It can’t very well be a running gag if we don’t trot it out every once in a while. Of course, the never-split-the-part shtick isn’t the only recurring joke in today’s comic. Like Lumberjack Explosion before her, poor Snowflake is having to put up with the equine encumbrance rules. It really has me thinking about the way this hobby treats horses in general.

I mean, I’m something of an exception when it comes to in-depth knowledge of animal handling. For many years I lived in Wyoming, popularly known as “The Cowboy State.” Not only that, but I took a full half-hour trail ride last time I was on vacation. I’ve even studied footage of horses in action, which is how I know they behave exactly like dogs. Come to think of it actually, my horse knowledge may be fairly typical of the average gamer.

If you want to get horses “right” then there are plenty of Horse Misconceptions in Fantasy Writing type articles out there. Go get your 4H advice from an expert, not a webcomic. But even if I’m not overly-qualified to comment on equine ecology, I do have some thoughts on horse-as-plot-device. And they are wonderfully adaptable in that role.

For example, leaping from a tower and onto horseback negates all falling damage. When navigating a harsh environment à la Lawrence of Arabia, your horse is guaranteed to die at a dramatically appropriate moment, thus warning you that it’s time to use the wilderness exploration rules. A good horse can carry as many wounded companions as necessary. It never spooks or runs from battle, does not need to be fed or watered, and will always come conveniently at your call, even if it’s otherwise assumed that you tied it up at ye olde hitching post out front of the inn. What’s more, if you have an exceptional horse, it will also sacrifice itself to prevent a TPK, running conveniently slower than the party if a chimera or whatever is about to catch you.

And so, with these examples of the many uses for our four-legged friends in mind, I now turn to the rest of you with the question of the day! What is the most exceptional, heroic action you’ve seen a horse (or any beast of burden) perform in a game? Did it strain credulity? Does that even matter? Tell us all about your encounters with wonder horses down in the comments!


ADD SOME NSFW TO YOUR FANTASY! If you’ve ever been curious about that Handbook of Erotic Fantasy banner down at the bottom of the page, then you should check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Twice a month you’ll get to see what the Handbook cast get up to when the lights go out. Adults only, 18+ years of age, etc. etc.