Basics Buying Equipping Training Riding Maintenance Storing Wrangling
Horses are an interesting system added to DR to give it a bit of flavor. I myself haven't dabbled with them much, a Ranger-on-the-go doesn't need to be tied down to having to have a stable nearby, especially one who often travels to out-of-the-way places like M'Riss where it's not currently feasible to get one's horse there in the first place and nowhere to keep it. Hopefully someday a way for our characters to "park" (find shelter, a place to rest) in the wilderness and picket our horses at our camping spot will be implemented. That, along with a few other features would make the system more atractive to more people.
In the meantime, here I gather what information I can find about horses for those who might be interested. I warn you now, much of this information is second-hand. It was gathered from official info on the DR site as well as an old webpage by Nimmo he made back before he took his big break from DR (though eventually he realized DR was much better than DaoC
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A Horse Is a Horse, Of Course
Horses come in many varieties, and no matter how much information I list, it would likely still be incomplete. But to give you an idea of what's possible, here's a rundown of the basic categories and examples of what can be had in each category.
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From a "Stable" Home
Before you go and get a horse, there are a couple of issues to consider, specifically if your character is a Prydaen, Rakash, Dwarf, Olvi or Gnome. First, due to their similarity in appearance to known predators, horses are wary of a Rakash in moonskin or a Prydaen. A horse to be used by a member of those two races first needs to be taught tolerance by a Ranger capable of doing so. Second, a pony can only be ridden by one of the three shorter races, namely Dwarves, Olvi (Halflings) and Gnomes; taller races can buy/own them but can't ride them. In addition, those three races can use a full-sized horse only if it is first taught to kneel, otherwise it will be the same to them as a pony is to the larger races, i.e. they can own it but not ride it.
OK, so you're getting a horse. How to get one comes down to two different ways: buy it or wrangle it, the latter option is only available to Rangers. We'll talk about wrangling more later (towards the bottom of this page), for now here's how to go about buying one. Again, there's two choices: you can buy from a stable or from another player. That other player might be a Ranger who wrangled it, a Trader who is brokering horses (player-wrangled or store-bought) or simply someone wanting to pass along ownership. Rangers and Traders are the only Guilds who can have multiple horses (a must-have feature since otherwise wrangling and selling would be virtually impossible, only having one horse and its always one you're selling), though they still can only have one horse "active" at any given time, the rest are all stabled.
The actual transfer of the horse's ownership (from one player to another, not when buying one from the corral at the stables) requires a Trader, so one of our player merchants will always be involved. I will update this page later with info on how that works, my information is sketchy on that point. Though I do know that for Rangers, they can't handle sales directly either so those with a herd in the stable to sell must either have a Trader involved in each deal or find a Trader willing to unload the Ranger's herd into their own stock in one grand transaction.
So for now, I will leave it at this: if you want to buy a horse from another player, find an experienced Trader, they will will let you know what to do next. Meantime, let's talk about buying from the corral.
There are currently corrals for buying horses in Therenborough, the Premium club near El Bain's (north of Langenfirth), Steel Claw Clan, Horse Clan and Aesry. There are stables for keeping your horse in all of those places plus Crossing. I will try to update this page later when I have more information, making sure that list is as complete as it can be, as well as provide more detailed directions on how to find each. Until then, it never hurts to ask a local, heh.
The stables themselves are multi-function places and are the heart of the horse world as it were in DR. At a stable you can buy a horse ... if it has a corral, most do ... or buy tack (riding equipment: saddle, bridle, etc) and barding (horse armor), buy food to keep them fed, stable your horse for a while, sell them, locate them or even get training in a few basic courses that are taught to riders directly by the stablemaster or their assistant. Some corrals even have a riding area for playing with your mount and keeping them exercised, perhaps even an area to practice jousting if that is one of your passions. While stabled, your horse will be well cared for, kept well-fed and groomed.
While at a stable with a corral, simply LOOK IN CORRAL to see what horses are milling about. You can also ORDER to see a list of what horses are currently available. Looking at a specific horse is different than you'd normally expect, you need the list the attendant gives you when you type ORDER and if you want to look at the fourth horse on the list, for example, then you type LOOK 4. If that were the horse you wanted, then you type ORDER 4. The attendant takes your coin and you have your horse.
