One of the pivotal points in any fantasy campaign is when the party gains enough mounts for everyone to ride. Not only are they given greater mobility and endurance in long travels, they are a boon in combat. Rapid deployments, greater blows against footmen, and the ability to trample their foes make player characters even deadlier. Mounts however are very expensive, both to purchase and maintain. They require more feed than characters and are even pickier about what they can eat.
The chart below is a list of the most commonly purchased riding animals and some of their statistics. Only the Health and Strength of the different mounts will change. Their Agility & Awareness will always be 45 + 1d10, Intellect of 1d10, and a Willpower of 4d10. Not having hands, riding animals do not have a Dexterity score using instead their AGL for attacks with hooves. All normal riding animals have one action, and will deal 1d10(+ 1/10th STR) Injury with their hooves.
Ponies and most riding horses have the following skills: Defensive Tactics 16%, Kick 13%, and General Training at 13%. Warhorses have Defensive Tactics 23%, Kick 23%, Battle Trained 23%, and General Training at 13%. Mules have Defensive Tactics 16%, Kick 18%, and General Training at 10%. Only horses and other mounts that are Battle Trained will not spook during battle. Only roll for their Battle Training skill when absolutely nasty creatures, spells, or effects occur on the battle field. If they fail their skill roll, or if they do not have the skill, then the rider must make a riding control roll. Failure will dump the rider on the ground with the mount running for dear life. Non-trained mounts must make a control roll every five rounds of combat.
|Name of Animal||Cost of Animal||Die Roll for HEA + STR||Movement Run (in ft)||Maximum Encumbrance by speed|
50 + 1d10
|Horse||200||60 + 1d10||90'||94||188||281||375|
|300||70 + 1d10||100'||102||205||307||410|
|400||80 + 1d10||110'||112||225||337||450|
|500||90 + 1d10||120'||130||260||390||520|
|Warhorse||300||60 + 1d10||90'||85||170||255||340|
|400||70 + 1d10||90'||95||190||285||380|
|600||80 + 1d10||90'||105||210||315||420|
|750||90 + 1d10||100'||115||230||345||460|
|900||100 + 1d10||110'||125||250||375||500|
|1000||110 + 1d10||120'||137||275||412||550|
|Mule||50||50 + 1d10||60'||100||200||300||400|
|75||60 + 1d10||60'||112||225||337||450|
|100||70 + 1d10||60'||125||250||375||500|
While traveling long distances, any mount with a Running movement greater than 90' will use the Horse travel rates as described in the Core rules. Mules, and any mount with less than a 90' Running movement will use the On Foot category. Use the mount's HEA and not the rider's when determining exhaustion.
When in combat, the mounted warrior is the medieval equivalent to a tank. Able to be heavily armored, very strong, and able to deal incredible injury to other opponents. A mounted warrior will have all of the normal combat rules apply, except for skill modifiers against other mounted opponents. Against footmen, the mounted warrior will deal an additional level of injury. For example: A knight charges into the fray attacking a footman with a bastard sword. The knight rolls an eight for injury and would normally deal 24 points of injury. Due to the greater gravity and length of swing, the actual injury dealt will be increased as if he rolled a nine. The footman will be hit for 27 points of injury plus the knight's bonuses. If the initial injury roll is a 10 then count that strike as a critical roll, re-rolling to determine the effects and additional injury.
Mounted warriors cannot use small weapons such as knives, hatchets, or clubs while mounted. Two handed weapons may only be used while the horse is stationary, and if the horse bolts or is spooked the rider will have a penalty of 20 to a riding control roll. Normal bows most crossbows use the same rules as two handed weapons, but light and pistol crossbows can be fired one handed from horseback. They cannot be reloaded until the horse becomes still however.
Mounted warriors also have very little defense from footmen when stationary. At full defense they can only use 1/4 of their modified Defensive Tactics. When striking or otherwise occupied they have no defensive tactics. They do however retain any bonus from a shield or weapon specialization at full value. While moving they use all of the above rules, but also enjoy the movement penalties to strike from both missile weapons and melee weapons.
Striking while trying to control a horse is not the easiest thing in the world. In addition to any movement penalties for the rider to strike, they suffer an additional penalty based inversely on their riding score. The chart below will show the additional penalty for unskilled riders.
|Ride Animal Skill||Modifier to skills from horseback|
|01 - 20||- 25 to most skills|
|21 - 30||- 20 to most skills|
|31 - 40||- 10 to most skills|
|41 - 50||- 5 to most skills|
|51 - 80||- 0 to most skills|
|81 +||+ 5 to most skills|
|Cost: 2x Normal suit of Armor||Weight: 2x Normal suit of Armor|
|Barding has the same PV as a suit of the appropriate armor.|
|Bit & Bridle|
|Cost: 3||Weight: 3 lbs|
|Includes the bare minimum equipment needed to control a riding animal. Riding bareback with a non-sentient creature will inflict a penalty of 20 to all riding skill rolls.|
|Cost: 15||Weight: 35 lbs|
|Needed for maximum comfort with a minimum of problems controlling the mount. Riding without a saddle will result in a penalty of 10 to all riding skill rolls, and a HEA roll (with the riding skill mod) after every riding session. Failure will require rest until the saddle sores are healed.|
|Cost: 5||Weight: 8 lbs|
|Large saddlebags can carry up to 30 lbs of gear inside the bags. In addition the saddlebags can be used to tie and secure larger items to the back of the horse, but may be limited by the size of the items and the rider.|
|Animal Feed (Oats & Grains)|
|Cost: 8||Weight: 8 lbs|
|Enough oats and grains to feed a horse for one full week.|
© 2000 J. K. Wykowski & T. Coonrod