Horses have been bred, domesticated,
and used by people for over five millennia.
Serving in warfare, farming, and transport,
no other creature has been more versatile
or vital co humanity’s survival. Although
technology has supplanted many of its
functions, horses still have the power to
inspire awe in a way few creatures do.

The modern era for the horse also
coincides with its decline from usage. The
Industrial Revolution brought with it all
manner of new technology. Ac first, equines
existed alongside the new advances; horses
and horse-drawn carriages served as trans-
port to and from new-fangled railroads,
and the muscular creatures also worked as
the power source for the earliest factories.

Up until very recently, the horse was one
of the most common means of personal
transportation; in 1900, there were 100,000
horses in New York City alone. In the Wild
West the horse symbolized the power, maj-
esty, and freedom of this new land, existing
as transport between rough-and-rumble
pioneer cities and as mounted units. The
Pony Express, which began as a publicity
stunt in 1860 and lasted only 19 months,
enabled mounted postal carriers to carry
letters and small packages between this new
frontier and the established union in 10 days
… considerably less than the six months it
rook less than two decades earlier.

However, the new century brought with
it global war, and with it the realization
that the horse was no longer suited for the
uses it once fulfilled. While cavalry units
were considered elite units of most nations’
armies just prior to World War I, they were
utterly powerless for most functions of that
conflict; they were eventually replaced by
tanks in later wars. In many civilian duties,
they were replaced by automobiles and
trucks, which were ironically considered to
be cleaner alternatives co their four-legged
counterparts. Horses were phased out of
civilian functions in most cities in the 1910s
through the 1930s.

Compared to a century ago, horses arc
almost absent from daily life, although they
are still relatively common in a surprising
number of venues. These include:

Mounted police, which in urban
environments arc able co go where cars and
bicycles would be impractical, and which
also provide intimidation and riot control
in crowded conditions.

Ceremonial functions, such as parades
and official functions. Many military and
government functions still use horses for
special occasions, where the creatures’ regal
status impresses crowds.

Horse-drawn vehicles, especially
carriage rides for scenic tours. (Some com-
munities that shun modern conveniences,
such as the Amish, also continue to use
horses as their primary means of transpor-
tation.) In the event of a widespread lack
of gasoline or electricity, those who have
horses might be the only ones still able to
travel any distances.

Farms and agriculture, where the open
fields make owning the creatures as a recre-
ational pursuit much more practical.

Livestock herding, where the mounted
rider’s height allows him ro survey his
herd without spooking them with a noisy

Circuses, where specially trained horses
and their riders are capable of amazing fears
and tricks.

Horse racing, where the multi-billion-
dollar-a-year industry can bring our the
seamier side of animal handlers, resulting in
drugged or illegally enhanced animals.

Shows and competitions, where the
rich show off their best specimens as well
as their riding prowess.

Zoos and fairs, where came horses and
ponies accustomed to kids arc available to
be petted or ridden.

In all, the presence of the modern horse
is but a shadow of its once-common self.
Given how horses have helped people for
thousands of years, and still amaze young
and old alike, it seems likely they will
play some part in society for millennia
to come.

Targeting a Horse

If the horse pulling a vehicle is incapaci-
tated or killed, the vehicle is considered to
crash at its currenr speed (as per the Vehicle
rules of the “Equipment” chapter). This is
also the case ifonlyone member in a ream is
killed or incapacitated, and if a single horse
ridden directly is incapacitated.

Rather than killing the horse, an attacker
might cry to “spook” it. All but the best-
trained horses will be spooked by explosions
or fire. To scare a creature with a gun or the
like, a character muse generate an intimida-
tion total against the creature’s willpower or
Presence. If the intimidation total meets or
beats the creature’s total, the effect spooks
the creamre. (If trying to determine if a
horse is accidentally spooked by a sound
or effect, determine the magnitude of the
frightening effect to substitute for the
intimidation total; firecrackers might have
1D or 2D, most guns will have a rating of
30, and larger explosions could have 40
or more.)

With a scared creature, the driver of
the vehicle or the rider of the horse must
generate an animal handing or riding total
(including the Maneuverability) against a
difficulty equal to the animal’s willpower or
Presence total +9 to bring it under control.
If the driver fails, the creature gallops away
at top speed, towing the vehicle behind it.
If the creature is a member of a team, the
entire team panics and gallops off. The
creature (and carriage, if the horse is pulling
one) travel at “panic speed,” a rate equal to
4 times the creature’s Move.

Each round, the driver can make another
riding or animal handling roll to gain control
of the creature or creatures. If the horse is
pulling a vehicle, it suffers damage as if it
had been hit by an attack (equal to SD on a
road or smooch surface, 6D when on rough
ground) for each round that the vehicle is
traveling at panic speed. Obviously, a pan-
icked team can easily destroy a carriage.

Combat on a Horse

Fighting on a horse is considered a
multi-action: one to control the horse and
one to attack.

In general, controlling the horse requires
an Easy riding roll, though an untrained
or temperamental horse may increase this

For the most pare, the multi-action
penalty covers the increased challenges
to aiming correctly on a moving creature,
though the gamemaster may increase the
difficulty when the horse is running in a
panic, over rough terrain, or very fast.

Additionally, when fighting against small
creatures with a scale value of 3 or less or
creatures human-size or larger, the character
attacks and defends with the same scale as
the horse. Though some targets are too small
to reach comfortably with most weapons
from the back of a horse, the Game Master
may allow certain weapons co be used
against much smaller targets.

Typical Riding or Draft Horse

Reflexes 3D: brawling 4D, dodge 3D+1, jumping 4D
Coordination 1D
Physique 4D: running 5D, swimming 4D+1
Knowledge 1D+1 : navigation: returning home 3D
Perception 3D
Presence 2D: intimidation 3D, willpower 3D
Strength Damage: 2D
Move: 25 (riding)/20 (draft)
Fate Points: 0
Character Points: 0
Body Points: 22
Wound levels: 3

Natural Abilities: bite (damage +2; +5
to combat difficulty); hooves (damage +2);
trample (damage +2D; must charge); large
size (scale value 3)

Note: Draft horses have stamina 5D, Lift-
ing 5D, and Strength Damage 3D. Horses
may attack twice in one round with their
hooves (two front or two back) with no
penalty, or they may bite once.


Police horses have intimidation of 4D and willpower of 5D. In addition, they have some “authority” in their jurisdiction, relinquishing them from responsibility should they accidentally injure or trample someone.

Circus horses have acrobatics of 4D+1; in addition, some famous trained horses might have the Natural Ability Trademark Trick, which provides a +2D bonus to one specific, difficult trick (such as leaping through a circle of fire), and which gives the horse some degree of fame.

“Friendly” horses – those that are accustomed to being around children or crowds – have the specialization willpower: calm of 4D, which helps to protect them from getting spooked.

D6 Adventure Creatures (WEG 51021), © 2005 Purgatory Publishing Inc.
This page is Open Game Content.