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No Horses For You


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Re: No Horses For You

 

They left the packs and saddles tied on! Not to mention they failed to groom them' date=' check their hooves, etc. I'm not PETA fan, but I'd give some of these knights a talking to if I caught them in the act.[/quote']

 

Easy to fix. All horses in your world should talk from now on.

 

With Brooklyn accents.

 

And foul language.

 

"Hey, I'm tryin' ta SLEEP over he-ar! Get this saddle off me, motherf(*$%!"

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Re: No Horses For You

 

In a short-lived D&D campaign, my character rode a mule. Not as flashy as a horse, but it was tougher than a horse, and that came in handy in the harsh environments we wound up traveling through.

 

If a mule is good enough for The Man With no Name, it's good enough for me. :)

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Re: No Horses For You

 

Horses and camels are herd animals' date=' and can be dominated in a similar way. I seriously doubt you'd get the same sort of cooperation from a velociraptor; the only way you could expect to ride something like that without having to be constantly on guard would be if you could exert absolute mental and/or physical control over it.[/quote']

 

This is true if you grabbed one out of the wild, but what would a raptor be like after 50 generations of selective breeding for size and ability to be trained, after 100, 1000. You don't need mental or physical control, when you've got genetic control.

 

We make the animals we need, that we want. Here Horses and Dogs were easy and did the trick, but in a fantasy setting? What animals would we need to fight a thousand year war against the Orcs, what would we want. What would they have? How would magic help with selective breeding?

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Re: No Horses For You

 

For that matter' date=' consider a lancer on a rhinocerous.:sneaky:[/quote']

My favorite Runequest character rode his loyal albino war-rhinocerous. It was not sapient at first, but became "awakened" when he reached Rune-Lord status and demanded that his mount also be his Ally (sort of a familiar Rune-Lords and Rune-Priest get, Allies can be living or disembodied spirits, advantages and disadvantages to both).

 

In that world, there were the Animal Nomads, cultures that rode the same animals they herded, buffalo, reindeer, llamas, but horses were always an option for player characters.

 

Overland travel... no more than 8 hours a day to allow for setup and breakdown of camp (which includes dealing with aforementioned animals). Push them and they suffer the penalties that players would from a forced march...

Yep, I allowed this to be streched to twelve hours a day if they got twice as many animals as they needed, riding half the horses and allowing the others to come allong unburdened, switching at midday. So they could get 50% more speed for twice the cost.

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Re: No Horses For You

 

Yeah, people treating horses like cars or motorbikes was what made Terry Pratchett come up with golem horses (Making Money).

 

Horses are beautiful animals, but they seem to be awfully fragile - and stupid.

 

A good thing to read is Poul Anderson's "On Thud and Blunder". Germane here is the fact that stallions don't make good mounts, at least for women, since stallions become uncontrollable around women when they're menstruating (apologies if this word gives offence). A mare or gelding is a better choice. Also it mentions that fact that any horse untrained for battle will become unmanagable. If a cavalryman was trained from birth, so was his horse. it's an essay loaded with gems like that, although I don't agree with all his conclusions.

 

If I had a horse, I'd walk it for most of the time and rest it as much as I could. I'd gallop it only when I had to.

 

There's a dman good reason predators don't get used as mounts. They're likely to see their riders as food . . .

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Re: No Horses For You

 

Horses are beautiful animals, but they seem to be awfully fragile - and stupid.

 

Well modern horses tend to be, they've been bred to be fast, light, and obedient. If you get a shaggy mean plains horse, they are smaller, not as quick, but much tougher and smarter. The breed of horses that knights rode (destrier) has died out entirely, with shreds of its genetic stock in animals like the Clydesdale, it was nothing like a Kentucky racehorse.

 

I'd suspect that fantasy hero mounts would be more along these lines than the elegant, sleek riding horses of modern times.

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Re: No Horses For You

 

A good thing to read is Poul Anderson's "On Thud and Blunder". Germane here is the fact that stallions don't make good mounts' date=' at least for women, since stallions become uncontrollable around women when they're menstruating (apologies if this word gives offence). A mare or gelding is a better choice.[/quote']

 

Incorrect. Horse react to a menstruating woman exactly as much as you react to a menstruating horse, which to say: don't notice.

 

Stallions were a poor choice of mount for general use, because when confronted with an unfamiliar stallion, they will often fight. Which is why a knight would usually have a riding horse (palfrey) which was normally either a mare or a gelding and a destrier (which was usually a stallion).

 

cheers, Mark

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Re: No Horses For You

 

As for the horse thing, I have actuallly decided for the curent game "No Horses For You". I use big riding birds instead. This was a deliberate design decision, intended (and apparently successfully) to "shock" the players out the usual mindset as an easy way to point out "this is not medieval Europe".

 

cheers, Mark

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Re: No Horses For You

 

There was a campaign way back when--I know it was on the internet, but I don't remember names, dates, or anything else germaine--that used a variety of riding steeds for every day use, be they large flightless birds, ram/bovine-type creatures or whatever. Horses were relatively rare and reserved for military and government usage. I've been trying to find whatever it was I read (it might have been a world-builder thing and not a game) but am unsuccessful thus far.

 

In any case, it's yet one of many ideas.

