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Thread: The Charioteer
02-17-2011, 04:31 AM #1
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02-17-2011, 04:43 AM #2
I will admit quite freely that this ehrshegh is based on the Stig from the British tv show "Top Gear". As a result, I am expecting him to be very skillful in his chariot in turns of speed, maneouverability and combat.
The problem is that I know little about chariots. I originally thought that he would only need one animal per chariot/sleigh/whatever. However, when searching for pictures to use, I keep seeing 2 or 4 horses. Can anyone help me here? I would have though that the number of beasts will increase the speed but decrease the maneouverability. I want both to be good and him to be regarded as an expert charioteer.
And I envisage the Charioteer appearing in the Highlands on a sleigh and Anuire on a chariot. But I am not sure what is best for the deserts of the Khinasi. Would a horse-drawn chariot still be okay on sand? Or would camels and a sleigh be better?
ps. In case you haven't noticed with the Hammer, the Walrus and the Charioteer, I love using pop culture references as the starting point for my heroes and villains. I have been thinking about making an evil Black Charioteer to represent the black-suited Stig (the first one who was sacked). He would actually be unrelated to this one.
02-17-2011, 04:01 PM #3
The Egyptians used chariots in the desert. The plains have very little sand, only the Tarvan Wastes would have a lot of sands and sand dunes (a great erg) like the Sahara. So the Khinasi would have used chariots.
As for the number of horses: Two to four horses would have drawn the ancient tank. A British Chariot can be drawn by two horses or even one if there was a lone charioteer. A Roman Chariot needed two to four horses, and the Egyptians would have drawn their chariots with the same number.
Some links for you, Sorontar: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/chariots.htm
Last edited by Elton Robb; 02-17-2011 at 04:06 PM.Regent of Medoere
02-17-2011, 05:05 PM #4
OGL Ancients has three pages on chariots and chariot warfare starting on p. 151, plus a chariot feat elsewhere. Celtic Age also has a page or so on chariots starting on the middle of p. 74.
Number of horses is largely a function of how heavy your chariot is. The very lightest chariots are just for a person to get around in, simply transportation. You can make it big enough for two people, a driver and a rider, in which the rider can use missiles. Or you can make it heavier as you expect it to get into action and resist damage. A heavier chariot might be armored enough to stop the enemy's missiles. Or heavier still and add a third person, a shield-bearer, to protect the warrior. Finally you could make your chariot very heavy and intend to run light infantry down. The many horses needed to pull a heavy chariot will do most of the work with their free trample attack, but putting some spikes on your chariot or spinning blades on your wheels can add to the mayhem.
02-19-2011, 12:31 AM #5
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At 08:43 PM 2/16/2011, Sorontar wrote:
>And I envisage the Charioteer appearing in the Highlands on a sleigh
>and Anuire on a chariot. But I am not sure what is best for the
>deserts of the Khinasi. Would a horse-drawn chariot still be okay on
>sand? Or would camels and a sleigh be better?
In actual sand, probably neither makes a lot of sense. Wheels would
bog down in sand. Skids or skis wouldn`t work much better. Skids do
get used for that kind of thing, but usually its to do something like
transport something heavy rather than a fast moving, agile war
vehicle. As Elton pointed out, however, not all desert is sand, so a
chariot would make more sense than some sort of sled. In fact, such
a thing probably makes more sense for the Khinasi than does a chariot
in the forests of Rjurik lands or the plains of Anuire. Trees and
underbrush are tough on something with two wheels. I wouldn`t want
to go hurtling through the forest on a chariot since one wants to
turn quickly in such an environment, and wheels can lose traction on
grass pretty easily. A nice, dry desert plain is best for that kind
of thing. (We might surmise that`s why the Egyptians are the most
famous charioteers in war....)
On the whole, chariots are a little hard to justify after the
invention/dissemination of the stirrup since it takes less equipment,
fewer horses and less personnel to operate cavalry once one can put a
single rider on a single horse, and as horses start to get bred
larger and larger one can pile heavier loads on them. Chariots are
generally slower (depending on the type of horses they are being
compared to, of course) than a single rider, and require more
equipment, so their use declines pretty quickly once people have a
place to keep their feet.
That`s not to say a such a character can`t exist in a post-stirrup
world, but I`d suggest you go for some sort of classical vibe for him
since his chosen theme is, in the context of the heavily armored
knights of Cerilia, somewhat retro.
Also, in order to address the chariot vs. sleigh thing (which
thematically seems like two very different modes for a single
character) what if he vehicle has magical powers that allow it to
ignore terrain? Can it can fly? Usually D&D characters only have
access to a limited amount of equipment, so it would probably be best
if he had one vehicle that had more than one use rather than a series
of vehicles that he chose from.
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