Travel and Services
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Travel and Services

Mounts and Transportation

Most travel in Barsaive is walking or riding. This is because there are very few paved roads. In fact, the only two outside the Theran part of Barsaive connect Throal to Darranis, the highest navigable point on the Coil River, and Iopos to the headwaters of the Serpent. Most other roads are game trails, dirt tracks, or wagon ruts, except for caravan routes which will have dirt roads. You will make about the same distance regardless of whether you walk, ride, or drive a wagon or cart. Travel on roads, clear plains, and the like will usually be about 30 miles a day. Travel through light forest and rolling hills will usually be about 25 miles a day. Travel over an area with gullies and arroyos, steep hills, or forest will usually be about 15 miles a day -- 7 if using a cart or wagon. Travel through mountains, jungles, swamps, and dense forests will be about 7 miles a day, and impossible with a cart or wagon.

Many people prefer to travel with caravans, because caravans have guards. The large numbers will prevent attacks by most dangerous beasts, but the goods and money make them more attractive to bandits. Non-combatants will often have to pay 3-5$ a day to join a caravan, but Adepts can expect to get paid if they agree to guard it. The nature of the agreement will depend on your negotiating skills. Carts will allow burden-beasts to pull about 10 times what they can carry, and wagons will allow them to pull 20 times. The weight of the cart or wagon (and any riders) is included, of course. Caravans going through very bad terrain will have beasts carrying pack saddles, which must be unloaded every night and loaded every morning.

T'skrang riverboats often take passengers, and even on those with no passenger cabins, the captain is often willing to offer a working passage. Cost of passage depends upon accomodations; a working passage where you sleep on the deck will cost 5$ a day. Riverboats going upstream usually make about 150 miles a day (12 hours of steaming, 4 hours of being docked for trade, and 8 hours night time mooring), and those going downstream will make 225. The Serpent River runs clockwise around Barsaive, starting near Iopos and eventually draining into Death's Sea, with tributaries reaching the Blood Wood, Darranis, Urupa, and Travar.

Air ship travel is very fast and very costly. An airship will usually make about 300 miles in a day. Expect few accommodations; in fact, most airship captains will only offer working passages.

Reading the mounts table

D, S, T, P, W, and C refer to the creature's attribute steps, not its base attributes. PD is Physical Defense, SpD is Spell defense, SoD is Social Defense. Init is initiative step, MV is movement (noted as Full/Combat), AR is Armor Ratings (Physical/Mystic). DR is Death Rating, UR is Unconsciousness Rating, WT is Wound Threshold, and Rec is Recovery Tests per day. Attack shows Attacks Per Round@Attack Step/Damage Step. Purchase is purchase price in silver. Stable and feed are daily costs to stable and feed your mount.

You can often get a faster, stronger, or tougher mount by paying more for it. Luck tends to determine whether your mount is unusually smart, calm, loyal, or aggressive.

Riding Horse/Palfrey6783446676120/600/044361331@6/91255c3c
Draft Horse6983446676100/500/046381331@6/111505c3c
Light War Horse/Courser7786758687120/750/246381331@9/1110005c3c
Heavy War Horse/Destrier7983758687100/500/248401431@8/1415005c3c
War Boar7910477867785/422/154471331@8/1315001s1s
War Dog666555885795/470/040321021@8/9504c1c

