Beast Riding

Use: Unskilled use penalized. Macro skill use for long-distance travel.

Sample specializations: Horse, camel, unicorn, elephant, dolphin) or whatever other “beasts” may be used as mounts in a land.

This skill is used to ride horses, camels, and other mounts. When a rider first climbs aboard an animal, he generates a beast riding total using the mount’s Mind value as the difficulty number. If this check succeeds, the rider gains control of the mount and may proceed. If the check fails, the beast runs away, bucks, or throws the rider off (at the gamemaster’s discretion).

The rider must make a similar roll whenever a situation would spook the mount. The difficulty of getting the mount to perform a specific task, such as jumping over a fence, is determined by the gamemaster using the Difficulty Number Scale and should be based on the animal and the task itself. Getting a horse to jump a fence might be an Average task but getting a camel to perform the same maneuver might be a Very Hard task, and it would be better to just let an elephant go through the fence (elephants can’t jump.) Besides controlling the mount, beast riding can be used to increase the animal’s speed with a speed push (see Chapter Four) in place of the animal’s own running skill. The macro version of this ability, the forced march, will increase the animal’s movement value by one with a successful skill check against the mount’s Mind. The forced march will last for a maximum of three hours and can only be used once a day. A character’s beast riding skill can be substituted for a character’s dodge and maneuver skills while the character is mounted in combat. If engaged in close-range combat while mounted, the character’s beast riding skill may be substituted for the character’s normal defensive skill value. The difficulty of all beast riding checks is increased by 8 on an untrained/undomesticated animal.