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ZeroGear
2014-07-08, 09:27 PM
Long story short, there is a lot of riding in the pathfinder campaign I'm running.
That being said, I've written my world so that different societies live pretty much independent of each other and are grouped as such:

-Humans have their own city, using 'tamed' goblins as 'indentured servants' to harvest crops. Most ride horses.

-Elves and Halflings live together in their city, using high magic in everyday life. Elves ride Dire Wolves while Halflings ride Riding Dogs.

-Dwarves and Gnomes live in an underground/mountain city with lower magic but higher technology (they are the only races that have early guns and steam engines).
Dwarves ride Dire Goats while Gnomes ride Giant Weasels.

-Savage Goblins live in war bands under the control of Orcs, who have their own city (captured from humans long ago). Orcs ride Dire Boars while Goblins ride a
variety of Giant Vermin (Goblin Dogs, Giant Centipedes, Wasps, Giant Stag Beetles, etc.)

-Lizardfolk live in swamps in tribal villages. They ride Giant Lizards and Crocodiles.

-Drow live underground in their own city. They ride Giant Spiders.

I was wondering if societies in anyone else's world had unusual mounts. Personally, I look at them like vehicles (I like to picture the Dire Goat like a Harley and the Dire Wolf like a Sports-bike).

SethoMarkus
2014-07-08, 09:55 PM
I don't generally implement racial mounts in my campaigns, but there are often regional mounts. Mountainous areas usually have rams, mules, and llama/alpaca, and other sturdy beasts of burden. Plains and flatlands, including arid deserts, usually have horses, camels, and sometimes mules. Hilly forests and rainforest/jungles have riding cats (jaguars/panthers/tigers), riding dogs/dire wolves, and horses. Oceans have sharks, dolphins, whales, and sea turtles. And so on.

TheThan
2014-07-09, 12:09 AM
PHH no dwarf worth his beard rides a goat.

dwarves are supposed to ride Dire-Bears into battle. Get with the program.

Sartharina
2014-07-09, 03:12 AM
In my setting, the cat-people that dominate the mostly-focused areas ride intelligent gryphons, intelligent giant cats (Members of their own race that have undergone a ritual to make them large, bipedal creatures - inspired by the Senche- and Senche-raht khajiit from TES), giant arthropods such as spiders and scorpions as unintelligent mounts (Not unlike the connection between Devourerers and Charr in Guild Wars, though I didn't learn about that until long after my setting was set), and giant-waffle-pulled chariots (Inspired by the Awful Waffle Walker from Quest for Glory 3. Magical animated oversized waffles that regrow when split if not eaten are the primary food source in the savannah and deserts the cats live in). For ocean travel, they also use giant turtles with watertight canvases pulled over the shells (Much like the goblins in Warcraft 2). They're really the only ones big into exotic animals, since they're the most 'primitive'/dungeon-punk race in my largely schizo-tech setting (That said, their magic, anatomy, and warbeast usage allows their turtle-gryphon-and-trireme fleets take on modern Aircraft Carrier+Battleship fleets, or Gnomish hydromecha squads, with about-even chances of victory)

Otherwise, humans and half-elves largely use pegasai and horses to make up the bulk of their mobile army and air support, with a few WWI-era tanks and biplanes for heavy support.

BWR
2014-07-09, 03:59 AM
The only proper mount for humanoid cats is sabertoothed tigers. Horses in a pinch.

Jeff the Green
2014-07-09, 04:23 AM
Orcs use horses, often dire horses. They get bonuses to riding them and Druids, rangers, and paladins can get them at lower levels.

Halflings have riding dogs and beardogs (homebrewed, basically riding dogs with powerful build).

Gnomes often ride dolphins or sharks, particularly casters that can cast water breathing. Sometimes octopuses.

Some groups of elves ride tigers or Komodo dragons, while others don't ride all that much at all.

Lizardfolk ride terror birds.

Hytheter
2014-07-09, 09:15 AM
PHH no dwarf worth his beard rides a goat.

dwarves are supposed to ride Dire-Bears into battle. Get with the program.

Can a dwarf even get his legs around a Dire Bear? Seems to me they'd have trouble staying on.

