Tuesday, April 12, 2022

d100 - One Hundred Horses

Growing up around Horses, how I use them in these games might be one of my vernacular tells. One of those little things that I always seem to do, despite what the system might say. When I was younger, I had the privilege of spending some of my Summers with these animals, grooming, riding, but mostly I remember mucking out intolerably mephitic and sweltering Stables for extra pocket money (some of which even went to Roleplaying Game Books!).

Horses can be incredibly frustrating and thick-headed creatures, or remarkably patient and even helpful. Some are tender and kind, others are just plain mean to anything that walks on two feet or four. Getting to gradually know them over time, you soon learn little peculiarities and peccadillos that might not be obvious at first glance. Each one ends up progressively distinguishing themselves from the others with their own eccentricities and personalities.

In the games I Referee, I recognize that I tend to make Horses more expensive both to purchase and to maintain in addition to equipping them with quirks. Whilst they can naturally graze on grass or hay for sustenance, this isn’t a way to keep them in top form or fit. Granted, much of my experience is informed by my time with the more Athletic variety: the wealthy ranchers that supplemented my Summer spending money played an awful lot of Polo and were into the more thoroughly bred and rather babied beasts. They kept a high-priced herd of them, with a lot of rotating customers to have to contend with, and each needed to be fed their peculiar diets and put through paces for exercise.

So, here’s a table you could use to make these mounts more meaningful. I tend to insist on names (if the players don’t leap to the opportunity to do this themselves, there’s a significant portion of them that seem to love obtaining “pets” after all) and I like them to possess distinctive dispositions and memorable temperaments to further set them apart from just another piece of Gear. Not all the traits below are beneficial, but sometimes that’s what you end up saddled with 😊.

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