Vehicles

While animals are useful for getting around in the wilderness, they are seriously limited by the size of the load they can carry. Peasants and merchants often use wagons and carts for trade in civilized areas. Chariots are favored by the wealthy and in times of war, but are not normally used for long-distance travel. Sledges and dog sleds are handy in snow and ice-bound regions. Player characters may find all these vehicles necessary during the course of their adventures.

Carts are small two-wheeled affairs. They can be pulled by one or two animals, but no more than this. Wagons are four-wheeled and can hitch anywhere from two to 12 (or even more!).

The movement rate of a horse or other animal is automatically reduced by half when hitched. Additional animals do not increase the speed. However, the standard load the beast can carry is tripled. The weight of the cart or wagon and driver is not considered for this, only the cargo. Each additional animal adds its tripled capacity to the total load hauled. Thus, a wagon pulled by eight draft horses could carry 6,420 lbs., or slightly over three tons worth of cargo (260 x 3 x 8). Of course, traveling will be slow--only 12 miles a day on a level road.

Chariots are intended more for speed, comfort, and their usefulness in warfare, than for their ability to haul loads. Chariots can hitch one to four horses (or other creatures), but no more than this. A horse can pull its normal load (the weight of the chariot not included) at its normal movement rate.

Each additional horse in the hitch either increases the cargo limit by the horse's standard load or increases the movement rate by a factor of 1. The chariot can't have more movement points than the creatures pulling it would normally have. A chariot pulled by four medium war horses could have a movement rate of 15 or pull 880 lbs., enough for four large or armored men. It could also have some combination of the two (movement rate of 13 and a cargo of 660 in the above example).

Terrain and Vehicles

The greatest limitation on all these vehicles is terrain. Wagons, carts, and chariots are restricted to level or open ground unless traveling on a road or the best trails. While a wagon can cross a mountain range by staying to the open valleys and passes, it just can't make good progress in a thick forest. This problem generally restricts wagons to travel between settlements, where roads and paths are common.

Sledges and dog sleds can be used only in snow-covered or ice-coated lands. Sledges (pulled by horses or the like) are roughly equivalent to carts. No more than two horses can be hooked to a sledge. Horse-drawn sledges are effective only on hard-packed snows and ice and can ignore the penalties for these. Deep snow merely causes the horse to flounder and the runners of the sledge to sink, so no benefit is gained in these conditions.

Dog sleds are normally pulled by seven to 11 dogs. When hitched, a sled dog's movement is reduced by . However, each additional dog adds one movement factor to the sledge, up to the maximum of movement of the animal. Thus a dog sled with seven dogs would have a movement of 13. Each dog can pull 80 lbs., not including the weight of the sledge. Due to their lighter weight and the sledge design, dog sleds can cross all types of snow and ice without penalty.

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