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Rules for Horses

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The horse is the most important part of a Knights life, his best friend, his battle companion and the very definition of what makes him a "knight". A knight has a special bond to his horse, not only because it's probably the biggest investment in his life. Or as a famous knight once said "I can always remarry, but horses are expensive...."

These rules help us define how to make horses more interesting in the game. First we see a table that helps us define overall how horses are seen. Horses with bad traits are generally worth less.

Trait Quality of traits Description Value
1-5 Very bad traits These traits would normally get a horse slaughtered. But times might be desperate. These trait makes a horse dangerous to use in combat. x0.25
5-10 Bad traits These are cumbersome traits to have in a horse. And could lower the price of the horse. But they can still be used most of the time. x0.5
11-13 Normal traits A few interesting traits, neither too good or too bad. x0.75
14-17 No traits Just a regular horse. x1
18-20 Normal traits A few interesting traits, neither too good or too bad. x1
21-25 Good traits These are traits that make a horse more useful than normally. And could increase the price of the horse by quite a lot. x1.25
26-30 Very good traits These traits make the horse spectacular and the envy of other knights. These are the horses of kings and heroes. x1.5

Modifiers

When you get a new horse you must first ask the GM the quality of the horse provided. Generally commoners and squires get -5 horses, household knights get +0 horses, well off vassals get +5, lords and barons get +10, and royalty gets +15. Only the in rarest cases a knight gets to roll for a horse with +20 or more. Check with your GM and look at the table below.

Also worth noting is that if you pull a horse from your herd before it's fully trained you get an additional penalty of -5 for each year of lacking training.

Modifiers Type of horse Description
–15 to trait roll Cursed horse No horse this bad survives for long.
–10 to trait roll Bad horse These horses would sell for a fraction of a price. Only a desperate knight would buy a horse from this horse.
–5 to trait roll Cheap horse These horses would sell for maybe half the price. Only a poor knight would buy this horse.
0 to trait roll Common horse These horses is not a fitting for a knight, only if times are bad would a knight risk buying this horse.
+5 to trait roll Noble horse This is the common roll for a warhorse of a knight. The horse COULD have bad or good traits. but never the very good or very bad.
+10 to trait roll Lords horse This is the horse for lords and barons. This makes the horse very expensive. But they can never have bad traits.
+15 to trait roll Royal horse This is a spectacular horse indeed, usually only kings or rich counts could affords these horses. They have a high probability of good traits.
+20 to trait roll Magical horse These are the horses of faerie or legend. They cannot be bought. They only have good traits.

Traits

When you know the modifier for horse quality, roll on the table below. Your horse get's the trait. If you get a very bad horse you can always pull another horse from your herd if you can, but it might require you to wait some years.

