Mounted Overland Movement

Mounted movement cross-country is affected by a number of factors. The two principal ones are the movement rate of the mount and the type of terrain traversed. Under normal conditions, all mounts are able to move a number of miles per day equal to their movement rate. Terrain, such as roads or mountains, can alter this rate.

Advantages of Mounted Movement

When determining overland movement rates, remember that most riders spend as much time walking their mounts as they do riding them. The real advantage of riding is in the extra gear the mount can carry and its usefulness in combat.

Thus, while an unencumbered man can go about the same distance as a heavy warhorse across clear terrain (24 miles as opposed to 30), the man must travel with virtually no gear to move at that rate. Were he to carry an assortment of arms, a suit of chain mail armor, and his personal items, he would find it impossible to keep up with a mounted man similarly encumbered.

Increasing Overland Speed

A mount can be pushed to double its normal daily movement rate, but only at the risk of lameness and exhaustion. Any creature moving overland at double speed (or any fraction thereof) must make a saving throw vs. death.

If the saving throw is successful, the creature is unaffected. If the saving throw is failed, the creature is lame or spent; it can't travel any farther that day. Thereafter, it can move only at its normal movement rate until it is rested for at least one day. For each successive day a horse is ridden at double movement, a -1 penalty is applied to the saving throw.

Overland movement can be increased to triple the normal rate, although the risks to the animal are even greater. When moving at triple the normal rate, a saving throw vs. death must be made with a -3 penalty applied to the die roll. If the saving throw is failed, the creature collapses from exhaustion and dies. If the saving throw succeeds, the creature is merely spent and must be rested—not ridden at all—for 1d3 days.

When a creature goes lame, exhausts itself, or is ridden too hard, there is no way of knowing just when the creature will collapse. Player characters can't be certain of traveling the full double or triple distance. The DM should determine where and when the creature collapses. This can be a random place or at some point the DM thinks is best for the adventure.

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