Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

D&D – Horse Descriptions

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Horses

I have been looking through my files and ran across several that you might find useful. I will make adjustments for 5E as necessary and share them. First here is one I ran across a couple of years ago.

You can use these tables to determine exactly how tall, what color, and what distinguishing markings were on the horses at the stables when the characters go shopping.

Hands Light (1d10) Medium (1d8) Heavy (1d6) Draft (1d6)
13-3 (4′-7″) 1
14 (4′-8″) 2
14-1 (4′-9″) 3
14-2 (4’10”) 4
14-3 (4’11”) 5
15 (5′-0″) 6 1
15-1 (5′-1″) 7 2
15-2 (5′-2″) 8 3
15-3 (5′-3″) 9 4
16 (5′-4″) 10 5 1
16-1 (5′-5″) 6 2
16-2 (5′-6″) 7 3
16-3 (5′-7″) 8 4 1
17 (5′-8″) 5 2
17-1 (5′-9″) 6 3
17-2 (5′-10″) 4
17-3 (5′-11″) 5
18 (6′-0″) 6
The height of a horse is measured by hands at the shoulder, with the number of hands followed by the number of fingers.  There are four fingers to a hand, and in modern times each finger is equal to an inch.

It is apparent that horses of the same height may fall into different categories.  The girth and weight of the horse and its overall build and musculature have as much to do with the “size” of a horse as its height.

The color of the horse and its markings may be rolled on this table.  This is not an all-inclusive collection; some horse colors may have black markings (socks and stockings, mostly), and all markings are individual to the horse, but this list gives sufficient variety for play.  1d20 is rolled to determine what color the horse is (the first two columns), and the remaining columns express the probability of the indicated markings.  If the horse has socks or stockings, roll 1d4 to determine how many it has. Socks and stockings are rolled separately and, although a horse may have some socks and some stockings, it can’t have a sock and a stocking on the same foot….

1d20 Horse
Color
1d8
White
Star
1d10
White
Splash
1d6
White
Socks
1d6
White
Stockings
1d20
White
Mane &
Tail
1d6
Black
Mane &
Tail
1-2 Brown Pinto  –  –  –  –  –  –
3 Black Pinto  –  –  –  –  –  –
4-6 Chestnut 8 10 6 6  –  –
7-10 Bay 8 10 6 6  –  –
11-12 Buckskin  –  –  –  –  –  –
13-16 Gray  –  –  –  –  – 5-6
17-19 Black 8 10 6 6 20  –
20 White*  –  –  –  –  –  –
*White horses are rather rare; most “white” horses are light-skinned Grays, and the referee may allow a roll to determine whether any particular Gray horse appears white, especially if it does not have dark markings.

But is it a boy or a girl horse?  From an historical perspective, occidental cavalry at the time of the Crusades rode stallions almost exclusively, while their mid-eastern opponents had an equally strong preference for mares; however, the first battle fought in the spring gave both sides an understanding of the disadvantages of this situation, and more geldings appeared (on both sides, I suspect) thereafter.  These balances reflect more the modern situation than the historic ones; the referee might determine that characters of a particular class or race will always ride one or another type.
1d6
1 Stallion
2-3 Gelding
4-6 Mare

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