Riding Horse/Palfrey: Most cavalryman adepts start with this mount. Tall dwarfs can ride short palfreys.
Draft Horses are strong enough to bear troll riders, but generally not those wearing any armor or carrying weapons. They are most often used to haul wagons.
Light War Horses/Coursers are not strong enough to bear trolls. Nearly all of them are too tall for dwarfs.
Heavy War Horse/Destrier: A draft horse bred and trained to war. Again, these are strong enough to bear trolls, but not heavily armored trolls.
Pony: The fastest mount favored by dwarfs.
Mules are similar to palfreys, except for speed (80/40) and cost (100sp). They are rarely used for riding, but are favored pack animals. They are more resilient, less likely to spook, and more sure-footed than ponies or horses. Often used to draw carts.
Huttawa: About the size of a lion, with a lizardlike body and a raptor's head. A favored burden-beast of dwarfs; they are strong, quite docile and sedate. Dwarf cavalrymen may start with a huttawa.
Troajin: Troajins resemble siberian tigers. They are excellent climbers and fantastic jumpers--+2 to dex step to climb, and they can jump 40' gaps and 10' tall obstacles. While they can be broken to the saddle, they are nearly impossible to break to harness. Dwarf cavalrymen may start with a troajin.
War Boar: These animals are are difficult to control; +1 to difficulty numbers to control the beast per point of the rider's strength below 15. They are only available in Barsaive from two dwarf cavalries. They are not tall enough for any rider over five feet tall. Tack is double normal cost.
Grainlain: These enormous horses can carry fully armored trolls, and troll cavalryman adepts are presumed to start with one. Few people breed and sell them, for they are difficult to control. For each point of the rider's Strength below 17, all difficulty numbers for controlling the beast are at +1. They are rarely found outside Ustrect, and broken grainlains are even more rare. Stablers charge extra for the bad tempered beasts. Tack for grainlains costs an extra 10%.
Thundras resemble a cross between a dinosaur and a rhinoceros. They can carry obsidimen. They are rare, in part because they breed slowly. Few scorcher tribes travel lands rich enough to support large herds of thundras, and they generally prefer to keep the mighty beasts for themselves. Tack for thundras costs triple.
Dyres can only be had from certain scorcher tribes in Cara Fahd. Appearance is a much like a bison, with the horns and temperament of a cape buffalo. They can carry obsidimen. Though easier to feed than thundras, they are much more difficult to break. As with thundras, the scorchers usually prefer to keep dyres for themselves. They might allow others to buy dyres at a discount, if the buyer is willing to take the risks of breaking the beast himself, giving him pointers on breaking and training the dyre as part of the purchase price. Tack for dyres costs 2.5x normal.
Elephants are strong and sturdy enough to bear obsidimen. They are prone to panic. Tack is expensive; three times normal cost.
War-dogs are used by windling cavalry because they are so common and easy to train.
Kues are large lizards that resemble and sometimes behave like domesticated cats, 2 feet tall at the shoulder. They are favored by windling cavalry for their amazing speed and powerful, slashing claws. They are also excellent climbers--+3 steps to climbing tests. They tease horses, making them unpopular with stablers. Windling cavalrymen are presumed to start with a kue.
Zoaks are large flying animals, somewhere between a bird and a bat, about 2 feet long with a 4 foot wingspan. They are rare and difficult to train, making them very expensive. The few zoak breeders in Barsaive are found in Travar, Urupa, and Throal. In spite of non-stop attempts to breed for tractability since the end of the Scourge, domesticated zoaks are still as difficult to train as wild ones. But their unmatched speed and maneuverability makes them the most desirable mount for windling cavalrymen.
Griffin: Only powerful adept magic makes it possible to train and ride these difficult creatures.

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Armorers will almost always be able to repair and embellish armor. Repairs usually cost 50$ and decorations 35$.

Very few are able to actually Forge Armor. Forge Armor can be learned as a skill, and thus is not limited to adepts. Those who learn it as a skill charge 600$/rank/attempt. They cannot enhance thread armor with active threads. Forging Armor costs 500 $/circle/attempt; minimum weaponsmith circle of 11. Weaponsmiths use this talent to increase the Armor and/or Mystic Armor ratings of armor. He rolls Perception Step+Forge Armor Rank with a difficulty number of Armor Rating+Mystic Armor Rating (replaced by Spell Defense + # of successful forging attempts for thread armor; any time a new thread is woven to forged magic armor, the armor's True Pattern reasserts itself and undoes the effects of the forging). Success allows him to increase either the Armor Rating or Mystic Armor Rating of the Armor. A weaponsmith can only make as many attempts on any set of armor or shield as he has ranks in Forge Armor. Armor Rating can be no more than doubled; Mystic Armor Rating is limited to either double original Mystic Armor Rating, or the original Armor Rating, whichever is higher. Any attempt to forge armor requires at least a month (6 weeks of 5 days each, for a total of 30 days). The total Armor Rating of any piece of armor (Mystic+Normal) cannot be increased to more than double its original total (i.e., Padded Leather, w/ AR of 4/0, can be forged to 8/0, 4/4, or any combination totaling 8 points. Crystal Ringlet, with an AR of 4/4, can be increased to 8/8. Hide armor can be increased from 5/1 to 10/2, 7/5, or anything in between.) Implanted armor, such as blood pebbles and living crystal, cannot be forged.

