I’m really enjoying 2e so far. One thing that has me a little stumped is mounted combat, and its utility for players. My setting has some ersatz-Rohirrim horse lords, and so I was wondering how I might be able to run a conflict where the players were on mounts.
I think I’ve got the general details down: a player who wants to use a mount in combat tests Rider when equipping weapons at the beginning of combat. Then:
Success indicates you may benefit from your mount… A properly trained and controlled mount grants the benefits of its Nature, Might and weapons to its rider. In kill, capture, drive off, pursue and flee conflicts, you may use your mount’s Might and weapons instead of your own. (DHB p. 169-70)
By the wording, I assume that once a mount is ‘urged into combat’, it stays that way for the rest of a conflict. But what do the ‘benefits of its Nature’ entail? Does that just mean a rider can use the mount’s descriptors, or can they also choose to channel the Nature of their mount separately to their own?
Some mundane mounts are described in the Lore Master’s Manual, although they don’t have weapons listed. Their Natures and Mights also seem to leave a bit to be desired for the aspiring cavalier, especially if you aren’t able to tap into the mount’s Nature as an additional pool of dice.
The other key advantage to being mounted — at least, for enemies — is that they can contribute to conflict disposition, as per this thread:
Do things work similarly on the players’ side of the conflict? Should horses, for example, be taken to ‘help’ with disposition generation? Thinking about things narrative-first, it doesn’t seem to make a whole heap of sense (although I think the case could be made for something like a dragon actively helping out). Mechanically it doesn’t seem to gel either, because at the time that disposition is rolled, the mount hasn’t yet been ‘urged’ into combat. Furthermore:
- Like the helgeits, would the horses be required to take actions in turn? If they need disposition in order to be ridden (?), that would seem to be the implication.
- I assume they would be controlled by the players, falling under the ‘Cousins and Companions’ rule on SG p.66, meaning that they need to absorb the first point of damage directed at their controlling player.
Also, back in 1e, the Rider skill stated the following:
When mounted, the Rider skill is used for Maneuver in a kill, capture or drive off conflict or Attack in a flee conflict. (TB1e, p. 141)
To me this seemed a good, substantial benefit to training up your Rider skill and a motivation for making use of mounts. Can anyone shed some light on the rationale for the removal?