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Re: No Horses For You

 

Really rich and powerful people used to travel with a baggage train for a reason. Lets face it, riding ol' paint eight hours gets a bit uncomfortable and you're completely exposed to the elements. As Wang said in Big Trouble in Little China "a brave man likes the feel of the nature on his face," but Egg Shen pointed out that a wise man has enough sense to get in out of the rain.

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Re: No Horses For You

 

The breed of horses that knights rode (destrier) has died out entirely, with shreds of its genetic stock in animals like the Clydesdale, it was nothing like a Kentucky racehorse.

This is a bit of a myth. Heavy cavalry has been with us from Roman times to 1914, and as late as 1914, heavy cavalry horses were as or more heavily laden than any medieval destrier. Stud farming was the aerospace industry of c.1200--1900. It did not lose stuff that mattered. If you catch the Olympic equestrian events, you will see the lineal descendants of medieval destriers doing what they do best.

It is true that heavy cavalry horses are not Arabian thoroughbreds. Horsebreeders refer to those as "warm blooded" animals, and suitable hunters (the basic heavy cavalry stock) are supposedly interbred European "cold" and "warm" animals. Not that this last is particularly scientific, or has anything to do with the use of these labels in biology.

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Re: No Horses For You

 

How about a stallion for a destrier, mare or gelding for general use and a mule for pack use - or is this over-complicating things?

 

And what if your stallion gets the hots for the mare? :D

 

Then you get a colt for free!

 

(Just make sure you aren't trying to ride the mare at the time...)

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Re: No Horses For You

 

This is a bit of a myth. Heavy cavalry has been with us from Roman times to 1914, and as late as 1914, heavy cavalry horses were as or more heavily laden than any medieval destrier. Stud farming was the aerospace industry of c.1200--1900. It did not lose stuff that mattered. If you catch the Olympic equestrian events, you will see the lineal descendants of medieval destriers doing what they do best.

It is true that heavy cavalry horses are not Arabian thoroughbreds. Horsebreeders refer to those as "warm blooded" animals, and suitable hunters (the basic heavy cavalry stock) are supposedly interbred European "cold" and "warm" animals. Not that this last is particularly scientific, or has anything to do with the use of these labels in biology.

 

It is my understanding that the true "Heavy Cavalry" warhorse has pretty much disappeared.

 

The Clydesdales are a poor man's version, being a draft breed. They were bred for working, not fighting. And the full-on "Heavy" warhorse averaged a couple hands larger than the modern draft breeds. HUGE animals!

 

The calvary started breeding for endurance and speed as gunpowder began to make the fully armored knight a lot less useful in battle. What the 19th century cavalry called 'heavy horse' would have been medium by medieval standards.

 

I note, however, that I am hardly an expert equestrian, much less equestrian history. This is mainly my understanding from long decades of casual interest due to my hobbies. :D

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Re: No Horses For You

 

Hey, thanks, Chris-M. I was going to come back with references to my own library, but to my chagrin, I got nothing, whereas the Wikipedia article he links to summarises the overwhelming evidence that late medieval war horses were exactly the same size as modern saddle horses.

Now I don't have to learn how to link, and can go back to teaching myself how to make fire with flint. (It gets dark in this cave after the great burning orb in the sky goes down.)

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Re: No Horses For You

 

Yeah uh' date=' about that Wikipedia thing ... ;)[/quote']

 

Not to thread drift too much, but while I'm aware that there are people who posit that everything on Wikipedia is wrong or made up, I have found that, when I have confirmed sources, it seems to be as accurate as any encyclopedia. Other than instances of deliberate article vandalism, do you have reason to believe, for instance, that the articles I linked to are historically inaccurate (they seem to agree with comments you've made in this thread, FWIW)? I do not mean that in a challenging way at all -- you may be right for all I know -- I'm just genuinely curious and want to know what I should be on the lookout for.

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Re: No Horses For You

 

The thing to lookout for is using it as a basis for any kind of academic research or authority work. The credentials of the people adding information are never verified and therefore the wiki can never be an authority.

However, it's often better information than what your friends know, or what is written on these boards - unless your friends have done a PhD on the subject you're asking them about.

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Re: No Horses For You

 

You know I have never seen anyone use giant crabs as a mount. Or giant goats for that matter. I've never seen a plant mount either, like a walking venus flytrap or living lily pads.

 

I came up with an idea, probably someone else did too, of using undead dinosaurs as undead (or living) troop transports. I even had the idea of placing siege equipment in them, a battering ram hanging in it's rib cage, catapults on it's back, siege tower/ladders running up it's neck. I imagine it coming up out of a lake or up a beach with dozens of undead riders in it's bare bones belly with wooden frameworks running this way and that.

 

I remember the only time I used a donkey was as a half orc fighter in a 3.5 game had one as a mount/sidekick. He never did anything but acted like comic relief, mostly by just standing there and me calling him a "stupid doloc!" after he eat something I needed or refused to answer a question or needed rescuing when the other players were rescuing a princess or something. I swore to the other players they were going to be running through a dungeon with some elven maiden, bags of treasure, etc. and I'll be running along with that donkey over my shoulder with some sort of jeweled barding hanging from him.

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