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intothenight

Homebrewed Beast Mount Rules: Strain

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Hello, all. I have a player who came across an orphaned narglatch and decided to take care of it. Naturally, this led to it becoming her beast mount.

She likes the mount. She's even spent out-of-career XP on putting some points into Survival. And she just chose her next talent tree: Pathfinder.

As the GM, of course I want her to get a lot of use out of her mount. However, the main problem I've come across is the lack of rules about determining Strain. I've looked through Stay on Target and Savage Spirits, and both books only contain mounts who are Rivals, and there's no mention of mounts acquiring a Strain threshold of any sort. RAW, I suppose this would mean that maneuvers like Punch It or talents like Spur would cause Wounds instead of Strain. That's... not how I want to run things. I like having a limited Strain pool available when running a Swoop chase, and I don't want to lose that when it becomes a mount-versus-wheel-bike encounter.

I was running things by giving the narglatch a flat 10 Strain threshold, which seems fair for a creature of that size, but proved to be too much when I realized that I should be treating the mount as more of a vehicle than a PC or Nemesis.

My current thoughts are as follows: A mount's Strain is Willpower + Silhouette + ranks of Trained Mount. The results are low enough to force the rider to make tactical decisions about when to use up that Strain. However, I don't want a mount to be easily taken out with one stun blast from a holdout blaster, so I want to treat stun damage a bit differently. Rather than cause Strain, stun damage would reduce the mount's handling and/or maximum speed, depending on how much damage we're talking about. Once max Speed reaches 0, the mount is stunned into unconsciousness. Until then, the rider would have a new type of Maneuver available, which I'm calling Urge Onward. It allows the mount to ignore one point of handling or speed reduction, but only by taking an equal amount of Strain.

What do you think? Is my solution a decent one? Have you found a better one? Do you have any suggestions? Does anything rhyme with narglatch?

And yes, before you ask, I've been communicating with this player throughout this process, and she's open to changes. We both just want to find a fun, workable solution.

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46 minutes ago, intothenight said:

RAW, I suppose this would mean that maneuvers like Punch It or talents like Spur would cause Wounds instead of Strain. That's... not how I want to run things. I like having a limited Strain pool available when running a Swoop chase, and I don't want to lose that when it becomes a mount-versus-wheel-bike encounter.

How do you lose the limited resource feel when using the beast's wound threshold?

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My opinion : You should maybe determine a strain treshold without telling your player. It's not a starship where you know the limit, so if he or she decide to apply some strains onto the mount. You keep count. Also stun damage doesn't by pass soak. So even at 5 strain it would no drop in one shot. This might bring your player to buy or make armor for the mount. 

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