Kalmageddon
2014-07-09, 09:52 AM
I would for the most part stay away from carnivorous mounts, mostly for logistic problems. You can't really sustain a sizeable population of carnivores big enough to carry a human sized creature without dedicating a lot of resources to feeding them.
Then again, if you setting doesn't bother with such details, go ahead... I personally find dinosaur mounts really cool, se Eberron or our local OotS webcomic for examples.

TheThan
2014-07-09, 05:11 PM
Can a dwarf even get his legs around a Dire Bear? Seems to me they'd have trouble staying on.

They stand on the Dire Bearís back and hold on to the reins with their teeth, dual wielding battle axes or war hammers, obviously.

ZeroGear
2014-07-10, 05:33 AM
They stand on the Dire Bearís back and hold on to the reins with their teeth, dual wielding battle axes or war hammers, obviously.

Hah, and break the bear's spine? Yeah Right.

Dire Goats are better: built low, sturdy, and steerable by holding the horns (and I'm talking about the big mountain goats with horns that curl all the way back to the base of their skulls).
And yes, I am picturing dwarves as bikers.

TheThan
2014-07-10, 11:44 AM
In dnd 3.5 dire bears have a str score of 31. A male dwarf weighs an average of 145 lbs, even with armor, thatís WELL under their 614 lb carry capacity (light load). The dire bear shouldn't even feel it. Heck the dire bear can carry three times the load of a heavy draft horse (str 16, 200 lbs for a light load).

Rion
2014-07-10, 04:26 PM
In dnd 3.5 dire bears have a str score of 31. A male dwarf weighs an average of 145 lbs, even with armor, thatís WELL under their 614 lb carry capacity (light load). The dire bear shouldn't even feel it. Heck the dire bear can carry three times the load of a heavy draft horse (str 16, 200 lbs for a light load).
I'm guessing that's a difference between ingame stats and real life physics.

Personally I mostly like horses and horselike animals.

A lot of common fantasy animals have too delicate backs to be used as proper mounts without crippling them for life. Canines, felines and llamas for example. Rhinos and hippos don't have an appropriate mentality to be tamed and domesticated, though of course "Beast" and "Nature" magic might solve that problem. Giant spiders and other giant versions of usually small animals have enough problems on their own with the square-cube law without having a rider on top of them.

Mr. Mask
2014-07-10, 05:55 PM
For the videogame project Queen at Arms I was helping someone with, there were abnormally large stags which had their antlers replaced with ones of bladed steel. Normal reindeer aren't strong enough to act as mounts, though they can pull sleighs, and usually their antlers are only suitable a few months of the year, so we had to work out solutions for those.

ZeroGear
2014-07-10, 08:53 PM
In dnd 3.5 dire bears have a str score of 31. A male dwarf weighs an average of 145 lbs, even with armor, thatís WELL under their 614 lb carry capacity (light load). The dire bear shouldn't even feel it. Heck the dire bear can carry three times the load of a heavy draft horse (str 16, 200 lbs for a light load).

Ok, stat wise that works. Practically...not so much. For one thing, the dwarf still has to get ON the bear. Then you have to contend with the problem that bears like to STAND UP to actually fight. Plus there is the problem of steering.



A lot of common fantasy animals have too delicate backs to be used as proper mounts without crippling them for life. Canines, felines and llamas for example. Rhinos and hippos don't have an appropriate mentality to be tamed and domesticated, though of course "Beast" and "Nature" magic might solve that problem. Giant spiders and other giant versions of usually small animals have enough problems on their own with the square-cube law without having a rider on top of them.

The main issue here is real-world size. For the most part, animals in the real world are too small to properly carry a rider. That aside, you are only half right about their backs. Personally, I'm guessing that you picture riders to get on mounts the way one rides a horse. That is NOT the proper way to ride big dogs or cats. Instead of focussing the center of gravity on the middle of the back, it needs to be spread out by having the rider lie flat on the saddle, putting most of his weight on the shoulders and hips of the animal. Hence the need for an exotic saddle in the game. Spiders and other vermin in the real world are just too small to carry a rider, but larger specimens in game worlds might be big enough. And in those cases, they are usually two or more size categories bigger than the rider.

Fun as splitting hairs is, let's not get sidetracked by what works in the real word, ok?

