In this intrepid article my brother and I embark on a mission to spice up the most everyday, common, mundane group of adventuring mounts; the riding horse, warhorse, draft horse, pony, and humble donkey.
From Troy, the writer brother, two complete D20 charts for random horse quirks and personalities.
From Ross, the artist brother, a collection of printable papercraft figurines and tokens.
The Telambar Horses
The stable master, Tess Telambar, eagerly disappears to fetch the documentation of her horses. You hear a frantic crash and a quickly-stifled cry from where she went. She returns moments later, gripping a disheveled stack of papers that seem hastily reorganized. Her forehead beads with sweat above wide eyes. With a clearly panicked improvisation, she begins desperately trying to remember which horse matches with which document…
|1||Your horse is extremely distrustful of new people. It will take time to gain its trust, and anyone it doesn’t know is met with cautious hostility.|
|2||Like many over-zealous chefs, your horse loves tasting new things. Unfortunately, this includes a great many things it should not be eating.|
|3||Stables can be a wild, horse-eat-horse world, and your horse wants to be on top. It compulsively seeks to intimidate and establish its dominance over other beasts, regardless of their size. These displays are not violent but are often rude.|
|4||Your horse is face blind. It will learn its master’s voice, but can never quite remember their face.|
|Your horse is afflicted with a deathly phobia and will begin to flee at the sight of…|
|8||… Insects larger than Tiny|
|9||… Any creature larger than itself|
|10||Being a beast does not preclude living with distinction and cleanliness. Your horse hates to be dirtied and insists on being cleaned frequently. And don’t get it started on oozes.|
|11||Your horse has a complete lack of depth perception. Not a deadly impedance but it does seem to bite your hand every time you feed it.|
|12||Your horse was one half of a torrid, scandalous love affair with another of its stable-mates. They are kindred spirits with a burning romance, refusing to be separated.|
|13||Your horse is hard of hearing, almost deaf. Spoken commands are out of the question and expecting it to hear nearby dangers is… not a good idea.|
|An unexplainable, burning hatred compels your horse to attack…|
|18||… Magic users|
|19||Whoever originally trained your horse had only a loose understanding of Common. It will only respond to commands spoken in a thick, specific accent.|
|20||Your horse formed a bond with another, smaller animal. They are a package deal. The smaller creature is friendly and obedient to its owner, the horse, but not to the horse’s new owner.|
Tess Telambar’s ‘Special Stock’
Magical experimentation is not a hobby one easily leaves behind. Fortunately, as stablemaster, Tess Telambar has an abundance of test subjects. The horses she has dubbed her ‘special stock’ all bare the unique results from different attempts at enchantment. Though, that is not to say that she knows or understands all of these enchantments.
These horses are reserved for those who know to ask and who have the gold to afford them, and offer some insight into why Miss Telambar is now a stablemaster in a small town, so far from the capital.