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Tack is the basic equipment needed for riding a horse. Tack, barding and feed can be bought at most stables and there are also stores that sell nothing but equine supplies, such as the one in Horse Clan. You can ride bareback, but unless you are a Ranger or have been trained by one, it will be hard on the horse ... and you. For basic tack, you need:
If you don't use the padding under the saddle, the horse will show wear from it over time, the chafing of the saddle making life uncomfortable for them. Make sure you put the padding on first, then the saddle. The padding can be in the form of a saddle blanket, caparison, saddle pad or quilt. In order to lead the horse while you are on foot, you will also need a lead rope.
Currently the only one of the above items not needing to be bought from a store is a lead rope, which you can make yourself by braiding grass or vines. Forage some grass or a vine then BRAID <grass/vine> until it is long enough to make a lead rope, then PULL <grass/vine>, voila ... a lead rope. You may need to add a second or third piece; if so, hold the partially braided section in one hand, new grass/vine in other hand and BRAID <grass/vine>, the new piece will be braided right in so you can keep going.
Barding is armor built for horses. Currently, it is little more than fluff since horses can neither be attacked nor otherwise injured. However, that is supposed to eventually change, but not until we have a way to get horses healed (other than stabling them) and possibly a way for horses to be resurrected. The types of armor and the areas they protect are:
|Piece Name||Area of Horse Covered|
|Peytrel||chest and legs|
|Crupper||hindquarters and legs|
|Flanchard||legs and abdomen|
|All of the above are available in leather, chain or plate|
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Apple FROM the Teacher?
Anyone of sufficient circle can ask the stablemaster to teach them the rough basics everyone needs to know in order to ride a horse. Just ask them about horses, and you're off to the races (pardon the pun, heh). You can also ask them about PREPARE and they will teach you how to keep your concentration while casting spells from horseback. This doesn't mean the horse will want to go along with it, at least not until a Ranger trains them to tolerate such activity.
Rangers can talk to both the stableman out in the stables about various things and if the Ranger is of sufficient circle and has enough skill in animal lore, they will teach the Ranger how to train horses in that area. Remember, the stablemaster teaches riders how to deal with horses, the stableman teaches Rangers how to train a horse in a particular area, Rangers then use that knowledge to teach the horse. If you're not a Ranger, then the stableman doesn't have anything to teach you, although he might still have some interesting things to say.
After listening to these classes from the stableman, a Ranger can teach it to a horse who hasn't learned it yet. After being taught, the horse can be signaled to execute a trick/feat with SIGNAL HORSE TO <beg/spin/jump> [target, for a jump]. Bareback riding is the only class Rangers teach to other characters rather than horses (INSTRUCT <name> BAREBACK). The other Guilds pick up a few tricks of their own with sufficient circle. They can teach these methods to other Guilds and, for some, learning them will enable a Ranger to teach more things to a horse though most are simply for the rider's use to allow them to perform certain activities while on horseback. Times listed are the length of the class for the character to learn it.
"Woah, I say, WOAH!!!"
You've gotten your horse, euipped it, perhaps even armored it and then gotten it trained. Now it's time to go for a ride. To get on or off a horse's back, you simply MOUNT HORSE or DISMOUNT HORSE, respectively. To get around, you simply move as you normally would, and the horse will move that direction ... carrying you on it if you are riding it, following along with you if you are leading it by a rope. You can also SIGNAL HORSE TO <walk/trot/canter/gallop> in order to move one, two, three or four rooms at a time, respectively. The horse will attempt to travel in a straight line in that direction and will stop even if it hase "moves" left but the room it is in has no exit in that direction. Unless you have the advanced riding traiing, in which case the horse will attempt to find a nearby exit that is till the same approximate direction and follow it.
For something a little more exciting, try jousting. Two people mounted on horses can joust, if they are both also holding lances. One issues a challenge to the other using SIGNAL HORSE TO JOUST <player> at which time the other person will see messaging telling them how to accept the challenge and begin to joust. Once accepted, the joust will automatically begin in about ten seconds. It is highly recommended one wears armor and use a shield while jousting, preferably heavy plate. Any lance will work though blunted lances are preferred for two reasons: one, it is generally undesirable to excessively injure an opponent (obviously); two, they are a bit cheaper and easier to replace than the lance one would typically use in combat and lances have a high probability of breaking while jousting.
