Author Topic: Article Idea/Draft: Mount Care, Etc  (Read 1951 times)

Taven

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Article Idea/Draft: Mount Care, Etc
« on: November 22, 2010, 10:20:57 PM »
I would like to make an article for the documentation area that focuses on riding, stables, and mount challanges, diseases, or issues. I don't think there's one answer on how to ride, and I don't think we should force players to adhere to one version of the views on this. Instead, I'd like to gather a variety of views on different mounts, how to treat and ride them, and gather them into one article that can be used at a player's discresion for enhancing there role-play.

I've started a discussion thread on "flavor documentation" over HERE, if you want to comment.

This thread is for commenting on riding and mount things, and adding your own contirbutions to the artcle.


On Riding Beetles

Warbeetles have thick, hard shells. Unlike humaniods Warbeetles don't have bones on the inside. Instead, they have thick chitin to protect them and squishy insides. Because they're hard and tough on the outside, they don't "feel" as we think of it. To steer a warbeetle, using the reins is easiest, since a tug will change the direction it's face is pointing, and it's body will just follow after it. Sometimes you can't do that, because you have to fight and hold weapons or shields. The stirrups of a warbeetle saddle are made with a thick chitin, and while a non-insect would feel the pressure of a squeeze, a warbeetle's tough shell prevents that. Instead, you click the thick stirrups against the warbeetle's shell, and the chitin will produce a vibration or clinking that the beetle can "feel," and will respond to.
                                                                         
Long rides can be hard on warbeetles, and wear them down over time if they aren't taken care of well. A warbeetle's chitin plates overlap, but sometimes sand can sneak in, especially on long desert travels, and cause the beetle pain. One solution is to wrap a flexible hide around the beetle's legs, just over where the joints meet, to prevent the sand from getting in to start with. Otherwise, getting it out can be difficult and requires a long, slender tool. It's dangerous to do, because if done wrong a beetle's leg can be permenantly injured, since you're reaching past the chitin and into the soft and vulnerable area. If done wrong, the tool can hurt the beetle, or the sand can be driven in even more deeply, causing harm. Also, the beetle has to stay still during this, a difficult task. Usually this is done once a month, as it takes awhile for the sand to build up to noticeable and troublesome amounts.
                                                                         
Another thing to consider are a warbeetle's antenne, which are sensitive and a beetle's main way to balance. Usually this isn't a problem, but it can be if they're injured or hit. If a warbeetle is misbehaving, a small tap to it's antenne will usually suffice to remind it to behave, although when riders get irritable, they're known to slap too hard, causing a beetle to roll in an  attempt to crush them, or other harm to the mount. Generally permenant damage is hard to do, as the beetles are desert creatures, but it can and does effect them short-term. Infact, many city-kept warbeetles will ride fine in the city, but used to being stabled will be unused to the abuse of the wind and sand outdoors. Initally, this can make them refuse to go anywhere, particularily if a rider shows a lack of familiarity with riding techniques.


The Keeping of a Stable

In the north, the stalls use mostly dried plains grasses for the stall bedding in the stables. The plains provide enough of it, although usually the drier and already dead leaves are harvested, so as not to waste the living grass, and thus harm the hunting and game in the surrounding area. Even so, it is expensive to do so, and usually it is the Warren children who do it, or slaves. Bedding is not often changed altogether, but sections are shoveled out when they get soiled and replaced. In this way, they can make the grass bedding last far longer, and with less expense.
                                                                           
In the south, or even in the drier areas of the north like Luirs, such a thing would be impossible due to the climate and the fact that all grass would have to be imported at great expense. Instead, sand is used as a bedding, and the edges of the stable are raised to keep it in. In the dry climate, the waste of an animal will dry quickly, and can simply be scooped out. Cleaning out from scratch an entire stable is challanging, so it's rare that this will happen. Instead, the top layer of sand can be shoveled out, the bottom layers "fluffed" (they get compacted after so many mounts resting on them) and a new layer of sand is added. Sand is an extremely cheap way to bed stables, as it is endless in stock, and mostly considered worthless.
                                                                           
What most users of a stable don't think about is how the keeping cost is the same across the board. Even in the south, you can keep an Inix for as cheeply as a War Beetle, and the amount of time it is kept does not matter for the cost. That's actually quiet amazing, considering how much Inix eat, and grass which is not easily found in the south. There are a few reasons for this, one being that instead of making all the costs dependent on the beast, they've evened the cost out across the board. It would be as if, for example, instead of a silk outfit costing a large and a linen one a small, they both cost five small and fifty.
                                                                           
Still, the idea that the cost can be so evened out down to a mere twenty coins still seems absurd. The fact is that keeping a beetle costs almost nothing for the stable. Beetles are meat eaters, and in the south, there is no lack of meat. There's a hug pile of bodies that would otherwise go to waste in Meleth's Circle, and Rinthi die almost all the time. Why not offer a pittance of coin for the meat? It isn't like a family is going to need it, and it would go to waste otherwise. This, combined with the fact that the stable hands get paid almost nothing makes it possible, at least in the South. The North might have an entirely different approach to things, and of course it can vary stable to stable.
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Synthesis

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Re: Article Idea/Draft: Mount Care, Etc
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2010, 12:00:33 AM »
There are still farms around Allanak that presumably can generate enough extra non-edible-to-humanoid plant matter to support a limited number of stables throughout the city.
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Taven

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Re: Article Idea/Draft: Mount Care, Etc
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 11:53:32 AM »
There are still farms around Allanak that presumably can generate enough extra non-edible-to-humanoid plant matter to support a limited number of stables throughout the city.

