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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Mounts - Where Do They Go When You Go in the Dungeon?

I had this thought last night after our party killed a half starved and recently unchained hippogryph (at least I THINK it was a hippogryph.) After toying with the idea of finding hippo eggs (nope) it occurred to me that mounts, especially the special ones, are mostly hand waved away when not in use (my personal experience going back to the early 80s)

Paladin's warhorse? Leave it at the dungeon entrance and he'll be there when you get back.

Flying mount? Let it graze or hunt until your return.

Regular horses? Occasionally missing upon the party's return, but for the most part their presence (or lack there of) is hand waved.

In many ways, mounts are like strict encumbrance rules - off screen and not thought of until they impact the adventure.

What's your experience with mounts? Integral elements or mostly off stage and an afterthought?

7 comments:

  1. We have a running gag about "bury the horses." Why "busy the horses up to their necks in the sand with food and water in front of them" came up, I don't recall.

    But generally, if folks ride to the dungeon, they also have NPCs to watch the horses. Hirelings are cheaper than horses in most games.

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  2. My group hired henchmen to guard the base camp.

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  3. Hirelings and having a camp that isn't right outside the dugeon of certain death tends to work okay.

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  4. If the players aren't smart enough to hire guards for their camp, the pack animals have either wandered off or have been eaten. Good luck dragging that cart filled with treasure back t town in the snow!

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  5. Our solution was leaving the characters of the players who were absent on guard duty. Killed 2 birds with 1 stone, so to speak. On the occasions that everyone showed up, there was always an NPC or two in the group that could be left behind.

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  6. Unless they take special precautions mounts usually go in the ogre's cooking pot.

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  7. I had a player who insisted he could take his mount into dungeons to allow him his charging lance attack (I never allowed it), but mostly hirelings or henchmen had to be employed to feed and water the horses in a camp outside the dungeon. It is one of the expenses assumed by the AD&D adventure economy.

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