If desired, some practive at jousting can be had at training areas and jousting fields if they have a quintain: a wooden device looking somewhat like a crucifix on a mount that can swivel all the way around, with a shield on its right "arm" and on its left a heavy weight on the end of a chain. Usually, just for aesthetic reasons, a helm of some kind is placed on its "head". The jouster charges the quintain, strikes its shield with their lance (causing it to swing around on its swivel) and then attemp to avoid getting hit by the weight now being swung at them. To use the quintains in DR, simply be mounted on your horse, holding your lance, and GO QUINTAIN.
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Proper Care and Maintenance
To keep your horse happy and healthy, they should be kept carefully groomed and fed. Most (if not all) grroming equipment as well as some basic feed items, can be bought from the same merchants who sell tack and barding for your horse. What follows is a guide for using these things. TO start, you need a grroming kit:
In order to get an idea of your horse's current condition, simply STUDY or APPRAISE it:
You look over the horse carefully, observing that the animal has been eating regularly, the horse's coat
is in pretty decent condition, the horse's mane and tail is in pleasant shape, and the horse's hooves appear
to be in adequate fettle.
The procedure for cleaning and grooming your horse is simple and easy to follow. Follow these steps in order and your horse will be fully groomed:
Looking good, but perhaps they would appreciate a snack? From the merchant you can get a juicy carrot, a cube of salt, a small apple, some hay or some grain. Not certain how long each of these will last towards keeping your horse from feeling hungry, it is generally a good idea to just remember to study/appraise them at regular intervals and see what they need. Most edible items that can be foraged can (or eventually will be so) fed to horses, though I would not recommend getting in the habit of using healing herbs as in the future they may possibly carry potential side effects including poisonous results when the wrong ones are mixed. No idea if these efects will carry over to horses, but better safe than sorry.
Just hold the item you want to feed to your horse in your right hand and GIVE HORSE.
If you want to show your horse a bit more personal attention and give it a bit of affection, try using PAT, HUG, TOUCH, KISS, SCRATCH, BRUSH (without a brush in your hand, doesn't work while mounted) or RUB.
Stables are more than just a place to buy a horse and equipment, it is also a horse hotel of sorts. When you log out of the game, your horse stays around. It can get hungry and get to be in poor health when left this way for long, so you should stable them until you return. Take them to a nearby stable and near the corral area, type STABLE HORSE. A stablehand will take your horse and put them in a stall, handing you the horse's bridle or halter, whichever you were using. There can be no other gear on the horse when you stable them other than a bridle/halter, so make sure you remove all other gear first. The cost is relatively small and you pay when you return for the horse.
If you leave the game for whatever reason, your horse will wander for a while. After an extended period of time ... haven't seen it for myself but I am told it takes a few Elanthian days or around one RL day ... stablehands from the nearest stable will be dispatched to round up your horse and return them to the stable, for an additional fee. THis is an insurance feature of sorts added for our benefit as the players in case we are booted from the game and unable to return for an extended period of time.
While in the stable, your horse will be kept well fed, groomed and in good health. Although only one horse can be owned by Guilds other than Traders or Rangers and even Traders/Rangers can only have one active at a time, those latter two Guilds have no limit on how many they can have stabled at once. How the system handles multiple horses being stabled will be covered under the section for wrangling since that is primarily the area it would be concerned with. For those with a single horse in the stable, simply type RETURN HORSE and your horse will be brought out to you.
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Head 'Em Up, Move 'Em Out ... Wrangling
Stay tuned. I haven't dabbled with this portion of the system yet, though I plan to, if only just for curiosity's sake. Horses in DR are currently lacking in support so players aren't as "hot" about getting them as they could be. Between that and no NPC support (you'd think there should be a stable buying them from us SOMEWHERE), I currently would NOT recommend considering this as a steady source of income of any kind. Hopefully that will change in the relatively near future.
This system as a whole has a lot of untapped potential and I have faith the GM's realize this and will be developing more for the system later on. especially with the new game engine opening so many opportunities for future growth.
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