Smoothing Armor costs 800$/circle/attempt; minimum weaponsmith circle of 12. This is a variant of the Forge Armor talent; it is used to reduce the initiative penalty of armor and shields. The difficulty number for Smooth Armor is double the combined Armor Rating (A) and Mystic Armor Rating (M), plus the original Initiative Penalty (I) plus the number of times the armor has been smoothed (S), i. e., 2(A+M)+I+S [for magic armor, it is 2{SpD+F}+I+S, where SpD is the armor's Spell Defense and F is the number of times the armor has been successfully forged]. Each attempt to smooth armor counts against the weaponsmith's allowed number of attempts to forge any piece of armor. Implanted armor (Blood Pebbles and Living Crystal Armor) cannot be smoothed. The initiative penalty of any set of armor can only be reduced to 0. Smooth Armor is only available to weaponsmith adepts of 12th circle or higher, all of whom are Legendary Status 5. Good luck finding one.


Sages do research-for-hire. They may charge anywhere from 15$ to 100$ a day. Most have vast stores of knowledge and reference materials on a few specific subjects.
Scribes write for hire. A good scribe with some Storytelling skills can turn a stack of disjointed notes into a stirring tale of adventure.
Library Access means paying a librarian to go get the materials you need, so that you can look at them while you are there. Everything is treated as a reference, and nothing will leave the library. The Great Library of Throal charges 20$ per request; most others charge 25$.


Messengers will usually charge 5$ to carry a message to a recipient in the same city or town. If they are required to travel, they often charge 30-75$. Windlings are the fastest messengers, but obsidimen are considered the most reliable.

Talent Training

Humans can learn any talent. They can learn one talent for each rank in Versatility. They can only learn talents available at their circle or below, and only if that talent is not available in their Discipline. A talent learned through Versatility costs the same as it does to the adept who teaches it.

For example, Lock Sense is a magical talent; it cannot be learned as a skill. Thief adepts learn it at 2d circle, and scout adepts learn it at 5th circle. A human swordmaster could learn it as a 2d circle talent from a thief adept, or as a 5th circle talent from a scout adept (paying more for it as a 5th circle talent.) A human scout could not learn the Lock Sense talent as a 2d circle talent from a thief in order to pay less for it; he must wait until he reaches 5th circle as a scout to learn the Lock Sense talent.

Most adepts charge half as much for training in a single talent as what they would to train a person for advancement in their Discipline. For example, a 5th circle thief might charge 400 sp to train a human in Lock Sense--half what he would charge to train somebody for circle advancement in the thief Discipline. He would also likely want to make sure that his student is going to live at least SOME of his life according to the Thief's Way, and thus require his student to pass some sort of moral test, showing that said student shares enough of the thief's world view to be worthy of learning a thief's talents.


Weaponsmiths will be able to repair and decorate almost any weapon. They usually charge 55$ to repair a weapon, and 45$ to embellish it.

Forge Blade: Costs 50$/rank/attempt. Weaponsmiths use this to enhance the damage of melee or throwing weapons. The weaponsmith rolls perception step+Forge Blade rank with a difficulty number of the weapon's damage step. Success increases the damage step of the weapon by 1. A weapon's damage step is limited to twice the standard damage step. A weaponsmith can only make as many attempts on a weapon, successful or not, as he has ranks in Forge Blade, and he can not enhance a weapon's Step beyond his rank in Forge Blade. Thus, if you take a broadsword (normally damage step 5) that's been enhanced to step 9 to a weaponsmith who only has 3 or less ranks in Forge Blade, or even if he has 4 ranks in Forge Blade, he will not be able to improve on it. Forge Blade requires a week (5 days) for each attempt. Forge Blade can be learned as a skill, and so can be done by non-adepts. If attempted on a magic weapon, the following changes apply: the weaponsmith's difficulty number is the weapon's spell defense, plus the number of times it has been enhanced. Any time a new thread is attached, the weapon's True Pattern reasserts itself and undoes the forgings. Magical weapons can only be increased by a number of steps equal to their base (no threads) damage step, and they can only be enhanced by Adepts.

Forge Arrow: Costs 50$/rank/attempt; minimum rank of 3. This is a variant on the Forge Blade talent, used on missile weapons, such as arrows, bolts, or sling bullets. The weaponsmith can only attempt to forge as many missiles as he has ranks in Forge Blade per attempt. Like Forge Blade, each attempt requires a week. Forge Arrow requires magic, and so will only be available to weaponsmith adepts. Once-forged arrows typically sell for 55-60sp each, and they are hard to find. Archer adepts will also be able to construct arrows that enhance damage steps, but they base their pricing on what weaponsmiths charge. Given how time-consuming the process is, they do not think this is unreasonable.

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