pieces from a character sheet? Have a player who simply MUST know what kind of selection the horse trader has for sale? Has it ever occurred to you that the characters’ mounts are NPCs too? If so and you don’t know where to start, download this incredibly helpful PDF that I cobbled together from diverse sources such as Wikipedia and various game supplements. It’s one of the goodies I keep close at hand in my referee binder for just such occasions. Random tables are provided to make horse trading fun again!

Want to know more about horses? Consult your local library or listen to seminal Patti Smith album of the same name:


ckutalik said...

I love this kind of stuff. Printed and stuck in GM's folder.

richard said...

I haven't taken horses for granted since the monk Tripitaka's horse suddenly turned out to be a speaking immortal spirit bound into animal form in the 3rd season of Monkey (a Japanese TV retelling of Journey To The West). Thereafter he appeared sometimes as a horse and sometimes as a man. It was a grand coup.

Spawn of Endra said...

Very cool! The quirks remind me of the vaquero term "pajarero", which literally means "birder" in Spanish, that describes a horse that is always spooked by birds flying out of the underbrush.

Higgipedia said...

I like being able to give some personality to the mounts, a la Shadowfax or Poor Old Bill.

Dangerous Brian said...

At the risk of being accussed of self-plugging, you could also read this article on my blog

BlUsKrEEm said...

One of my favorite characters was a horse trainer in a GURPS-esque home brew. The System allowed you to spend XP to improve companions and followers, so eventually my characters main horse was a much more useful character then my PC.

5stonegames said...

Thats one of the best short freebies I've ever seen for Old School D&D


Anonymous said...

I'd comment on Brian's page, but he's not happy playing with anonymous people.

Re: horse travel distance. Horses travel about 50 to 80 miles a day, in the wild (ie: not carrying a human). Endurance riders can ride their horses 100-miles in 10–12 hours, while passing periodic vet. checks. But, they're not carrying much more than tack + rider.

The running a horse into the ground is a popular meme, but I'm not sure how true it is. Especially if the runner is planning on carrying any weight/gear. A Zulu might only be wearing a loincloth, and picking up a spear from the village he ends up next to when he's done. Probably knows the area, and isn't carrying water/rations either.

Re: warhorses not being ridden while traveling, the Pendragon image is correct. There's typically a riding horse, and then the knight's warhorse (which probably isn't wearing its barding during travel).

And yeah, you can run your group of knights on stallions, and probably is fine going by a couple mares in heat... but facing an army of mares... not so cool.

Rainer posted (now dead links) to these articles:

"Horses Are People Too", Horse coloration, personality, attributes. Dragon 191(pg.10)

"Let the Horse Buyer Beware" Dragon 92(pg.26)

"Bazaar of the Bizarre: Magical Items for Your Mount" Dragon 208(pg.29)

"Through the Looking Glass", Miniature figures: Painting Horse coloration Dragon 141(pg.80)

"Dragon's Bestiary, Horse Variants" Dragon 149(pg.22)

"Warhorses and Barding" Dragon 74(pg.4)

Also, the TSR Manual, "Arms and Equipment Guide", has a chapter on Exotic mounts.