So What’s The Mount Like, Anyway?
By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Raging Swan Press is 24 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with a total of 17 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
The latest in RSP’s by now well known “So what’s…”-series, known for its usefulness for the DM, is all about mounts and the very first table offers a total of 100 different horse appearances that go beyond colour, but also include gender of the animal and peculiarities like star-shaped marks – to give you a perspective of the length of the entries, the table spans two pages!
Where the pdf starts really putting on the steam, though, is with mount traits – from mounts with narcolepsy to one’s whose galloping is loud (-4 to stealth) to horses that have skill focus (jump) instead of run and environmental resistant horses to plain ferocious or dumb ones, we get a total selection of a staggering 98 different traits, with the last two of the d% being the obligatory “roll twice/thrice entries.
We also get 20 different complications that may be used as adventure-hooks: Stolen mounts, awakened animals, prophesized mounts, carriers of disease or simply temperamental beings to acting as living gateway to the realm of the fey, the complications make for as much fun as the first two tables. That’s not where the pdf stops, though: We also get an extremely useful DM-cheat sheet with loads and carrying capacities of quadrupeds from STR 1 to STR 29 as well as a price-list for common items.
Beyond even these, we get all types of barding on one page with all stats – GOLD! Better yet: We get full 100 different types of barding-descriptions, complete with gp-value and a glossary. By now, the pdf has already gone above and beyond, but we get actually even more:
20 names for horses an 3 horse statblocks, 20 names for ponys and 3 pony statblocks, 20 dog names and 3 riding dog statblocks and finally, even coverage for exotic mounts: Specialized items ad a CR/size/environment list for the more common exotic land-based and flying mounts.
The pdf closes with a useful glossary of horse-related terms.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes in two fully bookmarked versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.
WOW. Mike Welham has done it. Almost all “°So what…”-pdfs are VERY useful. This one, however, is all but REQUIRED for GMs (and also rocks for mounted players – cavaliers, paladins et al -take a peak!). The collated equipment and banding-stats are glorious time-savers, the descriptions awesome and the traits and their vast multitude of mechanic repercussions are a joy to read. And that’s before all the names, complications and statblocks are thrown in the mix. This pdf is one of the few where I not only have nothing to complain about, but rather am blown away by how much I like it. Kudos and congratulations for a verdict of 5 stars + endzeitgeist seal of approval: I seldom found it so easy to give such a rating. DMs – buy this: I vouch you won’t regret it – this is THE new benchmark for the whole series that raises the bar to quite lofty areas for any comparable publication. What are you waiting for? Get this!
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