Roll Trait Description Rule
01 Biter The horse has a nasty temperament and likes to take chunks out of unsuspecting bystanders. Roll [Horsemanship -5] otherwise horse attacks someone that gets close.
02 Kicker Walking behind this dead-eyed brute is a bad idea as he loves to kick out. Horse attacks anyone that steps behind it.
03 Lazy This horse does not like to move. Roll [Horsemanship -5] to even get this horse moving.
04 Rears This horse tends to rear when stressed or scared. Roll [Horsemanship -5] or fall of the horse if the horse is stressed (i.e. attack/attacking).
05 Stomper This beast takes perverse joy in stomping on feet and crushing toes. 25% to stomp on feet of anyone getting close (1D6 damage).
06 Bone-jarring Whatever jangling way this ungainly beast moves it is uncomfortable and tiring for its rider. Makes all travel difficult. Double all travel times or takes 1hp damage for each hour of travel.
07 Headstrong This horse knows where it wants to go. -5 to all rolls for Horsemanship
08 Gentle This noble horse is a kind soul. Even if combat-trained, this horse causes the rider -5 to combat rolls.
09 Escape artist No stable built by man can hold this horse. Frequently (storytellers discretion) escapes. Escapes on 17-20 on a stable-roll each winter.
10 Easily distracted “Look, squirrel!” Frequently (storytellers discretion) looses sight of what it’s doing. Roll [Horsemanship] to get the hose back on track.
11 Love-sick Needy, this horse likes to get up and personal and kiss you. Licks and kisses people that gets to close.
12 Skittish This horse dislikes something particular. If confronted with a certain animal/thing/activity, this horse gets very skittish (-5 on all Horsemanship).
13 Slow This horse is slower than most. –1 MOV
14 Spot Curious spot of color. Interesting point of conversation, at most.
15 Curious This horse likes to keep watch. Horse rolls [Awarness 10+1d6] to warn of dangers.
16 Insignificant Absolutely nothing to mention about this horse. Nothing.
17 Hairy This horse has an unusually mane and fur. Can fetch a bit extra coin.
18 Friendly This horse likes strangers. Anyone can ride this horse equally well.
19 Playful This horse likes children. This horse protects and cares for human children.
20 Herd-animal This horse gets along better than most with other animals. Leads other animals from danger.
21 Stable Even at a gallop this horse keeps things steady. Rider adds +5 to Horsemanship-rolls to avoid falling of the horse.
22 Fleet This horse is quick as the wind. +1 MOV
23 Agile This horse takes its lead from agile coursers, and knows how to get through vegetation and terrain. +5 Horsemanship in courser-terrain.
24 Sure-Footed This horse takes its lead from nimble hill ponies, and knows how to uneven ground. +5 Horsemanship in hillpony-terrain.
25 Leaper This horse loves to jump and has an amazing spring. Can jump higher and longer. +5 to Horsemanship when jumping.
26 Strong This horse is a wall of muscle. +2 Damage
27 Robust This horse is tough and fit. +10 hp
28 Intelligent This horse is clever and knows one ore more tricks. Choose 1d3 tricks.
29 Fearless This horse would ride into hell. Will never flee.
30 Multitalented This horse has multiple traits! Roll two traits 20+1d10.
31+ Gift of Epona This magical horse might be a gift directly from Epona. Choose a trait from above or come up with a unique trait with the GM Spec.

Colours

Almost all horses in Britain are different variation of what we would call brown. Roll below to check the coat of your horse. In rare cases it might even increase the value of your horse!

Also note that strange colors cannot spontaniously just appear in a herd without GM approval.

Roll Colour Image Description
01-03 Bay Horse-bay.png Red body with no black. Black mane.
04-05 Blood bay Horse-blood-bay.png Dark blood-red, almost purple. Black mane.
06-07 Mahogany bay Horse-mahogany-bay.png Brown red, some black mixed in. Black mane.
08-09 Copper bay Horse-copper-bay.png Orange-red body. Black mane.
10-11 Gold bay Horse-gold-bay.png Yellowish body. Black mane.
12-13 Wild bay Horse-wild-bay.png Minimal black points, short black legs. Black mane.
14-15 Dark bay Horse-dark-bay.png Very dark red or brown. Black mane.
16-17 Standard chestnut Horse-standard-chestnut.png Reddish brown. Mane same color.
18-19 Cherry chestnut Horse-red-chestnut.png Bright red, red highlights. Mane same color.
20-21 Sorrel chestnut Horse-light-chestnut.png Light reddish brown. Mane same color.
22 Golden chestnut Horse-golden-chestnut.png Golden reddish brown. Mane same color.
23 Honey chestnut Horse-golden-chestnut.png Very light yellow brown. Mane same color.
24 Liver chestnut Horse-liver-chestnut.png Dark copper-reddish. Mane same color.
25 Black chestnut Horse-black-chestnut.png Very dark brown, nearly black. Dark copper-reddish mane.
26 Brown Horse-brown.png Brown with yellowish or red soft spots. Black mane.
27 Seal brown ("Black") Horse-seal-brown.png Very dark brown, nearly black with lighter soft spots. Black mane.
28-29 Uncommon color Roll uncommon color 1d20.
30 Rare color Roll rare color 1d20.
31+ Strange color Roll Strange color 1d20,

Uncommon colors

These are uncommon colors, they generally increase the value of the horse. Riding a horse with uncommon color at a tournament grants your +5/-5 to certain social rolls att storyteller discretion as well as 5 Glory each year the horse is being actively used.