Tess freezes for a moment as you ask. She smiles at the request, the corners of her mouth twitching with brimming excitement. Her expression borders on unsettling as she motions you to an area beyond the stables that you did not initially notice…
|1||Your horse does not neigh, but rather says the word ‘neigh’ in Common. It is otherwise a regular horse.|
|2||Its mouth moves and hooves stomp, yet no sound can be heard. Your horse is permanently under the effects of the Silence spell. When mounted, the effects extend to the rider.|
|3||Your horse is gifted with magical sight. It can see into the Ethereal Plane, as well as being able to see and speak with the dead. Its intelligence score remains 2.|
|4||Your horse can breathe underwater.|
|5||Speaking its command word will cast the Reduce spell on your horse, shrinking it to roughly the size of a small dog.|
|When scared, your horse casts the Blink spell on itself and flashes between the Material and Ethereal Planes. The effect does not extend to the horse’s rider. Unfortunately, your horse also has a fear of…|
|10||… Beasts that are Large or greater|
|11||Some time ago, a scorned hag cursed a druid to forever remain in the form of a horse. Your horse seems oddly intelligent, though Speaking with Animals is the only way to be sure.|
|12||Speaking its command word will cause your horse to float 6 inches above the ground, its legs dangling motionlessly. It seems perfectly content with this ability. It can move across uneven terrain, up or down stairs, slopes, and the like, but it can’t cross an elevation change of 2 feet or more.|
|13||Your horse counts as a fiend for any ability that can detect fiends. When it sleeps, any grass in a radius of 5 feet withers away. It is otherwise a regular horse.|
|14||Your horse possesses an endless, unceasing appetite. It constantly attempts to chew on anything nearby, even metal, though it does not require any more food than a regular horse to survive.|
|15||Your horse is blessed with the gift of reincarnation. Upon its death, it will immediately come back to life as if by the Reincarnate spell. Its new body is that of a random, non-magical beast of Large size or smaller. There is a chance it will remain a horse.|
|A magical accident swapped the minds of your horse and a nearby animal. The horse-brained animal is wandering nearby, while your horse has the mind of a…|
|17||… House cat|
|19||Your horse is permanently under the effects of the Spider Climb spell. It is aware of this, though there is no other indication of this ability.|
|20||Once a month, under the light of a full moon, your horse undergoes a change. Its form shifts to that of a human man, vocal cords included. Its mind remains that of a regular horse.|
Horse Papercraft Figurines and Tokens
Hi reader! I’m excited to finally announce these experimental pieces of folded paper, as they have been an ongoing side-project over the last two months and I have only ever shared them on the Patreon Discord as mystifying work-in-progress snapshots.
They’re part token, part easy-to-construct paper figurines! As you’ll find out below, you can print all five on a single piece of paper. They are quite simple to construct and, I can attest, can be done in just two minutes, true to brand!
Still, do be careful with those scissors…
- Carefully CUT around the entirety of your desired steed, leaving it connected to the circular base. The two triangles extending from the base should also be left on and attached to both the circular base and the steed.
- FOLD the paper along the two seams of each triangle where they attach to the steed, folding so that the outer surface bears the image.
- GLUE the two mirrored sides of the steed together. I recommend applying glue to one side and then squeezing them together while taking care to line them up.
- Optionally, dice the MANE with your scissors and style it like in the photo above! This works better if you cut one mirrored side’s mane off so it is not so thick nor reinforced with glue.
After these steps you will have a free-standing paper horse figurine! Now all it needs is a name and a fun quirk from above. You can use the Variants PDF to custom-color them, or you might even print out the “Line Art” PDF layer and really customize your own steed.
Of course, many of us play digitally (especially at this point in history) so I have included some simple tokens as a bonus, should you enjoy the art style and want to use them on your virtual tabletop.
Will you give the papercraft a shot, or are you keen to use the tokens? In the very near future I will also add these to the Token Editor, so please stay tuned for even more customization options.
We will deliver the download links to your email address, which include printable PDFs and digital files. You can choose which pack you would like below. Note: The Telambar Stables printable PDF is included in the Horse Figurines & Tokens item!
Simple StablePWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Horse Figurines & TokensPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
The Everything PackProduct on sale
Are you interested in some of my other horse tokens or horse-related art? Here are a few more hand-picked items for you…
Bandit Camp AssetsPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Carts, Carriages & Wagons$1.00
Simple Stable Pack$5.00
This article and its downloads are free thanks to Patrons such as:
For exclusive map variants and even the PSD files, consider joining the amazing community that makes these maps possible:
Love this Telambar Horses post, definitely using in my current campaign! Will give the figurines a go too!
This reminds me of that time we had a donkey who believed herself a doe.
After the one who croaked like a frog.
Maybe giving the paper figurines a try, though I’ll fiddle with the colour and mane cut to match the toy horses we use for them. (Unexpected advantage of a women’s gaming group: 65% chance someone’s attic contains a dusty box with toy horsies and unicorns)
I love the idea for the horse figurines. Do you plan to do the same for other mounts? I would be very interested in some wyverns.
Feedback is good so far, so there’s a chance!