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2/14/2023 2:05 pm  #1

Horsemanship, what does it actually do?

The rules for mounted combat, saddle fire, and horsemanship feel a litte bit blurry to me.

For Barbarians, Horsemanship says that even the most stubborn mounts submit to your will, implying you can ride all horses, wild or otherwise and use melee and missiles weapons while mounted.

For Cataphracts and Paladins, Horsemanship says that they can fight from the saddle, urge their mounts to nimble feats on the battlefield, and engage in close ordered charges.

Mounted Combat lists Barbarians, Cataphracts, Paladins, and Rangers as typical capable mounted combatants. This is despite the Ranger lacking the Horsemanship feat. It notably leaves out the Huntsman who a specific class ability called Subdue Animal which has to do with hunting, catching, taming, and training animals. It also provides rules including a list of melee weapons that are suited to mounted combat and suggests that all other weapons are acceptable but less effective.

Under the advanced combat section, you can find rules Saddle Fire. This option is specifically limited to all Fighter classes. Saddle Fire essentially lists mounted missile attack penalties at different speeds.

So, if the rules for mounted combat and saddle firing essentially state that all Fighter classes can do mounted combat in pretty much the same manor, what does Horsemanship do and why is it only a listed ability for Barbarians, Cataphracts, and Paladins?

Last edited by Timbo Baggins (2/14/2023 2:06 pm)


2/15/2023 10:05 am  #2

Re: Horsemanship, what does it actually do?

Even though not listed, I'd put Hunters and Rangers as having the Horsemanship also. Thus giving all "Fighter" classes Horsemanship. 

BlackKnight, AKA Sausage
Older than Dirt, Crusty, and set in my ways. Been playing TTRPGs for over 45 years...

2/15/2023 10:15 am  #3

Re: Horsemanship, what does it actually do?

BlackKnight wrote:

Even though not listed, I'd put Hunters and Rangers as having the Horsemanship also. Thus giving all "Fighter" classes Horsemanship. 

I'm leaning towards the idea that Barbarian, Cataphracts, and Paladins all start with Horsemanship and that other Fighters get it by having secondary skills or downtime training that justifies it.

I still feel like there's actually something here that I'm not seeing though.

     Thread Starter

2/18/2023 2:41 pm  #4

Re: Horsemanship, what does it actually do?

The three classes with Horsemanship all have a special focus on horses that the other fighter classes don't, so they can handle mounts that other fighters can't. IMO huntsmen are more interested in "exotic" wild animals than anything as prosaic as horses, but I would indeed allow one to subdue horses up to the usual HD limit if that's what the player wanted to do. That's how I would handle it anyway. Mounted combat basically never comes up, in my experience, so it's more or less a moot point.

Last edited by Blackadder23 (2/18/2023 2:42 pm)

Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.

6/22/2023 9:44 am  #5

Re: Horsemanship, what does it actually do?

In other systems that have horsemanship, horseman are often allowed to apply some of the stat bonuses towards their mounts; so, if a rider's saving throws are better than the mount's, then the mount uses the fighter's saves.  I also have seen where horseman could apply attacks aimed at their mounts towards themselves.


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