Roll Color Image Description Value
1 Light red dun Horse-light-red-dun.png Lightest shade of red dun. Reddish mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
2 Red dun Horse-red-dun.png Light shade of red dun. Reddish mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
3 Liver dun Horse-liver-dun.png Liver-brown fur. Chocolate-brown mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
4 Copper dun Horse-copper-dun.png Copper-red fur. Brownish mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
5 Bronze dun Horse-bronze-dun.png Reddish-brown fur. Brown mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
6 Silver dun Horse-silver-dun.png Creamy silver. Shaded color, darker near head. Black mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
7 Gold dun Horse-gold-dun.png Warm cream to apricot. Ivory mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
8 Slate dun Horse-slate-dun.png Dark shade of blueish-black. Shaded color, darker near hear. Black mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
9 Black dun Horse-black-dun.png Lighter black color. Shaded color, darker near hear. Black mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
10 Bay dun Horse-bay-dun.png Tan or gold with black points and mane. Legs darker with black points. x1.25
11 Buttermilk dun Horse-buttermilk-dun.png Pale cream fur. Black mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
12 Brown dun Horse-brown-dun.png Lighter than mouse dun. Brown to black. Darker mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
13 Mouse dun Horse-mouse-dun.png Very dark muddy brown. Darker mane. Shaded color, darker near head. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
14 Olive dun Horse-olive-dun.png Brownish green. Darker mane. Shaded color, darker near head. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
15 Yellow dun Horse-yellow-dun.png Light to dark, peachy-yellow. Ivory/white mane. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.25
16 Buckskin dun Horse-buckskin-dun.png Yellow-tan with dark points. Black mane. Legs black. x1.25
17 Cream dun Horse-cream-dun.png Pale cream coat. Ivory light mane. Barely visible darker leg-markings. x1.5
18 Sable dun Horse-sable-dun.png Coat darker than amber with chocolate points. Chocolate brown mane and leg-markings. x1.5
19 Amber dun Horse-amber-dun.png Buff tan coat with chocolate points. Pale chocolate mane. x1.5
20 Smoky black dun Horse-smoky-black-dun.png Grey. Dark grey mane with white hightlights. Shaded color, darker near head. Legs darker than the rest of the body. x1.5

Rare colors

These are rare or very rare colors, they always increase the value of the horse. Riding a horse with uncommon color at a tournament grants your +5/-5 to certain social rolls att storyteller discretion as well as 10 Glory each year the horse is being actively used.

Roll Color Image Description Value
1 Strawberry roan Horse-strawberry-roan.png Tan to pink coat. Legs and head unwhitened. Mane same color. x1.5
2 Black roan Horse-black-roan.png Grey, blue or purple coat. Legs and head unwhitened. Mane black. x1.5
3 Bay roan Horse-bay-roan.png Burgundy to pink coat. Head unwhitened. Mane and legs black. x1.5
4 Liliac roan Horse-liliac-roan.png Roan on Dark Chestnut. Legs and head unwhitened. Mane dark. x1.5
5 Honey roan Horse-honey-roan.png Roan on Palomino. Legs and head unwhitened. Mane slightly darker. x1.5
6 Amber ivory champagne Horse-amber-ivory-champagne.png Shiny ivory to light gold-shaded cream. Mane and tail a shade darker. x1.75
7 Sable ivory champagne Horse-sable-ivory-champagne.png Shiny pale golden brown or tan. Light brown mane, tail and legs. x1.75
8 Classic champagne Horse-classic-champagne.png Shiny dark taupe or liliac with legs amd mane a shade darker. x1.75
9 Amber champagne Horse-amber-champagne.png Shiny golden brown coat. Brown mane and darker brown legs. x1.75
10 Sable champagne Horse-sable-champagne.png Shiny dark golden brown coat. Brown mane and darker brown legs. x1.75
11 Ivory champagne Horse-ivory-champagne.png Shiny ivory cream volor. White mane and tail. x1.75
12 Double cream champagne Horse-double-cream-champagne.png Shiny cream white. Mane and tail same color. x2
13 Fleabitten grey Horse-fleabitten-grey.png Grey, flecks of base color remain in coat. (Roll on first table to find out what color) Grey mane. x1.5
14 Dapple grey Horse-dapple-grey.png Darker grey, dappled with base color. Black mane. x1.75
15 Rose grey Horse-rose-grey.png Lighter shade of red base. Black mane. x2
16 Iron grey Horse-iron-grey.png Grey on black. Bluish tint. Black legs and mane. x2
17 Medium grey Horse-medium-grey.png Grey on dark color. Near black mane. x2
18 Mulberry grey Horse-mulberry-grey.png Grey on chestnut. White with reddish knees. Mane dark red with white tips. x2.5
19 Grey Horse-grey.png Lightned coat. Light grey mane and tail. x3
20 White grey Horse-white-grey.png Completely lightned coat. Light grey mane and tail. x4

