Mounted Combat 101
In light of 101 official sales (and hopefully many unofficial ones) of Mounted Combat, I have put together a little intro to specific tricks found within the book.
Reroll Moves. Mathematically speaking, a reroll move – like several mounted combat moves are – shifts the math of a roll upwards considerably. a Control +1 move with a reroll can have a very favorable curve even compared to a Control +3 move. This is why reroll moves are by preference triggered only under specific circumstances. But why would a reroll mechanic exist in Dungeon World when failure is cool and gets you XP? To encourage you to describe actions for that trigger and thus reinforce the “theme” of the mount.
So when you make a mount with a reroll move:
-Don’t let the mount be too controllable under other circumstances.
-limit the trigger.
-make the trigger enforce a core thematic point or cool thing the mount can do.
Mounts are equipment. And that means they can be taken away.
This is not a thematic touchstone I delve into in the book itself, but this is important; Make sure you know if this is going to be a game where mounts will die. A grim, gritty and hectic game where mounts are used and then left behind (or used as rations) will use the rules very differently from a game where a mount is a recurring feature of a character and is treated as a beloved companion.
Vehicles, navigation and chase scenes
Vehicles are a conveyance between two or more points. Very often in games, people will traverse from A to B with no real issue to cut out cruft and get to the “meat” of the story. When vehicles are in play, you should treat the journey itself as an opportunity to throw threats at the group. Chase scenes are the classic touchstone, but even simpler things like bandits on the road or an attack which forces you to “circle the wagons” can work. A sea journey can be interrupted by a Kraken, and a flying ship journey can be interrupted by a… sky… Kraken. I’m not good with air monsters. More prosaically, you can introduce bad roads, valuable cargo, navigation problems and fantastic roads. Maybe an ancient dwarven empire laid a network of perfectly straight roads a thousand years ago (like historical romans did much to the marvel of medieval engineers), including straight through mountains and over oceans. What happens on such a road? Find out!
Vehicles are vehicles for stories, and they give the group toys to play with.
Yes, the Mounted Wombat move can be stacked. (See my G+ history for details.)
Look forward to later in the month for a Print On Demand edition of the book!