9 thoughts on “Travel on Horseback”

  1. In the book, horses have load 10, while war horses have load 12. I find this hard to believe since the fighter can hold more than a horse. I always assume these numbers mean “other than the rider”. I don’t make them take rations or anything, but I do make it clear that something could happen to them if the fiction is right. I do shave off days if they have horses. It only makes sense for them to get there in half the time as if they walked.

  2. From my reading about medieval travel, the main advantage for horseback was comfort, not reduced travel time. Horses could be pushed to travel faster, but at risk. For DW, I emphasize the main benefit being the carrying capacity, and the ability to quickly evade/outrun certain dangers.

  3. About feeding the horse: I guess It depends of the enviroment… is there any grass for the horse to chew? If not you should get some carrots and water for the poor sod…

  4. I agree with Dion Kurczek . Horses don’t make travel much quicker, generally. But they let you carry more stuff, or pull carts/wagons. They can also be used to outrun some danger (short term).

    Rations I always assume mounts, hirelings, and other NPCs have rations, unless it is fictionally relevant. Part of the allure of DW is the lack of micromanagement of inventory.

    If the PCs run out of food, the NPCs are out of food too. We all starve together!

    Or if it is fictionally interesting to do something to require them to manage rations, then add it in as needed – crossing desert with a horse? Gonna need a lot of Load for water and food; which becomes a tempting target for anything else.

    Perilous Journey rolls I wouldn’t have them shave days off of a journey, unless the journey was going to be slowed by encumbrance. Hell, if the PCs are taking a cart, they need to stick to roads/bridges even more closely. But depending on rolls, they may be in a better (or worse!) position to respond to whatever comes up on a bad scout/trailblazer/quartermaster roll.

    Load Micromanagement isn’t much fun, til it is. Unless it’s really relevant, i would allow any reasonable load. If they end up somewhere in the fiction that it becomes interesting, then we may need to look at it more closely, insofar as it serves the fun.

    For instance: if one of four horses dies because of a thing that happened in the fiction, do we redistribute load? Is something left behind? Or do we need to slow it down a bit?

  5. I guess I err on the side of fantasy. When you think of riding a horse in a fantasy setting you think about haste and images of Gandalf hauling ass on Shadowfax (Sp?) come to mind. Plus horses are expensive and fragile items to purchase in DW, so I give them a little boost and wave a hand at the specifics. You can always just pass them off as being better than real world horses because of special elven breeding secrets and whatnot.

  6. Hmm … Horses are complicated. Grazing is okay but if you want to get serious sustained work you need to feed them grain rations as well. The main reason for traveling by horse is to arrive fresh rather than to arrive fast. Fast is done by Post Relays or something similar. Long distance travel usually includes a break every hour and some short stretches of faster gait but most travel is done at a walk. If you can’t find historical travel rates for US cavalry then there is a lot of travel rate information for the ANZAC light horse in Palestinian campaign of WWI.

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