Mr. Mask
2014-07-10, 09:33 PM
People have ridden bears. They're not necessarily a great war mount, since a human rider is just a nuisance to their battle potential, but they're one of the animals strong enough to carry people.

Spreading out your weight would help a little, but animals like dogs aren't really built for carrying stuff. You can get around this by mass, though a dog bigger than a stallion might have better uses than as a ridden animal.

The square law doesn't make it possible for an actual spider to be large enough, but you could have a similar creature with more suitable biology, or a magic spider.

Rion
2014-07-11, 04:53 AM
The main issue here is real-world size. For the most part, animals in the real world are too small to properly carry a rider. That aside, you are only half right about their backs. Personally, I'm guessing that you picture riders to get on mounts the way one rides a horse. That is NOT the proper way to ride big dogs or cats. Instead of focussing the center of gravity on the middle of the back, it needs to be spread out by having the rider lie flat on the saddle, putting most of his weight on the shoulders and hips of the animal. Hence the need for an exotic saddle in the game. Spiders and other vermin in the real world are just too small to carry a rider, but larger specimens in game worlds might be big enough. And in those cases, they are usually two or more size categories bigger than the rider.

Fun as splitting hairs is, let's not get sidetracked by what works in the real word, ok?
While I admit horses aren't exotic animals, I was merely explaining why I prefer worlds with mostly horses as mounts, not saying anyone were horrible people for having worlds with non-horse mounts.

Fantasy can solve many problems with "it's magic", but I prefer worlds were, while the magic could be mysterious and largely unexplainable, its relation to the world is distinct as something almost seperate from other things.

That's why I specified that Rhinos and Hippos don't need any magical enhancement to work as mounts, only a supernatural ability to charm and control animals in order to have them accept a rider. That you can have a "Westeros-like" world with a highly realistic base line somewhat based on the historical middle ages where magic is something mysterious and supernatural that grants unworldly powers rather than being used to handwave plotholes and things that don't make sense. And in that world, as long as one of the ways magic manifests is in some people having a strange bond with animals and the ability befriend any of them, there are no other problems with rhinos and hippos as mounts for the people with those powers, than getting them from the climates in which they thrive.

Beleriphon
2014-07-11, 05:54 AM
And in that world, as long as one of the ways magic manifests is in some people having a strange bond with animals and the ability befriend any of them, there are no other problems with rhinos and hippos as mounts for the people with those powers, than getting them from the climates in which they thrive.

Two words: wooly rhinoceros.

As for riding odd animals, my personal choice is giant goats/sheep. The bone structure is such that a person could ride a dire ram without too much trouble, if you don't mind them trying to eat your boots.

Mr. Mask
2014-07-11, 06:45 AM
Rion: If they're used to warmer climates, clothing them can subvert that. They give gorillas and other monkeys* sweaters when the weather gets cold (at least anywhere with decency, where you can't see the animals clutching newspapers to their bodies in a desperate bid for survival). If they're used to colder climates, they might shed or be able to shorn to compensate, and in some cases creatures like penguins do fairly well when they migrate to warmer climates (mainly for the fact of being water creatures who can use water to cool off). If they're worth enough you might even be able to give them a bath to cool off periodically (like this guy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDN3L621ASI)), but in a war setting they're pretty sure to overheat from travel or battle (plenty of humans have died of heatstroke in battle, in the snow).

*: Yes, I know gorillas are apes.