The help files on an inix state: (emphasis mine)

Quote
These large lizards are capable of carrying even half-giants, albeit under duress. Plodding slowly along, they have voracious appetites, and usually only the rich, or those living in the green lands of the far North, can afford to keep them. They have developed a protective shell that grows across their backs, and they have a tough hide, both useful and sought-after as raw materials.


Given the state of food in Allanak, I would think that all of the resources of the farms would be put to use for making people food, not inix-food. There would also be a market for inix food given that there are inixes in the south, but I would speculate that the templars in the area of the farms would "encourage" making people food. If keeping an inix was expensive before, it would be ridiculously expensive now (even if a portion of the farms were making inix food). The code does not reflect this at all. No matter what animal you leave there, and no matter how long, it is always 20 coins to keep it. ICly, I don't think a real explination can be made (I try, but it's a stretch). It's really for our OOC playing convienance.
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Reiteration

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Re: Article Idea/Draft: Mount Care, Etc
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 02:40:33 PM »
Make inix food then kill the inix for people food. Easy.
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Potaje

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Re: Article Idea/Draft: Mount Care, Etc
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 12:06:56 PM »
On Riding Beetles

 To steer a warbeetle, using the reins is easiest, since a tug will change the direction it's face is pointing, and it's body will just follow after it.


Sometimes you can't do that, because you have to fight and hold weapons or shields. The stirrups of a warbeetle saddle are made with a thick chitin, and while a non-insect would feel the pressure of a squeeze, a warbeetle's tough shell prevents that. Instead, you click the thick stirrups against the warbeetle's shell, and the chitin will produce a vibration or clinking that the beetle can "feel," and will respond to.

I like alot of what was said, though as far as war beetles go, being their front it the same as the rear, near indistinguishable, I picture them more as one solid unit that would use there antennae for direction, feeling along their path as they go. With this thought I would picture the reins being connected along the antennae at some point.
 
To ride with out hands, vibrations could be considered plausible, though I could picture a more challenging element for the rider, a reason it would be so difficult thing to learn and limited to the few (rangers) with such aptitude. This being that the reins are connected to the legs of a rider, when ridding with out hands. Could be at the knee, thigh or calf, so that one would still guild the beetle via its antennae.
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Goldberry

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Re: Article Idea/Draft: Mount Care, Etc
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 01:01:56 PM »
On Riding Beetles

 To steer a warbeetle, using the reins is easiest, since a tug will change the direction it's face is pointing, and it's body will just follow after it.


Sometimes you can't do that, because you have to fight and hold weapons or shields. The stirrups of a warbeetle saddle are made with a thick chitin, and while a non-insect would feel the pressure of a squeeze, a warbeetle's tough shell prevents that. Instead, you click the thick stirrups against the warbeetle's shell, and the chitin will produce a vibration or clinking that the beetle can "feel," and will respond to.

I like alot of what was said, though as far as war beetles go, being their front it the same as the rear, near indistinguishable, I picture them more as one solid unit that would use there antennae for direction, feeling along their path as they go. With this thought I would picture the reins being connected along the antennae at some point.
 
To ride with out hands, vibrations could be considered plausible, though I could picture a more challenging element for the rider, a reason it would be so difficult thing to learn and limited to the few (rangers) with such aptitude. This being that the reins are connected to the legs of a rider, when ridding with out hands. Could be at the knee, thigh or calf, so that one would still guild the beetle via its antennae.
What about spurs or just clicking your heels against the chitin shell? 
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Taven

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Re: Article Idea/Draft: Mount Care, Etc
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 08:12:49 PM »

I like alot of what was said, though as far as war beetles go, being their front it the same as the rear, near indistinguishable, I picture them more as one solid unit that would use there antennae for direction, feeling along their path as they go. With this thought I would picture the reins being connected along the antennae at some point.
 
To ride with out hands, vibrations could be considered plausible, though I could picture a more challenging element for the rider, a reason it would be so difficult thing to learn and limited to the few (rangers) with such aptitude. This being that the reins are connected to the legs of a rider, when ridding with out hands. Could be at the knee, thigh or calf, so that one would still guild the beetle via its antennae.

"Antennae function almost exclusively in sensory perception. Some of the information that can be detected by insect antennae includes: motion and orientation, odor, sound, humidity, and a variety of chemical cues." - http://www.entomology.umn.edu/cues/4015/morpology/

One of the reasons that I didn't purpose steering with the antenne is that these are used as sensory. If reins were attached to them to direct them, it would throw the beetle off. It would confuse and disorient them. This is covered a little bit in my article:

Quote
Another thing to consider are a warbeetle's antenne, which are sensitive and a beetle's main way to balance. Usually this isn't a problem, but it can be if they're injured or hit. If a warbeetle is misbehaving, a small tap to it's antenne will usually suffice to remind it to behave, although when riders get irritable, they're known to slap too hard, causing a beetle to roll in an  attempt to crush them, or other harm to the mount. Generally permenant damage is hard to do, as the beetles are desert creatures, but it can and does effect them short-term

I think that control over a beetle by clicking the heels and using vibrations would be challanging enough. It might also reflect specialized training and effort on the part of the rider to ensure that in combat, if a war beetle's shell is hit by an enemy weapon, it won't take that as a command. Basically, riding without hands should reflect the amount of ability and communication a ranger has with a mount, and their understanding of each other or the mount's training.
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Marc

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Re: Article Idea/Draft: Mount Care, Etc
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2010, 12:46:56 AM »
IIRC in Dark Sun kanks etc were steered via the antennae as it was the only place sensitive to touch (chitin everywhere else).  IRL different bugs use antennae for different things.  From wiki:

They are sensory organs, although the exact nature of what they sense and how they sense it is not the same in all groups, nor always clear. Functions may variously include sensing touch, air motion, heat, vibration (sound), and especially olfaction (smell) or gustation (taste).

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