Strange colors

These are unique or extremly rare colors causing people to turn their heads in awe as you ride by. Riding a horse with strange color at a tournament grants your +5/-5 to certain social rolls att storyteller discretion as well as 20 Glory each year the horse is being actively used. The values here might bring the horses into extreme values and they would probably be very difficult to sell for the full price. Only the richest of kings can afford to buy horses "worth a small kingdom".

Roll Color Image Description Value
1 Chocolate silver Horse-chocolate-silver.png Deep chocolate color with brighter spots and black legs. White mane. x4
2 Silver dapple Horse-silver-dapple.png Lighter sepia cream chocolate color with brighter spots and black legs. Blonde mane. x4
3 Smoky black dun Horse-smoky-black-dun.png Faded silver/cream color with darker leg markings. Dark blonde mane and tail with white tips. x4
4 Smoky cream grulla Horse-smoky-cream-grulla.png Near white shiny coat with barely visible leg markings. Light grey mane with white highlights. x5
5 Pearl Horse-pearl.png Pale apricot body and mane/tail. Blue eyes. x5
6 Perlino Horse-perlino.png Shiny pale cream coat, lower legs darker. Mane darker. x6
7 Palomino Horse-palomino.png Very shiny pale cream coat. Mane bright. x6
8 Cremello Horse-cremello.png Shiny pale cream coat, white mane. x7
9 True black Horse-true-black.png Shiny ebony black coat. x8
10 Dominant white Horse-dominant-white.png Completely white horse. Pink nose brown eyes. x8
11 Albino Horse-albino.png Completely white horse. Pink nose redish/pink eyes. x10
12 Eire snowflake Horse-eire-snowflake.png Bright red with white spots, increases with age. Grey mane. x10
13 Aquitanian brindle Horse-aquitanian-brindle.png Dark blueish with red bridlemarks. Black mane and tail. Blue eyes. x15
14 Frisian ebony Horse-frisian-ebony.png Ebony black, with longer mane and tail. x15
15 Lyonesse pure Horse-lyonesse-pure.png Shiny white, very long mane and tail. x15
16 Midnight mare Horse-midnight-mare.png Dark blue-tinted coat with very small bright white dots. Black mane, sometimes with brighter highlights. x15
17 Wasteland blood Horse-wasteland-blood.png Dark blood-red coat. Black mane and legs. Characteristic red eyes and lips. x15
18 Avalon ivory Horse-avalon-ivory.png White or cream-color coat. Long curly mane and tail. x15
19 Unique color A very unique color, perhaps the result of a spontanious mutation. GM fiat. x20
20 Magical color A truly magical color, perhaps shifting or glowing. GM fiat. x30

The Knight's stable

The vassal knight keeps his own herd of horses making it a lot easier to replace horses that grow old or are wounded in battle.

Each vassal knights keeps a number of horses depending on the size and economy of his estate. It's calculated to provide all nobles and servants with the number of animals needed for work, travel and battle. A regular £10 manor has 1 charger, four rouncies, 2 sumpters and at least 12 horses in training.