Beleriphon: The added ability to climb (http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lonelyplanet.com%2F blog%2Fwordpress_uploads%2F2009%2F10%2F2610542294_ a7fbf8d580_o2.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lonelyplanet.com%2Fblog %2F2009%2F10%2F23%2Fgoats-in-trees%2F&h=665&w=553&tbnid=1EI5P9Ksg669fM%3A&zoom=1&docid=qtBlsKTuzDKmvM&hl=en&ei=eM2_U8r8McnGkQXvj4DAAg&tbm=isch&ved=0CDYQMygAMAA&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=262&page=1&start=0&ndsp=27) any (http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fsoullift.me%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F04%2Fdam-full-with-up-close-of-goat.png&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fsoullift.me%2Fwhy-are-goats-scaling-steep-dam-wall-in-italy%2F&h=429&w=639&tbnid=Q1CcbXVWJiqNQM%3A&zoom=1&docid=UpR5Azy5GkkMZM&hl=en&ei=-c2_U5T-EsWtlAWAv4DYBA&tbm=isch&ved=0CCEQMygGMAY&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=239&page=1&start=0&ndsp=17) surface (http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2F31.media.tumblr.com%2Ff fe117fd74069ba7f50aaa2e63afc7d7%2Ftumblr_mjvacfemv 91s8k411o1_1280.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fgoatsdontgivea****.tumblr.c om%2Fpage%2F2&h=534&w=750&tbnid=4HR2ZIHPH4AJXM%3A&zoom=1&docid=RYV9NHjC5BGlYM&hl=en&ei=hc2_U6-FKoWjkwX8joG4DA&tbm=isch&ved=0CCEQMygAMAA&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=854&page=1&start=0&ndsp=37) is handy, too.

Erik Vale
2014-07-11, 08:45 AM
Normally not by race, but if you listen to AEG Dwarves have units of stone swinging hide wearing cavalry. Why stone and hide? Because they ride oversized rust monsters. Because if a rust monster wasn't bad enough, you have to put someone smart on it.

Oh, and Drow have giant bats. And spiders, but their because of Lolth.

A personal favourite of mine is various types of ape. The saddles set up so it's basically a prolonged piggy back ride that you shift your weight in when it stands up. Bonus is that apes can climb, and come from small to large so everything in my forests from small fey to wild orcs may show up on apes of some description.
[Before you say couldn't work, people can piggy back ride others very easily, and apes are very strong].

Orcs also get boars, Goblins get goblin dogs. Goblins can also get ogres [No joke, AEG], though it might be more precise to say ogres get goblins. For every human dragon or griffon rider orcs have a wyvern rider. Elves get giant eagles.

Dwarves don't ride things. They grab endurance and call it a day, before being told that DnD horses aren't as fragile as real life horses. And dwarven heroes have enough con they don't need to make such a sub-optimal choice to keep up with the army.

Halflings get dogs.

I prefer to give lizardfolk snakes, Crocs are so slow, and the snakes are more to conserve energy than to actually get from a-b faster. Kobolds might ride young dragons, if they're particularly luck.

I must say, I don't see gnomes on weasels. The attraction is that weasels burrow, which ok, might help with living but riding? How do you ride it while it's burrowing?

Hmm... I think that's about it for my views on races and mounts.

For those that say they prefer to break things up based on geography, races tend to live in different areas because of their race.

Mr. Mask
2014-07-11, 09:38 AM
Raw strength and carrying capacity are different things, dogs are very strong but can't match horses for capacity (even considering relative size and weight). I think that might work with some apes, depending on the size and equipment of the rider. Whether they'd make good war mounts is a bit questionable.

ZeroGear
2014-07-11, 01:03 PM
I prefer to give lizardfolk snakes, Crocs are so slow, and the snakes are more to conserve energy than to actually get from a-b faster. Kobolds might ride young dragons, if they're particularly luck.

I see your point. I generally only use crocs because Lizardfolk live in swampy areas and crocs work very well in wet and watery areas. Kobolds, don't actually ride much in my setting, and dragons are a ratify as is, but points for creativity.



I must say, I don't see gnomes on weasels. The attraction is that weasels burrow, which ok, might help with living but riding? How do you ride it while it's burrowing?

Hmm... I think that's about it for my views on races and mounts.

For those that say they prefer to break things up based on geography, races tend to live in different areas because of their race.

I said weasels because I needed something that could synergies well with gnomes, although I might take that back and say they ride Dire Badgers.
As to the riding question: the saddle needs to be built like a flat tent and the mount needs to be trained to make their tunnels slightly bigger that usual, but we can discuss semantics in a different thread.

Gemini Lupus
2014-07-13, 10:54 PM
I don't have racial mounts in my world, but rather regional mounts, though the predominant race in the area is often associated with such mounts. Typical mounts for folks in my world include: horses and ponies, riding dogs and goats, wolves and wargs, giant eagles and bats, gryphons and hippogriffs, wyverns and dragons, and here and there an odd mount such as a dire celestial lion or something like that.