Rules for Horses
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...."
|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|
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.|
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.
|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.|
Also note that strange colors cannot spontaniously just appear in a herd without GM approval.
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.
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.
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".
|1||Chocolate silver||Deep chocolate color with brighter spots and black legs. White mane.||x4|
|2||Silver dapple||Lighter sepia cream chocolate color with brighter spots and black legs. Blonde mane.||x4|
|3||Smoky black dun||Faded silver/cream color with darker leg markings. Dark blonde mane and tail with white tips.||x4|
|4||Smoky cream grulla||Near white shiny coat with barely visible leg markings. Light grey mane with white highlights.||x5|
|5||Pearl||Pale apricot body and mane/tail. Blue eyes.||x5|
|6||Perlino||Shiny pale cream coat, lower legs darker. Mane darker.||x6|
|7||Palomino||Very shiny pale cream coat. Mane bright.||x6|
|8||Cremello||Shiny pale cream coat, white mane.||x7|
|9||True black||Shiny ebony black coat.||x8|
|10||Dominant white||Completely white horse. Pink nose brown eyes.||x8|
|11||Albino||Completely white horse. Pink nose redish/pink eyes.||x10|
|12||Eire snowflake||Bright red with white spots, increases with age. Grey mane.||x10|
|13||Aquitanian brindle||Dark blueish with red bridlemarks. Black mane and tail. Blue eyes.||x15|
|14||Frisian ebony||Ebony black, with longer mane and tail.||x15|
|15||Lyonesse pure||Shiny white, very long mane and tail.||x15|
|16||Midnight mare||Dark blue-tinted coat with very small bright white dots. Black mane, sometimes with brighter highlights.||x15|
|17||Wasteland blood||Dark blood-red coat. Black mane and legs. Characteristic red eyes and lips.||x15|
|18||Avalon ivory||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
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.
- 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:
|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.
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.