For simplicity's sake it's calculated as such that when a knight picks out a charger from the herd, his farrier imminently begins training a rouncy to replace it. Same goes for a knight that picks a rouncy, a sumpter is trained for riding duty. In reality it's probably more complex than that but it makes book-keeping simpler.

Basic rules:
  • It takes 1-3 years for a Rouncy to become a Charger
  • It takes 2 years for a Sumpter to become a Rouncy
  • It takes 2 years for a regular horse to become a Sumpter
  • It takes 2 years for a foal to go through basic training
  • A horse becomes a fully trained charger on year 10, but can often be used from year 9.
  • Each year the horse is in use it receives 1 point in frail. Each point in frail causes the horse to get -1 on horse survival. This means that a regular new charger is 9 years old, and get's -1 on horse survival each year. Note that other things can cause the horse to get frail, such as major wounds or illness.

This gives us:

In training -> Sumpter -> Rouncy -> Charger
1-2 years -> 3-4 years -> 5-6 years -> 7-10 years

Another way this could be displayed is as followed, consider it as if the horse "levels up" for each year.

Year Horse class Bonus to traits Comment
1 In training N/A This horse is too young to use
2 In training N/A This horse is too young to use
3 Sumpter N/A Sumpters usually don't get traits
4 Sumpter N/A Sumpters usually don't get traits
5 Rouncy -5 ±0 for a regular knight's herd
6 Rouncy ±0 +5 for a regular knight's herd
7 Charger -10 -5 for a regular knight's herd
8 Charger -5 ±0 for a regular knight's herd
9 Charger ±0 +5 for a regular knight's herd
10 Charger spec. The horse get's full trait bonus for the herd, +5 for a regular knight's herd.

Always consider the "max" levels of horses the herd can supply. A knight can never pull more horses from the herd than it contains. And if he puts more horses into it, he must pay for these from his own pocket. Also note that some extra horses is already calculated into the household as "extra horses".

Example: Cadry looses his old trusty warhorse in battle, and returns home to his manor to pick out a new one. His farrier already has a well fitting horse ready and offers it to him. Cadry rolls a new horse with +5 on the table above. Unfortunately, he looses the new horse the very same year in a freak accident involving a bear, a spear and a maiden fair. When he returns his farrier informs his that he doesn't really has a fitting horse ready yet. Cadry decided that he still needs a horse. He can then either pick a rouncy with the regular +5, or a charger with -10 since it's not yet fully trained. He could wait one year and pick a charger at -5 or two years to pick one with 0 modifier or three years to pick one with the regular +5.

Breeding

One common request from ambitious knights is to breed horses. This is a simplfied system to handle that.

Once a vassal has decided he wants to improve his herd he needs to supply it with the a horse of significant quality. In rule-terms this means that if the herd is a "+5 herd" standard for a vassal. The horse he needs to make the herd better needs to come from a +10 herd. The Knight simply hands the horse over to the farriers and ask them to use the horse for breeding. This effectively makes it so that the Knight can no longer use the horse for anything but breeding.

The GM then notes a number of years before the horse can begin to give effective offspring. This follow the same table as regular training. After the right number of years the Knight now has a CHANCE to get a superior horse. This means it can take up to ten years before the knight can get a chance to get a +10 horse. Each horse of superior quality increases the chance to get a superior horse by 25%. When the chance to get a superior horse reaches 100% (four horses added) the herd effectively becomes a new level of herd.

Example: Cadry is given a +10 horse as a gift from his count for his great service in battle. He has a regular +5 herd in his estate. Cadry is old and wishes that his sons get to use the superior breed instead of himself. He decides to hand the horse over to his farrier instead to be used for breeding. This means that he can no longer use the superior horse in battle or during adventures as it is "locked up" in the stables with the other horses. Ten years passes and Cadry's son is a knight. He decides to pull a new horse from the herd for his knighting. He now has a 25% to get a +10 horse instead of a +5 horse. He rolls a d20 and get's 4, he happily pulls a +10 horse from the herd and thanks his fathers forsight.