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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mounts and other Rideable Beasts

Mounts in Arduin Eternal cover a wide spectrum, ranging from horses to gliding airsharks. This range of possible mounts makes it sometimes difficult to game master well, but some typical scenarios exist across all mount types that can be generalized into some simple rules. As an example, the act of climbing aboard a steed and riding may seem simple on the outside but can have some surprising complexities when you through in beings like firemanes and airsharks. Still, outside of these exceptions we can find a common stream of basics and general rules to guide us. After all, country riding and long jaunts under the blue sky are not the fodder of adventures! No, its the spark of trouble, igniting the tinder of adventure that burns in our hearts.

Nothing replaces the basics so we shouldn't ignore them. Arduin Eternal covers a lot of things but in discussing the details of mounts it missed a lot. You can find tidbits in the Ride skill and a bit more in the Adventuring and Battle and Melee sections but not a terrible lot. So, let's start with some basics on what can count as a mount in the first place.

  • It may seem commonsense but you can't ride something that isn't big enough or strong enough to carry you. Not that smaller super strong beings couldn't carry you but a certain amount of size relative to your own is required – 25% more BODY to be exact – to allow it to act as a mount.
  • Mounts that have four or more legs and mounts that are built to carry riders add a +20 bonus to this value to determine their capacity to carry a rider. If a four-legged creature stands on two legs and has a rider, they lose this bonus until they return to four-legged movement.
  • It requires a TD 50 Ride skill check to function as a single unit in melee. Without the check, you are just a passenger, potentially an aggressive and/or active one, but still a passenger on a moving creature. You have a –30 penalty to Maneuver skills and ATK rolls. However, if you succeed, you and your mount function as a single being, ignoring this penalty and combining your BODY into a single unit for the purposes of BODY damage and your SIZE scores to determine ER. Otherwise, the benefits of unifying BODY and SIZE are negated by your lack of skill.
  • If you are a rider (instead of a passenger) you synchronize your CF with your mount and the mount handles movement, without an action on your part until you are forced to make an additional Ride check. This also means your mount is using its normal action to move and potentially its quickened action as well if you are spurring it on, asking it to dodge, etc. Synchronized CF also means its movement occurs on your CF. Mounted movement uses the mount's movement score, adjusted for carrying load and terrain.
  • Passengers are a different story. The mount moves on its own CF and takes action as it deems fit. You have no control until you retake it with a new TD 50 Ride skill check.
  • Unless unhorsed, you dismount or fall off, you continue to move with the mount. Doesn't matter whether you are a passenger or a rider.
  • If you fall from your mount, use the rules under Acrobatics on pg 238 to determine how to control it and slips and trips in the Battle and Melee section on page 454.

Charge – This works as outlined on pg. 447 of the Battle and Melee section in Arduin Eternal book. Use your combined BODY and one third the encumbrance as a bonus.

Dash – This works as outlined on pg. 448 of the Battle and Melee section in Arduin Eternal book.

Leap/Jump – As outlined on page 238 under Acrobatics except your mount uses Athletics to perform the jump if if on land or in the water and Acrobatics like normal if in the air.

Overrun/TrampleAdd a +20 bonus to BODY comparisons. They also add the BODY from the load (rider, goods, etc.) the horse is carrying.

Press – Handled the same as Overrun/Trample

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